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Poème coloré "La Corne et le Corail"

En quittant un hôtel à Saïgon dimanche dernier, j'ai vu deux objets qui semblaient contredire l’évolution habituelle de la matière..

Les poèmes que j'aime composer incarnent la concision et la densité du lien. Des formes brèves me permettent une capture rapide à la manière du haïku, mais les relations de musique et de sens exigent un choix scrupuleux des mots. Le sonnet en six pieds me convient souvent, avec de multiples motifs de rimes.
Concernant le lexique, je préfère l'universel. Les noms propres sont généralement exclus car associés à des époques et cultures. Les mots sophistiqués ou rares sont évités. Je cherche à ne garder qu'un langage concis mais accessible.

Poème coloré "Conscience"

Cet été un de ces matins vietnamiens, les chats ont déposé au pied de la table deux oisillons agonisant. Les matous n'avaient pas l'air bien émus, peut être simplement ignorant bien et mal.

Compo : La Espero

Esperanto was born in the late 19th century, and traditional customs back then was to give it a flag.. and an anthem! During the 100th congress in Lille in 2015, i've noticed with a friend of mine that the music of this anthem is quite military, a coulour in serious contradiction with the peacefulness of the lyrics.

Here is an arrangement with a new melody, slightly similar to the original, but in a form of waltz:


Click on the picture to listen (to the nasty piano-flute duet of mine!)

And here is the music score.

Compo : La Complainte du Nounours Abandonné

Last participation to the Nocta contest 3 weeks ago :

Click on the picture to listen

Hylian language update !

The introduction booklet now includes a selective dictionary, words class for animals and plants, and a comparison with ancient Hieroglyphs !

Personality Models: Myers-Briggs and others

Know Thyself! (Γνώθι Σεαυτόν in Greek, Temet Nosce in Latin)
Direct intuitive experience of one's feeling and behavior is always best, but some nerdy scientific or pseudo-scientific models of psychology can help putting words on it.

Personality models can be split into 2 categories: those with odd and even numbers of types.

The models with odd numbers (Enneagram, Chinese 5 Agents 五行, 9 Belbin Team Roles, etc.) define the personalities without analyzing them as mere combinations of aspects. They describe each of them as a whole that is more than just a sum of components: these are holistic approaches.

The models in even numbers by contrast are taking analytic approaches: they analyze the personalities as combinations of aspects, based on binary oppositions: Introvert/Extrovert, Active/Passive, Rational/Intuitive, Conservative/Progressive, Indirect/Direct, etc.

Following the tradition of Carl Jung in analytic psychology, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), takes this analytic approach to a high degree, by defining 4 aspects:

  • Extrovert/Introvert: being with others stimulates us, or makes us uncomfortable and exhausted?
  • Mode of perception: Sensing/iNtuiting: do we sense the practical facts and objective reality, or do we intuitively get the big picture, and the underlying principles?
  • Mode of judgment: Thinking/Feeling: do we decide objectively based on logic and justice, or subjectively with empathy, forgiveness, and aiming at harmony?
  • Dominance between the 2 modes: Judging/Perceiving: need for plan and achievement within clear framework and deadlines, or comfortable with improvising in flexible environment?

The combinations of the 4 pairs of letters (E/I, S/N, T/F, J/P) gives the 16 types. Selecting only 3 letters will define a pair of types, and 2 letters defines a group of 4 types (see comments bellow the diagram)

I have tried to integrate into the above MBTI chart 4 other models:

  • Herrmann Whole Brain Thinking, which seems to focus on the aspects Thinking/Feeling and Sensing/iNtuiting. Captions at the bottom of diagram, splitting into 4 columns.
  • The Greek Four Temperaments, related to my proposal of cardinal cycle, which opposes Introvert/Extrovert, and Stable/Unstable. Captions on the right side of the diagram, splitting into 4 lines.
  • DiSC Assessment, which opposes Active/Passive and People/Task. Splitting the above diagram into 4 quarters.
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter, which is often presented in connection with the MBTI. It is represented by 4 shapes, with captions on the left side.

There have been quite many 4-types personality models across history, but matching the types one by one is often too direct. The above diagram uses the wider playground of the MBTI to compare the models more subtly.

