Toki Pona's community

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Logomachist
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Understanding Daoism + 10 con lang success stories?

Postby Logomachist » Mon May 31, 2010 9:34 pm

janKipo wrote:In the context of Western thought perhpas, but within Chinese philosophy he is not especially Daoist. All classical Chinese philosophers talk about the Dao, though they have different views of it


As I understand it Chinese scholarship was destroyed during the Warring States period and when it was reconstituted later it was regrouped by subject into new classifications. The original philosophers would not have grouped themselves the way I do, but I'm happy to lump all discussions about the Dao together under one term.

[quote=janKipo]Gee, my problem is with people -- just about all of those I know who mess with it at all -- who think it is startlingly profound and mysterious. "Straightforward" seems an odd adjective to use, though (especially in contrast with "superficial and vacuous") for a book that generally makes its points by poetic metaphors and really awful puns (untranslatable -- and many don't work even in modern Chinese, I am told). [/quote]

Care to provide any examples? I don't find it that obtuse, but perhaps I am over-simplifying. The translations I have read have not provided footnotes connecting it to other philosophical tracks, and I'm curious about yours if they do.

[quote=jankipo]Though it happens with some frequency -- about 10 in the last 10 years, though three with commercial backing.[/quote]

LOL, really? I can count on one hand the con langs I would consider success: Quenya, Esperonta/Ido, Klingon, Toki Pona, and Na'Vi. What metric do you use? I think mine is landing an article in a newspaper.

janKipo
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Re: Toki Pona's community

Postby janKipo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:34 am

The Warring States era, which was when most philosophy arose, did mess with literature a bit; the First emperor was worse. He gathered all the books he could get his hands on, sorted them out into piles. burned what he didn't like, then revised the orthography and had what was left copied into the new before burning the old copies. Happily, he didn't last all that long and did not yet have the efficiency of later emperors, so a lot did survive, though sometimes in rather sad shape (Zhuangzi had its pages separated then reassembled randomly, for example). The tradition of schools -- the lineage from master to disciple -- was broken for most schools and some just never reconstituted, so texts floating around got sucked together in various ways, which shifted over time. The Confucians did the best job of hanging together and keeping their texts; Mohists, Legalists, Dialecticians, and some even more minor schools faded away or were absorbed (with reinterpretation) into the continuing groups. Daoism as a group developed slowly from the coming together of a number of threads, magical, medical, alchemical (among the saved works), the DDJ, and eventually Zhuang. The DDJ has status early on along with stuff from the Yellow Emperor and other ancients, but got fixed in its present form and order only toward the end of the Early Han, as was the notion of Daoism -- already with the two branches (philosophical and practical, cf. Masonry). Disputers of the Tao by A.C. Graham is a nice survey (well, with more depth than that suggests) on the situation during Warring States (i.e., in classical Chinese Philosophy) with some notes on what happened afterwards.

"The way that can be wayed is not the way/ the word that can be worded is not the word." for starters. Unpacked it comes to something like "An existential position that can be described is not one that is going to achieve the desired goal" (but only like that, because, of course, that is a description of an existential position). There are no puns in this one, just the use of key words in different syntactical functions.

Graham is focused, in fact, on the interrelationships among the various schools (subtitle "Philosophical Arguments in Ancient China"). Kaltenmark and Welch are a couple of surveys of the development of Daoism. I used to have a couple dozen trats of the DDJ to compare and contrast (each did something right and something very wrong); now I'm down to a half dozen, kept either because I just like them or because they have really good, interesting notes: Waley for readability, Ames & Hall and Henricks for "up to date" ness.

Don't forget Loglan and Lojban. Dothraki has a fanbase even though it is not yet officially available. Of course, many of these go back a number of years. I consider a conlang a success if it has a website that sustains some conversation in the language over a long time (more than a year say) and about the language for even longer. Articles in newspapers are really a matter of luck (or good pr work); lots of languages have managed that but never really caught on and conversely at least until rather late in their development.

Logomachist
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Understanding the Dao De Ching

Postby Logomachist » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:37 am

janKipo wrote:The Warring States era, which was when most philosophy arose, did mess with literature a bit; the First emperor was worse. He gathered all the books he could get his hands on, sorted them out into piles. burned what he didn't like, then revised the orthography and had what was left copied into the new before burning the old copies.


Ah, my mistake. >_< That's what I was thinking of. Embarrassingly I got my periods mixed up. :(


janKipo wrote:"The way that can be wayed is not the way/ the word that can be worded is not the word." for starters. Unpacked it comes to something like "An existential position that can be described is not one that is going to achieve the desired goal" (but only like that, because, of course, that is a description of an existential position).


Not really agreeing with the subtleties of your interpretation, but I respect that you've studied this in depth and I'm not going to embarrass myself further by contesting it.


janKipo wrote:Dothraki has a fanbase even though it is not yet officially available.


That's a new one to me. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I look forward to the HBO series with anticipation.

janKipo
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Re: Toki Pona's community

Postby janKipo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:13 pm

Hey, I, following my muse, Kay Bikson, regularly file everyone from Boethius to Pico dela Mirandola in "the Medieval Place" (She could never figure out why Abelard, Ockham and Duns Scotus didn't just get together for a beer and hash out the problem of universals.) Dates are not my forte', let alone names of dates.

I'm no expert, just a generalist student, but reading a fairly large number or trats has led me to respect the depths to be found in DDJ -- and the infinite possibilities for total silliness also therein available. Going with the flow and leaving behind all matters created by social convention seem nice ideals, but I'll settle for a good old-fashioned being incinerated in the Sacred Heart.

You might look at my favorite never-quite-making-it, aUI, too.

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jan Josan
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Re: Toki Pona's community

Postby jan Josan » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:48 pm

jan Kipo, did you ever cross paths with Professor Bardwell Smith? I really enjoyed his class on Chinese religious thought when I took it back in the 90's, but even even at the time I couldn't keep my schools straight.

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Re: Toki Pona's community

Postby janKipo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:56 pm

No, I didn't. Where was he? (my swing in the 50's and 60's was Michigan State, Princeton, UCLA) and after that pretty settled at Missouri-St. Louis (short stay at Iowa in 1980). I'll have to look him up.

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jan Josan
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Re: Toki Pona's community

Postby jan Josan » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:05 pm

He was at Carleton College in Minnesota, I believe he has since retired. But he taught through the religion department with a focus on Asian studies so I bet you two would have a lot to talk about. It was of the best classes in my undergraduate experience even though I was totally out of my element.

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Re: Toki Pona's community

Postby janKipo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:10 pm

When were you at Carleton? My prep school roommate went there and then disappeared off the face of the earth in BWI. Well before your time, I'm sure.

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Re: Toki Pona's community

Postby jan Josan » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:22 pm

I was there from 1990 to 1994.

Logomachist
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Re: Toki Pona's community

Postby Logomachist » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:33 am

janKipo wrote:Going with the flow and leaving behind all matters created by social convention seem nice ideals, but I'll settle for a good old-fashioned being incinerated in the Sacred Heart.


Eww. That sounds painful and bloody.


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