- Humans only ever tell stories about people they know.
- Desire is the blaze of lightning; romance, the reverberation of thunder. But love, itself—love is the rain.
- Linguistics (noun, singular): The alleged discipline professed by anyone whom the Speculative Grammarian amuses.
Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical
I find my response to this site sympathetic enough to set me wondering if I don't have some slight autistic or Asperger's tendencies myself. Certainly a lot of the things said in the autistic movement resonate with me. (Notate bene: autistic movement != autism movement. The former is mostly high-functions defending their right to be who they are; the latter is mostly parents of auts failing to come to terms with who their children are.)
Perhaps my sympathies derive from the fact that, in MBTI terms, I am an INTP—not a common type in the population at large, maybe 1%, but seems to have a lot in common with the Aspie/aut way of thought. Reciprocality has some valuable insights on this same style of thought, as found in ADHD and in 'mappers' generally. (And I am inclined to believe, incidentally, that those who make diagnoses of ADD often do so, not because their patients are in any way defective, but because they, and other people in the school-admin/care-taker society secretly suffer from, ahem, Attention Surplus Syndrome.
I don't think it stops there, though. Important ideas started popping all over the place when I read C. Terry Warner's Bonds That Make Us Free, particularly about the way that people 'act' on (and are 'acted on' by) each other without any truly intersubjective experience whatsoever. Most of the time Mick is not talking to Ella; he is talking to an entity in his own mind—a constricted, impoverished, unenlightening entity, at that—which he has named Ella and which he usually only addresses aloud when Ella is present. He very likely even takes pains to ensure that 'Ella's' words correspond to what the real Ella says. But he is so cock-sure of his own predictions, and so in love with the scenarios he has previously anticipated and internalized, that to him it is inconceivable that Ella won't do what he expects. He may attend to what she says, but he doesn't listen, because he's already certain what she means.
You see, I have long suspected that it usually doesn't matter how good your ideas are, but only how articulate you are. In Ukraine I learned that half the time it doesn't matter how articulate you are, either. If you're talking to someone who just doesn't get it, the outcome is the just the same whether you are a fine orator or a barely-articulate grunt. This is because the limiting factor is not your ability at all. It is the other party's willingness to consider you as a real and thinking being. We need no Newspeak to limit the meanings of words; our own laziness and latent hostility blind us much more effectively.
About this time, I was reading and rereading Jesus the Christ, by James Talmage. Same story with Jesus. The Pharisees and the Sadducees, the lawyers and scribes, are willing to do anything except take him at face value. Their rabble-rousing and their own shocked reactions are all equally synthetic; their whole dialectic is a fantasy. (Sometime I will post an excerpt from one of my New Testament response papers, in which that ridiculous and masturbatory process is fully exposed as it played out in the case of the man blind from birth. I've been looking for those papers, but I'm afraid I don't have them to hand just now.) And Jesus knows right where to stop: He delivers divine truth, and then he lets them make of it what they will. If they respect reality, they will come to respect him; and if not, their opinion may safely be ignored. This happens over and over in the Gospels, and Talmage expounds it with wonderful clarity.
And that's how you get from reverse-condescension websites to Talmage, with stops at BYU Philosophy department and Ukraine. Optional spur to Buddhism, if you want to talk about the patho-genic (suffering-creating) nature of illusion.
2006-01-31It Was a Very Good Year ...
... for cats playing jazz. 1959, I mean. The overlap between this and my shopping list is considerable, and likely to increase. Wow, what a year.