David Crystal's red alert

L.Gillam L.Gillam at surrey.ac.uk
Mon Nov 21 12:58:26 CET 2005


Did you attend WSIS also?

For some who may not have seen much coverage, this
article may be of interest:

Jefsey, I really don't see RFC3066 and its successors
being any match for Heads of State: perhaps you should
campaign to Huang Ju, and other such Heads, regarding 
freedom of information (cited from the above):
	"the Chinese vice premier Huang Ju told delegates that some online restrictions were needed to protect states, although China wanted to "guarantee freedom of speech". "

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no]On Behalf Of JFC (Jefsey)
> Morfin
> Sent: 20 November 2005 19:57
> To: Doug Ewell; ietf-languages at iana.org
> Subject: Re: David Crystal's red alert
> At 18:27 20/11/2005, Doug Ewell wrote:
> >JFC (Jefsey) Morfin <jefsey at jefsey dot com> wrote:
> >
> >>http://www.yobserver.com/news_8624.php
> >>Some of my positions better described.
> >
> >Crystal's book, reviewed in this Yemen Observer article, argues that 
> >(1) languages other than English will remain important and must be 
> >preserved, and (2) the importance of regional variants of English is 
> >growing rapidly and must be recognized.
> >
> >Surely no group has demonstrated a stronger commitment to promoting 
> >the use of minority languages and regional variants of English over 
> >the Internet, by encouraging their accurate identification, than 
> >ietf-languages.
> Dear Doug,
> We agree on the effort, and on the probable motivations of most of 
> the members of this group. However when the author says "Among the 
> reasons set out by Crystal for the death of languages are natural 
> disasters, cultural assimilation and homogenization, displacement or 
> decimation of indigenous communities, and socio-economic pressures", 
> I would add the technico-economic pressures.
> The ietf-languages group is by essence where these pressures can be 
> applied or blocked, as far as the leading technology is concerned. My 
> fear, coming for a part of the real world which is not the one of 
> most in here, are the perverse effects which happens in _every_ human 
> effort. These perverse effects (which are not investigated) would 
> make this effort to help these pressures and would support 
> technically and culturally unjustified political or technical 
> doctrines.
> Doing a good job is a good thing. Doing a good job for an unethical 
> cause, makes that job unethical and is a bad thing.
> Your own remark on "Guam" shows that you are not happy with the 
> obligation to only respect RFC 3066. My position only goes a step 
> further in term of security: I have no objection to _also_ support 
> RFC 3066, I have no objection to even set-it up as a _default_. I 
> have a very deep ethic concern at making it _exclusive_. This leads 
> this group to twist reality and spoil a great and good job to _only_ 
> match it. I have a practical deep problem in having no way to 
> non-conflictingly match other needs in term of modes, tones, styles, 
> mediums, dates, sociolinguistic or trade entities, etc. etc.
> In this I share the "red alert". What happened in Tunis, for example, 
> just after the UNESCO GA where the mood was different, gives me the 
> bitter feeling of a Monroe split - in addition to the perfectly 
> understandable and acceptable technical, political, economical and 
> societal positions of the various sides.
> The "red alert" is for this group to make sure that its work (which 
> will greatly extend with RFC 3066 bis if applied) has ethical 
> effects. This is the same kind of moral concerns as the people of the 
> Manhattan Project had. And I think the impact on the people of the 
> world - through their language and cultures - is of the same 
> magnitude.
> jfc
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