Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Video Review Of The Movie "Arrival"... And Humankind's Re-Enactment Of The Tower Of Babel

Related image

Dear C,

Thanks for sending the "Arrival" review.

It is well done.

I must also say that in recent years, my own overarching "language issue" (as I've likely communicated before) is that humankind (certainly we Americans) are reenacting the semantics, ethos and cultural end-time (?) of The Tower of Babel. 

At least in English, and since we are all affected by the "Post-Truth" zeitgeist, I suspect it is true of other modern languages as well, the same words actually mean different (and frequently antithetical) "things" depending on an individual's faith-full matrix of meaning.

What does this look like?

Imagine a liberal-progressive -- and then imagine a s-Trump-et -- extracting meaning from the following Lincoln passage:

The same language, depending on a person's premises --- which (with the possible exception of The Scientific Method) distill to an individual's "acts of faith --- make both parties utterly damnable in the eyes of "the other."

This "self-evident" validation that both "sides" of modern "man's" schizophrenic soul are "right" to condemn "the other" is an ominous turn of xenophobic events, one that has me wondering with ever greater frequency if Euripides (filtered through the Christian west) was not right.

Quos deus vult perdere prius dementat.
Whom God would destroy, he first makes mad.

We gringos exhibit every hallmark of a people gone mad.

Whether one subscribes to "Truth" or "Delusion," everyone -- with absolute self-certainty -- sees himself as keeper of "The Light" and "the other" as the quintessence of benightedness.

In the blogpost at the bottom of this page, I have (to my own satisfaction) teased out the meaning of this "confusion," a word whose Latin components mean "to melt or fuse together."

It is worth noting that the noun "confusion" is imbued with added meaning and explanatory force when we consider it through the lens of the shared root verb, "confound."

The semantic-linguistic-epistemological crisis we are living is, literally, "confounding."

The semantic-epistemological accord that used to prevail back when there were 3 commercial television networks and Public Broadcasting -- was based on the "consensus view" that truth was separable from falsehood and that intellectual rigor could, with reasonable accuracy, distinguish the two. 

This "separate peace" is now confused and Truth has become the first casualty in The Culture War.

60 Minutes: "Fake News"

If we think of those four networks as a massive epistemological Tower built by people who spoke "the same language," we would also do well to consider how subsequent proliferation of hundreds of networks (and billions of Facebook pages) represented the confounding breakdown of The One Language.

With that breakdown, every rugged individual who dwells in the domain of atomizing/isolating/sub-dividing Post-Truth feels at liberty, not only to choose whatever words s/he wishes, but to ascribe whatever meaning s/he wants to their chosen words. (Too much "choice" -- always an American god -- recalls Karl Popper's argument that we must limit toleration if a healthily-tolerant society is to survive.

It is, I think, of fundamental importance to review the Old Testament story-myth (and perhaps legendary memory) of Babel.

Dwight Eisenhower And America's Re-enactment Of The Tower Of Babel

Pax tecum


On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 9:54 AM, CH wrote:

No comments:

Post a Comment