Content without meaning would be like a paragraph that is perfectly formed but can in no way be parsed to make any sense. Is meaning actually there? Who knows, it could be another language, it could be just random letters! Below is an essay I wrote further detailing this concept.


In Impleo vacuus Voluntas

- On Content without Meaning -

Meaning is to be shown as a layer of content, wherein it must be conveyed and encoded. Content as a whole need be only presented and then allowed to sit passively, if within the content is encoded meaning. In this regard content may be free of meaning, but meaning must have content to allow it's expression. One must ask, does meaning contain meaning when it remains unexpressed, or is meaning created when it is transcribed and conveyed? This question presents us with a false dichotomy. Meaning can not contain meaning, it is contained by content, which is thus the structure and vessel of meaning. Without meaning content contains no information, or it contains information duly inaccessible to being processed. One then must ask of the solid definition of content; it is structure (the semiotic). Empty of meaning it is like a skeleton; with robust expressible meaning, content thus presents form - the marriage of content and meaning. Should it not be considered then that both content and meaning are two dependant constituents of form? I again disagree with this, however - as form is only present when both meaning and content are as well. Form without meaning is mere content. Form without content is not meaning, it must be defined as the lack of all substance. We should like to consider that substance is of a dualistic nature and either substance is present or it is not, and as such can refer to anything in existence but not that which is not. It is often considered that the all of substance is the substance of it's parts - a universal content on which meaning must be imprinted by an agent or observer. The agent is thus form expressed as self-expressing; providing an analytical and interpretive function to the body of content; that is, the triggering of the expression of meaning.

Here we take the stance that the expression of meaning is not the creation of meaning but that the expression is the act of bringing meaning from the unknown to the known. Existence without knowledge is possible, and is a necessary condition for expression to occur. However, as this is not a discussion of meaning but of content, I will not belabor a discussion of conditions for meaning. The expression of content is self-expressed, and as such content does not require an observer. Since it can not be known as to whether content without expressed meaning is without meaning, we must accept that content can exist as free of meaning. We can see then, that there really is not use or function for constructions of message conveyance that does not then convey any message. In fact, any content that does serve any function also conveys some meaning - it's own purpose, for one. Lorem Ipsum conveys the message of being a placeholder; and is also features a standardized word order - whereas it may be recognized as an entity statement; an eponymous statement, as well as a structural designator). So we see that the mere recognition of content can create and express new meaning, often of a meta-descriptive nature. Humans seem to prefer simplistic and "universally applicable" structures for this information-organization strategy. We are forever linked with a certain past scholarly body built upon a fundamentally incorrect set of systematic models. Of these views are a certain outdated set of meta-symbols which pertain to meaning designation and recognition through visual rhetoric as expressed in complex system design dynamics. One of the most deeply rooted is, of course, the tri-layered model of landscape. While many argue that this is a by-product of religion, it is in fact a far older concept than the religions that employ it. It was very acute of early minds to recognize a separation in the realm of interaction, the depth of the ground, and the expanse of the sky. However, while the classification was useful, the theory that these areas were of a fundamental and essentially different character than each other has been shown to be incorrect time and time again. In fact, not many in this modern world would argue that they were, yet by using the set of posits and mental rhetoric that stems from such a view one's processing reference is gradually set to match - and thus allow for incorrect notions of intrinsic types to present. This is inevitably due to the belief that classification occurs along intrinsic or essential lines. Classification occurs along handy lines; lines of simplification and symmetry. One must guard oneself against the belief of simple and symmetric lines in the natural world, it does not conform to essentialist and ideological models. Simplicity and succinctness is shown time and time again to be impossible when demarcating and defining the vast unforeseen mannerisms of nature and man.

