Translating "pona" and "ike" in the context of modifying verbs and its philosophical insight

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janAetherStar
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Translating "pona" and "ike" in the context of modifying verbs and its philosophical insight

Postby janAetherStar » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:42 pm

I would like very much to lead you all away from the deemed "spirit" of Toki Pona for a brief moment, and to reflect on the usage of "pona" and "ike" in multiple contexts. It appears that, in literature and conversation, when modifying verbs in terms of "pona" and "ike", the former meaning of each is often used - "good" instead of "simple" and "bad" instead of "complicated". This can bee seen in these two sentences: "mi lukin pona e ijo" and "mi lukin ike e ijo" - "I see something well" and "I see something poorly". But how often is the other possibility perceived? Context often tells, but "lukin pona" could mean "see simply"; for instance, seeing an outline, or the "thing" it its most basic terms/form. On the other side, "lukin ike" could mean "see in a complex manner"; for instance, seeing every minute detail of the thing in question. There is often a hidden "negative" possibility with both simplicity and complexity, and a hidden "positive" with both as well. Do you want or need to see the "thing" in question in full detail, or at its most basic? How much understanding of what's in question is conveyed through "simple" or "complex" - does focusing on detail give a broader understanding, or in a particular situation, lead away from the essence of what it simply is? However, does "simple" mean you are understanding something's essence, or not understanding it enough? Does "complex" mean you can appreciate all of something's detail, or that there's so much going on that you can barely understand even its most basic terms? All in all, context varies as much as life does, and while some instances of the words "pona" and "ike" might be useful for one context, they can tell a completely different story taking the other. I hope this rant helps to give a second insight to both words and their meanings. In my own belief, this insight makes the most "pona" word in Toki Pona really just "lon", which is swayed by neither "goodness" or "badness", yet is perceived by many as comprising of both.
ale li pona. :)
sina o sona e ni.

janMato
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Re: Translating "pona" and "ike" in the context of modifying verbs and its philosophical insight

Postby janMato » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:51 pm

If it's ego centric (based on the speakers standpoint) and context driven (and what's more contextually relevant that the speaker), then what is pona & ike depends on who's talking.

toki pona nasin la nanpa nimi ni li pona kin (tawa mi) tan ni: nanpa nimi li suli kin!

As for tp, if it's me talking, prolix is good.

jan Pilo
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Re: Translating "pona" and "ike" in the context of modifying verbs and its philosophical insight

Postby jan Pilo » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:47 am

In my opinion "simple" means "optimally simple" or "as simple as possible to avoid problems".
Expression "too simple" can describe some aspect only, because something TOO simple would generate problems in another field and thus it would be complex and complicated overall.
'pona' means "good", which is not maximization of simplicity, but optimization. Otherwise one could claim that simplicity means to possess no things and walk naked or create a language with just one word.

As Mato noticed "pona" is defined from a concrete point of view. Therefore in both senses "good" and "simple" it depends on hierarchy of values and conditions of a particular person. For sadhu or eremite no clothes and one word may mean "simple", but not for someone in a big city, eg. a woman teaching at school. It would be very complicated, tiring and "ike" for the person.
Piotr M.

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Re: Translating "pona" and "ike" in the context of modifying verbs and its philosophical insight

Postby janKipo » Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:56 pm

Yes. I think the safest way to think about 'pona' and 'ike' in general is as positive and negative. What counts as which and in what detail depends on context. What strikes a Mad Scientist as pona would be ike to most others; lukin pona for a soaring eagle would be ike indeed for a man investigating mosses up close. And so on. Alternatively, for each person, they refer to what is pleasing and what is displeasing. It should only be added that the Mother of Toki Pona had, at the time of creation, a bias toward the simple (in some not too well-defined sense) and so that got woven into much of the early discussion. But even that is just her viewpoint and need not be yours.

jan Pilo
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Re: Translating "pona" and "ike" in the context of modifying verbs and its philosophical insight

Postby jan Pilo » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:18 pm

I understand simplicity in analogy with the Okham's razor. When choosing a system among competing ones, the best choice would be the simplest one.
Good = simple, because it is the most testable and you would know whether it is good.
When you know it is bad then is out of range and therefore not simple.
Piotr M.

jan Pilo
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Re: Translating "pona" and "ike" in the context of modifying verbs and its philosophical insight

Postby jan Pilo » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:43 pm

Simplicity is the most universal heuristic technique, the method to determine if something is good. Also the method to improve things.
E.g. in tp the syntax has been made simple. With such help it is easier to make the language good through being aware of one's preferences and logic behind it.
Piotr M.


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