Another abstract, yet important idea that I have been thinking more about while traveling across the world has been the development of language. Specifically, how much friction in economic/social/political progress is there because of the lack of a universal language?
I just feel like I am missing out on such a large part of the world solely because I do not understand everything that people are saying. I cannot even imagine the feeling of walking around rural Chinese markets and actually comprehending what these people are telling me. No one here understands me as well!
And I speak english – one of the more common languages in the world. Imagine being limited to something where very few others speak. I imagine this would be very restricting.
I think I miss out on so many little conversations. I am unable to empathize with so many different types of people – hear their stories, listen to their problems, etc.
Furthermore, I find the history behind language fascinating. The spread of language – across the world – is an interesting phenomenon. How/why did it spread to certain areas and not others? The speed of development was surely critically important to economic progress for the world. I want to read more about this and study linguistics a bit more.
I asked a friend what he thought the most important invention in the history of the world has been:
I think this is a good/interesting answer to this question. Language is the root of pretty much everything. It 10x’d our speed of work. And it is the product of generations and generations and generations of progress and iteration. It is the single greatest work of humanity…but it is certainly not without any problems.
I wonder if we will iterate multiple times over…make a big leap…move to a better framework for communication?
Put another way…or asking other questions…will we ever move to a universal language? (neuralink?)