Monday 7 May 2012

Language and culture

By necessity, culture becomes irrelevant when trying to share knowledge. Nowhere is this more true than on the internet. If one considers one's self to be a reasonable human being, open to discussion and the dissemination of ideas then one must accept that not everyone you share your ideas with will speak the same language. Not everyone will have the same implicit bias or frame of reference. 

As mentioned earlier, there is a nuance to language - what we communicate is not only in the words we speak or write, but the concepts which we refer to and project. Not only does the use of language tend to reveal a fair amount about the individual, but also ones reaction to the use of language. And lest we forget, we miss the all important subtlety from body language when we converse online. 

The internet has been - and will continue to be - blamed as party to the destruction of certain cultures. While this essentially is true, it has also been a phenomenal transport for knowledge. I, for one, wouldn't have a clue where I'd be without Wikipedia. 

As ever, I overstate my point with shameless digression and pedantry.

I wrote this as a comment on Facebook. As such, the context might be lost but I think the content is still relevant and worth sharing more publicly.

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