Culture

Noam Chomsky Schools Nationalist Attendee at Google Talk, Calls on Audience to Preserve Cultural Wealth

Says Google is a powerful tool to prevent language extinction.

Photo Credit: Talks at Google/YouTube

Noam Chomsky has a fairly lukewarm relationship with the tech giant Google. But after voicing concern over the tech giant's role in the secrecy state, Chomsky returned to Google to host a talk on April 8, 2014. 

Chomsky clearly recognizes the value of Google but is constantly wary because of so-called democracy. 

Still, Chomsky considers Google a powerful tool to prevent language extinction and ultimately save cultures. 

"Language is a repository of cultural wealth... a way of understanding and interpreting the world. It carries the wealth of tradition and history, oral history which can be extremely rich... the Bible, for example, for a thousand years that was oral history before anything was written down... and that's all over the world and we're losing those treasures," Chomsky told the audience.

One example was that of the Wampanoag tribe, which was reconstructed and "now has its first native speaker," Chomsky points out. 

"Every time a language disappears [people are] losing their identity. If English disappeared we would lose our cultural identity and that same is true if it's a small group," Chomsky stated. "A language is a repository of cultual wealth."

Watch the video:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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