Author Topic: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)  (Read 3005 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« on: January 21, 2008, 06:36:54 pm »
Communicating an Idea

Once upon a time,  mankind was alone with his thoughts. He might have worked out the occasional “Oogh, mublah dronf” when he saw a hot cave chick in a bunny fur bikini or a bit of Jackson Pollack on the wall after a particularly inspiring day of killing animals. Overall though, Man ideas existed privately in his thoughts and were trapped there. Much to the dismay of all other species on the planet, human grunts, vocalizations, gestures, body language and an art class down at the extension improved their ability to communicate. Man found that he was no longer alone with his thoughts. Indeed, every tool using monkey within twenty-three miles had to add their opinion to man’s daily consideration. Thus Man dubbed Those Other jabbering monkeys as “Tools” and that was the first epitaph (I am sure he wouldn’t refer to you, Dear Reader, as a tool… just Those Other Guys).

Communication slowly grew, from basic information like the location of herds, to more complex concepts like what type of carpet was all the rage for cave floors that winter (and they had some big winters back then). Some scholars of the day considered it frivolous to use language for anything other than the most important reasons, they were concerned that this magical gift from the Gods might be squandered, for surely there were only so many words that could be spoken before they were all gone. About halfway through that thought, the scholars (sometimes called the ‘First Schmucks’) had to huddle for a minute and figure out just what that new word “Gods” meant. It was a good, woody word, it sounded imposing like the Big Bear that lived in the cave higher up in the mountains. One of the learned men offered that it might be the Bears name:

“After all,” he said in a perfectly logical fashion, “my name is Oghoman and I look like the sound ‘Oghoman’. You are Bookaka, because you look like the sound ‘Bookaka’. Therefore, the Big Bear might be named ‘Gods’, because he looks like the sound ‘Gods’. Besides, when it ate Moogah last week, I heard him screaming “OH GODS, the PAIN!!!””

Some of the First Schmucks were going to debate this, but they tabled it for the time being… mostly due to the fact that a six month debate would intervene with vacation schedules and it would look good to the mooks if they had an answer now, rather than saying “I don’t know.” These dissenters were more than happy to play along for a bit, until such a time as they could further debate the issue. As a distraction from their lack of knowledge, they immediately came up with the first concept of appeasing the Gods with Human Sacrifices. Unfortunately, caught up in the excitement, they successfully argued that they alone were worthy of the great privilege of offering themselves to their Gods. Since that time, man has either been foolish enough to listen to the learned men, or silly enough to still worship the ‘Big Bear’ from further up the mountain, (even if just as a temporary thing until they can accrue more information).

Communication has grown quite a lot since then. From hieroglyphics to the Internet, each mode of communication has had its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. The Egyptian picture language may not have been a great way to search the Internet, but I have no doubt that it will still be legible, long after Google goes bankrupt (Besides, it’s a heck of a lot harder to ‘goatse’ someone with hieroglyphs). Scrolls, manuscripts and eventually bound books printed in ink, all changed how humans communicate. Today, we can communicate our ideas through words, sounds and YouTube. Anything that pops into our heads we can pass on to millions of people within minutes. Yet, even after mutations, migrations, translations and philosophy, we still find that humans appear likely to fall prey to the same flaws as were evident among the First Schmucks. “I don’t know” appears to most people as a foul tasting term of failure, rather than an honest assessment of knowledge. Connecting words and ideas, even with temporary labels seems easily confused with the actual identity of things in Reality. Yes, even with immediate information sharing at the click of a button, the information being shared seems, for the most part,  Bullshit. Not much, it seems, has changed since the Bear.

Religions have entire made up vocabularies, with places, concepts and words appearing whole cloth out of someone’s head, or maybe as an amalgam of ideas from previous systems (probably formed from some other human’s shroom inspired dreams). How can we argue over which ‘souls’ go to ‘Heaven’, ‘Hell’ or ‘Limbo’, when every noun in the topic is a made up word? We can’t even get agreement on exactly what these words mean, let alone how well they describe something real. Adding to that, they each have the unique property of being entirely invisible. Thus, even if we could agree on what the word meant, we wouldn’t be able to see how well it described something in reality.

The first learned men didn’t intend for us to confuse the Bear with God, it was just a temporary identifier until they could collect more data. Unfortunately, they placed a bit too much faith in their own temporary labels and ended up being busy with examining the afterlife and thus unable to fix the semantic confusion. Since that time, communication might be considered as being somewhat responsible for beliefs, wars, philosophies and other plagues based on nothing more than the grunts, vocalizations and occasional made up symbols of one of the more populous species of primates on this rock.

