Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Dear Reader,

I go through phases in which I cannot bear to "communicate" with my fellow human beings. Communication would be nice, but "communication" is sheer torture.

If I use words that I know will be misinterpreted, then I am writing something I know will cause my readers to come to a false conclusion. That is a reasonable definition of lying. "Self-expression" is this lying, this urge to spew words without regard for how they will be read. To communicate we have to know our audience and be able to use the words that will convey what we mean to that audience. Since none of us speaks exactly the same language, no set of words will communicate the same message to more than a few people.

Since language is a drug to us, as is our own ego, we will want to deny this truth about the limits of communication, will want to argue that if we feel we understand then we do, will want to argue that any discrepancy cannot matter, will want to argue that our efforts at communication are close enough. Close enough to what? For what? For us to go through the motions of communication and feel we are successfully mimicking it? Although the Homo sapiens we dream ourselves to be would communicate easily and fluently with all others of our kind, the Homo mimesis we actually are can manage it only rarely and imperfectly. Some of us find that difference exquisitely painful.

Yours truly,