Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Evaluation, Language and Politics (Democrats, Republicans and...?)

Although I am not a partisan of either major political party, I find this article by George Lakoff ( a fairly adamant liberal Democrat) very interesting because of its general evaluational (semantic) slant. Lakoff is well-known as a cognitive linguist and has written some very interesting books on the broader aspects of how people make 'meanings' and how this relates to behavior, political and otherwise. I think readers of this blog will find his article of interest too.  

But as someone of classical liberal/libertarian/centrist views, I take issue with something which Lakoff puts forth, something which seems rather significant about how he looks at the world. He indicates people are "inconsistent" if they they appear to straddle what he calls the 'liberal' frame and the 'conservative' frame. Perhaps some are. But if  there are more than two frames, people like me may simply have a different frame which may appear inconsistent to those stuck in a two-valued one. Those like Mr. Lakoff? 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From the Stray Thought Bin-"Humility is Endless"

I am humble.
You are more humble than me.
You are arrogant about your humility.
I am humble about mine.
I guess that makes me more humble than you.
Hmm, I guess that's pretty arrogant of me to think that.
Given that, I feel quite humble now.
Which makes me more humble than you.
Hmm, I seem rather arrogant about my humility.
I guess I should feel some more humility about that.
Now I'm even more humble than I first thought.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quote of the Day-'The Art of Science'

"After all, science as science is nothing more than scientific method, as has often been remarked; and scientific method is nothing more than an empirically verifiable language. On the other hand, the art of science, like any other art, is a knowledge of the great questions, and the discussion and solution of these questions in terms of a particular kind of social language—the language of empirical verifiability—which to a very considerable extent is acultural. If one will, one may say that the arts include science, whose medium of expression is the language of empirically verifiable operations."
—— George Kingsley Zipf *

*Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort: An Introduction to Human Ecology, pp. 330-331.