Vocabulary and Innovation

February 9, 2006 at 5:23 am Leave a comment

??? Ok we all know the following at the moment the number of ideas written in English far exceeds that written in most languages. Plus many of those ideas have high economic value i.e. sciences, medecine, arts, etc. But let’s assume the following. You have 2 static populations one that has just been introduced some new ideas from another. The culture in question, despite 5000 years of existence etc, latches upon these ideas and begins to master them. Why? Because they have an environment that emphaises this one idea more than the originating culture which is full of innovations and hence more likely to have a diversified intellectual space less likely to nit-pick ideas down to their bare bones.? In other words in a limited linguistic environment a new idea will have more people concentrating on it than in the originating culture.

??? This assumes though that the two cultures are static. If one or both cultures are growing (as is often the case with innovations and higher economic status) than a culture has the ability to produce enough people to off-set the effects of a diversified intellectual space. I.E. if population grows along with the innovation then it’s possible that the increasing number of people will be able to specialize into the fields in question and continue the line of thought faster than the culture just introduced the idea.

??? If you take this as a model for innovation then we can predict that a culture that’s population is not growing faces the potential that it will dwindle in the intellectual space too.

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