Zeno wrote a letter…

I’m beginning to come to some conclusions about the failures of communication between people. It draws heavily upon the example Zeno presented in the dichotomy paradox.

Two persons know of concepts, which they wish to discuss. One could analogize to suggest that person A’s understanding of a concept sits at one end of a track, while person B’s understanding of that same concept sits at the other. Together, they will use language to attempt to move together toward the ideal of the concept, placed at the center of the track.

The first person introduces their understanding in terms of the language they understand, and hence, they reduce the distance between their listener and the ideal of the concept between them.

The second person responds, utilizing their own understanding of the concept, and through language, moves the other person closer to the ideal of the concept which stands between them.

This process continues, and each person progressively moves close and closer to the ideal, but by a similar logical flow to Zeno’s paradox, neither will ever arrive at the ideal of the concept. Neither will ever reach the other’s understanding of the concept.

In fact, as each moves closer, the minute differences between the understandings of each person’s language will become magnified – almost as distortions in a fractal pattern like the Mandelbrot set grow and come to dominate the landscape. The most insignificant and trivial of separations become the entire known world – and the distance that from afar seemed so small becomes again intuitively uncrossable.

Zeno, your insight never ceases to amaze.

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