Playing with words

Wednesday, 25 September, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

slave Playing with you is fucking expensive.
Master :D What's it cost ?

slave Not only is there the cost of being able to produce something, which is without exception considerable either in terms of time or expense or both, but there is also the very expensive consideration of what the fuck it is that you actually want, which is alternately vaguely specified, given in riddle, or specified exactly backwards with the expectation that such backwardsness will be correctly identified, and this takes arguably more cost-as-time, and top this all off with the cost to one's own skin, literal or figurative, for the failure to deliver at 100%

The question before you is, of course, to establish whether the slave is complaining or lauding. Which is it ?

The truth of the matter is that this question may not be answered correctly on the information presented, because its evaluation is strictly dependent on context, which is absent.

There is the recourse to the fictitious device of "plain reading", or what the justices refer to as "ordinary man standard". Such a method of interpretation simply promotes some set of cultural values to the detriment of others for absolutely no good reasoni, strictly on the political consideration of which culturally-identified group holds political power in the respective state.ii

This is not a legal, but a political consideration, and as such the "ordinary man" standard simply taints the process of justice through recourse to what ultimately reduces as political arbitrariety.iii What may be perfectly workable in the Republic (which is to say the organised and systematic massacre of people-as-cultures by the dominant) is however perfectly useless in thought, on the grounds that while flesh-and-blood outliers are at best worthless and in general harmful to practical results, abstract outliers are at worst harmless and in general beneficial to theoretical results. This imbalance, incidentally, creates the premier tension of modern society, because by one cruel act of the Intelligent Troll Evolutionary Designeriv the faculty for thought and the faculty for action exist only together, in the dubious yet fascinating vessel known as manv.

After this introduction, let us proceed to the actual point of the article, which actually flows from it for once. Unlike machines, which are severely limited by von Neumann's observationvi and simply limit themselves to trying to emulate human behaviour in this fieldvii, the human mind creates quite naturally unbreakable codes. They don't simply resist analysis but are outright immune to it, or in the words of the same justices "the devil himself doth not know man's mind."

It so happens that all identity, whether of groups or individuals, strictly relies on cryptographyviii, and consequently the ability of the human mind to create codes is exactly and strictly what culture exists by and for. You gotta know what the conventions areix to be part of anything, black street culture, Jewish ghetto culture, Italian Mafia or anything else whatsoever. Breaking the conventionsx is fine, ignoring the conventions simply renders you inexistent.

And now on the strength of this let us work on a practical example, the excellent exercise in deconstructing the "parapsychological" subculture found in Seinfeld S3E15 - The Suicide :

RULA: Martin’s spirit came to you as a warning.
ELAINE: Why would he come to George?
RULA: Because George has heightened extra sensory perception. FAYGY GET YOUR FINGER OUT OF YOUR NOSE.
GEORGE: I knew it. I always felt different.
RULA: You are. Some coffee cake?
GEORGE: Drakes?
RULA: Yes.
GEORGE: Did you buy this for me?
RULA: No, why?
GEORGE: Ha, because I love Drake’s Coffee Cake.
RULA: Maybe I did.
ELAINE: Take it away.
GEORGE: She hasn’t eaten in two days.
RULA: Who’s Pauline?
GEORGE: Pauline? . . . Wait a minute. I got it. My brother once impregnated a woman named Pauline.
RULA: Do you think about her?
GEORGE: When I hear her name mentioned.
RULA: Cut these with your left hand.
GEORGE: There was a woman, Audrey. She had a very big nose.
RULA: I see an Audrey, but with a small nose.
GEORGE: Yes, yes, she had a nose job. I loved her very deeply. Will she ever speak to me again?
RULA: Not in this life.
ELAINE: Should you be smoking?
RULA: Does it bother you?
ELAINE: You’re pregnant.
GEORGE: Elaine.
RULA: I smoked when I had Faisy.
RULA: Ah oh.
GEORGE: Ah oh? What? What Ah oh?
RULA: I don’t know about this trip George.
GEORGE: You can see the Cayman Islands in there? Is something going to happen to me? What?
ELAINE: It’s really bad for the fetus. Do you know that.
GEORGE: Elaine, she’s a psychic. She knows how the kid’s going to be.
GEORGE: Should I not go on this trip?
RULA: George, I am going to tell you something and I want you to really hear me.
ELAINE: Now listen. I just don’t know how a person, with everything we now know about pre-natal care can put a cigarette in her mouth.
GEORGE: Elaine, what are you doing?
ELAINE: It’s disgusting.
RULA: I DON’T BELIVE IT. I would like you both to leave.
ELAINE: Oh fine, I don’t like to be around people who are just so irresponsible.
RULA: Get the hell out.
(Elaine leaving)
GEORGE: A plane crash? A Heart attack? Lupus? Is it Lupus?
RULA: Do you want me to call the super? He was an Israeli commando.
GEORGE: If you don’t say anything I will assume it’s a plane crash.
RULA: Get out.
GEORGE: Not a plane crash. (leaving) Is it a plane crash?

