Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wednesday Sermon: The Tower of Babble

I had to update the firmware on my Swisscom TVbox this evening.  Now in 2016 all our Television, and also our Radio is delivered thru the Internet.   

I mention this because today this is optional.  I  predict that in the near future, as the Internet becomes exponentially important providers will cease to be interested in Terrestrial transmitters.  In our own lifetime the Internet will become the only medium.  Be warned to those of you with less than a half decent Internet connection.

What you see above is a consequence of Switzerland's multi lingual country.   3 Languages and Swisscom (thankfully to me) also add in English for a grand total of 4!

Why Different?
I've always been a strident critic of multiple languages in this world.  Of course the issue continues because no country would like to drop their own language, far rather others drop their language for yours.

In Switzerland we have a much worse situation, in that there are actually 4 official languages

Languages of Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Romansh

Switzerland like India and a few other countries are part of the select few where Nationals can be totally misunderstood simply by travelling to a different region of their own country.

The Ridiculous nature of the situation was highlighted when I goto the Supermarket.  When I buy something simple like Breakfast Cereal the instructions need to be printed in 3 Languages (French, German, Italian) so there is less room for any type of text compared to say the English version.

The Religious Explanation

I hope you find the Religious explanation as comical and stupid as I do.

Why So Bad?
My principle irritation against language difference is

- It leads to misunderstanding and conflict
If you don't understand somebody your first reaction will be to treat them as something apart from yourself.  Conversely if they speak your Language their is an immediate bond and something very large in common.

- So it leads to division and not bonding

- It's so wasteful
Mastering even your mother tongue to the full is normally a lifetime of continual improvement, imagine the waste of time that learning multiple languages involves.   You could use that time to more productively do something else: you could help disadvantaged people, or perform charitable acts, that sort of thing.

Many people try to conflate culture with language but IMHO the two can and should be distinguished.  Sure they are related but one can still imbibe the culture of a nation, say Switzerland, without knowing all 4 of its national languages.

Dear god
So my open question to God is surely:  The Tower of Babel explanation is no explanation at all.   If you perpetrated this situation you have just let to societal misunderstanding and conflict.  And since (by definition) you God are omniscient you must have know that your actions would have had this result.  Not very nice of you God.  Not Babel just Babble.

XTC: Dear god