English is a difficult language. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though. Anonymous meme

施氏食獅史 (Shī shì shí shī shǐ) or ‘Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den’
Y.R. Chao, circa 1935

I started working on this language game at about the same time I developed the closely related Loom of Form and Meaning (https://justknecht.medium.com/the-loom-of-form-and-meaning-5abdca2e53fb).


They played the song many times, and with every repetition the song was involuntarily enriched with embellishments and variations.

The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

Looking for a way to compare two beads in a glass bead game, I compared their different shapes and materials, making one of them a reference point, and evaluating the qualities of other against it. When the game broadened to include other artefacts, words and ideas, it evolved into a comparison of their forms and meanings/uses on what became the Loom of Form and Meaning, which has since been brought into play in many different…


… in thy voice I catch/ The language of my former heart, and read/ My former pleasures in the shooting lights/ Of thy wild eyes.
- Tintern Abbey, William Wordsworth

After so much heavy stuff, and with as yet unpublished material in the realms of aphasias and fairy tales still in progress on the Loom, it’s a relief to weave on it an altogether lighter material: the verbal tics, slips and games of my baby daughter over the past few years – which you may call cognitive development if you like, though it is too much of a random and…


‘If you want knowledge, you must take part in the practice of changing reality.’ Mao Tse-tung

‘My point is that transforming our reality is no longer a question of just making more art.’ Ian Burn

The Loom of Form and Meaning is a way of classifying connections on a 3x3 matrix, depending on whether a connection is based on identity, similarity or difference in form, and identity, similarity or difference in meaning/use.


‘What the dream suggests is this: an infinitude of analogues.’ Peter W. Travis

‘Oh baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle?’ Sarah Aarons, Zedd, Grey, and The Monsters and the Strangerz

‘If everything were similar there would be no harmony, and, therefore, no beauty. Harmony is the unification of dissimilar and unequal things.’ Eriugena, Expositiones in Ierarchiam Coelestem

A table of correspondences showing the music of the spheres from Athanasius Kircher’s 𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘢 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴

This table of correspondences showing the music of the spheres is from Athanasius Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis, vol II, book X, p.393 (1650).

In Neurobiology, Layered Texts, and Correlative Cosmologies, Farmer et al (2000) attribute it to Robert Fludd’s Utriusque…


“Different things are dependent upon different things.” Nāgārjuna

We’re keenly aware of differences, and sometimes oversensitive, at least when we think the differences matter to us. Sometimes we detect a difference we’re not even consciously aware of, but it still unconsciously affects our judgement and behaviour.

Having already explored why things are sometimes the same (https://link.medium.com/4GfWE9jdU8 – given in italics below), it’s time to consider why at other times they’re slightly different.

***

[Things are sometimes the same because they’re just different views/ examples/ versions/ results of the same phenomenon/ idea/ method/ principle, but…]

I. You can approach the same…


A galalith bead game

‘But it isn’t Easy,’ said Pooh to himself, as he looked at what had once been Owl’s House. ‘Because Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.’ He waited hopefully… ‘Well,’ said Pooh after a long wait, ‘I shall begin “Here lies a tree” because it does, and then I’ll see what happens.’ This is what happened… (Milne)

Overture

One doesn’t kidnap or coerce a goddess or god, one may only invite them to attend an event, make polite requests, tempt them with…


Rattlesnake and Variations games in context

Inspired by the Glass Bead Game of Hermann Hesse’s novel, for some time now I’ve been designing a connecting game of my own. It’s still a work in progress, and goes through a couple of major revisions every year as a result of feedback from players, and my own changing understanding of what exactly I’m trying to do, and how to do it.

Recent versions involve players choosing a single theme which is then recontextualised and reexpressed in different contexts. There’s a simple pen-and-paper/ game-on-the-beach version called Rattlesnake in which players choose the themes and contexts quite freely, and another…


Do not seek the traces of the ancients, seek what they sought. (Kūkai, 774 – 835)

In the Shōwa period Yamaguchi Seishi (1910–94), harking back to Bashō and spurred on by the notion of Eisenstein’s montage (reimported to Japan), believed that haiku should focus on the interrelationship between different objects of nature, a relationship that must ‘leap beyond’ the predictable. Yamaguchi introduced the term nibutsu shōgeki, ‘collision of two objects,’ which he borrowed from Eisenstein’s notion of montage and applied to haiku. (Haruo Shirane, Traces of Dreams, 1998)

Eisenstein’s editing constructs correspondences, analogies, and contrasts that ask us to interpret…

JustKnecht

Glass Bead Game designer

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