The Basics of Semiotics

Coca Cola 1900
Coca Cola 1900

Beyond the most basic definition as ‘the study of signs’, there is considerable variation among leading semioticians as to what semiotics involves. One of the broadest definitions is that of Umberto Eco, who states that ‘semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign’ (Eco 1976, 7). Semiotics involves the study not only of what we refer to as ‘signs’ in everyday speech, but of anything which ‘stands for’ something else. In a semiotic sense, signs take the form of words, images, sounds, gestures and objects. Contemporary semioticians study signs not in isolation but as part of semiotic ‘sign-systems’ (such as a medium or genre). They study how meanings are made and how reality is represented.

Theories of signs (or ‘symbols’) appear throughout the history of philosophy from ancient times onwards (see Todorov 1982), the first explicit reference to semiotics as a branch of philosophy appearing in John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). However, the two primary traditions in contemporary semiotics stem respectively from the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913) and the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced ‘purse’) (1839–1914). Saussure’s term sémiologie dates from a manuscript of 1894. The first edition of his Course in General Linguistics, published posthumously in 1916, contains the declaration that:

It is . . . possible to conceive of a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life. It would form part of social psychology, and hence of general psychology. We shall call it semiology (from the Greek se¯meîon, ‘sign’). It would investigate the nature of signs and the laws governing them. Since it does not yet exist, one cannot say for certain that it will exist. But it has a right to exist, a place ready for it in advance. Linguistics is only one branch of this general science. The laws which semiology will discover will be laws applicable in linguistics, and linguistics will thus be assigned to a clearly defined place in the field of human knowledge.

(Saussure 1983, 15–16)

The Basics of Semiotics

Concepts of Semiotics

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Physical Control of the Mind

Human Brain Chips
Human Brain Chips

Manifestations of life depend on a continuous interplay of natural forces. Worms and elephants, mosquitoes and eagles, plankton and whales display a variety of activities on the land, in the air, and in the sea with a purpose or lack of it-which escapes human understanding, obeying sets of laws which antedate the appearance of human intelligence. In the animal kingdom, existence of the genetic code represents a biological determination of anatomical and functional characteristics in the newborn. The growth and development of organisms after birth proceed according to a natural fate imposed by the correlations between individual structure and environmental circumstances. The fact that about 300 million years ago all the world’s creatures lived in the sea did not depend on their own volition but on biological evolution and ecological factors. The appearance of dinosaurs 180 million years ago in the Triassic period, their supremacy on earth, and their peak in power 30 million years later were determined not by the will of these animals, which had disproportionately small brains and were probably ·rather stupid, but by a propitious warm and sticky climate which provided a soft slosh of water everywhere and land covered with a tangle of greenery, juicy palms, and huge fern like trees extending almost to the North Pole.

Physical Control of the Mind

The Shape of Things to Come

Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the story of mankind upon this planet undergoes a change of phase. It broadens out. It unifies. It ceases to be a tangle of more and more interrelated histories and it becomes plainly and consciously one history. There is a complete confluence of racial, social and political destinies. With that a vision of previously unsuspected possibilities opens to the human imagination. And that vision brings with it an immense readjustment of ideas.

The first phase of that readjustment is necessarily destructive. The conceptions of life and obligation that have served and satisfied even the most vigorous and intelligent personalities hitherto, conceptions that were naturally partial, sectarian and limited, begin to lose, decade by decade, their credibility and their directive force. They fade, they become attenuated. It is an age of increasing mental uneasiness, of forced beliefs, hypocrisy, cynicism, abandon and impatience. What has been hitherto a final and impenetrable background of conviction in the rightness of the methods of behaviour characteristic of the national or local culture of each individual, becomes, as it were, a dissolving and ragged curtain. Behind it appear, vague and dim at first, and refracted and distorted by the slow dissolution of the traditional veils, the intimations of the type of behaviour necessary to that single world community in which we live to-day.

