A lot of people are fond of Wikipedia and how easy it is to look up information with this website, but how reliable is it? Not reliable at all, we already knew that, but one of the biggest fallacies of the website is the fact that there isn’t any objective system which can be used to judge added information. In fact, because everyone can edit Wikipedia, the chance of nonsense gets bigger and because the guardians of articles don’t have objective values to use when judging if a change needs to be reverted, the reliability doesn’t get any improvement at all.
So, how could we change this?
How to make it comprehensible
First of all, Wikipedia is not a very friendly website for new users, so one improvement might be, instead of a lot of different pages for information on how to use the website properly, just a few pages. If we take the pages concerned with citing sources, for example, we can see that there are quite a few pages for it, while just one page would be enough for it, don’t you agree?
How to judge information correctly
What viewpoints are acceptable? Should you accept totally unscientific and unaccepted viewpoints in an article about a subject? If you want to inform people, it might actually be helpful to include a viewpoint which is opposite to the general viewpoint, people will be smart enough to understand that it’s bullocks, but these might be some ideas when doing this:
– Refer to the group which adheres a certain view, for example: The following ideas/concepts originate from …… :
The problem however is that the order in which groups are written down, might be unfair to other groups. This is one of the problems, although this problem in general occurs in articles too.
– Make a limitation for edits. Maybe it might seem democratic to make it possible for everyone to edit posts, but it’s quite the opposite. The possibility for everyone to edit posts, makes it possible to add propaganda, to add false information which doesn’t get reverted due to inactivity of people which have knowledge about the subject and to certain interests to prevail in articles, instead of neutral viewpoints.
How to make limitations? You could add the possibility of a test which tests the abilities in a certain subject for users. It is possible to edit articles in a certain category if they can succeed in answering some questions about a certain subject which are, for someone with enough knowledge about it, not hard to answer. Of course you still have the risk of people with controversial thoughts to edit the article in a certain way, but people which want to spread creationism won’t so easily be able to edit articles related to evolution anymore.
Use your brains
Most important is to use your brains. If anyone wants to make you believe certain things, listen to the Buddha and know that you shouldn’t believe anything before you have seen it. If religious fanatics, extreme-left or extreme-right ideologists want to make you believe a certain idea, try to judge the subject and think about these 3 things:
– Is it reasonable/possible what this person says?
– How does, what this person say, affect other groups, is it negative about other people like muslims, democrats, jews or christians?
– What do other sources say about this?
I hope that I gave you some ideas! ;)
Should we have one language? It’s a simple question with a complex answer. Although one language could reduce the misunderstanding between people, it isn’t only impossible, it would also reduce our cultures.
How can we have one language?
Esperanto had the intention to be a second international language. Esperanto worked in some way, there are still speakers nowadays and I believe about 2 million people are capable of speaking Esperanto, there are even some native speakers, but the original goal wasn’t accomplished. Instead of being used as an international political, economical and cultural language, it became English and not Esperanto. Esperanto probably failed in this because it wasn’t a natural developed language which could absorb a lot of different words from a lot of different cultures, just like English. If you take a look at the English vocabulary, you can see a huge amount of words from a lot of different language families. This is most likely due to the international contacts, but also because English is the first language of the United States and the United States is a mix of a lot of different cultures. In this way, they could all adapt English and put something of themselves in it, in this way a lot of different dialects were created and a lot of new words came into use in the English language. Esperanto was already pre-defined, it couldn’t really absorb new words, thus it became popular for certain groups of people which had the same ideals and ideas as Zamenhof or wanted
The problem with having one language though, instead of a second language, which would be English nowadays, is that it’s impossible. There are a lot of cultures which will stick to their language, but not only that, the whole world is bilingual and all countries are aimed at having their native language in the first place. You will see more German in Germany than English, too much work would be necessary to change everything to English and not only would the population protest against it, there are internationally recognized rights to speak the national language of your country, to respect minority languages, it would also be impossible because there are a lot of people speaking their own language. Even if we would abolish all national languages, we would have minority languages which would need to be respected and they simply can’t be abolished. Another thing is that a lot of jobs would disappear, all translators and interpreters would disappear and this would have a negative influence on our economy, there are also certain parts of the world where introducing English as the only language wouldn’t be possible and we don’t want more languages to disappear. Languages teach us a lot about our culture, heritage and where we come from and abolishing all our languages would simply mean throwing away what is left to trace back what once was. All the Indo-European connections couldn’t have been discovered if 1 international language would always have been used. And those languages tell us a lot about the first humans and their culture.
