Thursday, May 24, 2007

Concept pods

By Dr. Mert L. Bland, Arlington, VA, USA

A teacher in the Czech Republic is still confused by my use of the term, Concept Pod.

A concept pod is a rete (neural network) that focuses on an idea, a word, a concept (like mother). Your concept pod will be different from my concept pod since, for no other reason, we have different mothers. And while Amah and Mother may appear on the same line in a bilinual dictionary, they cannot be exact translations since there are a multitude of differences between the two, many of which are culturally based. If I'm not mistaken, we used to call our nursemaid Amah in China, but we would never call a nursemaid Mother.

So, concept = idea, pod = a cluster. Concept pod = an amorphous cluster of experientially acquired meanings focusing on a concept, reminding one of the shape of an amoeba with bumps growing here and there and others disappearing.

This is why I avoid translation like a plague. And am I the only one in the whole world who speaks of concept pods?

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