Jun. 19th, 2017

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A shout is a monoid because we perceive it as a single complex sound. Animals can do that.
SxS -> S

A spelled out word is a free monoid on a set of symbols because it has a distinct temporal/spatial structure.

Language underlines a unique human ability to create free monoids on arbitrary sets.
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...the beliefs that individuals, groups, and societies hold which determine choices are a consequence of learning through time - not just the span of an individual's life or of a generation of a society but the learning embodied in individuals, groups, and societies that is cumulative through time and passed on intergenerationally by the culture of a society.

--- Douglas C. North, Nobel Prize Lecture, 1993.
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/1993/north-lecture.html

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