Mimesis / Semiotics

Quote of the Day: Umberto Eco

“Thus I rediscovered what writers have always known (and have told us again and again): books always speak of other books, and every story tells a story that has already been told.” ― Umberto Eco, Postscript to the Name of the Rose

Books / Semiotics

Review: Changing Signs of Truth: A Christian Introduction to the Semiotics of Communication @ivpacademic @adriannawright

Those of us who have learned to read between the lines, to understand that there or symbols of a greater truth which abound, that our sacraments, teachings and other tools of the Church serve us more than the momentary rites which they too often become, have waited patiently for such a book, and indeed, a certain modern recognition, something Crystal L. Downing brings. Much as been written about semiotics, with the researcher apt to find many introductions to the discipline available to him or her, but none that I know of from the Christian perspective, or rather, how Christians

Books / Semiotics

An Excerpt from “Changing Signs of Truth” @ivpacademic

Guess what? Just about the most anticipated book (except for mine) is about to be released. IVP-Academic had put out an excerpt Changing Signs of Truth by Crystal L. Downing

Science / Semiotics

Second Languages prevent emotional responses

Reading a nasty word in a second language may not pack the punch it would in your native tongue, thanks to an unconscious brain quirk that tamps down potentially disturbing emotions, a new study finds. When reading negative words such as “failure” in their non-native language, bilingual Chinese-English speakers did not show the same brain response as seen when they read neutral words such as “aim.” The finding suggests that the brain can process the meaning of words in the unconscious, while “withholding” information from our conscious minds. via The Body Odd – Brains of bilingual readers repress negative


Blogging my Book: Interlude for a post on Language

Language, the idea of language, rather, plays a role in my book, somewhat, as well as my theological understanding of the world. Recently, and I have yet to read it, a book was published which suggests that language is not universal, not biological, but rather cultural. NPR has a story up about it: There’s no language gene. There’s no innate language organ or module in the human brain dedicated to the production of grammatical language. There are no meaningful human universals when it comes to how people construct sentences to communicate with each other. Across the languages of the


Religious Leaders and their Symbolic Garments

Enclothed cognition means that clothes can exert influence on the way the wearer feels, thinks, and behaves through the symbolic meaning associated with the clothes. Many pieces of clothing carry a symbolic meaning: For example, the robe of a judge signifies justice, an expensive suit signifies power, and a white lab coat signifies a scientific focus and attentiveness. Therefore, to the extent that a religious leader associates his or her symbolic garment with faith, dedication, and assuming a responsible leadership role in the religious community, the leader may indeed be more effective at carrying out his or her tasks


Speaking of the power of music….

After listening to Bruce Springsteen and the White Stripes, the students handed most of the money to white people. ‘Rock music is generally associated with white Americans, so we believe it cues white listeners to think about their positive association with their own in-group,’ said Heather LaMarre, an assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Minnesota. ‘That was enough for them to show more support for a student group representing mostly whites.’ After listening to Top 40 pop such as Gwen Stefani, Akon and Fergie, the students divided money more equally between white people, black