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#1 2019-09-25 13:51:26

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,558

Language Preservation

One of many justifications offered for building a human culture on Mars is preservation of the human race.

Part of any preservation that might be done would be preservation of language.

Languages developed on Earth over thousands of years have disappeared and are still disappearing.

The article at the location given below tells of a (remarkable to me) invention of a written alphabet for a language with millions of speakers in various parts of Africa.

I am hoping this new topic will stimulate consideration of how a culture developing on Mars in future years might preserve at least some of the many languages still in use on Earth today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adlam_script

This post was inspired by a report from Microsoft, about how a small team within the large Microsoft organization championed development of computer rendering of the new alphabet.

It seems likely (to me at least) that citizens living on Mars (and in other locations away from Earth) will develop dialects which depart from the Earth based models to the point they become languages in their own right.

Edit: 2019/10/05 The intention of this topic is to develop strategies to help Earth citizens to preserve and perhaps even expand their native languages in a backup civilization on Mars.  The discussion triggered responses by online personalities who chose to express themselves in ways that I perceive to be small-minded, parochial, mean spirited and self defeating.  Those responses DO NOT represent this topic in any way, shape or form.

For those who will be drawn to this topic in the future, I invite you to overlook the messages which do not meet the requirements for this topic, and instead make helpful contributions of your own to advance the project. 

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-10-05 06:26:41)

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#2 2019-09-25 14:44:00

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

I think one of the great things about refounding humanity on another planet is that the language issue can be addressed.

I am firmly of the view that English should be the first and only official language of Mars.  It will begin as American English but will probably develop as a distinct variant like British English or Australian English - Mars English. Mars English should be the language of education on Mars.

My reasoning for suggesting this?  Well firstly I think it will be natural for English to be the lingua franca on Mars. The initial colonisation effort will be dominated by Americans. Furthermore English is already established on Earth as the international language of science, technology, commerce, air traffic, diplomacy, music and academia.

Secondly, I think having a single language as the bedrock of a common core culture on Mars will make for a unified and peaceful planet.

So, I think we should leave behind all the minority and almost dead languages of Earth. I speak as someone with relatives who speak Welsh...

tahanson43206 wrote:

One of many justifications offered for building a human culture on Mars is preservation of the human race.

Part of any preservation that might be done would be preservation of language.

Languages developed on Earth over thousands of years have disappeared and are still disappearing.

The article at the location given below tells of a (remarkable to me) invention of a written alphabet for a language with millions of speakers in various parts of Africa.

I am hoping this new topic will stimulate consideration of how a culture developing on Mars in future years might preserve at least some of the many languages still in use on Earth today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adlam_script

This post was inspired by a report from Microsoft, about how a small team within the large Microsoft organization championed development of computer rendering of the new alphabet.

It seems likely (to me at least) that citizens living on Mars (and in other locations away from Earth) will develop dialects which depart from the Earth based models to the point they become languages in their own right.

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#3 2019-09-25 18:05:27

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,558

Re: Language Preservation

For Louis re #2 ...

Thanks for this very nice counterpoint to the opening sentiment.

I hope that supporters of languages OTHER than English will contribute.

My expectation is that every nation which decides to sponsor a community on Mars will establish its own language as the standard for that community.

Likely first participants are Russia and China.  I'm not sure what the European Union will decide to do, but (my guess is English will not be their choice).

India may well decide to go with English, since their history appears to lead them in that direction.

In my opinion, English is likely to remain the language for official space navigation communication, just as it is in International traffic on Earth.

Google came up with a report indicating that only recently has Russia decided to implement English for traffic control for commercial flights.
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2010/11/ … kies-a2864

My impression is that military traffic will be done in Russian.

According to this article, China has recently implemented English for Air Traffic Control:
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news … nly-policy

As with Russia, while I did not see anything specific about this, I would expect military ATC to be conducted in Mandarin.

The transition to use of English for Space Traffic Control would seem likely.

All that said, I hope that the "backup of humanity" on Mars does NOT include omission of language arts, and all the literature associated with languages other than English. 

