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Speech as a form of thought control
A naive analysis of speech is that it is a process of giving, where the speaker has some information, and by the process of speaking the speaker gives that information to the listener.
Before hearing the speaker speak, there was something that the listener didn't know, and after the speaker spoke, the listener now knows something that previously they did not know.
Even if the listener has some skepticism about the truthfulness of what the speaker says, the listener can't be any worse off just because they heard what the speaker had to say.
From this analysis, it follows that we should believe that the act of speaking is always potentially of benefit to the listener, and never causes any loss to the listener.
And yet, there are many situations where we might want to say something, but we hold back from saying the thing we wish to say.
We are reluctant to say whatever it is, because we guess that the listener might not be happy to hear what we have to say. This implies that speech is not equivalent to an act of selfless giving of information.
Something else is going on.
What is a thought?
Here's my definition:
A thought is the consideration of the possibility that something might be true.
Some of our thoughts are generated by our own conscious effort, so-called "thinking".
But some of our thoughts come from possibilities that are suggested by other people. When they speak.
If a person says something to you, you don't have to believe that it is true.
For example: "The earth spins around in space once every 23 hours and 56 minutes".
Just because you heard that sentence, you don't have to believe that it is true.
But, and here's the important thing, you cannot avoid thinking about the possibility that it might be true.
That idea has been inserted into your brain, whether you like it or not.
The only way not to think thoughts derived from what another person says to you is not to hear about it in the first place.
For example, you could keep your distance from that person, or you could find some way to discourage them from talking when they are close to you.
Or you could say "nah nah nah nah" very loudly whenever they start to speak.
To speak to another person is to control that person's thoughts.
To listen to another person speak is to submit to that other person's thought control.
To a large extent, who we choose to hang out with is determined by who we allow to control our thoughts.
If you insist on always speaking in a way that controls other people's thoughts in ways that they don't like, then those other people will not want to hang out with you.
An analysis of speech as a form of thought control yields exactly the opposite conclusion from the naive idea that speech is an act of giving information to the listener. If speech is a form of thought control, then it is the listener who gives something to the speaker, in particular they give the speaker control over their (the listener's) thoughts.
Following this analysis, speech itself is not an act of giving, rather it is an act of taking.