So.. what about myself? You can try to classify me as INTP, but also ENTP when in contact with peoples, INFP and INFP when I listen more to my heart (these 4 types form a NP group), and also ISTP and ISFP at time when i get more pragmatic.

Laramin is turning 10: Happy Birthday!

10 years ago at 10pm in a swimming pool of Kuala Lumpur, the idea of what would become the constructed language Laramin loomed in a mind... :)

Venus project presented at the UN Assembly Hall

I could hardly believe it: the Venus project, which I thought to be a marginal utopian idea, was presented last year at the prestigious United Nations Assembly Hall for the 2016 Novus Summit, which rewards contributors addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

It feels like a historical moment to see its founder, Jacques Fresco, now 100 years old, speaking to the assembly symbolizing the world consolidated government.

The Venus project proposes a brand new society and economic structure, where renewable energies and automation enable abundant goods and services, making money and most work irrelevant, and allowing citizens to contribute in the way they want (research, design, arts, or other activities).

Sonata for Oboe and Piano: Recorded and Published!

Last month we finally managed to record the sonata at the Kien Quyet studio. It will be available for sale on iTune, Amazon, and other platforms within few days.

Meanwhile, here is it, for free!
https://soundcloud.com/setzer-gabbiani/sets/sonata-for-oboe-and-piano-1

Facebook article

Etymologie Indo-Européenne en Dictionnaire

Voici enfin une copie intégrale en PDF de ce dictionnaire plein de révélations, pour 10Mo seulement. Le texte est passé en reconnaissance de caractère et peut donc être recherché par mot-clef avec CTRL+F.

Grandsaignes d'Hauterive, Dictionnaire des Racines des Langues Européennes (1948)


(Cliquez sur l'image pour ouvrir le pdf)

J'avais posté dans cet article un début de résumé de ce dictionnaire.

Etymologie chinoise : Livre de Leon Wieger

Voici une copie du livre écrit en 1916 par le père jésuite Dr. Léon Wieger, qui discute de l’étymologie chinoise, essentiellement sur la base du dictionnaire antique Shuowen 说文解字, avec quelques distances critiques.

Léon Wieger, Caractères Chinois (1916)


(Cliquez sur la photo pour ouvrir le pdf)

Une lecture fascinante, qui tord le cou à quelques mythes. Par exemple 明 qui est en fait la combinaison de 囱 + 月, la lumière de la lune à travers une fenêtre, et donc pas de soleil comme on le croit à la vue de la forme moderne. Oncle Hanzi est du même avis..
Wieger propose aussi que 字, représentant un enfant dans une maison, signifie d'abord "enfanter", puis "caractère d’écriture composé", considérant les 字 comme descendants des caractères simples 文. (voir p298) C'est le sens de 说文解字 : "discuter le 文 simple, et analyser le 字 composé".

Continue reading...

Compo : Divine Comédie

A participation to the Nocta contest, taking you a journey through the gate of Hell, the mist of Purgatory, and the garden of Eden (kind of) :

Click on the picture to listen

Link back Vietnamese and Chinese with Neo Nom

Neo-Nom a method to transcribe Vietnamese into modern Chinese characters, in order to immediately show the equivalences between the two languages. The aim is to help people learning either language to make connections with the other. It also indirectly draws connections with Japanese and Korean.

pdf here: Introduction to Neo-Nom

Example:
Tất cả mọi người sinh ra đều được tự do và bình đẳng về nhân phẩm và quyền lợi.
调特自由平等人品权利。

Continue reading...

Dashboard of suspicious corporations

In our world of increasingly virtual interactions, companies mastering the information technologies and networks are quickly gaining power at several levels. Here is a table to keep an eye on those folks. I use colors to show the now traditional groups: GAFAM in blue, their Chinese twin rivals BATX in red, their US good-guys rivals NATU (Netflix, Airbnb, Tesla, Uber) in green, big media in orange.

A healthy rule is to split our personal information and dependencies across different firms, or none of them if you can afford!

