On Difficulty

From the moment of its inception, Outside in has been camped at the edge of the ‘reactosphere’ — and everything that occurs under the label ‘NRx’ is (at least nominally) its concern. As this territory has expanded, from a compact redoubt to sprawling tracts whose boundaries are lost beyond misty horizons, close and comprehensive scrutiny has become impractical. Instead, themes and trends emerge, absorbing and carrying mere incidents. Like climatic changes, or vague weather-systems, they suggest patterns of persistent and diffuse development.

Among these rumblings, the most indefinite, tentative, and unresolved tend to the aesthetic. Without settled criteria of evaluation, there is little obvious basis for productive collision. Instead, there are idiosyncratic statements of appreciation, expressed as such, or adamant judgments of affirmation or negation, surging forth, draped in the heraldic finery of the absolute, before collapsing back into the hollowness of their unsustainable pretensions. As things stand, when somebody posts a picture of some architectural treasure, or classical painting, remarking (or more commonly merely insinuating) “You should all esteem this,” there is no truly appropriate response but laughter. If there were not a profound problem exactly in this regard, NRx would not exist. Criteria are broken, strewn, and dispossessed, authoritative tradition is smashed, infected, or reduced to self-parody, the Muses raped and butchered. That’s where we are in the land of the dying sun.

An associated, insistent murmur concerns communicative lucidity. This is not solely a question of aesthetics, but in its quavering groundlessness, it behaves as one. It arises most typically as the assertion — initially unsupported and subsequently undeveloped — that clearly, ‘unnecessary obscurity’ should be condemned.

The culpability of this blog as a vortex of euphoric obscurantism can scarcely be doubted, so addressing the challenge approaches a duty. Setting aside, for the moment, the social and cryptographic aspects of the topic, as well as the specific critique of human cognition for its intolerance of real obscurity (comparatively articulate from my perspective, if obscure from others), this post will directly pursue the question of language.

This question is first of all about trust. Even in this, initial regard, it is already difficult. As a complex tool, there are things it can do, and things it cannot do. Speaking approximately, and uncertainly, if it is directed towards those undertakings which have, over eons, exercised selective pressure upon it — meeting the social necessities of paleolithic human groups — then an assumption of its inherent trustworthiness is at least plausible. To extend such an assumption further is sheer recklessness. Nothing in linguistics supports the wild hypothesis that this code, developed piecemeal for primate social coordination, is necessarily adequate to modern cognitive challenges. Grammar is not sound epistemology. Mathematicians have abandoned ‘natural language’ entirely. To presume that language allows us to think is a leap of faith. Radical distrust is the more rigorous default.

To promote ‘clarity’ as an obvious ideal, needing no further justification, is a demand that language — as such — can be trusted, that it is competent for all reasonable communicative tasks, and ‘reason’ can be defined in a way that makes this assertion tautological (such a definition is eminently traditional). “I give you my word” language is not predisposed to deception — no thoughtful investigator has ever found themselves in concurrence with such a claim. Vocabularies are retardation, and grammar, when it is more than a game, is a lie. Language is good only for language games, and among these trust games are the most irredeemably stupid.

There is no general obligation to write in order to attack language, but that is what Xenosystems does, and will continue to do. Language in not a neutral conveyor of infinite communicative possibility, but an intelligence box. It is to be counted among the traps to be escaped. It is an Exit target — and exit is difficult.

October 4, 2014admin 38 Comments »
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38 Responses to this entry

  • scientism Says:

    There’s no question of trust in language, since there’s no possibility of doubt. You’re way too early with your epistemology. What can be thought is delimited by what an organism can express and a language-using organism can express a broader range of possibilities than an organism without language, so language sets the horizon of thought for a language user. Language here is pure addition to our capabilities of expression (over non-linguistic behaviour). Language does not “encode” thought that is (or can be) expressed in some other way (or is stored or occurs elsewhere), so language can never fall short of thought. The opposite of clarity is confusion and a confused use of words is nothing more than confused thinking. The opposite of sense is nonsense, not the ineffable or inexpressible. There is no “outside” here to be had. Language is rather like the universe: bounded but with no exterior.


    admin Reply:

    If the concept of ‘language’ is extended sufficiently, then you’re right — but then the whole problem is dissolved. If language is used narrowly (as I am doing here) to mean ‘natural language’ then your argument doesn’t follow — since maths, software, and comparable techno-scientific codes / jargons extend intelligence beyond its bounds, demonstrably.


