On Pretense & Schadenfreude

Oct 28th, 2022

Drawing by Greg McCann

This work deals with two types of Schadenfruede:

clout based
merit based

Both of these are based in deception. One goal of this work is to determine any value differences between these two. For this purpose I am coining the term getable.

Getable: Within the range of potential understanding based on a common frame of reference

There is clout in fooling someone, particularily when fooling a perceived aggressor.
Towards this end, there is merit in fooling someone “honestly”. This would take the form not so much as pretending, but taking advantage of your opponents assumptions about you. An example would be a reasonably intelligent statement that sounds stupid according to your opponents perception. If one applies a moderate amount of attention to the statement, it becomes understandable within the frame of reference presented. This means that your opponent is the one with a pretense.

For clout based deception, this is not as important. It can suffice to pretend to be stupid by withholding your own frame of reference, essentially feigning ignorance.
Here, you are the one operating from a pretense.

Another way of referring to your opponent is the mark. This applies to whomever is the target of the other.

A prank needs a reveal to be legitimate.
And so a getable deception is a prank with the reveal legitimately encoded within a frame of reference that can be understood by the mark.
Does it then follow that secretiveness is legitimate for a getable deception?

Does the suspension of a mark’s ignorance in any way protect one’s own knowledge?

With a getable trick, you’re giving the mark a fair chance, a chance to “pay the fare”. Until that requirement is met, the mark’s ignorance remains indefinitely suspended. As opposed to suspending his nescience, in this situation release from suspension is entirely up to the mark and where he pays his attention. Because it is getable, within the frame of reference of the mark’s own understanding.

But what if he never gets it? What does that say for those who do?

So as you observe this guy who doesn’t get the joke, who’s being got here?
There’s a reason he’s called a “mark”.
His suspension is not for your protection but it is for your enhancement. He is both a product(positively charged passage), and object(stopper), around whom a boundary condition(polarity) is being created. And you are the subject(liquid), or adept(sink), being drawn up into another boundary condition based in Schadenfruede.

At this point the difference between merit and clout are dissolved, because you have now joined a collective and are speaking together esoterically.
It’s also at this point that the exoteric voice will become increasingly clout based, as the gates close around you. Will the merit based deception that got you here resolve into an esoteric voice you can live with?
That is a matter of knowing what industry is being protected by this process.

Art Of War teaches the value of knowing, but it makes no distinction between ignorance and nescience.
That is what’s going on here: ignorance and nescience are being polarized to the point of indistinction, as one of the subtler politics in play across the courts of public opinion. And inducements to war are on offer.

Its all deception based in suspension of consciousness, both within and without any particular frame of reference.

To summarize, there are many ways to “get” or “not get” a joke, and the boundary conditions this causes have created a social minefield. Have fun exploring.

About The Author

Greg McCann: Artist, Writer, sort of musician