The Web Is Divided Along Language Lines

Says the New Scientist.

Well, makes sense, doesn't it?  It's impossible to read web pages in languages with unknown scripts, and even when the script is the same, but the language is different, like German or French for readers of this text, it isn't easy.

This will cause problems.  For instance, you have a group like MEMRI, which takes inflammatory news and video clips from the Middle East and translates them into English.  Then you have a group that translates Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and other's most vitriolic statements into Arabic.  Both groups are leading us to war, whatever their intentions.  Both of these groups are taking the worst sh*t in each society and shoving it under the nose of the other.  The newspapers of the Kaiser and the Tsar did similar things before WWI, according to James Joll.  To incite a population into becoming worthy of death one must focus on the very worst of it, and ignore anything better. 

What's worse, I suppose, in a way, is that few if any Teutons learned what Slav-language newspapers were saying about them, and vice-versa. 

P.S. I don't actually know of any group translating American vileness into Arabic, Farsi or Pashto, but we do know that when Bush called his war a "crusade" that was repeated millions of times in the Middle East.  The ignorance and hate get translated.  There's no money in peace.


The Choice of Sarah Palin

     Why did McCain choose Palin as his running mate for the 2008 Republican Presidential ticket?  I'll say that McCain's campaign was fooled by the Fox News Channel and others into thinking many millions of Democratic supporters of Clinton were fed up and would not support Democratic nominee Obama, and simultaneously had missed the general thrust of the campaign of his own supporters, who had spent months focusing the relative inexperience of Senator Obama.

     The one place this worked as McCain expected was Arkansas.  Between 2004 and 2008 roughly 50,000 voters shifted from the Democratic column to the Republican, the only notable increase for the Republicans that year.  The exit polling shows that the entire shift, and then some, was among the women of Arkansas, since McCain did one percentage point worse than Bush among Arkansan men.

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