Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Rosetta Stone

I look at podcasts as a translation from one view of the world to another. The following paragraph from the as-yet-to-be-recorded episode 58 of Minute Tech podcast is classic "Alex" - focusing on something extremely far from present-day reality in search of a reflection of present-day reality.

"The first is something of an antique, having first been published in 1915 with reprints in 1933 and 1943: "Countryman's Edition of Morey's Ancient Peoples", by William C. Morey and Irving N. Countryman. This interesting exploration of humanities past is full of inaccuracies in light of all the new scientific discoveries of the past 50 years....but also full of very good information and insights - it is a pleasure to read through and see some of the old pictures. The book covers pre-historic peoples up through the fall of the Roman empire. My favorite references are to translation aides, such as the Rosetta Stone, which gave a path to translating Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the Behistun Rock, which gave a first peek into translations of ancient Babylonian cuneiform inscriptions."

58 Show Transcript

We humans are constantly looking for ways to "translate" from culture to culture. Why do some political systems allow for the assassination of opposition leaders while others merely throw mud at one another? Why do some cultures expect a quick cup of espresso in a tall white paper cup while others allow for a 20 minute ceremony to serve tea? Why are some cultures so open to women and minorities moving to the top of culture, while others can't stand such heresy?

Let's keep looking for answers, keep looking for translations, keep looking for areas of similarity.


No comments: