Cirularity

A few of you may recall that I often claim that Dictionairies rule the world. I bought one the other day. It was on special. It cost $8. Its worth… $8.

Dictionairies are essentially a massive cirular reference. If you look up the definition of a particularly tricky word, you oft have to look up a word used to define the original word you where researching. Dictionaries use words to define other words. If you didn’t have a vocabulary already (you know no words) a dictionary would be useless to you. How do we then learn our first word?

Lets make a romantic assumption that the first word we all learn is ‘mum’. There are essentially a couple of ways we could learn it, the most likely in my mind, is by sound association. We learn of the object ‘mum’ through experience and then we associate the sound ‘mum’ with the object that feeds, cleans and takes care of us. From the sound association we eventually learn to spell the word ‘mum’ and vola, we have our first word.

A more likely example is ‘aaaaaarrrrrrgggwhaaawhhaaaa’ which we associate with the possibility of getting fed, or cleaned, or not-being-held-in-that-particular-way-that-makes-my-nappy-go- right-up-my-bum. of course we wouldn’t know any of this right? It would more likely be an association with x, y, z. Where x, y, z represent those things. Do you see the problem here?

Unless we have some innate ideas when we are born, we are not going to know anything. We will not know what hungry is, we are not going to know what x, y, and z stand for. How do we even know to go ‘aaaaarggggghhhhwhhhaa?’

Identity obscured?

Hi Alvin and the Canada Crew!

To carry on the identity/success debate:

I think mum is right in a lot of respects. The focus of the previous post and the ensuing comments was a little too materialistic orientated. What I was trying to get at was the existence of those people who identify their personal success in life with some degree of success at work, measured in part by their personal work ethic, achievement of firm goals and objectives, personal recognition within the firm, and other factors which could describe ‘a job well done’.

However, as before, this all needs to be tempered in light of materialistic influences as well, which is why management accounting is so problematic! Their are just too many variables and too many paradigms to describe the relations between those variables.

As for the working to pay the bills idea, I’m sorry, but thats only for suckers stuck in the rat race (Which if you are one, don’t worry, their are plenty of other people with you). Plenty of evidence exists to indicate that motivation of highly skilled and highly paid employees is not determined predominantly by money (Surprising hey!) and that once an employees personal ‘comfort thresh-hold’ has been reached they will no longer be motivated by pecuniary compensation. Makes you wonder why these CEO’s get so many stock options, don’t it!

What is a persons comfort-thershold? I’m not sure, but is basicaly a point in life or level in income at which they are no longer concerned with money for survival. Money essentially becomes an object of luxury. So, for all those people in the rat race, its probably half way through retirement when your living on the income of your offfspring. It changes between individuals and varies a great deal and is predominantly lower for disadvantaged famalies/countries. It is hypothesised to have something to do with the reason why poorer society is so often easily satisfied in comparison to western countries (ie no history of consumption or luxury).

As for the body image, I think Magda is correct. Our society is rife with people who achieve a high authoratative status because of their body image. By Authoratative status I mean that they exert an above average influence on society. Eg. Hollywood.

As for body image in the workplace, I wonder if it is a more agreeable theory if we consider it in terms of poor body image. Its unlikely a person with (very)poor body image will achieve a position of authority at work. Yes maybe your boss is overweight, but are they obese? Keep in mind the ideal Body image changes across cultures, Eg. Budha.