The Babel of Languages and the Substrate of Nature

Babel of Languages

On one side, we grow languages, for ourselves and our machines to come to grips with the world. On the other side, there’s a (possibly ultimately) ineffable substrate that appears to be some kind of gigantic, heterogeneous network of unconventional, natural computers. The specialized languages (known as DSLs) are domain-specific. Questions of reducibility are reduced to questions of translatability. The sciences are (dis)unified* by their various DSLs, each one an effort to reverse engineer some aspect of nature.

(Even using the word “substrate” puts one on the language side. It’s more like The Babel of Languages and the @!$%&^*~+ of Nature.)

 

* cf. Special sciences (or: The disunity of science as a working hypothesis)

 

Philip Thrift

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