"Because the Macula-Fovea of an infant is not quite ready to lay down a green baseline 2-D map into Area 17, the first sights of human infants are in the near and far reds of the area of the retina below the optic nerve. The first neurolinguistic pattern of Broca-Wernicke that an infant can induce is the enfoldment pursing of the lips into an 'M' sound to suck and draw nutrients into the mouth. The vibration and warmth sensory modalities of the human infant are also at play. Given this, the proto-semiotic world of the human infant is one of more or less integrated hues of red, warmth, sucking, genital motion, smooth shapes and specific hard wired smells."
-- John D. Norseen, "Images of Mind: The Semiotic Alphabet"
Norseen's description of infant proto-semitiotics immediately made me think of the denizens of Amsterdam! Think about it and tell me I'm wrong. ;)
As it turns out, though, Norseen, whose work I only discovered last week, is no longer with us. Here's an excerpt from a colleague-friend's eulogy:
"In spite of his preoccupation with fringe ideas and technology, as a person John was a very conventional individual. He prayed at church, adored his wife and children and dog, loved Penn State football games, lived in a suburb and was passionate about the United States of America, the Armed Services and the people who served with him professionally, both in the service and in industry. In spite of these virtues, John was possessed with an almost heretical belief that something deep and important was missing in his life, creating profound bouts of depression."