Comment on Is Language a Window into Human Nature?

Eli Horn Thu, Aug 28, 2008
I think I misunderstood your exact meaning behind the use of technology in the development of languageā€”I agree with there, and we have clearly developed language a great deal in that way since its conception. Is that a path to a new language though, or simply a very precise form of our current language? Obviously the advancement of technology brings new terms and meaning to our language, so it does sort of become a new language all the time, as it gains meaning that it did not before. As I see it, a language that truly "transcends our current symbol oriented system of communication" cannot simply be a collection of words, however large or small the spectrum because it is only a matter of time before these tools for communication gain significance as symbols themselves.

The closest I can see us getting to overcoming our symbol-oriented communication is direct communication of our emotions and raw thoughts without translation through the physical realm. I would love to say let's start telecommunication right now, but that is an example of something we have not gained the capabilities of yet.

"We have everything we need within us" was perhaps a bold statement, as it's true, we obviously don't, but what we do have within us is the potential for everything we need, and the only way to have that is to consciously develop it (which I don't see happening on a large scale).

All this to say that, yes, I do agree that at the point we are at now, developing our current language further by broadening its spectrum of meaning is the most direct way to advance our communication. I really like your reference to 'a much larger and subtler reality' as I think that's what we truly gain by this. I don't believe though that this will allow us to transcend our symbol-based communication. I'm not suggesting that music/art is necessarily the solution, but I think it is the closest we have come so far and I would love to see us experiment with new language forms and see what is possible.