Let's formalise this exchange in therms of game theory, between three players, R, G and E.

R opens with a Type 1 statement. Type 1 statements are not intended to be factual or correct. They simply work to propose a particular convention to be used in decoding communication. Think in terms of playing Bridge, a 1c bid is not necessarily intended to signify the player holds seven clubs.

E opens with a Type 1 question, which is a question intended to ascertain the factual nature or correctness of R's statement. This is inappropriate in the context, and the mistake identifies E as inexistent, on the grounds that she doesn't know the convention.

R responds with a Type 2 statement. Type 2 statements are constructed so that their factual nature or correctness can never be determined objectively, and so may serve to allow the player to measure the intellectual abilities of the outsider, but in most cases are used simply as closers. Craftily, R's response also contains a compliment to G embedded.

G responds with a Type 2 statement that returns R's compliment and so the syn/syn-ack/ack handshake is completexi. Consider the particular meta-gaming of the discussion amply displayed by player G : if asked a random question he does not answer neutrally but attempts to guide R towards her goal, by playing a sort of "hot/cold" game and supplying plenty of emotional support. This explains the eternal success of con men of all sorts and stripes : there are people who simply want to believe, and if that's what they want then that's what's going to happen.

From here on R and G are engaged in communication which completely leaves E out. E eventually acts out on her frustration by making a violent attempt to install her own cultural code as the dominant code, on the correct intuition that there can only be one. As she's outnumbered she storms out. Note that her conviction is factually correct : in the end there can only be one. As her system is more powerfulxii than R's, she will statistically win, thus over time accumulating power, thus over time rendering R marginal.

Nevertheless, in a second cruel act of the ITED (hollow be his name, عليه السلام, etc) it just so happens that R has infinite hitpoints. Her approach, much like socialism - its general case - is very easy, and easy isn't going anywhere. This arrangement may seem like a bad thing until you consider the likely effects of it going away. We'd be bored to death, right ?

Perhaps also noteworthy is the aesop included with the Seinfeld material, a rehash of the old matchbox problemxiii : once communication based on that convention breaks down, it is irretrievably broken. If George were seeking the help of a doctor, that technologist could be replaced with any other practitioner. The meaning of this particular shaman's visions, however, can not be interpreted at all, which means that only the shaman herself is in a position to interpret them, through an act of arbitrariety of equal size to the original vision.

Wordplay is the only thing that actually matters, and the only thing that actually is. Culture is just the cindered remains of its fire, much like a painting is Art's excrement. The current failure of our civilisation could be stated without loss from this perspective as the gross inability of thinking people to effectually and sufficiently engage in this particular activity. Too much fact and too little sense, too much truth and too little representation don't just make Johnny a dull boy stuck reading self-help books on how to score, they also make the entire construction wither and eventually die.

  1. This is unavoidable, as there's still no solution to the ought-is problem, as there indeed never shall be. []
  2. A fine example would be the "obscenity" statute. It's illegal to distribute "obscene" material, wherein obscene is whatever more people happen to think it is, because "they know when they see it". All sorts of questions are left aside, such as for instance is the vulva on plain display supposedly obscene on account of it not being covered with cloth in the European tradition of modesty or on account of not being covered with skin in the African tradition of modesty ? []
  3. Then again this is unavoidable, in practice for good reasons we've already discussed in the Stage n: Bitcoin exists article, and in theory because of Godel's holy theorem. []
  4. I hope both ID and Evolutionist camps can see the wisdom of this media aurea. []
  5. Which concept includes some women and excludes some men, as per Martial etc. []
  6. The one that goes

    Any one contemplating arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, living in a state of sin.

    Note that the word "sin" in there is not some rhetorical flourish you're welcome to ignore, but quite on the contrary the central point of the statement, which incidentally recalls to memory the most important point of all hermeneutics. []

  7. Which is why they need RNGs. That's what those are there for, "human soul extract" would work just as good for a label. []
  8. Firma []
  9. If mathematically inclined, call them constants, why not. []
  10. In which case you will be amply discussed and emotionally invested into, basically the same exact processes as if you followed the conventions except more intensely applied. []
  11. Note that the http protocol wasn't designed that way simply because some people were bored and randomly picked something. There are excellent reasons why it couldn't work any other way. []
  12. Or less expensive, whichever standard you prefer. []
  13. If you need a fire lit, you can either proceed through technology (acquiring a matchbox) or through magic (willing a fire into existence). The first method has clear and unwavering limitations : if you wish to light a fire with a matchbox you absolutely need a matchbox and anything that isn't a matchbox won't do, no matter how similar it may be crafted. Further it must not be wet and so on.

