What came to bother me about semiotic and linguistic idealism, about social constructivism, had to do with the observer that sees the world in terms of semiotic (in the Peircian sense) and linguistic constructions. Who sees the world in this way? It was hard for me to avoid the conclusion that it is the middle class, economically stable, academic that sees the world in these terms. This, for two reasons: First, as the old expression goes, for the cobbler, everything is a shoe. Naturally the humanities academic sees everything as a text because a) when you deal with texts day in and day out you tend to see texts (signs/signifiers) everywhere (in Uexkull’s terms we could call text the umwelt of the academic), and b) because it’s narcissistically gratifying for the humanities academic to think that the entire world is composed of texts. If that’s true, if the world is composed of texts, signs, signifiers, beliefs, concepts, and norms, then we are the most important people in the world because we’re the ones that hold the skeleton key to the truth about “reality” (which, in this context, signifies the human umwelt.
Traumas of the [Erasure] of the Real, Levi Bryant (via towerofsleep)