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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun! (Read 1,914 times)
Limey.
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #20 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 8:18pm
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Running Deer wrote on Nov 10th, 2017 at 7:29pm:
Well except for the Mongols killing 40 million people with Iron Age weapons.  Minor detail.


They only killed liberals. You can’t be wringing your hands about that?
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #21 - Nov 16th, 2017 at 6:24pm
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BTW, my favorite writing story is about the Cherokee language.  Sequoya worked with some white people at the local American fort.  He saw people reading and figured out what they were doing: using symbols on the page to stand for words.  He didn't get a chance to learn to read himself, but he thought it would be great.

He decided to create a writing system from scratch for Cherokee.  He hit on a deciding syllabary, using one symbol for each syllable.  Cherokee only has a few dozens syllables, and Sequoya's system has about 86 symbols.  Though not quite perfect, the writing system was very good.  The Cherokee people loved it and taught each other how to read, blowing past the white literacy rate in just a few years.

Think of how wild this is.  Here was a guy who knew what reading was but not how to do it.  And he sat down and invented an excellent writing system for a language that had none, by himself, from scratch.  That is a stunning work of genius.
  

"If cousins, I would much prefer to marry one my Neanderthal relatives than a screeching chimpanzee which might bite my face off as has happened recently. Of course, chimps are not even a human species so procreation between humans and chimps is out of the question." - joe_christian, on sex
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #22 - Nov 16th, 2017 at 8:54pm
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Running Deer wrote on Nov 16th, 2017 at 6:24pm:
BTW, my favorite writing story is about the Cherokee language.  Sequoya worked with some white people at the local American fort.  He saw people reading and figured out what they were doing: using symbols on the page to stand for words.  He didn't get a chance to learn to read himself, but he thought it would be great.

He decided to create a writing system from scratch for Cherokee.  He hit on a deciding syllabary, using one symbol for each syllable.  Cherokee only has a few dozens syllables, and Sequoya's system has about 86 symbols.  Though not quite perfect, the writing system was very good.  The Cherokee people loved it and taught each other how to read, blowing past the white literacy rate in just a few years.

Think of how wild this is.  Here was a guy who knew what reading was but not how to do it.  And he sat down and invented an excellent writing system for a language that had none, by himself, from scratch.  That is a stunning work of genius.


My Dad had a huge 40s/50s/60s sci-fi library which I plundered in the 70s and 80s.

I am absolutely certain this story was transplanted to a far off galaxy by someone like Robert Sheckley   


If it comes to me I will share.

The Cherokee was clearly a 19th century Chomsky.  What an uplifting story.
  

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Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #23 - Dec 26th, 2017 at 3:35pm
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Limey. wrote on Nov 10th, 2017 at 3:48pm:
To pick up on your last point first (time reasons, sorry) there’s a criticism of Tolkien I would make. 

I just finished reading the Hobbit to my boy. Never read it aloud before. I get quite in to the dialogue and try to voice each character consistently when reading to the kids.

Something that leapt at me was that the trolls and goblins have very identifiable urban working class English modes of speech, whilst the good characters have either educated ‘gentleman’ registers or ‘rural worker’ voices. I have looked at Lotr too to see if this is a theme.

Other 1930s English writers did the same I recall from earlier reading. Enid Blyton, absolutely massive in British children’s literature for 90 years, especially.

Whether this is thoughtless snobbery or a deliberate thing, subtly emphasising class differences, I don’t know.


I would be interested in your views on it. I guess you’d not have noticed it, because it’s peculiarly English, and apart from vocabulary I wouldn’t know if an American reader of American writers would be able to make such definite assertions about American characters.


I noticed it.  You must realize in our media environment that it is very easy for an American to be aware of different types of English accents.

Tolkien surely saw the modern city as evil, and saw that it debased its citizens, particularly the lower class citizens.

C.S. Lewis does a similar thing.  In one of the Narnia novels a proletarian couple from London is made King and Queen of Narnia, I believe (only read the book once, a 2 or 3 years ago); and over time this couple becomes ennobled by their new rural surroundings and their new position.  They speak slower and more clearly, they behave with better ettiquette, etc.

Ones environment will to an extent determine ones character, this viewpoint is far from mere snobbery.  The modern urban environment is relatively unhealthy ('feverish' as Socrates would say) and thus humans raised in it will be less healthy than those raised closer to nature, that is, in rural environments.  The healthiest people of all, would be those who lived nomadically in the wilderness, like the Indians of the American Great Plains. 

There are few, if any, human figures of greater nobility than the Red Indian in his feathered headdress.
  


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To say homo sapiens, is to say Homo religiosus; there is no man without God. ~Frithjof Schuon
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #24 - Dec 26th, 2017 at 3:39pm
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Running Deer wrote on Nov 10th, 2017 at 7:29pm:
Well except for the Mongols killing 40 million people with Iron Age weapons.  Minor detail.


The Mongols, overall, were a conservative, nomadic people.  They are still herding on the plains of Mongolia to this day.

Of course, their contact with civilized peoples impacted them, as would be expected.
  


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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #25 - Dec 27th, 2017 at 8:08pm
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Frank1 wrote on Dec 26th, 2017 at 3:39pm:
The Mongols, overall, were a conservative, nomadic people.  They are still herding on the plains of Mongolia to this day.

Of course, their contact with civilized peoples impacted them, as would be expected.


You're reduced to gibberish because you can't reconcile your goofy Noble Savage fantasy with reality.
  

"If cousins, I would much prefer to marry one my Neanderthal relatives than a screeching chimpanzee which might bite my face off as has happened recently. Of course, chimps are not even a human species so procreation between humans and chimps is out of the question." - joe_christian, on sex
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