Description

Today we dive deep into the ideas behind a single chapter of a (weird but fascinating) book TK recommended called, “Sex, Drugs, Einstein, & Elves”. It’s about language, and to what extent our vocabulary actually alters our reality, not merely our attempts to give expression to it.

Discussed in the episode: Marc Andreesson, George Lakoff, Ben Horowitz, Wayne Dyer, Seth Godin, Terrence McKenna, Clifford Pickover, Robert Anton Wilson, general semantics theory.

Recommendations: Lexicon, and, The Tyranny of Words

Also, sign up to get mid-week quick-hits every Wednesday at isaacmorehouse.com.

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Meet the hosts

I'm an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. I'm the founder and CEO of Praxis, an intensive ten-month program combining real world business experience with the best of online education for those who want more than college.

discussions

  • Good morning, fellow lovers of liberty. I have a new article today the the Freeman: “Proud Little Englander” Here’s the part I’m guessing people might want to discuss or debate: There is a division within libertarianism over the question of vocabulary and the importance of semantic positioning. While some debate the definition of, for example, capitalism or patriotism, others argue that it is folly to get stuck in struggles over terminology. Explain what you mean, the latter contend, and don’t worry over the words. I understand why the semantic quibbling can seem both endless and pointless, but the lesson I take from the linguistic history of our movement, broadly defined, is that the words do matter. The slurs work, and their effects can still be felt over a century later, when the specific debates have long been forgotten. (But please do read the whole article for context.) Thanks, BK

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  • I don’t want to steal ErickR’s thunder because he started the post “Laguage of Liberty”. I started this thread because I also don’t want to sidetrack his thread by focusing on the procedure of language instead of his particular-subject-matter. That said the evidence shows that Libertarians have trouble coordinating efforts for the promotion of Libretarianism. This is a given when one considers that many Libertarians are, by nature, Independant-thinkers. Coordinating independent-thinkers is like trying to herd cats, however even independent-thinkers manage to get together on some things. Take the math problem: 3+3= 6. Are there any Libritarians who don’t “agree” that 3+3= 6? If no one speaks up I would presume that it is because Libritarians “agree” that a standard-set of rules is necessary if one wants to get a true, correct and certain-answer for the math-problem each time one does the same procedure for the same math-problem. I am also going to presume that Libretarians want their pay check calculated with math which is true, correct and certain. Now, for the hard part: Why is it that people accept “rules” for the correct operations of math, but reject rules for the corrct-construction of a sentnece? THIS IS A DO IT YOURSELF TOOL KIT. You have to figure it out for yourself. Facts: Do you have the same piece of evidence as a fact if you modify that evidence? If you went to a crime-scene and pulled a knife out of a victim with your bare hand, have you “modified” the murder-weapon with your finger prints? If you give a “red” barn a coat of white paint is it still a “red” barn? If you charge someone with gross-neglence is it the same as neglence? If you use a pronoun such as he she in place of the actual-name of a witness or victim how does anyone know who you are talking about? When you can answer these questions correctly you will have the beginning of a tool kit for the correct-construction of a sentence.

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  • The words we use reflects and affects the way we see the world. The number one collectivist tool is the language of generalization. Try to eliminate “groups” from your language and watch how your perspective changes. For example, I try not to refer to a country as a person. The “USA” cannot act, only the people with power can. So saying the US did this or that is an illusion. But this language is used by so many that the illusion is considered real. Accepting this falsehood leads to all kinds of propaganda and manipulation. How many ways can we alter our language to better reflect the true view that collective generalizations are not realities, but just conceptual aggregates?

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  • A course that teaches the different cases (a lifesaver). A vocab course of 2000 words, listed according to word frequency.   And here are a few guides I use: – General Declension Pattern – Prepositions and their parts of speech.

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  • Anyone familiar with Neuro Linguistic Programming? I ask this curiously because I haven’t seen or heard much mention of it anywhere at all over the years.

    Jump to Discussion Post 6 replies