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Re: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Sunday, May 22, 2005, 16:54
On Saturday, May 21, 2005, at 07:31 , Sai Emrys wrote:

>> Now it seems to me that while ideograms (in the proper meaning) might be >> usable in a NLF2DWS, they would suffer the same sort of drawback as >> logograms: we would need a few thousand of them. What we probably need is >> something more atomic. That is why I was interested when I read about >> Egaña's 20 thought categories. What are the 'basic units' of thought? > > Agreed on the "anything-but-pure-meaning" thing; I don't think > phonetic or spoken-morphemic-equivalent components would be optimal. > E.g., I'm pretty sure there has to be a more powerful / aesthetic / > useful way to describe plurality, TAM, copular relations, possession, > etc., than a morpheme. :-P
I agree. I assume Egaña's 20 thought categories are more powerful. I just wondered what they were or if anyone on the list knew about them. It may well turn out that they are quite useless for our purposes. But by 'more atomic', I was not intending to refer to 'atoms of meaning' but to 'atoms of the thought process' (if that makes sense). Just as speech - the primary medium of language for the past 170 millennia or so of Homo Sapiens*, is analyzable into phones, I just wondered if thought was analyzable into 'basic units of thinking' - probably not, I guess, but Cognitive Science s very much a terra_incognita to me. *if, as some believe, Homo Erectus also had spoken language, that would mean spoken language is nearly two million years old.
> However, I suspect that going more atomic would run into the old > problem a la Speedwords et al - that is, that they are not truly > composable, for one, and for two, that you would need a very large > amount to accurately describe even a relatively simple concept.
Yes - you finish up either with the _itollis_, _evue_ and other problems of Speedwords, or with Entish :) What goes on in the brain during thought? I suppose what I was thinking of was something that would map the brain activity, so that the reader would then be able to recreate the same activity in his/her brain. But I am now probably entering the realm of science fiction :P
> (E.g., > if "game" is a cognitively-real category to you, how the bloody hell > do you *define* it, let alone by atoms? It seems that it can only be > referenced directly and still be accurate. Viz. poker, badminton, > Life, debate, 'playa' sex, backgammon, dress-up, tag, etc...)
I wasn't thinking of defining "game" or anything else by atoms. What I was thinking of, as I've stated above, was a way of mapping what is going on in my head when I am thinking about "a game" or whatever else. But, as I said, this is probably something that it is not possible to do - at least not in any meaningful way so that another person could create the same activity in their own brain. Even if it were possible, the results would not, I guess, be the same unless the other person had had the same experiences of 'real world' phenomena as me and had the same 'database' of real world knowledge. This is probably pure utopian speculation and possibly is drivel to those with cognitive science savvy. But your example above reminded me of discussion long years ago when during my first degree studies we were discussing Plato's theory of Forms and the concept of a hierarchy of Forms, with sub-Forms 'participating' in higher Forms. Thus, for example, the Form Poker participates in the Form Game etc. Probably not relevant to our discussion ;)
>> It also seems to me that if one devised a NLF2DWS it would not really be >> appropriate to 'translate' some existing text into it. On 12th May Sai >> wrote that a NLF2DWS should "not [be] linearizable without loosing damn >> near everything in the process in a way that's cognitively irrecoverable" >> . > > Not "should" per se, but I would be very interested in making it so. I > am not sure that it is possible, when phrased that strongly (though I > certainly don't belive it to not be possible either; I'm > optimistically neutral).
I meant "should" in the sense of 'may be expected' rather than 'ought'.
> However, I think it's a good metric for how > worthwhile the 2d-ness is; the more irrecoverable the translation, the > more added value it is giving you, QED.
Absolutely - if there is no added value then there seems to me no point in making the 2d thing, except maybe as a fun thing.
> But I would point to my earlier mention of "translation" as opposed to > "interpretation" etc. That is, you would need to recover the *actual* > meaning of the text - background and all, if necessary - and try to > write *that*.
Not easy. In fact IME all translation, except of fairly trivial stuff, involves some loss and some degree of interpretation - traduttore traditore.
> I think a very related thing that would be necessary to research (and > I know that a lot of research has already been done on it, it's just > not stuff I've read) is on visual design and presentation in general.
So much to research! If i had nine lifetimes, like the proverbial cat, I might manage something :) Ray =============================================== =============================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760