Schlagwort-Archive: Meaning

The matter as such

The description of actions, behaviors, interactions, processes, systems and the like seems at first glance simple – select, observe, describe, interpret, communicate.

  • The objective should be clearly described so that the observations monitor the same thing.
  • The elements of the observation should be entirely collected so that comparability is guaranteed.
  • All observations should be described in a common language to avoid ambiguities from the outset.
  • Interpretation should be based on all observations, i.e. after all data is available.
  • Results should be published in the language of the target group, i.e. free of technical jargon.

This sequence and the common understanding of the matter as such must be communicated to all parties involved – especially the observers need beforehand appropriate training.

Individuals, groups, roles, processes, temporal, geographical and virtual spaces, media, and all other interesting objects are watched. In any case, the following aspects have to be considered.

  • The components of the matter as such
    On the one hand the set of target objects should be clearly described – who, how many, from where, etc. In addition, the components have some descriptive elements that should be described consistently to ensure comparability. It is this combination of elements that allows a useful observation.
    For example, persons have a name, a place of residence, certain interests; groups are named and need a list of group members and other characteristics to distinguish them; processes consist of individual steps that together provide a service.
  • The relationships of the matter as such
    The components are in unidirectional or mutual relations with each other – human, social, economic, technical, legal, religious, or other connections. They decisively expand the findings of observation.
    The components relate by communicating, doing business or pursuing other joint interests. Processes deliver results which, when interacting, sum up to the overall performance of the whole. The parts of a machine enable them to achieve a certain performance.
  • The changes of the matter as such
    Through the relationships of the components the conditions are in constant flux (Panta rhei). These changes are an essential characteristic of the matter as such. Thereby the components and relationships change more or less.
    People continue to develop, change the center of their lives, form new groups over time and work in various jobs. A machine mainly retains its structure, apart from the consumables and wear. From these changes, statements about the viability of the whole can be deduced. If no changes take place, the system is most likely dead.
  • The triggers of the changes
    To better understand the changes, the causes should be understood. What causes the changes? Where do the triggers come from? Through which relationships do the triggers reach the different components?
    The many causes that influence human development, or affect processes or put a strain on machines, offer starting points for creating desired outcomes or avoiding undesired consequences. The triggers are entry points for influencing the whole.
  • The occurrences of the matter as such
    The individual changes and triggers are difficult to oversee. For this reason, we bundle them into incidents that consist of a collection of components, relationships, changes and triggers. A general classification is for example the always existing life cycle – becoming, maturing, exploiting, vanishing.
    Occurrences not only comprise the documented contents, but also generate further insights in the observers’ minds, which result from their experiences – education, the founding of a family, the annual financial statement of the company, the maintenance of a machine. Eventually they become a matter as such.
  • The meaning of the matter as such
    The many aspects of the matter as such result in meaning for us and for others – What influences are sent from here? What is the overall purpose? What is the importance of the matter as such for different persons and groups?
    The totality of all matters as such result in the reality that surrounds us – the society, the economy, the culture and their interactions. Depending on the task at hand, we look at them at different levels in order to find leverage points.

Bottom line: The matter as such is the central element in the task fulfilment. This can be a matter of individual persons, groups or abstract systems that require a specific solution. In any case, it is better to consider the above aspects: the components, relationships, changes, triggers, occurrences, and above all the resulting meaning. The observation that cannot answer the above questions should always be examined critically, as the insights result from the interaction of many aspects – especially the above points of the matter as such.

We only recognize, what we recognize

For all those, who do not master Chinese, Cyrillic, Thai, Arabic or cuneiform script and hieroglyphics, those written documents in a foreign language are a collection of lines and forms that may mean something, but do not reveal their content. So far only scriptures are known, which approx. six thousand years old are. Meanwhile, Genevieve von Petzinger has found in Stone Age caves thirty-two characters all over the world. Thirty-two in total. And we recognize, what we always recognize (see figure). The particular aspect of these signs is the fact that it is again and again a matter of the same signs that were ‘written’ everywhere in the world, up to forty thousand years ago. And we have no chance to know, what they mean.

We still find these characters in the fonts of our computers (×, Ο, ↑, ∇, #, ∼, ♥, ω, —). Since we only recognize what we recognize, let’s take a look at what there is to see.

  • Lines
    There are straight, rounded and jagged, sometimes solid and sometimes dotted lines. Perhaps the heritage of this cave graffiti is still plugged in our perception today – horizontal lines convey calm; vertical lines awaken dynamics; bent lines appear energetic; curved lines transmit tension; wavy lines indicate snakes or water. Lines are used to create shapes and characters in the following.
  • Forms
    One recognizes basic forms that are familiar to us – circle, rectangle and triangle. The circle appears balanced without start and end. The rectangle gives a stable impression. It creates clear boundaries and order. The triangle stands on its tip and suggests dynamism and femaleness.
  • Signs
    Some seem to be signs for something – double cross, horizontal bracket sign, double arrow, positive and negative hands, heart, hashtag, spiral, etc. What these symbols represented, we will never know. For example, the hands could be a kind of signature or I-was-here. Could the heart-shaped form be a heart or is that unlikely? I’m interested in what the hashtag (#) might stand for.
  • Context
    The most obvious seems to be the context – a cave. But why here? In the dark. These are the Stone Age caves, in which research has dealt so far with the depicted animals, people and everyday scenes. Here these signs can be found again and again on the sidelines and in the entrances. Surprising is the fact that there are only thirty-two that have been used around the world – actually, for forty thousand years until today. The fact that they were found in the surroundings of the wall paintings is an indication that they fulfilled a special purpose in this context.
  • Without meaning
    These signs could mean anything and nothing. Perhaps they are collateral stains left over from performing rituals. On the other hand, they could be abstract representations of mental imagery or theoretical concepts. Or the simplified depiction of the fauna and flora of the time. It would be exciting to determine whether the illustrations are art work that have been refreshed or renewed over a long period of time, the same way as the Aborigines in Australia still practice today.

Bottom line: It is thanks to Genevieve von Petzinger that today, we not only become aware of these lines, shapes and signs from up to forty thousand years ago, but that she also recognized and structured the similarities between the cave arts scattered around the world. I wonder whether these basic forms, which we still use today, have saved their importance over the millennia. All we can do is speculate because: We only recognize, what we recognize – the original meaning was taken to the grave by the artists many thousands of years ago.