Signifier: The word “Object” and selected suffixes. How it relates to the platform of messages.
“The medium is the message” semiotician Marshall McLuhan tells us that “the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.” Meaning that within each message it is not the content to which the focus needs to be emphasized, rather the platform to which the message is being delivered. The characteristics and overall structure within these mediums present information with general “rules-of-thumb” that consciously or subconsciously must be taken into account when an individual consumes them. It is this medium that more strongly influences the matter of perception in a social context. He gives the example “the message of a newscast about a heinous crime may be less about the individual news story itself – the content – and more about the change in public attitude towards crime that the newscast engenders by the fact that such crimes are in effect being brought into the home to watch over dinner.”
While I fully understand and admire this basic principle of marketing and communication, which McLuhan presents to us, it's hard for me to accept it as the root of the problem/solution in terms of correspondence; commercial or otherwise. This is a framework to me, but not an end within itself. It is an algorithm, which has been equated to further aid that of a bigger algorithm. This equation attempts to begin to clarify the “why ?” and understand that within the realm of the platforms of messages and degrees of communication: just how there will be no message without a medium, there will be no medium without an objective approach. Through my previous investigations “object” and selected suffixes have unveiled themselves in a way that stood out to me. Particularly as roots to specific questions in terms of how and why we communicate (Perhaps further down the road we could extrapolate this idea and put it into a context concerning social praxis.) While I have yet to condense these findings to a conclusive theory, it has come to a point to where I just need to “get it off my chest” and type out loud. This analysis will be an attempt to explore the world of “object” and how it relates to the root of how and why we communicate. Hopefully through a syntagmatic approach we will find that the results reveal themselves in a light that gives us another step in this exploration.
To identify how object becomes a root, let's first look at the root of object: the great “ob”. Ob is most commonly found in words of Latin origin. There are four basic definitions to ob; we'll abstract these definitions as four words: Openness, resistance, finality, and inverse. Housed under this prefix is a set of words, which at first glance are somewhat obfuscated. We see a set of words with conflicting directions. “Open” is the paradigm of “finial”. To “resist” is to cease to be open while “inverse” sums up the entire equation. Each element is an inverse of the element that follows. However when looked at generally the reader will intend to create some sort of bridge between each word. It would be much more of a natural progression if the definitions were slight variations of one another, but this is not the case. Each word becomes an entity unto itself and because of this, each one must stand alone.
Each word than becomes a marker or a sort of checkpoint under the pattern of “obt”. When looking at the groupings in this way, the relationship unfolds into being a representation of a communicative scope of people, a map, if you will. Looking at each checkpoint as a stage in the communicative process. E.g. you meet a stranger with an intent of openness to their ideas and output, in the discourse there may be a point to which interfering ideas cross and a level of resistance is introduced to the correspondence, at which point the exchange digresses to a finial standstill and both parties inverse their attention and original objective. From this frame of reference it still comes off as somewhat of an abstract, but in this right we can look at “ob” as a cyclical framework for sociability and an elementary structure to base the foundation for exchange. Because these words are not only broad but without context, it begins with a stretch to make these connections. But when thinking about “ob” in terms of the “the object is the medium” We begin to personify each word fueling it with it's own context as it relates to the thesis of the platforms of messages. This is a good point to say that to give these words context is my personal “objective”. The analysis now becomes a double entendre, using my own objective to clarify “objective” and using “objective” to clarify my own objective.
Now “object” considering it as the next additive in the syntagm of “ob”, when abstracted to it's basic terms I came up with: material, directive, disagreement, and in terms of logics, object was described as a thing external to the thinking mind or subject therefore as an inverse to anything of the mind, object becomes “non–mind”. In Jean Baudrillard's The System Of Objects, Baudrillard discloses in the beginning of his analysis, “We shall not, therefore, be concerning ourselves with objects as defined by their functions or by the categories into which they might be subdivided for analytic purposes, but instead with the processes whereby people relate to them and with the systems of human behavior and relationships that result there from.” “Image sees, image feels, image acts” comes to mind. The objects we see influence how we feel and eventually how we act, or in the terms of a non–mind object, speaking to directives, we can consider that our personal directives and disagreements tend to manipulate how we see, feel and act; breaking this down further to connect the matter and material of communication to how we conduct our personal behavior and social relationships. The paradigm between “object” falls between the material representation of self and the non-mind perceptions of this material broadcast. I say non–mind perception because the absence of thinking mind when we automatically perceive a material broadcast. The assumption is as natural as breathing or blinking. Dealing between these two oppositions between “object” we can start to see interesting results.
