Posts Tagged ‘internet’

The Internationalization of Language: Another InterNet Effect

April 6, 2010

One of the more profound effects of the internet on the world, and world history, an effect which Silverwolf things has not been noted with due importance, is what he would call the “internationalization of language”. This occurs when people of differing cultures and languages are forced, or rather, are forced by the force of their own personal choice, to learn the languages of others, usually for motives of profit or romance. With virtually instant translators, and translating pages, making the ancient art of live translation one reserved only for tour guides, and the Socialists and Racists of the UN, the necessity for spending several tedious hours with a foreign dictionary to decipher a missive has been snipped off with bypass loppers.

Perhaps the greatest aid to this spreading of the knowledge of foreign languages has been the posting of film clips on the net in foreign languages with subtitled translations. This excellent method of absorbing foreign languages is well illustrated by a film such as “Dersu Uzala” by Kurosawa, in which an ethnic Goldi, with strong Asian features, who speaks a very primitive Russian, meets a Russian team of surveyors in the wilderness. Though he knew perhaps 10 words in Russian beforehand, by the end of the film, Silverwolf had probably learned an equal amount of new words, as he heard Dersu use the same limited vocabulary, over and over, to convey his “primitive” ideas to the Russkies. As we Silverwolves say to guests traveling through the forest, “Moy dom, doy dom” (my house is your house).

Perhaps another force driving the learning of the international languages comes from reading the comments written in chat columns by humans under 20. One can quickly gain the “in” words and phrases used in current parlance through this procedure, though of course not until one has a primitive but broad comprehension of the language. A beginner could not do this, but a second term student could.

Of course, this phenomenon was started years ago, in Europe, when books began to be published showing the titles of photos or art exhibits in the four main Euro languages simultaneously. It’s easy to see why so many Europeans were fluent in several languages, a process which Silverwolf thinks has a very beneficent effect on the brain, forcing it to memorize, retain, compare, and instantly translate. This process had been completely absent in America, where students struggle for years to learn a foreign language that they may read, but will rarely speak, and so will tend to forget. However, the massive influx of Latinos into the Southwest has brought about a similar simultaneous translation of signs, instructions, tax forms, etc. which, through osmosis, has slightly exposed the Anglo-Euro culture in America to Spanish, while Spanish-speaking students, in Silverwolf’s opinion, have a great advantage over the Anglos since it is their brains which will benefit from the necessity to develop two sets of language to communicate in.

Silverwolf thinks it may well be that this “internationalization” of language will lead to new ways of expressing the thoughts that seem to run through the heads of those Human Beings we Wolves are forced to share our earth with, an Earth which the Big Guy Upstairs clearly meant should belong to us Wolves alone. In fact, Silverwolf thinks that in one- to three-thousand years from now, our language will be as unintelligible to future speakers as Beowulf is now unintelligible to modern American high school students. Words will be pilfered from every language, first here, first there, according to men’s tastes, and the composite gallimaufry stew of the international language will have all the flavours of Mankind.

And so, Silverwolf can envision a future, several thousand years from now, where someone might send a postcard written in “Earthlish” (or email by thought-projection by then?) to a friend, while on their summer vacation, that might run something like this:

“Dear Hans,

Ich wanted de ecrire a usted wegen los jeunes filles yo ha deckoed promenading aroom la place de la Concorde. Sono a bunch buenos kvinner la, blondines, rothpellos, schwarzhairs, et otras pretty flickas. Nemmen dein pick.  Ha redden con ein, and she ma dite “Flake off, dork.” Pero, el segundo me sprachen tres jolie, and nosotros “made nice”.

Si usted is ever a Paris, io recommendare a usted go therein, et check out the local talent. Molti molti foxy madchen la, encircare el statue de il molto famoso Libertarian of il 21st Century, Senator Lobo Silverwolf, el Senator desde the State de Nevada, il y a 2000 years ago. Cette statue famoso, rests sur ein plynth inscribe mit los argots qui form Silverwolf’s well-known motto , “Liberty, Equality, Frugality”.

Dein amico,                   Werewolf.”

Undoubtedly, men will talk like this in the far future.

Es certo. Silverwolf lo speculare!

Hooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf

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The Acid Machine of Music: Liberation Corelli

March 15, 2010

With what conceit modern man thinks his inventions and shortcuts the ultimate in levels of happiness. The invention and intervention of the internet into modern life has made many of its users regard the past hassles of doing without it as a kind of Dark Age, preceding the beginnings of decency. Life was never really worth living, or was insufficiently liberated, before the internet (or B.I. as the new dating system introduced by the World Government now classifies years), is the attitude unconsciously implanted in us by the net. No need to listen to 20 minutes of commercials to get to a weather report that was vital to you 15 minutes ago. Now you have it in advance, and your life is more commodious as a result.

But this conceit overlooks a psychological reality that few ever bother to contemplate, and that is that in previous times every liberating transformation of society, whether through technology or art, was viewed by its possessors as an equally liberating and equally significant event in Human History. Its aficionados were just as enthusiastic and eager about its liberating effects as we are about the internet, or the possibilities of influencing the world through blogging or other net activities. Yet, if they (or we) knew for certain what the next development would be, and could see it,  they and we would not be so currently enamoured with our current paramour.

Such advances in technology can seem puerile now to the modern generation, but to those who lived through the reality of them, they did not seem so. Silverwolf was reminiscing with Blue Dog about the thrill we both experienced as cubs and pups when we acquired our first crystal radios, little diode jobs that you clipped onto a piece of metal, and listened to with one earpiece. In an age when you had to buy batteries to power the “new” 6 transistor radios (made in Japan), the idea of being able to listen to Thomas Cassidy’s incredible voice presenting the Gas Company’s Evening Concert for free, even under the covers if you clipped it to a house ground, was a thrill not incomparable to getting hooked up to hi-speed internet.

Likewise, earlier thrills must have been equally rushy or more so to the participants. A horseless carriage! Well, hoss, what will that lead to? An electric percolator? No need to build a stove fire on a sub-freezing morning to have a hot cup of wolfbane. An electric typewriter? Doubled the firm’s productivity in the first year. A chain saw? Hang up the “misery whip” pushed back and forth for an hour by two men in the fog. The wheel? Well, that sure makes things a lot easier, Pharaoh.

And the electric guitar and amplifier: now every teenage boy whose parents have a garage can sound not that far different from the 45rpm he just played on that newfangled phonograph that even has the speakers come off, so you can put them where ever you want, as long as it’s within three feet of the console.  A band that actually sounds like the band on the record, and without a whole lot of talent needed to do it. Wow! And then Stereo. Why, it sounds like it’s live, right in the room! Who needs a real band?

But Silverwolf thinks that one of the biggest explosions ever of what he wants to call “the acid machine” came with the liberation of music during the transition of Renaissance to Baroque music, under the aegis of the Italian composers like Vivaldi, Corelli, and Albinoni. But let him first explain what he means by “an acid machine”.

An “acid machine” is a social process, technological or artistic, that provides its enthusiasts with a mechanism with which they feel they can control or conquer either the world, or their own artistic aspirations, while eating away at all the restrictions that formerly hampered that art or technology. It usually feels like a revolution. The video recorder and VHS cassette are one example which those readers not yet gaga will still remember. Frailer minds may recall that in frailer times, in the kinematic arts, the same effect was accomplished by the 8mm and Super8 mediums, which gave the amateur a crack at duplicating the effects of the multimillion dollar feature film, for a fraction of the cost. As Jean Cocteau so rightly observed, film would never be liberated until it was as easy to make a film as it was to write a poem. 80 years later, the accurate predictions of that opium visionary have come true with the point and click video card camera.

So an acid machine can be the internet, a crystal set, a Fender amp or pickup, a bicycle, or an entirely new way of looking at an art that has slumbered for centuries and millenia in a comatose state of underdevelopment. Such was the state of Western European music going into the 1500s, and by the emergence of the 1700s it was as radically changed as is our internet world from the world of 1880.

And if you want to hear what this “acid machine” of music really meant to the composers of that time, listen to the works of Corelli, Albinoni, and Vivaldi, and hear for the first time a joy and energy that would have been impossible to express if not for the  advances of Monteverdi and Frescobaldi. In that ebullient euphoria of their music, you can hear the excitement of the men of that time as they discovered their “acid machine”.

787 years from now, Trina Sorensen will be sitting under the palm trees of the University of Uppsala in Sweden, working on her required paper on “early bloggers of the 21st century”. It will seem a bore, and she will wonder how they could get so excited over such a primitive technology as the internet. And she will hardly be able to wait to get home and explore the “acid machine” of her times.

What will it be then?

Hoooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf