Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Here's a study in context

You're smart people, so you know that a lot of meaning is conveyed through shared context. When there is no shared context, the meaning can be entirely misapprehended. Or one can assume that there is no meaning, that the "text" is either random, or poorly constructed, or maliciously constructed.

For example, take a look at this cartoon. What's your reaction? Is there a story here? Is it worth trying to figure out what it is?

I clicked over to that piece after reading Lilek's gushing review of it here. (Scroll down to the paragraph that begins "Unlike the finest comic talent of our times, Chris Onstad, who brings it all home with Roast Beef’s wedding.")

Needless to say, I was slightly disappointed with the cartoon. But I'm forced to acknowledge that it isn't meaningless or an attempt to epater le bourgeois.

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