Sunday, June 04, 2006

Communication day

In the Netherlands we have a long weekend (again), a Sunday followed by a free day on Monday. This time is the Cristian holiday of Pentacost or Whitsunday. For me, this is a special holiday. I am a philosopher and theologian by training. In 1970, I received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans (La.); these days I interpret the degree as Master of Diversification.

To me the holiday is a celebration of communication and languages. The Christian iconography uses two icons: a pigeon and tongues of fire. If I demythologise these icons, the dove stands for communication and the tongues of fire for multi-linguality. Of course this is a backwards interpretation (Hinein-interpretierung). The pigeon I see as the icon for wireless. It is like the carrier pigeon as used by Paulio Julius Reuter, the founder of Reuters news agency, to send messages across the enemy lines. The tongues of fire represent the diversity of languages. This makes a beautiful ideal: wireless and the multi-linguality.

Wireless is a reality now and there are of course translation machines. They have migrated from (very funny) word-by-word translations to translations by intermediary languages such as Esperanto to the present translation machines. Ideal would be a translation machine which translates in real time and transmits wirelessly. I guess it will exist in a laboratory somewhere in Japan or China (if it does not exist there yet, it will be created before the Olympic Games in 2008). Such a machine would be great. I could just speak my blog in Dutch and have it translated into English instantaneously.

Tags: ,

Blog Posting Number: 398

No comments: