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1912: Tea Party June 12, 2010

Posted by t-maker in History, Photos.
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1912 Tea Party by rustymitchell

1912 Tea Party by rustymitchell

Rusty Mitchell on deviantART: a photo from my family album no lie.

Quotes:

…the constant flux of time makes everything seem unreal, the past is no longer, the future is not yet and the present disappears (General Psycho-pathology)

Time makes everything more interesting, including you… (Television and radio,
Giraud Chester, Garnet R. Garrison, Edgar E. Willis
)

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linguistic evolution January 29, 2010

Posted by t-maker in History, Miscellaneous, Science.
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734_-_Types_d'Orient_-_Esclava

According to the new study, human languages may adapt more like biological organisms, namely the more common and popular the language, the simpler its construction to facilitate its survival.

For years, it has been the reigning assumption in the linguistic sciences that languages develop is based upon random change and historical drift. But a large-scale statistical analysis of more than 2,000 of the world’s languages provides an evidence that there is a striking relationships between the demographic properties of a language – such as its population and global spread – and the grammatical complexity of those languages. Languages having the most speakers were found to have far simpler grammars, specifically morphology, than languages spoken by few people and in circumscribed regions.

Larger populations tend to have simpler pronoun and number systems and a smaller number of cases and genders and in general do not employ complex prefixing or suffixing rules in their grammars. A consequence is that languages with long histories of adult learners have become easier to learn over time.

The authors of the study insist that their results draw connections between the evolution of human language and biological organisms.

The conclusion is the following:

A consequence is that languages with long histories of adult learners have become easier to learn over time.

The full article may be found here.

It looked convincing enough for me, as a non-specialist in linguistic studies. But then I turned to the List of languages by number of native speakers From Wikipedia. The largest number of native speakers has Mandarin Chinese (estimated as 800,000,000). I don’t think that it is the easiest language to learn (not only for Europeans). Mandarin Chinese is followed by Spanish (358,000,000 speakers) and English (350,000,000) in number of speakers, comparatively simple languages. But then we have Hindi/Urdu (200,000,000), Arabic (150,000,000), Bengali (170,000,000), Russian (160,000,000)… I think the studies like that can prove only one thing: Anglocentrism of the researchers.

Heart’s desire June 18, 2009

Posted by t-maker in History, Painting, Quotes.
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Desire

Heraclitus, quoted by Bertrand Russell (in “History of Western Philosophy”), was very serious saying that

“It is hard to fight with one’s heart’s desire. Whatever it wishes to get, it purchases at the cost of soul. … It is not good for men to get all that they wish to get.”

George Bernard Shaw (in “Man and Superman” (1903), act 4) responded that

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it.

P.S. Visit Pino Daeni’s Art Collections (see also Progressive Art Media – Pino Page, Pino – Pino Daeni. LiveInternet)