Beware of the Chinese Character Catastrophe.
Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:16pm

Nothing held Chinese culture and technology back more than the excessively complex symbology with its tens of thousands of characters. Education consisted (and still consists) largely of learning the symbology. Ideographic symbology is OK when the number of symbols remains low. Once there are more than a couple of hundred, it becomes unworkable. Furthermore, ideographic symbologies (icons) rapidly tend to become divergent. Look at how many different versions there are of many common icons.

Except for special cases, alphabetic symbology is far superior to ideographic symbology. A few icons are fine, but once you get past 100 or so, they become confusing and counterproductive.


  • Symbols Are Much More EfficientMerlin, Mon Jan 14 6:57am
    in terms of being universally readable, able to convey more in formation using less geography on the screen, etc. Back in the day everything was spelled out in great detail in multi-volume manuals.... more
    • Beware of the Chinese Character Catastrophe. — DFM, Mon Jan 14 12:16pm
      • Everywhere. Try figuring out Bart in SF. Or the increasing use on the Muno Metro. How about road signs? It’s becoming ubiquitous. It’s becone an alien “language”. User unfriendly. And I have an IQ of ... more
    • I Have Discovered...Amadeus, Mon Jan 14 7:28am
      ...that many applications and games also assume a customer base that has experience with the previous version of the product. So, incremental changes often do not reference previously explained... more
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