global issues, language, philosophy, politics, science

On the Definition and Usage of Words

1. Philosophical Underpinnings

As a fledging apologist, my earliest experiences in the debate sector led me to frustration with people who couldn’t quite see the argument I was trying to make. They would often misinterpret and misunderstand what I had to say, taking ideas and twisting them. It seemed we had no common ground, so I endeavored to find that common ground – some set of ideas we ALL know are true. With such a common ground, I would hopefully be able to prove my points.

One of the first things I did was try to define words. In highschool, I read Socrates, and one of his famous lines that I took to heart was “the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms”. What Socrates found was that people never really had a clear definition of anything, and thus no one really seemed to know what they were talking about. However, as I tried to come up with some philosophical terminology for defining words, I found the whole endeavor fruitless and meaningless. The truth was, words on their own had no exact definition.

That’s an important conclusion that can be and is very often misinterpreted. The underlying problem was that I was trying to find something “exact” and “specific”, defined in terms of words. But defining words in terms of words is philosophically identical to the problem of putting a rigid box into an identical copy of itself.

However, you’re reading this right now, which says that words are not as arbitrary as they seem. Let’s talk about that.

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tech news and opinions

Future Tech is Pandora’s New Box

According to Greek myth, Pandora was given a box by the gods that was full of evil. But Pandora was curious and, in order to satisfy that natural curiosity, opened the box. The literal story may not be a historical event, but it is an analogy for much of human technology. With every new piece of science and technology, we behold at the same time a treasure chest and a Pandora’s box. Both are opened simultaneously. The question we need to ask ourselves is not whether what is inside the treasure chest outweighs the disadvantages of opening the Pandora’s box; the question we need to ask is whether we can bear to live with what is inside that Pandora’s box.

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generic news, global issues, history, science, tech news and opinions

Mach > X – The flight industry in the hypersonic range

Popular Science artist impression of the mysterous warplane over southern cal

Introduction

Ever since Concordes were abandoned, there hasn’t been much talk in daily society about aircraft traveling high speed. Most of the time, the aviation industry is overshadowed by the computer industry. Really, who can ignore Apple and Microsoft shoving gadgets in one’s face. Nevertheless, the industry has been very active. Since World War 2, nations have realized the benefits of air superiority. Critically important to air superiority is the ability to go fast. If you can move faster than your opponent can shoot, you can hit him quicker or get away from him more easily. That’s the thought behind some of the recent developments in aviation.

This article will discuss supersonic airplanes and technology, including recent developments, design, and considerations. This is a technical article and thus will not discuss the political implications of such aircraft.

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