    Magic has no particular specified minimum (much like pretend-exchanges, en passant), which may be an advantage in some circumstances. Nevertheless, consider that for the past twenty years you've been able to will fire into existence, without effort and without exception. Then suddenly today you fail. It doesn't "work" anymore. What do you do ?

    Magic, unlike technology, is not fixable. You can't hang your baguette out to dry in the sun the way you'd dry a wet box of matches. Besides, what's "dry" even mean in the context of magic ? []

Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.

18 Responses

  1. These type 2 statements remind me of why I always answer 1. e4 with pawn d6 when playing as black and offer the Queen's gambit when playing as white (other than the rare occasion I will play 1. e4 myself against a familiar opponent, because who expects the King's Indian Attack?).

    Unfortunately in dialogue unlike chess the infinitely hitpointed can once they exhaust the part of their opening line they have committed to memory exclaim that inspite of their rapid material and positional decay that they are still in some form of superior position

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 25 September 2013

    But people may exclaim the same in chess, why not ? And after being checkmated they can thank you for your congratulations but assure you they only play better than you because they have studied the game intensely which explains why they just won. I mean... what's to keep 'em ?

  3. The only thing keeping them is that outcomes can be scored. At the end of the day much like WOT ratings, ELO ratings get bumped around. It has always amazed me how games where essential no stakes reign have adjudicated outcomes, but many offices of governance lack even oversight.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 25 September 2013

    I doubt anything of sufficient complexity could be "no stakes".

  5. Sure. "no stakes" is an impossible outcome, but tell that to Ethan Burnside in February? Or Deprived last week!

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 25 September 2013

    Well at least theoretically speaking, some people learn better than others.

  7. What will you do in 20 years from now on, when nobody will know about Seinfeld or other 'current' cultural material, and you'll want to acquire new slaves?

  8. Seinfeld hasn't aged a bit (except the hairstyles). People younger than me still love it, why would that change?

  9. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 25 September 2013

    You gotta blog more.

  10. I'm over 20 and no one in my generation ever watched this, included myself.

    Might be an American thing, I don't know that.

  11. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Thursday, 26 September 2013

    "No one in my generation" = "the two supermarket cashiers I interact with on a bimonthly basis + this girl on the metro once that listened to her headphones the whole time I had a meaningful, rewarding conversation with her" ?

  12. But it's still good being put that way!(despite false*)

    Thing is reality is not consistent in all people's head. It is probably consistent, truth is 'truth', but not all people are aware of truth.

    Thing is asking people for particular observations on particular images/memes/whatever and complaining it's their fault for not knowing is wrong.

    Train of thought:

    -I saw something, so It Is.

    -I didn't saw it, so It Can't Be

    -I'll illustrate it with something you haven't saw also, but It Is.

    -What if this thing I never saw isn't consistent in time and those after me won't be able too see it anymore?

    -Oh but it is. Some kinds I know saw it also, so It Is, it must be.

    -No but here's your same argument : I haven't saw it, some people I know didn't and therefore it can't be. It Isn't.

    -No but u dumb, you haven't met enough people, no u haven't done your homework.

    It was real in my mind so this particular thing is very real for everyone, because reality for everyone is very consistent.

    Therefore that complain that I'm hard to understand is invalid.

    *kids today are actually so irrespective they put on speaker because fuck you the rest of metro, muh music sounds good, lol.

  13. ^some kids

  14. My point is that it hasn't aged, not that it is popular. Though it might actually be become more popular now that young people in my country become less horrible at English.

  15. My point was mostly contentious.

    See this or in english:

    In a commentary for Handelsblatt, cited by Bulgarian 24 Hours, Lanschot, who has participated in missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Eritrea, is quoted as saying that East Europeans, most of all the people on the Balkans, have contributed nothing to European culture.

    "Nobody on the Balkans knows what a Chanel costume is, about the culinary art of Bokus , Pippi Longstocking, English gardens, Montaigne's Essays, Lego toys, etc", he writes.

    So this guy comes to Turkey, sees no turk ever masturbated as a child with a reddish plank girl, no one read Frenchmen and they were too poor and backward to have this plastic revolutionary toy called "lego".

    Try switching all this with "seinfeld".

    How do you relate with people to whom the cultural values you have are irrelevant but for you are the sine qua non?

    And how appropriate it is to explain particular behavior with more particular behavior, behavior of unknown origin to the receiver, to those whom never experienced none of that particular behavior?

    Well you can't, can you? In claris non fit interpretatio, in tenebris... ?

  16. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Thursday, 26 September 2013

    Well he's a retard, I bet you I had more Lego shit than he did growing up.

  17. That doesn't solve the difficulty of finding suitable peers at the same level of knowledge while the number of such possible peers decreases because they are mixed with non-suitable, foreign, or even if there are suitable but don't understand you.

    Maybe you're immortal.

  1. [...] he encounters the crisis. It's always the same crisis : the magic fails one day. And then he goes on, he resolves his crisis, he still loves this [...]

Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.