 

 

Influence

Monitoring

Hardware, physical world

News

Inspiration

Messenger

Activity

Google-Alphabet

Google News, Analytics

Search, Ads, Youtube

Gmail, hangout

Android, Apps, Calendar, Map, Translate, Drive, Chrome, Now IPA

Car, CheckOut pay (till 2013), Calico (bio-engineering)

Apple

News

iTune, Apple TV

iPhone

iOS, Safari, iLife, Logic, Final Cut, iCloud, Siri IPA

Apple store, Apple Energy, ApplePay

Facebook

 

Ads

WhatsApp, Messenger

Facebook Instagram

 

Amazon

Alexa

Amazon.com, Amazon studios

 

Cloud computing, Echo, Alexa IPA, Evi IPA

Physical sales, Pay, GoPago payment, AmazonGo (store)

Microsoft

 

Xbox games, Bing seach

Skype, MSN, Outlook, ex-hotmail

Windows, MSOffice, Sharepoint, Linkedin, Cortana IPA

Nokia, Windows phone

Baidu
百度

Tongji web analytics, Hexun finance

Baidu search, Knows, Encyclopedia, Music, Image

 

NetDisk, Map, Browser, Yi OS, Space

外卖 Waimai food, Qunar travel

Alibaba
阿里巴巴

 

Alibaba movies

 

Alibaba, Sesame credit

Alibaba.com, Taobao.com, Tmall.com, AliPay, MoneyGram?

Tencent
腾讯

   

QQ, WeChat

CRF credit, WeiYun, WeiBo

TenPay

Xiao Mi
小米

     

MiCloud

Phone, laptops, TV

Hua Wei
华为

     

EMUI OS

Phones, data centers, network

 Netflix

 

VoD, TV and film production

     

 AirBnB

     

AirBnB

House rental

 Tesla

       

Elec. cars, solar PV panel, SpaceX

 Uber

     

Uber

Taxi service

Comcast

NBC, 26 US TV stations

Universal pictures, Focus

   

Movies and goodies

News Corp.

Fox News, National geographic, WallStreet journal

20th Century Fox, Blue Sky, Searchlight

   

Movies and goodies

Disney

 

Disney, Marvel, LucasFilm, Pixar, Touchstone

   

Movies and goodies, theme parks

Time Warner

CNN

HBO, Cinemax, Warner bros, Cartoon Network, DC Comics

   

Movies and goodies

eBay

Corrigon visual search

 

(Skype, sold to Microsoft)

eBay

eBay, PayPal

Rakuten
乐天

 

Kobo, Wuaki.tv, Pinterest, FC Barcelona

Viber

 

Rakuten, Play.com, Buy.com, PriceMinister

Samsung
三星

 

Everland theme park

 

S Voice, Gear VR, Viv IPA

Phones, electronic, Heavy industry (ships), construction, Life insurance,

Yahoo-Verizon

News, Finance, Geoplanet, Answers

Yahoo search, Music, Movies

Yahoo mails

Flickr, Tumblr, Delicious

PayDirect (till 2004), Yahoo Travel

 

For more details about media conglomerates, Korean Chaebol 財閥 , Japanese Keiretsu 系列,  and the (short) French Wikipedia article on GAFAM, BATX, and NATU.

Meanwhile in China, the wondrous Social Credit System looms quietly. Here is the full text outline document in English and Chinese. The keyword to justify it is 诚信  ("honesty", translated here as "sincerity"), a word that Alibaba's champion Jack Ma has been emphasizing a lot in his speeches. I introduced further about this system in this earlier post.

And to attack another weak spot, Alibaba's Ant Finance is starting a cooperation with the UN Environmental Program UNEP to build a platform for individual monitoring of greenhouse gas. A green pretext to monitor the people!

Around Chopstick Languages (Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean)

Here is a list of articles and documents related to Chinese or Vietnamese:

  • Etymology of Chinese Characters, with proposes and illustrates 3 more sinogram generation mechanism, on the top of the 6 traditional.
  • 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.
  • Chinese Etymology with Dr. Wieger's book (French), an in-depth etymological introduction, based on the seal script, the Shuowen and critical views of it.
  • 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.
  • Voc Pro, a vocabulary list for professional context (technical, office) with translations in Vietnamese, Chinese, German, Spanish, and Bahasa.
  • Graphical Etymology of sinograms, a selection of few graphical etymologies.

What is Life, Death, and Salvation?

A Bible reading session last month posed the question of the afterlife (Mt 22). After a long exploration of the topic, I came to think that it involves questioning the very definition of life and death themselves! Using my habit of emergent layers, applied to an individual person (cf. numeral symbol by Bernard Werber), I came out with this table to describe what it means to be alive or dead:

Evolution levels

State of Life

State of Death

5. Saint (spiritual)

Hope, Faith, Love

Despair, denial/betrayal, hate

4. Human (mental)

Personality, intelligence, humour

Madness, mental handicap

3. Animal (emotional)

Sensory and emotional reaction, desires

Lethargic, vegetative state

2. Plant (biological)

Biological life, health

Handicap, decease

1. Mineral (physical)

Body, physical presence

Disaggregation

0. Others (vicarious)

Name, stories, cult, statue

Oblivion

This table matches the cardinal cycle and the 4 fields of education, with 2: sport for the body, 3: art for the heart, 4: science for the mind, and 5: wisdom for the soul. I also add a “zero” level which corresponds to our life (and survival!) through others: how we are known and remembered. With this table, it appears that death is often gradual: being handicapped, desperate, and ignored, already cripples the wholeness of our life. Often the death of the higher levels would cause the lower ones in turn to crumble. However we can also imagine the death of an unknown person, keeping quietly his wisdom and conscience till the end.

The above table may seem to over-analyse life and death, cutting it into thin nuances, but actually the Greek vocabulary of the New Testament also does so! One of my cousin underlined that in the Gospels there is a distinction between 3 forms of life: Bios: life of the body (2) and (3), Psyche: life of the mind (4), and Zoe: eternal life of the soul (5). We can also match these with the 3 loves: Eros of the body, Philia of the mind, and Agape of the soul. As I like to believe, vocabulary and grammar help with philosophy!

From the etymology angle, resurrection comes from the Latin "resurgere", "to spring up again", akin to "source" but without the idea of "origin". In Chinese 復活 is "return to life", in Vietnamese Phục sinh 復生 is "rebirth". In Greek Ανάσταση: "stand up". It sounds sometimes like a return to our previous life, or the start of a new one.

If we consider that, in the face of his death, a man’s salvation consist in keeping his life, it seems that most cultures tend to focus on the lower levels: a grave, a legend, a statue to remain in people’s head (0), and sometimes a mummy to keep the body. Then many religions and beliefs promise to restore the body (1), bring it back to physical life and health (2), enjoy a paradisaical existence of pleasures (3),  and optionally some grand revelations (4).

What if it were the other way around, eternal life through the higher levels? Simply survive as spirits (4), free from bodily life and heaviness, taking with us the most precious fruits of our soul (5). Like the butterfly leaving the caterpillar cocoon. In Christian context, the realization of divine salvation implies the irrelevance of hope and faith: only love is to remain.

Could this utlimate bliss scene also mean to abandon our individuality? Meeting face to face with God should be a fantastic love burst, surely calling for a fusion, following the example of the Trinity. That would mean that even our own self (4) fades out as we merge back into the source of light.

Even further, if this salvation leads to an eternal state of perfection, could time disappear? Time would mean motion and evolution, but hard to imagine a dynamic perfection lasting forever! It would necessary imply fluctuations around the optimum, and the absence of overall increase of excellence would mean terrible boredom for the spirits endowed with memory. Even if their memory were wiped regularly so that they may enjoy the same perfect (groundhog) day forever, that would be a kind of time-loop, not be so different from a mere interruption of time. Hard to imagine what could be existence without time, our intimate and yet mysterious life drug! We could be either without time (hit into a bliss wall the end of the road, just like the Big Bang sprung from nowhere), or beyond time, seeing it from above like a spiralling track from its beginning till its end.

