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The basis of our entire civilization is shared abstractions. I simply can't emphasize this enough. Without mutually understood abstractions, society would crumble, communication breaking down, even the simplest thoughts taking hours to elucidate.

You see, shared abstractions allow us to impart ideas and knowledge a great deal faster than otherwise would be possible. Consider the simple case of a horny young woman speaking to her maid. "Bring me a dildo," she might solicit, "that I might repeatedly immerse it into my pussy causing me to experience sexual pleasure." It would seem a simple enough request to fulfill, but it relies on a gigantic body of intermutual knowledge and understanding.

Without this knowledge, the young lady might have to describe a dildo, draw one, perhaps even build one and simulate the activities for which she requires it. She might have to clarify the meaning of 'bring', and its essential aspect of conveying its indirect object into physical proximity with its direct. It all adds up to be an immense cost to society.

I'm in the business of combatting this cost, paving the way for smooth transactions by building shared experiences and abstractions.

"Do you like that, bitch? Huh? Do you? Do you like my dick slamming in and out of your cunt, against your will? Do you like the duct tape around your wrists, and the agony of worthlessness as I besmirch your sexuality for my own power-lust? It's rape, baby, rape, and don't you forget it: the basis of our entire civilization is shared abstractions, so tell your mother and your friends. Ohhh, yeah!"

Date Written: January 02, 2005
Author: Streifenbeuteldachs
Average Vote: 3

01/11/2005 qualcomm: this confused me
01/11/2005 The Rid: What qualcomm said.
01/11/2005 The Rid: Also not funny.
01/11/2005 TheBuyer: i don't know if this justifies rape enough for me.
01/11/2005 Litcube: If I were a different sort of guy, I could have found the punch line amusing had the first chunk of this short convinced me that these so called "shared abstractions" based on pure conjecture (I infer) on which our "entire civilization is based" is anything other than simple language, which I might add, is anything but abstract in it's essence (in this context, to simply communicate an idea from one person to another).
01/11/2005 Litcube: *its*
01/11/2005 qualcomm: an interesting dumbness here is: 1) the author goes on and on about how shared abstractions make the world go round. 2) then he talks about what would happen if we didn't have shared abstractions 3) then he says that the lack of shared abstractions (which he was only talking about as an imaginary what-if) presents an enormous cost to society.
01/11/2005 anonymous: Jesus, I didn't want to write an essay on it. You and I can communicate pretty well because of our shared abstractions linked through language. You and any random Bhutani could also communicate with a modicum of effectiveness necessary for basic tasks, because you both understand what chairs, food, and breasts are, even if you have no language link to describe them. But how about less concrete concepts, like the beauty of a sunset, or rape? To truly understand them on the level of someone who has experienced them, you really need to experience them yourselves. It takes years of study to fully understand the psyche of a rape victim, or indeed rapist. The narrator thinks this is all an incredible cost that could easily be prevented, so he goes around raping people. Plus, I think it gets his jollies off. But I don't know.
01/11/2005 Dylan Danko (5): This is funny
01/11/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs: I don't know what to think of this, I'm not sure I bought the thesis. Is the narrator Noam Chomsky?
01/11/2005 The Rid: So, if that much explanation is necessary, is the short really conveying what you meant it to convey?
01/11/2005 anonymous: Yeah!
01/11/2005 anonymous: I just rephrased almost exactly what I wrote in the short. I do think there's a place for subtlety on this site.
01/11/2005 anonymous: Think again, author.

The Chooch
01/11/2005 TheBuyer: Dude, the medium is the message.
01/11/2005 cuntry (4): I can wholly appreciate the philosophy behind this - it harkens back to the root of linguistics even, for, without a shared foundation, how can one say that an elephant is indeed an elephant? I also found humor in the narrator's thesis, and appreciated the dark end to which it was used. But I found this short to be a boring read due to the way in which it was written.
01/11/2005 cuntry: agree with author - i don't think the short required explanation.
01/11/2005 Litcube (3): I think we're all pretty split on this.
01/11/2005 The Rid: Yeah, this kind of thing falls under the category of "clever for the sake of being clever," and thereby almost disappears up its own ass.
01/11/2005 The Rid: Just an opinion.
01/11/2005 qualcomm: except that it's not really clever
01/11/2005 The Rid: Okay...how about "The author intends for it to be clever"? I mean, true, this isn't exactly Kierkegaard, but the author did aim for something a little loftier than the average dick & fart joke. Of course, the end result was kind of smug and landed with a thud.
01/11/2005 The Rid: But what do I know?
01/11/2005 Ewan Snow: This short was plenty clear to me. Not sure what the confusion is. Its problem, however, is that it uses the time-worn mix of high faultin’ language/tone and hot/horny action with only so-so success. QC, I think you misread the short, based on your comment (though the short’s language is a little unclear at the point I believe you were confused). Point #3 in your post is not correct. The sentence “It all adds up to be an immense cost to society” is a continuation of the “what if”. The author is saying that if there were not shared abstractions (as in the examples cited throughout the graf), it adds up to an immense cost. A “would” would clarify things.
01/11/2005 qualcomm: i think point #3 WAS correct, snow, and that the author made a mistake (or a serious clarity error). to prove my point, let's assume you're right: "The author is saying that if there were not shared abstractions (as in the examples cited throughout the graf), it adds up to an immense cost." okay, well if the lack of shared abstractions is a continuation of the what-if scenario, then why does the narrator need to rape people in real life? we all share the abstraction of rape. his rape isn't a what-if; he's really doing it! also, narrator says "I'm in the business of combatting this cost." again, this is his business in reality, where we have shared abstractions. (i realize this point was explained by author in his long post below, but i don't think the points he made in the post are present in the short.)
01/11/2005 Ewan Snow: Okay, I see your point. But I took it to mean that in the cases sited in the graf in question it *would* be a huge cost, whereas in the case of rape it *is* a huge cost, cuz people don't understand rape like they should. The speaker is trying to share some more abstractions, or whatever... Anyway, I felt like the details of this linguistic/philosophical point were irrelevant; the point of the short is simply to have a rapist (and other horny details) included in what starts off to be a dry philosophical discussion. Had the philosophy itself been clearer, the short wouldn't have been much better.
01/11/2005 qualcomm (2):
01/11/2005 The Rid (2): 2.49
01/11/2005 scoop (2): This thing really had some promise. I agree with cuntry. I enjoyed the premise, riffing off of haughty theories of linguistics, but I don't think the rest of the short has much to do with that premise. Like Snow said, clumsy fusion of the intellectual with the transgressive with no real pay off. Consider this a really good two, author.
01/12/2005 Litcube: Steifen!
01/12/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs: Well, you gotta vote your heart.
02/26/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (5): This one is better than its average rating indicates.