August 22, 2012

Vocabulary and Communication

It can be helpful to define new ideas using new vocabulary, newly affixed meanings, or redefinition; in many ways it is essential. But this kind of thinking, while hopefully productive, may have problematic side effects. It may also lead us further down a sort of linguistic rabbit hole, where we appear to be talking nonsense to everyone else. There are some great blogs out there and some great thinkers...who are borderline incomprehensible.

This is something I would like to avoid. It's easy when you are attempting to think for yourself to create magical worlds out of words and concepts that build on each other. On one hand, this may be necessary or at least conducive to new insights. On the other hand, your ideas may end up bearing little relation to anything but themselves, being insulated from the real world solely through incomprehensibility. Such isolation also prevents the cross-pollination or spread of ideas.

To that end, I am trying to use economic jargon as little as possible and define it clearly and succintly if the concept seems necesssary. I want to avoid blank stares, and perhaps more importantly, coming to brilliant conclusions that would seem obvious if spoken in a more common parlance. If this blog ever appears to be defining and using new vocabulary unnecessarily, please complain. Help fight conceptual isolation!

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