Re: Posthuman Language

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 22:47:28 MST

Loglan (/Lojban) has some constructs akin to this, IIRC.

Ever hear of the humble "po"?

Edward de Bono coined it as a prefix for, roughly, "the following is a provocative
hypothetical and I am marking it as such; discuss, but let's not waste time falling
into troll responses." The latter is actually pretty much implied in much of de Bono's
work; I have no way of knowing how many list members are familiar with his "six thinking
hats" and other work.

Po cars should have square wheels. (lateral thinking)
Po any AI without an L-box should be terminated with extreme prejudice. (blunt proposal)

I used "po" for about a month on this list, and a few other places. I made the style more
marked, adding a reference number and ":" to each use.

"Po (1): ..."

Nobody played along. Hmm, let's see if I can pull off the "hats" thing.

(Putting on red hat:)
Sadly(?), Anders is right.

Early adopters can sound like they're living in a wacky world of their own, inches away
from utter word salad. Especially in a totally open forum, onlookers will include people
who become disaffected and uncomfortable.

(White hat:)
In order to get this sort of thing to work well, one needs to be in a secure corner
among cooperative, disciplined (or at least properly habituated) people who evolve
and maintain a good protocol. Gee, flamebait for cult accusations. Oh well.

(Black hat:)
For better or worse, the of today is not such a place.

(Green hat:)
For the best results, weird jargon talkers need to mark their mental/behavioral spaces so that
they can come back to earth when not talking to their fellows, and do so with grace, agility and
equanimity. Ralph Merkle did a pretty fine job on Art Bell recently.


Andrew Clough wrote:
> Some recent posts on communication and miscommunication on this list have
> got me thinking about language. Have there been any discussions about new
> languages for use by posthumans who aren't advanced enough to just drop
> audio communication? Some who can hold more than 7+/- 2 things in short
> term memory without chunking could use some pretty complex grammatical
> structures to convey their equally complex thoughts. As Anders mentioned
> in his recent post, having more tenses or modifiers for different types of
> knowledge would also be good. So I could say that "MIT nu is in Cambridge"
> for something that appears certain, or "chocolate mo is better than
> vanilla" for something that is really subjective, or "Jessica nal is going
> out with Billy" for something that my best friend's cousin's former
> roommate heard in a bar. Over-engineering a language might lead to a lack
> of flexibility, but I'm sure posthumans with suitably enhanced brains could
> easily invent and learn new ones if they happened to make that mistake.

My moronic mnemonic for smart behavior: "DICKS" == 
diplomacy, integrity, courage, kindness, skepticism.

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