DICTIONARY. Internet project. 8 October 2004

http://www.artknowledge.net/trashconnection/dict

Trashconnection dictionary

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was Word. At the end will
be the Word, and the Word will be Word."

On the search for an unknown word in the dictionary you find sometimes
another unknown word in its explanation. The searching process can repeat
itself in further attempts. The Web-based project "Trashconnection Dictionary"
presents a system, which explains all words containing in their own explanations
in order to find the imaginary final meaning of the first given word.
The project uses the on-line service DICT.ORG and offers therefore permanently
updated conditions.

***

Matze Schmidt:

i tried today with the word "description" of course... it's still
running. would like to hear more about it, how the machine works, gets
material from www.dict.org and so on.
first idea: the thing with words (how to do things with words) is one
field, it's the field of grammar/grammatology, but that's just it. the
concept of language is even more than just words. but the dict-machine
makes somehow clear that there is a relation of words as system and
sense (interpretation).
ah, i get now this here: Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]:
php_hostconnect: connect failed in
/home/minaev/public_html/dict/index.php on line 158
out of the 'word-system' of the machine.

Miga:

Most likely i will be better explaining the technical solution as
philosophical.
With php it is pretty easy to take the source from the internet and to
use it for own stuff -- cut and replace, add and to rearrange it. The
project i was talking to trashconnection was about the word itself or to
be more precise, the meaning of it. Like, for example, nobody asks why
we use the word 'mother'. The dict.trashconnection asks the question on
_logic_ -- if we try to explain one word, we get a series of other words
to explain. the project initially was discussed as endless or till the
'end of known words'. The system though stops on its way, because the
computer (or settings of it) is not able to handle endless things. So
lets say in this case system gets 'overheated' and stops functioning
giving an _error_. The error is also not so bad thing, because in this
case we could explain the irrational side of human-being. I think that
the project is not about grammar -- it is purely based on 'cut and
paste' technology. dict.trashconnection is visual work. At least for me.

Trashconnection:

Well, there is a system based on the human flaw. You sometimes search
for a word in the dictionary and find an unknown word in its
description. To enrich your vocabulary you turn to the next word and so
on. The dict.trashconnection.com makes it easier to find out all
meanings of the basic word in the sequence.

Example:
A = B+C+D
B = E+F+G
C = H+J+K
D = L+M+N
E = ...
F = ...
G = ...
..
The result of the search (even with the error message) won't bring you
closer to the real sense of the word. "Interpretation" could be only the
label for the searching process. It exposes on the one hand that
invented symbols (words) can just explain themselves, on the other hand
it clarifies the complexity of trust in power of words.

Matze Schmidt:

with the idea of words explaining the dict-project is very close to what
semiotics, especially after pierce and the structuralists, says about
the system of symbols or symbol clusters, lets say "words". yes, every
word can just be explained by words (or by pictures?). but words
'themselves' do not exist, as roman's sentence in his e-mail could suggest:

> "Interpretation" could be only the label for the searching process.

because, if interpretation is a search process, how come that it (the
word) MEANS something to the behaviour of the interpreter if he or she
finds a word, that is important for his or her aims? if i have a ton of
words, i will just find the right one (the right one for my aims in
behaviour) by heuristic strategies. ok, dict can help. well, this
discussion leads very fast to the discussion of machine-man-relations,
besides of the problem of chains of words = chains of meanings made by a
'machine called human being'.
but one assumption: the dict is not just "cut and replace" as you say
miga, it is, but it is also "power of words", as roman says, right. cut
and paste, yes, but then also splitting, pushing, pitching. paul d.
miller would agree with you, as he say that DJing is like working with
text.
but words never can just explain 'themselves'. they are not them-selves,
because they do not have a (i don't believe the meme-theory) own,
authentically subject, they are not their subject, because they are ever
in relationship to other words with meaning. and don't forget, the dict
is about written words (text) in the context of a machine. the struggle
of the priority of written words and spoken words is still going on (->
derrida in his book [sic] _de la grammatologie_). grammatology is not
just grammar, it is about the logics of speech. tech and phil can never
be divided in this field, as dict shows too.

> Well, there is a system based on the human flaw.

but why "human flaw"? why is the words-system full of mistakes? there
the interpretation of semiotic practice (anthropology of media) _as a
problem_ begins. this flaw-idea is a deep line in anthropology of media,
it has always to do with the idea of human as a incorrect system and
loss (loss of precision, loss of power etc.). too fast it leads to the
image of better, more precise systems at last to machines which can do
it better. the computer is too often the machine on which the wishes of
a better functioning system running are projected on.

> dict.trashconnection.com makes it easier to find out all meanings of
> the basic word in the sequence.

it just shows, that there is relation, as everybody who uses
dictionaries and, in increased sense who uses hypertext, knows (the
serendipity effect). so dict.trashconnection is a exemplification of
that. if you read the post-structuralists (again derrida for example),
you will find out, that the main thesis is, that there is always a rest
in the system (call it series, chains ore grammatology) of language.
based on the empirical knowledge you said, roman, nothing will "bring
you closer to the real sense of the word." it is endless, or groundless.
"endless" would mean, that there is just a linear process, but it's not.
it is relation, more like a terrain, but without any hard ground,
because every word as the placeholder of sense is just a placeholder,
but a placeholder with 'tradition' (the Signifikant/Signifikat-theory).