top of page

How Subtext Creates Delusion

Updated: Jul 7

(2023 Note: Now that I compared myself to other autists, I've realized I have Asperger's Syndrome, which can be considered part of ASD, or the Autism Spectrum Disorders. I, however, am no longer sure if I am indeed an autist, even though I was diagnosed. Please, take this article with a grain of salt, as I expect you to do, with any of my articles).

Subtext is something that can be frustrating to anyone regardless of who you are and regardless if you suffer from autism like I do. From an autistic perspective, however, I find it odd that people in general assume I said something I never said, while I indeed never said it.

Therefore, at least as an autist, subtext is pretty much illogical, because it's easy for some to assume something was meant, while that something was never meant by the one, they've listened to.

Again, regardless of autism, subtext depends on the listener's ability to detect it. If they do not detect it then they miss on the full meaning of the speaker's words. On the other hand, anyone can attempt at detecting subtext that isn't even there, and delude themselves, that it exists. It really depends on the speaker's ability to be properly understood by the listener/s.

Communication is a cooperation. Don't fool yourselves! One's ability to communicate, also depends on others' ability to understand them. It's an ability that requires cooperation that isn't always there. Sometimes it's because of the communicator, sometimes it's because of the listener, and sometimes both sides are "guilty". It really depends on the dual parties, and not only on their verbal skills.

Subtext can lead to delusion because of CONFIDENCE. It's the confidence that makes one be certain that they know something they do not. When Socrates said that he knows nothing, that could have an important subtext of his own: To be open minded enough to ADMIT DELUSION.

Those who are not prepared to be proven wrong, are technically those who are most suspectable to deluding themselves about information. Their confidence in their knowledge could be their own downfall, specifically because they think that something that doesn't exist, exists. In this context, it's about something the communicator said, that made them think the former said something additional or different or both.

Practically, I believe there is little point in even using subtext, due to how easy it can lead to a miscommunication or a misunderstanding between the two. A better world would be that were subtext wouldn't even be NECESSARY to convey a message to the listener/s or reader/s. This is one of the reasons I almost never use Emojies or Emoticons, because it's far easier to not understand them than actual words, the latter which can be far clearer.

In a post I browsed through, the author used a cat Emoji. Even without context, it's hard to know why anyone would use a cat emoji in order to convey a message clearly.

That post wasn't about cats at all, and eventually the writer decided to add it in the end of a paragraph talking about numerology of some song. The song itself never mentioned cats, it never featured a cat in its video, so as you can see, even with context provided, that emoji was functionally gibberish.

This is why everyone should work not only on their communication but on their ability to convey their message WITHOUT the need to rely on subtext. Being an autist, I take almost everything literally, in a sense that I see only the words and their literal meaning.

And yet, I have no desire to use my neurodiversity as an excuse, to not understand, when I can and deserve understanding others, and vice versa.

Maybe I intentionally try to avoid understanding subtext, so I wouldn't misunderstand the current text itself. Maybe I do so because I want to be an open-minded listener, so, again, I would not misunderstand things, based on past experiences.

I believe it was also attributed to Socrates, the claim that, the fact that the Sun was always rising, does not ensure that it will be up the day afterwards, as well.

One's ability to either understand or be deluded by the idea of subtext, depends on past experiences of said person. That is generally the problem on relying on the past, as something that can ensure us the uncertainties of the future.

Of course, past experiences could always be correct, and that's why we have education -- to build knowledge, store it in our minds, and apply it whenever required. If we had "gold fish"-esque memory, then much of our education would be worthless, as education is all about the learner's ability to actually remember it.

Again, it doesn't mean that everyone will remember everything that they ever learned in whatever institution.

Anyways, that is the fallacy in the perception of being knowledgeable -- all knowledge is prone to be disproved at any time, technically. Even if you won't live long enough to see it yourself, everyone can sufficiently prove wrong at any time. This is why, the most certain thing anyone can say, including myself, is that we are uncertain of our perceived data.

So, please, before jumping to conclusions, just ask the communicator to confirm your assurance. A true truth seeker would deem mistakes as but a way to improve!

Ask me anything that you didn't understand about anything that you read of my content! As long as you won't harass me, and treat me an equal to yourself, then I would be happy to try and answer any of your content-relevant questions.

It's why you can comment on Philosocom, and it's why I even leave my e-mail address at the bottom of this site! I can't promise you satisfaction to your questions, but I'm ready to try.

Because as a writer I deserve being understood! So is everyone else who works towards concise communication.

62 views0 comments

Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

צילום מסך 2023-11-02 202752.png
bottom of page