20th May 2014 ~ Question of the Day ~ Words

Time to be a bit silly… What is the most unusual or interesting word you’ve encountered?
e.g. lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon
Extra kudos if you provide the meaning.

I’m not that good at silly, and I find far too many words interesting to choose just one – so I’ll go for 6.


Language: The whole body of words and of methods of combination of words used by a nation, people, or race; a ‘tongue’. [Literally the tongue of a people.]

Evolution: in the biological sense, of a process of aspects of the physical environment filtering random variations in a replicator resulting in changes in replicators, and eventually speciation, and everything that flows from that.

Concept: The product of the faculty of conception; an idea of a class of objects, a general notion or idea.

Distinction: One of the parts into which a whole is divided; a division, section; a class, category.

Recursion: A process where the output of the process feeds back in to provide one of the inputs to the next cycle of the process.

Dimension: Any of the component aspects of a particular situation, etc., esp. one newly discovered; an attribute of, or way of viewing, an abstract entity.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday while driving, and someone said that it was a shame that people can only deal in 3 dimensions, and I suddenly realised just how wrong that statement was.
We can only deal in three dimensions of space, and one of time, but then there is everything else.
All the dimensions of colour, and intensity of light.
All the dimensions of frequency (tone) and intensity (colour) of sound.
All the dimensions of smell and taste.
The dimension of temperature
The many dimensions of texture.

While it may be true in some strict sense of physics that if we define a point of space and time small enough then it can only contain a single photon, or not; that is not what we as humans experience.

We as experiential humans cannot deal with time in smaller chunks than about 1/100th of a second, and in that sort of time-frame, even the smallest space we can resolve can contain billions of photons, and hundreds of frequencies of sound.

So we live in hugely dimensionally rich environment all the time, and we can only consciously ever appreciate a very tiny part of the totality of it all.

So yeah – I love language, and the distinctions we make and communicate in it, and the abstractions we hint at with it, and the process of evolution that makes it all happen!

And http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lopado…pterygon (just for the kudos 😉

[followed by]


I rather like infinite regression too, and its inverse, infinite expression.

The idea that even if one is looking at a series of random walks through possibility space – with any one almost as likely to go back towards where it started as to explore some new territory, the overall effect is the ever expanding front of newly explored territory (through infinitely dimensional possibility space).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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