(th)

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#4 2019-09-25 18:41:48

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

Personally I think it will be an act of absolute vandalism to allow the Chinese, Russians, Saudis, Iranians, Indians and so on to establish bases on nationalistic or sectarian lines.

There will be absolutely no point in advancing human settlement on Mars if we are simply going to replicate the murderous divisions we have on Earth on Mars.

The USA is the only idealistic big power on Earth that actually draws  people from all ethnic groups or religions across Planet Earth and can get them to work co-operatively together.

The USA must lead Mars colonisatoin and ensure that the governance of Mars is at least as free and democratic as its own (though one may piously hope - even more so).

tahanson43206 wrote:

For Louis re #2 ...

Thanks for this very nice counterpoint to the opening sentiment.

I hope that supporters of languages OTHER than English will contribute.

My expectation is that every nation which decides to sponsor a community on Mars will establish its own language as the standard for that community.

Likely first participants are Russia and China.  I'm not sure what the European Union will decide to do, but (my guess is English will not be their choice).

India may well decide to go with English, since their history appears to lead them in that direction.

In my opinion, English is likely to remain the language for official space navigation communication, just as it is in International traffic on Earth.

Google came up with a report indicating that only recently has Russia decided to implement English for traffic control for commercial flights.
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2010/11/ … kies-a2864

My impression is that military traffic will be done in Russian.

According to this article, China has recently implemented English for Air Traffic Control:
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news … nly-policy

As with Russia, while I did not see anything specific about this, I would expect military ATC to be conducted in Mandarin.

The transition to use of English for Space Traffic Control would seem likely.

All that said, I hope that the "backup of humanity" on Mars does NOT include omission of language arts, and all the literature associated with languages other than English. 

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#5 2019-09-25 19:09:57

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,721

Re: Language Preservation

With language also goes culture as it fades into the melting pot of a nation in time but the strength of a language can also destroy an existing nation just as easily. America is seeing some of that when a person will not assimulate the culture and language that they are becoming part of but rather just bringing there problems with them.
As for Mars unless we have someone that will not change or resists becoming one with the new nation we will have problems from those types. Mars will for many generations be an all for one and one for all culture of support and trust.
Myself I am from a French and Indian past only 2 generations back but by time that branch time the indian had already been declare white and were not recognized any longer. The french had become american and adopted the english language at that point as well. Before that they were both shound as not part of the whole.

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#6 2019-09-25 20:13:44

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,558

Re: Language Preservation

For SpaceNut and Louis ....

Thank you for your vigorous defense of the English language.  I'm partial to it myself.

However, since the two of you are the only members of the forum taking a position one way or the other on the topic, Id like to know how you would propose to prevent the space faring nations from setting up their own communities on Mars, and establishing their own cultures there.

In the immediately discernible future the Russians, Chinese, Indians, Japanese and the European Union appear capable of independently mounting their own expeditions and establishing their own bases. 

It will take some pretty remarkable footwork on the part of the English speaking community to persuade all those proud nations to take direction from the English speakers.   How is that going on Earth right now?

For that matter, why should not the Chinese expect everyone who lands after them to speak Mandarin, if they are first.

This little discussion we are having here might have larger implications than might at first glance seem likely.

As a reminder, the purpose of this topic is to advocate FOR preservation of as much human knowledge as possible in a second site, not elimination of as much as possible.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-09-25 20:15:18)

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#7 2019-09-26 05:08:53

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

The most likely outcome is that we will end up transporting to Mars our divisions and our woes - which will be very sad.

However there is a slight possibility this might be avoided. My own view as that as soon as there is a viable community on Mars it should organise on a democratic basis and  declare and claim for itself a planet-wide authority.

Thereafter anyone wishing to establish a base on Mars could only do so with the agreement of the Mars Republic. Were other nations to attempt to establish a base without permission, the Mars Republic would take steps to render the base inactive (deprive them of their energy system) and then return any illegal migrants to Earth.

