An assessment of the Unicode standard

Hendrik van Rooyen hendrik at microcorp.co.za
Tue Sep 15 11:12:39 CEST 2009


On Monday 14 September 2009 14:06:36 Christopher Culver wrote:

> This is the old Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which fell out of favour among
> linguists half a century ago already. 1) Language does not constrain
> human thought, and 2) any two human languages are both capable of
> expressing the same things, though one may already have a convenient
> lexeme for the topic at hand while the other uses circumlocution.

1) Is an assumption, not a proven fact.  "falling out of favour" is merely 
fashion amongst people who are dabbling in fuzzy areas where the hard 
discipline of the "scientific method" is inapplicable, because it is kind of 
hard to "prove" or "disprove" that my thinking and yours differ "because" my 
first language is different to yours. - we end up talking about our beliefs, 
after telling war stories.

2) Is about as useful as stating that any Turing complete language and 
processor pair is capable of solving any computable problem, given enough 
time.

So why are we not all programming in brainfuck?
Or speaking the language of the people who wrote linear B?

When a language lacks a word for a concept like "window", then (I 
believe  :-) ), it kind of puts a crimp in the style of thinking that a 
person will do, growing up with only that language.

- Hendrik




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