14 September 2008

Alphistia: A project in geofiction

Alphistia is a fictional nation conceived in Tolkienian detail by Tony Skaggs. I discovered it when Tony emailed me yesterday on an unrelated topic, and I clicked the URL in his signature.

"Alphistia is mostly a 'me, myself, and I' project," Tony wrote when I asked him about it, "although I've been surprised that since I put up a couple of youtube videos, I've had contacts from several language geeks (I use that word as a high honor) who have gone to the trouble to learn it a bit and write me in pretty fluent Alphistian."

That's right. Alphistian is a well-elaborated language, from grammar to syntax. I'm enough of a geek to use a word like "Tolkienian" advisedly, but I'd say it fits here. (I'll confess up front that I haven't made it through the video language lessons on YouTube.) Alphistia also has a draft constitution, a detailed geography, and an epic mythology. There's also a manifesto that reads like a declaration of independence for left-leaning pioneers:
Alphistia would be modeled on the best ideals of the Western Englightenment: a secular society with a respect for human rights and the dignity of the individual. Politically, Alphistia would be a constitutional republic, with a democratically elected government, using a form of proportional representation. Economically, it would encourage small businesses and profit-making cooperatives. The economic system would be a sustainable, humane, and regulated capitalism.
Utopian, maybe, but if we didn't have utopias, how would we know what we want our society to look like? Vanderse hoiven (friendly greetings), Tony.

1 comment:

  1. hey, thanks so much for your post. I try to be inspired in a modest way by Oscar Wilde's comment that “a map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail.”

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