Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Social Communication?

Traditionally, novels recounted conversations and sometimes letters, maybe an occasional telegram. Now they can present pages of emails, mobile texts or tweets. In one of my jobs, we generated printed action plans for clients. A novel could comprise a succession of detailed action plans representing a character's life course and career changes.

What will technological communication look like in the Technic History? Some of it is modulated hyperwave pulses. Could brain implants generate a technological version of telepathy? What would real telepathy with a Chereionite be like?

Whatever the medium, it is all words, Anglic, Planha or Eriau, for our benefit translated into English. But how will the words have changed? Will Anglic still use the Roman alphabet? Will it, influenced by texting abbreviations, replace some letters with Arabic numerals: 2 go 2; b4; medit8? And words with letters: 4U? Will Anglic incorporate not only alien words like choth and Vach but also alien symbols? Who can say?


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I don't understand your use of the word "compromise" in the last sentence of your first paragraph. It seems to contradict what you are trying to say.

    One of the things I regret about our times is how letter writing has so drastically declined. Emails simply can't truly replace a carefully written letter. Also, most emails will eventually DISAPPEAR. Because most of them will not be printed out. I'm sure future historians and biographers will find our times frustratingly OPAQUE, from the lack of written sources (aside from official and frequently incomplete or even SANITIZED documents).

    We do know, from mention of it in various stories, that official communications are computerized, and then copied into disks of various kinds, for transporting to other planets. The clearest example of that being in THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN, when we see Commissioner Desai scanning thru the mail from Terra.

    And we do see Poul Anderson on what a technological kind of telepathy might be like in his Maurai story "Progress."

    I see no reason not to believe that whatever our English evolves into, the Roman alphabet will be kept. Because it it is so convenient and simple to use! What I frankly fear is a possible conquest of the world by jihadist Islam and attempts to supplant all other languages and alphabets with Arabic and Arabic script.

    Assuming English transmogrifies into Anglic, I think one of the changes will be a simplification of the spelling of many words. Words like a although, though, quick, queen, quack, etc., might become "altho," "tho," "kwick," "kween," "kwack," etc. And I can imagine this Anglic incorporating non human loan words and symbols.


    1. Sean,
      Quite simple. "...compromise..." should have been "...comprise..." Now corrected. Thank you for your attention!

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I did wonder if you meant "comprise."

      And what do you think, will our times become DARK to future generations, from lack of satisfactory written sources?


    3. Sean,
      That is one possibility. What I hope is that computers will continue to improve and that all records will be permanently preserved in that medium.

    4. These comments in ancient English will be read billions of years hence...

    5. Kaor, Paul!

      Pessimist that I am, I am no so optimistic that all that many records and non official documents will be saved from our times.

      I thin I, personally, have written more letters, and at greater length, than is now usual these days. And aside from a few persons like Poul Anderson (who replied to EVERY single one of my sometimes far too long letters) I've gotten precious few responses.

      Journals and diaries other non official sources historians and biographers love to use. BUT, the common practice these days of writing journals in computers (for those who do write diaries) makes me wonder how many will actually survive if they are not printed out.

      I have seen other persons making comments similar to what I wrote above.