To Build The Tower Analysis

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In “To Build the Tower”, Glissant offers his own take of the myth of the tower of Babel. His goal is to argue that “It is possible to build the Tower-in every language,” (109), which he does so by arguing the importance of regarding other languages. The relationships between languages have BLAH. Glissant explores the history of the relationship of the world’s languages. The idea that you either “Live in seclusion or open up to the other,” (103) was what legitimized language domination in history. Either communities and societies took up a “universal” language in order to participate in a global level, or they would retreat into the language and “so called identity” and cut themselves off from the rest. As the world progressed, the language …show more content…
By exploring the user generated content posted on 25 different Wikipedia language editions, the authors demonstrate that the diversity between languages and their relationship has a great impact on our online source of knowledge.
Wikipedia is meant to inspire agreement around a single neutral viewpoint. However, this principle broke down “in the face of one daunting obstacle: language,” (291). The authors describe language as “the biggest barrier to intercultural collaboration,” (291), and of course, facilitating some kind of consensus across every language is a difficult task. Online and in Wikipedia, this consensus has become difficult due to Wikipedia’s setting up over 250 separate language editions. Wikipedia has demolished another Tower of Babel, but perhaps, as Glissant would agree, this is a much-needed exercise in order for languages to flourish and
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It suggests that every language’s encyclopedic world knowledge representation should deliver more or less the same concepts, and do so the same way. Any differences found between languages and their editions are treated as something that needs to be fixed, inconsistencies that will disappear in time, or an issue that should be ignore. As Glissant argues in his text, this is a problem, as culture and context play a critical role in establishing knowledge and diversity. Yet, most technologies that depend upon Wikipedia data assume this doctrine. This results in many wrong assumptions and they lose out on several technological design opportunities. Hecht and Gergle’s study suggests that the common encyclopedic core takes up a very small amount of the data, and that sub-conceptual knowledge diversity is much greater than initially

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