Notes from a fascinating world.
The world is like a bazaar, full of interesting odds and ends, and I've been exiled into it. This is my all-over-the-map (literally and metaphorically) attempt at capturing some of the world's many wonders.
So I recently saw the film Arrival and read the short story it’s based on, “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang.
At the center of the plot, both in the film and in the story, is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which states that the language(s) that one speaks determines or influences the way that one thinks. The film and the story present an extreme version of Sapir-Whorf, wherein one who learns an alien language comes to see time the way the aliens do. But in fact most scholars have rejected the strong version of Sapir-Whorf, which suggests that people aren’t even able to think outside of their linguistic categories.
The weak version, though, seems to me surely true. This is an autobiographical account of how languages have repeatedly predicated my thinking.
Writer, traveler, lawyer, dilettante. Failed student of physics. Not altogether distinguished graduate of two Ivy League institutions. Immigrant twice over. "The grand tour is just the inspired man's way of getting home."