Poème : Psaume 2 sur musique de Tallis

Le psaume 2 est particulier par son intensité et sa concision en 12 versets. Plusieurs mises en musiques ont été réalisées, et c'est la mélodie de Thomas Tallis qui m'a inspiré cette traduction versifiée :

  1. Pourquoi ce bruit dans les nations? Ces peuples aux projets vains ?
  2. Pourquoi les rois ont défié l’Éternel et son Oint ?
  3. Brisons, disent-ils, leurs liens, leurs chaînes ! Du joug, soyons sauvés!
  4. Mais Dieu dans les cieux se moque bien d’eux, de leur orgueil insensé.
    .
  5. Puis il leur parle en sa colère, fureur et épouvante !
  6. C’est moi qui ai sacré mon roi, sur Sion, montagne sainte.
  7. Décret du Seigneur : Tu es mon fils, engendré en ce jour.
  8. Demande-le moi, je te donnerai les nations pour toujours.
    .
  9. Sceptre de fer, tu les bris’ras, tel le vase du potier.
  10. Maintenant, rois, devenez sages ! L’instruction recevez !
  11. Servez l'Éternel avec crainte, tremblez de joie suprême.
  12. Embrassez le Fils, craignez sa colère. Heureux qui l’aime !

Voici le chant original, en anglais :


Another choir video , and here a cello version.

(1) Why fum'th in fight the Gentiles spite, in fury raging stout?
Why tak'th in hand the people fond, vain things to bring about?
(2) The Kings arise, the Lords devise, in counsels met thereto,
against the Lord with false accord, against His Christ they go.

(3) Let us they say break down their ray of all their bonds and cords
We will renounce that they pronounce their laws as stately lords
(4) But God of might in heaven so bright Shall laugh them all to scorn
The Lord on hie shall them defy they shall be once forlorn?

(9) With iron rod as mighty God, all rebels shalt thou bruse:
And breake them all in pieces small, as sherdes the potters use
(10) Be wise therfore ye kinges the more, Receive ye wisdomes lore:
Ye judges strong of right and wrong, advise you now before

(11) The Lorde in feare your service beare, with dread to him rejoyce:
Let rages be resist not ye, him serve with joyfull voyce
(12) The sonne kisse ye lest wroth he be, lose not the way of rest:
For when his ire is set on fire, who trust in hym be blest!

 

Voici enfin la flamboyante version de Heinrich Schutz , baroque, sur les paroles de la bible Luther :
(1) Warum toben die Heiden und die Leute reden so vergeblich?
(2) Die König im Lande lehnen sich auf und die Herren ratschlagen miteinander wider den Herren und seinen Gesalbten.
(3) Lasset uns zerreißen ihre Bande und von uns werfen ihre Seile.
(4) Aber der im Himmel wohnet lachet ihr. Und der Herr spottet ihr.
(5) Er wird einest mit ihnen reden in seinem Zorn und mit seinem Grimm wird er sie erschrecken.
(6) Aber ich habe meinen König eingesetzt auf meinem heilgen Berge Zion.
(7) Ich will von einer solchen Weise predigen, dass der Herr zu mir gesagt hat: Du bist mein Sohn, heut hab ich dich gezeuget.
(8) Heische von mir, so will ich dir die Heiden zum Erbe geben und der Welt Ende zum Eigentum.
(9) Du sollst sie mit einem eisern Zepter zerschlagen, wie Töpfe sollst du sie zerschmeißen.
(10) So lasst euch nun weisen, ihr Könige und lasst euch züchtigen, ihr Richter auf Erden.
(11) Dienet dem Herren mit Furcht und freuet euch mit Zittern.
(12) Küsset den Sohn, dass er nicht zürne und ihr umkommet auf dem Wege. Denn sein Zorn wird bald anbrennen. Aber wohl allen, die auf ihn trauen.

Compo : Stille Nacht

If you're preparing your Christmas choir, here is a colorful arrangement of the famous "Silent night" (Douce nuit):

Click on the picture to listen (to the ugly piano rendering)
The pdf score is here!

Ads, Adore, and Addict: cultural shifts

As media and trends move faster, our consumer societies sometimes undergo spectacularly quick transformations. I have recently noticed 3 notions where cultural conceptions worldwide have been toppled upside down: the consumer will “Adore”, will be “Addicted”, and Ads are here to know what you like and become viral.