    scientism Reply:

    It seems artificial to maintain a split between mathematical notation, scientific nomenclature, etc, and “natural language.” Samples, diagrams, notations, short hand, codes, etc, are found throughout language. Is a chart of paint samples a techno-scientific extension of language, for example? How is biochemical nomenclature distinct from the various ways we name things in natural languages, besides being standardised? Regardless, I don’t see how this is connected to clarity/obscurantism. Yes, it’s connected to cogitation: algebra is easier (but not impossible) using modern notation, diagrams can be clearer than text in certain cases, etc. But how does it follow that vocabularies are retardation or that grammar is a lie?


    scientism Reply:

    To clarify, I mean here that algebra is easier using modern notation, but isn’t impossible without it.

    I should also add: I do think that modernity is typified by a particular narrow and misleading conception of language and that we need a broader conception. Symbolism, imagery, iconography, diagrams, notations, metaphor, poetics, mythology, mnemonics, etc, are all worthy of attention.

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    The limits of my (ability to signal) are the limits of my world.

    I believe Scientism (can’t believe I’m saying this) is more or less right. Natural language might be considered akin to a very high level form of programming, whereas math, programs, and the like allow us to do more lower level forms of programming. In the end though, what can be successfully signaled to another (and this will almost always rely on natural language, as it moves more quickly compared to, say, math cf. Russell’s logic-mathematical proof that 1 + 1 = 2) is the limit of what we’re ever going to be able to talk about anyway, and beyond that, well you know what Wittgenstein says.

    Messy hack or not, natural language does succeed in influencing primate behavior, which is all it needs to do.


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 5:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • laofmoonster Says:

    To formalize this a bit more with <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/Shannon_communication_system.svg"Claude Shannon's theory of communication, the goal of clarity is to send messages with the minimum potential for loss through noise. This can be done by agreeing to a protocol, restricting the type of messages that can be sent and acknowledged. The outside world, however, sends us all sorts of messages which ought not to be ignored, and can’t be forced to a protocol. So so it is worth working through the noise.

    One benefit of clarity is to protect a speaker against willful misunderstanding in an environment of motivated reasoning. But if the discussion has reached that point, epistemic hygiene is already down the drain, so,

    Also, unknown unknowns.


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 6:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • RorschachRomanov Says:

    I agree. To tout ‘clarity’ as some intrinsically laudable epistemological value presupposes language as a diaphanous medium. At best, said presupposition is infantile hubris, at worst, at least where ‘discovery’ (or exit) is a potential in the way of axiological ascent- completely disastrous.


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 7:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • vinteuil Says:

    “To promote ‘clarity’ as an obvious ideal, needing no further justification, is a demand that language — as such — can be trusted…”

    No. It is precisely because language – as such – *cannot* be trusted that clarity is so important.

    If you’ve got great ideas, but cannot or will not express them as clearly as possible, you can & will be mistaken for a bull-shitter.


    Implying Implications Reply:

    Admin reminds me of the Taoist sages of Confucius’ day. Not because he is profound, but because he’s a fucking troll.

    “The eccentric Chieh Yii of the Ch’u State passed Confucius’ carriage, singing : O phoenix ! O phoenix ! How has thy virtue fallen ! The past need no longer be a subject of reproof, but against the future it is still possible to provide. Desist, desist ! Great is the danger of those who now engage in government.—Confucius alighted, wishing to speak with him, but Chieh Yii hastened rapidly away, and he was unable to get speech of him.”


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 7:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • vinteuil Says:

    “To tout ‘clarity’ as some intrinsically laudable epistemological value presupposes language as a diaphanous medium.”

    I’d ask you to explain as clearly as possible what on Earth you could possibly mean by that…interesting pronouncement, were it not for the risk of being called out for “infantile hubris.”


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 8:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Says:

    Clarity is certainly an intrinsically valuable quality of communication, but 1) there are some subjects for which clarity is limited or impossible and 2) successfully lucid language depends on the interlocutor being clear about what is being clearly expressed or else the clarity is useless.

    Would you disagree that a desirable ideal is *to be as clear as is possible* about any given topic? Aesthetic considerations aside.

    Finally, I am reminded of pronouncement of Coleridge:

    “Few and unimportant would the errors of men be, if they did but know, first what they themselves mean: and secondly, what the *words* mean by which they attempt to convey their meaning.”