The Mars Republic should require new bases on Mars to be broadly representative of Earth's population - so no single-ethnicity bases e.g. Han Chinese or bases centred on one religion. In this I am thinking they would likely resemble the more prestigious American universities which draw people from all around the world. They must also operate genuine local democracy and participate in the Mars Republic democratic constitution.

The Mars Republic should have its own flag and the planting of any Earth flag on Mars soil should be illegal.

As long as the Mars Republic maintains friendly relations with the USA, I think this approach would be viable. The Mars Republic would always have the advantage over any Earth-bound space agency trying to send humans to Mars without its permission, at least for the foreseeable future.

It should be noted that the OST is silent on the creation of a self-governing human community off-Earth. There is no clause that prevents it. 


tahanson43206 wrote:

For SpaceNut and Louis ....

Thank you for your vigorous defense of the English language.  I'm partial to it myself.

However, since the two of you are the only members of the forum taking a position one way or the other on the topic, Id like to know how you would propose to prevent the space faring nations from setting up their own communities on Mars, and establishing their own cultures there.

In the immediately discernible future the Russians, Chinese, Indians, Japanese and the European Union appear capable of independently mounting their own expeditions and establishing their own bases. 

It will take some pretty remarkable footwork on the part of the English speaking community to persuade all those proud nations to take direction from the English speakers.   How is that going on Earth right now?

For that matter, why should not the Chinese expect everyone who lands after them to speak Mandarin, if they are first.

This little discussion we are having here might have larger implications than might at first glance seem likely.

As a reminder, the purpose of this topic is to advocate FOR preservation of as much human knowledge as possible in a second site, not elimination of as much as possible.

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#8 2019-09-26 06:54:19

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,558

Re: Language Preservation

For Louis re #7 ...

Thank you for helping this topic along.

In your opening, you have conceded the inevitable, but you've offered a vision of a possible future that might occur, with incredible good will on the part of everyone involved.

The subject of this topic is "Language Preservation"

Because you have taken an interest in this topic, I will invite you to focus on one aspect of the problem.

However, before making that offer, I'd like to point out that English is among the most commonly spoken languages on Earth, but according to a chart published by www.worldatlas.com, #2 ranking goes to Mandarin Chinese with 1.15 Billion speakers, #3 goes to Spanish with 661 Million, and Hindustani is 4th with 544 Million.

My personal feeling is that each of us should know four or five languages, and the time for language acquisition is in the early years of life, when the human brain is capable of absorbing multiple languages.  It becomes more and more difficult (for most of us) to acquire new languages as we get older.

Your devotion to English is understandable, but I am confident every person raised with a language ends up believing that language is superior to all others for most applications important to them.  I have no doubt at all that if English speakers fail to establish themselves as the arbiters of language use on Mars, the Chinese will solve the problem readily enough.

In the context of THIS topic, I invite you to contribute thoughts on how you would preserve English as a language on Mars.

I'm not just talking about the use of English in Space Traffic Control, which seems likely (to me at least)

Instead, I am interested in how you would act to try to insure survival of the full breadth of English in a small population, far from home.

To make this contribution especially valuable, I invite you to set up a tag for your post, which allows you and others to quickly find it in future.

Numerous examples of how this is done are now available in the forum, but I like to cite GW Johnson and EducationDoneRight as a particularly effective example.  You can do something similar, and build up that post over time into a useful reference for future mission planners.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-09-26 06:55:15)

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#9 2019-09-26 14:58:29

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
Website

Re: Language Preservation

If the Chinese are the first to reach Mars, then according to Louis, it should become a Han colony, and the language will be Chinese. The Chinese living there will gain the right, by being the first, to exclude everyone else from the entire planet.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#10 2019-09-26 17:53:26

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

Nope, that's not what I am proposing.

I am proposing a Mars Republic that draws on all ethnic groups.

But if the Chinese were to get there first it would indeed be an exclusively Han Chinese settlement  and the Han Chinese Communist regime would dominate Mars.

