Communication Scrapbook

Post-Larval Must Be Very Cautious in Communicating with Larval humans.

1999 09 09 Several places here now have already introduced some basic points about communication. Namely, it is not single-purposed, but is minimally dual-
purposed: and thus ambiguous. To survive, predators must deceive their prey. Prey, to survive, may also deceive their predators. Camouflage is a tactic chosen by both predator and prey.

Social organization complicates the tactic. Large scale social organization complicates it enormously. Human civilization, kleptocratic in all literate examples, elevates, complicates the biosphere-wide tactic of camouflage in new ways: kleptocracy camouflages the camouflage. That is, we screen our true nature not just from our prey, but from ourselves. (Does the politician, disguised as a humanitarian, know of his deception? May he not believe his disguise himself? May not the priest too believe that he is a man of God?) (What could that possibly mean? Man of God? That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it?)

Why not? We’ve become our own prey. (Oh, we’ve always killed each other. Not like now! Civilization has found ever new methods: including military, social, and economic parasitism.)

I copy in a bit written yesterday to make the same points in the context of kleptocracy [Link to be restored]:

The hunter pretends to be a duck: or a moose or a bush. The bush-which-is-one-hunter doesn’t want to be shot by the bush-which-is-another-hunter, so communications develop in which identification is almost as important as mis-identification.

The same points initiated development here in Deception in Evolution [Link to be restored].

It’s important for members of a group to know friend from foe. Hence, we homogenize ourselves within the group. Language, dialect, costume, uniform, habits, religion … these are some of the ways in which we identify ourselves to ourselves. It’s important for friends practicing expansion, offensive defense, etc., to infiltrate the foe undetected, whether for conquest, subversion, or seduction. I read in a bit more of yesterday’s piece:

Hamlet opens with the line “who’s there?” What’s the probability that the answer will be a lie? Well, in your own castle, the probability for the truth is very high: friend (Oh, it’s you Francisco). But if Francisco is actually a Nazi trying out his Brooklyn accent, your cave, home, castle, corporation may soon belong to his Nazis. (If your home is a castle or corporation, then you too are a kleptocrat. (Hamlet certainly was.) You probably have a deed saying that the castle is yours. The deed may be signed by the king who’s supposed to have a deed signed by God. Don’t worry: Francisco’s Nazis will soon have their own deed signed by their king. You won’t get to see where God signed their king’s deed either, but you can bet they’ll claim that the divine signature they don’t have is more authentic than any that you don’t have ever was.

Shakespeare’s Francisco was, despite his name (Hamlet is a very complex play), a guard in the castle of Elsinore. The play shows us the castle’s exterior defenses at the outset. Immediately following, the play shows us that the castle has been subverted from within. The castle has been taken not by foe, but by “friend.” The castle was taken by deceit, by secret assassination. (Objectively true? The audience knows no more than Hamlet.) Shakespeare is nothing but realistic: no one knows they’ve been captured. The citizens carry on in delusion. Only Hamlet, thanks to a supernatural communication he can’t know whether to trust, suspects. He develops a personality problem to go with his many others. “Who’s there” indeed.

(Soon after writing this, I developed the point far more thoroughly at Macroinformation.)

“Francisco’s” presence on the Danish castle wall already tells us that Hamlet’s Denmark was far from homogeneous. What kind of a Danish name is that? Hamlet has been to Wittenberg to study. Another country. Another language. Different customs. (All Germanic, but “friends” sub-divide as their population grows, expands. See also my The Tower of Babel.) His school fellows visit. Hamlet can’t decide whether they’re friend or foe. Quite right: they too are seduced by the deceiver. Modern life.

The bushman knows his friend from his food. We don’t. Expanding populations deceive themselves in every possible way. We deceive ourselves in our cosmology, our theology … We have a kleptocrat for a God, hierarchically, magically, ruling a universe by arbitrary laws. And we say it’s the Truth. Everything we know with any degree of objectivity is incompatible with this cosmology and this theology. Expanding populations are ruled by magicians who turn the world into a theater. Shakespeare used theater correctly to identify us. Our political magi use theater to control the lighting, to control information, to choreograph our illusions …

Human communication is deeply ambiguous: to identify …, but more, to mis-identify.

Other modules here probe the parallel ambiguity of other core words: truth [Link to be restored]: is it what is? or what we say is?

