still based around brexit, here is an article from my blog that deals with the polarisation of language. One of my blog post about satirical infographics on this site was the inspiration.
If you look at the Trump/ fart infographic I posted in February, on the comments is a fellow student who felt the need to quote Hitler and be very ill judged in her comments.
This lack of foresight or inability on her part to not resort to binary language prompted me to write this article:
as ever these articles are available to read, like and comment on at:
Binary: relating to, using, or
denoting a system of numerical notation that has 2 rather than 10 as a base.
Binary. The language of a
modern computer driven world. Instead of a range of value across a scale of 1
to10, a spectrum or continuum, binary uses a system of a value of 2 options. 1
or 0. On or off. Is or is not.
We live in an increasingly
globalised world, driven by computers and software all using binary numbers as
its language. We are often told that computers are making the world a smaller
place, that we are becoming ‘global’ and that computers bring us together. I
often wonder if this is a good thing? I can use a computer and its binary
system to talk to someone on the other side of the world, instantly. But if I
want to see that person and talk to them with all the subtleties of body
language, vocal inflection and personal interaction, I have to fly for 22
hours, stopping once to refuel, and travelling 11,000 miles to achieve this.
So binary allows me to
connect with someone on the other side of the world, but it does not allow me
to interact with them in a truly personal way?
Inside my computer a
series of 1 or 0’s define how it operates. So it takes me, a person with a
schema, a life time of experience, a range of complex emotions and the ability
to conceptualise my surroundings from a philosophical, political, artistic and
emotional level to input my words into something that turns it all binary.
Now I wonder if the
computer if being guided by my input and converting that into binary or is the
computer and its binary language actually inputting into me? That might sound
strange, but does it?
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It sometimes seems that in
the global world of social media, that the computer and global world it enables,
is driving the people who use it, to settle into binary positions. It seems to
me that people are starting to use binary language to interact with the world
It is very disheartening
to see this conversion of human interaction reduced to binary language and
positions. I look at the Brexit vote. A binary choice, in or out, that led to a
binary choice, hard or soft Brexit. It saddens me even further to see the
interaction of people, when dealing with the results of binary choices, being
reduced to binary language.
Remoaners, liberal elites,
Lefties, out of touch, stupid.
Just some of the choice
binary words I have seen leveled at people disappointed by the result.
Brexiteers, Fascist, Nazi,
thick, out of touch, racist.
Binary words again.
I would point out to the
people using binary words about remoaners, you cannot just be a leftie and a
liberal elite. It would require a complex ideological position with a nuanced
understanding of the philosophical concept of freedom to define a socialist and
liberal perspective of the equality of outcome that both positions could
But that’s not very binary
is it. To look at the position of the people on the other side of the debate
requires more than just insults that are binary in nature.
The same applies to the
Brexiteers. How can you be a fascist and a Nazi. One position was born out of
National Socialism, the other is a far right wing position. Why is a desire to
restore national sovereignty to your state a racist endeavor? To seek
restoration of your sovereign state might be considered to go against the
globalist trend and favor more international anarchistic perspective of
Again none of these
positions are easy to express without the complex understanding of the world
around us and how we interact with it. They are far more subtle and nuanced
than a binary position and binary language allows.
Do any of us exist in
isolation, are we not bound by are social contracts, our relationship with our
local and wider communities? We live complex and political world. All politics,
philosophy’s, ideologies and political communities exist across a spectrum.
None of them are binary, especially socialist perspectives, which produce a
wide a broad church of different ideological positions. None of the complex,
subtle and nuanced nature of the world we live in seems best served by trying
to distill all of its complexities into binary positions and binary language.
Does that black mirror we
stare into every day, at our computer, on our tablet or through our phone,
reflect our face back at us or is it shaping us a new, binary, reflection?
There you have it, I have
used 900 words to express, in not very binary terms, my concern at my perceived
rise in the use of binary language in our society. That binary language will
harm debate, degrade our interactions with each other and isolate us all into
binary positions. We might be able to Ctrl+Alt+Dlete a computer, but we cannot
do that to ourselves and our society.
Or to borrow the words of
the recently departed, once vilified, and at the sad time of his passing, much
respected former England manager Graham Taylor…
‘do I not like that’
‘This article was written by a cybetech 87765 laptop using
a cortex 100100100 processor, assisted by the malleable human, Mike Gumbrell’
‘this article was then processed into a blog format by a
defknel101101101 processor’ and the authors identity remodeled to be a www.thespecialistgeneralist.net virtual