What to do to feel better and better and-

Hr0003 Debugging English:

How my life did a 180, and quick

Summary: When a native English speaker “makes a mistake”, that ‘mistake’ arises in part by a failure of the English language.  When a person hurts, that hurting arises (mostly) from harmful, anti-human words ensconced in patriarchy.  Patriarchal language forms a massive problem.  Problem-solving becomes enhanced as we debug our human languages.

To keep this post from becoming tl;dr (too long; didn’t read), I’ll keep it shorter than I’d like.  The next post will continue where this one leaves off.

I’ll use myself as an example of what can happen. Consider, perhaps, the following rough graph of happiness for my lifetime.  Time goes from left to right.  Feeling better is up; feeling worse is down.  Over my lifetime, happiness declined until I hit bottom. Here’s a pixelly sketch suggesting what happened to my happiness in my early decades of life:


At that point, I nearly died.  Then, a few months later, I began to debug my copy of English. I began to improve (for myself only) the meanings of English words.  Here’s the happiness graph showing the reversal of fortune once I got serious and debugged meanings of common English words such as ‘worth’:


The dots indicate a lack of room in the image for the graph’s upside. It was up even after that. However, because some slight stress returned last year…well dang-rabbit, life ain’t perf! Yet it’s lovely. My happiness graph is doin’ fine!! May yours do likewise!

Our Human operating systems, such as English, use as-is words, words we inherited from previous generations.  These are words with mostly as-is meanings.  As-is words have meanings that haven’t been intentionally improved.  Some linguists, philosophers, psychologists, and social critics have pointed out problems with various words (gendered and racist language being perhaps the most noted problems).  Yet, to date, there hasn’t been a cadre of persons working to optimize their own meanings of words.

Enter science.  There can be many ways to discuss the exceptional progress of science.  One of them:

Science upgrades words, improving their meanings.

The success of science has been unprecedented.  Why?  Partly: experimentation.  Galileo tested, for instance.  He encouraged testing of our universe.  In addition, scientists have done amazing work improving the meanings of words and formulating new meanings that also help us.  Galileo’s telescope contributed to our understanding of the word, ‘planet’, for instance.  Without improved meanings of ‘planet’, ‘moon’, ‘star’, and even ‘telescope’, we’d have no ability to expand our horizons beyond earth.

A large stack of kudos to Ibn Al Hassan (Al Hazen), who instigated a first methodical version of what we now term, “the scientific method” five hundred years before Galileo.  Ibn Al Hassan also developed the first scientific treatise on optics (which Galileo relied upon to build the first telescope that could peer at the moons of Jupiter).  We call them the Galilean moons in Galileo’s honor.  We could term science, “The Hassanian Method”(!)

We can emulate Galileo’s testing approach.  We can apply it to day-to-day words.  We can, if we want, rid words of problems—problems built into word meanings during the patriarchal ages.  If a king said to himself, “I’m better. I’m the best person on earth. I’m of the gods!” so what?  Well, it encouraged habits of abuse.  Thinking of ‘other’ people (‘others’, ‘othering’) as ‘lowly’ sets up a condition rife for mistreatment.  “You’re a nothing, you deserve what you get.”  Putting someone ‘down’, making them ‘low’, or even ‘owning’ them constitutes bullying and worse.  It’s verbal abuse.

I’d like to see it end.  That’s what I want (in addition to whatever else increases love-joy-and-peace in this world, along with energy-to-help).

We can upgrade English, the human operating system for native English speakers. Hat tip to Laurel Airica, who has considered words as human software for decades.

English words can be debugged.  Science began the process with words such as ‘see’, ‘vision’, ‘gravity’, and ‘planet’.  Doing the same for common words (that  science also uses) will help science.  More than that, debugging English word-meanings has helped each person to do it thus far.  Even debugging a few words helps hugely in my experience.

What debugging English did for me?

Before debugging English: I’m a wreck.  Life gets worse and worse with no bottom.

After beginning to debug English: My life improves more and more and still more.  Abilities improve as well.  Especially: I became able to also help hurting friends (those interested).  I look forward to the next letter to you.

Is my noggin fundamentally different? Did I have the lone copy of the English language affected by patriarchal harm? No. Each person, thus far of any culture, who has improved meanings of words feels better. Breakthroughs happen and they can be gigantic.



December 1, 2021 (and small edit Dec. 2)

Copyright 2021, Hillary K. (Hillel-rhapsody)