On Definitions

Tom Chapin

The act of definition is a magical act. We create reality in our own image.

Everything you do is a communication. When you do nothing, that is a communication. You are communicating, and every communication is a sharing. On one hand it is sharing information, but on the other hand it is sharing definitions, trying to move from each person's individual language to a common language through building a consensus of common definitions.

Whenever any of us gives "our" definition, we are always, whether we admit it or not, hoping to get "our" definition to become the common one, or barring that, to get as much of our personal definition as possible accepted.

And in doing that, we are trying to (re)create the world in our own image of it.

Tom Chapin --
rev: 2005-Feb-01