Saturday, October 30, 2010


"If we were able to take as the finest allegory of simulation the Borges tale where the cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory (but where the decline of the Empire sees this map become frayed and finally ruined, a few shreds still discernible in the deserts — the metaphysical beauty of this ruined abstraction, bearing witness to an Imperial pride and rotting like a carcass, returning to the substance of the soil, rather as an aging double ends up being confused with the real thing) — then this fable has come full circle for us, and now has nothing but the discrete charm of second-order simulacra."
Jean Baudrillard, "The Precession of Simulacra"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

To Learners of New Languages and Old

According to Foucault, the relationship between thought and language is that of geometry and algebra, where all the geometric shapes spontaneously pre-exist in nature waiting to be drawn and discovered but it is the algebric expression that provides the shape a meaning that is precise to its nature, where the spontaneity of the shapes' existence gets tuned in a mathematical meaning that when played will become that shape. And sometimes it is formulation of an algebric expression that could lead us to an undiscovered shape.
I loved this metaphor as it immediately makes one conscious of the proximity of language to space and social structure.This simultaneous Independence and symbiotic interdependence between language and thought I believe makes it even more crucial to conserve, learn, understand, speak and make new languages or else we lose out on all hopes of making something truly original that sprouts from the fertile soil of human conscience.
Some linguists estimate that a language dies every two weeks with the death of its last speaker. Apparently India tops the list with 196 endangered languages, geographically most of them located in the North and North-Eastern regions which had an interface with rest of the Asian landmass.
Maybe some decades down we may come to inherit a handful of fine words distilled to perfection by the utilitarian global culture, that quite ironic for their meaning sum up the true essence of human rot: LOL & LMAO!