The Shape of Things to Come

Organic Farming and Gardening

Organic Gardening
Organic Gardening

Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening: Resources for Instructors is a tool intended to increase and improve education in practical organic agriculture and horticulture skills and concepts. While the majority of the manual is devoted to practical training, the instructional materials also cover the science behind the practices, and provide a detailed introduction to social and environmental issues in agriculture. Although much of the material is designed for field or garden demonstrations and skill building, most of the units can also be tailored to a classroom setting. The manual is designed so that units or even individual lectures or demonstrations can be pulled out to be used on their own or in any sequence.

This manual is divided into three sections:

Part 1: Organic Farming and Gardening Skills and Practices

The eleven units in this section emphasize the “how-to” aspects of organic gardening and farming, including propagation, irrigation, tillage, transplanting, and compost production. This section also introduces students to critical skills and considerations in the management of soil fertility and agricultural pests (arthropods, diseases, and weeds) in organic systems. The information included in the manual is based on certified organic production practices that meet or exceed the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP)
standards. Included throughout is an overview of principles and practices used in NOP certified production.

Part 2: Applied Soil Science

This three-unit section covers basic information on soil physical properties, soil chemistry, and soil biology and ecology, providing a more detailed overview of the underlying scientific principles that inform many of the organic farming practices covered in Part 1.

Part 3: Social and Environmental Issues in Agriculture

This four-unit section first outlines the history and development of agriculture in the U.S. and then introduces students to social and environmental issues associated with conventional agriculture practices and the current organization of the food system. This section also introduces students to the various forms of resistance and alternative movement to the dominant systems.

Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening

Master Gardeners Manual

Organic Gardening for Dummies

Delphi Technique Part II

Delphi Greece
Delphi Greece

In 1969 the number of Delphi studies that had been done could be counted in three digits; today, in 1974, the figure may have already reached four digits. The technique and its application are in a period of evolution, both with respect to how it is applied and to what it is applied. It is the objective of this book to expose the richness of what may be viewed as an evolving field of human endeavor. The reader will encounter in these pages many different perspectives on the Delphi method and an exceedingly diverse range of applications.

For a technique that can be considered to be in its infancy, it would be presumptuous of us to present Delphi in the cloak of a neatly wrapped package, sitting on the shelf and ready to use, Rather, we have adopted the approach, through our selection of contributions, of exhibiting a number of different objects having the Delphi label and inviting you to sculpt from these examples your own view and assessment of the technique. For, if anything is “true” about Delphi today, it is that in its design and use Delphi is more of an art than a science.

However, as editors, we would be remiss if there were not some common thread underlying the articles brought together in this volume. As long as we restrict ourselves to a very general view, it is not difficult to present an acceptable definition of the Delphi technique which can be taken as underlying the contributions to this book:

Delphi may be characterized as a method for structuring a group communication process so that the process is effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with a complex problem.

To accomplish this “structured communication” there is provided: some feedback of individual contributions of information and knowledge; some assessment of the group judgment or’ view; some opportunity for individuals to revise views; and some degree of anonymity for the individual responses, As the reader will discover, there are many different views on what are the “proper,” “appropriate,” “best,” and/or “useful” procedures for accomplishing the various specific aspects of Delphi. We hope that the reader will find this book a rich menu of procedures from which he may select his own repast if he should seek to employ the Delphi technique. When viewed as communication processes, there are few areas of human endeavor which are not candidates for application of Delphi. While many people label Delphi a forecasting procedure because of its significant use in that area, there is a surprising variety of other application areas. Among those already developed we find:

· Gathering current and historical data not accurately known or available
· Examining the significance of historical events
· Evaluating possible budget allocations
· Exploring urban and regional planning options
· Planning university campus and curriculum development
· Putting together the structure of a model
· Delineating the pros and cons associated with potential policy options
· Developing causal relationships in complex economic or social phenomena
· Distinguishing and clarifying real and perceived human motivations
· Exposing priorities of personal values, social goals

Delphi Book

Delphi Method

Delphi Technique Modified

Delphi Technique Tool

Delphi Technique

Urban Warfare

UNIFIL
UNIFIL

In the future, Marine will face urban environment situations where different categories and activities will be conducted concurrently. Missions such as humanitarian assistance operations; peace operations; and full scale, high-intensity combat may occur simultaneously within three city blocks. The Commandant of the Marine Corps has labeled this concept the “three city block war.” Integrating and coordinating these varying missions each of which has its own operational characteristics will challenge Marines to use their skill and determination in imaginative ways. The presence of large numbers of noncombatants and the potential difficulty in distinguishing noncombatants from hostile forces will further complicate the task of operating in the urban environment.

