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From "Mark Washeim" <esa...@canuck.com>
Subject Re: Cocoon 2 suggestions
Date Tue, 11 Apr 2000 19:49:11 GMT
>>> Kevin A. Burton wrote:
>>>
>>>> It is eventually inevitable that everyone will speak the same language.
>>>> Although it won't may still be called English the influence from other
>>>> language will modify and introduce newer words.
>>> Sadly this is mostly true
>>>
>>>> It does scare me that cultural diversity will fade but you can get in
>>>> the path of the future or you will get run over :(
>>> I don't really want to get run over, but as I don't want to be known as
>>> someone who was a member of a movement (i.e., programming geeks) who
helped
>>> give the death blow to cultural diversity on Earth, I'd love to be able
to
>>> access ResourceBundle's from my XSP pages. :-)
>>
>> The roman empire _forced_ the use of the latin language (which is can be
>> considered the technical-english of today moved back 2000 years ago)
>> thru-out all their empire. Which ranged from the scottish border to
>> today's Israel.
>>
>> There was a jewish man called "Jesus Nazarenus" that was born at the
>> time where the most common and used language was latin... was he
>> influenced by this "lack of cultural diversity imposed by a common
>> language"?
>>
>> Or look at ancient greece, where different state-cities fought battles
>> but shared a common language and became the craddle of occidental
>> sciences.
>What you're  missing here is that when hellenism (the mono-culture being
>pushed around the time of Jesus) was being forced upon society, more than
>90% of the people were uneducated and never would have entered a city ( or
>to reference our current world, had access to a DSL line and computer -that
>is even if they have electricity) so basically missed out on all the
>advantages that hellenism was supposed to bring about!  So in effect Greek
>was the language of the educated urban elite.  Not very enlightening...

Precisely! Finally. What saddens me is that among those of us supposedly
able to understand the impact of current technology on contemporary culture,
we're still fuzzy on the historical grace notes.

As I've said here previously, in my experience, the mono-culture is
something passively consumed, not actively elaborated. We, in the service of
corporate elites (among whose lower echelons I count myself (I'm CTO of two
companies)) participate in a process which is not at all in response to the
needs of communities (but, perhaps, our own) but those of our corporate
sponsors. This is frightenening.

I prefer the babel of my many market's demands to the passive conformance to
the corporate status quo. I hate nothing more than watching those who ascend
that ladder contribute nothing of any cultural (or technical) value. Risking
mixed metaphors; they take advantage of the relatively 'flat'
linguistic/cultural terrain in the same way some IT managers take advantage
of the overwhelming marketing hype of large software firms.

To be blunt, srew the PAX ROMANA! (No offence to the italians :) )

>> I see that programming geeks will _free_ this world from a babel of
>> languages that _imposes_ diversity, reduces communication, and increases
>> differences between rich and poor countries. Of course, geeks, rather
>> than soldiers, appreaciate cultular differences and will try to
>> "preserve" them from being forgotten, like monks did for ancient
>> thinkers. such as
>I'd say this is optimistic at best.  I'm not sure of the analogy between
>soldiers and geeks so I'll just skip that one?? I think geeks as a
>stereotype are not some enlightened version of human being.  I've met
plenty
>of geeks who are complete social morons with little appreciation for
>anything other than their new Athlon linux box.  Just because they know how
>to write software or build silicon wafers I wouldn't place them into the
>category of cultural saviors.


Ditto.

>> But, please, let's remove this stereotype that a single world-wide
>> language is a bad thing, ok? As long as it's open and not imposed, I
>> can't see why it would be a bad thing to have.
>How can it not be imposed??  Just the fact that my site can decide to only
>display it's pages in English is imposing limitations on who I allow to
view
>my information.  That's rather imposing wouldn't you say?  Of course it's
>only me, but what about the 10 million other web developers who are doing
>the same thing.

Exactly. The last time I looked to buy toothpaste in a swedish grocery I was
dumbfounded by the fact that I had about the SAME choices (that is, few) as
I had in Canada. By comparison, shopping in Germany I was confronted with a
bewildering assortment of types of toothpaste (I know, how profound :( ).
So, the Germans speak English poorly. Thank god. They're also the foremost
philologists in the world with a larger corpus of written works on the
Chinese language than any other western country. And that, I believe, is
about love and knowledge.


>> (of course, nothing stops you from knowing more than one language, but
>> this shouldn't be necessary)
>My thoughts exactly..  Just display your site in many languages. :-)


Ditto.

>> I'd be happy to see the internet and freedom of speech succeed where
>> governments and wars couldn't in the whole history of mankind. It would
>> prove something, wouldn't it? :)
>It may well do that.  I hope you're right and I'm wrong.  :-)


I'm a little to cynical. Public broadcasting in almost all western
democracies (and telcos for that matter) have been sold to the highest
bidder. What makes you think that CNN has an interest in freedom?


>If anything considering the ease of use of things like ResourceBundles from
>the Java programming world, the monks should start offering their services
>as web page translators so that all sites could have access to
multi-lingual
>translated pages.  It would be a lot cheaper than using all their energies
>in trying to put whole cultures into storage... :-)


Well put.

>Mike
>


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