Adore
I’m starting my story the way it came to me. Living in Vietnam, I partly witness the transition and contrast from pre-war generation (under French influence, respectful of Confucian and Buddhist traditions), post war generation (pro USSR, but still keeping Confucian and Buddhist as part of Vietnamese identity), and the young generations (embracing exhibitionist consumerism, iPhones selfies and hipster styles).

Throughout Buddhism, “passion” and “enthusiastic fascination” (迷, Mê) is considered evil as a source of suffering. It receives similar treatment in Plato’s philosophy. This word has a negative connotations in Chinese and Vietnamese (e.g. 迷信: superstition, 迷惑: confuse, 迷宫: maze, 迷路: loose way, 痴迷: crazy, 低迷: depressed, 迷醉: intoxicate, etc.) However nowadays, the word is gaining glamour, and is considered as a desirable sign of enjoyment. In this advertisement here-below, it rhymes with Yêu, love.

A comparable shift happened long ago in English and French, when the word “adore” became a mere synonym of liking something very much. Considering the 2nd of the Bible’s 10 Commandments, forbidding the adoration of idols, we can see that the word has gone a long way up until now!

Addict
More surprisingly, as several studies start to warn about the addictive dangers of video games, apps, TV series and others recent digital medias, the very word “addictive” managed to become a marketing catchphrase! Countless ads praise the latest online “addicting games” that will “take control of your life” and “keep you awake all night”.

How incredible that the selling pitch of a product uses the exact same language as those denouncing their dangers! Have we gone to the point where self-indulgence, decadence and selfish craving can be openly glorified? Maybe these evils have been blamed too heavily in our traditional cultures and the feeling of guilt now swings back to the other extreme: claiming egoist hedonism and self-intoxication as a new way of life?

Advertisements
I remember 20 years ago, advertisement was still vastly regarded as a one-way marketing hunting tool, trying to urge consumers to buy a product or service. Every company was praising its own product and pushing them to the market. Later on, several studies showed that TV audience actually likes ads, for their catchy style and entertainment.

Further down the line, we saw Facebook asking us whether we find such or such ad interesting, relevant, or funny to us. That is another great shift: ads are supposed to become “relevant”, and to do so, each of us is supposed to allow Google and Facebook to know our tastes. Now, since most of us can’t really figure out what we would like, Google offers to plays the Gestapo-psychologist and spy on us to predict our behavior, and convert us into consuming appendices of the supply chain. No need to think further, mother Google will tell us “what we like”.

That’s it.
Now it’s time to ask ourselves whether we really want to go down that path:

Craze and crave in your cradle-grave, with umbilical cords to crate you as slave.

Maybe at some point, rejecting the machine assistance to consumer decision could be considered as a seditious act blamed for destabilizing the computed economy?

Actually to be fair, modern ads are not purely turning us into passive consumers, but also convert us into ambassadors, to share the ads in turn, either for its fun, or because we genuinely want to share the word. This implies more commitment, and maybe, even critical thinking! Such social interactivity with the ad is the opportunity for freedom of expression through online civil society, promoting or criticizing content.

BONUS: Social Credit Rating
When allowing personal initiative and freedom of speech, one of the next moves of abusive governments is "Social Credit". There are various forms of such rating. So far they mostly focus on the credit-worthiness of loan takers, analyzing their purchase record and contact list to determine whether lending them money is safe. For example the "Sesame credit" 芝麻信用 from Alibaba's 蚂蚁金服 "Ant Financial Service" in China since 2015, with 190 million users. Some dating websites (e.g. 百合 Baihe) encourages users to boast their scores, thus influencing matching, making it de facto a criteria for social segregation. Similar credit ratings are in use in the US (Credit Karma since 2007, and ironically since 2010: Credit Sesame!) Facebook also tried one in 2014, based on social media content, but called it off in Feb 2016 over regulatory issues.

Here is a broader and quite perverted version of social credit: Each citizen would be rated based on the compliance of his behavior with a given standard. Criteria could include purchases, message content, readings, travels, studies, and even non-secretiveness (willingness to show all their life for analysis), etc. Bad grade citizens are penalized when asking for services (loan, study, accommodations, etc.), while good pupils are rewarded. The social credit of whoever you connect with and meet could also affect your own credit, thus preventing social class mix and dialogue.

