Genesis 11: 1-9
Now the whole Earth used the same language and the same words. And it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly." And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. And they said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them." "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
Though I'm not sure Ortsbo's President, David Lucatch, will fully appreciate or condone the biblical reference, there's an uncanny parallel between software that allows us to communicate with each other, in real time, using almost any application--in the conversation participant's native languages and that of the Tower of Babel. Further, if you think about it, not since that time, in ancient Shinar, have people been able to communicate freely for a single purpose. Ortsbo enables us to do so.
Now, our goals are less lofty than those of the ancient Shinar people; we just want to let everyone know what we had for lunch or which concert we're attending. Perhaps we've learned our lessons well.
I had the pleasure of speaking with David Lucatch about Ortsbo during a recent phone interview. My reaction to the revelation of what Ortsbo brings us was, "Wow, this changes everything." And, it does.
How does it change everything?
Simple. If I can text a coworker in India, in his native Hindi, and he can text me back in English, we've achieved an immediate connection and rapport. We've also made ourselves 100% more efficient. No misunderstood instructions. No language difficulties. No accents. Just communication. Simple.
So simple, in fact, that I believe Ortsbo will revolutionize global communications. That makes the world a much smaller and more peaceful place in which to live. OK, maybe that's a bit lofty but language keeps people apart. It makes us suspicious of one another. It builds cultural barriers. It causes prejudice and discrimination.
I'm not sure Lucatch and his team ever considered the full ramifications of this service, when they started it, but the implications are far-reaching. And, it will only be a matter of time before the service reaches applications like Skype, where I will speak to someone in Russia in my native English and they will hear me in their native Russian. Just imagine it. Conference calls where no one says, "I didn't get that last part, can you repeat it?" While the person on the other end tries desperately to eek out his thoughts in a language so foreign to him, that it's even more unintelligible than on his first attempt.
Ortsbo, for those of you who want to know, means "Local."
What it means for those who are smart enough to get it, is "Global." Ortsbo removes the old limitations. You can now speak any language that you want to speak.
No Rosetta Stone needed.
Note to the people's of the world: It took us 5,000-ish years to get back to this point, don't screw it up again. I had a cheese omelette for breakfast.