We have updated all the apps on Paleo.in. Some changes, especially in the 400, are substantial. Read on for details.
A Little History
Over tabernacles we spent quite a bit of time dealing with the overall structure of the Testimony. We have been hunting for the high level design since 2016, with many, many iterations along the way.
One morning in the middle of Tabernacles I woke with a prophetic dream that was dealing with the letter level of the problem. It set in place what is likely the last riddle at the bottom level of the problem of manuscript recovery. Though I have been so busy I have not yet had time to work code to solve that riddle, and won't likely have time for another several weeks, at least. That dream also impacted the overall structure of the Testimony from the top down.
We visualize and reason about the structural riddles using the Table of 400. (400.paleo.in). Each column represents 1 symbol in the Paleo Alphabet, including punctuation. Each section on the left displays a conceptual arrangement of sections.
The top section represents the entire work broken into 25 scrolls. The next section breaks the Testimony down again, but into 100 books. Then below that the Testimony is again broken down, but this time into 400 stories, from which the app gets its name. Finally, at the bottom the Testimony will eventually break down into 1600 more cells, something like sentences in the final work.
Each of these restatements of the Testimony will represent a different level of inspired address system within the final work. Those addresses will also represent a cross reference system too. The Bible has nothing like it.
That table has had many different forms over the years as we slowly reasoned about what the high level structure might be. We are pretty happy with the structure so far, and have not changed it significantly for nearly a year.
Changing the table, especially as we have just done, has been hard, and it took much work to change the internal html design to make changes to the table easier and to make the entire build process run fast. By replacing old laptops, and serious changes to software, we are building the 400 in around 40 seconds. In August a single rebuild was something over 20 minutes. So now, it is easy to experiment with changes. Once that was done we could make the big change, a change to the columns across the top.
Up until this release the Quad letter has been over the far right column of the table. With this update the Quad is now over the first column, at the far left of the table.
From an Alphabet perspective the Quad has no 3D pair, so in some sense the Quad is a free agent, and can logically come at either the front or the back of the rest of the alphabet.
In the Q-Map, the Quad sits in the center, and in that arrangement takes Joshua's throne as per the throne room vision in the Book of Revelation. Because of the order of the letters in that map we've generally tended to put the Quad at the end of lists of letters.
At the level of computerized fonts the Quad needs to come at the end. This lets the numeric value of the letters map to their position in the font, an easy way to reason about the alphabet.
But because this 3D shape has no folded buddy, it is in some sense a free agent, and can theoretically be at either end of the alphabet. For reasons first seen in the dream related to letter based repair, for the purposes of the Table of 400, the Quad should be considered as coming at the front of the list.
Let me explain this, though, in a different way. Think about the Quad as a section heading. We use it that way to mark various section breaks and expect it to be used that way at the letter level of the running text.
In that use the Quad will come at the start of various titles or sections. Just as Titles naturally come before the material they are titling.
From the perspective of Joshua's position on the Quad from the Q-Map we can also suggest that the Quad would come first in various processions, like the list of letters across the tops of the columns in the Table of 400.
There are low level reasons for this too, but I must save those for later.
With this update the commandment map from letters and to columns is changing too. This upsets a lot of previous work. Curiously, the 3D case where we first thought to make this map has been redesigned, and there is no longer any obvious map from letters on that case to the commandments. So the mapping we had been using was now arbitrary. Here is how we are thinking about it now.
The written text of the commandments starts with a statement, that Joshua brings us out of Mizraim. We have treated this as a pseudo commandment number 1. Now, with the unpaired Quad at the front, there is a natural map from that context statement to that unpaired punctuation.
The beauty here is that context statement will now align with the Quad, the table's first column and it will align with Joshua himself back in the throne room. This is all very clean.
This is not strictly a commandment, but the context for why they are so important. When you do the others, then Joshua will bring you out of Mizraim too, symbolic as it is for earth itself. The first column will now always be the context for the rest of the row. For every row, down the entire table.
The rest of the columns, 24 of them, are following the written list of commandments, in order, for the first 12 columns. Then the commandments fold back in reverse order following the normal 3D system for the second half of the columns.
This is also very clean because the Table of 400 now starts with the commandment narrative running out 1/2 way across the table. The right half of the table is reversed, filling in back against the start. This whole map to the letters is no longer awkward.
