14 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2019
    1. It is better if we seek to augment our intellect rather than trying to re-invent man in the hope that a mind will emerge.
  2. Apr 2019
    1. as it is in reality.

      What does this mean? Is Set Theory lurking here?

    2. For example, sheep could be accounted independently of their actual location.

      Displaced reference?

    3. At the first stage, the token system antecedent of writing, already abstracted information in several ways. First, it translated daily-life commodities into arbitrary, often geometric forms.

      Turning the particular into the generic. Charles Eisenstein has a lot to say about this in The Ascent of Humanity.

    4. while preserving its integrity

      What does this mean? Also, how does it interact with gifs and emoji?

    5. With a repertory of about 400 signs, the script could express any topic of human endeavor.

      Doubtful.

    6. These inscriptions introduced syntax, thus bringing writing yet one step closer to speech.

      (Basic orientational metaphor of proximity.)

    7. It shifted from the visual to the aural world.

      I don't agree with this characterization--writing is still very visual, I'd say, although I can understand how there was an increase in its relationship to the aural. These seem like independent sliders (I'm imagining a sound board), and increasing one doesn't necessarily change the other.

    8. This was also the case when a stylus, made of a reed with a triangular end, gave to the signs the wedge-shaped ‘cuneiform’ appearance (Fig. 4).

      Contingent on shapes from the natural world--back to Kevin Kelly's contingency from the Duffy review.

    9. The invention of numerals meant a considerable economy of signs since 33 jars of oil could be written with 7 rather then 33 markings.

      Innovation via hands tired from too much writing?

    10. Some accountants, therefore, impressed the tokens on the surface of the envelope before enclosing them inside, so that the shape and number of counters held inside could be verified at all times (Fig. 1). These markings were the first signs of writing.

      Reminds me of our knowledge of twill weaving on the silk road via impression on the surface of pottery. (h/t Michael Frachett's Long Now Foundation talk, "Open Source Civilization and the Unexpected Origins of the Silk Road."

    11. the ultimate abstraction of sound

      Is it?

    12. Writing is humankind’s principal technology for collecting, manipulating, storing, retrieving, communicating and disseminating information.

      How about, say, meiosis?