Every Body Needs QaQa(tm)

27 Apr

Off to a conclusion: Final cut zero.

Why we need QaQa™ (Question and Question again)

How does our thinking get so far out of whack?

Without our even realizing it?

As I pointed out in the last blog, the word run has, according to Dictionary.com 179 different meanings.

People use the word “run” all the time, and each time they think they know what they are talking about. But with 179 different meanings there are bound to be times when the sender is using the word one way and the receiver is attaching another meaning to it.

When I say “belt knife” do you think of a knife you wear on a belt on your hip? Or do you think of a knife you cut belts with? If I tell you I mean the kind you cut belts with what kind of belt would you picture in your mind?

If you have ever worked in a place that uses conveyor belts to transfer anything from one location to another, say a sorting belt of the kind Lucille Ball made famous, then you may know the kind of belt knife used to cut one is impossible to wear on your hip and bears little visual relationship to a kitchen knife at all.

People use words all the time that have virtually no meaning and they never clarify or ask for clarification.

Even worse when they are phrased as questions people try to produce answers instead of asking WTBDTM?™(What The Bleep Does That Mean)

An ad blares:


What is holding you back from being what you were meant to be?

How do you feel when you see an ad like that?

What other ways are there to feel about it?

What do you think about that ad?

What response is expected from you?

Why would someone give the expected response?

What kind of a question is it?

Why does an ad phrased that way work?

Lets start with the last question.

The ad works because people have been taught all their lives that questions are meant to be answered. That there is a right answer to every question. That the right answer is in the back of the book. That the answer will be told to you and that you are to learn it.

And last but not least you are taught that it is rude and wrong to answer a question with a question. (Such as WTBDTM?)

So people try to answer the question. And if they can’t think of an answer they keep reading in order to find one.

They never stop and ask: “Is the question true?”


Because the chances are no one has ever told you this non-logical truth: There is NO DIFFERENCE between a question and an answer except the form of its expression.

Every question is a statement and every statement is a question. I call this the QaQa Conversion Rule™.

When someone asks you,

“Why aren’t you a success?”

They are making the statement,

“You are not a success”.

A presupposition is something the speaker assumes before they make a statement. Usually when you convert a question using the QaQa Conversion Rule™ the presupposition stands out in bold relief.

Such as this example.

Once you realize this: answering a question with a question makes a LOT of sense. Think about it, if someone were to walk up to you and tell you, “You are not a success!” would you have the same reaction as you did to the question, “Why aren’t you a success?”

Probably not.

You might have my reaction. I would laugh and tell them, “Because I am a professional failure. Get paid good for it too. Two hundred dollars an hour. Pay me two hundred dollars and I’ll act so stupid even you will look smart.”

Whatever your reaction you probably would not start looking around trying to figure out why you were not a success let alone buy this guy’s secrets for turning you into one. Because you would know he had just insulted you. He has made totally unwarranted assumptions about you and your life — and did it with words that have absolutely no meaning.

To begin with he knows nothing about you as an individual. Therefore the word “you” to him means nothing. He is addressing everyone the same, for all he knows he is being read by Donald Trump — He is simply hoping he will find enough people who will respond to his ad to make him lots of money — And he probably will.

The word “success” as it is used here is so far off the PoPo Map™(Principle of Progressive obscurity) it needs some serious QaQa™ to bring it back.

WTHDTM™ seriously needs to be asked, if you are going to bother reading past the first insult. What kind of success? Success at what? When? Where? Why? How? Who?

Here we have hit the Wittgenstein Wall™.

Language has limits. That limit is clarity. Beyond that limit is nonsense. You can not speak of things beyond that limit in a reasonable way. You may speak humor or fantasy, but not reason.

A person cannot be a success.

A person cannot be a failure.

Nor can a person succeed.

Nor can a person fail.

Success and failure, succeed and fail, are all verbs that require specific objects to make sense. Babe Ruth failed to hit more balls than he succeeded in hitting yet he was a success at baseball.

Lets use the QaQa Conversion rule the other way around.

Every question is a statement.

Every statement is a question.

When someone tells you “You are a loser!”

You are perfectly right to answer, “No.”

You are perfectly right to ask, “What did I lose?”

“What did I lose at?”

“Was it worth keeping?”

Or apply the Wittgenstein Rule™ “If it makes no sense don’t speak at all.”

If you use QaQa™ every time PoPo™ gets too close to the limits of sense and apply the QaQa Conversion Rule™ liberally you will find the nonsense in your life diminishes by leaps and bounds.

There is an added benefit.

You begin to see just how ridiculous things are that get people riled up and serious about.

An ad that proclaims, “Why aren’t you a success?” doesn’t make you want to read on, it makes you want to laugh at the stupidity of the statement.


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