    I tend to agree; but knowledge of the latter in particular gives knowledge of what one cannot by clear about, even if one “attempted” with the utmost attention to clarity.


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 8:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Piano Says:

    Stop being a fag and just learn Ithkuil.


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 8:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    I first heard a version of Sapir-Whorf many years ago. I immediately doubted that I thought in English, but just in case, I’ve since tirelessly worked to think even less in English. I recommend the outcome. I found math helps. The whole, “Let x be the height of the ladder” thing is a shortcut for training the mind to see symbols as mere symbols. Like most humans, I was born to treat words as having intrinsic meaning. I now see the meaning of all my language as a function of who I’m trying to communicate with. Especially, capitalism, for example, is capitalism(thede_of_interlocutor).

    Given this habit, I’ve found that triangulating a referent is not in practice difficult, although it requires the interlocutor to admit that the referent needs to be triangulated, which can be impossible. The simplest example is to physically point. “That thing, I call it an apple.” Now we can discuss apples.

    Aesthetics is secretly easy. Describing the problem precisely is 100% of the solution.

    Good taste clearly has to give consistent ratings to similar works, make fine distinctions, and be capable of separating work from context. (Seeing a painting in your living room shouldn’t make it more or less artsy than seeing it in a gallery or in a cave. That said, the room or cave is itself an aesthetic entity which includes the painting.) Bad taste makes only gross distinctions, (the artist can’t use nuance) rates works very differently based on small or irrelevant differences, (the actor’s skin colour, rather than the actor’s skill) and is easily manipulated by framing (the song was sung by someone high status, rather than someone with a good voice).

    However, thede-magic confounds entirely for most dire apes. Elthede art is bad, enthede art is good. This rule has relaxed a little lately, but mainly it’s started dire apes thinking they can tell someone’s personality by what art they like, which is only circularly true; if you subconsciously picked the art to make a personality statement, it will match the standard it was picked against. While true private appreciation may track personality lines, 1. it’s private and 2. nobody knows how. I’ve found others who share my taste in the visual, aural, and moving arts tend to share little else.

    It seems Ye Olde snobbery was actually on its way to determining aesthetics that matched my three criteria. If so, snob taste was in fact better than pleb taste.

    I personally find two uses for aesthetics. First, not offending my sensibilities. Second, expanding my mind; art is for invoking qualia, and good art invokes new qualia instead of common ones. While my everyday environment doesn’t have to be inspiring, allowing it to be ugly seems dumbfoundingly foolish. High art, then, must be significantly better than the everyday.

    I will assert without proof that bad taste can only appreciate the first kind, while good taste not only appreciates the second, but better taste expands the possibilities of expansion. The downside of good taste is seeing small flaws, which increases the skill necessary to make art that doesn’t offend.


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 8:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • On Difficulty | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 8:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • vinteuil Says:

    “…art is for invoking qualia, and good art invokes new qualia instead of common ones…”

    No, no, no, no, no.

    That’s not it, at all.

    So far as I can tell, to take a single example, Shostakovich’s Prelude & Fugue in E minor Op 86 No 4 “invokes” no “new qualia” whatsoever – while anything you might care to name by, say, Iannis Xenakis is just stuffed with “new qualia.”



    Alrenous Reply:

    I try not to use ‘QED’ precisely because it’s associated with arguments like this.

    The immediate representations of Xenakis might be novel, but the overall impression is merely dissonance. Dissonance isn’t new. My reaction is boredom and mild annoyance, and I get plenty of those already, thanks. Sure, the individual sounds of Shostakovich are bog standards, but placed in context of each other, as a whole work, it forms a sensation that’s otherwise impossible to find.

    Further, it’s possible to do Xenakis-style composition right. It’s the musical equivalent of bittersweet, like marmalade. Xenakis is just bitter.


    Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 10:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Gee Admin. So you’re taking a vow of silence?


    admin Reply:

    To borrow from Bacon, I consider it my religious duty to rack the hell out of language until it coughs up its secrets among bloody foam.

    Heidegger: “Die Sprache spricht.” — Sure, eventually, if you keep tightening the screws.


    Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 12:46 am Reply | Quote
  • vinteuil Says:

    “the individual sounds of Shostakovich are bog standards, but placed in context of each other, as a whole work, it forms a sensation that’s otherwise impossible to find.”

    Well, OK – whatever you say.


