[Fis] Discommunication

Loet Leydesdorff loet at leydesdorff.net
Mon May 11 20:01:26 CEST 2020

Dear Jose Javier and colleagues,

I don't think that one can arbitrarily construct one's own language game 
and still have the intended effect. The codification takes place at the 
supra-individual level as a development of the medium. This 
"self-organization" is thus beyond individual control.

Attempts to construct purposefully will lead overwhelmingly to 
unintended consequences; this is not input-> output. The construction 
only succeeds where it resonates into a kind of eigenvector. The 
dynamics is one of the communication matrix and not of an individual 


Loet Leydesdorff

Professor emeritus, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

loet en leydesdorff.net <mailto:loet en leydesdorff.net>; 
Associate Faculty, SPRU, <http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/>University of 

Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ. <http://www.zju.edu.cn/english/>, 
Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC, 

Visiting Fellow, Birkbeck <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/>, University of London;

ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7835-3098;

------ Original Message ------
From: "Jose Javier Blanco Rivero" <javierweiss en gmail.com>
To: "Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic" <gordana.dodig-crnkovic en mdh.se>
Cc: "fis en listas.unizar.es" <fis en listas.unizar.es>; "Joseph Brenner" 
<joe.brenner en bluewin.ch>
Sent: 5/11/2020 4:53:27 PM
Subject: Re: [Fis] Discommunication

>Dear Joseph & Gordana,
>   When looking for scientific soundness it seems often obvious to focus 
>on the precision and elaboration of singular concepts. However, 
>concepts rarely work alone; they are entangled in semantic fields, 
>types of discourse, common places (tópos koinós) and so on. Therefore, 
>I would suggest, why don't we focus on the vocabulary we would need in 
>order to clearly set the problems we are interested in and the reach 
>our conceptual abstractions should have?
>   I believe that thinking theoretically consists, in some 
>Wittgensteinian vain, in designing language games and that scientific 
>communication consist in convincing others to speak our language (or 
>being convinced by others to speak their language) and phrase problems 
>our way.
>El lun., 11 may. 2020 a las 6:06, Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic 
>(<gordana.dodig-crnkovic en mdh.se>) escribió:
>>Thanks, Joseph for your interesting reflection.
>>What would you say of this example of an analysis by leading UK 
>>statistician of miscommunications we are massively exposed to in the 
>>form of “Number theatre”?
>>BBC One - The Andrew Marr Show, 10/05/2020, Professor Sir David 
>>Spiegelhalter: Here is the whole ten minutes of en d_spiegel 
>><https://twitter.com/d_spiegel>  talking such refreshing sense about 
>>COVID19, numbers and risk:https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08csg28
>>All the best,
>>From: Fis <fis-bounces en listas.unizar.es> on behalf of Joseph Brenner 
>><joe.brenner en bluewin.ch>
>>Date: Monday, 11 May 2020 at 10:36
>>To: "fis en listas.unizar.es" <fis en listas.unizar.es>
>>Subject: [Fis] Discommunication
>>Greetings and best wishes for the health and safety of all.
>>The subject of discommunication, defined as an attempt to pervert the 
>>process of communication of information itself, was implicit in our 
>>previous discussion. The term is not used rigorously. Miscommunication 
>>conveys the same idea as misinformation, failure in communication, for 
>>any reason. Discommunication should convey the additional idea of 
>>intent to mislead, etc.
>>Discommunication seems to me to refer more directly than in the 
>>disinformation case to the consequences for the sender as well as 
>>receiver. In popular language, one talks about people who “can’t stop 
>>lying” or who “lie so much they no longer can discern truth from 
>>falsehood”.  One, of many, current examples of discommunication, 
>>grandeur nature, supports this interpretation.
>>Image removed by sender. Avast logo
>>L'absence de virus dans ce courrier électronique a été vérifiée par le 
>>logiciel antivirus Avast.
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