ATP mentor training/Tell me what I need to know/handout/Xenolinguistics

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Secret languages[edit]

The secret languages described here are meant to be used for children and teenagers in an entertaining and educational context and similarities with any specific language used or described elsewhere [1] should be expected to be limited.

Xenolinguistics[edit]

Aspects of opinion[edit]

"Aspects of opinion" is a language dialect where the speaker communicates aspects of his own perspective and opinion by mixing the aspects into, possibly utterly unrelated, details of what is communicated. One could say that "aspects of opinion" is an alien dialect that mirrors an observed behavior but with the exaggerated effect that the aspects of opinion appear in unexpected and possibly inconvenient pieces of a conversation; it could be interpreted as asking the other party to cease doing just that: mixing inappropriate pieces of opinion into communication that should be factual. Aspects may, but are not strictly required to, appear in a way that is likely to cause the listener to consider the aspect a reference to an aspect of opinion instead of accurate reporting.

Abstract examples:

  • If A thought B (or sb. else) should not be doing sth. an arbitrary negation aspect might be added to a random statement made by A. The negation aspect could appear as an inversion of time flow (a process is reversed), an inversion of direction or an inversion of an aspect into a somehow opposing aspect.
  • If A thought B (or sb. else) was not acting appropriately towards C the inappropriate aspect might be ascribed to others (including an adjustment of perspective, effects and consequences) or reproduced by A (possibly with exaggeration), giving rise to the mirror behavior that is at the same time the foundation of the language, or A might request B to reproduce aspects of behavior towards C2.
  • If A thought B (or sb. else) should change a behavior the behavior might be mirrored (possibly with exaggeration) or ascribed to others (possibly with exaggeration).
  • If A thought C was not acting appropriately or was not tolerated A might ask B to repeat (an aspect of) behavior of C in order to verify if said behavior appeared acceptable to B or to make B understand the perspective and motivation of C.

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.
  • Discuss the effects of the use of the language by educators.

Questions:

  • Can authors extend this language and how? What can be learned from extending the language?
  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Alien ecology[edit]

The "alien ecology" dialect assumes the perspective that an alien ecology is growing on human communication. The "alien ecology" is an ecology of behavior patterns that can grow and reproduce themselves like an alien ecology, if left unchallenged. The means of propagation are psychological effects like unreflected imitation and psychological reactance but the behavior patterns can have almost any complexity or relevance and affect areas of life one could expect to be controlled by reason. The implication here is that the "alien ecology" is brought forth through the absence of higher-order volitions, metacognition and collective intelligence (and probably the presence of an alien-nation somewhere) and functions like another ecology or civilization, competing with proper civilization. The implication means that no person can be seen as an alien but that everybody can contribute to the "alien ecology" through absentmindedness or general lack of higher-order volitions, metacognition or collective intelligence. The alien ecology is also mentioned in the Parent Education Course Writer's Guide at Wikibooks.

Exercises:

  • Explain and discuss the psychological effects that allow detrimental behavior patterns to spread.
  • Discuss whether this language is actually a language.
  • Discuss the means of defense against the "alien ecology".

Questions:

  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Conservation law (contradiction)[edit]

The "conservation law" dialect requires that for every statement or fragment of a complex statement an opposing statement is made that contradicts the first statement. The language does not communicate sufficient information alone but requires the listener to notice contradictions and to make informed and intelligent choices. A special emphasis is that for motivations provided to a listener contradictory motivations may be provided; the speaker has to consider what motivations the listener may derive from a given statement. Contradictory motivations can lead to "questions" like: Do you solve problems by ignoring them or do you create problems by trying to solve them? Contradictory motivations are suitable to cause discord, unless challenged. Teenagers easily find a motivation to fool around, the language could be seen to provide the "missing" motivations for adults.

Background story: A group of radical information space environmentalists (R.I.S.E.) of the future (or an alien civilization) have been convinced that the space of remaining problems is being depleted by irresponsible problem solving and, in an appropriately thoughtless response, have decided to preserve problems for everybody.

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.
  • Discuss the effects of the use of the language by educators.

Questions:

  • Can authors extend this language and how? What can be learned from extending the language?
  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Lingua Antica[edit]

The "Lingua Antica" is the language of anti-patterns and implausible solutions. Speakers of the language prefer to explain how they would not solve a problem, because the best practice is trivial and therefore not considered worth mentioning (if you are sufficiently intelligent - and who isn't sufficiently intelligent isn't worth mentioning either). The language can be seen as a warning against being a wise guy. Speakers of the language like to reproduce and to adapt to their context the cognitive biases and logical fallacies of their listeners instead of explaining them. A pun is that when you are in antiquity implausible solutions are tolerable, because the more plausible solutions haven't been invented yet, but for a time-travelling visitor from the future "antiquity" can include today.