A few of our grossest institutionally abetted self-delusions:

That the real truth can be deceived by our fake truths.

That the real truth is illusion and our fake truth is real.

That forty-million Frenchmen thinking something makes it so.

That is doesn’t matter what we do to the real world: God will bail us out.

That the God we created is in charge of real reality.

That we’re the center, the protagonist, the point … of anything not imaginary.

That we’re neither plant nor animal, but something magically privileged.

That we’re not predators.

How can we be? Predators are something awful.
How can we be? Since it’s all for us, taking what’s ours isn’t predation

Honey, predation is natural. Ubiquitous. At least in the only biosphere we know.
We’re the biggest and baddest predator that biosphere has ever seen.

Note that the basic theme of my first novel was communication: specifically, failure of communication. The alien enters the solar system riding on a comet, the comet gets zapped, other aliens millions of years later hear his SOS. The human astronauts never knew what they were dealing with and now they’ve really pissed-off the new arrivals.

2000 08 25 Bulletin

Today’s news reports the release of a man, a Soviet prisoner of war from W.W.II, from the mental institution where he’d been locked up as a raving madman in the mid-1940s. It seems that a policeman visiting the hospital finally heard his ravings and recognized the language to be Hungarian. For five and one half decades, Russian military and psychiatric specialists, together with staff and so forth, failed to recognize a neighboring language as intelligible in its own right.

My story had been based on that of an anthropologist to Indonesia. That source-story showed its victim-of-a-failure-of-human-communication to be a linguist of sorts, literate, at least minimally, in a minimum of three languages. (See my novel’s own file: [Link to be restored] By the Hair of the Comet.)
I made my “character” literate in at least three galactic languages. The victim of human inflexibility in today’s news, poor bastard, may only have spoken his native tongue. I’m going to get more on the story right now.

2001 07 27

I just added an image to my Faith module relevant to several other modules. Till I’m sure how best to develop it for as a whole, I sprinkle it:

Societies are circles of faith. Over-large societies have difficulty agreeing on basic articles of that faith. A lot of cheating and bullying took place before the Nicene Creed (or the US Constitution) could be drafted. Once established, communications are lubricated for articles of the faith. Non-articles, most especially anti-articles, will find resistance.

I must establish the concept of communicational resistance at Macroinformation.

2002 07 25

Robert Anton Wilson, of Illuminatus! fame, has an absolutely delicious point to make about communication, which I will paraphrase until I locate and paste the actual statement. He says that communication is possible only among equals. (If that were strictly true, there could be no communication at all.) If I’m holding a gun (even if my gun is concealed in a silo), I can get you to cringe, perhaps to grovel – maybe you’ll rebel and attack me – but there can be no honest communication between us.

(Ah: now I see: I’d already made the point in my own way under Understanding [Link to be restored].)

How well can the occupied French communicate with the occupying Nazis? The problems don’t end with the French speaking French while the Nazis speak German.

How well could the Dachau concentrated communicate with their concentrators? Could they even communicate that they were human?

How well can the Cheyenne on the Trail of Tears communicate with soldiers driving them on to their destruction?

How well can the Chicago protesters communicate with Daly’s cops? or with the Democratic conventioneers? How well with the silent majority?

How civilly could the cultivated Pope discuss theology with the rabid atheist? How about a cultured atheist and a rabid pope? How civilly could a cultivated Pope discuss theology with a cultivated atheist? Would the pope go to the atheist’s coffee shop? How could the atheist get into the Vatican?

How well could an M theorist discuss meta-dimensions with the cosmologist who gave us the turtle holding up Atlas?

I just separated this file from the parent. I’ll try to apportion some of this to independent titles in this subfolder.

2006 05 19

The protagonist of JM Coetzee’s Disgrace finds the handbook for the Communications 101 course he unhappily teaches preposterous: Human society has created language in order that we may communicate our thoughts, feelings an dintentions to each other. [Christmas! shades of Jacques Barzun.] “His own opinion, which he does not air, is the the origins of speech lie in song, and the origins of song in the need to fill out with sound the overlarge and rather empty human soul.”

I like that last part very well. Still, it’s nothing compared with my own views: or with the views of current gender evolution theory as per Geoffrey Miller in The Mating Mind. (See Language)

Thinking Tools

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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