Significance Test: Discourse and Perception

7 May 2012

Perhaps one could adopt a significance test to pass beyond the paradigm of counting by fingers / measuring by rulers (that is, the commodity abstraction):

— Viewed from which of its aspects is the situation we have found ourselves in or the event we are experiencing more significantly (more extraordinarily, more extremely) visible?

— How can we emphasize / represent these aspects and how do we express / nominate this significance?

This is what Žižek calls “looking awry / parallax view”.

Statistical significance


In case you ask about how to do it:

At first, one needs to distinguish the addressee’s discourse and the perception that is pursued:
— Discourse is a more or less organized toolkit comprised of sentences and symbols.
— Perception means in which manners one speaks in which places. So it’s a perspective that finds new grounds within any context of speech. It’s a “significance” that the totality of the constituents in the environment express.

— The discourse one uses can never express the totality of the present perception. As the communication environments are altered, the perception is constantly renewed, and the discourse remains lacking.

— In order to open a discourse that has been closed & congealed,
1- One conceives the speaker’s discourse and perception separately
2- One forms a sentence that the perception certainly affirms, but the discourse is unable to prove (Gödel sentence).
3- The discourse will have to negate such sentences, but since the perception will weigh more heavily, a resolution & opening will take place within the discourse. It will have to update itself in a way to affirm these new sentences.

— If there are counter-perceptions that the perception has been excluding, these will be indirectly included in the discourse. They can be detected in the manner of speaking, in the examples presented, in the jokes etc. This exclusion and the indirect inclusion, being a constant source of pleasure, also covers up the abovementioned lacking of discourse by giving it an appearance of completeness.

— In order to relate the present perception with the counter-perceptions that are being excluded,
1- One conceives the speaker’s discourse and perception. One predicts the counter-perception by examining the excesses in the discourse.
2- One asks a question from within the present discourse, by relying on the present perception, but one whose answer will trigger the counter-perception.
3- The counter-perception instantly finds the answer. But this answer is not reflected into the discourse since it is being excluded. The finding of the answer is observed through the indirect effects on the discourse: Changes in the manner of speaking and the changes in mood, new examples and new jokes that emerge, etc. Even as the answer remains unsaid, the question has played its part: Since the exclusion that was protecting the perception has been debased, the perception will have to be formed from scratch.

Işık Barış Fidaner



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