Re: [xmca] Writing systems

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Tue Jan 02 2007 - 17:50:13 PST

Never mind off topic. We are always shifting topics. And I would be happy to
respond usefully to your query if I knew how!! The problem is that I do not
what you wrote! I am GUESSING that what you are talking about has to do with
origins and
change. ("the mathematics one does is both circumscribed and supported by
the math one is
doing" coupled with expertise-- which I think of as a developmental
process). But I cannot get
from that to authoring a novel. And I am not even sure what the math example
is about. Can you

I am not sure, either, what David is after. My suggestions were intended to
focus on the origins
or graphic representations of ....... things.... ideas...... language (all
big issues in the history of writing).I picked my
suggestions for David thinking that what he was interested in the origins of
scripts of various kinds. Others have gone
to goody and watt on the consequences of writing, ong, etc. Havelock is an
interesting "half way" point because he makes
a big deal of the special properties of the alphabet and hits on Chinese
ideographic writing.

Perhaps you can expand? (And be ready for someone to comment on the article
of the month-for-discussion, although who knows!!)

On 1/2/07, Ed Wall <> wrote:
> 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
> >sources.
> >
> >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.
> >mike
> >_______________________________________________
> >xmca mailing list
> >
> >
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