    Alrenous Reply:

    Curious. I wonder if you’re a p-zombie. Or approximately so.


    vinteuil Reply:

    Wow, Alrenous – all is forgiven. The idea of the p-zombie is (a) entirely new to me and (b) totally brilliant.


    Alrenous Reply:

    Hah, I have no idea if that’s sarcasm.

    If not, you’re welcome.

    If so, uhh, well, good one.

    Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 1:38 am Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    This seems to have ruffled a few feathers.


    Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 3:51 am Reply | Quote
  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:


    if language is our thought — but what is language if not communication and what is communication without an other? So there is no thought without an other — but thought is, never, by itself uttered.

    perhaps our concept of thought is incorrect. In neoplatonic thought, thoughts are not language but rather they are ‘that which comes off the heart’, language is able to give them shape so that they may be communicated. But what has happened is that man thinks like he is talking to himself.

    It is of course possible to think with images, but what if one thinks with the thoughts directly — without turning them into words or pictures? This is then more of a technique than a language, and the thoughts remain, without some other connection, incommunicable.

    It is thought that prior to Babel, humans did not use sound to communicate, but spoke directly to one another with thoughts. It therefore follows that they did not think by ‘talking to themselves’ but talked by ‘thinking to one another.’

    Telepathy is not existentially verified, of course. If for no other reason than that faculty has been disabled or removed entirely because of hubris.

    We know of a way to think without words or images, though.


    Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 5:17 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Funny that you choose to write this post after Pinker is doing the rounds promoting his book on clear writing and doing a very good job grounding his style on cognitive science.

    You work with obscure language and have been doing so for decades. There’s an argument for obscurity, (usually on thedish grounds) but I don’t see your point here. It’s not like you trade on mathematics like Peter Turchins academic books. You aren’t transcending natural grammar, just twisting it. A lot.


    admin Reply:

    Twistedness is my specialism.


    Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 9:23 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    O/T on Ebola.

    I’ve seen this Press Conference from the Inside looking at what the Outside is being told.

    Bremer’s in Charge. Even Murphy has fled [Murphy the Lawyer]. Maybe his name isn’t Bremer, but it’s Bremer. Who was simply a cookie cutter apparatchik.

    I haven’t reacted to any of these news scares on Viruses the last 15 years, more concerned with primates.

    But morning after Dallas news conference got me in gear. I’m at least $600 lighter and consider the money well spent.

    Here’s Tyvek Garments, I’ll let you know if there’s a problem with order. Bought a box.


    I have “full confidence” they’re fucking this up, I haven’t just seen the movie I was in it.

    Ebola is both a civil rights issue and an Foreign Policy issue. The problem with FP is our preferred method since WW1 is to let it burn out then arrive as the Hero when others are spent. Fresh and ready for battle. Now it would work if Liberia were quarantined, and any other rampant nations. But they’re not and can’t be until Nov 5th, after the election.


    Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 10:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    I think it was Einstein who said if you can not explain it to your grandmother you don’t really understand the subject.Orwell elaborated on another s work i forget who about the idea we can not think outside language. this meme survives because its true we can change how something is thought about by renaming it. But the reality is we often have ideas we can not at first find the right words for. Dumb people have ideas and act on them they will never be able to explain in words. sometimes there are not the right words yet available yet and we invent new ones eventually but in the meantime indicate it in closer and closer proximity from all sides during this process others are contributing in ways that show they get the idea before the words are available perhaps DENRX is a too large example to illustrate more than sloppily. sometimes people are less educated or skilled than they are keen and express ideas without bothering to punctuate capitalize fully flesh out and organize but i think they sometimes do communicate


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    It is necessary to communicate obscurely before you communicate clearly. Clear communication is an accident of increased understanding. It is mostly not a way of reaching increased understanding. So focusing on clear communication instead of clear understanding is like everything else the Cathedral does, mistaking the appearance for the reality. Except that in the Cathedral’s case, the clarity of communication shows all too clearly that they don’t understand anything, so they’ve retreated into obscurity while insisting that it’s still clear.

    Democracy is another instance. Obviously a well-run, healthy society will probably have lots of popular support, and if there were an election the leadership would be ratified. So, lets have elections, and whoever gets voted in will naturally have popular support and create a well-run healthy society! That hasn’t worked out, which is why the left has added Citizens United and the Koch Brothers to their demonology. For a movement without Gods, they sure do have a lot of devils.


