Re: [xmca] Writing systems

From: Ed Wall (
Date: Tue Jan 02 2007 - 17:06:13 PST

Mike and all

     This is not quite on the topic (and, thus, I have held back a
bit), but given the amount of expertise that people are bringin I ask
a question I have asked elsewhere (I apologize for how it is phrased,
but something like this was appropriate in that particular community):

> I had a question and wonder if you might point me in a useful
>direction(s). The situation is such: It has been argued of late that
>the work mathematicians do - proof and the such - proceeds within the
>mathematics being created. That is, without going into a lot of
>detail, the mathematics one does is both circumscribed and supported
>by the mathematics one is doing. This is not exactly a matter of
>prior knowledge or the hermeneutic circle per se although it might
>have something to do with being an 'expert.'
> The reason why I am asking is that, the other day in a somewhat
>philosophic discussion around a novel, a participant noted that some
>authors describe the authoring process as open-ended in the sense
>that what finally takes place may differ from what was originally
>intended. That is, in a certain sense, the writing writes itself. As
>this sounded somewhat parallel to the phenomenon I mentioned in
>mathematics, I was wondering if you knew of someone(s) who makes
>remarks about a similar phenomenon re writing.

Ed Wall

>Hi David--
>There is a LOT of material on the topic of writing systems.
>Two interesting places to start are:
>D. Schmandt-Besserat, Before Writing:. U of Texas Press. 1992 (two volumes)
>R. Harris. The origin of writing. Open Court. 1986.
>David Olson has written extensively on this topic, primarily from secondary
>I am unsure of best sources that delve into origins of writing in China
>which were more or less co-incident with
>events in Euphrates area.
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