Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby TJrandom » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:11 am

That is easy... the graffiti artist just travelled widely. And there is more... remember killroy was here.

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:28 pm

Humans weren't as isolated as some people traditionally think. They were mobile. They had legs and boats, and they knew how to use them.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:30 pm

Gord wrote:So I'm looking at this image here: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J_-8_VV2AvY/ ... entist.jpg

And it strikes me as odd. See the "zigzag" mentioned in the bottom right hand corner?

Found in 7 sites. From 20,000 13,000 years ago.

But then look at the circles filled with symbols. Don't those represent various regions of the world? I mean, they're labelled: North America, South America, France, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, North Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, India, China, Burma, Malaysia, Borneo, New Guinea, and Australia. Surely the symbols inside those circles represent symbols that were found in at least one site in those regions?

But 9 of them have zig-zag symbols in them.

How... :befuddled: How does a symbol found at only 7 sites manage to show up in 9 different regions of the world? Is there a site that's in both Spain and France? Or one that's in both Central and Southern Africa? Or is there a site that's in both North and South America?

I DON'T GET IT!! :afdb:


The circles don't have individual time frames, so, I would suppose, they cover the entire 30k years, so maybe the extra lightning bolts are from outside the 13k - 20k time frame. But then, why depict it that way, with more than one scale? Deliberate ambiguity?
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:30 pm

Gord wrote: I DON'T GET IT!! :afdb:
I don't think that website's claim has any merit.

1) I doubt the so called similar markings look look anything like each other in their original context.
2) You can't isolate markings and then compare them to other isolated similar markings, and you would mix up what could be symbols with mere eye pleasing designs.
3) The whole point of language decryption is looking for frequency and patterns, and isolating markings prevents that.

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:46 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Gord wrote: I DON'T GET IT!! :afdb:
I don't think that website's claim has any merit.

1) I doubt the so called similar markings look look anything like each other in their original context.
2) You can't isolate markings and then compare them to other isolated similar markings, and you would mix up what could be symbols with mere eye pleasing designs.
3) The whole point of language decryption is looking for frequency and patterns, and isolating markings prevents that.


Also, many of the symbols are sufficiently basic that different people would have come up with them independently, that there isn't necessarily any continuity of meaning, just coincidence in the symbols used.

Another note on artistic merit: We might assume that calligraphy came after writing, but that may not be the case.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:50 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote: Another note on artistic merit: We might assume that calligraphy came after writing, but that may not be the case.


I also think about the marking's practical functionality. Early writing symbols were mostly to do with counting. I can't see anything that suggests a counting system.

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:58 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote: Another note on artistic merit: We might assume that calligraphy came after writing, but that may not be the case.


I also think about the marking's practical functionality. Early writing symbols were mostly to do with counting. I can't see anything that suggests a counting system.


The use of symbols for accounting came after agriculture, while much of the symbolism in the example are pre-agriculture, so the lack of anything suggesting counting may not be material. If the message did not refer to quantities, the symbols don't need to reflect quantities.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:03 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:The use of symbols for accounting came after agriculture, while much of the symbolism in the example are pre-agriculture, so the lack of anything suggesting counting may not be material.
OK. I can see your point. Good thinking. It's too early for trading and surpluses

Here is the full article, from where Gord downloaded the image.
http://baybayinalive.com/stone-age-jott ... unication/

I can't debunk the claim as it is a bit wish washy and I would need to see the original artwork in the original environment. The first thing I would do is look for silly things. Would a tusk shape in a south European location, really represent a mammoth if there were no mammoths in south Europe?

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:11 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:The use of symbols for accounting came after agriculture, while much of the symbolism in the example are pre-agriculture, so the lack of anything suggesting counting may not be material.
OK. I can see your point. Good thinking. It's too early for trading and surpluses

Here is the full article, from where Gord downloaded the image.
http://baybayinalive.com/stone-age-jott ... unication/

I can't debunk the claim as it is a bit wish washy and I would need to see the original artwork in the original environment. The first thing I would do is look for silly things. Would a tusk shape in a south European location, really represent a mammoth if there were no mammoths in south Europe?


