Sean Cubitt on Tue, 12 Nov 2019 17:54:28 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> morales / lingua franca

I had been thinking of a response to the Latin discussion .....

we already have a universal language, in fact three at least: mathematics, logic and code
the last, the most recent, already shows signs of the long hand of capital; the others as we know are bent by economists and politicians. There is no pure and universal language (on which subject Eco wrote an amusing little book)

What there is as cultural resource is the plurality of languages (including the current state of Englishes, shattering as latin did 1500 years ago into new languages - Naija, Patois, Ebonics, Hinglish . . .) AND crucially indigenous languages, languages smaller than (current) nation states, among which Quechua and Aymara.

The tragedy of Morales (as a narrative of betrayed hope, whoever and whatever is to blame) also teaches that even marginalised languages cannot in themselves guarantee anything; that linguistic determinism is as useful as technological determinism, which is as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike (a metaphor, intended to demonstrate that neither is language as such of no use: it enables rather than determines, but to evolve it has to reach to resources beyond itself - not necessarily in other languages, but in the world of motorbikes and ashtrays (two words I do not find in my latin dictionary)


Sean Cubitt

Goldsmiths, University of London
from 2 jan 2020: University of Melbourne

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact:
#  @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject: