Café Scientifique on Thursday 14 September 2006 at 17:30,
Café Morkku, Läntinen teatterikuja 1, Helsinki
Former accounts of the existence of language stressed its utilitarian side, by comparing information with a good that can be exchanged and that may increase the collective welfare. In the new view, reported facts are just an excuse for speakers to demonstrate, for instance, that they have got the news before the others. In a species forming large solidarity networks, much larger than in other primate species, it is crucial to have well-informed friends. In everyday chatter, human beings miss no opportunity to show that they have this quality, even in the most futile matters. Human conversation evolved as an arena for showing off one’s ability to be relevant.
Title: Café Scientifique on Thursday 14 September 2006