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Blog Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

SMS: Save my Language…

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on January 3rd, 02009

The Wall St Journal ran a piece in their January 2nd Edition on the narrow group of languages that can use SMS cell phone text messaging.  Our very own Laura Welcher was quoted in the article:

“The idea of having your cultural identity represented in this technology is increasingly important,” says Laura Welcher, director of. . .   Read More

Browseable DVD Version of the Rosetta Disk now available

by Laura Welcher on December 16th, 02008

A fully browseable version of the Rosetta Disk is now available on DVD from The Long Now store ($15).

The viewer on the DVD is powered by the OpenLayers 2.5 map visualization framework, which allows you to zoom all the way in to read even the microscopic text on both the front and back. . .   Read More

Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes

by Austin Brown on December 4th, 02008

If Indiana Jones had been created by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Stephen Pinker instead of Lucas and Spielberg, he might have been something like Daniel Everett.  His story is as visceral as it is intellectual – it’s got love, beauty, pain and suffering in the South American jungle and a high-stakes search to understand. . .   Read More

Adivasi Academy students work to save indigenous languages of India

by Laura Welcher on November 11th, 02008

In a remote region of India, students at the Adivasi Academy are working to save their tribal languages, and through their languages, their tribal cultures and knowledge as well. They certainly have their work cut out for them — many of the students have had to devise writing systems for their historically unwritten native tongues only. . .   Read More

Macro to micro etching

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on November 3rd, 02008

The final technical hurdle of the Rosetta Disk Project has finally been overcome.  (See Kevin Kelly’s write up of this project here) We are distributing three of the disks to their owners this month and have two remaining of this first edition.

We now have both the sides of the disk micro-etched.  The. . .   Read More

“We would all be smarter if the world remains multilingual”

by Laura Welcher on October 27th, 02008

During his presentation at Pop!Tech 2008: Scarcity and Abundance, Dr. K. David Harrison discussed how language death leads to intellectual impoverishment in all fields of science and culture. He also detailed efforts to sustain, value and revitalize linguistic diversity worldwide. His talk was presented in collaboration with the multilingual video captioning site DotSub, where. . .   Read More

Crowd-sourced Translation

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 18th, 02008

We are testing out a crowd-sourced method of translation and subtitling of our Seminar series called The first of twelve talks we are going to try this with is the Will Wright Brian Eno talk (as seen above).  We have added the full English time coded transcript, and welcome any help in. . .   Read More

Communication Measures to Bridge 10 Millennia

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on July 16th, 02008

Excerpt from Sebeok’s “Communication Measures to Bridge 10 Millennia” for the US Office of Nuclear Waste Management.

The Long Now Foundation’s time frame of 10,000 years is often compared to the time frame for storage of nuclear waste.  We have paid a good bit of attention to the various endeavors to store. . .   Read More

Is the “First Movable Type” a Hoax?

by Kevin Kelly on July 13th, 02008

The Phaistos Disc is an archeological object that some have considered the oldest example of moveable type in history. The characters on the clay disc were stamped from a set of “seals” creating a text written in a spiral, although neither the text nor the language of the text has been deciphered. It is presumed. . .   Read More

Earth to aliens… we’re a bunch of dorks.

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on June 26th, 02008



Those of you reading this blog may remember my post about The Longest Conversation discussing the Arecibo Message, or Kevin Kelly’s on the Voyager Disk. But this week Lore Sjöberg over at AltText did the best, or at least most humorous, survey of messages sent into space.  It’s worth reading. . .   Read More