Another problem is that a language is created by a culture. If a culture for example has a word for a color, this color will appear a lot where they live. But the color might be unable to translate for a culture which doesn’t use it. This is the problem with an international language. It can’t cover all the words for every language and culture, since every culture is different and some words simply can’t exist. Only universal words can exist, and even those can create problems. Are ideas the same in every culture and language? Probably not, they differ in some way. This is why you also need national languages, because a lot of unique thinking patterns which are needed to actually have new ideas and innovations for the world, can only be accessed by other languages. If we only have one language, important inventions could be lost, because a language like German maybe just was the most perfect language for people like Einstein and Bohr.
The only way to have one language would be to force it on people, just like was done in Ireland, Wales, France and Greenland (inuit which were assimilated in Danish culture and only spoke Danish later) and we know what happened, a lot of violence, cruelty, loss of valuable culture and conflicts.
So what should we do?
Does this mean that we shouldn’t have an international language? Not at all. Just like Akkadian, Latin and French, English is used as an international language over the world. Spanish is another widely used language and we shouldn’t forget Arabic in the middle-east. We have a few international languages, but English was more accessible than French as an international language because it adopted more words and because in every continent there are English speaking countries, except for Antarctica maybe. Although France has French speakers in a lot of continents too, English has far more people which speak it in every continent and in big countries.
An international language helps communication and it prevents conflicts or not knowing what another person means. It would however be good to also respect our other languages and even learn them. Not only can we communicate better, but there will be less misunderstanding if we really know what somebody says when they are badmouthing you. It is also recommended because you can better understand another culture. You can also read what they have written and have a better understanding of the past. Our knowledge of other languages can really help to understand the world in this way.
Let’s just stick to English, but also respect our other languages.
Poem consisting of sounds
Awwax za us,
Us tlla za wwaax,
hyy hawal al quaartin.
Sarqualanto us ttilaamo hireet,
sus awwax za us hawaa ulun,
al quaartin in wasen,
When your kid has ADHD, he or she is not ok. That is what educated people say, the kid needs therapy, pills and it is simply abnormal. What is strange though, is why this particularly happens in this period of time. In earlier periods of time, people with these kinds of ‘disorders’ were actually a beneficial part of society and used for certain tasks in which they could perform well and were respected as the people to be able to do it well. The problem starts in our education system already though and maybe the difference between men and women could be a cause of this problem too.
In our education system pupils have to be quiet and study their work, social contact is in fact discouraged in the classrooms and instead of letting people use their energy a lot, this is only done in the sport lessons. The big disadvantage of discouraging social contact is that intelligence may develop by social contact. The education system essentially has a goal to let students develop to intelligent beings, but by only using books and information which is indirect, students can’t really learn about the social aspects which are important in our lives. Of course we have to take into account autistic students who could have problems with it, but it would be a good idea to actually have lessons in which we encourage social behaviour and instead of having courses for kids which aren’t acting social and are too shy/not doing a lot with other kids, try to let them interact with those kids in special lessons in which ALL the kids participate. The disadvantage of lessons in which only the group of kids which aren’t social participate, is that they only have other kids which aren’t social to practice with, while social behaviour, when humans have a need of social contact, should be practiced among as much people as possible so that people can have a wide choice of possible individuals to have social contact with.
Our educational system expects people to behave in accordance to certain unwritten rules (and written ones too), but the problem is that some people simply can’t, because of the nature how they are. And nature hasn’t created those people like that for nothing, because they have certain functions too. The function of people with ADHD is to serve as energetic people in society who are very good for jobs which require physical activity. That is why those people shouldn’t be discouraged in our education or be given pills because they don’t behave like we want them to do (while they CAN’T even behave like we want them), but they should be offered the possibility to attend schools which actually offer them what they like and what they are ment for, activities in which they can do what they like and what they can do best and serve in the best way for society. The same problem exists with autistic people which are too often wrongly treated which causes them to end up disemployed, while they could give huge contributions to society, but because there isn’t enough space for those people, it actually doesn’t happen that our economy flourishes more by them.
