Robert Siegel talks with John McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics at University of California, Berkeley, who has written a new book The Power of Babel. McWhorter discusses how languages have evolved and why some languages are complex and others simple. (7:45) The book is to be published this month by Henry Holt.
Tagged with “for:wordridden” (10)
A new book by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche uncovers tales of language and translation, like the story of Peter Less, whose family was killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Just a few years later, Less interpreted for those very same people at the Nuremberg trials.
George Lakoff is a cognitive linguist at the University of California at Berkeley. But unlike many of his scientific peers, he’s known as much for his work on politics as for his research.
Lakoff the famed author of many books on why the left and right disagree about politics, including Moral Politics, Don’t Think of an Elephant, Thinking Points, and most recently, The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st Century Politics with an 18th Century Brain.
Throughout these works Lakoff has applied cognitive and linguistic analysis to our political rifts, and his ideas about "framing," "metaphor," and the different moral systems of liberals and conservatives have become very widely known and influential.
Daniel Everett discusses the Pirahã and their language. The language has no words for numbers, no words for right and left and lacks any examples of recursion. This last trait forces us to rethink everything we thought we knew about language.
The discussion of the Pirahã language itself is excellent, but Everett’s discussion of why endangered languages need to be preserved is absolutely fascinating. His recommendations for preserving endangered languages include preserving natives speaker’s land and their heath. He also recommends studying and documenting these languages over a long period of time, as he has done with the Pirahã language.
More information on this seminar is available at http://blog.longnow.org/2009/03/23/daniel-everett-endangered-languages-lost-knowledge-and-the-future/
Michael Pollan at TED 2007:
"What if human consciousness isn’t the end-all and be-all of Darwinism? What if we are all just pawns in corn’s clever strategy game to rule the Earth? Author Michael Pollan asks us to see the world from a plant’s-eye view."
Has food been replaced by nutrients; and common sense by confusion? Once upon a time we ate food. Now we eat nutrients, embedded in food-like substances, like yoghurt fortified with omega-3 or bread rolls infused with anti-oxidants. Are foods like carrots, broccoli and chicken better for you before or after they take a trip to the food processing plant? Do we need more nutrients in our diet or is it all getting out of hand? And are scientists to blame for all this confusion? ABC´s Paul Willis hosts this lively public forum with: Michael Pollan, a food writer and professor of journalism at the University of California Berkeley and author of In Defence of Food; Professor Mark Adams, dean of agriculture, University of Sydney, an expert in sustainable agriculture; Dr Ingrid Appelqvist, team leader for the CSIRO´s designed food research program.
In Food Matters, Mark Bittman, one of the country’s foremost food writers, examines the role that meat consumption plays in global warming and discusses how government policy, big marketing, and global economics influence what we eat. The voice of the popular New York Times column ”The Minimalist” (now in its 11th year), Bittman is the bestselling author of several award-winning cookbooks, including the James Beard Award and the IACP/Julia Child Award winner How to Cook Everything.
Julia Child’s long-time editor, Judith Jones, discusses French cooking, the joys of eating, and the indefatigable Julia Child with Sheryl Julian, food editor of The Boston Globe. Her new memoir is The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food.
By Public Image Limited. From the soundtrack of the cult British indie sci-fi film Hardware.
The whole soundtrack is online here: http://www.everythingisundercontrol.org/soundtrack.html
The 4am is a selection composed entirely of music sent to Warren Ellis by the artists.
- Badman — “Modern Species” (4:19)
- Kemper Norton — “The Unhappitants” (4:23)
- Levi Weaver — “Of Bridges Burned” (3:32)
- Satan’s Monk — Pro-Life (Demo - Alt) (1:22)