With this release we are also reblocking the commandments. We have long struggled with the traditional breaks in the commandments. The traditional numbering of the commandments attempts to comport with an uninspired reference to the 10 commandments. This makes little sense as most things in the text count in 12s. But, the issue is how to fix the list so it has 12 commandments and answering what the editors were up to when it was said to be 10.
In a regular Bible there is a commandment about not having other gods. Then there are 2 additional clauses, typically read to mean don't bow down and don't serve those other gods.
In this release we are re-blocking the list to mean Don't have other gods. Don't bow down. Don't serve. Putting all the commandment breaks on the word Don't. (Eventually LuT in Paleo.) Without a clausal substructure to the commandment about other gods.
The commandments as originally written were speaking to systems of Mizraim. Bowing down, to anyone, is forbidden. You see this, say, when Daniel bows to Gabriel, and Gabriel insists that Daniel stand.
The commandment on not serving is in the sense of building cities as a part of a slave economy. Note the spelling in Aramaic is not the same as Hebrew and it is not the normal term for servant. There may be nuanced meaning here we don't yet see.
The editors, of course, wanted people to bow to their authority and they wanted slave systems building big cities, so it was easy enough to reblock this area of the commandments by adding the word 'them' to the end of the list. By that simple edit the editors were no longer the target of these specific commandments.
This reblocking of the commandments has significant meaning against the letters themselves, so we are happy with it so far. I will leave that mapping as a future study.
Moving the last column to the front means material within the cells is moving around as well. Conceptually, most of the time, this just moves the cell at the end of each row to the start of the next row.
That new left cell, at all layers down the table, often provides some sort of context. The commandment for this context is how Joshua brings us out of Mizraim, which is the macro context to all life of faith. The context for life on earth itself.
We expect, for example, this to impact many places where someone dies near the end of what appeared to be their own book. As they are not witnesses to their own deaths, this means these stories will move to the front of the next work, cleaning up a long set of inconsistencies where everything is written by an alive witness with a known name. Those deaths become the context for what follows. Deaths themselves, when someone had a life of faith, are also times when they leave Mizraim, in the sense of leaving earth itself.
Beyond this conceptual change, there is another problem. When Ryan has been placing material across the Table it was checked against both letters and commandments, though the letters hold, none of the commandments are the same.
So, expect a few more months of work to re-check 525 of the cells in the table itself. It looks like this recheck must be done before material from the Gospels can be figured out, and it should go without saying that area of the table is just sketched in.
The Sabbath Reads app is based on the idea that there are 25 weeks between the holidays of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles. The reading plan basically moves across sections of the Table of 400 week by week.
Because we have moved the Quad to the front, the weekly assignment of letter to week also changes. The calendar app (cal.paleo.in) has also been changed to reflect this.
Along with the 400, the Sabbath Reads app (sr.paleo.in) and The Testimony app (tt.paleo.in) are also updated.
TT Lots Changes
The TT app has a couple of other interesting changes that I should note. Both of these have to do with the Lots Calculator.
First, we found a very obscure bug related to Lots. If you did a lot, say 10+20, and then did another lot, say 20+10, these would be combined as the result is 30 in both cases. Even though these are technically not the same, and should be logged in history as different lots.
When we were traveling we saw 2 cases where very large lots, with very many different digits, summing together over 1,000,000 and both arrived at the same result. We had missed something about what we had just read, and needed to think about it some more. (Maybe to notice the bug?) In any case, this bug is now fixed.
Also, as I was in the code I added a new feature to the Lots Calculator popup. There is now a 'note' field below the buttons. You can put text in the note field if you wish, and it will show up in the history later on.
Say you were praying about a question, you could leave the question in the note field.
Or, say, you are driving past some small town in Kansas, you could also say, 'Going past such and such town in Kansas.' Which in its own strange way might be important too.
The note field lingers between Lots, just like the numbers. Edit as needed each time.
Remember, the history is not a permanent record. It records only the most recent 500 entries. The purpose of the note is to make transfer to a real diary easier later.
We have been upgrading nearly all our gear, and there have been a bunch of build environment changes to match updates in tools. We have also seriously improved our own internal use of revision control. Those changes may cause regressions in our apps. If you see anything strange please let us know.
We are headed out on another trip later this week. Headed to Oklahoma, then to the East Coast and then south into Texas. Please pray we would have a successful journey. Pray that we would connect with the people we need to see.