Sunday, September 09, 2007

miscellaneous musings

Nothing much here, just wanted to share some linkage:

There's a movement afoot to reopen the authorship question. The petition is signed by a number of people I respect and admire, and the declaration is a beautifully worded, short explanation of why the doubts remain. I encourage anyone who reads Shakespeare to check it out. (Okay, I encourage EVERYONE to check it out.) It's a well-made site, with a functional, realistic goal: making the Authorship Question academically viable, and reopening intellectual discussion of the issue. It doesn't purport to identify the writer (Though I'm a De Vere enthusiast) merely to make the debate available.

I stumbled over a great first-person account of what it's like to have Asperger's Syndrome, and thought some of you might enjoy the read.

After reading evilbearhunter's recent linguistics post, I decided to see if anything else had come out about Piraha. (This is that language I mentioned a while ago- the one without numbers, creation myths, and recursion.) I found a fascinating article about the folks who've been studying the people and their language. It focuses a great deal on the thoughts of the researchers, on their personal lives- but that only serves to make it more readable. It's a great description of the kind of work ethnologists and linguists do in describing a newfound language. (And it manages to discuss the issues without resorting to Chomskyan dry techspeak . This is a very good thing! I don't dispute the validity of Universal Grammar as a theory- I just wish to heaven Noam was a better writer. I have this sneaking suspicion that most people who love Chomsky have never tried to actually read him.)

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