Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id AAA18449 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Wed, 1 May 2002 00:23:43 +0100 X-Originating-IP: [220.127.116.11] From: "Scott Chase" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Saving the ethnosphere Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 19:17:53 -0400 Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed Message-ID: <F1990U1ZG5bTHuICqcD00005750@hotmail.com> X-OriginalArrivalTime: 30 Apr 2002 23:17:54.0035 (UTC) FILETIME=[415ED430:01C1F09D] Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>From: "Dace" <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: Saving the ethnosphere
>Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 23:40:21 -0700
> > The less languages around the less potential confusion will be brought
> > about by people trying to communicate as the probability increases that
> > they speak the same language.
>The tyranny of utilitarianism.
> > Extinction of redundant languages is a natural process in an environment
> > with progressive global communication.
>This is rationalization, pure and simple. Cultures are annihilated by
>guns, disease, and dollars.
> > Trying to intervene in this natural process, in the sense of trying to
> > superfluous languages, to me seems to be as artificial as genetic
> > engineering is to biological evolution.
>How about superfluous species? Who says life itself isn't superfluous?
>Perhaps humans and our natural languages will one day be rendered obsolete
>by computers and their algorithmic tongues.
>Btw, bacteria have been sharing genes for billions of years. Humbling,
> > A difference between the two being that, unlike the latter, the former
> > possible benefit other than one of sentimental and/or historic value.
> > Phil.
>Carve out our memory, and there's nothing left but mechanism.
I think Dace is making reasonable points (well up o that last comment he
snuck in about memory versus mechanism).
For someone to underemphasize the importance of linguistic diversity on a
list where language is often tossed about as a topic strikes me as very odd.
I'm sure linguists would learn a lot about language if there were only one
left. I guess I'm appealing to utility here since I think preservation
diversity is useful for those wanting to study the complexities of a
phenomenon like language. But, I also see the importance of diversity for
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