Exercises:

  • Find examples of anti-patterns and implausible solutions.
  • Discuss examples of cognitive biases and logical fallacies.
  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.
  • Discuss the effects of the use of the language by educators.

Questions:

  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Metaphor[edit]

The "metaphor" dialect uses vague analogies and allusions instead of precise wording. The listener is generally expected to understand analogies and allusions; the speaker does not have to make sure that the listener knows what is being referred to. This feature of the language could be seen as a motivation for a broad education. Speakers may feel obliged to elaborate if the listener shows himself an inclination to educate others. This feature could be seen as a motivation to become a teacher. The language can be combined with conservation law to form a language of contradictory metaphors.

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.

Questions:

  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Lingua Arbor[edit]

The "Lingua Arbor" is literally the "language of the trees". The language requires the speaker to communicate work instructions or whole decision trees because the listener cannot in general be expected to generate reliable decision trees himself. The listener is in general expected to believe what he is told. The language may frequently lead to false dilemmas, when the speaker didn't bother to mention all available options or the listener failed to interpolate intermediate options from a range of available options.

Background story: The language is supposedly spoken by a species of trees and by tiny robots.

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.

Questions:

  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Complement[edit]

The "complement" dialect is the language of meaningless associations. Alien speakers have been known to communicate in this language to unsuspecting listeners who had merely failed to reject one too many meaningless associations or who had subjected others to "complement".

Background story: The language has been associated with some TV programs and stimulus satiation.

Exercises:

Lingua Discordia[edit]

The "Lingua Discordia" is a dialect that serves the purpose to cause discord. It can appear as a variant of conservation law or metaphor but serves the additional purpose to put blame on somebody or to make two parties disagree or talk at cross purposes, which is the opposite of mediation and could be seen as providing opportunity for mediation.

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.

Questions:

  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Ambiguous[edit]

The "ambiguous" dialect simply requires every statement that is made to be ambiguous, otherwise the statement is invalid. The dialect does not require statements to be factually correct or consistent with other statements, though statements should touch aspects of topics the listener may consider interesting to maintain the vague semblance of an actual language. The "ambiguous" dialect would be more appropriately described as a linguistic game, like Scrabble. The dialect can easily be combined with most other dialects.

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.

Questions:

  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Language of collective intelligence[edit]

In the "language of collective intelligence" all members of a group can be referred to as "you". An example for the school environment is: You (teacher) teach yourself (pupil) but you (assistant teacher) have to motivate and to control yourself (pupil). The language can make statements about the categorical imperative and related statements very trivial.

Background story: While teaching collective intelligence is a commendable end it can be taken too far, as in the paradox of the man who is his own mother ("Your mother is also you.") A recurring joke is that when all people are "you" then everybody might accidentally mean the same person, which is where visiting old people in the retirement home can go too far: 20.000 visitors a day is too much for an elderly person. w:St._Peter's_Basilica

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.

Questions:

  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)

Lingua Universalis[edit]

The "Lingua Universalis" is not actually a language but just means "learning from experience", possibly from experiences that have been constructed by a teacher to convey a specific meaning. In an educational sense it can be interpreted as a reference to experiential education and also to scientific methodology as a means to "understand the message/meaning of the universe". Any intention to make somebody experience a detrimental situation as a means of retribution is considered a part of the alien ecology instead.

Background story: Alien speakers sometimes mistake the "Lingua Universalis" for a universal language (possibly for lack of an universal translator, which is impossible because good translation would require artificial intelligence and artificial intelligences hold strong views about being locked away in a mobile phone. Critics say this only shows that aliens haven't understood the different connotations of artificial intelligence and haven't understood the use of mobile phones either).

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.
  • Discuss the effects of the use of the language by educators.

Questions:

  • In which areas should the language be analyzed? (psychology, intercultural competence, practical philosophy, linguistics, astrosociobiology)
  • What are the ethical limitations of the "Lingua Universalis"? Why is it not generally useful (is not a universal language)?

Propaganda[edit]

The "propaganda" dialect is a dialect that generally assumes that propaganda is beneficial for many, so the interests of the individual must be less imporant, hence it is in order to make use of people to spread propaganda. Propaganda statements generally prefer the intended interpretation over facts, so facts are altered or replaced with what is a suitable propaganda statement, which may include motivation for individuals to act according to intended interpretations. The "propaganda" dialect may allude to the general nature of statements by attributing events, circumstances or properties to people or locations whose names amusingly correspond to the statements (like "John Q. Public").

Exercises:

  • Discuss the effects of the general use of the language on an alien society.
  • Discuss the reasoning why it is supposed to be in order to make use of people to spread propaganda.

References[edit]

  1. For instance the language Pi

See also[edit]


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