Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The lord of the meanings: governance of significance

Once upon a time the lords of the world were the now almost extinct race of capitalists: they ruled on the production means: indeed once who owned factories and machines was rich and powerful. Today you rule if you master meanings. An example? The venerable president Obama. He listened to the noise and caught the tune, so he was able to start to rhyme. Rhyming is a good (even not exhaustive) sign of mastery. If you rhyme with a meaning, you get in tune with the sound of concept and this not necessarily coincides with knowledge of definitions and spelling. What really is the meaning of a concept is defined by the meaning users. Using a meaning is doing stuff with it and the range of things you can do it is defined by the world set up by the lord of the meanings.
But how these lords became lords? What kind of battle did they fight? What privilege did they buy?
The governance of meanings is a process of transformation of significance. You refine, alter, change, evaporate and crack meanings. Put it this way: the first lords of the meanings were the warriors able to speak and to lead other warriors; this speech warriors stored concentrated power in words and stored in legends and tradition. Aristocrats and priests preserved the stories, guarding and worshipping. When the stories became too heavy several generation of pirates freed the significance in the entrepreneurial spirit of capitalism. Finally the technological advances evaporated capital of significance in fast, decentralized, public meanings. Nowadays you don't really need to buy or own meanings (well, in theory you can and you charge others and ask to prosecute the meanings thieves. In theory). Meanings, in the deep of their essence,don’t exist.Meanings are the web of relations and mutual reference to other meanings, in space and time: an infinite fugue of reference whose insubstantial vortex is . With language we have access to all the wonderful, transformational potential of humankind (ok, most of all): we need just to ask for. With the right words.

P.s.:if you wonder whether this story is true, bear in mind one thing: its solidity lies on its truth

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