Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spotted: The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker

Where: Deep in a fresh drift of snow on one of those elevated N platforms in Astoria.
Who was reading: A cheerful brunette in a red woolen cap, spectacles and fur-lined half-boots.
If she were a fairytale character, she’d be: Rose Red of “Snow White and Rose Red”. I could so see her cavorting through the woods to gather berries and fresh herbs, all the while whistling a merry tune such as the theme from I Dream of Jeannie. (Please note that the best ever version of SW+RR can be found here ).
Says the Harvard Psych Dept: "Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling theory: that language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution like web-spinning in spiders or sonar in bats. . . . The Language Instinct will change the way you talk about talking and think about thinking."
Now, if only . . . we humans could develop the instinct for web-spinning. It might not change the way we talk about talking, but it would certainly change the way we think about trapping and feasting upon small animals—and in some cases, larger game .

No comments:

Post a Comment