The Marine Corps has recognized these challenges and is staging URBAN WARRIOR exercises to test new tactics and equipment designed to make the USMC the leading U.S. force in MOUT. For example, as part of URBAN WARRIOR, the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) has sponsored:

■ Three URBAN WARRIOR Limited Objective Experiments that examined small unit combined arms operations in the urban environment;

■ Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (MOUT ACTD) experiments that examined the use of man-portable shields and breaching technologies; and

■ The first Responder LTA, a medical assessment examining new tactical possibilities for hospital corpsmen in urban warfare.

FM3-06 Urban Operations

FM3-19.40 Interment Resettlement Operations

Reception and Placement of Refugees

Re-imaging the Character of Urban Operations for the US Army

Resettlement Handbook

Urban Warfare Study City Case Study

US Army Internment Resettlement

JP3-06 Doctrine for Joint Urban Operations

Urban Combat Service Support Operations The Shoulders of Atlas

Urban Battle Command 21st Century

Notes on Urban Warfare

MCRP 12-10B.1 Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain

Policing Urban Space

The Open Conspiracy

Conspiracy
Conspiracy

The world is undergoing immense changes. Never before have the conditions of life changed so swiftly and enormously as they have changed for mankind in the last fifty years. We have been carried along—with no means of measuring the increasing swiftness in the succession of events. We are only now beginning to realize the force and strength of the storm of change that has come upon us.

These changes have not come upon our world from without. No meteorite from outer space has struck our planet; there have been no overwhelming outbreaks of volcanic violence or strange epidemic diseases; the sun has not flared up to excessive heat or suddenly shrunken to plunge us into Arctic winter. The changes have come through men themselves. Quite a small number of people, heedless of the ultimate consequence of what they did, one man here and a group there, have made discoveries and produced and adopted inventions that have changed all the condition, of social life.

We are now just beginning to realize the nature of these changes, to find words and phrases for them and put them down. First they began to happen, and then we began to see that they were happening. And now we are beginning to see how these changes are connected together and to get the measure of their consequences. We are getting our minds so clear about them that soon we shall be able to demonstrate them and explain them to our children in our schools. We do not do so at present. We do not give our children a chance of discovering that they live in a world of universal change.

The Open Conspiracy

The Hour of Decision

D-Day
American reinforcements, arrive on the beaches of Normandy from a Coast Guard landing barge into the surf on the French coast on June 23, 1944. They will reinforce fighting units that secured the Norman beachhead and spread north toward Cherbourg.

Is there today a man among the White races who has eyes to see what is going on around him on the face of the globe? To see the immensity of the danger which looms over this mass of peoples? I do not speak of the educated or uneducated city crowds, the newspaper-readers, the herds who vote at elections and, for that matter, there is no longer any quality-difference between voters and those for whom they vote but of the ruling classes of the White nations, in so far as they have not been destroyed, of the statesmen in so far as there are any left; of the true leaders of policy, of economic life, of armies, and of thought. Does anyone, I ask, see over and beyond his time, his own continent, his country, or even the narrow circle of his own activities?

We live in momentous times. The stupendous dynamism of the historical epoch that has now dawned makes it the grandest, not only in the Faustian civilization of Western Europe, but for that very reason – in all world-history, greater and by far more terrible than the ages of Caesar and Napoleon. Yet how blind are the human beings over whom this mighty destiny is surging, whirling them in confusion, exalting them, destroying them! Who among them sees and comprehends what is being done to them and around them? Some wise old China-man or Indian, perhaps, who gazes around him in silence with the stored-up thought of a thousand years in his soul. But how superficial, how narrow, how small-minded are the judgments and measures of Western Europe and America!

