when the walls fell


From Alan N. Shapiro's Star Trek: 20 Basic Principles:

Star Trek Basic Principle #7: Non-Signifying Language

In early capitalism, the law of accumulation is limited to the science of "political economy" and production. In late capitalism, it expands to wider instances of consumer culture; psychology (self and unconscious as psychic metaphors of capital); and linguistics ("signification" to infinity). In Chomsky’s linguistics, the brain is a "universal language machine" making possible the translation of all grammars and signifying systems. In Saussure’s linguistics, the playful gap between "signifier" and "signified" is barred by positing their equivalence in a linguistic sign that fixes a word’s identity. But language is sometimes other than a means of communication. In metaphor or poetry, or in the “mythical” speech of the Tamarians, language is not directly signifying. It is symbolic, ambivalent, evocative, and even destructive. "Meanings" are exchanged, subverted, enjoyed, and transformed in relationship and encounter.

image via hi5mountain