Essay on The Power of Semiotics

Essay on The Power of Semiotics

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The Power of Semiotics

The first ordinance of this class is to write a reflexive paper about semiotics as I, or as I try to, understand it. Being able to write a reflexive paper luckily does not imply that I hold a thorough understanding of the material. Or, for that matter, a thorough understanding of the material for which I am about to reflect. I hesitate, for one of the first times in my life, to say that I can write a paper about semiotics or reflecting about semiotics or critiquing semiotics. But as in all great journeys one must open the door and step outside to see the roller coaster that awaits. So here I go....

My first comments will come from my infinitesimally small perspective of the universe. But this is the case for everyone in accordance with semiotics. My viewpoint is the world I exist in is understood by theories. The best theory is the one that explains the data gathered in the most parsimonious manner. Occam's razor never seems to leave me alone. I grew up here. I was weaned on this formula for understanding the events whirling around me. This occurred in large part because my father, being an engineer, was also weaned in this train of thought or philosophy, whichever you feel more comfortable. If a building was not cold enough during the summer, data was gathered , theories were created and examined and the best ones survived and a decision of action was created and implemented.

As I read more critically about semiotics I came to the shocking revelation that in actuality my dad and I were reading signs. Each piece of information about a problem was a sign (symptom) for an object (problem) and my dad was interpreting all of this information based on his extensive experience in this field. I was also ...

... middle of paper ... easier from simply reading recognizing and reacting to the signs. I am enjoying all of this new information in my life and I think semiotics has opened and extended my critical thinking abilities. Sometimes we all need that. I simply desire, not an easier philosophy, but one with more consistency. I will most likely continue this topic in the forth coming papers.


Today I was asked to explain semiotics in 50 words or less. And then I was told that if I couldn't I did not understand stand it. To which I replied, "I do not expect to fully understand it before I die!"

Explanatory note: The whole Rats? In Berkeley? thing is from my screen saver on my MAC. I have a saver that races three rats around a track and one of the rat's name is Rats? In Berkeley? and it reminded me of how opposite what I am writing about is in comparison. It was a sign.

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