Programming is not Communication

Bruce Charlton explains why there is no point in even listening to what the Establishment has to say:

This is why the Establishment are liars. They are not even trying to communicate information – let alone accurate information; They are always trying to affect our behaviour.

Their purpose is to get us to do what They want. All ‘communication’ is just a means to that end.

Real conversation treats ‘the other’ as a person with agency; however manipulation regards ‘the other’ as an object to be controlled. (So, for Them, agency is an obstacle to be overcome.)

They will of course mislead and lie to whatever extent they judge to be helpful to the goal of shaping us. Untruthfulness ranges from subtle distortions, through selection and exaggeration, all the way up to complete fabrication; as when a person with a false identity simulates fake emotions to tell a total lie – in order (successfully) to manipulate public opinion.

They do not regard themselves as purposive and habitual ‘liars’, because They are not even trying to tell the truth.

They are using ‘communications’ in order to manipulate other in ways They deem to be desirable – and truth simply doesn’t come into it.

The distinction between truth and untruth does not exist for Them, because their language is directed at manipulation, not communication. Lies, truths, or any mixture of them, are simply means to an end – and that end is manipulation.

This is also why one can neither debate nor even discuss things with anyone representing or serving the Establishment.

While you or I might be attempting to communicate information to Them, They are trying to change us. There is a total asymmetry of intent.

Which is why it is futile to engage with linguistic emanations from government, bureaucracy and the media. It is a category error. It is treating manipulations as if they were communications; it is treating intentional dishonesty as if it was an attempt at honesty.

Never confuse rhetoric – which is designed to emotionally manipulate – with dialectic. Both the mainstream news and government statements are not dialectic, but rather rhetoric disguised as pseudo-dialectic. And remember that there is neither truth nor falsehood in rhetoric, there is no meaningful information content whatsoever. It may point toward the truth, it may point away from the truth, but it cannot be the truth.