I agree that separating functional symbolism from artistic merit is problematical.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:22 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:I agree that separating functional symbolism from artistic merit is problematical.


You got me thinking.

We use common language to trade. We adopt symbols to display our identity. If these markings are before trade, then what is the hidden hand pushing the sharing of the same symbols across neolithic Europe?

The Venus figurine was across Europe but it was not a communications "thingee". It was a common fertility artwork and probably more like a lucky charm.

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:30 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:I agree that separating functional symbolism from artistic merit is problematical.


You got me thinking.

We use common language to trade. We adopt symbols to display our identity. If these markings are before trade, then what is the hidden hand pushing the sharing of the same symbols across neolithic Europe?

The Venus figurine was across Europe but it was not a communications "thingee". It was a common fertility artwork and probably more like a lucky charm.


How many symbols were in use across Neolithic Europe over the 15k - 20k time frame? Are these all of the symbols used?, or are they some (possibly tiny) percentage of symbols that appear in many places? There might be enough cherry picking here to reverse a Chinese famine.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Gord » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:30 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Gord wrote: I DON'T GET IT!! :afdb:
I don't think that website's claim has any merit.

Basically, I was looking for the images in this TED talk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJnEQCMA5Sg
Genevieve von Petzinger is a paleoanthropologist who was still finishing her Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia in 2016.

Instead of her 32 symbols, I kept finding listings of only 26 symbols. (Here's another version of the image I posted earlier, but with more details and in one o' them foreign language thingies [let's call it, say, "Spanish", just for gits and shiggles]: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zBYfLMyr8-o/U ... B3rico.jpg ).
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Gord » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:33 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:Here is the full article, from where Gord downloaded the image.
http://baybayinalive.com/stone-age-jott ... unication/

Actually, I found it here, which is far worse: http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogsp ... e-von.html

It opens with the heading: "This blog is to encorporate discussions on Lost Continents, Catastrophism, The origin of Modern Humans and the Out of Africa theory, Genetics and Human Diversity, The Origin and Spread of Civilization and Cultural Diffusion across the face of the Globe."

:strawman: "Lost continents" indeed.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:04 pm

Gord wrote: "Lost continents" indeed.


Pangaea?
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:06 pm

There was a guy not long ago that walked the circumference of Australia (about 15,000 km) wearing a plastic Star Wars stormtrooper suit, pushing an ice cream cart full of gear, in about a year.

Through desert and tropics, often eating roadkill.

Granted he had a paved road, but a human well-versed in self-sufficiency and travelling light could probably cover similar distances.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:15 pm

Most of North America was explored by small groups of white men (who got their names in the history books) accompanied by scads of Natives (who mostly didn't get their names in the history books) carrying the supplies. I didn't take long.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:49 pm

That's what I'm saying. I'm sure there was plenty of cultural exchange even hundreds of thousands of years ago. And people were trading things we can still find like shells, and beads, and flint points over thousands of kilometres. So I don't think it's far-fetched to think they might've had a common trading symbology. No doubt every tribe spoke a different language, so much like Chinese ideograms, perhaps they developed a common rudimentary alphabet. They weren't stupid. Perhaps there was even a kind of messenger guild that would travel around to all the other tribes with messages and trade items? You'd need some kind of universal language for that.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:04 pm

There was trade at least as far as Mississippi valley to New Mexico. They had a universal sign language commonly used throughout that range. Widespread use of written symbols is not surprising.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:46 pm

Asians weren't the only ones to make it to the Americas early. Europeans were going there in skin canoes. I've read estimates based on DNA of about 15%. You have to remember that the ocean used to be teaming with fish before we started industrially trawlling the {!#%@} outta it. You could chuck an unbaited bone hook in and reel in a fish, plenty of seals, too, so food wasn't a problem.

And I read somewhere there's evidence Polynesians reached South America about 18 thou' ago.

Humans got to Australia some time between 30 to 120 thou' ago. And they didn't walk or swim. They obviously had boats.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:58 pm

60K years ago, The Timor Sea was relatively shallow, with numerous islands. Easy-peasy.

