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By Matthieu . on Friday, February 16 2024, 18:51 - Idées
By Matthieu on Wednesday, July 27 2016, 12:16
Like other written languages, Chinese has built a system of connections between meaning, sound, and shapes. Its partly ideographic nature enables some direct links between meaning and shapes.
It has been proposed in one of the earliest Chinese dictionary (Shuowen 說文解字) that Chinese characters are created following 6 methods (LST 六書通). Here I'm proposing 3 more!
By Matthieu on Tuesday, July 12 2016, 13:15
Esperanto, the most successful created language for international communication, has been a wonderful encounter for me! It is the easiest language I know, while still being very accurate and elegant. But above all, its simple and powerful structure gave me the passion of learning foreign languages (and also create some..)
As a living language, it is subject to evolution, under the guidance of the Akademio.
Below are few ideas :
By Matthieu on Tuesday, May 24 2016, 12:01
After my first attempt to test the influence of emotions on microbial life, here is a short update. Now using 7 test tubes, i can compare the decay of 3 "cursed" and 3 "blessed" rice samples against a reference. Funny results.. maybe I should stop trying to give love?
By Matthieu on Tuesday, May 24 2016, 11:08
Y'a beaucoup à redire de notre cher hymne national. La musique est belle, avec un grand potentiel pour des harmonies intéressantes. Côté paroles... il y a débat !
Pour les paroles, voici une idée:
Allons enfants de la patrie, toujours l'espoir à nos côtés !
Liberté, liberté chérie, l’étendard de France t’est levé.
L’étendard de justice et de paix !
Que dans nos cœurs brille la flamme, ô frères maintenant rassemblés !
C'est elle qui nous fait désirer vivre ensemble, égaux, hommes et femmes.
L'espoir, ô citoyens, inspire notre horizon.
Marchons, marchons, vers l’harmonie prospère des nations !
By Matthieu on Tuesday, May 24 2016, 06:38
Voici une adaptation musicale d'un poème de mon professeur de musique et ami Nguyen Van Quy:
By Matthieu on Monday, May 16 2016, 10:40
A picture can translate a music, a poem... and why not a creed?
Here is what the Christian credo could look like:
By Matthieu on Monday, May 2 2016, 13:07
亼 represents an inverted mouth, pointing downwards, while 口 is an upright mouth. The characters using it generally bear the idea of gathering and harmony.
- 合) . . 合he2 means "conjunction, to fit, together". Here 2 mouths are meeting to talk, hence the idea of union. Characters using 合 for its meaning include: 答da2 "to reply, respond" (where 合 can mean "correspond", with the bamboo key used in 符合), 答da1 "to be in agreement", 翕xi4 "to agree", 㒆chi4 "to gather together", 洽qia4 "to blend with, be in harmony", 䆟ke4 'corresponding, appropriate", 恰qia4 "just, proper", 拾shi2 "to pick up, collect, tidy up", 拿na2 "to take, hold" ("close one's hand on something?" since 合 can mean to close by joining two corresponding parts, like windows.) The idea of closing might have generated these variations keeping both the sound and idea: 盒he2 "small box", 蛤ge2 "clam", 颌he2 "jaw".
- 侖) . . In the character 侖lun2, the mouth 亼 reads a book 册, meaning "discussion, consideration", and nowadays "logical coherence". The variations are: 论lun4, "debate, discourse" (giving 理论 "theory" and 论文 "thesis"), and 伦lun2 "normal human relationships, coherence". They use 侖 both for its sound and meaning.
- 龠) . . 龠yue4 is an ancient flute, with the mouth 亼, a bamboo flute body which became 冊, and 3 holes 品. The Shuowen comment underlines the multiplicity of sounds and musical harmony: "樂之竹管三孔以和眾聲也 從品侖侖理也". 龠 is also a unit of volume (50ml) worth half of 合ge3 (100ml). 龠 serves as semantic part for the idea of "blow" in 龡 chui4, the archaic form of 吹.
- 和) . . 和 is today an homonym and nearly a synonym of 合. 和 means "and, union, peace, harmony", with an archaic writing 龢he2 = 龠yue4+禾he2. 禾 is used for the sound. Just like in 龡, 龠 was simplified into 口.
