Since my post of October 26, 2013 entitled, PLNs, our way of ‘speaking’ the new language, I have not only been thinking about the Internet as one of humanity’s major languages, but I have been reading theorists AND writing a paper called, Zombie Lingo, with fellow U of A grad student Sean Jones. The thesis of the paper is that the Internet is one of humanity's large complex communication systems, called 'language' and that Twitter is a specific example of such a system. We analyze the event‐game‐learning‐experience of Twitter vs. Zombies to see if it fits the criteria of a Twitter language within the larger communication system of the Internet.
Robert K. Logan, in his paper, Making sense of the visual - is Google the seventh language?, claims that there are seven languages of humanity, each one evolving in response to an information overload in the language that preceded it. The languages in evolutionary order are; speech, written language, math, science, computers, Internet/ World Wide Web and Google (search engines). Stephen Downes explores and expands on many of these ideas in, The Buntine Oration: Learning Networks.
In the language of the Internet, sequence is not the single most important consideration and full absorption of content is neither possible nor necessary. Logan claims the language of the Internet is characterized by; two-way communication, ease of access of information, continuous learning, alignment and integration and finally community.
In November of 2012, Jesse Stomell and Pete Rorabaugh launched Twitter vs. Zombies, a three day, synchronous, event‐game‐learning‐experience with simple rules that evolved through crowd-sourcing. Twitter vs. Zombies was open to anyone with the motivation to participate and access to the Internet. What resulted was an amazingly rich, syntactically congruent, semantically cohesive language of communication that serves as a prime example of Logan’s 6th language of humanity. Stomell's thoughts about the process helped us conclude that Twitter vs Zombies is a good example of the 6th human language.
My views regarding the language of the Internet are evolving daily. As our Zombie Lingo paper points out, there are many theorists who have been considering these ideas long before us. So . . . how does all of this relate to my Personal Learning Network (PLN)? I think my PLN is my own individual linguistic, ever changing take on Internet Lingo. The filter forward aspect of my PLN is part of the brain-augmentation necessary for understanding the newly evolved language (i.e. it helps me filter the overwhelming amount of information so that I can “abosrb and understand”). Additionally, the artifacts I create, curate and share within my PLN are my way of communicating in Logan’s 6th language. Comments, responses, links and the like constitute dialogue.
I think this is an area that I will be exploring for a long time to come!