Communication by Implication (or Why Does Everyone Sound Like a Cult Leader?)

Isaac Morehouse

10 months ago by isaacmorehouse

More and more people sound like a Biblical prophets or religious cult leaders.

Instead of a CEO tweeting out something like:

“Hey we’re working on something really cool, can’t wait to launch it!”

You get stuff like:

“You shall soon see what the meaning of multivariance is when combined with human energy.”

Jokes are cryptic memes. Announcements are cryptic insinuations. Things are rarely stated plainly, but delivered as vague and fiery predictions with plenty of room for confusion and interperetation.

Mystery sells.

Everyone wants to be in on secret knowledge. People want magic. They want the amazing outcome without the predictable process of steady hard wok. As a result, communication gets cryptic, epic, vague, symbolic, and lures people into believing something big is ever around the corner and all they need to do is believe.

This phenomenon has been around for forever, but it seemed relegated to the fringes. Now it’s mainstream. Everything is starting to resemble a cult.

And no matter how many disappointments come, the belief and desire to be in on a secret doesn’t seem to fade.

Ever come across Q anon true believers? They still believe that everything is going perfectly according to Donald Trump’s plan and it’s just their lack of understanding that prevents them from seeing how. Each disappointment is alleviated by looking to the next cryptic message and trying to find an interpretation that gives hope.

I suspect there’s something about an inflationary economy, inherited wealth and quality of living, loss of agency while many things decline, that combine to create a get-rich-quick magic potion seeking culture.

There are many good things about this change. Symbolism is real and powerful. Many truths cannot be captured or communicated with straightforward words. A new appreciation for magic, enchantment, myth, and symbol are welcome.

But it’s also weird. It’s bled into everything, so half the time I can’t tell what the hell people are talking about, and I wonder if that’s the point.