Words matter. They are the vehicles of thinking

From "Land-based spells brings crisis" by Reuven Brenner in Asia Times Online.


Note: The article explores the current economic instability. In doing so, it highlight how our description can have a funny way of confusion the facts. In other words, we can convince ourselves (though our language) that a unstable economic idea can and will work, even though experience and the facts would prove otherwise.

"Words matter. They are the vehicles of thinking: while they can shape accurate perceptions, they can shape misperceptions too. As it turns out, and not for the first time in history, there is not much "real" about this asset class. The question is, what do you do with it?

"John Law and followers, who come up with theories based on 'real' estate', or 'real' bills' doctrines (unconstrained by having a "unit of account" too), make implicit assumptions that they know what is 'real'. But as one can readily see, many things perceived "real" can melt into thin air in a flash. Perhaps we would be far better from now on using the French word for 'real estate' - 'immobilier'. 

"... Ludwig Wittgenstein, the philosopher, was right when he stated that: 'Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.' Indeed, 'real estate' 'QE,' 'bubbles' ( attributed to random variations in people's mood rather than any concrete laws and regulations), erecting statues to heroes of subsidized 'immobility' (unread, unwatched, not listened to statistical 'cultures' being a good example) have all 'bewitched' many for centuries, though 'bothered and bewildered' a few." 

We can also imagine a case where someone goes through a list of propositions and as he does so keeps asking “Do I know that or do I only believe it?” He wants to check the certainty of each individual proposition. It might be a question of making a statement as a witness before a court.
— Wittgenstein, On Certainty, 486