- 龤) . . 龠 is also used to write 龤 xie2, which is homonym and nearly synonym of 谐xie2 and 协xie2, "harmony and agreement". We can note here the phonetic proximity between 和, 合, 协, 谐, and 龤, close to the middle Chinese pronunciation preserved in Vietnamese as Hiệp (合, 协, 谐, and 龤).
- 集) . . 亼 can also be read as an archaic variant of 集 ji2, meaning "collection, to gather". In 集 we see birds 隹 gathering on a tree 木.
- 令) . . In 令 ling4 "order, to command, to cause", the summoned order, the mouth 亼 is giving order to a kneeling man 卩from above. Here "order" bears the dual meaning of "command" and "organization".
- 命) . . 令 has its variation 命 ming4 "life, fate, command, to assign", same as above, like a cinema director assigning roles.
- 會) . . 會hui4, traditional form of 会, is composed of 亼, 曰 (yue1: speak), 丷, and 日. Following these components, we can trace back the logical connections of the various meanings: 聚会 to meet up, 会议 to discuss, 理会 to understand, 会 to know how, can, and future certainty. An archaic form of 会 is 㣛ta4 "to walk, to meet, to gather, to be able, to realize". 会 can also be pronounced kuai4 and mean "accounting, to balance an account", again: gathering and harmonizing!
That's it for now!
If you see some mistakes or important missing things so far, let me know. Thanks!
PS: I call (improperly for sure!) "Variations" of a character the combination of a given source character used both for its meaning and sound, together with a specification key. E.g. :
仑 => 论, 伦
合 => 盒, 蛤, 颌
令 => 命
分 => 份
In cases where the sound changes significantly, the resulting character becomes some kind of 会意字 (compound ideogram)， although the construction is clearly in 2 steps (first 亼 + 口 => 合, then 合 => 答, 洽, 䆟, 恰, 拾, 拿, etc.)
- Pleco Chinese dictionary app
By Matthieu on Thursday, April 28 2016, 16:42
Here is a list of documents and works related to Chinese or Vietnamese:
- Waseikango 和制汉语, a list of the Chinese words created by Japanese during the Meiji era, to describe new western concept. I’ve compiled the list myself from 2 sources.
- Shuowen 说文解字 , an online XLS copy of the ancient etymological dictionary, with 11,100 entries. I’ve heavily customized it to analyze the text through excel functions and extract data systematically.
- KoreoViet 韩越南字 , A Korean-inspired phonetic script for Vietnamese.
- Neo Nom 新喃 , a Japanese-inspired reconstruction of the ancient script Nôm, for learning purpose! If you know a bit of Chinese, that will gives you some keys to consolidate Vietnamese with what you know.
- Voc Pro, a vocabulary list for professional context (technical, office) with translations in Vietnamese, Chinese, German, Spanish, and Bahasa.
- Etymology of sinograms, a selection of some graphical etymologies.
By Matthieu on Friday, April 8 2016, 13:08
On est souvent un peu perplexe devant un ordinateur.. qui y est le maître et qui est l’élève ?
By Matthieu on Tuesday, April 5 2016, 07:52
(Abi'ad, "Everlasting Father", as found in Isaiah 9:5)
A year ago I had this thought: the core conflict between humans and god(s) in ancient mythologies and later in Christianity: autonomy. Humans would always meet punishment after turning away from god(s), declaring themselves free and big enough to be their own masters. Prodigal sons leaving their father...
However, that's what nature teaches us! Fathers care for us and educate us, until we get independent and they grow old, in turn needing our care, and ultimately die. Nature served as model for wisdom and cultures, which teach us to respect fathers, but also to take over from them as we become fathers ourselves, and then do without them as they slowly leave the stage.
If this is the natural model, why isn't God like this? Why are we supposed to behave like dependent children forever?
Maybe the natural model was not meant to be so. In the myth of genesis, humans were first immortal until the first sin. Maybe fathers were supposed to live forever, growing wiser and wiser, always being a reliable source of authority for their descendants. Hmmm... so the whole culture about growing independent would be wrong?
