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Re: a propos of artificial intelligence, linguistics, and geckos
- Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 11:27:54 -0800 (PST)
- From: Larry Wall <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: a propos of artificial intelligence, linguistics, and geckos
: By all means reach for the stars, but never forget to keep
: your feet on the ground. When it comes down to it, only
: the code matters.
Hmm, you just contradicted yourself. I agree with the first statement,
but not with the second. In fact, the big idea from tagmemics is that
the code is useless without a context. Latin is a "dead" language
precisely because there's no living culture around it. It has a code,
and people can even read the code, but it doesn't much matter. A
culture can create a language if it doesn't have one (see pidgin), but
even so great a language as Latin cannot create a culture once it is
In fact, only one dead language has ever managed to resurrect itself,
namely Hebrew. But that's only because the culture survived and chose
to resurrect it.
And the only way a manufactured language like Esperanto, Lojban,
Quenya, or Klingon can ever succeed is if a culture decides to adopt
them. Otherwise nobody will ever teach those languages to their
children as a first language.
In this light, Perl succeeded only because it managed to get itself
adopted by Unix culture, and later by Web culture.