NEW YORK – The Google Translate app was on fire for a few hours on October 25 when approximately 110 million followers of Elon Musk – who is in the midst of an epic purchase of Twitter – attempted to decode his enigmatic Tweet that utilized a single Greek word: ‘διαλεκτική’.
According to Wikiquote, ‘Dialectic’ (also called ‘dialectics and ‘the dialectical method’ “is a method of argument for resolving disagreement that has been central to European and Indian philosophy since antiquity. The word dialectic (διαλεκτική) originated in ancient Greece and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialogues. The dialectical method is discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter guided by reasoned arguments.”
Some scholars add that in Plato’s hands Dialectic evolved into a method enabling an individual philosopher to gain profound insight into the nature of reality.
Musk’s Twitter followers are trying to guess what the richest man on Earth – who vacationed in Greece this summer – is cryptically conveying.
Some have speculated that he is hinting at the direction he wishes to take with Twitter: “discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter guided by reasoned arguments.”
Others point to the relationship between ‘dialectic” and ‘dialogue’ and suggest the tweet is Musk’s latest effort to encourage Russia and Ukraine to resolve their dispute through dialogue.
It should be noted that Musk’s previous tweet regarding the war, proposing referendums in the areas occupied by Russia, and that Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, be recognized as part of Russia, did not go over well in Kyiv, generating accusations that he was backing Putin.
Three hours after Musk’s cryptic tweet, there have been approximately 5,500 replies, and Twitter traffic is heading towards 3,000 retweets according to Moneyreview.gr.
The most famous quote of a Greek phrase by a non-Greek is paradoxically is not remembered by the West in the Greek language at all. William Shakespeare is not alone in quoting Julius Caesar saying to Marcus Junius Brutus – as the latter was about to join his enemies in stabbing him – “et tu, Brute? – You too, Brutus?” The historical record has the great Roman statesman – or dictator if you wish – saying “και συ, τεκνον Βρούτε – you too, my son, Brutus?” It is the Greek that gave rise to speculation that the conspirator might have indeed actually been the illegitimate – but beloved – son of the man whose name gave rise to the word for ‘king’ in several languages, including Kaiser and Tsar.
That historical note is apropos of a tweet by Musk that has given rise to rampant speculation and conspiracy theorizing.