What say I to one who believes in the strictest of causal relations, the most obedient to mechanical and deterministic thinking? I would say, 'You are incorrect, sir. What you are doing at this moment has already been done by you and is being done by you in the future and as such will be done for all known existence. You and everything you've ever known is merely an extension of a process of a calculation that is being run instantaneously ad infinitum.' And he would reply that what I suggested was preposterous, for a vast number of reasons. I would remind him continuously that his reasoning and mine were both built upon the shakiest of grounds - the abilities of man's reason. Here I refer solely to the historical tradition of reasoning and it's many failures and ignorance of failures. For the further one tears down an opponents own trail of logic, one finds very little at the core of any line of thought which is both "complete" and "logically consistent." For logic must be built from axioms; and as such inherently vulnerable to the wild imaginings of our desires to shape the world. In fact, world denial - commonly taught as part of obtaining salvation in many religions, is most likely impossible to achieve for a majority of any period of time, unless their has been some type of damage done to the lower, reptilian portion of the brain. Even in this scenario it seems highly unlikely that geo-accommodative reification would not regularly occur. It is deep within us, the obsession with the split; the other - the mirrored. One imagines that the great obsession of the mirror must even exist in the heavens, conducted within an array at once their enmity (of course) - whose hatred is known to be veiled, to hide the mysteries that wander amidst the aether. Thus it is necessary and right that a man should be arranged in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface. I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself. For the common way is to apportion deity, giving an imperial and supreme domination to one, while its offices are put into the sea. I have been told that I should choose to enter by the small rivers, and not go right away into the sea. On this notion we take pause to determine the rivers' worth as guides and uselessness of returning prematurely to this sea of sorts. But a river was a guide because it was thought to bend to the Geography of the land. Only much later was it determined that the river bent the land to it's path, through the natural processes of time. So then what shall be the guide, the river or the land? And why not the sea? For if the land is a product of the river, the river is a product of the sea. If all markable impressions are thus born from the sea, would it not be the perfect guide for all? For too long has it represented nothing more than a simple boundary between the living realm and the "other." If there is to be a boundary, let it be between the sea and the land; a boundary between the land and its path and a boundary made from the gulf of time. Let the sea be the sea, and past it the other. But is the sea not guided by the other? Do not the heavens pull the tides? The river's worth has been shown to be veiled, and then shown to be tied to the worth of the sea. And thus, the worth of the guide is as worthy as the sea, which must be judged on the merits of seahood. For this to be possible, one must first determine a sea's intrinsic characteristics and then give them values of scalar quality.

You must compute the truth from my statements. Your first step is always to derive a statement's meaning. Parsing a sentence, to parse correctly it must be formed in accordance with the rules and standards of encoding. The length and position of sentence parts give clues to it's meaning. This blind semiotics of phrases is useful in a large amount of incidents. When a more intelligent manner of analysis is required word recognition is thus employed. A word can be recognized by it's association with a definition or by association with a larger cluster of words usually found in the same types of statements. In this way a statement can be understood as a whole, without it's parts being examined to any large extent. It must be asked, can thoughts be statements? This is obviously yes, and all statements can be thoughts. However, are all thoughts statements? I believe this to be the case. However, not all mental activity is a thought. Emotions differ both psychologically and physiologically from thoughts. Emotions are not statements, but statements may of course be made about them - and always are made, subconsciously, when an emotion is expressed. An emotion is made into thought when one thinks about their current emotional state, or increased emotional resonance is registered. And thus a statement is made - "I am feeling such and such way." This statement is then re-interpreted by the agent, due to it being again expressed in the mental space. The result of which signifies to the agent that the statement is true, and that they truly are feeling that way and thus, the statement is thus given it's final and encoded meaning inside the package of content - which in this case is the running narrative of events both leading up to and following the expression of the registered statement. The collection of processed data which represent the events surrounding the expression of the processing of these events can be referred to as handles - both occurring before and after expression occurs. Here we are referring to both emotions and thoughts as types of expression. However, we will not continue to discuss the role or make-up of emotional meaning or content for the remainder of this discussion.

