Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Neologisms and Concept Development.

 It's interesting how things sort of align.  I've been thinking a lot about Orwell and his observations on cognition and concept development.  As Orwell noticed, Newspeak was an attempt to selectively de-conceptualise a language, thereby preventing the preventing the formation of ideas which were inimical to the regime. The important point here is that conceptual development is severely constrained by language limitation.

Without an appropriate word for a concept it becomes difficult to communicate the concept accurately, and consequently, difficult to analyse it and cognitively manipulate it appropriately.
For example; the word, proton, is specific for a positively charged particle in an atom's nucleus, as opposed to "that positively charged "thingy" located in the middle of an atom." The cumbersomeness of the second phrase makes thinking about protons difficult and prone to error.  It appears that the ability to name things is a precondition to thinking about them properly.

So it was interesting to see to Vox link to this article by an American Professor who spent actual time living amongst Africans. It's interesting to see just how deficient the Africans are in higher order concepts and terminology. It's also interesting to see how this impacts upon the actual practical functioning in society.  It's a very good article and worth a read. It's especially worth dwelling over his thoughts about dictionaries.

Secondly, interesting story was run on local television (American readers may not be able to access it.) about a hospital ship that travels around Africa performing lifesaving surgery. It was very moving story but what was quite interesting were the candid comments made by Africans during the show. Firstly, they were all grateful for the service, however, it became apparent during the show that the European/whites were definitely considered as the "other". In fact, several times they spoke of the European stock more as if they were aliens than fellow human beings. One fellow, upon seeing the hospital ship for the first time quite candidly mentioned that "we Africans could never build anything like that".*  There was a strong sense of fatalism and lack of personal agency amongst the Africans.

Now, I'm more hopeful than most of the Manosphere with regard to Africa and Africans. Personally, I think there is a lot of low hanging fruit there that could easily utilised improve the material quality of African life with minimal effort. IQ is important, but so is morality.  But what's really interesting to see is just how miserable life is, and just how depended men become, where they are stripped, haven't developed or are incapable of higher cognitive thought. Orwell's dumbing down is truly terrifying.

Now, some may argue that the concepts need to be there before they can be named and that Africans lack the ability for concept generation ( I dispute this--with qualifications) but what's important to recognise is that higher order thought appears to be impossible without higher order concept generation and analysis, something that is facilitated by the development of a neologism for the concept.

Which leads me to Conservatism.  As I've said before on this blog, the story of Conservatism in the 20th Century is one of continual defeat. Defeat by an enemy that has out thought and maneuvered it. Part of the reason, I believe, is that conservatism has been brain dead for the past two hundred years or so. Even concepts like doublethink and prolefeed came from an author whose intellectual heritage was from the Left.

That's why I think it's important for conservatives to coin neologisms (where appropriate) in order to both describe observed phenomenon and to be able to develop the concept.

For example, take the current observation that most people tend to congregate amongst others of their own race. The standard left take on this is that it is a manifest example of racism (thereby, through frame-shifting,  justifying their social engineering projects). Is there another more accurate word for the phenomenon?  Well, yes there is, homophily, the empirically observed tendency for people to associate with like. The Right is never going to win a battle (nor it should) based upon a justification for racism, but it may win adherents by arguing a case for a society based upon homophily.  Stable societies are built on an accurate understanding of human nature, not a denial of it.

The point is that the Right shouldn't be afraid of coining new words to describe new concepts. Roissy's contribution has been particularly invaluable. The hamster, hypergamy and carousel get an idea across more efficiently than their non-neologisic equivalents. As far as I'm aware, the concept of an  "alpha-widow" has no equivalent in the academic press. Consequently, there has been greater development of the ideas of intersexual and socio-sexual dynamics in blogspace than there has been amongst the "formal" academic conservatives. I'm not being hyperbolic here but the ideas have developed to the point where these ideas, if taken up, are a serious threat to feminism.  It's the first serious pushback.

*The Japs thought exactly the same thing till this bloke came along.