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Philosophy

Seduced by Language

We are seduced by a language that endlessly recreates itself through us. These are all languages; all of these online platforms, communities and commercial engagements superficially appear to only be that through which we enunciate, articulate, align ourselves to ideological or emotive positions and communicate as an existential necessity but it is precisely in our dependence on these technologies and languages as an ethos or mode of living that we have become seduced, ensnared and subsequently exploited by the very tools that we ourselves seek to reflexively exploit.

Language is in this way a trap. Entering into it is irreversible and shapes us all in ways we rarely acknowledge or fully understand. It is an autonomously self-propagating information-processing system that inhabits us every bit as much if not more so than we ever inhabit it. This is a labyrinth, a tesseract without center or periphery and as a game that only ever plays itself through us, we can not argue with it using itself.

Systems of symbolic communication provide us with menus of recombinatory choice and we provide those systems with a threshold level of stochastic randomness and irrational uncertainty through which such patterns of information optimally self-propagate. Even the illusion of closure and individuated self-identity we hold so dear to our hearts are merely incomplete bundles of entangled meanings and dissonance. We see in assertions of individuality (or tribal affiliations of class, ideology and sub-culture) just such an endless loop of complex uncertainty and ambiguous regeneration, both of ourselves and of language itself.

You must, of course, not think of languages in terms of only words or strings of letters as sentences. Language as a concept is far vaster and encapsulates logic, mathematics, physics, computation and the biological codes of genetic self-replication. We are actively seduced by systems of communication and rarely ever notice that every assertion of identity, of truth, of reality and of certainty is always first an assertion of that language for which we are in gestalt something of an unwittingly passive transmission medium.

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