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March 13, 2007


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Jim, this is a very interesting update. I have been thinking all morning about your comments. Thanks for sending my thoughts in a new direction...I have never thought of English as Lingua Franca becoming a barrier. Certainly there is a lot to consider here.

Two other ideas come to mind, as well. First, and as you suggest in your update, the problem is at least partially about execution. Someone somewhere had a good idea but perhaps failed to execute in the sense that they could not present their idea effectively in a language that other audiences could understand (and I add, this is a two-way street imapcting all of us!).

Second, I cannot help but wonder about pandering. Is it pandering to begin a presentation by saying "I am not Anglo-Saxon"? setting up the straw man seems like a move in the same direction or flavor as America's sometimes mindless chatter about the bad French or a Singaporean's simplistic criticism of the ugly Australians. There has to be better ways of making our points and differentiating ourselves than by setting up straw man arguments that appear ideal for audiences willing to engage in "ist" thinking (e.g., nationalist, culturalist, etc).

I was not there, so I cannot really draw a solid conclusion. It might be interesting to hear more of your thoughts.

Anyway, thanks for the great entry. Keep up the good work. You have given me plenty to think about today.


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