Paradigms for Information Exchange: A Field Guide

1. Free aka tell-all. Found among the blissfully naive, those protected by spousal privilege, and/or drug-induced. Marked by a sense of impatience, as there truly isn’t enough time to actually tell actually all, and this inspiration: “maybe if I go in chronological order. . . ”

2. Controlled audience aka encrypted. Found in children’s riddle books and among those with something they need to hide and share simultaneously. Who that someone or what that something is, I couldn’t say. Incredibly powerful when done properly.* Marked by meaningful intonation: “How are YOU DO-ing? I mean, how are YOU do-ING? No, wait…”

3. Bounded aka you-first, i.e. information cannot be shared unless it is already known. Commonly found among those who know things they wish no one had told them, or in fact anyone, like the ending of Fight Club. Marked by urgent prompting, usually with lots of gestures. Can arise from religious conviction or other types of ethical constraints. “I wish I could tell you, but it’s not me I’m protecting–it’s little Timmy.”

4. Parasitic aka one-way. Most easily identified by the response it provokes, namely “You suck” (“my head empty like a greedy and sinister upright vacuum cleaner that refuses to answer any of my questions you jerk”). Does not include observation, which is not a paradigm of information exchange. Responds well to being told to invest in clams, based on your insider info. “So what else did they tell you not to say?”

5. Interjected aka whether-you-want-it-or-not. Found in clowns, mimes, and advertising. Too rare. “Hey! Look at my feet, which are comical.”

6. Quid-pro-quo. Very strange information exchange paradigm, whereby one person asks and question, and the other answers it. Thought to be endangered because of changes in climate of trust. Actually endangered because of overestimates of risk. “So what would an example of this be?”

7. Nothing. Second most common information exchange paradigm. Does not actually speak volumes at all. Also does not include meaningful glances (see 2, above).  Found among those with no time to say anything and/or writer’s block.**

8. Pre-defined aka that’s-all-you-get. Lovely and comfortable paradigm whereby one reads a prepared statement. Example: the Magna Carta.

9. Repetitive aka let’s-try-this-again. Most effective information exchange paradigm in a conflict. Marked by latching on to a simple statement with no words of more than 5 letters and repeating it, no matter what information exchange partner says or does. “I already heard you say that Jesus Christ died for my sins.”
*Unfortunately, most users of this paradigm are unaware that the only way to send a properly encrypted message is to speak plainly and carefully at the correct time. I don’t know who didn’t tell them that in a way they could understand.

**PS Don’t even READ this it’s so TERRIBLE.

One thought on “Paradigms for Information Exchange: A Field Guide

  1. radiation says:

    Our hosts understandably don’t allow content from visitors outside their group.

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