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View Diary: Is this proof that the robots have taken over? (88 comments)

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  •  Why it's like this: The goal is diffusion (4+ / 0-)

    The use of language is anti-linguistic. To be precise, language is being used to not communicate, to make subjects unclear, actions indistinct, and objects disappear.

    1. The object of action must disappear: No one is fired or let go; no product has stopped; Nokia isn't being destroyed; nothing is being purchased. The communication's first goal is to remove moral responsibility by removing any connection to actual commodities, objects, or persons that will be affected by a decision.
    2. Actions must be indeterminate: Those affected by the action must not be able to sue or organize or even write a letter of protest, and competitors should ideally not even be able to get a glimpse of what the heck is up, but the real reason for making verbs anti-linguistic is that the authors are freed from the demands of writing. Once more, they have not committed to any actual act and can't be blamed or held responsible if they fail to do it.
    3. The subject of the communication should disappear altogether: loading up modifiers and deferring the objects of verbs behind multiple prepositional phrases ought to put so much semantic distance between the subject (frequently implied in a passive voice in the first place) and the act that no one reading the thing can tell who's doing something. Most basically, this removes blame. "I am not firing anyone, and we are not destroying Nokia after first buying it, and we were not morons for trying to make the Windows phone and being so set against open source that Android has kicked our tails." Instead, a team is acting on a team about team member products for the team environment. See? No one is doing this! You might expect that no one signs the paychecks, too. The corporation recedes ever farther into a mysterious force of nature that has no moral agency or responsibility, and especially no mistakes.

    Education jargon works similarly, but not for the same reasons, I would argue.

    "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

    by The Geogre on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 08:00:04 AM PDT

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    •  Synergy! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sillycarrot, eyo

      In synergy stuff happens because synergy. No one knows how or why it works.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 08:34:37 AM PDT

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      •  It's good for all stakeholders n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eyo

        "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

        by The Geogre on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 10:37:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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