That would be a lovely way to manipulate populations by saying: "Yes you are free, but being "naughty" will make your life much harder..." Besides, whatever criteria included in the evaluation must be provided to the rating agency, since "You don't have anything to hide, do you?". Easy to see how it can go wrong.

In Vietnam a still distantly comparable rating system is used: "Gia đình Văn hóa" : 家庭文化: "Family with (proper) culture", which rewards compliant and orthodox families with a public signboard. Areas with above 80% of such families can also apply to receive the award. Luckily, it's a voluntary system and not everyone is monitored.. at least in principle.

I hope for an economic model rather centered on demand, where each of us can creatively express his wish about a new product or service, and build up a group of interested buyers. A kind of crowd funding, but only bringing forward ideas to the supply side. The next steps would aim toward a Venus Project model, where mass automation coupled with renewable energies and recycling enables a society of abundance, without money, less work, more freedom, creativity, and meaning.

Polyglot Adventures

This week I've got some ideas about playing cards to stimulate multi-lingual workshops! The principle is basically to tell stories using several languages..

It is played with "Story cards" showing pictograms suggesting several ideas and words, "Language cards" indicating the tongues to be used, other "Mode cards" indicating tense (past present future) or focus (work jargon, emotions, slang, formal, etc.), and "Action cards" consumed to switch languages and modes.

Several playing styles came to my mind as i was crafting the first items:

  • Circle of Interpreters: players form a circle, languages are chosen as link between each player of the loop. Each has 3 story cards in hand. One by one, they lay a story card, and tell the scenario to the player on their left according to the required idiom. The next one adds another story card to the sequence and translates the whole narrative again to his neighbor. This game is rather collaborative, but we may give penalties to incorrect interpreters! This playing style only requires each player to speak 2 languages.
  • Free for All: players sit around 3 central decks of cards showing Languages (those that all players can speak), Modes, and Story. Each player has 5 story cards and 3 action cards. A first speaker is selected randomly, and starts telling a (logical!) scenario by laying down his story cards on the story deck. At least one sentence must be made for each card. At any point of time, another player can raise one of his story cards, and will take over the speaker at the end of his sentence. Logical junctions and grammatical correction are necessary, but complains from other players must be made in the same language! If the contribution of the contender is proven incorrect, he takes back his card. Any player can use action cards to switch tongues and modes, even in the middle of a sentence! The winner is the one using up all his story cards.

Practically speaking, printed paper was fixed on beautiful poker cards with tape. Kings Queens Jacks are kept to serve as "Action cards". Jacks and Queens switch to the next language of the pile, while Kings allow to select any tongue directly.

Here are all the graphics !

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How many languages do you speak?

Here is an embarrassing and wonderful question! Language is about sharing, listening and talking, and that implies inviting the others to speak one of these languages, but crossing the thin line between sharing and showing off is quick…

A fair answer should quantitative, giving the gradual levels of mastery. For me it would be between 3 and 8. Mwaaahaha!

Etymology of Chinese Characters

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!

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Further Improvements to Esperanto / Plibonigi Esperanton !

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. Some are reasonable evolutions <Konsentebla>, others are downright utopias <Revolucieska!>

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Compo : Elise

A participation to the Nocta contest, for a female character. The ending is way too epic and masculine though.. Actually it is continuation of an old composition from July 2005, thus completed exactly 11 years and 1 days later!

Click on the picture to listen ;)

A Map for Sci-Fi Movies

Science Fiction is a broad church, made of many sub-genres. For me it is a wonderful source of inspiration, talking about the future, technology, philosophy, psychology, politics, etc.

In the map below, i've proposed some topics in green. Non-SF but still akin movies are in grey.

Emoto-rice, I love you. Neither do I.

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? :)

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Compo : La Marseillaise, Musique et Paroles

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 !

Je commence par ma proposition musicale: Marseillaise pour 3 voix
...et sa partition.

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 !

Compo : La Belle Sérénade

Voici une adaptation musicale d'un poème de mon professeur de musique et ami Nguyen Van Quy:

(Cliquez sur la partition pour l’écouter !)

Credo in picture

A picture can translate a music, a poem... and why not a creed?
Here is what the Christian credo could look like:


(Click to open the file with explanation labels)

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