Oh and let’s not pick solely on those poor sheep that file into the pews every week. Is ‘Ethics’ any less of a made up word? Is ‘Free Will’ a tangible thing that we can examine and identify? Or could these be simply more noises that people keep trying to impose upon other people? Seek the political blogger, the philosophy forum, the New Age chat room and LOOK. Is there truly any difference in the jabber of noise and the making of symbols from the QWERTY tool? Each has its Heroes and its Villains, each KNOW the Right Way and the Wrong Way. Each member of each form, each seems to believe, that not only is there A RIGHT and WRONG way, but they have found the Right One.

Sadly, these Latter-Day Schmucks are still busy falling to their own system of categorization. Their own ‘temporarily defined labels’ have become flashing Neon Signs of What IS, not What Appears To Be. They have laid the veneer of order over the disordered and forgotten that such truth may be, at best, only skin deep. Rather than continuing to look for the areas where their labels don’t fit, they deal only with data that supports their conclusions. The Conservative can argue all day long about how terrible Big Government is and completely miss all the valuable services that the government might provide. Meanwhile the Liberal may argue about how it’s the responsibility of government to help its people, neglecting to consider that Federal Help usually looks like New Orleans after a particularly nasty storm, rather than happy citizens getting their prescriptions in some useful way. The Christian sees all the bits of the Bible that are supported by history, archeology and common sense, while still swallowing the rest of the hogwash that defies history, sanity and any observations we may have made about how the physical world seems to operate. Many so-called Atheists, dull and slack-souled, seem to think they accept only that which is provable, but then take their jabbering seriously enough to start going after the unprovable... quickly confusing what they can observe and what they cannot, acting just as much the Tool as poor ‘Oghoman’ and ‘Bookaka’.

There is only one cure for this Curse… this Damnation… this Madness of False Ordering.

The cure, oh Children of She What Done It All, is Disordering.

Modern technology has provided an entire universe of self-perpetuating, echo chambers. 'Tools', endlessly debating with yet more 'Tools', the meaning, existence or non existence of grunts and vocalizations made by even less informed 'Tools' from a few centuries ago... and this, they consider as time well spent.

I saw in vision, Eris, The Goddess of Chaos, dancing in the light of the stars, among the chaos of the Universe and she said unto me: “LOOK to the fields of the Blogosphere for they are Ripe with Cabbages! See the garden of Internet Forums ready for the Season of Coleslaw!”

Come with us; let us play with their world of Communication. Let us confuse, confound and corrupt the flow of so called Information. Let us shout memetic insanity from the peaks of Ol’ Limbo across the ruby waves of LED lights… Let us brave the Odyssey across the Infinite Seas of Fiber Optics and Cable Modems! Come, those of you who have farted in the face of Gruad! Join with us, those of you who love disorder as well as you love order! Let them bring their bloated, squamous Deities of Justifiable True Belief, Faith, Dogma, Knowledge and Law. Bring your Long Knives of LOL, tipped with the poison of Wit and come join us in harvesting those cabbages which might become human… while tossing those that are pure leaf into the waiting maw of Limbo.

http://www.poee.co.uk/bip/index.php?title=OMGASM


Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord
Chatterer of the Words of Eris
Muncher of the ChaoAcorn
POEE of Great Googlie Mooglie Cabal
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 07:54:02 pm by Ratatosk »
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Subtract Eight!

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 10:27:01 am »
oh god rly good i read it all great essay
▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓   I\'ve subracted eight from tons of things.<br /><br />CANNA NUCCA GET A NAME CHANGE HURRR

barumunk

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 10:56:44 am »
hmmmm cool one rat :D

im doing a local magazine, and was wondering what the best way was to include recruitment for discordia, without letting it seeming to out of place.

would oyu mind if i tried to inclued it as an article? (credited to you) just a thought, i'd have to try get it past the the other editors tho.

what you fink?

 :D


"For it is with the mysteries of our religion, as with wholesome pills for the sick, which swallowed whole, have the virtue to cure; but chewed, are for the most part cast up again without effect.” Thomas Hobbes

I was always taught to chew everything before i swallow.

barumunk

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 12:22:41 pm »
eitherway, i fing love the writing tis cool!


"For it is with the mysteries of our religion, as with wholesome pills for the sick, which swallowed whole, have the virtue to cure; but chewed, are for the most part cast up again without effect.” Thomas Hobbes

I was always taught to chew everything before i swallow.

