Author Message


> ----- Original Message -----

> Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 10:49 AM

>>  Sorry if this is old hat to most of you, but I just discovered these
>>  side-by-side ruby and perl scripts from the new Japanese-language _Ruby
>>  for Perl Users_ book mentioned by maki at ruby-lang.org/ja/ a couple of
>>  weeks ago (5/14).

> That's fascinating! I wish we had an English translation
> of this book...

I'd love to do it, but my technical vocabulary is too pathetic for
public consumption.  I'm working on it...

>  ...

<OffTopic>  ... heh ... see below :)


>>  "Language shapes the way we think and determines what we can think
>>  about." -- Benjamin Lee Whorf  [N.B.: The opinion expressed belongs to
>>  its source, and is not at all that of the management.  The management
>>  is a devotee of Noam Chomsky's Universal Base Hypothesis, which states
>>  that language evolved in the brains and vocal accoutrements of apes,
>>  who possessed advanced skills of perception, perhaps driven by leopard
>>  predation and territorial songfests, long before the advent of
>>  language.  Whorf is merely indulging in magical thinking.]

> Ha... tagline with a disclaimer. Cool.

> OT: Perhaps Whorf and Chomsky could both be right. Perhaps there
> is a kind of feedback loop in the evolution of language and of
> human thought. Whorf has his flaws; I'll be the first to admit
> that. But I always liked him for his highly analytical thinking,
> his original ideas, his creativity, his enthusiasm, and his way
> with words. And I liked him because of the novelty of a chemical
> engineer who is a dilettante in linguistics, to the point that
> he is almost remembered as a real linguist.

> Even more OT: Whorf in a sense played a joke on the world. People
> in the humanities and such are always trying to bring physics (etc.)
> into their own fields of literature and social studies and such,
> drawing wild conclusions and meaningless generalizations from
> Goedel's theorem, ...

Oops.  Guilty as charged.  I've always thought the first meaningful
corollary to Goedel's Theorm is the observation that no system of
thought is immune from parody.

> ... relativity, and quantum mechanics. Whorf in a real
> sense did it backwards. He dragged real physics into the more
> subjective field of linguistics (in his comments on the Hopi language)
> and almost got away with it. At least he was more credible than my
> literature professor who tried to apply the Uncertainty Principle to
> 20th century literature.

Usually, it's called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (
http://www.*-*-*.com/ ), and because I was
forced to encounter this notion at a Land Grant University in 1968, it
caused me no end of pointless pink difficulties ontologizing
somnolently...  I tend to lump it with Carlos Castaneda's lesser works
and Jack Kerouac's longer Tijuana paper rolls.


> And as for magical thinking: Ha. You say that like it's a bad thing. ;)

Not a "bad" thing.  Just indistinguishable from paranoid schizophrenia
(or pretraumatic hyperaesthesia, at least) in my experience....  Urrk.  


> [Those who respond, if any, to the OT part should do it offlist. I have
> been criticized once or twice for my rambling.]

You'd think us ruby hackers could come up with a good syntax, so when
it comes time to compile this compendium onto CD's the stuff between
(say) "<OffTopic>" and "<!OffTopic>" would disappear into the
alt.fan.hegelian.philosophy bucket or sumpthin.



Cedar Rapids, Iowa               http://www.*-*-*.com/
"Tension, apprehension and dissension have begun!" - Duffy Wyg&,
in Alfred Bester's _The Demolished Man_

Sat, 19 Nov 2005 05:50:06 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. <OT>Newbie - Fragmentation question

2. OT - Conway Life Universal Computer

3. OT Enemy at the Gates Re: Linux installation,

4. OT--Z-390 compilers using 64 bit?

5. OT: Reportgenerator for IMS-Databases

6. OT: ISPF Question

7. OT: "Experts in small talk"

8. OT - Programmer sought

9. OT: Welcome Pacific Blue

10. CICS Global Newcopy (somewhat OT)

11. Contention With GDG Datasets (slightly OT)

12. O.T. MIA?


Powered by phpBB® Forum Software