What is the reason that our society acts like this? The core is the same as the reason why gypsys, homosexuals and jews are hated, it’s most likely because we don’t like difference and we want people who can’t change themselves to be in accordance to certain views which they can’t be even in accordance too. It’s the essential racism and discrimination of our society. Discrimination is a word which originates from Latin and which comes from the word discriminere, to make distinction. It perfectly described what our society is like, because we need to distinct everything. In science we do it, in education, in sociology and in philosophy, in everything our society is in essence a society which makes distinction, and as long as our distinctive society doesn’t change it’s need to make distinction, those problems which actually weaken our economy and our position in the world will persist instead of go away. Not only does it weaken our economy, because we make distinctions there are black people who participate in criminal activities, since they aren’t part of a society in which they should actually be absorbed. The only way to solve all these problems, is by not looking at differences and make distinction, but by looking at what we share as people.
It is strange how Iran and the United States can be such enemies while they are in essence the same people for the most part (if we consider the European part of the United States). Although Iran is a Shiit Islamic State, it has European features which are still present today. One example is the language. If we just take a small look at the Persian language, we can see similarities with English. I won’t consider ‘bad‘ as a similarity, because the origin of English ‘bad‘ and Persian ‘bad’ is different, although they have the same meaning, but if we look at a word like ‘ast‘ in Persian, it looks a lot like ‘is’ in English. Another word is ‘khoda‘, which means ‘good‘ and is quite similar to the word ‘good’.
Not only that, but also before Islam became the main religion in Persia, there was a religion called Zoroastrism which had similarities with the coming of Christianity in the Americas. Just like there was a belief in multiple Gods by the native Americans and by the Europeans from the early medieval times, a monotheistic religion came later in the place. In Iran, the Gods, ahuras, were replaced by one God, the one of Zoroaster which consists of the belief in two sides, the good side and the dark side in which the two sons of God have choosen for one or the other. The wise men in Zoroastrism, the magis, also have a role in christianity and brought gifts to Christ when he was born. Not only is there an overlay of these two religions, but the religions also are similar because they both consist of the belief in one God instead of more Gods. In Iran zoroastrism replaced this belief in more Gods, in the United States the belief of more Gods was replaced by the christians who came there.
The most obvious origin however is their Indo-European origin. Both the modern Americans of European origin and Persians once were one and the same people, the Persians were the Aryan tribes and the American of European origin once were Germanic tribes, Slavic tribes, Romans etc. They had a shared culture and language in the beginning, but drifted apart which made their cultures more different and harder to recognize as having a same origin. Unfortunately we don’t know what Indo-European culture exactly was like, but we can know from the early history of our language, that we certainly had similarities with eachother.
There have been obvious relations with Europe though. Not only did the Vikings trade silk with the Persians, but the Greeks were also dominated by the Persians and there might be a chance that the Bulgarians, a European population, are of Persian origin instead of a shared Slavic and Turkic origin. There are probably people who also stimulate these relationships to be intensified, since an exhibition in the Niavaran Cultural Center was organized in which the influence of Persian culture on European art is able to be seen.
Also in our literature there are relationships with Persia. Take for example Deux Persanes by Voltaire, in which the Persians are perceived as more civilized people than the European from the time of Voltaire. Also Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe have made allusions to Persia. One other remarkable example is how the famous La Divina Commedia of Dante has similarities in it’s symbolism with the contemporary writers of his period of time who also used the same kind of symbolism. The spiritual journey of Dante also starts with love which evolves from suffering to a change. There are even claims that his book may be based on accounts of the prophet Muhammed and his spiritual journey.
Although Byron did not reach Persia, what he wanted, he visited the Ottoman Empire and was inspired by the Suffis from there and stories of Persian origin. In his Turkish Tales for instance, references can be found to Persian works like Mejnoun’s tale and Sadi’s song.
The Persian work Layla and Majnun has similarities to Romeo and Juliet from Shakespeare. Young lovers from childhood who are seperated by their families.
The sound can be heard,
the sound can be heard since the sick one whispers,
whispers ’till the coming,
coming of what gives power to what is inside,
the wrong which becomes right,
illuminating the dim sight,
for what is here.