Snow Crash: A Novel
Neal Stephenson

Ended: June 23, 2018

Software development, like professional sports, has a way of making thirty-year-old men feel decrepit.
There are two schools: relativists and universalists. As George Steiner summarizes it, relativists tend to believe that language is not the vehicle of thought but its determining medium. It is the framework of cognition. Our perceptions of everything are organized by the flux of sensations passing over that framework. Hence, the study of the evolution of language is the study of the evolution of the human mind itself.” “Okay, I can see the significance of that. What about the universalists?” “In contrast with the relativists, who believe that languages need not have anything in common with each other, the universalists believe that if you can analyze languages enough, you can find that all of them have certain traits in common. So they analyze languages, looking for such traits.” “Have they found any?”