I am in general agreement with the notion put forth by psychologists and sociologists that one of the key differences between liberal minded people and those of a more conservative bent is one of change. Conservative minds do not like change in any form. Society must remain in stasis, new voices will not be heard, “Wednesday is spaghetti night.” Liberal minded people meanwhile, seek out change, live for discovery and the new.
I’ll not debate the merits of the research that led to these findings. But if true I suppose I am very much in the liberal camp. My daughter is always talking about LGBT rights and political correctness among her social group. It seems many of her teenage friends are perfectly comfortable sharing their sexual and gender identities. I was at first perplexed when she she used the term “they” to refer to a single transgender friend. After she explained it to me I went off and did some research on my own. First off it seems that this evolution of language to accommodate the new outlook on gender is very difficult for a lot of people. But now even the New York Times and Washington Post have gotten on board. I have no problems with the term “they.” The main obstacle I had to overcome was to disassociate the term “they” with the sense of it connoting a multiple or group. That is the great thing about language, it evolves to encompass the ever changing “norms” of society.
Now I am reading in a special edition of Scientific American on “The Limits Of Physics” that a growing number of scientists believe that the notion particles and mediating force fields is not a satisfactory ontology of the world. What really matters they say, are not the fields and particles but the relations among them. This is known as “structural realism” and in general states that we may never know the real nature of things but only how they are related to one another. Reflecting how things are interrelated is the most enduring part of physics theories. So the universe is not made up of “things” but of bundles of properties such as color and shape! That is an amazing notion. A relational Universe of non – concrete phenomena.