We must return to content. We must return, and we must reply. The cultural prompt of response is usually ingrained deeply as a high-importance symbol and often elicits quick, ritualized platitudes in the direction of the questioner. This is due to the reaction-formation (content) being encoded as it's role - meaning supplantation. Original meaning is never decoded 100% correctly. In fact, the meaning that is contained and encoded is also never completely aligned with the meaning intended. Intention is an interesting concept, and here we make use of it as the that which carries within it the dictum of will. One might wonder how it is measured, this dictum of will. Indirect observation of will can be found only by classifying the behavior of an agent considered to have will. If the meaning conforms in anyway to this willful behavior then the meaning must be referred to as having intention. If meaning cannot be determined as having been borne from any conscious actor, then it must be considered as not having any intended meaning, and thus is content free of meaning. If the heavens are separate from the land it must be superior because it is also above, and all of the better things are generally found in higher altitudes. It was the tops of mountains that the gods had chosen for their homes; and for good reason, one was to be sure! The high was sacred and the lower was profane; and yet the ground is rather filthy, isn't it? The inborn animal tropes of height and dominance are played against a rationalist view of power relationships and natural order, whereas dominance through height becomes superiority (that which is above) through the natural order and as such, holiness is then located centrally in the heavens. Yet we see this now as ignorant, short-sighted and incomplete - in even our most kindest of views. Centrally it was wrong because it took what was a human construction for that which was natural and all-encompassing. Meaning is constructed for the order of nature, and as such it is intentional. This meaning is then encoded by us onto nature. However, this process was mistakenly taken as objective in the past, and as such, these illusions of the natural order of reality were taken not as encoded meaning, but as content - as the real substance of nature. As the scientific quest for this substance has lead us down a sub-quantum rabbit hole, we are still left with using human-generated models of the natural order in order to describe and measure this order (if, indeed, order does exist). It is in this modern age that we generally recognize that these models do in fact come from us, and yet many still resist the logical conclusion that the substance of nature and reality can not be measured without meaning being placed upon it. Substance is content, not form. Substance lacks meaning, and thus can not, by itself, be expressed - unless it is self-expressing and still then, meaning has been supplanted. We shall spend our days continually measuring that which man has created, never getting to what is really there, and as such when we look for nature, it is always missing.

Only when we look for meaning will we find it, and with it the content we actually seek. And upon seeing, behind and without, the shadow of the construction of it all, will we be happy in knowing that it exists at all. It is the process of this inobservant sight that we must hone, not the search for blatant substance. It is inside the lack of substance, of without, we must look. Tilt it to the side and slide it up, we see another. The gaps are where we hide our clues on how to fill them, and the holes are currently deep enough for shovels. <\p>

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(Herein follows a review of this essay by myself written on March 27th, 2007.)

Ehrm... I suppose by now enough time has passed since my initial posting of this essay to allow for me to present the situation behind it. I was very proud of it when I posted it and was not anticipating the controversial response it would receive. Many messages were sent to me telling me I was an idiot, wrong on the fundamental concept (what "content" means), and was indulging in the heinous crime of linking for emphasis.

I am really quite shocked that it was taken any other way than as satire on the egregiously obscurantist writings of philosophers such as Schopenhauer and Hegel. In fact several portions of the text contain phrases from their writings - this was unintentional but not surprising due to the fact that roughly 2/3rds of this essay was "written" by random sentences from a chatbot (it was a NIALL bot) that I had loaded its memory file full of text files from numerous philosopher's works; mainly of Schopenhauer, but also some Kant and even some Thomas Aquinas.

I should also explain, that the multitudes of links are not for emphasis but there so that if anyone wishes to stake a claim in the definition of things like "open up behind the surface," or "vessel of meaning," they could do so - I mean come on, they're fucking cool phrases! If you fucking navel-gazers don't want to steal the links for yourself and write your own bloated pseudo-philosophical rant that's your own god-damned fault!

As for content without meaning... Look. You have a paragraph, this satisfies form. What is inside the paragraph is the content. Got it? Now if this content is nonsense, then it qualifies as "Content without meaning" - NOT "Form without content" - These are separate things. So shut the fuck up about me being wrong on the central concept. YOU ARE WRONG!!!

And as final note, I personally find insulting softlinks to be distasteful. Vote it down if you don't like it, but you don't need to add insult to injury. You'd do better to spend your time adding N to (X), you cheap-ass motherfuckers.

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