Sunday, March 04, 2007

Words of wisdom

You Are Here, oh yes you are.

The nature of communication is that the communicator cannot be anything but a joke unless they understand that they will be conveying more information about themselves than the thing they are discussing. A little self-consciousness goes a long way....I can hear uncertainty at 30 paces. Overcompensation has a nasally sound to it.

Not a scrap of verbal communication escapes this. Writings on the Internets prove the rule by being almost a caricature of it rather than an exception. I am sure I know that the tone I give off is not only an exaggeration of my actual tone, but that certain traits are exaggerated to the point of fading out other traits, and this is fine. I work with it. A lot of bloggers are better at presenting a sense of a balanced psyche, and I know that I would enjoy drinking with them because of the knowledge I have, with no empirical evidence but no less factual for it, that 'solipsism' for them has a very specific, formal meaning that rarely touches the borders of their own personalities.

Let's cut to the chase. Empathy is more than being able to pat another person on the head and give them tears of commiseration in their tea. A sociopath with a few acting classes under their belt can do that. Empathy is one of the most vital operations of the human mind. Without it, most social interaction fails spectacularly, becomes nothing more than a comedy of errors told by idiots. The Internets are chock full of this mode of conversation, and I will dare not speculate as to the cause---not here, anyway, though I have my suspicions---but I will say that this belief holds a steady post in my head and will only be dislodged by a fabulous and contradictory display.

So maybe Mama didn't tell you, but I just did. My only additional advice would be this: there's a reason that the ones that ran their mouths got their asses kicked, and it had little to do with pecking orders or naked aggression, but simply that nature abhors a vacuum, and none more than one in a person's heart.


Eli said...

I'd say something, but I don't want to get my ass kicked.

Renegade Evolution said...

love it

Victoria Marinelli said...

And with your posting even these borrowed words, I realize it is possible for me to appreciate and respect you even more than already did.

Central Content Publisher said...

I was taught the same lesson, but with a slightly different explanation.

The more information an author gives, the greater the likelihood that a reader can find error in what is said, or find/see things that you didn't mean to show. Sometimes that will reflect truth about the author's character, but often it reflects more about the reader's character. As the mode of communication shifts from more competent areas (like body language, or spoken language) to areas of less competence (like writing prose on the inter-tubes), the likelihood for the later increases.

It's a mistake to confuse bad writing with one's ability to see into the author's soul. As it's a mistake to assume a heart behind every clever scrawling.

Jams - bringing doubt to the masses

Unsane said...

The confusion of bad writing with one's ability to see into someone's soul is basically a right wing trope. Like so many, it has been co-opted and turned against its original inventers. I remember the days when my enthusiastic quick typing left many errors, mostly typos. For some this was evidence that I couldn't write -- but I saw through that as a means of attacking me indirectly by attacking the quality of my education. As time has worn out, it has become increasingly apparent to me that the basic level of propriety held up by most right wingers is neither respected by both right wingers, nor even relatable to educational level most of the time. The evidence I have for this is that when a vulgar simplicity is not the standard for communication, communication generally seems to drop off among right winger types (at least the one's I've met.)

There is a REASON why so many right wingers attack academics, and it's not because of the moral reasons generally tendered. Rather, it is because they cannot understand them and are not prepared to put in the effort to try.

Unsane said...

"worn on" -- another quickie typo.

Unsane said...