In this blog, I would like to pursue possibilities to diversify plots, which refer to one’s skills and knowledge to configure and re-figure a variety of events and phenomena into particular meaningful wholes.
We know that as we go about everyday lives, we make sense out of them. Also, we perceive that despite sheer variances in concerns and capacities between different actors, there seem to be certain rules or patterns in ways of interpreting and understanding reality.
I am concerned about gaps between how we see ourselves and how we actually are. ‘Know yourself‘ is cliche. However, I take a ‘non-reflective’ stance. Plot is adopted to encourage, rather than discipline, one’s denoting reality, including vague and ineffable sentiments.
Through my research on mundane discursive practices, I have come to suspect that the proliferation of written texts is continuously exacerbating the gaps. Typically, I am concerned about our excessively overestimated diligence. We believe ourselves to be diligent enough to develop a variety of skills and knowledge by disciplining us (and others) to be better off.
Why such is possible? Simply because we are capable of taking advantage of words as quasi-substances on which our self-images can be cast. While so doing, we are also capable of making sure of our security and/or improved material well-being without relying upon proper words. Put differently, we are capable of making a variety of things tell their respective stories, which are, at later stages, deployed to construct our stories with which to obtain certain coherent and consistent experiences and identities.
The power of words is indeed significant. Words bestow agencies that are virtually identical with those of human beings: denoting reality, commanding others’ reading and mediating synchrony (metaphors/propositional accounts) and diachrony (stories) into particular meaningful wholes. Plot is a device with which to account for such intricate relationships between words and human beings. With the capacities to account for the tripartite agencies of words (and human beings), plot reveals important but less visible our everyday theories and assumptions with which to construct reality.
Among such theories and assumptions, plot tells us that both words and human beings are interpreting themselves; and their self-interpretations are derived from the latter’s hypothetical and inferential ways of knowing. Plot is, in other words, able to exemplify the relationships between human beings, meanings and interpretation, and material reality they belong to.
Put in another way, plot enables us to read different temporality, that is, synchrony and diachrony, from others’ and into our own denotations of reality. By so doing, plot serves as means of communication (interaction) between actors.
What is important is that plot can account for each other’s sense of appropriateness in rational scientific, or ethical political, or religious theological terms. These senses of appropriateness urge us to pursue diligently as broadly applicable reasons as possible. However, accounting for these by plot is not meant for each one’s reflection, but rather, for reducing burdens to bear responsibilities for each one’s senses of appropriateness.
It does so by emphasizing and re-establishing interactivity as alternate and diegetic successions of reading and expressing, whereby each actor plays roles of both a reader and an author but not simultaneously. By so understanding interactions between actors, it is expected that we dare not to bear all the responsibilities for denotations of reality; but rather, that, first, we come to realize that it is impossible for anybody to do so simply because one can never describe one’s truths precisely; and second, we are encouraged to compensate for the inevitable irresponsibility by the act of as engaged ways of reading as possible.
Because of the unknowability of the absolute and universal truth, intersubjective checks on each other’s interpretation of reality are critical. Rather than lamenting proliferation of fragmentary voices and messages, it is important to develop skills and knowledge to read truths of people as well as factual information and rhetorical (in)effectiveness. Plot offers certain accessible points of reference to do so.
As I have elaborated, plot entails enormous potentials to enrich our ways of seeing and describing the world and ourselves. In the next post, I will explain how important the concept of time is in order to diversify plots by understanding the relationship between chronological/cosmological and narrative time.