I am proposing English as the language for Mars because it is effectively the international language of Earth and especially because it is the world language of science, technology and academia.  The Chinese language will never have that role on Earth.

Terraformer wrote:

If the Chinese are the first to reach Mars, then according to Louis, it should become a Han colony, and the language will be Chinese. The Chinese living there will gain the right, by being the first, to exclude everyone else from the entire planet.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#11 2019-09-26 18:11:08

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

It's not my attachment to English that is the issue. English is the international lingua franca for business, for science, engineering, and academia, for travel and for a lot of culture. Chinese and Spanish are really regional languages. English is the only language that has a global spread and deep penetration in many countries whether as a first or second language.

It's certainly true that there are countries where people are used to speaking two or three languages...but if Mars is going to reflect the whole of the world, then there will potentially be several hundred languages that would need to be learned, which again implies it would make sense to adopt a single common language rather than trying to emulate Canada and Switzerland where people often speak two or three languages reasonably well (though not all the population).

Well I imagine the small Mars community - to begin with rather like Antarctica in terms of human settlement...a few thousand (mostly scientists, technicians and transport engineers) - will maintain their knowledge of English through regular contact with Earth. Most of its cultural products (films, TV series and music) will come from Earth.

For the first few decades most of the English speakers will have been born, bred and educated on Earth. That is where they will acquire their broad knowledge of English.

If it becomes possible to procreate on Mars, then the situation changes. I would envisage English being the principal medium of education on Mars. And it would be in that context that all Mars citizens would gain a broad understanding of the English language, even if it was not their home language. Then English would be used in the work environment also, so reinforcing its dominance.

Of course it would be perfectly possible to create a new language for Aresians to learn.  We know languages like Esperanto can be invented from scratch. Something similar was done in Israel which adopted Modern Hebrew (not a "natural" language) as its common language. Most Jewish migrants to Israel had only a smattering of Ancient Hebrew so this was very much a new language that the state promoted.

However, creating a new language would I think create unnecessary difficulties.  Simply adopting the de facto international language of Planet Earth as the official language of the Mars Republic would minimise problems associated with language.


tahanson43206 wrote:

For Louis re #7 ...

Thank you for helping this topic along.

In your opening, you have conceded the inevitable, but you've offered a vision of a possible future that might occur, with incredible good will on the part of everyone involved.

The subject of this topic is "Language Preservation"

Because you have taken an interest in this topic, I will invite you to focus on one aspect of the problem.

However, before making that offer, I'd like to point out that English is among the most commonly spoken languages on Earth, but according to a chart published by www.worldatlas.com, #2 ranking goes to Mandarin Chinese with 1.15 Billion speakers, #3 goes to Spanish with 661 Million, and Hindustani is 4th with 544 Million.

My personal feeling is that each of us should know four or five languages, and the time for language acquisition is in the early years of life, when the human brain is capable of absorbing multiple languages.  It becomes more and more difficult (for most of us) to acquire new languages as we get older.

Your devotion to English is understandable, but I am confident every person raised with a language ends up believing that language is superior to all others for most applications important to them.  I have no doubt at all that if English speakers fail to establish themselves as the arbiters of language use on Mars, the Chinese will solve the problem readily enough.

In the context of THIS topic, I invite you to contribute thoughts on how you would preserve English as a language on Mars.

I'm not just talking about the use of English in Space Traffic Control, which seems likely (to me at least)

Instead, I am interested in how you would act to try to insure survival of the full breadth of English in a small population, far from home.

To make this contribution especially valuable, I invite you to set up a tag for your post, which allows you and others to quickly find it in future.

Numerous examples of how this is done are now available in the forum, but I like to cite GW Johnson and EducationDoneRight as a particularly effective example.  You can do something similar, and build up that post over time into a useful reference for future mission planners.

