Many of us might have become accustomed to seeing our communications with others as exchanges of information. In exchanging information with each other, we might easily think of our considerateness to our counterparts: we care about to whom we are talking, of what relevance what we’re communicating has for our counterparts, or how politely we manage to talk to them. Put simply, we tend to imagine communications/interactions as practices that involve symmetrical reciprocation to conclude them hopefully successfully.
Through my extensive analyses of communications in an Internet discussion forum (or a message board), I found that messages posted to the forum did not necessarily communicate with one another directly. Rather, many messages appeared to be posted as posters each liked. Put it in another way, posters did not appear to prefer to address or be addressed by particular posters such that they could establish a relatively less engaged mode of communication.
Benefits of such a less engaged mode of communication are abundant. Each one does not worry too much about how others might actually understand what one says. One could feel more free by not anticipating responses from others. One could, on the other hand, obtain relevant information regardless of who said to whom so as to make better sense of one’s reality.
Communications, thus, appear to be proceeding because of each one’s creative imagination about connections or relevance between mutually independent messages. Each of us reads what has already been known to us into others’ utterances. Such is made possible because of one of the agencies of words: providing an open space onto which each reader can project her/his own reality or understandings of it. By so understanding, we could notice that reasons, purposes and motivations that are usually considered to be something that one can or ought to hold oneself accountable for are actually established through collaboration with other actors who read their reasons, purposes, or motivations into words they encounter. Put differently, reasons, purposes and motivations are always mediated between two or more actors. Therefore, we had better focus more on how to read others’ words than on how to denote reality in ways that we hold ourselves accountable for the denotations.
Rather than abandoning all the responsibilities for making coherent, consistent, intelligible and plausible words, one had better concentrate on finding others’ truths in their words so that one can create relationships with others through which communications by means of each other’s truth can be materialized. Communications are important to the extent that each other’s truth can be checked intersubjectively, rather than by reference to scientifically rigorous methods or contextually relevant norms.
By understanding the three distinct agencies of words, we will be able to juggling with words as both discrete data and associable fragments of stories. The theory of diversifying plots will serve to guide such seemingly unruly imaginative (re)construction of reality by means of words. Our skills and knowledge to make sense of reality are actually not so much arbitrary as are normally believed. We are innately moral beings.