A Jumble of Ideas

By Harold Stearley

Wow!  Lately things have been a bit crazy for my mind.  Or maybe it’s like this all the time. 😊

All the cylinders are firing at once as I’ve been working on multiple things. 

New residence Ideas.  New ways to combat health issues.  New ideas for travel destinations.  A “Castle of Memories” and sorting through many of those memories in picture form.  Deep Introspection. 

So many things I want to write about.  It’s left me in a state of confusion, and a sort of passive paralysis. 

In the background of all this mental masturbation are the insane politics the US is going through, and the needless, self-generated, social unrest. 

You can empathically feel the tension.  The anger.  And it is all so unnecessary.  

And draining.

It’s just a little hard to concentrate right now.

So I think I’ll just make a few comments today about the “devolution” of communication.

That’s right, the devolution.  Nicely represented by the “Tower” card in the Tarot. 

Now I’m not advocating that everyone needs to go find a Tarot deck and start performing divinations.  I merely like the symbolism and there is a lot of symbolism in Tarot cards.  Depending on the origins of the deck, there may be many different meanings.  And many incredibly beautiful artistic depictions for this symbolism.

One common theme to the Sixteenth Major Arcana (Mysteries) Card is destruction.  It’s been said that this card, and its imagery, refer to the Tower of Babylon and what biblical scholars call an origination myth explaining why the various peoples of the Earth speak different languages. 

That story refers to the time following the Great Flood, where people came together, all speaking the same language so there was mutual understanding, and they set out to build a Tower to reach the heavens and God. 

God apparently didn’t like this idea. 

I supposed it was interpreted as humans being competitive with God.  I’m not really sure how Gods think, but somehow I doubt omnipotent beings evidence the human characteristics of fear, jealousy, anger or competition. Nevertheless . . .

So, God destroyed the Tower, scattered the people across the Earth, leaving them all to speak in different tongues creating ambiguity and disrupting communication so no universal agreement to attempt to reach the heavens would ever happen again. 

As with many creation or origination myths, there are comparable stories throughout many cultures including: the Sumerians, Assyrians, Toltecs, Tohono O’odham, Cherokee, Nepalese, and the South Africans. 

Now the Thoth Tarot not only references the Tower of Babylon, but warns of megalomania.  The Tower could be a Watchtower offering “a wide view, power and security.”  Or it could be a personal ivory Tower, filled with pride and isolation.  Or it could even represent life in captivity.

And I can see a whole range of analogies here to different personalities clogging our airwaves with scripted BS at this present moment, but I’ll just let all of that go.  😊

As you can see, the cards contain what is said to be a direct message, and the reverse or opposite message.  Another example of this is the Dove, included on my card, that can symbolize love and wisdom, while its reverse is hysteria and deafness. 

We have a lot of deafness going around right now.  As well as a lot of distraction.

While it’s fun to consider the ancient parables and the symbolism, in modern society we seem to intentionally create this type of ambiguation. No God required.  And there, I just used a big word unnecessarily (ambiguation), but I think you get the idea.

This devolution is not simply a matter a regional dialect, but involves word substitution; the reduction of words to initials – some phonetic, others not-so-much; and the throwing in of a bunch of emojis just for fun.  Social media contributed to this decline, especially Twitter and its character limitation.  If you can’t convey your message with a tiny number of characters, well forget it then, you just have too many words to read. 

Short attention spans and simple laziness perpetuates the continued destruction of language and creates more and more barriers to communication as people are left to fill in the blanks and will often default to a negative interpretation when there is no clear explanation. 

We’re not mind readers and we can’t assume others will understand us when we’re not speaking in the same tongues. 

Of course, some of this is generational and was designed to mask communications – creating a secret code when we wanted to fool our parents or law enforcement about our planned digressions.   All of the nicknames for drugs is a classic example.  We used to call LSD a two-dollar vacation. 🙂

Ok, ok, finally, after all of that intro, here’s a modern day example.


Now I don’t know about you, but I have to go look stuff like this up.  “GMN” was a response I received on Twitter once in reference to a blog post of mine.  And the person leaving this response wanted to emphasize it, so it was in all caps and repeated multiple times.

I’m pretty sure the person only read the title of my post, because had they had enough attention span to actually read the post in its entirety, I doubt they would have been upset at all. 

If you haven’t looked it up yet, GMN means “Grab my nuts.” 

And, I’m pretty sure they weren’t going for a literal interpretation of this, which makes the comment all the sillier.  If they had intended for it to be an insult, sorry, I just LOL. 😊

We have such things as IDKR, BTW, ATTWACTION, B4, BFN or TTFN, FFS, AYKM, YSBH, CRE8, F2F, OMG, FTL, FOMO, FYFI, IC, IDK, TBH, TBT, OH, IDC, FTW, ROFL, BFD, STFU, RME, HS, SMH, ICYMI, GTFO, WTF, LMK, and NVM.  (Many of these are swear words.)

And my personal favorite TL;DR = too long; didn’t read.   This reminds me of some folks I used to work with who detested reading my legal analyses.  There were just “too many words.”  Of course, without those words you can never understand how you get from A to Z, but I think those folks preferred comic books. More space with lots of color pictures.  Nothing requiring any thought or analysis.

Many of us have adapted and know many of these abbreviations, and while math is a symbolic language, you really can’t convey much of the essence of science or law with abbreviated symbols.  And what of literature? 

Can you imagine an entire novel written in three- and four-character language? 

I’ve always said communication is tough on a good day. 

Miscommunication can cost friendships.  Miscommunications can, like a knife, cause injuries. Miscommunications have even led to war. 

So, I’ll leave you all with a couple of quotes to contemplate.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

“Communication Is Power. Those who have mastered its effective use can change their own experience of the world and the world’s experience of them.   All behavior and feelings find their original roots in some form of communication.” Tony Robbins

Photo: A Southwestern monsoon rain distorts the view and our perception through the glass window. Looking through that window and the distortion, can we all see or experience the same thing in the same way? Are there words clear enough to adequately convey the scene without using the pic? Without at least a little description, would you be able to decipher what the pic captured? Thus the perils of attempted communication.

For another fun post on words and communication see: Debabelization – Our Webs of Words

19 thoughts on “A Jumble of Ideas”

  1. Well…….i read somewhere that aliens communicate telepathically…and some aliens only need a few words to communicate what would take volumes for us humans…

    “Can you imagine an entire novel written in three- and four-character language? ”

    I wouldn’t want to read it….or attempt to write it !!! I still enjoy reading elaborate elaborations that conjure vivid imagery and emotions 🙂

    I know exactly how you feel when you get flooded with creativity that’s overwhelming….it must be what it’s like to win the lottery !

    I don’t know anything about the Tarot…but i used to do the I-Ching….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The I-Ching is great. I have always gained insight from it – when my intention was properly set. In addition to aliens, I do think some of us can communicate telepathically. When some of us connect, we can finish each other’s sentences and the like 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Communication using Mysticism and symbolism reigned long in ancient times. Perhaps because they were so indoctrinated throughout religious scripture and/or because they left open interpretation on a more individual and personal level. And sometimes they were just fun, like the readings of the Tarot cards. Eventually, we all came to accept them as they really are.

    Today it seems, we’ve regressed again back in time to those same days when the opinions of others held their bonded sway. Now, ‘once again’ we are having a hard time reasoning for ourselves of what is true and what is not. Or perhaps… not once again?… but Still? Makes you wonder — Have we really changed, or has just the world around us? IMNSHO! In my not so humble opinion. (yes I had to look it up Lol!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love it! IMNSHO! Yes, society, as least here in the US, seems not only to lack communication skills, but many have gone on to fabricate their own non-objective versions of reality, fostered, in part, by media outlets giving voice to pathological liars using monosyllable sound bites, composed of less than 40 characters. That appears to be all their brains can handle. At least mysticism and symbolism have some doctrinal and universal rules 🙂 Still thinking of starting my own religion 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. sometimes I’m think what’s gonna happen 30-50 years from now with this generation that can’t write and speak only in ROFL’s and GMN’s (I actually didn’t know what it is… unfamiliar with all those new-age abbreviations). Well, I think… if we’ll continue with all that madness, one day we’ll remember 2020 as a great year of XX century :)). mark my words. more shit coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No doubt, more shit is coming 🙂 And while we might be ROFLing, I’m not sure we’ll actually be communicating anymore 🙂 If people can’t articulate cohesive thoughts with language, what then? XX century?? And speaking of being unable to write, in my last position as an attorney I had to edit the work of newly graduated attorneys. Those kids had at least 7 years of college, and guess what, they couldn’t write worth shit . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our minds are flowing down similar pathways. I’m working on a piece right now about consciousness being electromagnetic, thus no reason for Robots with AI to be any less conscious than humans. And they will probably be better communicators as the people of the world become deaf mutes – with lots of free time 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Who knows… maybe AI or ASI (artificial super intelligence) will work out for humanity, but knowing the people around, politicians, greedy mega companies… I doubt that. In any case, looking forward for that interesting theme – electromagnetic consciousness 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Before I forget that ‘IMNSHO’, I would just mention it! When I receive or read such shorthand phrases, I have to very often Google them. I’ll share my first encounter with Lol – I did a Google search, it said it could Laugh Out Loud or Lack of Laughter! Who coin all these terms? But now I add Lol in almost all sentences, lol!
    Very interesting post, enjoyed it. And, didn’t just read the title! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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