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#12 2019-09-26 19:08:59

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,721

Re: Language Preservation

The world does have several regional language areas that were seperated by distance which led to the suround areas to have simular languages. English is a collection of parts of many of the european languages as a result of close proximity to the others in the area.
The spanish derivative that is in the americas is different than the spanish of spain.
The chinese language simular to others in the area of asia but I am not all that knowledgeable of the area to say which ones came first to which is parts of the many in the area.
Native languages of africa as well as the americas only have pockets that remain and are not simular at all to any of the others of the world from the isolation that once existed.

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#13 2019-09-27 04:42:13

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,261

Re: Language Preservation

So English is the current lingua franca. There have been others. Latin, French (notice that lingua franca is latin for the language of the Franks), Arabic (lots of borrowed Arabic words in English betray the relatively advanced technological knowledge of the mediaeval Arabs- such as algebra, alchemy and algorithm). The adoption of a language as lingua franca is a matter of power, trade and technology. Through the 19th and 20th centuries the British and then the Americans have dominated as the world has become more interconnected. That doesn't mean that english wont be replaced in the future.
I did once start to write a space story in which the Mars settlement spoke mandarin and English was confined to Callisto and Ganymede. I found that writing novels is very hard work and I already had all the work I could cope with, so I gave up on it.

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#14 2019-09-27 05:44:45

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

Indeed - if we were starting the settlement of Mars in the late 18th century I would be arguing for French. French is the only other lanuage that has ever approached being a global lingua franca.

English could be replaced in the future, but it would now be much more difficult than was the case with French because English is so deeply entrenched in science, technology, business, and world culture.  The cultural aspect is important.

What would replace English. Mandarin Chinese where one word can have four different tones (highly suited to Han Chinese  physiology)implying four entirely different meanings? How easy would it be for Africans, Americans, Europeans and Arabs to converse if using Mandarin Chinese? Nigh on impossible I would say. 

Interest idea for a novel but as you say - writing a novel is not easy!


elderflower wrote:

So English is the current lingua franca. There have been others. Latin, French (notice that lingua franca is latin for the language of the Franks), Arabic (lots of borrowed Arabic words in English betray the relatively advanced technological knowledge of the mediaeval Arabs- such as algebra, alchemy and algorithm). The adoption of a language as lingua franca is a matter of power, trade and technology. Through the 19th and 20th centuries the British and then the Americans have dominated as the world has become more interconnected. That doesn't mean that english wont be replaced in the future.
I did once start to write a space story in which the Mars settlement spoke mandarin and English was confined to Callisto and Ganymede. I found that writing novels is very hard work and I already had all the work I could cope with, so I gave up on it.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#15 2019-09-27 13:49:36

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,558

Re: Language Preservation

Thanks to Louis, SpaceNut and elderflower for adding substantial insights to this topic.

I'm hoping to persuade the three of you, and (hopefully) others to contribute to the theme, which is how to plan to preserve a number of human languages in an off-Earth backup.   I recognize that a settlement of a few thousand people is going to be challenged to sustain more than (just a guess) three languages, but the example of Europe is encouraging.  I'm told that many citizens in Europe speak multiple languages.

It is good to see support for the rich experience of human language variety.   I am told that different languages capture different experiences in ways that a single shared language cannot. 

One avenue of preservation that might attract interest and (more importantly) financial support, is the use of AI to facilitate language learning, especially in youngsters.  The reward for success in mastering a given language would be the opportunity to read books, to watch videos, and (perhaps) to listen to live streams from Earth.

Louis ... in an earlier post in this topic, you mentioned being related to folks who are trying to bring back Welsh as a living language.  The community engaged in this quixotic activity may be willing to take their efforts to the next level, along the lines suggested above.

(th)

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#16 2019-09-27 17:24:28

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,721

Re: Language Preservation

Technology keeps changing the media that we are using to record for later recall. I happened to visit my step dad, the only dad I have known in which he had many old VCR tapes of which there was I think many converted to CD's but he still wanted to watch the originals which were made from the many still photographs that were captured. So the upgrade to the cd could be flash, hard drive or a blue ray cd but we will keep changing how we will store and even the software formats for playback of the once save data.
We store artwork images in the same manner as we would sound as well as written content of the same. We do the same with the ancestry data for a family tree as well in that we record information and save it for later record by these same manners.