Humans got wanderlust. (except me, I got sitzenlust)
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:24 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:Humans got wanderlust. (except me, I got sitzenlust)

An old friend once described it best. He called it the "Far Horizon Sickness". Also known as grass is greener.

But, that is what has lead to our success as a species, spreading far and wide. And why we want to travel to the stars. Our ancestors that wandered found good food. So now it's hardwired.

Me, like you, like to sit in a nice place when I find one. I don't have the relentless restlessness most people seem to have. ;)
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:59 pm

I reckon the straight line might be plains, flat, journey, path, travel, travelled, easy.

Maybe zigzag is a hard path, difficult, struggle, danger.

There are obviously symbols that represent trees. Also grass and harvest. And a spear. Here is good hunting.

The dots are people. One image she shows is obviously boasting their tribe's superiority in numbers warfare.

Then there are the small group of loose dots. And a bunch of organised dots like a column with a leader. Maybe saying we're a loose band or strict?

Then the cup. The U. We all know what that means. Water.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:50 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:Humans got wanderlust. (except me, I got sitzenlust)

An old friend once described it best. He called it the "Far Horizon Sickness". Also known as grass is greener.

But, that is what has lead to our success as a species, spreading far and wide. And why we want to travel to the stars. Our ancestors that wandered found good food. So now it's hardwired.

Me, like you, like to sit in a nice place when I find one. I don't have the relentless restlessness most people seem to have. ;)


From late teens - mid thirties, plenty of wanderlust. Not even grass is greener; mostly what's over there?
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:59 pm

That's perfectly normal and according to evolutionary psychology.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:59 pm

I think Oleg made an important point. Most of what we know about early written language is from when surpluses and trade existed and the evolution of those written forms reflect that. Therefore neolithic symbolism would probably take an alternative evolutionary route, as there is no trade going on.

However, I have another problem. Early written scripts for trading had mobile ways of being carried about. A clay "thingy" with markings, a ivory bone with scratch marks and so on. That way a symbol on a wall could be compared to the thing being held in the hand and that image copied somewhere else. However I have never seen any evidence of these neolithic marking being carried on anything mobile and secondly, on the mobile neolithic artwork, which did exist, there is none of these symbols.

I don't think we can claim these neolithic shapes are common shared symbols at all but rather, it is a mere coincidence that the same basic shapes appear at many cave painting sites.

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Gord » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:12 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gord wrote: "Lost continents" indeed.

Pangaea?

That ain't lost, I know exactly where I left it.

Matthew Ellard wrote:I don't think we can claim these neolithic shapes are common shared symbols at all but rather, it is a mere coincidence that the same basic shapes appear at many cave painting sites.

Genevieve von Petzinger's idea is that the similarities are due to human psychology rather than an exchange of new ideas. For instance, maybe the concept of a zigzag is just inherent to human nature, or the human concept of shelter involves a line drawn over another line. Or consider the possibility of the Spanish tectiform: "a design found (as at Font-de-Gaume, Dordogne, France) in the cave art of paleolithic man assumed to represent a dwelling".

Image

Or the basic tectiform: "A type of cave painting or engraving, having in its simplest form the shape of an upward-pointing wedge or arrow, thought to represent the roof of a tent or rudimentary building."

Image
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:34 am

Gord wrote:Genevieve von Petzinger's idea is that the similarities are due to human psychology rather than an exchange of new ideas.
It would take a lot of evidence to convince me of that. I understand smiles, bows and upward facing hands are innate evolved "visual cues" and, in some cases we share these with our ape cousins, but two dimensional zig zag lines? That's not really making a lot of sense.

Also I'm very unsure why a roof sign, depicting a roof as it looks today, has got anything to do with neolithic humans to represent a "home". It's not only a technological anachronism but hunter gatherers didn't have family homes, but temporary shared tribal spaces, so why write that down on a cave wall. What's the message?

