Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shoot the Black Rebel Motorbike Club

Julian Cope’s Address Drudion for September:

“Man, some rock-n-roll has got so lame nowadays. I read what those bunch of hairy no-marks Black rebel Motorbikle Club said in a recent interview: ‘We’d love to get a motorbike and ride across the USA but we’re afraid of getting shot.’ To them I say, then get shot, you wankers. For us. Even in death, you’d be more alive than you are right now.”

(via Die Puny Humans)

Disk Space Exceeded

I’m sorry if anybody has tried and failed to post any comments the last couple of days – I went over my disk quota (that I set myself, stupid dolt that I am – who’d have thought I’d ever need more than 333mb???)

It should be OK now.

What am I thinking of – no fucker ever posts comments here. Please begin now.

An Analytical Language

Here’s an interesting article on the analytical language created by John Wilkins in the Seventeenth Century. And here’s an excerpt:

He divided the universe in forty categories or classes, these being further subdivided into differences, which was then subdivided into species. He assigned to each class a monosyllable of two letters; to each difference, a consonant; to each species, a vowel. For example: de, which means an element; deb, the first of the elements, fire; deba, a part of the element fire, a flame. In a similar language invented by Letellier (1850) a means animal; ab, mammal; abo, carnivore; aboj, feline; aboje, cat; abi, herbivore; abiv, horse; etc. In the language of Bonifacio Sotos Ochando (1845) imaba means building; imaca, harem; imafe, hospital; imafo, pesthouse; imari, house; imaru, country house; imedo, coloumn; imede, pillar; imego, floor; imela, ceiling; imogo, window; bire, bookbinder; birer, bookbinding.

I wonder what life would be like with such a language. On the one hand, the encyclopaedic nature of the very words we speak would make learning a more rational task (and I’ve no doubt it would make certain forms of linguistic computer programming easier too), but on the other I can’t help thinking that so many words that were so similar could only confuse matters. Also, knowing how hard it is to come up with decent categorisation schemes, I’ve no doubt that this one would seem out-of-date as soon as it had been set in stone. The article goes on to state that in a certain Chinese encyclopaedia:

animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies.

In light of which, you have to wonder how much an encyclopaedic language would blinker us into one way of seeing the universe?