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#17 2019-10-03 16:55:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,721

Re: Language Preservation

I am removing most of these post that follow from the topic which they came from:

tahanson43206 wrote:

I expect that people of a particular ethnic group could enjoy each other's company at entertainment establishments created to celebrate their shared history.

Such commemorative groups have existed in the United States since before its founding, and I have no doubt they would occur away from Earth.

I'd like to encourage you to get started building your plot with the ethnic minority of your choice.  As a reminder, I am encouraging you to develop your ideas already expressed, for growing of bamboo and manufacture of (I hope high quality) paper.

You're going to need to recruit ethnic minority people of your choice for your project, and you'll need to find the select people before they are spirited away by competing plot owners.  (th)

Terraformer wrote:

If we insist maintaining an arbitrary ethnic ratio (again, why not base it on the shares of the population in 1800?), then it requires banning people if they would put the ratio out. Which is to say, implementing racial discrimination. I don't see why people should be banned from participaying because Nigeria or Japan haven't sent enough. It's disgusting. Racial quotas have no place on Mars.

tahanson43206 wrote:

For Terraformer re quote below

Terraformer wrote:

Pfft. If you want to avoid racial and ethnic friction, you need a monoracial/monoethnic colony, not one that tries to reflect the current ratio of skin pigments on the planet (which, by the way, was a lot paler in the past, and will be darker in the future - why not aim for 1800 as the year?). Sure, multiculturalism has failed everywhere it's been tried, but maybe if we try it one more time we'll be able to change the rules and somehow come together over the non-shared values we don't hold in common?

I suspect I am a lot younger than you, anyway. Millennial or Zoomer, depending on where the line is drawn.

Banning people from joining a colonization project because their skin culture would upset some arbitrary and constantly changing ratio is disgusting. Why should Britons be forbidden unless enough Nigerians sign up? I want no part in such a project.

Upon reading your post above, I decided to emphatically reject what I interpreted as lingering ethnic supremacy by a member of a particular ethnic group.  This post arrived around the same time as another post in another topic, in which the author expressed even more extreme supremacist views, which I believe are incompatible with culture Dr. Zubrin set out to create.

I searched the web site published documents about the Mars Society, and found only a generic welcome for everyone, which I interpret to be an implicit rejection of the idea of members of one particular ethnic group or gender seeking to reject members of another group or gender.

It is worth keeping in mind that (barring the unforeseen medical breakthrough) EVERY member of every ethnic group on Earth is going to be dead.  Only the cultures that survive constant battering by entropy will exist in 100 years.

I am looking for My Hacienda on Devon Island (or equivalent location) to reflect the population of the planet as a whole, and will vigorously attempt to encourage that result.

(th)

Terraformer wrote:

I am looking for My Hacienda on Devon Island (or equivalent location) to reflect the population of the planet as a whole, and will vigorously attempt to encourage that result.

Then you are a racist, because the only way to accomplish that is through racist discrimination.

RobertDyck wrote:

Terraformer, my advice is to ignore such questions. You'll have a difficult time trying to convince people to invest $100 million per plot without obsessing over where they come from.

Terraformer wrote:

If it's being built on Devon Island, perhaps it should reflect the demographics of Canada of 2019. If built on Mars, the country that established it, setting the year used as 2000, since if it's not fixed it will be a constantly moving target.

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#18 2019-10-03 16:57:46

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,721

Re: Language Preservation

This is the problem with retaining culture , color and language as we have not learned to be open minded to the equality of life and of its diversity that must melt together for man to survive,, We must learn from our mistakes.

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#19 2019-10-03 17:06:46

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

Skin colour is irrelevant but cultures clash. Democracy clashes with theocracy, monarchy, communism and fascism. No use denying it. A scientific culture clashes with one based on religious superstitions and customs. You can see that all around the world. These are realities. Likewise separate languages retard communication and understanding.