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Gord » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:10 am

I like the "tent or rudimentary shelter" concept, myself.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:42 am

You're making two mistakes, Matt. The neolithic was the rise of agriculture and agrarian civilisation about 10k BC. You mean the paleolithic period which was before that. And second, there was most definitely trade going on. There was probably writing as well, it didn't just appear out of thin air on clay tablets in Mesopotamia. They probably just scratched it in the dirt, or charcoal on a piece of bark.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:56 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:You're making two mistakes, Matt. The neolithic was the rise of agriculture and agrarian civilisation about 10k BC.
Fair enough. It was these surpluses that could be traded and thus the use of counting tokens arise before writing.
Iraq tepe_gawra_counting 6000BC.jpg


Major Malfunction wrote:You mean the paleolithic period which was before that. And second, there was most definitely trade going on.
...and that's my point. There's no point having a counting token painted on a wall when they are used for trade. Secondly, if there markings are early representational symbols, then how was one marking in a cave in Spain compared to a cave in Ukraine if there was no mobile way of carrying that marking?

Major Malfunction wrote:There was probably writing as well, it didn't just appear out of thin air on clay tablets in Mesopotamia. They probably just scratched it in the dirt, or charcoal on a piece of bark.
I'm very dubious about that. Why aren't there any common repeated symbols carved on all the paleolithic Venuses?
venus-europe.jpg
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:03 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:..and that's my point. There's no point having a counting token painted on a wall when they are used for trade. Secondly, if there markings are early representational symbols, then how was one marking in a cave in Spain compared to a cave in Ukraine if there was no mobile way of carrying that marking?

Major Malfunction wrote:There was probably writing as well, it didn't just appear out of thin air on clay tablets in Mesopotamia. They probably just scratched it in the dirt, or charcoal on a piece of bark.
I'm very dubious about that. Why aren't there any common repeated symbols carved on all the paleolithic Venuses?
venus-europe.jpg

The venuses show there was definitely cultural exchange. They were communicating over large distances, yes? How do you think they communicated when a tribe a day's walk away probably spoke a completely different language? They developed a universal symbology.

Obviously they weren't trading in bulk, but they were trading in valuables and ideas.

How do you transfer the alphabet from one page to another? You {!#%@} use your brain to remember it. And you use your legs to transport it.

Do you do your accounting on your Buddha?

As you have rightly pointed out, and I have agreed, they were probably only dealing in small items a person could carry in a backpack, and doing on the spot trades, so there wasn't much need for accounting records. But to facilitate cultural exchange and trade, which we know existed from hard evidence, they MUST have had some kind of universal means of communication.

What better place to store that important information for teaching future generations than in a cave?

OK, kids, these are the symbols we use to communicate with all the other tribes around here as far as the eye can see, and they use the same symbols to do the same. So listen up, and pay attention. This is important.

And again, these are just the surviving records. There's no reason to think they didn't scratch in dirt, on wood, or bark, or skins.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Gord » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:49 pm

Don't forget, these cave paintings where often far underground in places where "only crazy people would go" (my words). Half a kilometre of tunnels deep, crawling through choke-points that even skinny people get stuck in today. In the dark.

I have a pet theory that cave paintings were made by people with psychological problems. ;)
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:41 pm

No doubt symbols were ascribed a kind of magical power. So maybe only a few people were allowed to know them. Maybe most of the tribe would be afraid of them, so they had to be hidden.

It's not long ago that reading silently to yourself was a new trick.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Gord » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:58 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:It's not long ago that reading silently to yourself was a new trick.

Ah, Augustine and Ambrose!

Ambrose was an extraordinary reader. "When he read," said Augustine, "his eyes scanned the page and his heart sought out the meaning, but his voice was silent and his tongue was still. Anyone could approach him freely and guests were not commonly announced, so that often, when we came to visit him, we found him reading like this in silence, for he never read aloud."

Eyes scanning the page, tongue held still: that is exactly how I would describe a reader today, sitting with a book in a cafe across from the Church of St. Ambrose in Milan, reading, perhaps, Saint Augustine's Confessions. Like Ambrose, the reader has become deaf and blind to the world, to the passing crowds, to the chalky flesh-coloured facades of the buildings. Nobody seems to notice a concentrating reader: withdrawn, intent, the reader becomes commonplace.

