A few important concepts

Standard Something is said to be sub-standard, or “up to” a certain standard. People are said to “have standards”. There is even the formal concept of standard, for example building standards. Frequently standard refers to the level of quality of something.

Standard can also refer to more abstract things. There are things like moral standards and social standards. The concept standard almost seems to be inherent in humans. Before any definition of it, before it is given a name, it seems as though the concept is already a part of us. Therefore when the concept is present via language it is immediately grasped and understood.

Standards pertain to individuals but what is interesting is that they also pertain to cultures. And in this time of cultural abrasions and clashes in fact I think a lot of it has to do with standards which are either present or lacking. It also has to do with the assumption of standards and what the significance of that is when in fact a standard may not exist where it is assumed to.

Inoculation Another concept that is important. Inoculation is clearly understood for what it is: It is an imparting of strength or resistance upon something. It is a granting of protection. To be inoculated means to have strength or resistance imparted, to be protected. The most common use is with disease. An inoculation generally refers to a vaccination.

To impart inoculation involves presenting exposure to that which is intended to be protected against. Vaccines are weakened strains of actual diseases which are administered to the body and which promote an immune response.

The concept of inoculation can also be applied to other types of maladies beyond physical diseases. Every human being has vulnerabilities which extend beyond their actual physiologic composition. People can experience harm in multiple ways. There are things which can be damaged which are beyond the body.

For example something very important to a person could be damaged. The effect of that damage can be serious and just as real as if physiologic damage had occurred.

For example a human may have built a shelter. They worked very hard to build it and then they dwell in it. It is their home and it is a very important part of their life.

But the home can become damaged. Perhaps a strong storm can damage the roof.

But perhaps the storm causes some damage, but does not entirely destroy the home. It only partially damages it.

Such an occurrence can be viewed in the context of inoculation. A common saying is: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. That wisdom can be generalized to apply to many things. When something experiences a stress or damage, but is not entirely destroyed, that thing can then recover or be repaired.

In the case of the home which was damaged, it can be repaired. It can be repaired to be stronger than it was previously, so that if an even stronger storm comes, the home will be protected.

Certainly the home in this case is what physically is protected. But in actuality also the human being whose home it is is protected. The process of inoculation, of protection is as much a part of what happens to the human who lives in the home as it is of the home itself.

This is an important aspect of what humans are, or how they are as humans, as beings who build and dwell.

Sound (verb) The word sound in this context goes back to Germanic and Latin roots – and probably has other Indo-European connections as well – that refers to swimming. In German a space probe is called a Raumsonde: Raum (space) + Sonde (probe). It also has meanings which relate to water: Swedish & Danish sund which means strait.

To sound something out means to probe something. It is an ascertainment that involves penetrating into or through something. There is an aspect of physical presence.

Sounding can also be used abstractly, in which case there is no physical thing such as a probe which penetrates. The medium which is penetrated or explored is also abstract.

In the case of the probing of abstract things, the actual probe is concepts or ideas. Certain concepts or ideas can be applied to something for the sake of sounding it out, to ascertain the possibility of hitherto unknown things.

Sounding out is a process of revealing which occurs via the thoughts of a person who thinks, who reasons, who applies reason and concepts to something that is dark or unknown, for the sake of uncovering hidden things.