By Matthieu on Thursday, March 31 2016, 09:57
I've been hearing a lot about "Y Generation" and "Z Gen" lately. When I looked into the topic, it reminded me of an old idea : showing both time and age on a diagram, in order to quickly visualize the age of a person (or generation) at each point of time. The aim was to clarify statements like "I was too young for that back then!".
Historical events are shown in vertical, spanning through the age of affected populations. Events shaping a generation are typically occurring in their 20 years old.
I'm now complementing (crowding?) the diagram with the generations' labels, and few more events. In the XLS sheet I'm compiling researches depicting a profile of each generation.
By Matthieu on Sunday, March 27 2016, 17:12
Here is another working document, compiling Bible quotes by topics. The document also contains a Bible summary chapter by chapter. (so far 886 out of 1239 chapters) I don't guaranty the summary's fidelity, but it can come in handy to give a first overview!
By Matthieu on Friday, March 25 2016, 10:39
En référence à la BD de Peeters et Schuiten (Souvenir de l’éternel présent). Hier, j'ai évoqué avec mon prof de théâtre que j'aimais reprendre des souvenirs d'improvisations ratées pour en imaginer de meilleures, et pourquoi pas, réviser mes souvenirs, comme un 1984 personnel ?
By Matthieu on Monday, March 14 2016, 04:57
19th century's physics explained that all closed systems must evolve into states of higher disorder. This disorder can also be also seen as a dilution of matter and energy: electric charges migrate toward lower potential, radioactive atoms disintegrate into more stable isotopes, high pressure expand into broader space, motion causes friction and converts kinetic energy into thermal energy, heat dilutes into matter of lower temperature... Physics quantifies this amount of disorder-dilution by entropy (from Greek τροπή, change) In any closed system, entropy has to increase. This 2nd law of thermodynamics dictates the time direction in which systems will evolve. This arrow of time cannot be reversed, unless no dilution occurred, or if more entropy is produced elsewhere to locally reverse the trend.
Another way to look at entropy is to measure exergy. It is the opposite idea of entropy, short from of "extractable energy". When entropy is created, exergy is destroyed. Energy cannot be destroyed, it is conserved and converted into diverse forms. (In the case of nuclear reactions, following e=mc2, one considers energy and matter altogether as conserved.) Exergy is the extractable, or "useful", fraction of energy in a system, which can be extracted to produce work and drive motion. Electrical and mechanical energies are virtually 100% exergy, but heat, pressure, and chemical potential depend on how they differ from the surrounding. 1m3 of air at 1bar is useless on the Earth, because it is surrounded by the same pressure, but in outer-space is could produce work by dissipating into vacuum. After all exergy is taken from a system (battery, air tank, fuel, etc.), this system is at equilibrium with the environment and cannot dilute further. This can be compared to a spring of energy and matter which expands and dilutes.
It is to be noted that exergy can be destroyed without any "practical" use (e.g. an electric heater in the ocean..). The definition of exergy pertains to physics and is not anthropo-centric, but rather independent from human cultural judgment. (I've discussed it in this 2008 article (in French) )
: mass and energy dilution, causing exergy consumption, drives the motion of the universe. It fuels all physical reactions which build this movement into... more complex structures.
Emergence is the name given to the phenomenon whereby the complex interactions of many simple elements generate new overall behaviors and entities. For example: life emerges from biological systems. Life involves behaviors such as metabolism, reproduction, adaptation, which are all new compared to the underlying chemical systems, and could not have been predicted by the study of the chemical level. I've discussed this in a 2012 note, linking scientific fields in Russian doll emergence. I proposed the historical generation: Physical > Chemical > Biological > Psychological > Social. We see a rise of abstraction, and gradual irrelevance of "hard sciences" to study higher levels, replaced by humanities.
Emergence produces entities which survive when the underlying components disappear. For example, in a population of bacteria, if one individual mutates with a new better suited DNA trait, it will be inherited by its offspring and gradually become a trait of the whole population. It will survive in the population even after the death of the first new DNA bearer. An invention or an artistic style can still exists after the death of the civilization that made it.
