09 March 2008

the name syndrome

i have seen a terrible disease that has inflicted this world! i call it the name syndrome.

the symptoms are:

1) everyone wants to name all things
this includes:
a) process, objects and concepts
b) then, knowing its name is considered knowing it!

2) most important question "why that" is never answered

3) people argue about "what is it" and "what is it not" (definition)

(definition: what a waste of time; mortals vaguely call something and they try to define an inherently vague entity! if a thing is defined, to begin with, we already have the definition!)

for example, the property of moving things to move and stationary things to be stationary is called "inertia". as Feynman puts it "no one knows why, but it is called inertia". the difference between the "stuff" and its "name" is never highlighted.

if we look for something all we find is names. suppose you want to know about "steel" you will find million explanation about "what steel is" but never "why steel". many times we will not know "why" something but this should not stop us from saying "why stuff" when we know it.
names are nice things. they are keywords to search, handles to seemingly unorganised information. but they are means not ends. more important than names is "why that": its importance and motivation for its use.
it appears there is name for this in piscology but in a narrow context: nominal fallacy.

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