Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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Redemption by Phrase

I've been chewing on that age-old hypothetical - given the chance to meet an earlier version of oneself, and given the desire to inject one's personal changes from the present into their worldview, how would one phrase these intuitions/ideas/organising principles for most rapid adoption? We could imagine going with this in versions where the past self either does or does not recognise the future self, and possibly also is or is not willing to accept these "updates" - these variations shape the challenge in interesting ways. Is this just a special case of the general issue of communicating with other people? I'm certain that I'd approach the problem of talking with other versions of me rather differently than a theoretical average person, and certainly with more gusto because I'm certain the other me has the capability (and possibly the interest) to understand what I'd be willing to talk about (although this only goes back so far), but in theory, a good communicator who has an interest in communication (the word communication may be too weak here - "deep exchange"?) with someone else who happens to know them decently well might approach some other person in a way similar to someone who does not recognise the self in them and is fairly neutral with regards to idea hostility/friendliness. ... there may be another nuance though - when people talk, they often have "modes of conversation" - in one, people like to put forth finished ideas for approval/dissection, another: put forth ideas they've been kicking around, with various flavours between. Sometimes people like to put forth faintly (or strongly) ridiculous ideas in order to get a rise out of the other person's reaction, or to see how far the jest can run, or because they like being told that (and how) they're ridiculous every so often. It might be seen as rude to adopt a mode where one has an idea that the other person is strongly supposed to adopt without too much question, which might be less inappropriate in a self-to-futureself conversation (this idea is so foreign to many people that they're too surprised or polite to react accordingly, and so evangelists and car salesmen can push them around). On the other hand, there are approaches like telling stories or having Zen moments where planting a few seeds in the mind presumably would result in rapid change (assuming they're remembered and possibly taken seriously). It's tempting to think that in a short, carefully-tailored paragraph, a person's weltanschauung could be reworked substantially - I wonder how possible that is. There are a few phrases that seem, when said in the right situation, like they could result in rapid change in a person's mental state, things like "I love you" and "I hate you" can be powerful stuff, at least when they convey new emotion and new information. Are there more subtle phrases? Is that what rhetoric and catchphrases try to be?

I had something else that I wanted to talk about, but it slipped my mind..

I've been thinking a bit about zombie films as being romantic escapism - that while they're indeed horror, people like them at least partly because they have a desire for the closeness of the people in the films and the "primal" emotions that come out. Like several other film genres, they're a rebellion against the ordinary, crowded, nonpersonal life that large portions of our society live...

I remembered the book I mentioned in my last post - it's Eric Idle's Road to Mars.



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