"Narrow dispersions, skewed negatively, signify deliberate human restriction of output. Skewed positively, after the introduction of selection of employees by test or examination, a narrow dispersion indicates a successful system of selection."This goes into Basic quite simply at the level of the general reader, and, it would seem, without serious loss, as :
"The tendency to a common level of output being more frequent, is a sign that output is being consciously kept inside a certain limit. When the lowest outputs are most frequent and the output of workers not widely different and generally high, after selection of workers by test has come into use, the tendency may be taken as a sign of the efficiency of the system of selection." 57Here only one word from the list of 50 special economics words has been made use of. On the other hand, for material in which no one but the expert is interested, words which are international in all the seven chief languages of science will be used frequently. Then we get accounts of this sort:
"The explanation of the fact that the range of radio waves is shorter by day than by night is based on the absorption of the electro-magnetic waves in the ionosphere. By day the ionization of the air is very strong. The highest degree of ionization in Picture S will be in a much lower position, and the deeper layers have a great power of electric conduction. For this reason the radio waves (those ranging between 200 and 600 meters in wave-length) undergo reflection at lower levels, and would come back to earth if there did not take place in the layers of reflection a great absorption caused by the frequent violent meetings of ions and electrons at such levels. Further, it is clear from the latest investigations of the ' fine structure ' of the ionosphere that there are present in the lower air other layers of electrons and ions by which absorption is effected, and the range of the rays limited. (The level of ionization may be as low as 50 km.) At night the ionization becomes less ; there is no chance of refraction or reflection till very high levels (where the mean free paths are very great), and at these levels the numbers of meetings in a second is very much smaller, so there is much less absorption. This makes possible a much greater range, and that is the explanation of the increased range of radio waves at night." 58To those working in this field, international words such as ionosphere and ionization are necessarily clear. For others there will be the Dictionary59 of 10,000 science words whose senses are given in Basic; and whatever is designed for the wider public will make no use of any words outside the Basic 850 other than the simplest internationals. Notes may give the sense of a new word here and there to make the reading smoother, but no special knowledge is needed to get this sense fully. The level of such writing may be judged from Professor Haldane's discussion, in Basic, of the future behavior of the moon.
"In the last four or five million years the moon quickly came nearer to the earth. When it was clear that the end would not be long in coming we got news that the use of sea-power had in a great degree been given up, and wind and other forms of power were used in place of it. But the earthmen were not certain that the smashing up of the moon would necessarily be their destruction, and the turning-motion of the earth-moon system was still used for getting some power. In the year 36,000,000 the moon was only a fifth of the distance it had been from the earth at the start of history. It seemed twenty-five times the size of the sun, and made the sea-level 200 metres higher about four times a year. The effects of the force of the earth's attraction on it might now be seen. Great landslips were seen in the mountains of the moon, and cracks were sometimes formed on its face. Earth-shocks became more frequent on the earth.The great need now is for Committees to be formed by those responsible for the organization of science in different countries, so that workers in every branch may be in no doubt as to which words are international. Signs of all sorts are becoming more and more necessary and are getting a wider distribution every year; so a new form of picture language is taking the place of words for a great number of purposes.61 Science has its international signs in chemistry, where the structure of a substance is pictured by letters and numbers without any words. Basic puts such systems of words, letters, numbers, or signs into operation, and the more of them there are the quicker the Babel of the experts will come to an end and the mind be free to get on with the work mapped out for it by Bacon and Bentham, Euclid and Einstein, Napier and Newton, Orpheus and - Orthology.
At last there were signs that the moon was getting broken up. It was so near to the earth that about l/10th of the sky was covered when the first bits of stone came off its face. The part nearest to the earth, which was very much cracked before, now came away bit by bit in the form of great stones up to a kilometre across, which went round the earth separately. For about a thousand years this process slowly went on, and at last no further interest was taken in it on the earth. The end came quite suddenly. It was watched from Venus, but details about the earlier stages were sent from the earth in addition. The hollow part in the side of the moon facing the earth was suddenly cracked open and there came out of it a current of liquid stone at white heat. When the moon went round the earth, the heat in the middle band of the earth was increased to such a degree that all the rivers and stretches of water became dry and no plants were able to go on living." 60
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