Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In so many words

I recently read a post by @LeslieHeme that got me thinking. About chess and Heidegger, strangely enough.

Do go ahead and read it. I'll wait right here until you come back.

You done? Good. And congratulations on a good read.

No text exists in a vacuum. They are all interconnected, whether you (or their authors) know it or not. Through the lateral hyperlinks of the infoecology, any given text always finds itself within a community of other texts. Sometimes by virtue of being direct or indirect responses to each other; sometimes by virtue of the reader making the connection. Sometimes by existing in close proximity to each other - in every meaning of the word.

It's like chess. Every piece is ready to move, always, and you have to take every piece into account. Not just the missing ones.

Every word is interconnected with every other word. To invoke Heidegger, one can't even say that it rains without making a whole range of metaphysical statements about the world. For one thing - what is this "it" that makes it rain? Can you see it, touch it, negotiate better weather patterns with it? What is this "it" that causes rain to happen where previously no rain happened?

Any attempt to answer these questions will involve more words, with even more metaphysical implications. And so on and so forth, until we are deep enough in semantic interconnectedness to make even a postmodern author jealous.

This is just background noise, though, and not what @LeslieHeme got me thinking about. Rather, it was about all those other words I know that is not infoecology, yet are about the same thing. You probably know them - lifeworlds, contexts, discourses, webspheres, traditions, schools of thought, etc. And as I got to think about them, I remembered that I really don't use them all that often any more.

I've forgotten the words, but remembered the implications. And am having a blast reconstructing them in a new word.

I can live with that.

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