Think of an empty cafeteria. Say you just got your food and you turn around from the counter to view the large empty cafeteria. For our purposes we'll say that there are 100 different options in terms of seats available, that's 100 different affordances to be capitalized on. Now you have to make a decision, this is where object meets object. The material objects in the room are influencing us to make a decision while our initial object perception will determine where to sit. The non-mind comes into play, working off our personal preference. Is there a window? Do we like corners or to be close to the door? Will we face the door or have our back to it? Our objective to eat, takes precedence, which forces us to consider every object presented to actualize this objective, and without a doubt, the material broadcast, i.e. the amount of choices of places to sit, will force us to consider each option and sway our final decision one way or the other.
This ritual becomes a cycle much like the cycle presented with “ob”, or the cycle in terms of receiving and understanding communication.
You need a place to eat, you see the options presented, your object perception carries the message, the chairs and tables present themselves broadcasting their pro's and con's as relating to your preference, and you will finally make a choice. This leads us to the scope of object relations, a theory describing the relationship felt or the emotional energy directed by the self or ego toward a chosen object and inversely how the objects energy is directed towards a self. The mappings of these material objects create a program of distinctive paths, which have to be navigated through. The ping ponging of energies is a call to action and an objective approach to how we are exploring these objects. We are presented with a question, which is at the climax of affordance in between our environment and ourselves. When you come across the object, do you go around it? Do you go under it? Do you let it stop you and you turn away from it? Do you find some way to move it? Do you join it? Just how the medium becomes our message it creates a structural component that allows us to understand the message within a context, the object becomes a structural component that is heightened within our self, and our object relation. When combining the Latin meanings of “ob” and “ject” the literal translation becomes “By reason of throwing” Object becomes our all inclusive action approach and embodiment. It tells us why we are doing, how we are doing, what we are doing. “Throwing” is the broadcast were the sender encodes the message leaving it to the channel for the recipient to decode.
The all–inclusive nature of ob further perpetuates how people relate to “object” with the systems of human behavior and the relationships that result there from. It is directly linked with the progression of outputting and receiving especially in the case of the next addition to “object”. Objectivism is the belief that certain things, especially moral truths, exist independently of human knowledge or perception of them. Because these truths exist independently of the individual we can then assume that the “moral truth” is singular, definitive and true. “Essentially, the terms “objectivity” and “objectivism” are not synonymous, with objectivism being an ontological theory that incorporates a commitment to the objectivity of objects.” Therefore within objectivism we are associating a time and place with “object” and relating it back to the grander truth of human beings moral initiative.
With this set of boundaries within ob and the contexts with which we have provoked our analysis, it becomes a game of intertextuality between all forms of ob, object and selected suffixes. To be “object oriented” is using a methodology that enables a system to be modeled as a set of objects that can be controlled and manipulated in a modular manner. An objective correlative is the artistic and literary technique of representing or evoking a particular emotion by means of symbols that objectify that emotion and are associated with it. Object is our basis for grouping, categorizing and reflecting how the platforms of messages are created, how they are perceived, and what actions they evoke in the recipients. These all combined contribute to how we interact sociably and how these combined efforts are attempting to reach the sum of the great verb “to be”. The object is the medium, it is the fuel for the conversation we are having at large. The question that comes into my mind then, is what is the objective of object? However taking into consideration what I've already discussed, the objective of the object is just as cyclical as when the program relates to human behavior. It becomes an action–response approach constantly evolving and re–defining itself based on where the conversation is heading.
I would like to look at this a little bit more abstractly to say that when we consider our communication in a way that is set up by patterns and responses, evidence is observed that pushes me to consider an algorithm to human behavior. If A equals C and B equals C, than A equals B: If the object influences the objective and the objective influences the objectivists, than the object is directly related to the objectivists and the situations that unfold. If we are all working off a system contributing to the non–mind moral truth than our reactions to situations will either be in direct favor or direct objection to the truth. We can look at the sum of these responses and recognize the equation that emerges, if A than B, If B than C. To support this idea we would be able to engineer our messages to ensure that the response would be in favor of the truth. Aligning the object with the objective.
ORIGIN from latin ob ‘toward, against, in the way of.’
USAGE Ob-Occurs mainly in words of latin origins. It is also found assimilated in the following forms: oc- before c; of-before
Say something to express one's disapproval of or disagreement with something: resident's object to the volume of traffic
© Alex Todaro 2010