Words – Packages of Meaning

bookshop window

A lovely stained glass window at the top of a marble staircase in an old bookshop in the Cuidad Vieja /old city of Montevideo. (They stock modern books, though, lovely.)  I took a photo to remember what the phrase was, and just now put it through an online latin to English translation site, and it came up as ‘Truth is the daughter of lies”  which isn’t really what I thought I might be expecting – but if that is a fair translation, as on reflection it could be, then what an odd thing to have displayed in a bookshop.  Next time I go down there I’ll see if I can get some better feeling for what the purpose of these words is.

I read a lot, and love it when words frame something with which I feel close personal affinity.   This morning I came across a climate change issue blogger I hadn’t read before, Pointman  http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/make-no-mistake-words-are-ammo-2/  He made some very interesting observations about the alarmists  v. sceptics exchanges in the climate change, um, issue/debate/word fest.   I was recently accused of being ‘a denier’ which as you know is a pretty derogatory term in this context !   I am however a sceptic, and always feel relieved when I come across someone who has seen through the smoke and mirrors of the issue and realized that (1) climate has been changing since the Earth had an atmosphere, and (2) Man has the huge advantage over most other species in being adaptive to a wide set of conditions and change.  In other words, our hope as a species is to mitigate the effects of climate change, which of course effect all 7bn+ of us to some degree; some more effected than others by virtue of geographic location on the planet’s surface.  It is known from the fossil record that something like 99%? maybe a little less – of species that were once on Earth have been extinguished mostly during ice ages and cold periods.  Well of course we managed to put the Tasmanian Tiger onto the extinct list all by our human selves – and there are other species that have disappeared because of direct action by Man, but on the whole more disappear by ‘rapid’ environmental change  – ‘rapid’ and ‘change’ being relative in this sense.

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