Funny how we come to diametrically opposed conclusions.
I do not think that reality is literally made up of categorically different entities. That is obviously untrue. There are many things in the world that are continuous in nature. But there are also categorically static constants. Like the gravitational constant or speed of light.
My view is that categorical differences arise or emerge from continuous phenomena. And that those categorizations are "meaningful". Or, more radically, that categories arising from the continuous IS what "meaning" is.
I could give an example that's a bit similar to Xeno's paradox. Imagine a continuous scale from 0 to 1. There are infinitely many points on that scale. There is no categorical "jump" from one point to the one "next" to it, it is a continuous scale made up of infinitesimal, imperceptible, undefinable differences. Between any two points, however close they are, there are also infinitely many points. Now, imagine two points. A and B. Let's say point A is lower on the scale, or closer to 0, than point B. Point B is "first", and point A is "second. Now imagine them moving towards 1 at different "speeds". A faster, B slower. There is some
moment, when A overtakes B. A becomes first, B second. Those two objects have now switched categories. The discrete emerged from the continuous.
Or another example, a banal one, but I think it illustrates the point. Say you're playing a video game, an FPS, and you're using a sniper rifle. Your job is to hit some point in space, like the enemy's head. There is an infinity of points where you could miss. There's a smaller, but still infinite set of points where you get a hit. Between them is an infinitesimal (practically) threshold. But there are only two results. Either you hit, or don't. And "meaning" is exactly that "switch" in outcome.
Whether a hunter gatherer's spear hits a point on the elk's body determines whether he eats tonight. There's no difference between all the infinite ways he has of missing the target. But there's a difference between whether he misses or not. That's "meaning".
Regarding the "scales of correctness". If there's a 1D, continuous scale of things of varying correctness, there's still SOME point that is the most
correct. That's a categorical notion.
Now, let's extend that to "vectors of axioms". There is still SOME vector along which lies a point that is furthest from the origin. That is the most correct point. Also a categorical notion.
Also, I tend to conflate the material, worldly and physical with continuousness, and the greek idea of "divinity" with the categorical. Because physical reality, in human experience, might as well consist of infinitely small distinctions. But it is from that space of infinity that meaning/category arises.
And to me, this phenomenon is the mystery of art. There's an infinite way you can arrange shapes, colors, lines, etc. on a canvas. But there are points in that space which can be recognized as a painting. Same with music and other art forms.
The "post-modern" view, to me, is opposite. The continuous that arises from the categorical. If no two things can be compared or evaluated because they're simply "different", then they must be in different categories. Literally apples and oranges. But from that arises a non-discrete "space" of indistinct objects. Like fundamental particles in a body, each a discrete entity, but without difference, because they're all equivalent.
>Also: Some of my favourite trees are being shredded, invoking saddenings.
Feels known. I had trees outside my window violently trimmed into ugly husks of their former selves last summer. I could write an entire angry schizopost on how improper tree trimming techniques turned the entire post-sovok into an ugly depressing shithole, even more so than commieblocks and pollution. Pic related.