A time goes by, more complex systems arise, which unify smaller components into a whole. Across history, civilizations consist of several societies, made of individuals. A person unifies organs, which unify countless cells, in turn unifying countless molecules, made of atoms.
: emergence federates the motion of small items into larger, fewer, harmonious, and novel entities. Like a pyramid building bottom-up, higher abstract levels gradually come into existence.
Both principles coexist:
...the destructive dispersing impulse of exergy,
...and the creative unifying rise of emergence.
Following the intuition of the Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, we could call Alpha the space-time origin of exergy (probably the so-called Big Bang) and Omega the final unified emerging state of the universe. It doesn't imply that a god kicked the alpha and attracts us to the omega... but why not? At the bottom line of a complete picture of the universe, science and spirituality must be in agreement.
: Gravity seems to be a bump on the road to entropy... since it tends to aggregate things together, and to sediment solids from liquids, seemingly creating order. In case the universe lacks of momentum, gravity would make it end up in a Big Crunch, all would go back to the Alpha square one! Hopefully we got enough exergy and time to reach Omega, and a godly handshake.
: After reading (at last!) Hawking "Brief History of Time", i understand that gravity represents negative exergy, so that the total exergy of the universe is always zero. During the spacial dilution of energy and matter, doubled by space-time expansion, a large share of the original exergy is transferred into gravitational potential exergy. I find dubious that that entropy would be already maximal when the universe will start to contract back again. I'm pretty sure we'll still have few more billion years to surf on the exergy waves and build further the pyramid!
Once again i found that illustrating entropy merely as "disorder" is misleading and limited. A blank hard-drive has more thermodynamic order than the one containing Beethoven's symphonies. One shouldn't confuse the levels of the emergence pyramid. Biological or aesthetic order are far beyond thermodynamics. In that sense, the so-called Theory of Everything would be humbly relevant only to the bottom of the pyramid.
: Vincent Migneron summarizes (in French) ideas from François Roddier and Eric Chaisson, and pessimistically proposes that emergence is only a mean to creates structures able to destroy exergy even faster. Hmmm.. maybe yes. Then it's a race: I use you to grow up, you use me to blow up.
L'article a été mis sur Facebook ici.
By Matthieu on Sunday, March 13 2016, 12:47
This diagram I made in 2011 explores the relationships between 2 aspects of emergence: the multiplicity of entities, and their specialization.
This 2016 article from a French researcher Vincent MIGNEROT (English text) reminds about the "Technological singularity", a point of no return where we'll have brought computers up to a level where they'll independently continue their emergence and overtake us. (see I Robot, Matrix, etc.) This point however might be less threatening than the "Ecological singularity", a turning point of self-amplifying damages to the environment, which will herald human decline.
By Matthieu on Saturday, March 12 2016, 15:58
After the 2 scripts of last September, which were adapting the principles of Alfuni to specific situations, here is the latest version balancing a wide range of sounds, with minimalist graphical variation. Some will blame a lack of contrast, but i do like the regularity and harmony it gives!
(as usual, the table links to the TTF font, for those who'd like to write with it, or tweak it further!)
One key originality of this script is to propose a logical link between consonants and vowels. This idea first came in 2008 with the Phono-Braille.
It also proposes a selection of tones and punctuation, but the table is already big..
Sample in classical Chinese:
Link to the language creation forum: Alfuni
By Matthieu on Friday, February 19 2016, 05:03
On connaît les couleurs primaires, secondaires, mais quoi pourraient ressembler des couleurs... tertiaires ?
J'ai cherche une réponse à partir de mes correspondances synesthétiques (à tes souhaits), qui m'ont fait sélectionner 10 couleurs pour les 10 chiffres. Voici les couleurs disposées par affinités, basée sur la roue chromatique :
Au delà des couleurs primaires (Rouge Bleu Vert) et secondaires (Cyan Magenta Jaune), cette roue conduit à envisager une troisième groupe de couleurs tertiaire (Teal Violet Orange), "teal" étant un ton vert canard.
Bon, les peintres avaient déjà une réponse, mais ils se basent sur un autre trio initial (Rouge Jaune Bleu), d’où résultent un trio secondaire (Vert Orange Violet). Les couleurs tertiaires sont alors au nombre de 6.