SpaceNut wrote:

This is the problem with retaining culture , color and language as we have not learned to be open minded to the equality of life and of its diversity that must melt together for man to survive,, We must learn from our mistakes.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#20 2019-10-04 02:14:25

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
Website

Re: Language Preservation

SpaceNut wrote:

This is the problem with retaining culture , color and language as we have not learned to be open minded to the equality of life and of its diversity that must melt together for man to survive,, We must learn from our mistakes.

Species don't survive through melting together into homogeneity, but from maintaining diversity. Humans are no exception. I *like* the existence of different cultures, races, and ethnic groups. The thought of globohomo where everyone looks the same is a dreadful one to me.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#21 2019-10-04 14:09:19

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

I would say the real diversity is between individuals.  Having a shared language doesn't mean you have homogeneity. English is such a huge, rich language, that there are in reality many different language "pools" in which people swim.  I think you can have lots of different cultural reference points "orbiting" around a flexible core culture. A flexible core culture is one that has a democratic political system, honours free speech, applies the golden rule and values peaceful resolution of disputes over violent resolution.


Terraformer wrote:
SpaceNut wrote:

This is the problem with retaining culture , color and language as we have not learned to be open minded to the equality of life and of its diversity that must melt together for man to survive,, We must learn from our mistakes.

Species don't survive through melting together into homogeneity, but from maintaining diversity. Humans are no exception. I *like* the existence of different cultures, races, and ethnic groups. The thought of globohomo where everyone looks the same is a dreadful one to me.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#22 2019-10-04 16:29:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,721

Re: Language Preservation

Non of the eye for an eye crap with treating each other like we are equal is a good start...

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#23 2019-10-04 17:16:11

IanM
Moderator
From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Language Preservation

Perhaps language would become less of an issue with translation machines, etc. I agree that English is/ought to be the lingua franca of Mars, but perhaps a situation like the UN would arise where various languages are spoken in official contexts w/ translation while each settlement would speak its own language.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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#24 2019-10-04 17:51:12

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,558

Re: Language Preservation

For IanM re #23

Thank you for picking up on the intention of this topic ... It was initiated when I read a report of amazing (very hard) work done by volunteers to create a written representation of a language spoken by several million people. 

I did not expect the response that occurred initially, but accept that the topic of language is a sensitive one for some folks. 

My expectation is that EVERY person who speaks a particular language considers that language to be superior to all others, and furthermore, that they are motivated to preserve it.  My intention in starting this topic was to facilitate a discussion of how language preservation may best be accomplished in a backup site such as Mars promises to be.

It seems to me that IF (a BIG if) the United States is the lead nation in settlement of Mars, then English would have a good chance of being known to a useful degree by everyone who travels there, but (in my opinion) EVERY language whose adherents travel to Mars deserves an opportunity to be remembered and spoken at home or school or (other institution) without objection by any other human being.

As it happens, a full scale My Hacienda community on Earth would be a good proving ground for the UN concept you've outlined.

Google Translate is already able to perform what seem to me to be astonishing feats of near-instantaneous translation of text, and (I'll bet) translation from live speech is coming along.

Thanks again!
(th)

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#25 2019-10-04 17:59:53

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Language Preservation

Translation machines could certainly help overcome communication barriers but everyday communication is pretty instantaneous (we are matching our reading of body languages with the phonemes we hear).  I still think having what you might call a "primary" language is the best way forward.  I think we should create a unified culture on Mars which will promote peace and happiness. I suppose if people are determined to introduce Earth's antagonisms well there's not much that can be done to stop that.  We'll have US bases, EU bases, Putin bases, Chinese Communist bases, Saudi Wahaabi bases, Iranian Shia bases and Indian Hindu bases. We will have recreated Earth's toxic politics on Mars. Well done folks!


IanM wrote:

Perhaps language would become less of an issue with translation machines, etc. I agree that English is/ought to be the lingua franca of Mars, but perhaps a situation like the UN would arise where various languages are spoken in official contexts w/ translation while each settlement would speak its own language.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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