You talk of words in the political and social spheres changing meanings and your points are well taken. A similar phenomenon is happening in the technology sphere, and, as you touched on, these changes in meaning can have impacts in both of those. I am speaking of my two favorite whipping boys “machine learning” and artificial intelligence. In the case of machine learning the only way out of the logical trap that is the standard and historically agreed upon definitions of the two words that make up the term is to change the meanings of one or both of them. We are free to do that of course, but as I have written previously there are potentially dangerous consequences to doing so, especially when the vast majority of the population remains under the impression their original definitions still apply.

It is hard to see outside the Medium bubble sometimes, but when one takes the time to look, the world is a much different place. In that world (the real world let’s call it) machines are actually learning like humans learn only better, smarter, faster. In that world, artificially intelligent “computers/beings” actually exist and they are terrifyingly dangerous. They are smarter than humans, they are taking our jobs, and soon they may decide to do more than that. This is what people in the real world think, and this is lots and lots and lots of people. Never mind that both of those beliefs are patently false, dead wrong, not even close to correct. Because we have been loose in our terminology and lax in our precision in language we have set those beliefs in stone among a huge proportion of the general populace. Why? Is the question I always ask. See links below for more.

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