Re: CHAT: Conlanging has the Hacker nature? (was Re: CHAT: music // was Leaf script)
|From:||Herman Miller <hmiller@...>|
|Date:||Monday, August 30, 2004, 4:10|
Paul Bennett wrote:
> On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 15:59:21 +0930, Adrian Morgan (aka Flesh-eating
> Dragon) <dragon@...> wrote:
>> B. Garcia wrote:
>>> I chose the lyrics in my sig because i thought they related well to
>>> Conlanging and language in general :)
>> I can well imagine that music might be a popular passtime among list
>> members (simply because minds that are simultaneously creative and
>> analytical are probably likely to be inclined that way).
There's also the connection with sound: most of the languages we're
concerned with (with notable exceptions) are modeled after spoken
languages, and music by definition is organized sound.
> Interestingly, you've nailed the much more verbose description by Eric S
> Raymond of what makes a truly great computer programmer/hacker. Also
> listed among the traits are a tendency to be more liberal in sexual
> attitudes, a disregard for rules that get in the way of doing fun work, a
> love of spicy food, an interest in the martial arts, an appreciation of
> word-play, and a feeling that the line between work and play can be
> blurry. There are more, here:
Hmm, sounds like a pretty exact description of a typical Zireen!
That's an interesting way to put it: "a disregard for rules that get in
the way of doing fun work". It's not the rules in general that are bad,
just the pointless ones.
Not surprisingly, since I'm a programmer in the game industry (which
tends to attract a lot of hacker types), there's a pretty good degree of
similarity with many of the comments. I do in fact subscribe to
_Scientific American_, wear jeans and T-shirts, enjoy spicy food, and
have shelves and shelves of books; I tend to think that I'm better at
writing than speaking; I don't have much interest in sports, especially
team sports; I let nature do the car washing for me. I could go on and
on with the similiarities. But unlike a lot of people I've known, I
don't hate Ewoks, possibly because I like listening to them speak their
language (even if I can't understand a word of it).
But now that I'm going over the hacker portrait in more detail, it looks
more and more like a portrait of a typical Zireen, even down to the
varied sexual habits and occasional use of psychedelic drugs. There are
certainly some differences: Zireen eat large quantities of insects, and
don't in general have any difficulty in person-to-person communication
or the ability to identify emotionally with others. That's probably the
biggest difference between Zireen and hackers; Zireen are especially
skilled at reading the emotions of others (including animals). But the
hacker personality (as described) does in general seem to be a good fit
with the Zireen. They have a general fascination with martial arts and
enjoy many of the same kinds of physical activities associated with
hackers: caving, rock climbing, scuba diving, and other such things.
Their politics tend to be anti-authoritarian and they don't have
anything like organized religion. And I really ought to be writing more
about their languages, but time has been in short supply lately. I
haven't done anything new since that little bit of Yasaro back in June.
> I wonder how many of ESR's "hacker" traits tend to bleed over into
> conlangers? I suspect there's a fair overlap (our own Master Of The
> Instrumentality is a clear example of someone who is well established in
> both camps). Perhaps conlangers can be described as hackers of the
> linguistic realm?
> Pop quiz: Does the above-linked protrait of J Random Hacker strike very
> many chords within you? Which ones?