After I hit “post” for the entry below, cheering linguistic uniformity, I realized that perhaps a word should be said about the obvious downsides. Large populations are probably a spur to innovation as the raw number of individuals of the smart fraction reaches critical mass. But denser populations also gave rise to numerous infectious diseases. Travel is a boon to communication, but it also spreads disease. The larger the population, and the more interconnected the populations, the more opportunities open up for pathogens. Similarly, despite the gains from global trade and common capital markets it also generates synchronous business cycles (and, perhaps exacerbates volatility). Good things usually have downsides. And so it would be with the rise of linguistic uniformity: a demagogue who could communicate with clarity, and subtle allusive power, to billions, would be enabled.
Labels: Social science