[self-interest] Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and..

Steve Dekorte steve at dekorte.com
Fri Aug 7 18:43:07 UTC 2009

On 2009-08-06, at 10:23 PM, Toby Ovod-Everett wrote:
> Anyway, one way to get at the core of the Perl vs. Self dichotomy  
> (although
> one of things I'm pointing out above is that it's possible to have  
> Self-like
> semantics in Perl due to the flexibility built into Perl) might be  
> to think
> about natural languages vs. designed languages - i.e. English vs.  
> Lojban.  The
> first is ugly and messy and full of all sorts of weirdness.

Not all human languages are a tangle of special cases. Turkish, for  
example, is completely phonetic and this allows children learning it  
to become completely fluent years earlier. It also eliminates spelling  
mistakes and significantly increases typing speeds (there is a reason  
why stenotypes are phonetic).

> The latter is supposedly much cleaner, but notice that
> many more people speak the former.

English speakers also outnumber Turkish speakers, but I'd be highly  
skeptical of the argument that the language features are the cause of  
this difference.

Btw, I've noticed a tendency for discussions of unnecessary complexity  
vs. simplicity to ultimately devolve into the more human vs. less  
human argument. But who is it who gets to define that which humans  
should aspire to? Are gothic gargoyles on the sides of cathedrals  
truly "more human" than the architecture Frank Lloyd Wright? Which  
humanity do you want to belong to?

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