Thursday, July 23, 2015
Accelerated Erosion and Sunken Lighthouses
We previously discussed how the self-referencing nature of language--and of all communication, including mitosis and meiosis--requires reference points. Like supercluster sectors, solar perimeter buoys, lighthouses, or land surveys, these points of fixed, shared understanding, are hypocritical and arbitrary just as much as they're the predestined purity of truth. Like light or gods, they're unprovable; it takes an act of faith, to some degree, to accept/hope/believe that all those other hominids around you are acting in coordination, with a sense of self-awareness, rather than that you're the sole conscious entity on the planet, surrounded by bouncing molecules that, through sheer coincidence, appear to be like you, and appear to (sometimes) be speaking in a language you can understand. It takes faith to accept effects as a result of causes, and to accept that time might/will continue beyond any given instant, based on your extremely limited perception of what "time" has been heretofore.
Whenever we talk to each other, in any way, we use pattern-recognition behaviors to assume--completely without proof (with "supporting observations," but never conclusive proof)--that we're connecting on some level; that we're talking about the things we think we're talking about. Say that you're a homo sapiens, and you're pushed out of someone's vulva and you are fed by people who make noise at you. You eventually figure out that, when they curl their lips upward and say, "Good job!" you have done something well.
But why? Maybe when they say, "Good job!" that really means, "You really blew it this time," and they're smiling because that's their symbol for hatred. Maybe when they say, "You little asshole!" and frown, what they really mean is, "You did such a good job!" and they're frowning because that's how they express love and happiness. You can try to differentiate the "good" words from the "bad" ones by the results they lead to for you and others, but if everyone else experiences sensations differently than you do--if you're the aberration--then your reactions are as solipsistic as the rationale by which you developed your current understanding of language and world history.
I know that's a really stupid example, since everyone just knows that it's not the case. It's obvious; it's as obvious as the heavens above the firmament. We have complete faith that being beaten or starved is bad, while being fed or hugged is good. We're so self-centered and unimaginative that we're absolutely certain that everyone else experiences the same kind of hunger and pain that we do, and that they draw pleasure from the same things that we do (being beaten and starved, v. being fed and hugged, respectively). Our entire perception of the meaning of language, and of human interaction, is based on a cascading series of rationalizations that we used to justify our own mental sensations with others' behavior. When we see a pattern, and when that pattern seems to match with what we feel is "pain" or "pleasure," we conclude that we've figured it out, and that now we know the definition of a word, or the meaning of a gesture.
From where do we draw that infallible faith, though? It's not material observation alone. It's entirely possible--it's rational and logically consistent--that others believe that life is suffering, and that death is escape, and that they tolerate us (through feeding and hugs) only to perpetuate our suffering in order to get revenge on those who perpetuated their suffering. How do you know that you're not the first person ever born who enjoys hugs and food?
We don't know. It's as un-provable as Yahweh. You probably have a lot of supporting evidence to back up those conclusions, and you're probably utterly convinced that you have it all right, but if your processing capability is sufficiently abstract, you can imagine countless scenarios where good really does mean bad, and where all other adjectives have their meanings switched around based on your own flawed perception of "pain" v. "pleasure." If you're not that abstract, then just think about some variation on Plato's Cave, and ask yourself how you know you're not living inside a Matrix that was built inside a Matrix that was built inside the Thirteenth Floor of a different Matrix' Thirteenth Floor.
It is the strength of our faith that gives us such certitude in our opinions about the world. We know what some things mean, not because of materialistic observation--although that certainly helps--but because, before we were taught not to, we were able to communicate in more ways than by the five machine-verifiable senses. Maybe it's enteric (maybe you never learned about the second brain in the gut?), maybe it's psionic, and maybe it's merely your neural networks manifesting an electromagnetic rapprochement with those of others during communication (Maybe it's all of those things, and maybe on more advanced planets, the latter trio of terms are essentially synonymous).
Whatever it is, though, you've done it. You've developed a command of a sizable quantity of words, gestures, and intonations, and you've learned to employ them so as to predict others' behavior, and how that behavior will correlate with whatever they're saying and doing, and how they're saying and doing it, at the time--probably with a great degree of accuracy. You may even be clever enough to get a gut feeling, or an intangible disturbance, when certain people are speaking or acting; when you sense that, no matter how good an actor they are with language and expression and gesticulation, there's something wrong about the process.
Even if you don't care at all about the nonsense I just typed above, you've learned many, many more ways in which to use language to "cheat." You might tell a dog, "Good dog," and later that day, tell someone they did a "Good job" saving that million-dollar deal. You might find a $5 rebate check in the mail and say, "Oh, good," and you might eat an okay dinner and say it was "Good."
What's the deal, you hypocrite; you liar? How dare you use that exact same word to refer to such wildly different things? Context--duh, right? And what a transubstantiative act that was of you: to (1) use identical words to mean completely different things, (2) be well understood by those around you as you do so, and (3) believe that language is about words and gestures that affect the material world such that others are able to, through material interaction, comprehend that language.
