Mike Burr - log

[mind] Floppy words


Why are nerds so weird about it? I'll tell you what I think. I think it's because it almost lacks any kind of useful definition. Should we stop saying it? Probably not. It's a nice word used in a lot of nice places. It's hard to imagine a negative utterance containing the word.

But still. Write it down, think about your definition and see if it matches reality, wad up paper, start over and repeat until you see my point. It's really a word that describes your inner world, so don't forget to capture that!

Other words that have this problem:

  • Literally all political labels
  • Labels that humans apply to things
  • Justice
  • Fairness
  • Evil
  • Cool
  • Wrong

And yet to make a point, some people will just spew out especially-poorly-defined words. Powerful, powerful flimsy words. And the audience is stunned into silence! Slam dunk.

That's a big problem. Speaker sends some loaded word flying at you about borshun or black lives and the speakee receives and interprets the words differently.

All day long. Humans are hopeless in this regard.

To not notice this is also a huge problem. I guess they are called "misunderstandings" and we've been working on that problem for a long time.

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