The future, what's that?
Many of my friends have argued that concepts may not be unthinkable even if something like NewSpeak, a hypothetical language imposed by the Party in George Orwell's "1984", became the norm. I never had a convincing answer for them, but given my inclination in favour of languages, I believed in it and in the following quote:
"That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture
Well, today's NYTimes adds strength to my belief:
When asked if the Nukak were concerned about the future, Belisario, the only one in the group who had been to the outside world before and spoke Spanish, seemed perplexed, less by the word than by the concept. "The future," he said, "what's that?"