That’s Not What I Meant

That’s Not What I Meant. Dave Pollard via Anol’s Soul Soup. Someone in this blogosphere published something very similar over a year ago, may even have been Dave.

Fits very much with the Cynefin warning about what people “hear” being massively influenced by their existing “schemata”, and of course the two “laws” of Schank and Dennett below

It’s also the “send three and fourpence” syndrome. I call it shooting rabbits – once a misunderstood message gets out there, (for whatever reason it is mis-interpreted) correcting the situation is like shooting a whole herd (?) of rapidly breeding rabbits as they disperese away from you into the world – not very effective. Memes succeed because they are easy to understand from a current perspective, and because they are easy to pass on, not because they are in any sense right or true or otherwise “as-intended”.

Had another connection there, for a minute – damn, lost it … the Italian connection ? … Nicola Guarino … ah got it. His model is like an elaboration on Lakoff’s Conduit Metaphor. Messages look like they are passed from communicator to receiver, but in fact they pass thorugh many layers of filtering and distortion on the way, rather than through a simple conduit.

In fact in my original Manifesto I put it like this …

C.3 There are no facts, only interpretations of perceptions etc. of facts. Given humans in the loop the idea of facts being recorded or communicated becomes tenuous to say the least. You are brought back to interpretation of perception at every level from existence of fact, through observable phenomena, through formulation of model of observable facts, through formulation of decision or intent, through framing of message, through transmission of message, through observation of message phenomena on receipt, through model held by recipient, to interpretation and/or recording by recipient. Send three and fourpence is only the half of it !

And as if to prove my point – the prisoner abuse photos from Iraq may not have been the message the US Army and Government wanted to communicate (however true / false / distorted / exaggerated they might be in relation to the overall facts) – but once the genie is out of the bottle / the rabbits have run, the memes take over – they ARE the facts. Post on Salon, via Matt Mower this week.

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