Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Words - just what are they?

There’s always been the mystery and wonder how people in all places and localities got to have their particular language and vernacular. And although we find similarities in the different language and dialects, it is the differences that make each one peculiar and unique.


My Irish friend complained about losing the differences – which, to him, is tantamount to losing his peculiarity and uniqueness as an Irish. He’d live and die being an Irish; he is very proud of it.


I am, too. Not that I am an Irish, but by every right, a Filipino, am very proud to be my own unique race in the SEA continent. But I do find that the local discrimination is disturbing, that you are despised, naturally, if you are not a Manileño, but a probinsiyano. If you are a GI (genuine Ilocano) or an FBI (bull-blooded Ilonggo), or from anywhere else other than the city of Manila, you tend to get all the cruel look and contempt from these city people. Not that I am affected by these inconsiderate behaviours, but I pity those who actually think they are better, when in fact, that remains, and always remain, to require proof.


Don’t get me wrong; there are those who rise above the rest, from all parts of the country, from all corners of the nation, and they bring great honor to the Pinoy race as a whole, and the credit goes to them all, not just the favored few. It is actually more on the problem of those who contribute nothing, or a small bit, if there is any, and that seems to bring on the excess air in the head, and causes them to lose grip of reality – they’d think they are better than anybody else.


What was I talking about? I’ve digressed very far…


I’m supposed to be walking a bit about words. This, I find, also to be a bit tricky. We’ve had problems with words for those who have been advocating and developing and pioneering research and projects, and what-have-you, on the filed of AI – artificial intelligence. You see, this language faculty that has been matured and fully-developed by and for humans, they are trying to mimic and put into robots, or into programs. For example, if I would learn a new language, I’d have to be proficient in it. I’d have to understand it, in order to be able to speak and write it. It becomes a part of me. They say otherwise. A program doesn’t need to know anything about languages to be able to translate one into the other. I take this chunkful of letter, feed it into the program, then the program throws out a dataful of squiggles and squoggles – not a thing left inside that could have been meaningful in the process – both to the computer and the program itself. ‘What question can you ask a human that you can’t ask a computer?’ they say. Or, ‘Will there be a difference in the answer from a human and from a computer?’ they’d argue.


When the time comes, I think that there is one way to find out if you are talking to a pure human or a computerized human: ask the same question. The computerized program will definitely give you an answer that is 100% the same from the first time you start asking to the time you stop. The case will be different for a human. Human intelligence is more or less affected by man’s emotions and inclinations – which is what separates him from other beings, manmade or otherwise.


Having now given my very long introduction, I’d throw in my question. Why is it that people can go back on their words? Just when you think that they’d die keeping their promise, or do all that they can to keep a word to a friend, or fulfill their words even to their own hurt, even more it is easier to simply fail keeping up to their words? Going back on their words is just as easy as when saying them. Why?


To me, this is even more a deeper mystery… think so?


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