Saturday, June 30, 2018

Wim Borsboom and the order of the alphabet

Wim Borsboom claims some insight into the origin of the order of letters in the alphabet.  I think the key question is how much of the pattern can arise by chance. blurb:

“Alphabet or Abracadabra? - Reverse Engineering The Western Alphabet” details a ground-breaking discovery: the origin of the western ‘abecedary’ - the alphabet's sequence of letters.(Not to be confused with the origin of the design of the western alphabet letters.)

It must have been somewhere between 3400 and 3700 years ago that the western alphabet's linear sequence of characters (abecedary) was created by following an already existing tabular model of a South Asian Pre-Sanskrit ‘abugida’ or ‘alpha-syllabary’. In spite of it looking quite disorderly, the western alphabet letter sequence is found to be based on that ancient orderly pattern, a pattern that categorized sounds by how and where they were articulated in the mouth.

This study retraces the steps of how that copying process took place, a process that also included a number of 'errors and omissions' made by one, perhaps two ancient scribes most likely from the Near East. The errors eventually resulted in the apparent disorder of the western 'ABC'. By tracking these 'copied' errors across a number of ancient alphabets, the author was not only able to reconstruct the copying process, but he also arrived at a date before which it must have taken place.
An interview.
Excerpts from the abstract:

 This paper proposes and details, how -- well before 3400 BP -- the current western Late-Roman  Alphabet character sequence [not to be confused with the graphic design of western alphabet letters] (the linear ABC or abecedary) was modeled after a pre-Sanskrit Devanagari-like character grid.....Even if the characters within the western alphabet (abecedary) look randomly distributed, we show how that letter-sequence was originally based on an ancient orderly pattern, a pattern that categorized sounds by how and where they were articulated in the mouth....When the western alphabet - once it is put in tabular format - is compared to an earlier and simpler "reverse retro-engineered" Sanskrit abugida....a percentage of similarity of only 25% (5 out of 20 characters) is calculated. However, after the error identifications and considering the varying but close pronunciations of several comparable characters as well as ...... a 90% match between them is obtained.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Rg Veda

Manasataramgini, biologist, Sanskritist, gifted amateur mathematician,  staunch Hindu, more so than the so-called Hindu right-wing, and most relevant, long-time staunch Aryan invasionist - for years, ridiculing any Hindu who thought there was no invasion -  feels vindicated by the recent findings in ancient DNA.  Nevertheless, with the postulated dates of incursions, he sees a problem, and to solve it, he postulates:

“we conclude that the core RV, meaning a certain archaic kernel of it was definitely composed outside India and probably much earlier even if the final redaction and compilation happened later in India. We see no other way out.”

The problem is that there is no such “core Rg Veda”.  Even the postulated oldest parts of the Rg Veda are from within India.

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - sigh

Over at, there is a discussion going on, "If you doubt that the AMOC has weakened, read this".  This is one of two articles mentioned by this commentary in Nature: "North Atlantic circulation slows down". 

As the blurb says,
Evidence suggests that the circulation system of the North Atlantic Ocean is in a weakened state that is unprecedented in the past 1,600 years, but questions remain as to when exactly the decline commenced.
And the article not by the leaders of the discussion at is mentioned thusly (excerpts):

"Thornalley et al. provide a longer-term perspective on changes in AMOC strength during the past 1,600 years....The researchers found that the strength of the AMOC was relatively stable from about ad 400 to 1850, but then weakened around the start of the industrial era.....However, the roughly 100-year difference in the proposed timing of the start of the AMOC decline in these two studies has big implications for the inferred trigger of the slowdown. Caesar et al. clearly put the onus on anthropogenic forcing, whereas Thornalley et al. suggest that an earlier decline in response to natural climate variability was perhaps sustained or enhanced through further ice melting associated with anthropogenic global warming. Nevertheless, the main culprit in both scenarios is surface-water freshening."
(Caesar et. al. is the first article.)   I quoted just about that much and asked for comments on this.  This morning there are 168 comments on that thread, most of them are entertaining, IMO, a troll; but my comment - nowhere to be seen.

From my perspective - entertain the trolls, and rail about Brietbart, ignorance, etc.; but ignore, IMO, a legitimate request to hear the perspective of the authors of the first article on this commentary.

If this is their attitude, then saving us from climate change will be in spite of climate scientists and not because of.