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View Diary: "Native languages in 'a state of emergency'" (256 comments)

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  •  To reiterate the responses you have already (0+ / 0-)


    I have seen no answers to the question of whether and how individual rights should be balanced with community interests.

    A moot question. No one is insisting that any individual must learn a language or that they cannot learn any particular languages. The point is to revitalize and sustain language and culture -- there is no conflict between individual rights and community interests in such an endeavor.

    I have seen no answers to the question of whether all endangered languages are equally worthy of preservation, and why - and, if not, what criteria should we choose to judge which languages we should focus to preserve.

    Moot question.  Read NALA.  The United States has a federal trust responsibility to Native American tribes and a statutory responsibility to help revitalize Native American languages. If you feel this is somehow inequitable or that these languages are unworthy of "preservation" (a word that misses the mark -- I prefer revitalization), then you are welcome to work to repeal over two hundred years of settled law and policy.

    I have seen no answers to the question of whether cultural change, which has occurred throughout human history, inevitably involves loss of value and the replacement of good by bad, or whether there may be any value to new cultures and/or the values they espouse.

    Moot question.  Revitalizing a language does not involve an either/or choice between the old and the new.

    In my experience, ignoring individual preferences and tendencies in promulgating policy is a guaranteed path to failure.

     You have deleted the word "many" from this claim and backtracked to cite only your experience, but I am still waiting for your quantitative evidence to support the claim.

    •  There are endangered cultures and languages (0+ / 0-)

      all over the world. There are success stories - such as Gaelic, as already noted here by another - and failures.

      You are still intent on proving ill intent on my part. You are still interested in "exposing" a supposed advocate of "cultural genocide", "murdering Indians" and a "Final Solution".

      I feel sad for someone so caught up in hatred, rage - and their own ego - that they care only about "winning" an argument on the Internet, not about engaging in thoughtful discussions about how to develop effective policies, on a site that is all about effective politics and policies.

      All the things you call "moot questions" are moot only to one utterly disinterested in working with others to achieve actual progress, and obsessively interested in opposition and protest.

      I already noted several examples where well-intentioned liberal programs went awry. Anyone living in a big city can see the concrete cellblocks that were supposed to pass for "welfare apartments", that neglected the human need to feel pride of ownership - which helps ensure that residents maintain collective property - the need for expressions of individuality that distinguish one family's home from another, the freedom to develop some greens and gardens to bring some humanity to oceans of concrete, and many more design disasters that have resulted in many of these hulking monstrosities becoming abandoned cesspools of criminal activity.

      Much of the reason Native American cultures are in such distress is the result of well-intentioned policies, meant to address past iniquities, which only exacerbated the situation, because they failed to build in affordances for simple things, the kind of things discussion of which you consider "moot questions".

      I have not backtracked on anything, but I am not the subject of this discussion - at least, I shouldn't be.

      I introduced some questions that I think interesting, and that in my experience are important in promulgating policy.

      You, and others, had three choices regarding how to respond:

      1. if you think all my questions are "moot" and uninteresting, you could simply have chosen not to reply;
      1. if you weren't sure what my intent was, or the questions confused you, you could have asked - rather than assume bad intent;
      1. if the questions interested you and you thought them relevant, you could have responded.

      Instead, you assaulted, and you continue in an ardent effort to discredit me in a logically fallacious attack on the messenger that has nothing to do with the message.

      Your "moot question" routine is a rather naive approach to policy intended to address complex issues that have failed to respond to previous efforts at solutions.

      It is also a very parochial approach to broad questions I asked. I didn't ask if a particular Native American tribe's culture was important to preserve; I asked what the general criteria are by which we make such determinations.

      I didn't suggest that modern American culture is superior to endangered Native American cultures; I asked whether the issue of old culture vs new, in general, were not a little more complex than either-or, and whether there was ever anything positive in the new.

      In short, I raised what, in a less hysterical, militant and antagonistic forum, would be considered interesting questions that might be helpful in considering policy development.

      You can continue with the ad hominems until the cows go home. All they demonstrate is that your approach to dialog here is that of a video game addict, obsessed with "defeating" an "opponent", rather than sharing in exploration potentially leading to greater understanding.

      It is very sad, this inability to let go of the hostility and the mud slinging. It is unproductive, demeaning, hurtful and basically just sad.

      Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

      by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:41:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I don't know. I think if I had engaged in an (0+ / 0-)

        ad hominem argument I might have accused you of being hysterical, egotistical, obsessed with winning, or full of hatred, rage, hostility, militance, or antagonism -- or of being a video game addict.  Instead, I stuck to the issues and pointed out that your questions were irrelevant to the discussion at hand.  I also offered some reasons as to why your questions and comments evoked the responses they have evoked.  My criticisms are focused on the message, not the messenger.

        And I don't agree with your characterization of my approach as parochial.  You can wonder what general criteria to use to determine which cultures to "preserve" (again, this is the wrong word), but that topic is irrelevant to the topic of the diary -- namely, the responsibility of the United States to take action in collaboration with local communities to prevent the extinction of dozens of Native American languages.

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