Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"The trouble with too much genre SF is that it's so obviously the product of the conscious mind."
- William Gibson

Babel-17  
  An alien weapon in the form of a language.  

Babel-17 is a story that still reads well today; writers like Steven Pinker (among many others) write about language acquisition and the brain.

"Babel-17 as a language contains a pre-set programme for the Butcher to become a criminal and saboteur. If you turn somebody with no memory loose in a foreign country with only the word for tools and machine parts, don't be surprised if he ends up a mechanic. By manipulating his vocabulary properly you could just as easily make him a sailor or an artist. Also, Babel-17 is such and exact analytical language, it almost assures you technical mastery of any situation you look at. And the lack of an "I" blinds you to the fact that though it's a highly useful way of looking at things its [not] the only way." "But you mean that this language could even turn you against the alliance?" "Well," said Rydra "to start off with, the word for Alliance in Babel-17 translates literally into English as: one who has invaded. You take it from there. It has all sorts of little diabolisms programmed into it. While thinking in Babel-17 is becomes perfectly logical to try and destroy your own ship and then blot out the fact with self-hypnosis - It 'programmes' a self-contained schizoid personality into the mind of whoever learns it..."
From Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany.
Published by Ace Books in 1966
Additional resources -

This unique perspective by Samuel R. Delany won the nebula award for best novel.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Babel-17
  More Ideas and Technology by Samuel R. Delany
  Tech news articles related to Babel-17
  Tech news articles related to works by Samuel R. Delany

Articles related to Culture
FlyZoo Robot Hotel By Alibaba
Implanted Memories Provide Songs To Birds
Google Commits To Fighting Deepfakes
Mindar The Robot Buddhist Priest Offers A Blessing

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Entire Planet Modeled In New MS Flight Sim
'CIC uses [it] to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns...'

FlyZoo Robot Hotel By Alibaba
'... hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Implanted Memories Provide Songs To Birds
Finches can't tell the difference.

Robot Tuna Swims As Fast As Nature's Tuna
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Shapeshifter Robot Is Comprised Of Cobots
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed. For an interval, the device struggled with itself...'

Google Commits To Fighting Deepfakes
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

China Accused Of Harvesting Organs From Unwanted Groups
'The death penalty was his immortality, and he would vote the death penalty for any crime at all.'

Osmiridium Sounds Like Science Fiction (But It's Not!)
I can't resist science-fictional elements. Especially when they're real.

When Will We See The First Space Hotel?
'The heart of it was a vast hexagonal structure of welded metal, ten miles across...'

SpaceX Starhopper Has Flash Gordon Style
SpaceX makes retro cool spacecraft.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.