Lou Talman posted Jun 19, 2014 1:46 AM ( http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9491195) - GSC's remarks interspersed: > > On Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:04:04 -0600, GS Chandy > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > > OK, you will now claim that's not what you're > > saying... > > One of the undeniable benefits of habitual > imprecision is that those who > are > so habituated can always deny, with a measure of > plausibility, that what > they > have actually said is something other than what they > really meant---even > when what they have said is very close to what they > did mean but will never > admit. > I don't know whether that "measure of plausibility" is applicable in this instance, but perhaps it's their own minds telling them a ridiculous argument is plausible.
We've seen a whole number of such ridiculous arguments right through human history - e.g., the whole Nazi phenomenon that once took Germany over; the caste theories in India, several of which still occupy our mindspace to our enormous cost; the ideas that justified slavery to huge numbers of people in the USA (and elsewhere); etc, etc, etc, I'd guess. We still see, for instance, the 'IQ' theories as applied to 'blacks', women, 'Indians' and so on by people like 'israeliteknight' (who evidently has never heard of Ramanujam [often spelt Ramanujan]; the Curie family and a whole host of other women who've demonstrated superior intellectual powers than a great many men possess - in particular 'israeliteknight' himself!) > > But, much as they deny it, what they do say is a very > accurate reflection of > the way they think. Lack of precision in our use of > language always reflects > our lack of precision in thinking, just as lack of > precision in thinking > exhibits itself in our use of language. > > - --Lou Talman > Indeed. I know for sure that there are very practical means readily available to help enhance precision in the way we use language and I've often discussed these here, though only superficially as we are able only to use the 'prose mode' of debate and discussion here.
I don't know if any tools known to humans can help enhance the *desire to be precise/clear* in the way we think, which must be present in order to do the fairly arduous work of using such tools on real-life issues, particular one like "to improve the precision of the way I write".
I believe there's a marvellous passage about precision in the way we write (and think??) in Ved Mehta's "Fly and the Fly-Bottle: Encounters with British Intellectuals", but I'm afraid my marked copy of the book isn't readily accessible right now.
However, in trying (unsuccessfully) to search for that passage on the Internet, I discovered there are a whole host of books by Mehta that I haven't read!
I'd guess offhand that it should also be possible to apply such tools as touched on above to work on a Mission like:
"To enhance my desire to write more clearly and precisely" (or, perhaps even "To enhance my desire to think more clearly and precisely"??!!)
I had always assumed such a desire must be present in all of us. But perhaps this assumption is wrong. Let me see... It will take a while, for sure!