WEDESDAY, MARCH 9, 2016
Eric Lee, A-SOCIATED PRESS
TOPICS: CHARLES K. BLISS, SEMANTOGRAPHY, BLISSMBOLICS, LOGICAL LANGUAGE
TUCSON (A-P) — Natural languages are not concept-based and do not map into Bliss. The question, “What is the Bliss word for______?” assumes that the Bliss ideographs are logos: words, that map into speech sounds. One natural language is like another in that one can be translated near word for word into the other. All are idiomatic and one stylistic idioma can be morphed into another, but none will translate word for stylistic word into Bliss. Bliss characters reference ideas/concepts. To write in Bliss involves focusing on the semantos, the meaning, of what you are endeavoring to say. The question, then, is, “What is the Bliss character for the concept of______? “ Wordsmiths need to be replaced by conceptsmiths.
In English and all natural languages there are many synonyms, stylistic variants, endlessly idiomatic expression and linguistic peacock-tail colors as natural language serves biological functions of an evolving species of primate and the self-interests of those using it (lovers, demagogues, poets, rabble–rousers...). Speaking meaningfully has only been occasionally adaptive. Thinking meaningfully has not been selected for as a priority.
Humans want to believe, to feel good, to win (at almost any cost), and not to know. Those aberrant few endeavoring to “know” are the ones better served by diagrammatic languages: Chemical diagrams, Feynman diagrams, Odum diagrams, Numeracy diagrams, and Bliss characters. For basic cross-linguistic universal communication, all humans are served by Bliss, which is limited to communicating meaning pragmatically. For socio-political-manipulation, deception of self and others, conquest, progress..., Bliss is no substitute, merely an alternative. It may be a matter of long-run species survival as alternative to extinction, but failure is an option and the universe will continue to expand, so merely an alternative to business-as-usual.
So you cannot think in English and map words into Bliss. For rambling on, texting and chatting, natural languages work fine. To say something important, to add to the content of human knowledge, to speak to posterity, to the ages, is non-trivial. Bliss is for practical purposes, not the least of which is to share and preserve information. Bliss is for sharing information (worth sharing) with all humans today, regardless of natural language spoken, or with posterity regardless of whether they have computers/Babel Fish or not. Techno-optimists may dismiss the “not,” but what feels ever so good to believe is merely that.
A Bliss Dictionary can be alphabetized only by using an alphabet. The Latin alphabet is contained within the ASCII characters. By convention, A-Z are ordered. Bliss characters map into Blisscript which is typeable and speakable, but also alphabetizable. Most books written in Chinese characters have no index, including those with indexes translated into Chinese. Perhaps the only major advantage of alphabetic writing systems is that logos can be alphabetized and indexed. Blisscript is alphabetic and so allows Bliss to be alphabetized and indexed.
The Bliss Dictionary is a LibreOffice file with a three column table. Sorted by the first column, the order is by Blisscript name. Sorting by the third column creates an approximate English to Bliss dictionary. Better is to enter an English word in the 'Find' box and see if it is used as a synonym. For an English to Bliss dictionary every possible English word would be alphabetically listed with a possible Bliss character. In Bliss core ideas have ideograms and nuanced meaning idicated by adding qualifying characters if necessary. In natural languages there are many synonyms and so many more lines and entries would be needed. The idea of a natural language to Bliss dictionary is dubious given that what is needed is to start with concepts and then write them, not with words and demand a Bliss equivalent.
There are usually near endless ways to say the same thing in natural languages, and speakers of them will endlessly insist that each word uniquely carries the exact meaning they intended, that the nuanced differences are essential. Every word serves its ill-defined purpose, which is generally other than simple meaning. Words proliferate until speakers of one generation cannot understand the language an ancestor spoke a few hundred years before them.
Elemental concepts do not proliferate. New concepts generally fit into an existing scheme of things. If it turns out we are living in a hologram, Bliss will have to adapt from top down, but otherwise, adding concepts will be by refining existing ones. Bliss will have to evolve as our grasp of reality improves, but it will not change to accommodate fashion any more than mathematics will. In a thousand years, expect all natural languages to morph into something unintelligible. Expect archaic Bliss to still be readable. Expect 2 + 5 = 7.
A source for Bliss characters, 5588 of them, is found: http://www.symbolnet.org/bliss/blissymbol They are in PNG format and didn't paste into the dictionary. All have been converted to GIF format contained in this .ZIP file.
The size used in this dictionary are the 78 px high ones in bliss_h78_transp_png.zip. Load into an editor, copy and paste into the image column. The Engllish word or words associated are added. The Bliss element names are given. Put together they make the Blisspeak name in column one. Another set of Bliss characters: http://predicator.name/p1/BlissSymbolics/BlissTables/, sorted into groups. All look like they should be added to the dictionary project, and all have now been.
Download: Bliss Dictionary in LibreOffice or Open Office format (right click, save as). The file is merely my current work in progress that is occasionally uploaded. All keyboard character sounds, all element sounds, and elemental characters (e.g. woman, world, mind, nature) are being added--about 1,000 so far, enough to conclude that all characters can be given logical names that map into the character itself. Compound "words" would be mostly made up of elemental concept characters (e.g. Semantography which includes an elemental line-45 [pede] meaning 'writing instrument' or pen/pencil/crayon between 'sky' and 'earth' to suggest 'World Writing'). If you add new characters, add to a separate file first, then add. Perhaps share the file so others can add them or to help expand this dictionary.