If you use their words you will end up thinking their thoughts, redux

May 11, 2015 § 15 Comments


(From the ngram viewer).

§ 15 Responses to If you use their words you will end up thinking their thoughts, redux

  • John K. says:

    When you make the search case-insensitive and compare the two, it’s even more depressing.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    What’s your rationale for choosing that time range, rather than a narrower one that corresponds to the birth of “capitalism” as a word?

    I’m sure this will lead to a discussion (not necessarily by you, Zippy) of the relationship between usury and capitalism. I’ve heard of it being discussed but I tuned it out because the speaker was a monk-turned-Marxian thinker-turned-family man.

  • Zippy says:


    Vix Pervenit was published in 1745, and the “pastoral accomodation but honest it doesn’t touch doctrine” reversal happened 85 or so years later. 1750 seemed like a nice round number to more or less cover a relevant time span.

    But of course folks can play with the ngram settings all they want, and draw whatever conclusions they think pertinent.

  • CJ says:

    I feel like an idiot but what is the graph about?

  • Zippy says:

    Google’s ngram service plots how frequently a given word is used in published books in a given year. Some interpret how frequently a word is used as a kind of rough measure or snapshot of how important a subject is to society in a given year.

  • Mark Citadel says:

    Ugh, I can think of a hundred other leftist additions to our collective lexicon that would track similarly. You could probably track down when ‘homophobia’ was invented.

  • CJ says:

    Thanks. Surprised “sexism” is so low.

  • alcestiseshtemoa says:

    Greetings, Zippy Catholic. I have dropped by to announce that after some deliberation and misfortune (e.g. Locked by police, stayed in a hospital) that I have decided to become a Catholic Christian in Europe. Cheers, have a nice day and may God be with you.

  • alcestiseshtemoa says:

    May both God and the blessed Virgin Mary mother of God be with us.

  • Zippy says:

    Welcome, alcest.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    I found this answer on Quora (to What was the smartest economic decision in history) and thought of you:

    “The gradual abandonment, by Christians, of the idea that lending money at interest was sinful. (I think medieval and earlier Christians felt this way because it meant the lender didn’t believe in Christ’s imminent return.) You can’t undertake really large projects unless you can borrow money, and the feudal economy was stifled by this limitation.

    The Jews never believed this (I don’t think), while some Muslims still do believe it. This means that Islamic banks have to devise rather odd financial instruments to honor the restriction and still earn income.”

  • Zippy says:

    The Quora quote could only come from someone who hasn’t bothered to actually understand the subject before pontificating on it. The vast majority of modern business credit cannot even in principle be usurious, since it is non-recourse (lenders’ claims terminate in well-defined balance sheets of assets and do not involve personal guarantees). And the component which is usurious represents a kind of fraud, a value-destroying parasitical disease in the real economy not something which contributes to economic production of real value.

    The typically brittle Islamic take on finance makes a nice straw man, in the vein of comparing traditional Christianity to the Taliban/ISIS/ al Qaeda.

    I could say more here, but I would just be going over ground already covered in my FAQ / ebook.

  • FAQ #29 Appears to have anticipated changing the discipline on Communion for adulterers.

    Did you realise you were such a prophet?

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