Human language appears to exist to connect humans regarding "shared experience."
You only need to have an experience you've never had before, which you've never heard words sufficient to describe, to realize that communication
breaks down a great deal at that point.
I think part of how anyone sharing an 'encounter' experience is responded to depends on how well they appear to describe it using the words and models
that we have. But this often requires either under-describing or mis-describing something, or at best doing not so bad but knowing that those
perceiving the communication will not possibly be able to interpret it correctly -- unless they have had the experience themselves and recognize the
awkward translation attempt; how could they, from words and cultural or semantic models which are not even entirely correct to begin with?
What I see in others, offline and online, in any topic, is that most people are not particularly good at communicating without varying amounts of
distortion or incompleteness. When someone is talking about computers or social events, politics or hobbies, this seldom leads to question of the
existence of an event, or thing, or idea, or the sanity of the reporter. It is usually interpreted as being either a communications issue or perhaps a
perspective difference. But this same thing will reflect against either the perception of 'truth' or 'sanity' when applied to an event, thing or idea
in the 'encounter' topic.
I am not suggesting that truth or sanity cannot be valid issues in this topic -- and in others too; I am simply suggesting that culturally, we tend to
take the same elements of communication and experience with others and assign them different assumed or implied meanings based on the topical matter.
So that is a sort of distortion field on the incoming side of the communication, totally apart from the difficulties on the outgoing side, which are
considerable in this topic.
This makes it nearly impossible to expect any truly clear communication process to occur: for the semantic paradigms and terminology to make even
describing it possible; for the interpretive model to be accurate regarding the topic or communicator.
Unless it is a "shared experience" between the people communicating (and of course by shared, I mean all of the components and ways of arranging those
components. Someone could tell me of their vacation to Tibet without many issues despite my not having been there, though they would likely fail to
convey to me a myriad of experience aesthetic and subtle our language is not well equipped for and some may do better with. The percentage of
experience which falls into the "portion of the experience our language is not well equipped for" is simply vastly higher in the case of 'contact'
Sometimes, I have seen something written which is a lousy way of describing something, but the experience is so startlingly unique that my brain
totally understands that these are the only words in my language one could reasonably use to describe it, even though that makes it completely wrong.
If I talk to that person, we often get a better joint description of it worked out, not necessarily because any words really fit or because the
interpretive models of onlookers get better, but because as part of communicating about a shared experience, the back & forth often leads to a variety
of different ways of trying to say something; and this in turn, can lead an interpreting brain to create a less literal, more "synthesized average" of
the different attempts. That's an area of communication most people don't consider but is an important element of how humans communicate: the brain's
attempt to 'blend' multiple ways of saying something for a new result -- rather like creating a new color by combining a few that don't exist natively
on the palette.
In a social model what this means is that as individuals, very few if any 'contactees' -- even those which may actually have plenty of 'truth' and
'sanity' in play (surely subjective terms even in many other fields never mind this one) -- are able to directly provide a communication about their
experience which, when attempting to translate it literally and semantically, could convey it particularly well. But the combination of many different
attempts to describe a similar experience (such as by different people) may be able to create in those onlooking a synthesis result that is far closer
to whatever really went on.
Unfortunately, this means that "critically evaluating" an individual experience (which must be done literally) is usually unlikely to get anywhere
near a decent communication event overall. On the other hand, "taking it with a large grain of salt and a relaxed interest" and synthesizing the
presentation of many different people regarding a similar experience, is far more likely to result in an interpretive perception a lot closer to the
original thing / event attempting to be conveyed.
So we're stuck with this bizarre situation where one almost wants to say, "You probably can't get near the thing based on any one story, but you may
get much nearer it based on the composite of many stories." Since any 'critical evaluation' of anything requires one story, linear, logical, and
clearly translatable within our language and its semantic and cultural models, that makes truly 'critical' evaluation of it nearly unworkable
Which is hardly fair to the persons who would like to evaluate it.
But that the situation exists is simply the way it is.
It's not particularly 'fair' to the persons who would like to convey it, either.
edit on 10-9-2013 by RedCairo because: fixing my own
communication problems lol