Monday, June 20, 2016

Semantics and Complexity, Exploring our Communication Landscape

In today's episode of "An evening with Me", I find myself trying to untie tiny knots in a huge ball of yarn.  I'm wearing a black thong. That's not entirely true though because black isn't really a color. I'm not going to go into the science of this, lets just say for the sake of this talk that things are never as cut and dry as they might appear.

Recently I came across a thread on Fetlife where someone asked why so many submissive men felt the need to be feminine and passive. As you might imagine, this caused a sprawling debate about semantics and perceptions which is what I wanted to focus on today.

A big part of our life is focused on learning and interpreting language. It's sort of the "code" of our reality. Words help us to build both understanding and perception by assigning values and meaning to "everything." While this is helpful, it's also kind of precarious and deceptive.

Language is a system, and like all other complex structures, there are faults and problems that arise the more intricate and interwoven its parts become. Much like with the example above, our own individual perceptions of words make the process of sharing ideas increasingly difficult.

As an intelligent species we've already recognized many of the problems inherent in this web of connections and we've done our best to try to fix them. We have dictionaries which lend some basic guidelines and serve as a sort of "programmers" guide to the data we're trying to work with.

Eventually though what we run into is the need for revision, and longer, more detailed definitions. Below is an example.

This is what most people once called a "computer".

Now we have devices that are still called "computers" but are vastly different in their design and usage.

While this change might seem simple and innocuous,  our language is filled with hundreds of thousands of similar examples. Many of these are adjectives that we use to describe the qualities, states or conditions of things. It's here that we run into issues with trying to communicate with others. Our experiences typically make our perceptions biased.

Good, bad, happy sad, are all generic terms tied to memories in our brains that give us a personal definition of what each word "really" means. These "notions" are as unique as fingerprints. Take the word "Love" for example. Your definition is very likely different from mine.

Obviously all of this doesn't signify the "end of the world". I think more than anything it encourages us as individuals to be more flexible with our ideas and opinions. Certainly I would say it's as good a reason as any to practice introspection, but also to really learn how to listen to others.

Most people who know me, say that I talk "too much" sometimes. Everything I've explained above is part of the reason "why". I want to share and really be heard / understood, and sometimes that means painting a clear picture for the world to see.

If you take nothing else form this, hold onto the realization that ideas and concepts are varied. Be willing to explain yourself past the generic, and capable of listening with an open mind. Also, be sure to play in the moonlight. Trust me, its good for you.

On an end note, I've decided to explore the wild world of Tumblr. If you use Tumblr, send me a link to your page either via facebook or leave a link down below and I'll be glad to add you there. May the road "faer" you well.

No comments:

Post a Comment