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Old 05-21-2007, 11:16 AM   #55
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
This thread highlights something that really annoys me on aikido boards sometimes. We have people who insist on knowing more than they do, and using pedantic sounding language to bolster their personal perspectives...while ignoring more learned posters who obviously have their facts straight.
OK. As you like. We can use short words. Seven letters or less. Nothing that sounds foreign. Keep it to the lowest denom ... (sorry, too many letters). That will surely raise the level of what we know or might find out. Take no chances on making new or creative connec... (damn letters!)

What does that prove or advance?

When I talk to a jury I talk that way, -- here, I give this crowd the benefit of the doubt and write what occurs to me to write in the discussion, and try to do a little work to digest information and offer something more in my association of ideas than mere offhand comments. As Josh and Prof. Goldsbury have done, and for which I am grateful, and for the challenge.

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
... [we should not] leave practicality behind in lofty flights of fancy... I wrote a computer program ... to produce poetry reminicient of e.e. cummings. ... My poetry still sucked, of course.
Have you considered that poetry may just be the former, and there may actually be a connection between the aesthetics of the two? I commend Wolfram's book to you on that point, if you have not read it. It's online now, you don't even have to buy it. If you are that capable in linear algorithm, you really should read it, and will certainly appreciate his observations on linear algorithm and the nature of aesthetics. There is a reason why we like the quasi-ordered chaos of light on water or fluttering leaves.

Facts. There are no facts to prove or disprove the origins of the term "aiKI," which I knew when we started -- and the discussion has only demonstrated that further. The closest we get is earliest written usage, and not its origin or substantive context in forming the compound, which is hidden in unrecorded usage.

What is even more curious is the older the earliest reference gets (re Amdur's observation), the more troubling the term becomes as a hybrid reading. I am not knowledgeable enough about the history of hybrid readings to remark more on it, as my background is on the Chinese side of the language arguments. But if "aiKI" really is one of the rare hybrid readings, pace Josh, it seems to me it ought to be a more modern construction. The earlier the construction that is shown, the more conservative the traditional use of language as a class marker -- especially written language, which was a class distinction all by itself. The distinctions between appropriate use of foreign and the native sensibilities should be tighter earlier -- and therefore the more unlikely a hybrid reading.

I am perfectly prepared to be proved wrong on that point (or any point, for that matter). If I were not prepared to be contradicted from time to time, I had best keep to myself. But that is rather dull way to go about life. I certainly wouldn't practice martial arts in that event.

If I am not completely wrong, then perhaps that flight of fancy was worth the intellectual risk in making it, if we find some nugget for useful exploration . If we knew where everything was we would hardly go looking, and if we did not risk making imperfect, but rational conjectures (guesses = 7 letters), we would not know where to start.


Erick Mead
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