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Re: Non-linear full-2d writing (again)

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 25, 2006, 18:16
Sai Emrys wrote:
> Ray -
>>Yes, it did. But when I understood the implication of _fully_, I was >>convinced. > > > How would *you* explain it to someone else? (E.g. 'pre-conversion' you :-P)
Thanks - that's a tall order :P Let's see. First it might help to make it clear what it isn't. I made the observation that all writing had to be 2D otherwise we'd not see it! But these two 2D symbols (letters, syllbograms, characters or whatever) are arranged _linearly_, and usually in 1 dimension linearly. So not that! Some writing systems do arrange their symbols in two dimensions to a limited extent, e.g. Egyptian & Mayan hieroglyphics and the phonemic elements of Korean writing. But in all theses, and similar systems (including conscripts), the elements can be trivially re-arranged linearly. So not these. It is possible to arrange the elements of a sentence into a graphic form, showing the relationship between the elements, as in the "box analysis" we were taught in school. But such systems are merely fancy arrangements of elements that can be trivially expressed linearly. Not those. It is possible to represent sentences in tree form as, for example, in a 'parse tree'. They are certainly 2D as such. But any tree form can, with a fairly trivial traversal algorithm, be represented linearly. So not trees. To be _fully_ 2D it must be at least a network, and something *that cannot be recomposed in linear form _without loss of meaning_*. Secondly, there must be positive reason for using two dimensions. It should not be just linear stuff, recomposed, with a few extra 'fancy bits'. What, I think, we are attempting is to represent thought without having to process the thoughts through linear language. It is an attempt to represent thought(s) as, say, a 'thought-web'.
> I ran into a similar problem a few days ago, when talking to a > linguistics prof about this - she got stuck on the idea that it was > 'non-temporal',
I suppose time as we perceive is linear. But to say the thing is non-temporal is, I think, missing the point. Temporality is not what this about. We are creatures of time & and thoughts occur in time.
> and kept overstating my position
IME a common habit of those who disagree with one another :)
> I think I left that conversation > with her still thoroughly convinced that what I was talking about was > completely impossible by everything she knew from linguistics and > cogpsych -
Yes, an overstatement - to say something is _completely_ impossible is often rash. I don't know how realizable such a non-linear full-2d writing system is - perhaps it may prove impossible. But until we try we will not know.
> and me with the impression that she didn't understand what > I was trying to describe.
Probably a correct impression.
> But then, Lakoff said the same thing when he gave me a F on my paper > about it. It'll probably be one of those nice things to frame and put > on my wall, once (if? nah, 'once') I succeed in making such a system. > :-P
Yep - one must be positive.
> Yahya -
>>.......... And your latest posts on >>this topic are more concerned than ever with the >>idea of writing expressing a gestalt, with higher- >>level connections.
Gestalt - yep, that's the sort of idea, I think.
>> Sometimes I thinnk the ideal >>poem would be like that - a simple, integrated whole.
Yep - that's the sort of thing!
>>Indeed, I hadn't yet joined this list in May, so I >>had better follow Ray's advice and look up the >>original thread. > > No offense taken. Please do read those, and let us know what you think > about the idea once you have.
Quite a bit of reading - but, yes, I too would be interested in what you think.
> I (and others here most likely) could > use some more inspiration / ideas about how this could be done.
Count me in as one of those others.
> I'm currently a bit stuck on it - pending, as you say, the gestalt. > It's like poetry-writing for me; I can't really force myself to do it > is. And in this case, while I have a few ideas of how I want it to > work, and various angles at it, I don't have a good feeling of the > gestalt. > > I figure that once I do, the rest will come pretty quickly though.
'Tis a nice thought - let's hope it's true :) -- Ray ================================== ================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY


Jefferson Wilson <jeffwilson63@...>
Sai Emrys <sai@...>