IGS Discussion Forums: Learning GS Topics: is english better than chinese ?? or just for me ???
Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 02:56 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Check this post and this post too.

As for the subject question, I don't know how we might choose a criteria for judgmentally comparing languages.

As I struggle to learn some of my wife's native Russian laguage, I'm told by various sources that only Chinese is harder to learn than Russian. I would probably interprete that as the pictographic language using tonal structures in general. The "Cyrilic" languages of course have many more cases and required word ending changes than any other languages (that I know of).

I would not use the number of people that speak a language as a criteria for judging "better-worse", and I don't know that general semantics has even an unofficial opinion on languages in general. It's possibly worth noting that Korzybski aleggedly grew up with four languages, none of which was English, but he chose to adopt and write in English. This may have been a geo-political-technical-accident of the context of his life.

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Thursday, July 19, 2007 - 06:46 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Your "new" question could possibly begin a new topic. Perhaps the moderators will move it to
"Does a specific language affect identification, consciousness of abstracting or mathematical ability?"

Your "new" question sounds like a topic that might be broken down into a number of graduate student projects that could be sponsored by the Institute.

By the way, Russia (as part of The Soviet Union) was on the Allied side of the Second World War, so your Russian friend is "technically correct".

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Friday, July 20, 2007 - 08:23 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

There was a period of time in our American-English culture when the Russian stereotype held Russians and Russia claiming to have invented everything first. It even appears in Star Trek in the form of Chekov making such claims.

It was the second atomic bomb that made the Japanese surrender. It created the impression of unconquorable strength and power. As in mathematical catastrophy theory, "arrogance" "snapped" and became total submission. But that's ony a "single cause" theory; multiple causality should take into consideration the conventional situation, including the "Russian fronts".

"Historical truth" is an oxymoron at best, a contradiction in terms, as "history" (his story) is generally written by the victor, and always represents the abstraction of the writer. Any given "history" is a map created by a map-maker; it is not the territory, it does not cover all the territory, and it reflects the map-maker.

About "memory". Read Jeff Hawkins "On Intelligence". Hawkins new theory of intelligence holds that an expert is someone with a great many examples to draw from; intelligence is more having this experience than is it logically figuring things out. It is more matching to the closest pattern and adapting it, and the more experiences the better it works. Consequently one's "intellectual level" will increase with experience, and that means memory is a significant factor, although perhaps not the only one. We need to be able to correlate our memories also.

'Nuff said for now.