the sign is not the signified;

the source code is not the executable; all attempts to explain language are doomed to recursion.

"A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness." - Alfred Korzybski
The model is not the reality! A model is only useful insofar as it is isomorphic to reality. See also: epistemology.

The doctrine from General Semantics and subjective theory, later picked up by Neurolinguistic Programming, and in part supported by Neuroscientific Research and Quantum Theory, that humans in particular operate through a map of the world, rather than as the world really is. Physics makes generalizations about the world and models of the world, but physics is not the world. Psychology notes this difference between the map and the territory as the difference between perception (map) and sensation (territory). One of the goals of Zen Buddhism is to recognize this difference. The use of E-Prime by many writers attempts to more closely approximate the territory by avoiding the "is" of identity and adopting operational language. This doctrine was also hinted at by Freud with his concept of projection.

Confusion between map and territory often results in paradox.

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