The thing I believe we lack most in modern discourse is direct communication. Almost everything is embedded in complicated ideology and metaphor. I aim to use simple to understand, yet expressive language. The topics I want to start with are things like religion, race and gender politics, economics, abortion, libertarianism, education etc. I haven’t planned out exactly what I want to cover as of yet, but I want to express my thinking in the simplest way I can. The subjects already have their own discourse communities, that is, their own ‘local’ vocabularies. Of course it will be hard not to draw on these, but the goal is to use general enough language for easy understanding regardless of your current familiarity with the specific subject. For example, if I’m trying to discuss philosophy, I wouldn’t use a word like “tautological” without explaining what I meant by it. I believe too many writers, politicians, academics, etc., throw complicated sounding words around to sound intelligent. I’m certainly guilty of it, maybe even in this intro. Good use of language doesn’t mean confusing your audience with how brilliant you sound, it means expressing what you want to as clearly as possible.
No, the goal here is not to criticize others for a lack of straightforwardness. I’m sure there will be some of that, but what I really want is to promote discussion that attempts to be inclusive to EVERYONE. Laymen’s terms no longer exist. There is so much “technobabble” (complicated jargon) of various sorts out there. Expanding terminology is a great thing, but when we want to express something further than just within or among the community that understands the jargon, simplification is crucial and sometimes a difficult skill to learn. This requires empathy, and sometimes even a willingness to sound dumb. For example, I don’t know the first thing about programming, so if someone starts talking to me about it without recognizing my lack of understanding, it’s not only frustrating, but it means time is being wasted, knowledge transfer is being impeded, and it has the potential to isolate.
Even the language and tone I’m using now isn’t appropriate for everyone. I know that. It doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I’m doing my best to be expressive and concise while making myself as clear as possible. There are many people I know that would read this and already be turned off by the academic sounding speech or “seriousness” of this. I don’t know exactly who my audience is for this project, I guess I have a rough idea, but hopefully I can give you a decent mix of simplicity and authenticity while remaining engaging and maybe even somewhat entertaining.