July 2015

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Wittgenstein talks about language games and how with small changes you suddenly have a new language game.

David Hull and Charles Darwin talk about populations of replicators undergoing small changes over time until suddenly the replicator population has suddenly become a new species.

David Hull's point is the populations and concepts labeled with words are evolving individuals and over time can become something different than what they were when they began, terms can gain jobs and lose jobs, concepts can gain new aspects of significance and lose old aspects of significance.

Words, concepts, species, games, are not natural Platonic kinds defined by necessary and sufficient conditions.

The classic book on this 'flip' is Theodore Low, The End of Liberalism, one of the biggest sellers ever in academic political science.

I am going to challenge that with; the history of American football and rugby start with the French "soule". Perhaps that even emphasizes the point about evolution.


“the questions of political structure and the processes that are necessary to reconcile our differences and to learn to live better together.”

I think it’s dangerous to assume that most people want to get along. I don’t find that to be the case at work, in politics or even in families. Power seems to be the major motivation. No set of institutions can force people to get along who don’t want to get along with each other.

The writers of the Constitution understood this, so they limited the political power that any group can amass. They saw a tyranny of the majority as worse than the tyranny of a monarch. But the majority decided they didn’t need limits on their power and destroyed the institutions that limited it. The majority has unlimited power today. The natural lust for power guarantees that people will fight will all their energy to grab that power. Pity any institution that tries to stand in their way.

To get along, someone needs to convince the majority to surrender some of its power.

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