Ever hear of the Shepherd scale? It's a seemingly endlessly sinking (or rising) scale. Take a listen while you read the rest of this post. This one gives an endlessly sinking sense of dread:
It is, of course, possible to ratchet up rhetoric, anger, and fear forever.
There's not necessarily an 11 on the dial. The dial just spins around in a circle. Escher knew it. Bach knew it. Artists and musicians know it.
And of course many of our political commentators know it. Every day the big evil gets bigger and more evil, and that sinking feeling of dread gets deeper and deeper without bottom. And the outrage grows and grows and grows. Like being on a Merry Go Round, with a sense of motion and acceleration, with every downward movement of the horse on the carousel it actually feels like you're gaining speed.