So, as readers of this blog may know, I did maths as an undergraduate (graduated last summer), and am now working / studying in Education.
And a very frequently recurring thought is …
WHY CAN’T SOCIAL SCIENTISTS AGREE ON WHAT ANYTHING MEANS?
It’s not terribly terribly bad. I mean, I understand that when you’re talking about identity and complex interactions between people and all that sort of thing, your concepts are going to be a little fuzzy.
But sometimes it’s so frustrating … it feels like sometimes people just choose to manipulate the vocab according to how they’re feeling that day. And there’s no answer to anything ever! (Or at least that’s how it feels sometimes). Now I know that there’s no simple answer to the questions like “how do children learn?”. But when you can’t even define your vocabulary … well, it all seems a bit daft.
How the hell does anyone ever know what the other people are talking about? (I don’t mean that as a philosophical “my representation of the world is not the same as anyone else’s representation of the world” point, I just mean it as an annoyed exclamation) I’m all for discussing complex issues with no firm conclusions – that’s the sort of thing that happens whenever people talk about relationships, for example, which we do all the time.
But I’d really, really like to know what the words mean. And have a consensus on what the words mean. An agreed, fixed down definition.
Here are a few of the words I wish everybody could agree on:
- Problem solving
- Research Instrument
There are probably hundreds more just waiting to be discovered …
What are your thoughts?