On Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 1:21 PM, Paul Bartlett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On 2014-08-29 2:33 PM, Scott Raney wrote (excerpted):
>> There's no inherent reason why it has to be cool if it's a hobbiest
>> project.  My point is that it *does* need to be cool if you're
>> expecting a few billion (or even a few million) people to learn it.
>> And that's a minimal requirement, as it also has to have some other
>> compelling reasons behind it (e.g., my political movement).
> I think that real world experience shows otherwise.

You mean the real-world experience where 99% of the population has
never even *heard* of Esperanto, let alone know how to speak it?

> Yes, no constructed
> international auxiliary language (conIAL) has taken the world by storm,
> unquestionably, but Esperanto, in relative terms, has swept all other
> conIALs before it, whatever you and I may think. As much as I myself like
> Interlingua (and I do), I suspect that E-o is the only conIAL that has much
> of a chance world wide against the (relative) juggernaut of English, the
> most successful international auxiliary language the planet has seen to
> date.

We're doomed if you're right.  Fortunately I'm sure you're not ;-)

>> As for Esperanto being cool, there are people who think wearing
>> suspenders and bow ties is cool.  That's not the definition of cool.
> But what does "cool" even mean???? I think this is such a nebulous and
> ill-defined notion that for the most part I dismiss it almost out of hand
> with respect to auxiliary languages.

We don't have to define it, or even understand it.  We just have to
acknowledge that it exists and figure out how to create a language
that has it.

> What you think is "cool" I may think is almost contemptible. Where does that
> leave us? I say that (relative) success in number of users is more
> significant.

"Coolness" is not a feature that one would use to compare the quality
of languages, but rather a feature that enables marketing one over
another (or over doing nothing).  Is dumping a bucket of ice-water
over your head an objectively rational act?  Did it raise $100,000,000
for ALS?

>> I'm assuming you don't work in the marketing or sales fields or you
>> wouldn't make such a ridiculous statement.
> Ridiculous??? I have read and heard many advertisements that I consider
> flatly ridiculous. Sales and marketing theory do not unduly favorably
> impress me. There is a consumer product that I buy regularly because it
> works and works well at a price I am willing to pay. I do not need
> "marketing and sales fields" to change my mind.

OK, so you're special.  We all knew that ;-)  But most of the rest of
the population, whether you respect them or not, doesn't work that way
or Facebook and Google would be trading for a few dollars a share.
Saying the only viable way to make a language popular is to make it
attractive to *you* is not only ridiculous, but pretty self-absorbed
as well...

> Yes, there have been and are many choices in the conIAL field, from (almost)
> mediaeval times until today, and the only one that has gained any (relative)
> traction at all has been Esperanto. We already have a surfeit of choices,
> and I myself seriously doubt that there is some Yet Undiscovered Principle
> In The Great Out There which will revolutionize the whole field.

Right, so my "coolness" and "crowd-sourcing" and "political movement"
stuff obviously don't sound like competitive advantages to you.
Fortunately for us, though, most inventors (including myself) are
pretty much immune to that kind of nay-saying or we'd all still be
living like the Amish.

PS: I note that you cut out my questions about "what is success?".
Not being able to define "cool" I can understand, but not being able
to define "success"?

> --
> Paul Bartlett