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understanding deconstruction

Post #92 • August 26, 2003, 8:22 PM

Understanding Deconstruction by Nikos A. Salingaros (via 2 Blowhards).

A piece of well-crafted deconstructivist text does make sense, but not in any logical fashion. It is a piece of poetry that abuses our mind's capacity for pattern recognition to create subconscious associations, employing technical jargon used in a random manner. It is based upon a highly fragmented literary style. The text arouses emotions in the reader - a combination of awe at its incomprehensibility and use of advanced technical terms - that substitute for a lack of content. The best examples have meaning without content; poetic meaning as in nonsense poetry that nevertheless has a pleasing rhythmic structure. Deconstructivist texts convey emotional meaning to persons unconcerned with (or unaware of) their words' true meaning. ...

When we read something that makes no sense, then are told by "experts" that it has profound content, we experience cognitive dissonance. In such cases, the human mind responds by losing trust in its worldview. We become confused, and desperately seek to reestablish some certainty that will "make sense" of the world once more. There are only two possible choices - either the individual decides that the topic (in this case, deconstruction) is fraudulent; or that it might be better to sacrifice one's previous understanding of the world and adopt what is being said, even though it is random. The mind is thus open to replacing its system software in order to overcome the cognitive dissonance imposed on it by those who wish to change it in the first place.

We face an insoluble problem with the propagandists in a non-verifiable discipline. They may consistently give out misinformation, yet society is used to treating them with the same respect accorded to experts in scientific disciplines, and those disciplines in general where ideas and opinions can indeed be validated. Those propagandists not only try to promote a phony ideal; what is even worse is that they slander and condemn what threatens that ideal. They create psychological "lock-out," declaring what they don't like to be unexciting, old-fashioned, retrograde, reactionary, fascist, dangerous, etc. This creates an immediate opposition with reversed values, promoting the propagandist's own preferences while calling for the extinction of all competing choices.

When someone criticizes deconstruction's method of dismantling the meaning of existing texts or building forms, the cult followers come in and fight off the questioner, trying to discredit him or her professionally and socially.

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