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

From:Damian Yerrick <tepples@...>
Date:Sunday, June 5, 2005, 2:22
"Sai Emrys" <saizai@...> wrote:

> Here's my uber-compiled response thread, since that seems to be the > "in" thing nowathreads...
Especially given the 5 posts a day limit. I've also noticed a tendency for this method on phpBB-based message boards.
> Damian Yerrick: > --- > I think Toki Pona, though it is a spoken or linearly written language, > is small enough to analyze nearly exhaustively for necessary > relationships. > --- > > Mind pointing me to this? "Trent Pehrson" <pehr099@...> wrote:
> One of my experiments dealt with presenting orthography in characters that > were trial in visual signal (having form, color and orientation). This > allowed for simultaneous encoding and decoding of any three memes (for > lack of a better word).
Problem with making color graphemic is that many media cannot transmit color, and in fact many human beings cannot perceive the full spectrum of color. Of course this would lead to interesting SF scenarios, such as only females being able to read because all the males are color blind, and some males developing a separate form of writing. Patrick Littell <puchitao@...> wrote:
> This puts me immediately in mind of Hesse's "The Glass
>Bead Game". I've read it two or three times, and it always
> makes me desperate to know how in the world the Game > actually works. For those who haven't read it, it's described > as a sort of two-dimensional written game, played for > intellectual and artistic stimulation, in which the players write > Chinese-style hieroglyphs encoding all of musical, > mathematical, and intellectual history. What are the rules? > How does it progress? How is it a game?
Two words: Chinese Wikipedia. "Ray Brown" <ray.brown@...> wrote:
> If the story is to be worth 'reading' (if that is the right term > for comprehending something non-linear)
Yes, the word "reading" would still be used. I volunteer at a hospital where radiologists "read" x-ray photographs. "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...> wrote:
> This is rather irrelevant, of course, but I was distracted in thinking > from the POV of a 4D being playing 3D chess on his/its table, in which > case he'd be able to see the innards of the 3D pieces and not merely > the surfaces. I guess my difficulty lies in pointing out that a "real" > 3D writing would use characters (analogous to the chess pieces) that > are themselves fully 3D, so that it is not merely that they are > arranged in a 3D manner, but also that they themselves are > distinguished by their internal 3D structure, and not only by the > shapes of their surfaces.
Would it be necessary? Our own alphabetic writing systems are primarily 1D surfaces embedded in 2D. Most characters do not involve strokes embedded in strokes, that is, they can be distinguished even if enclosed spaces are filled in. Things such as Greek Omicron vs. Theta could be solved by having the internal strokes project from the surface as they do in Phi. "Sai Emrys" <saizai@...> wrote:
> As for me, IRL, I have a "name" that is a glyph. I don't particularly > identify with my legal or going names - Sai Emrys is... a nickname, of > sorts; a useful thing to have, but not "My Name" (tm). (Glyph is here: > ) So I of course would argue that, > yes, you should/can create a unique logographic name. ;-)
The artist who was for a period of time not known as Prince tried that but (in western linear culture) drew ridicule. "Remi Villatel" <maxilys@...> wrote:
> I'm still working on the visual aspect. HTML didn't allow us much fantasy. > What I'd need is a kind of Tetris-like 2D text editor. ;-)
Try one of those old "ANSI art" editors. Or try a text editor with an overstrike mode, such as MS-DOS Editor. To start: Start > Run > edit To toggle between insertion and overstrike mode: press Insert key.
> I don't like the idea of connecting lines --There's always somebody who > comes and says "lines are linear". ;-)--
Wouldn't connecting lines correspond to case clitics? "Ray Brown" <ray.brown@...> wrote:
> I now know that I must associate vo- with 'volume', -x- with > nothing (the unknown factor?) and -el with element :)
Pixel == picture element. Voxel == volume pixel. Therefore, voxel == volume picture element, where 'x' represents the 'ct' of 'picture' in the same way that 'connexion' is a variant of 'connection'.
> But the subject line is "Non-linear / full-2d writing systems" - it is not > just "2d writing system". > > A system using linear elements is - er - not non-linear :)
It can be, at least in signal processing. Say I pass a signal through a convolution followed by a waveshape. The convolution is linear, but the waveshape is not, and the system as a whole is called "non-linear" because f(x, t) + f(y, t) != f(x + y, t).
> In front of me I have a 2b non-linear representation. It consists of a > matrix of 1024 x 768 pixels. I do NOT 'read' these pixels by rows or by > columns. On my 'desktop' I see a picture of my three grandchildren sitting > in 'sand-cars' built on a beach, with sand dunes in the background & few > small figures, the sky above and some odd icons that my OS requires on the > desktop etc. Yes, some lines are provided by a windbreak on the right edge > of the picture and by a folding seat. But I do not 'read' these linearly! > > When I look at the desktop I do not think "Gosh, there are 768 rows and > 1024 columns - let me scan through the rows and columns and see what they > are trying to 'tell' me." No - as far as I am concerned the image is > non-linear and I 'read' it as a whole.
Set any of various cityscape paintings by P. Bruegel as your wallpaper and you'll have an example of 2D pictographic writing to inspire you.
> Sai wrote: > > 2d to me > > implies not being constrained to work in a particular direction - > > normally, this is "horizontal" (broken vertically, or vice versa, > > depending on your script orientation); row-and-col would add one more > > to that, but would still be working within a fixed path. What I see is > > something more freeform (not necessarily unregulated-freeform, though > > I can see that too) - that is, jutting out in all directions, > > progressing as a web. > > Precisely - not being constrained by linear structures of rows & columns.
> now back to researching thoughtwebs :)
You and Sai might find Entity Relationship Diagrams interesting. I mentioned them earlier. Ray wrote:
> Sai wrote: > > 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
Based on my reading of the problem of 'itollis' in Speedwords is inconsistency in the fact that compounds are usually head-initial, except that 's' is head-final. it-ollis == tool-cork it-olli-s == tool-bottle-complement it-ol-li-s == tool-vessel-liquid-complement If 's' were head-initial like the rest of Speedwords, then *itsolli would be easier to parse. It would be *itsolli == tool of complement of vessel of liquid, much easier to parse given context. Compare Toki Pona 'ilo pi sewi pi poki telo' == tool of top of container liquid (though TP would more commonly use 'ilo open' for tool of opening).
> or with Entish :)
Based on my reading of the footnote in the suffix to 'RotK', Entish seems to be based on three-word sentences such that its "thought completeness" lies in the NP-completeness of 3-SAT. There's a third possibility: that you'd end up with Toki Pona.
> 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.
Unless at least some of that 'database' is cultural. Speech relies on a cultural 'database' as well: that [gEIm] represents the set of ritual contests, etc.
> Later in the book, [Yuen Ren Chao] writes: > ".... my guess for an ideal system of visual and auditory symbols for > general purposes of speech and thought will involve neither extreme > paucity in elementary units nor the extreme luxury of thousands of them, > but probably about 200 monosyllabic symbols, such that a string of 'seven > plus or minus two' of them can be easily grasped in one span of attention. > " > > Unfortunately, Yuen Ren Chao does not elaborate how a system of 170 to 200 > basic symbols will work. I have asked if anyone on this list could imagine > how such a system might work, but have not had any workable response.
A set of 200 monosyllabic symbols is obviously a syllabary, about four times the size of hiragana or katakana. Try making a syllabary for the English phonology, possibly splitting some English "syllables" into two moras, much as Japanese does with its syllabic nasal and its voiceless vowels between voiceless consonants. It just might be close to that size. And if you want to give each symbol an atomic meaning, look to Toki Pona which has roughly 120 atoms. -- Damian