Cramulus

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 02:41:41 pm »
Good stuff, and an enjoyable read. I dig. My critique however is that it's a longwinded - contingent on where this will be posted. Personally, I hang out at few places where topics of this length are commonplace.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2008, 05:03:06 pm »
hmmmm cool one rat :D

im doing a local magazine, and was wondering what the best way was to include recruitment for discordia, without letting it seeming to out of place.

would oyu mind if i tried to inclued it as an article? (credited to you) just a thought, i'd have to try get it past the the other editors tho.

what you fink?

 :D

Of course, feel free. :)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 05:07:18 pm »
Good stuff, and an enjoyable read. I dig. My critique however is that it's a longwinded - contingent on where this will be posted. Personally, I hang out at few places where topics of this length are commonplace.

Yeah, I have a habit of that don't I? I intended this for places like Maybe Logic and other Discordian areas that are less dadaist and more ... philosophical? (I dunno if that's a good dichotomy or not). If you think it needs some hacking though, I am wide open for critiques, in fact I post stuff here first for feedback so that I can modify it for actual use :) ... Also, it might be good to throw at some of the Discordian Live Journals and MySpace. I'll probably run through and do a revision of it before I post it anywhere though.

Thanks for the feedback!!

- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 05:30:32 pm »
moar feedback:

if you really want to create a not so tl;dr version, condense the entire essay down to like two paragraphs. The first one is the history of communication (which frames the problem), the second one is the call to action.

The call to action, as it stands now, is not terribly well reenforced by the [elaborate and well written] history of communication (the first 8 paragraphs). It's some amusing preamble to saying "let's mess with infochannels".


If I were writing an essay of this length, I'd take the reciprocal: one or two paragraphs on the history of communication, and eight about How We Do It. Less time identifying the problem and more time addressing the problem.

Remember that internet culture, like TV culture, likes short, easily digestible snippets of information. Memecrafter Seth Godin says that if your meme can't be summarized in two or three sentences, it's too long or complicated to transmit to others. Often only the summary will be transmitted anyway. Maybe an abstract or summary at the beginning would help?




for the vibe which inspired this feedback, view this clip from Waking Life: http://youtube.com/watch?v=OtuYWyjk4ZI

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 05:39:46 pm »
moar feedback:

if you really want to create a not so tl;dr version, condense the entire essay down to like two paragraphs. The first one is the history of communication (which frames the problem), the second one is the call to action.

The call to action, as it stands now, is not terribly well reenforced by the [elaborate and well written] history of communication (the first 8 paragraphs). It's some amusing preamble to saying "let's mess with infochannels".


If I were writing an essay of this length, I'd take the reciprocal: one or two paragraphs on the history of communication, and eight about How We Do It. Less time identifying the problem and more time addressing the problem.

Remember that internet culture, like TV culture, likes short, easily digestible snippets of information. Memecrafter Seth Godin says that if your meme can't be summarized in two or three sentences, it's too long or complicated to transmit to others. Often only the summary will be transmitted anyway. Maybe an abstract or summary at the beginning would help?




for the vibe which inspired this feedback, view this clip from Waking Life: http://youtube.com/watch?v=OtuYWyjk4ZI

So maybe I should can the whole Bear/God thing?
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Cramulus

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 05:48:03 pm »
So maybe I should can the whole Bear/God thing?

It's good, but it's long and doesn't have too much to do with the conclusion. IMHO I'd shelf it for another essay.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 05:52:56 pm »
So maybe I should can the whole Bear/God thing?

It's good, but it's long and doesn't have too much to do with the conclusion. IMHO I'd shelf it for another essay.

Ok...; Maybe I'll keep this essay for my book and make a shortened, to the point version for the immediate GASM needs ;-)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment) DRAFT II
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2008, 06:46:01 pm »
Communicating an Idea

Once upon a time, mankind was alone with his thoughts. He might have worked out the occasional “Annaw Og Dronf!” when he saw a hot cave chick in a bunny fur bikini and he occasionally went ‘Jackson Pollack’ on the walls after a particularly inspiring day of killing animals. Overall though, Mans ideas existed privately in his thoughts and were trapped there. Much to the dismay of all other species on the planet, human grunts, vocalizations, gestures, body language and an art class down at the extension improved their ability to communicate. Man found that he was no longer alone with his thoughts. Indeed, every tool using monkey within twenty-three miles had to add their opinion to man’s daily considerations. Thus Man dubbed Those Other jabbering monkeys as “Tools” and that was the first epithet. From that point on, man began to confuse his own thoughts with the thoughts of all the other Tools on the planet. He began to let the Tools think for him, rather than thinking for himself.

