Archivo de noviembre 9th, 2016

Hermosa es la destrucción de las palabras











It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words

Orwell. 1984


A lo largo de los años he intentado, sin éxito, entender lo que pueda ser la Selección Natural. La conclusión es que la Selección Natural no es nada por estar basada en un error.

Darwin, en sus observaciones en las granjas, confundió Selección con Mejora y vino a decir: Lo mismo que en la granja el agricultor o el ganadero seleccionan a sus mejores ejemplares como parentales, así mismo la naturaleza selecciona aquellos que presentan características ventajosas. Pero claro, aquí queda sin definir lo que sea eso de Características ventajosas mientras que  el agricultor o el ganadero conocen perfectamente cuáles serán dichas características. La naturaleza no selecciona como lo hacen el agricultor o el ganadero. En la naturaleza no hay esa intención expresa y manifiesta. No existe el progreso.

La selección en la granja es una parte del proceso de Mejora Genética y sería absurdo pensar que en la naturaleza existe algo así como la Mejora Genética Natural. Para ser exactos Darwin, Wallace y antes que ellos Matthew y otros debieron pensar no en Selección Natural sino en Mejora Natural, lo cual es oxímoron, como también lo es Selección natural.

En vez de retractarse y corregir su error,  en vez de retirar el termino selección natural que es erróneo y sólo conduce a confusión como había indicado Pierre Flourens, contemporáneo de Darwin; en vez de rechazar el error como es el deber de todo científico, lo que ocurrió es verdaderamente increíble.

Debido al enorme poder de Huxley y asociados se impuso la expresión Selección Natural que no tiene ningún significado ni valor alguno para entender lo que sucede en la formación de especies. Se impuso con tanta fuerza que contaminó el significado de la palabra selección, que estaba muy claro hasta entonces.

Pues bien ahora hay diccionarios que proponen para la palabra Selección dos alternativas: La normal y una segunda, fabulosa que traduzco del inglés:

Un proceso en el que las influencias genéticas o ambientales determinan qué tipos de organismos progresan mejor que otros, contemplado como un factor en evolución.

Esta ya no es la definición de Selección Natural sino  la de Selección, así como suena, a secas. El error se ha extendido y ha contaminado zonas más generales del lenguaje. Se acuerdan de lo que profetizaba Orwell en 1984: Reducir el lenguaje para reducir el pensamiento: It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. En ello estamos Mr Orwell.


Aquí les dejo un fragmento de 1984 que comienza hablando del Diccionario de Neolengua (la actual Wikipedia):


‘The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,’ he said. ‘We’re getting the language into its final shape-the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we’ve finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words—scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won’t contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.

‘He bit hungrily into his bread and swallowed a couple of mouthfuls, then continued speaking, with a sort of pedant’s passion. His thin dark face had become animated, his eyes had lost their mocking expression and grown almost dreamy.

‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take “good”, for instance. If you have a word like “good”, what need is there for a word like “bad”? “Ungood” will do just as well—better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of “good”, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like “excel­lent” and “splendid” and all the rest of them? “Plusgood” covers the meaning; or “doubleplusgood” if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already, but in the final version of Newspeak there’ll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words—in reality, only one word. Don’t you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.’s idea originally, of course,’ he added as an afterthought.

A sort of vapid eagerness flitted across Winston’s face at the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless Syme immedi­ately detected a certain lack of enthusiasm.

‘You haven’t a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston,’ he said almost sadly. ‘Even when you write it you’re still thinking in Oldspeak. I’ve read some of those pieces that you write in the Times occasionally. They’re good enough, but they’re translations. In your heart you’d prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You don’t grasp the beauty of the destruction of words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?

‘Winston did know that, of course. He smiled, sympa­thetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. Syme bit off another fragment of the dark-coloured bread, chewed it briefly, and went on:

‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we’re not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It’s merely a ques­tion of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc* and Ingsoc is Newspeak,’ he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. ‘Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?’

‘Except—– ‘ began Winston doubtfully, and then stopped.

It had been on the tip of his tongue to say ‘Except the proles**,’ but he checked himself, not feeling fully certain that this remark was not in some way unorthodox. Syme, however, had divined what he was about to say.

‘The proles are not human beings,’ he said carelessly. ‘By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Old-speak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

‘One of these days, thought Winston with sudden deep conviction, Syme will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too plainly. The Party does not like such people. One day he will disappear. It is written in his face. (Págs. 53-56)