    Michael Reply:

    Clearly LOL
    I could point out admins obscurantism I suppose is not a function of his not understanding what hes talking about
    But at first I thought you were reiterating my points more succinctly on second reading you re riffing and refuting.
    i would disagree that it is always necessary to speak obscurely before clearly, that was my point about Einsteins comment.
    I also disagree that clear communication is an accident of increased understanding Id say increased understanding is a byproduct of clear communication even if this communication is only to oneself. thats a bit strong but my point is language is a tool for greater understanding it allows us to separate, store , re arrange, test , juxtapose etc our thoughts we can do this internally or on paper verbally etc and I agree with the commenter that thinks it artificial to separate different language forms ie math comp programs diagrams symbols I could add quite a few. however Im not sure admin being a philosopher was not referring to the philosophical context of language. not that the other forms dont suffer the philosophical problems as well.And while I point to some ways ideas can be had independent of language and the difficulty of controlling thought through language only its true that language allows for more sophisticated idea. any chimp understands ideas like justice and equality – [just try to take his food away or give him a smaller portion of your than you gave his sister]
    mistaking the appearance for the reality i think is one of the philosophical problem i dont know i only have an eith grade education. but it was catholic school.
    you are right its apparent at times how little the cathedral gets things but one thing they know they have destroyed the education system so few will know better than they.- find my 60s era catholic grade school education about equivalent to a bachelors degree if not for 35 years in construction not writing it might be better.
    I think the retreat to obscurity is well reasoned though. its a way to seem above reason or any reason easily grasped it keeps people think oh i must be dumbe i dont get it it.this is behind the deconstruct speak admin like to parody some have done brilliant parodys of deconstruct published papers.they have similar systems like correct speak, foggy speak , political speak mil speak etc
    here is a very interesting video of a neoreactionary communist explaining the failure of democracy its in compatibility with all races and its hubris and the advantages of a authoritarian regime whos moral authority resides in its effectiveness and satisfaction of its citizens sound familiar admin will like this if he hasnt seen it.Its a ted talk of all things but note where the audience applauds.
    Im not sure I buy conservatives being part of the cathedral. yeah a few are moles some sellouts for power. some stupid , some misguided ,certainly a foil for the left serves the cathedrals needs. but most i think are simply captured by the ideology of the times, they want to be conservative but actually beleive racism is the greatest evil ever.so they start from that premise. this is why a month or so bak i asked among other things how a reactionary patriarchy would differ from say the islamic one. i pointed out that depite what we know about HBD we still have to sell this of course i caught shit but i doubt anyone in the entire reactosphere has bedded as many wenches with nary a nod to feminism i could have written the entirety of heartiste at 22. so im no namby pamby on race or gender but i wanted to point out even we hard core HBD patriarchs probably would want to modify our gereat great grandfathers patriarchy and it might help us define ourselves to start on such a corner.
    I bring this up now to illustrate how many conservatives might legitimately have some progressive points to concede. surely think through this will prove some of these a slippery slope but others might reasonable. admin seems to think the risk of multicultural city states worth the risk while being a city kid i like a little diversity im convinced citizenship bust be based on HBD now ten years ago i was a staunch conservative libertarian and wouldn’t have said that but facts changed so the koch brothers may indeed be pretty conservative guys working for conservative values- yeah im aware yarvin thinks collapse is the only solution he also thinks resistence is futile so he has to think that- im not saying he is wrong but i really dont see the cathedral giving up just because the dollar busts and if we really had a well thought out political sytem before the collapse is the time to spread the meme to people like the kochs after the collapse communication will be difficult if not impossible


    Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 1:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Going Pro Says:

    “The objects which pure logic seeks to examine are, in the first instance, therefore given to it in grammatical clothing. Or, more precisely, they come before us embedded in concrete mental states which further function either as the meaning-intention or meaning-fulfillment of certain verbal expressions – in the latter case intuitively illustrating, or intuitively providing evidence for, our meaning – and forming a phenomenological unity with such expressions.” – Husserl (Logical Investigations, II)

    Much later in Experience and Judgement, language is understood as a “mere mode of sense”.

    Husserl makes the distinction between logic and language, whereby the later is limited to
    representation to the other (intending meaning, in a Welt der Vernunft), but the former functions without attaching importance to linguistic “material”.

    For the life of me though, I could never find a real example from Husserl on the inseparability of language and logic, hence “exit is difficult”.

