Mark Derian writes:
Chinese has more than 50,000 pictures, each representing a concept. A picture of a flower means “flower,” a picture of a house means “house,” and a picture of a middle-aged man means “dad.” It’s the kind of language you would come up with if you were an uncreative third grader. It’s limited as a tool of cognition in that it doesn’t challenge the speaker to go beyond the perceptual level of awareness. The allure of symbolic language is that it substitutes memorization for understanding.
Not coincidentally, communism offers the same allure. It’s a concrete idea that solves every societal problem in one fell decree, so there’s no point in learning much else. When the Chinese do adopt free enterprise, they only do so because it makes sense perceptually—that is, it’s practical.
Western language, however, comprises sounds that are stitched together to create concepts, which leads to a fluidity of thought. It’s the difference between learning an instrument by reading music rather than rote. It’s why we have more novels. It’s why we’re more dedicated to abstract fields like philosophy and psychology. It’s why we have more Marxist T cells.
PS: Derian’s last piece for Taki’s was back in 2012, about Bill Murray as “the Gen Y mascot.”
I’ve been predicting a #MeToo takedown of Murray for a while now.
All that “photobombing” of his is oh so very charming and adorable — right up until the moment “they” decide it isn’t anymore.