The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Manipulation

tags: thorns published on:

Manipulation is possible when the manipulator does not get swept away by the concern for distinctness in the minds and perspectives of different people. Difference does not exist. But it also does. This paradox is resolved by understanding the distinctness of individual perspectives existing within a collective unity that exists in versions and fragments.

Communication can be understood in two ways. One, is the expressive model. The a given subject expresses her own unique perspective and that is her main concern. Whether or not the unique perspective of the subject is actually understood by the other partners in the communicative exchange is immaterial here. Refraction, or the reception of a subjective communication so that the limitation of the individual perspective opens up falls aside, is not on the horizon. If it occurs it is an accident.

Two, is the manipulative model. In this model, the perceptual output of an episode of exposure is tuned to the common base of general experience. The way we figure out the ambient dynamics of a scene relies on this common base. We do not need to process this kind of experience through the bubble of language or culture that we exist within.

The only thing it takes to access this layer of experience is a kind of stripping ourselves bare, so that instead of being mere products of time, space and demographic we can also be something else. Something more basic, something simpler but something we can lose an ability to tune into very easily. How does we tune into this, what must we do? There is nothing to be done. Because then the transition can happen only with the knowledge that this action is to be performed. How will this knowledge be distributed? If the experience to be yielded is of any value, then this knowledge will be guarded and ritualised in a way that it is available only against a specific set of conditions. Economic or otherwise.

To reserve the access to this layer of experience, which we have previously referred to as refractive (or produced by the effects of refraction) we have to practice and learn both the production and accessing of this layer. Access can neither be privileged or be understood as a natural talent. It is only a matter of training. Within the format of our existing social systems, training is the responsibility of the educational complex. But education has defaulted on its responsibilities. It operation within a context of optimal effort and not learnt outcomes. Beyond the brandishing of bureaucratic criteria which can easily be responded to in terms of buzzwords designed to retrofit these criteria by the community of teachers, there is possibility to break down teaching into its basic functional cores.

Manipulation needs to be reconsidered as a mechanism for laying the ground for refraction to emerge. Unless we are locked in a conversation in which we are invested in to achieve similar objectives, how can anything emerge? Manipulation is never absolute and it is never uni-directional. If the manipulator and the manipulated individuals both converse, they arrive at a negotiated median of manipulation which is a two-way process. If this much of a partnership is not achieved, there the conversation does not happen at all.

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