Words make realities shareable
- If we confuse the 'impossible' with the 'unthinkable' we may deceive ourselves and become passive and pessimistic.
- For example, if we believe that designing miracles is impossible then we will probably prove ourselves right (and vice versa?).
- Sometimes, a few people can see new possibilities, to which others are blind.
- In order to make things thinkable the visionaries may need to create new words for them.
- By creating new words we can change awareness...
- Changing awareness can change attitudes...
- And, by changing attitudes we can change behaviours and, even, paradigms.
- New words can render new opportunities by turning the ‘unthinkable’ into the possible
- c.f. Wood, J. (2007). Design for Micro-Utopias, making the unthinkable possible. Gower, Hampshire, England
- This whole re-languaging process (i.e. "Lemkinism") is an important metadesign method.
Raphael Lemkin's legacy
- In 1944 Raphael Lemkin coined the term genocide because the UN had refuted his claims about the actions of a particular state.
- In 1958 Lord Young defined (actually, he redefined) the word meritocracy and changed the course of British politics.
- Since 2010 Polly Higgins has been attempting to make ecocide the 5th crime against peace (see her TEDx talk).
- Other neologisms by Metadesigners: sympoiesis | entredonneur
Languaging as a metadesign tool
- The making of taxonomies of living species (i.e. differentiating between/naming/ranking their relations) is important in ecology.
- A key argument is that we cannot save species unless we can differentiate between those that are extremely similar in appearance.
- However, there may be ways in which we can reduce biodiversity losses without this (e.g. stop eating fish fingers/fish sticks)
- This is discussed and developed in John's proposals on languaging biodiversities and keystone synergies.
- It is also implicit in the Wild New Territories project of Ron Den Daas and Kathy Kenny (see Creativity & Ecomimicry).