[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Wittgenstein and the pictures

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 21:06:44 -0400
Message-id: <48911024.3040506@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ravi,    (01)

I believe that visualization is extremely important.    (02)

 > Is there a scope for visualization (I mean models of physics that
 > live in mind - not pictures) sharing by means other than math as
 > a common language?    (03)

Visualization is extremely important for showing relationships,
but I would regard it as a supplement to language, not as a
replacement for language.    (04)

Whenever people talk about designing a common language based on
visual symbols, I recommend two systems:  (1) Chinese characters
and (2) the language scheme of the Grand Academy of Lagoda.
I sent the following copy to Ben Shneiderman, when he was praising
the virtues of icons in computer interfaces.    (05)

Chinese symbols are far better designed than a system that just
uses pictures (or icons or things) for nouns.  But they have to
use all sorts of analogies, metaphors, and combinations to
represent verbs, adjectives, and abstract nouns.  But they
have been adapted to languages such Japanese and Korean, which
are totally different in structure from Chinese.  However, they
have required a considerable amount of additional notation in
order to adapt them to languages other than Chinese.    (06)

John    (07)

____________________________________________________________________    (08)

 From _Gulliver's Travels_ by Jonathan Swift.    (09)

Source: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/829    (010)

We next went to the school of languages, where three professor
sat in consultation upon improving that of their own country.    (011)

The first project was, to shorten discourse, by cutting
polysyllables into one, and leaving out verbs and participles,
because, in reality, all things imaginable are but nouns.    (012)

The other project was, a scheme for entirely abolishing all words
whatsoever; and this was urged as a great advantage in point of
health, as well as brevity.  For it is plain, that every word we
speak is, in some degree, a diminution of our lungs by corrosion,
and, consequently, contributes to the shortening of our lives.  An
expedient was therefore offered, "that since words are only names
for things, it would be more convenient for all men to carry about
them such things as were necessary to express a particular business
they are to discourse on."  And this invention would certainly have
taken place, to the great ease as well as health of the subject, if
the women, in conjunction with the vulgar and illiterate, had not
threatened to raise a rebellion unless they might be allowed the
liberty to speak with their tongues, after the manner of their
forefathers; such constant irreconcilable enemies to science are
the common people.  However, many of the most learned and wise
adhere to the new scheme of expressing themselves by things; which
has only this inconvenience attending it, that if a man's business
be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged, in
proportion, to carry a greater bundle of things upon his back,
unless he can afford one or two strong servants to attend him.  I
have often beheld two of those sages almost sinking under the
weight of their packs, like pedlars among us, who, when they met in
the street, would lay down their loads, open their sacks, and hold
conversation for an hour together; then put up their implements,
help each other to resume their burdens, and take their leave.    (013)

But for short conversations, a man may carry implements in his
pockets, and under his arms, enough to supply him; and in his
house, he cannot be at a loss.  Therefore the room where company
meet who practise this art, is full of all things, ready at hand,
requisite to furnish matter for this kind of artificial converse.    (014)

Another great advantage proposed by this invention was, that it
would serve as a universal language, to be understood in all
civilised nations, whose goods and utensils are generally of the
same kind, or nearly resembling, so that their uses might easily be
comprehended.  And thus ambassadors would be qualified to treat
with foreign princes, or ministers of state, to whose tongues they
were utter strangers.    (015)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (016)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>