Thank you for this comment; I was happy death spiralling around the original post to the point of starting to wonder if I should quit my job and this abruptly snapped me out of it.
I had never heard of him before! I was referring to a cloud of implicit norms I feel like I’ve seen around something I would call “traditional philosophy”, but part of what makes ”traditional philosophy” stand out a distinct thing in my mind is that those norms exist in it. I should probably be clearer.
Very cool story! I laughed a lot, and ‘hm’ed a lot. As a longtime Internet ratsphere person, but not a traditional philosophy nerd, the idea of modelling the emergence of semantic meaning like you would model genetics or something literally never occurred to me. I can’t understand the notion that if a concept has ever been written about in philosophy, you are not allowed any credit for your independent derivation of it anywhere unless you cite the literature. Except, of course, as part of one of those negative-sum inb4ing contests that seems to be eating the world. [Yes, it’s kind of adjacent to IP law, but while I haven’t worked out my feelings about IP law, I know exactly how I feel about the rule of Credit Others For Your Own Thoughts Or Don’t Express Them and it’s ick.]
I have one...not objection to, exactly, but meliorating addition to, or possibly just anecdote about my reaction to [depending on how many readers turn out to have ~ the same thing going on] - this line:
‘ Or rather—this is a good-natured joke. "Good-natured joke" and "gaslighting as a bullying technique" are two descriptions of the same regularity in human psychology, even while no one thinks of themselves as doing the latter. ’
It is possible that it was flatly obvious to everyone but me reading this story for the first time that you meant ‘ Both of these terms can be used to refer to an underlying regularity in human psychology, call it X, which is functionally tuned to do bullying, or either term may also be used to refer to another regularity, call it Y, which is functionally tuned to produce nothing but mutual joy, or to any number of other regularities, any of whose interpretations by the receiver may differ not only from what the sender consciously thinks of themselves as doing, but also from what the social reflex is actually programmed to do, ’ and not ‘ If you think you’re on the receiving end of an actual good-natured joke but it’s even a little bit ambiguous, think again! it’s gaslighting. ’ But with the Internet and culture in the state they’re in, and being myself prone to interpreting every social signal in the worst possible light [yes, including this story] I want to note that there are human social reflexes tuned to produce nothing but mutual joy. They exist. All is not lost yet.
Again, great story, and thank you. :)