When faced with the massive contradictions created by the combination of the irreconcilable (1) (2) & (3), you have a religious ritual that helps you explain things down to materialism: "context." This magical word; this non-Bright concept; this atrocious spiritual leap from before even the pagans befouled the memespace with their superstitious idiocy; this paleolithic enchantment of "context" is meant to reconcile physical language with metaphysical understanding.
Realistically, comprehensively, language is a lighthouse. It evolves, just like the shoreline sometimes moves, but it retains meaning throughout when the billions of lighthouses maintain enough of their imaginary, people-supported structure that enough marker buoys are around to make it comprehensible. Lacking that transcendent meaning--that transcendent sharing of the minds, whereby we agree that "red" will mean "red" and not "blue," lest we should no longer be able to as closely love and know one another--language becomes selfish jabber, like a herd of horses of different colors: always going somewhere so vigorously that it is, in fact, never going anywhere.
Words like, "run," "jump," "cat," "dog," "house," "boy," "girl," are, like all words, hypocritical, in that they materialistically presuppose the metamaterial understanding that allows them to gain consistent meaning to people. Changing the location of the lighthouse's flame--one of them or many of them--is a way to crash ships, but more importantly, a way to destroy the whole network itself, and prevent anyone else from being able to talk. That's one of the oft-attacked, but poorly-explained (and, frequently, childishly or vilely rationalized) criticisms of postmodernity's relativistic destruction of language.
(The sky isn't falling, because evil won't succeed in this; what we're studying here is the process that drives it.)
The picture of the 6.5 trap above is an example related to "exploiting the buoys." (If you need/want to see a little more detail, click here to see more of Minus Three. NSFW; soft X, but certainly not XXX. Even if you're fairly experienced with amateur porn, consider yourself male-chastity-images warned.) By "exploiting the buoys," this one means playing upon the tautological nature of language to achieve a result based on the technicalities of language itself, rather than growing and strengthening language by using new concepts to build better communication and love.
Minus Three wears a little pink maid's dress to evoke what? Feminine sexuality. Is the softness of the dress, the arrangement of bows and lace, the cute heels, and the skirted suggestion, based on nature or nurture? It's based on nurture, because we culturally associate "pink" with female, and so too bows and laces and all that other stuff. But it's also based on nature, because soft pink stuff looks like female arousal, and white looks like sexy low-T pale genes.
Our language helps us define all that. We can talk about male and female, masculine and feminine, top and bottom, tough guy and sissy boy, and all those terms work out just fine. Sometimes with positive connotations, sometimes with negative--but regardless, they're explicable. And that helps out Minus Three--the cultural groundwork for skirts, pink clothing, high heels, elaborate makeup (here blurred out), and hair styles, exist only because of the groundwork that female established, culturally speaking. And that only exists because of the groundwork that "female" established, biologically speaking. Without that groundwork, there is no more Minus Three, or any other good traps, because the concepts from which they were drawing their meaning failed. When transsexual advocates change the meaning of, say, "woman," there will be no more foundation upon which to build a term that means "heavily and deliberately feminine but not 100% there." Once "sissy" ceases being an affectionate buoy-exploit for those who know what they're talking about--e.g., "I like you because you're making a play on culture and nature"--and becomes strictly a literal term referring to "slang for biological or adoptive female sibling," there can be no more sissies in the buoy-exploit way.
The eerie traditionalism of the popular new media sex trends are so eerily traditional for this reason. They claim words like "man," "woman," and "marriage," not in order to increase inclusiveness, but to increase ex-clusiveness: to make it more difficult for anyone to have any identity. Yes, one of the intended results of all that will be that it destroys the meaning and value of the things to which those concepts once referred. More importantly to the celebrants of the new media sex trends, though, is that this same destruction of the original buoys that people relied upon, will leave all the newly-redefined people equally lost at sea.
Yes, "man" is hypocritical, because of hermaphrodites and drugs and surgery and chromosomes--but it never meant just those things in the first place. And it's as hypocritical as all other words, in a material-only sense--maybe almost as hypocritical as most of the popular new LGBTQPZ terms.
Language, though, isn't like that. It's all false, materially speaking. The sharing, understanding, and connecting that make our grunts and contortions into a language are not 100% material. It is on those grounds--the metaphysical ones--that there is a difference between a hermaphrodite, a man, a woman, an amazon, a sissy, and a place for our lexicon to further develop dozens of wonderful new terms to help us know each other, rather than regressing into a smaller system of arbitrary grunts that change meaning depending on political power. Christians shouldn't be arguing about the genetics of defining "marriage," because the material route is an eventual loss just as trans advocates shouldn't be arguing about the infantile, selfish-individual mindset of defining one's own "sex," because it, too, is a guaranteed failure. XYXs and Hollywood frivorces have stymied conservatives just as surely as poly-zoos and transspecies conventions will eventually turn the sexual radicals into bitter establishment types who have to close their bars when they can't afford to build centaur-accessible restroom stalls and farriering stations.