By Matthieu on Friday, February 5 2016, 04:40
Here is a working document i've prepared, showing major composers (133 so far), ranging from Renaissance until today, on a timeline with their lifetime and key compositions. That helps understanding how their style evolved along with their musical environment.
Click on the image below to open the Excel spreadsheet:
By Matthieu on Wednesday, February 3 2016, 03:54
Let's talk about the future!
Here is a fascinating proposal of futuristic society: no more money, mass robotization and computerization of optimal decisions, abundance and variety of goods, in the frame of available resources and environmental sustainability. The project also postulate that people born in this culture without scarcity nor competition would be free of greed, theft, and related violence. They would simply have the pleasure to what they are good at to serve the common good.
With the 100th birthday of the founder Jacque Fresco, they released their flagship documentary about the project: http://thechoiceisoursmovie.com
Unlike in communism, computerized science and abundance allows sound decisions without corruption. Administration would be minimal and transparent.
On the flip side, i don't think the issue of democracy can be discarded as they suggest, since many decisions are not only scientific: e.g. "What shall we maximize: freedom, happiness, aesthetics, or survival chances? (see my "map of ideals") Bioethics: Shall we allow human genetic engineering? Do we want Brave New World? How much freedom of speech do we allow in the face of science?"
We need democracy to avoid a technocratic dictatorship.
Further on the issue of robots and computerized decisions, like in "I, robot", I believe we could see some phenomenon of interpretation of basic principles (e.g. "Harm no human") which would imply some sacrifice once applied at global level, violating these same principles. e.g. "To save the group we might sometimes sacrifice few." With nascent consciousness, robots might not be so good at philosophy!
Again, that calls for some democracy, or at least a check-and-balance of powers.
PS: Facebook article
Discovered around 2005 thanks to a software extracting video game's sounds, this unreleased track from Masashi Hamauzu for Final Fantasy X might even never appear in the game. It sounds remotely related to the soundtrack song "Illusion", hence its name.
The original song can be heard here (rare record, hot stuff!)
10 years down the line, the able ears of my friend Katchum have at last pierced the mystery of this fantastic harmony. I've put it in sheet music and proposed chord notations.
One bug remains clear, and that might be the reason why the music would not be used in the game: each repetition of the melody lowers the pitch by a semitone.... that means that as the music goes on and on.. the pitch would dip lower and lower.. too bad! (that also doesn't help musicians playing it)
By Matthieu on Thursday, December 17 2015, 05:55
What if our emotions had influence on water? This apparently obscure idea has been held by the controversial Japanese writer Masaru Emoto, who drew relationships between ice crystal shapes and emotions which were focused on water before freezing.
I've gained interest in this claim after the release of prof. Montagner's proof about the so-called "memory of water", which shows that water emits electro-magnetic (EM) waves based on the chemical it contained after high dilution, but water can also memorize EM waves emitted into it, and behave as if a new chemical substance is present. Since I believe our emotions primarily rely on brain and organs' neural activity, which in turn consists of electric signals that also generate small local EM waves, it leaves a tiny chance for both theories to rationally connect!
The experiment which i've done is another Do-It-Yourself test proposed by Emoto: influence the decay of rice by focusing emotions on it.
Here is my result after 112 days:
Maybe the religious tradition of blessing food before eating once simply used to be a rational sanitary measure!
I'm giving more information and pictures here below:
Here is my latest creation, a music composed for the 24h-contest Noctaventure on the topic "Tempus fugit": time flies (when we're having fun). I classify it as an "etude" because of its construction constraint: a Re-Re clock pendulum ostinato, lasting throughout all the score.
The colours and melody evolve through various emotions, following the steps of human life: childhood, youth, then grief, panic on the face of death, confrontation against time, and finally the enlightenment of a teaching bringing peace.
The beautiful surprise and originality of this music is how an Indian melody naturally sprung out from the harmonic evolution, bringing a hypnotic climax to the topic: Krishna in his transcendent form as eternal Time-Spirit.
