Thursday, June 28, 2012

Language Change (among other things)

First, a word from the text I've been reading about linguistics. The second half of the first chapter is about language change. The main point being to NOT be too pessimistic or conservative towards language change, because, frankly speaking it's going to happen whether you like it or not. As I talked about in a previous post the Academies in Europe failed at preserving their respective languages, there's no way to stop it. To put it in the vernacular don't get your panties in a twist you can't do anything about the change. The problems pessimists complain about now are the same, or at least similar to the pessimists of the past, language change is nothing new. Also, there's no predicting language change; it doesn't follow patterns, it doesn't 'evolve' as evolution is generally defined. It doesn't progress or regress. There are (to some extent) predictable changes to languages, if one looks at a larger social/cultural picture, but by and large it's an ebb and flow of change not a progression.

On the topic of philosophy, I've continued on to the second in the series on the History of Philosophy.  Today's topic was the next in line from Thales on pre-Socratic philosophy. The only thing interesting (to me) was this next set of thinkers (attempted to) conceptualize the idea of the infinite. One postulated an infinite intangible 'thing' that everything comes from. The other thought of air as the infinite source of all existence. Of course, that may not seem significant but really the attempt to conceptualize the infinite(ness) is an important step in philosophy. Honestly, no matter how hard we, as humans, try we will NEVER be able to understand the infinite. Think about this concept: if evolutionary/atheistic theory is correct, the universe is infinite. There is no such thing as time, it has always gone on and will always continue. Of course, if the theistic view from the Bible is true then only God is infinite. There's no way we can conceive this; we see such a tiny picture of reality.

One last topic, I've been invited by my friend Will Haas to write a post on scotch whiskey, and he's going to reciprocate with a post on photography here. I generally prefer single malt scotch whiskey, however, there's only Glenfiddich and Glenlivet here at the on-base liquor store and I've had both of them on multiple occasions. I'm thinking about branching out and trying a blended malt and the options there are slim too. So, I need recommendations, should I go for a Johnnie Walker, or venture out to a local liquor store and see if they have other options (assuming I can read the labels). I have a Japanese friend that we went to church with in Omaha, he said that scotch whisky is popular in Japan. Of course he is from mainland Japan and things might be different here on the island. I need a good one to write up a review on.

Underwater photography is fun!