Saturday, June 2, 2007

On the Engineering Superiority of German Speakers

On the Engineering Superiority of German Speakers

Most Westerners recognize that German speaking people tend to be good engineers. No viable theory has yet explained this phenomenon. However, based on extensive and unprecedentedly thorough examination of the German language, I can now explain it. Better yet, this theory provides a testable hypothesis for how to further increase the German-speaker-engineering-bias (DeutschSprechenIngenieurwesenVorspannung).

German speakers have very cleverly developed a torture system more insidious and disconcerting than anything in all German history: its language. At first glance, such cruel tricks as requiring their children to memorize massive and unnecessary tables of definite and indefinite articles, splitting verbs across sentences, and absurdly long compound words may seem like hazing, funny only in that the Germans think it’s normal.

Figure 1: A German teacher torturing a classroom. Notice the boredom evident on the students’ faces, indicating their learned resignation at such torture, and the lack of any intervention by concerned parents, police, or even well intentioned passersby.

In fact, my research has shown that this serves another purpose. This putative linguistic parsely is teleologically genius. By forcing children to speak German at an early age, Germanspeaker brains rapidly develop superior processing abilities. The image below shows a Germanspeaker brain automatically performing a task that would require the full mental capacity of seven French people.

Figure 2: A Germanspeaker brain determining which definite article is appropriate for the dative feminine case.

Englishspeaker brains, by contrast, simply use “the” and thus do not develop superior processing. The reader may notice that the author uses the definite article “the” ten times in the sentence here, and the reader isn’t confused about which of the words or the phrases each of the “thes” references? This may seem like a better approach, but also explains why America can’t engineer an effective dike and levee system, whereas Holland, despite being much smaller, can.

The image above also shows an Englishspeaker trying to do an FFT in his head. This task is considered difficult by American children. However, this task requires so much less effort than speaking German that it produces no detectable neural activation. The image below shows a German person performing an FFT in his head.

Figure 3: A bored German person

This theory leads to a testable prediction. The German language can (and, the Germans would argue, should) be further tweaked to make it more torturous and thus more neurally empowering. Although this could be done in many ways, I propose further expanding the array of possible definite articles.

The new table includes many features intended to further unnecessarily complicate the language. First, the additional articles, such as nominative-1, are not labelled in any obvious fashion. Second, capital letters are inserted at random. Third, the added words are usually long, but not always, to further confusion. Fourth, Germanspeakers must now learn the “!” or “click” sound from Bushmen language. Fifth, the tenses must be chosen according to more elaborate criteria. Sixth, even more processing is necessary to identify the correct article. For example, the nominative-1 case requires not only a subject, but can only be used if the listener is younger and does not have a strong opinion about fruit. Nominative-77673 must be used if the speaker has used more than six definite articles over the last 20 minutes. All genitive cases are replaced with corresponding accusatives if the listener but not speaker is drunk. Dative-2 is never used in written or spoken German, but must be memorized anyway.

Der DeutschSprechenIngenieurwesenVorspannung would then become even more powerful. As a bonus side effect, the additional articles will further discourage Americans and Frenchmen from bothering Germanspeakers. This will hamper intelligence gathering and facilitate the inevitable Germanspeaker world takeover. Please bear in mind that I have been helpful in facilitating this takeover, and am part German, and all I want is some grant money. And Baja.

Figure 4: A correct table of German definite and indefinite articles.

Figure 5: A portion of the proposed modified table, focusing only on male definite articles. The full table is available on request from the author, but is extremely expensive because it is so valuable. The expanded articles should further increase den DeutschSprechenIngenieurwesenVorspannung.

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