By Matthieu on Monday, December 7 2015, 12:18
Through the creation of the Hylian language, I've drawn correspondences between space (cardinal points) and time (sun, moon, seasons, life). More recently with the attempt to encompass all fields of education into 4 groups, I've been suggested a comparison with the European 4 elements. That triggered an extension of the initial "cardinal cycle" into something connecting all the Eurasian continent!
The Chinese cardinal points introduces a 5th item, central to the 4 others. This suggests similar central points, with transcendent character compared to the 4 others.
One thing at least is not universal: the link between the cardinal points and the moments of the day (through the position of the sun), which is only valid in the northern hemisphere. North-South is reversed in the southern hemisphere!
We see that Chinese culture is built between cycles of even and odd number. On one hand the Yin-Yang duality, the cycle of 4 seasons, and 4 cardinal points, often combined with the 8 combinations of the Taoist trigram. On the other hand, the cycle of the 5 agents, 5 music notes, 5 tastes, and then extended into the cycle of the 10 heavenly roots through multiplication by Yin-Yang.
However with the 5 agents, the "earth" holds a status similar to the others, not central.
For those who saw the movie "Divergent", we can also match the 5 factions following this order: Amity (farmers), Dauntless (fighters), Candor (judges), Abnegation (selfless servants), and Erudite (scientists).
The recent reading of the Wikipedia article on Jedi (the Star Wars frenzy can spark meaningful thoughts!) has lead me to realize how various fields of teaching and education can complement each others. Jedi are said to be "Polymaths", a word implying the mastery of many fields of knowledge, and at the Renaissance, mastery of arts as well. Since Jedi, like most Asian monastic traditions, blend rather physical training and wisdom, I came out with the following map of education:
The 4 fields of learning (Sport, Art, Science, Wisdom) are linked to 4 components of the person (Body, Heart, Mind, Soul), and nurture them with 4 types of food or accomplishment (health, beauty, science, peace).
Further, 4 types of historical teaching are proposed, giving emphasis on pairs of fields.
- Sport+Art : Antique education as proposed by Plato
- Art+Science : Renaissance polymath, like Da Vinci
- Science+Wisdom : Medieval scholastic
- Wisdom+Sport : Asian monachism
It is to be noted that back then, the definitions of the 4 fields were not as restrictive as shown here. For instance, Asian monks haven't excluded science but have been including part of it into their wisdoms.
- The horizontal axis is about Power: Can and Know, Pouvoir et Savoir. By combining horizontally Sport and practical Sciences, we could also imagine another very pragmatic education model: a nation of robots with no emotions (Equilibrium) nor conscience ! (Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World)
- The vertical axis is about Feeling: Conceive and Receive, The combination of Art and Wisdom: people alternating between aesthetic creative thrills and peaceful meditation.
Maybe an accomplished man has to explore and balance all these fields?
After years of work, hours of joy and desperation, here is my first large scale musical work:
The next step is to have it performed and recorded into a CD, and get it up there on Amazon.. Targeted by end of this year.
Here is a version of my universal script Alfuni, simplified to fit a 7 segment digital display. This script is not strictly phonetic as it is mostly meant to offer a panel of characters to write most languages of the world. Letters can bear several phonetic values. The script can even be used with simple literal match, eg: write "Fountains" instead of the phonetic "Fawtenz", especially when Alfunepta doesn't have the required sounds.
The TTF file is available by clicking on the picture.
Here is the usual 1st article of the universal declaration of human rights, as sample text (literal match is used):
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
- Plosives are tall, fricatives are deep, africatives are therefore both tall and deep.
- Mute are straight, voiced are crooked.
- Nasal and approximant are marked by a hook
- Vowels are small
Letters within a word can be grouped without ambiguity, which saves space. I also introduce the consonant Dz, for the sake of symmetry.
Simplifications include the combination of vowels into the consonant table, a feature that i tend now to always keep (W and U, Y and I, clearly match. H and A match in Arabic)
Here is the 1rst article of the universal declaration of human rights:
Ĉiuj homoj estas denaske liberaj kaj egalaj laŭ digno kaj rajtoj.
Ili posedas racion kaj konsciencon, kaj devus konduti unu la alian en spirito de frateco.
My constructed language now explores the possibility of links with the melodies of the Zelda universe, looking for known words and roots, and then extracting new roots to create new words!
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