Echoes of Babel

When there is a controversy between opposing points of expression, it seems that much of the problem comes from the variety of meanings that the participants give to the same terms. In order for us to communicate, we must have a common language. By that I don’t mean English vs. German vs. Japanese, but an even finer distinction. We must be certain that we are understanding one another the same way. Without that certainty, the controversy can’t really be ended. Therefore it’s always worthwhile to spend enormous energy and time to come to a common understanding of our terms and expressions. If that can be achieved, then the controversy should be easily ended. It is not an easy achievement, and we are tempted to try to “fix” the controversy before the common understanding exists. This may appear to work sometimes, but in reality it either postpones the argument until some future rupture occurs, or it truly fixes the controversy, i.e. makes it a seemingly permanent fixture that can never be resolved. Now, let’s see what we can do about those big-endians.

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