Communication has evolved quite a lot since then. From hieroglyphics to the Internet, each mode of communication has had its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. The Egyptian picture language may not have been a great way to search the Internet, but I have no doubt that it will still be legible, long after Google goes bankrupt. Today, we can communicate our ideas through words, sounds and YouTube. Anything that pops into our heads we can pass on to millions of people within minutes. Yet, even with access to many views, many sides of any debate and many different social groups… most humans still seem to be letting someone else do the thinking.

Religions have entire made up vocabularies, with places, concepts and words appearing whole cloth out of someone’s head, or maybe as an amalgam of ideas from previous Tool. How can we argue over which ‘souls’ go to ‘Heaven’, ‘Hell’ or ‘Limbo’, when every noun in the topic is a made up word? We can’t even get agreement on exactly what these words mean, let alone how well they describe something real. Adding to that, they each noun has the confounding property of being entirely invisible. Thus, even if we could agree on what the word meant, we wouldn’t be able to see how well it described something in reality. Let’s not pick solely on those poor sheep that file into the pews every week. Is ‘Ethics’ any less of a made up word? Is ‘Free Will’ a tangible thing that we can examine and identify? Modern technology has created an entire universe of self-perpetuating, echo chambers. 'Tools', endlessly debating with yet more 'Tools', the meaning, existence or non existence of grunts and vocalizations made by even less informed 'Tools' from a few centuries ago and this, they consider as time well spent. There appears only one cure for this Curse… this Damnation… this Madness of False Ordering. The cure, oh Children of She What Done It All, is Disordering.

I saw in vision, Eris, The Goddess of Chaos, dancing in the light of the stars, among the chaos of the Universe and she said unto me: “LOOK to the fields of the Blogosphere for they are Ripe with Cabbages! See the garden of Internet Forums ready for the Season of Coleslaw! Go forth, Children, raze the fields of the Greyface and bring in the bumper crop of cabbages with potential and I shall give unto you the Mighty Raspberry so as to fill their echo chamber with “PBFFFT”.”

The Children of Eris are on the move and you can join in. No leaders, no lords, no requirement that you are any sort of Discordian, other than the sort willing to cause chaos. We invite you to join the Erisian Liberation Front as it makes a direct frontal assault on the Digital Land of Thud. The ELF has begun creation of a new Discordian network to support their latest insurgent maneuver, codenamed “Golden Apple Seed Missions” (GASM). The goal of the ELF here is not to direct these missions, but rather act as a clearing house and recruitment point for missions directed and run by any given node (be it individual, Cabal, Sect or Cell). It also provides ELF operatives who may be looking for projects to help with, the opportunity to connect with a GASM that might best make use of their talents. While it is hoped that these Cells will focus at least some of their energy on real world mindfuckery, they also plan to focus a substantial presence on the cyberspace front. The nations of the world have already begun to use cyberwar as a theatre in International Relations, now The Goddess of that discordant entity has called forth her own armies. Eris Wants You (and she’s pretty hot).

I, Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord do say unto every Child of Eris that reads this: Come with us; let us play with their world of Communication. Let us confuse, confound and corrupt the flow of so called Information. Let us shout memetic insanity from the peaks of Ol’ Limbo across the ruby waves of LED lights… Let us brave the Odyssey across the Infinite Seas of Fiber Optics and Cable Modems! Come, those of you who have farted in the face of Gruad! Join with us, those of you who love disorder as well as you love order! Let them bring their bloated, squamous Deities of Justifiable True Belief, Faith, Dogma, Knowledge and Law. Bring your Long Knives of LOL, tipped with the poison of Wit and come join us in harvesting those cabbages which might become human… while tossing those that are pure leaf into the waiting maw of Limbo.

http://www.poee.co.uk/bip/index.php?title=OMGASM

Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord
Chatterer of the Words of Eris
Muncher of the ChaoAcorn
POEE of Great Googlie Mooglie Cabal



Better? Worse?

Please use red markers :)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Cramulus

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2008, 07:01:29 pm »
NOW you're cooking with gas!

much denser, much neater. Me likey.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Communicating an Idea (Essay for GASM Recruitment)
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2008, 07:35:47 pm »
NOW you're cooking with gas!

much denser, much neater. Me likey.

Yay!
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson