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The Epistemology of Word Salad
Or... We are all imposters.
The theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
Word Salad. Noun.
A confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases, specifically (in psychiatry) as a form of speech indicative of advanced schizophrenia.
I’ve spent my life traveling through different worlds, miniature pocket universes. The corporate world has its own lingo, a blend of metaphor and acronyms that are pretty cringe-worthy:
CYA - Cover Your Ass - if it looks like poo, be careful not to step in it.
CLM - Career Limiting Move - someone stepped in poo.
CEM - Career Ending Move - someone stepped in poo and got it all over the CEO.
Each company also has its own organizational lingo that makes it almost impossible for an outsider to understand what is being discussed. Some of this is obfuscation by design, an affliction of acronyms that protects information from outsiders, and also is a rite of passage when joining a company or industry.
The intelligentsia has a similar issue where using words like epistemology, stigmergy, and other esoteric vocabulary that limits their audience. It seems that they are choosing precision in words over accessibility. Now, there’s a balance here, in some “rooms”, precision is critical. Other “rooms” also have their own language as they are sipping tea or lambo-ing on the moon. We have created the ultimate Tower of Babel.
However, in order to manage the coming age of pseudonymous digital insurgencies, developing a framework for revealing truth and establishing consensus is important. Humor, straightforward language, and intentional use of words are powerful tools in these upside down times where memes can rule the world.