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From Mike Engelhart <>
Subject Re: Cocoon 2 suggestions
Date Tue, 11 Apr 2000 15:54:34 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> Mike Engelhart wrote:
>> 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...

> 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.
> 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.  
> (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. :-)

> 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.  :-)

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... :-)


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