Let My Characters Go

Monday, May 27th, 2013 11:06 pm
flwyd: (escher drawing hands)
The opening scene of my dad's favorite book, At Swim-Two-Birds, features the insight The modern novel is largely a work of reference. The main character goes on to construct a story using several characters from the Irish story collective.

I find it a very strange that our culture believes that the original teller of a story can exercise control over the stories other people want to tell about the characters the first introduced. I find it sadly ironic that the poster child for character-copyright is a company whose most famous stories are based on characters and stories in the public domain.

Conflating copyright of a work and copyright of characters is like claiming ownership of all dogs fathered by your dog. It's an unnatural damming of the stream of human cultural evolution.

(elevated from a comment on a recent post by [livejournal.com profile] grenacia about Kindle Worlds)
flwyd: (fun characters)
In case you need to email me while doing a handstand: ᵷɹo.əuoʇƨɹoʌəɹʇ@əuoʇƨʇ
flwyd: (fun characters)
In case you'd run out of weird facts about Mormons, here's one I didn't know: they invented Deseret, their own phonetic alphabet for English. The name Deseret comes from the word for "honeybee"[1] in the Book of Mormon and was the name of the proposed and de facto Mormon state that covers the present day locations of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Grand Junction.

Anyway, here's an attempt at my name in Deseret. There's a good chance your browser won't display it properly[2], but the font is part of MacOS X's default set.
𐐓𐑉𐐯𐑂𐐬𐑉 𐐝𐐻𐐬𐑌

See also the Shavian alphabet (named for George Bernard Shaw), with long/short and voiced/unvoiced pairs as translations of a single glyph. My Shavian name is
·𐑑𐑮𐑧𐑝𐑹 ·𐑕𐑑𐑴𐑯


[1] In Mormonism, honeybees are used as a model of a proper society. Lots of people busy as a bee, all in service of the central hive. Not knowing this association, I was excited about the prospect of a vibrant local honey industry when I visited the beehive state a few years ago. It turns out that the state is not covered in apiaries.

[2] To test your browser's display of most Indo-European scripts, try this page. Deseret and Shavian are not included, but non-Latin scripts are organized into alphabets with some phonetic hints.
flwyd: (fun characters)
⋀⚖∀
... and justice for all.

☺ for the passage of Washington Referendum 71, supporting gay psuedomarriage.

☹ for the passage of Maine Question 1, vetoing gay marriage passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. I find it interesting that every measure on the ballot passed. ☹ for the secretary of state's website not having current results.
flwyd: (Trevor Stone Character)
Two follow-up thoughts to my post about writing systems yesterday:

The obvious advantage of simplified Chinese characters over traditional characters is that they're easier to learn. The People's Educators have taught a couple hundred million people how to read and write a very complicated writing system, so using 门 instead of 門 as the foundation for a big pile of characters makes it a little easier. But there's a more subversive effect: It makes it harder for people to read old books. If the only books printed in simplified characters were approved by the Communist Party, young impressionable minds wouldn't be exposed to the books that slipped through the cracks of the cultural revolution.

In the way that some people form book clubs, I should join a Wikipedia club. Every week we pick a topic and share what we've learned about it from the Internet.


In other news, I seem to get stupid when I'm sick. I've been fighting a cold for four days and just now realized that I have Emergen-C at home, at work, and probably in my backpack somewhere.

Khomut ๛

Monday, October 2nd, 2006 08:29 pm
flwyd: (fun characters)
Messing around with a character pallate today, I discovered that Thai has a character which marks the end of a chapter or document: ๛ ("khomut," entity ๛, unicode U+0E5B). It's like a signature everybody gets to use. They also have ๚ ("angkhankhu," entity ๚, unicode U+0E5A), which marks the end of long sections. Combined with ะ ("sara a," entity ะ, unicode U+0E30) it marks the end of a verse like so: ๚ะ.

Even though you can usually tell where a section or document ends with page layout, I think khomut is absolutely gorgeous, and I would like to start ending all of my posts with it. Unfortunately, my web browser rather scrunches it up, so rather than looking like an @ with a long signature it looks like a G with a corkscrew in its nose. I hope my dear readers may enjoy the artistry in a good font.



Edit: I really like the diminishing tails in this image from decodeunicode.org:


Edit: Apparently khomut should follow angkhankhu + sara a. Also, Thai doesn't space-separate words, but uses a space where Western languages would use a period or a comma.

๚ะ๛
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