To Augustine, however, such reading manners seemed sufficiently strange for him to note them in his Confessions. The implication is that this method of reading, this silent perusing of the page, was in his time something out of the ordinary, and that normal reading was performed out loud. Even though instances of silent reading can be traced to earlier dates, not until the tenth century does this manner of reading become usual in the West.

But it's debatable: https://www.mhpbooks.com/have-we-always ... -donoghue/

I personally like the idea that people couldn't read without speaking the words aloud. It's cute. Also, current teaching is that silent reading does not help build fluency in struggling readers: http://www.scilearn.com/blog/why-silent ... ng-readers I like to think of old-timey medieval types being "struggling readers".
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Major Malfunction » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:25 pm

Gord wrote:Also, current teaching is that silent reading does not help build fluency in struggling readers

Of course not. Speaking is a motor skill. I know this personally. I had a terrible lisp as a kid, and had to consciously retrain my tongue.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:08 pm

Matthew wrote: I'm very dubious about that. Why aren't there any common repeated symbols carved on all the paleolithic Venuses?
Major Malfunction wrote: The venuses show there was definitely cultural exchange. They were communicating over large distances, yes? How do you think they communicated when a tribe a day's walk away probably spoke a completely different language? They developed a universal symbology.
OK. Let's look into this together and think about it. I agree the the Venuses indicate cultural exchange. Fair enough. I agree that the techniques in making certain stone tools were shared by cultures, also indicating cultural exchange. Therefore my next thing to look at, is evidence of palaeolithic languages, before Indo-European came to Europe about 10,000BC. I'm looking to see if the separate palaeolithic villages still shared language groups. I first went to wikipedia.
Paleo-European languages
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleo-European_languages

OK. Wikipedia says the earliest and only known pre-indo-european language script was probably "Vinca" culture, but that's very late at around 6,000BC. The Vinca symbols are set out on another wikipeadia page, so we should have a look to see if there is any existing legacy with earlier cave painting symbols.
vinca2.jpg

Well I can see a sort of similarity. I think I can also see a clear counting system. I'm starting to get persuaded that the claim may have merit.

The same wikipedia page then states that the Basque language group is legacy paleolithic language that ranged from Italy to Spain, suggesting late paleolithic settlements probably shared the language group. I think this is important because I believe we see the same thing in modern Papua Nu-guinea, where isolated villages speak the same language group as distant isolated villages.

Well I guess, I may be wrong in my initial doubt. I think what I need to do is look at all evidence of palaeolithic languages and any evidence of their written script and see how far back I can go. I know I can't get to cave paintings of 30,000 years ago, but I should be able to see some legacies in scripts 8,000 years ago.....well at least if there is a counting system.

I still have a problem with the absence of any syntax or structure in the cave painting symbols. Thing like "our long house" or "our river" rather than "their river" or "their long house". I guess this may be defined in their location on the paintings. That means I will have to look at the originals.


Major Malfunction wrote: How do you transfer the alphabet from one page to another? You {!#%@} use your brain to remember it. And you use your legs to transport it.
I agree, but doesn't that defeats the purpose of a written counting system. A counting system is a record. ( again, I need to think more about this)

Anyhow, these is a lot for me to keep thinking about and things I need to look at.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:09 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:I had a terrible lisp as a kid, and had to consciously retrain my tongue.
I couldn't pronounce "th" words. I think these things are common.

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:14 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:No doubt symbols were ascribed a kind of magical power.
I definitely agree with that. I have no problem with the concept, that shamans or mystics were the only people to see the symbols.

That makes me wonder if the symbols were more like tarot cards, where the symbol is merely suggestive and the shaman then add his interpretation when asked a question. This is sort of the same as a Roman mystic interpreting the augers, of say, a flock of crows flying over the senate.

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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:17 pm

Though thinking these things that thrive thoroughly thrashes that thesis.
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Re: Stuff Gord doesn't "get"

Postby TJrandom » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:19 pm

I learned to read silently when holding a Playboy magazine, but people claimed I was just looking at the pictures... :roll:


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