What do the inhabitants of the Middle West of the United States know of what goes on beyond New York and San Francisco? What conception has a middle-class Englishman, not to speak of a French provincial, of the trend of affairs on the Continent? What, indeed, does any one of them know of the direction in which his very own destiny is facing? All we have is a number of absurd catchwords such as “overcoming the economic crisis,” “understanding of peoples,” “national security and self-scruffiness,” with which to “overcome” catastrophes within the space of a generation or two by means of “prosperity” and disarmament.

Hour of Decision

Decay of Capitalism

The Mickey Mouse Club
The Mickey Mouse Club

It is one of the illusions of each generation that the social institutions in which it lives are, in some peculiar sense, “ natural,” unchangeable and permanent. Yet for countless thousands of years social institutions have been successively arising, developing, decaying and becoming gradually superseded by others better adapted to contemporary needs. This book shows how we, the nations claiming to be the most advanced in civilization, are no less subject than our predecessors to this process of perpetual change. Just as the Sumerian, the Egyptian, the Greek, the Roman and the Christian medieval civilizations have passed away, our present capitalist civilization, as mortal as its predecessors, is dissolving before our eyes, not only in that “ septic dissolution ” diagnosed by the Dean of St. Paul’s, brought upon us by war, and curable by genuine peace, but in that slower changing of the epochs which war may hasten, but which neither we nor any¬ thing else can hinder.

The question, then, is not whether our present civilization will be transformed, but how it will be transformed. It may, by considerate adaptation, be made to pass gradually and peacefully into a new form. Or, if there is angry resistance instead of adaptation, it may crash, leaving mankind painfully to build up a new civilization from the lower level of a stage of social chaos and disorder in which not only the abuses but also the material, intellectual and moral gains of the previous order will have been lost. Unfortunately many who assent to this general proposition of inevitable change, fail to realize what the social institutions are to which this law of change applies. To them the basis of all possible civilization is private property in a sense in which it is so bound up with human nature, that whilst men remain men, it is no more capable of decay or supersession than the rotation of the earth on its axis. But they misunderstand the position. It is not the sanction and security of personal possessions that forms the foundation of our capitalist system, but the institution of private owner¬ ship of the means by which the community lives.

Decay of Capitalism

Decline of the West

The Decline of the West
A caravan of thousands of migrants from Central America, en route to the United States, makes its way to San Pedro Tapanatepec from Arriaga, Mexico October 27, 2018. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Is there a logic of history? Is there, beyond all the casual and incalculable elements of the separate events, something that we may call a metaphysical structure of historic humanity, something that is essentially independent of the outward forms social, spiritual and political which we see so clearly? Are not these actualities indeed secondary or derived from that something? Does world-history present to the seeing eye certain grand traits, again and again, with sufficient constancy to justify certain conclusions? And if so, what are the limits to which reasoning from such premises may be pushed? Is it possible to find in life itself for human history is the sum of mighty life-courses which already have had to be endowed with ego and personality, in customary thought and expression, by predicating entities of a higher order like “the Classical” or “the Chinese Culture,” “Modern Civilization” a series of stages which must be traversed, and traversed moreover in an ordered and obligatory sequence?

For everything organic the notions of birth, death, youth, age, lifetime are fundamentals may not these notions, in this sphere also, possess a rigorous meaning which no one has as yet extracted? In short, is all history founded upon general biographic archetypes? The decline of the West, which at first sight may appear, like the corresponding decline of the Classical Culture, a phenomenon limited in time and space, we now perceive to be a philosophical problem that, when comprehended in all its gravity, includes within itself every great question of Being. If therefore we are to discover in what form the destiny of the Western Culture will be accomplished, we must first be clear as to what culture is, what its relations are to visible history, to life, to soul, to nature, to intellect, what the forms of its manifestation are and how far these forms peoples, tongues and epochs, battles and ideas, states and gods, arts and craft-works, sciences, laws, economic types and world-ideas, great men and great events may be accepted and pointed to as symbols.

Decline of the West

Decline of the West Vol 1

Decline of the West Vol 2