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Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Ludicrous Extreme

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:04 AM

From a review of the 2016 film "Arrival"

"A seemingly off-hand reference to Abbott and Costello
is our gateway. In a movie as generally humorless as Arrival,
the jokes mean something. Ironically, it is Donnelly, not Banks,
who initiates the joke, naming the verbally inexpressive
Heptapod aliens after the loquacious Classical Hollywood
comedians. The squid-like aliens communicate via those beautiful,
cryptic images. Those signs, when thoroughly comprehended,
open the perceiver to a nonlinear conception of time; this is
Sapir-Whorf taken to the ludicrous extreme."

Jordan Brower in the Los Angeles Review of Books

Further on in the review —

"Banks doesn’t fully understand the alien language, but she
knows it well enough to get by. This realization emerges
most evidently when Banks enters the alien ship and, floating
alongside Costello, converses with it in their picture-language.
She asks where Abbott is, and it responds — as presented
in subtitling — that Abbott 'is death process.'
'Death process' — dying — is not idiomatic English, and what
we see, written for us, is not a perfect translation but a
rendering of Banks’s understanding. This, it seems to me, is a
crucial moment marking the hard limit of a human mind,
working within the confines of human language to understand
an ultimately intractable xenolinguistic system."

For what may seem like an intractable xenolinguistic system to
those whose experience of mathematics is limited to portrayals
by Hollywood, see the previous post —

van Lint and Wilson Meet the Galois Tesseract.

The death process of van Lint occurred on Sept. 28, 2004.

See this journal on that date

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