Saturday, August 29, 2009


Entre Vous
"Internationalization" -- sometimes abbreviated "I18n" (quirky) -- means different things in different contexts, ranging from "globalization" to "lowering tariffs". Psychologically, it may involve defending against xenophobia, ethnocentrism, parochialism.

One man's "defending" is another man's "offending" though, in that ingrown communities with a unique way of life may resist absorption by some "resistance is futile" mob. For example the pluralist Mormons tried to shelter their form of life in a compound.

The USA promises freedom to practice one's chosen religion, if not infringing on the rights of others to do the same. This promise means little if it simply means everyone is expected to embrace standard brands of voodoo economics, consumerism, and/or nuclear family madness.

A smart cosmopolitan center knows where to stop with the annexation drive i.e. if those wishing the freedoms of urbane existence have those luxuries, then any striving towards monoculture at the expense of diversity should be itself regarded as a form of xenophobia, i.e. it's not just those "primitives" or "backward tribes" who have a problem with future shock.

In so-called Cyberia people are working 24/7 to keep the many written languages from ending up on the ash heap of history simply because engineers were neglectful around helping them make the transition. On the contrary, rescuing dying languages, with the aid of the Internet, would be more in line with what designing engineers are dreaming about doing, plus inventing some new ones.