In various threads the topic of man's place in nature and world has been discussed to no end. Man is a creature of nature, and yet he removes himself and elevates himself above it. Why? Control. The only real advantage man has developed for survival is the ability to think in a variety of ways and thus attempt to control his surroundings. Instead of changing to match his environs, he changes his environs to match him. Now in today's world full of tree hugging hippies, green peace-ers, PETA freaks, and what ever other save the whales/earth/spotted owl groups you can think of, you might think that man has learned 'the error of our ways' (ha) and started down a less controlling path. I say no. It is an ingrained trait. Our very existence is based on the idea of control. If we attempt to fix any of the 'problems' that we have caused, are we not still exerting control? When we control population sizes and bread species to halt extinction, aren't we stepping in and altering nature's way? But this isn't what I started this thread about. Language. Language is our most common form of control. On one side, you have the idea that is found in many magical systems that if you know something's name, you have power over that thing. Mind you this goes into the idea of 'true names' and other spiritual ideas, so I'm going to gloss over that and go to something a bit more practical. In a psychological sense, naming things is a form of control. The most common, and I would go so far as to say universal, fear is that of the unknown. By naming something, you 'tag' the object with certain qualities. True, language is a tool used for the exchange of ideas and information, but it also serves as a means of changing our environment. When something is named, it loses any mystery that might surround it. If it is known, it gains a familiarity that causes it to loose much of the fear that we may have for it. Think about many of the books, movies, and television shows you've read/seen. The scariest monsters and villains are the ones that possess some unknown quality. Something not familiar. Something we have a hard time controlling. Whether this is a psychotic derangement or an alien species, its something not not common in everyday life. Or think of time travelers from those same sources. Visit the past, wave a gun around and shoot some things and suddenly you are viewed with fear because the people can't grasp how you did what you did. It is unknown and thus feared. Now this is all common sense, or at least I would think so, but there is another side to this whole phenomena. By naming things you give them certain qualities. One of the things you name and thus describe is yourself. Our language is a tool to control our world and our fears, but in doing so we also control ourselves. I am not abdicating and end to science and our quest for knowledge, but more and more by defining things, we are limiting ourselves. I'll get back to how science fits in this in a bit, but for now I want to talk about how we are controlling, and thus limiting ourselves. As we grow and go throughout life, we are labeled by countless people. We are sons or daughters, employees, bosses, mothers and fathers, students, teachers, patients, etc. With each label, there comes a preconceived idea of what it means to be what we are, and thus what we aren't. Think about it this way: Man one: "Hey, I've got this great new idea about gravity." Man two: "You're a patent clerk, not a physicist. Now get back to work." By labeling ourselves and others, we limit what we think they are capable of and also what they themselves think they are capable of. Tell someone they are wrong long enough, and most of the time they will start to think they are wrong all the time, even when they aren't. If you come to believe that you can't do something, chances are you will never try. Its not simply because people tell you this and you believe them; its not that you are a sheep. Its how our language works. Like I said before, we are all labeled. If we are a student, we are expected to accept that our 'teacher' knows more than we do about the subject. This instantly puts the idea in our heads that we should blindly eat up what ever is put in front of us and not question anything we are told. Math, history, science: Its all taught to us in a "and that's how it is" manner, when the truth is that it is all created, man made ideas. History is constantly being revised. Math is constantly expanding. And science is a collection of theories. Theories die, and new ones are hailed in their place. Too often the ideas that people are taught are taken in blindly and thought to be infallible. In this respect science and religion are one and the same. Lets take relativity for example. I'm not saying that's wrong or inaccurate. What I am saying is that its been put high on a pedestal where its next to impossible to question. It toppled newtonian ideas, and someday it might be toppled in much the same way. Right now, however, we have a generation of people that believe that it is law and will never fail us. The fact that Relativity and QM have irreconcilable differences isn't in the foreground. We are promised that someday something will bring the two happily together, when the truth could very well be that that day will never come because one or both might be wrong. So what is the point of all of this? 1.) What makes those few people that figure out how to think out of the box, so to speak, able to break the bonds of language and the conditioning it subjects us to? 2.) What can be done to alter or fix these problems inherent in language? 3.)Opinions and thoughts on my babbling?