Tuesday 9 November 2010

Amplifying, Attenuating and Transduction

What happens between our perceptions and our communications? One way of thinking about it is to think of a transducer which converts perceptions into communications (the 'T' in the middle is a transducer)

But what does 'amplification' and 'attenuation' mean in the context of perception?

Luhmann talks of a 'perception system' (or a psychic system) and a communication system, and how the two relate through 'structural coupling'. We might just as easily say they relate through transduction. But 'perception' is very hard to talk about - because as soon as we talk about it, it becomes communication.

We could characterise it as 'difference' - and maybe certain differences get made 'big enough' (amplified) for them to be transduced. Attenuation is easier - we hear the communications we can deal with in our perception - and ignore the ones we can't (so the frog never knows the water is getting hotter!)

On the other side, communications are amplified through social engagement. And the attenuation occurs as we select those who we talk to, and what we choose to talk about.

'Learning' is probably no more that twiddling the attenuators and amplifiers!

Jazzy improvisation today!

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