29 August 2006

What is it I want from a conversation? The question seems well-motivated, given my consistently differing attitudes to those in which I participate.

'I heard that Chris King was developing a bottom bracket.'
'Please stop doing that.'
'She is insane.'

It looks like when we make utterances, we do things with our words. We exchange information. (I learn that you heard that a new bike component is being developed by one of my favourite manufacturers.) We manipulate our environments. (I get you to stop picking your nose.) We report psychologies. (I give the shrink the fact he or she requires to diagnosis me.)

Does my dissatisfaction with certain conversation, then, stem from the fact that those utterances yield an unexceptionally plain series of events? I suggest so.

What I want from a conversation is something that keeps me moving. I want to grasp new truth-conditions, and not just ingest repackaged information of which I am already aware. I want to change my world, and see the impact of my words make you smile, make you perform, make you blush. But, most importantly, I want to bring you into this frightening, fluttering mind of mind, and show you a private way of viewing our shared world.

I expect the same of you.

Without this novelty, a conversation stops dead in its tracts, and my dissatisfaction enervates like a sin.