Communication theories based on the CONDUIT metaphor turn from the pathetic to the evil when they are applied indiscriminately on a large scale, say, in government surveillance or computerized files. There, what is most crucial for real understanding is almost never included, and it is assumed that the words in the file have meaning in themselves – disembodied, objective, understandable meaning. When a society lives by the CONDUIT metaphor on a large scale, misunderstanding, persecution, and much worse are the likely products.
P.S. I know I promised the final installment of 1Q84 today, I finished this book slightly after 1Q84, but for the first time I’m going to break my usual ‘post in the order I finished them’ policy because I need a bit more time to process the Murakami. Wednesday. Probably. Metaphors We Live By has chapter headings like ‘The Myth of Objectivism in Western Philosophy and Linguistics’, and the fact that I’m finding it easier to get a handle on that strikes me as telling. I also realize that probably the only person who cares about this is me.