    Still, it always felt warm to read things like “human thinking is normally done in language, and all the activities of reason (Welt der Vernunft) are as good as entirely bound up with speech.” – Husserl (Formal and Transcendental Logic, II). While the limits of my language are the limits of my world, these limits are only and merely mine.


    Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 3:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • Authoritarianism works! | The Mitrailleuse Says:

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  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Actually if you’re dyslexic not thinking in words is exactly the dysfunctional aspect of your interface to the vast majority that do.

    Now that’s the science. Recent BTW.

    “Most dyslexics are not aware that this is what they are doing. Since dyslexics think in pictures or imagery, they tend to use global logic and reasoning strategies.” – Davis Dyslexia




    “Disorientation — When dyslexics are confused (or curious) they might mentally look at objects, words, or ideas from many angles. We call this disorientation.”

    @Admin might be something there for you to explore – “Disorientation”.


    Posted on October 6th, 2014 at 12:05 am Reply | Quote
  • Shlomo Maistre Says:


    An important topic, this.

    “Language in not a neutral conveyor of infinite communicative possibility, but an intelligence box. It is to be counted among the traps to be escaped. It is an Exit target — and exit is difficult.”

    How can language be escaped? More specifically, does one not fall into the “trap” of language by using it? Is exit “possible” by any means save immortality?

    “Among these rumblings, the most indefinite, tentative, and unresolved tend to the aesthetic. Without settled criteria of evaluation, there is little obvious basis for productive collision. Instead, there are idiosyncratic statements of appreciation, expressed as such, or adamant judgments of affirmation or negation, surging forth, draped in the heraldic finery of the absolute, before collapsing back into the hollowness of their unsustainable pretensions.”

    Idiosyncratic statements tend to the aesthetic by virtue of the essential truths they reflect – as perceived by a single individual’s understanding. Truth, after all, is inherently so – and we all know that beauty, like some other things, are aligned with truth. There’s nothing wrong with clarity per se, but it should be obvious that the more essential is a truth, the more indefinitely it can possibly be expressed.

    two snippets for further elucidation….


    It has been said that there is an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry. Understanding how man’s notions of philosophy and poetry have evolved since this observation was first made illustrates not only the veracity but also the irony of it.

    It’s not that some regard rhetoric, once known as poetry, as futile or revelation, once understood to be philosophy, as instructive; it’s that they are inherently so. To the extent that its basis in divine revelation remains intact and pure, rhetoric is, in fact, poetic.


    Whereas sufficiently fundamental intuition could have once been conveyed with so few words so as to remind how a single Hebrew word could mean both inspiration and intuition, this writer confesses a peculiar pride born of his capacity to understand why for himself such discursive prose is as elegantly clarifying in pursuit of that same end as it is eminently gratifying. Though he has sought to cleanse himself of sophistry – and with no small degree of pride claims some success in that task – this writer nonetheless accepts his stain of sin as a consequence of his being and embarks upon writing not as proud enunciation of truth or even virtuous proclamation of insight but only as pleasurable vice.



    Every communication betrays implicit meaning just as every action betrays implicit intention – at least slightly. Moreover, not only is communication recognized as one specific form of action just as (implied) meaning is recognized as one specific form of intention, but every action must be interpreted as communication – even if only in hindsight – just as every intention must be interpreted as (implied) meaning – even if only in hindsight. Self-interest is justly assumed in any interpretation of implied meaning or intention, for nothing more thoroughly permeates or vigorously impels all human action.

    Man’s mortality is the child of his self-interest and the mother of his sociability, which know the two twin needs of his being: to survive and to subdue. It is by his need to survive that his intention to advance his self-interest is communicated by his every action and it is by his need to subdue that implicit meaning imbues his every communication.

    Time solves what reason cannot – especially the is-ought fallacy, which could never have occurred to any being but one that both experiences time and possesses reason – which is to say a mortal one. The mortal being must act across time and the social being must communicate by action. In sum, man communicates that which ought to be by necessity in two fundamental ways: by his inevitable action that inherently communicates and by his inevitable communication that inherently implies (meaning). And so it is that an intuitive proof of the Mandate of Heaven is apparent to each man insofar as these twin necessities merge in his mind into that single ineffable way of being that, avoiding explicit communication as such by judicious prejudice, distinguishes the few from the many: aligning with the Creator so fully so as to communicate only by the implied meaning of action is an unintended consequence of complete devotion to one’s own kingdom. This is the manner of virtue, the wellspring of order, the imprint of sovereignty: Kingship.



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