We are updating all of our scripture apps this week. The goal is to make numbered lists easier to convert to letters in the Alphabet. This blog explains the problem and how we are fixing. Also, there has been an update to BIG.
I have posted a long status update at the front of the BIG website. If you are following the genome work you will want to read it. There appears to be a game wired into the design of the alphabet that begs for genome data to drive it. The game board is understood. General play is understood. Not yet ready to commit to decoding software. Any child should be able to follow the rules. The mathematics means the genome is impossible to decode without knowing the game.
This foreshadows a massive 3d printing project should anyone ever undertake it. It begs for an exhibit hall to fully display the 26 ping pong tables of models. It is a map of Eden that explains what seems to be every prophetic vision in the inspired text. The link above is to a long story that is out of this blog's history so I can revise it in the future.
Keep reading here for today's other app updates.
Letters Are Numbers
The Paleo alphabet, which is more commonly known as Phoenician, became the basis for all of the phonetic alphabets used in the world. It also became the basis for numbers as we use in mathematics even today.
The easiest to see, the Ha letter, became the number 8. Some of the other digits shifted from their Phoenician forms only in the past 200 years. The Ge, a scythe, the Phoenician 3, is the top part of the modern digit 3. The swooping bottom the modern addition.
The Wa letter became the number 1. The cross marks on the Wa simply moved to the top and bottom of the vertical line in the middle.
Most of the other numbers from 1 through 9 come directly from their original Phoenician form with these sorts of simplifications and changes.
The exception is the number 4, which follows the Re letter. This apparently because the first letter of the spelled word for the number 4 starts with a Re.
So far, so good. What about zero?
The Dot letter comes before the Wa. Since Wa is 1, then Dot is 1 less than 1 and so is a zero. The Dot in normal text is the between word separator. A seed that did not germinate. It did not grow into a letter.
In the drawn form of the entire alphabet itself, that same Dot shows up in the middle of the Oo. The vocal point in the middle of an eye. It is surrounded by a circle when used in the letter Oo.
So as used in mathematics, that encircling of Dot as zero is borrowed from Oo. This is what became the drawn digit for zero. This use in mathematics is thus also coming from the Paleo alphabet's fundamental design.
The Dot alone cannot otherwise be distinguished between a word separator and the digit for zero. So surrounding the dot, as used in this case with a circle, identifies which use we mean, as a zero, ie circled, or as a between word dot.
Uses of Letters as Identifiers
The English speaking world has a tradition of identifying elements in lists using both Roman Numerals and using letters from the alphabet.
If you have ever handled a printed Bible from the 1800s the most interesting difference is the use of Roman numerals for chapter and verse identifiers. Usually upper case for chapters and lower case for verses. If you were fluent in your Bible in those days you were also fluent in Roman numerals.
This was dropped in favor of numbers in modern Bibles. For modern English prose we usually use alphabetic letters instead of Roman numerals. Go setup an outline in a word processor and it will automatically assign section headings using these forms of numbering.
Roman numerals have an interesting quality. There is no Roman numeral for zero. When early clocks were built they either borrowed the numerical digit for zero, OR they placed the last number over the starting location. This is why a 12 sits at the zero point on clock faces.
Paleo Letters as Identifiers
We have found in our studies of the text that various lists use various Paleo letters in various ways. The inspired writer also used the general meaning of those letters as hints to the content of that writing.
This is but 1 of many study aids for understanding the text. There are also advanced forms, where the entire 3d system is brought to bear on list contents. But basic addressing is handled by lists that start with a Dot, so they start with a zero.
A good example of this is the introduction to the book of Luke. Let me show this by example.
The first paragraph in Luke is (most likely) Paul giving his readers an introduction to the content that follows in the book. He explains that he has interviewed the witnesses and written down their accounts. He tells us he has written those accounts in order. The next paragraph is the first of those accounts.
We don't know anything at all about the writer at this point. There is no biography, no history, no reason to know why he would want to write such an account. It is missing all these interesting biographical points. Readers must read and study to answer all of these other questions. Note in the link given above the color of the text changes after this paragraph because the voice changes too.
Imagine the Paleo alphabet being overlaid as section headings across this story. This introduction is an example of a Dot. This is the zeroth heading. It is missing more content than it is giving. It is a place holder for questions to be answered much later.
It is NOT the first real content that he has written down for us. That story is the story of the encounters with Zechariah and his wife that lead to the birth of John the Baptist. That story immediately follows.
This introduction IS an example of a zeroth section. It sets the context for what is to come. It explains why the story that follows was put together. It is the point from which the rest of the story must be measured.
Using the Paleo letter definition, Paul is explaining the seed that he is sowing in this work. It comes before the formal star or start of his list in the next section.
In modern published books there is also often an introduction. These are functioning like zeroth sections ahead of the first chapter of the printed book.
There are many other examples of these zeroth sections. The book of Acts begins with a similar zeroth section. Again, the writer's purpose for the work is usually covered in these zeroth sections. We usually do not get the story itself, but context for what is to come.
Garden of Eden
If you go back to the beginning of the text itself we have the story of the Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve. This is another example of a zeroth story. It sets the context for what is to come.
If you know Eden to be a zeroth heading, then you know it sets the context for what is to come. Like Paul's missing biography at the start of Luke, the missing details of the Garden of Eden story are more than the given details. All this introduction is doing is explaining why the rest of the book was written. The rest of the book must be studied carefully to fill in all the missing details.
Hint: Ezekiel, Zechariah and Revelation are books that contain glimpses of Eden. It is a physical place. It is mobile, and I suspect currently orbiting Saturn. Not without much study and a little prophetic help can these details be understood. The Dot heading on Eden tells us that story is but a seed. We must read more to get the author's full intent.
So in many places in our apps, especially the TT, Table of 400 and Sabbath Reads, we use numbers as section level addresses.
We have used numbers starting from 1, just like Bibles in the 1800s starting with Roman numeral I. In those old Bible's the modern publisher put his own introduction ahead of the first book. There was no precise meaning to be had from knowing the meaning of the numbers themselves.
This old convention has problems. If you want to see into any possible introduction you need to see through the list headings into the Dot letter that would have been used on a properly identified address system.
To do this with our 1 based addresses requires mental head games that can get confusing. It is always a game of being off by 1 unit. But which way? There is a little modern industrial history to help understand.
FORTRAN was one of the earliest high level computer programming languages. It was not designed with intimate knowledge of computer hardware. It had what are called arrays. These are data structures that contain lists of things.
The designers of that language used counting numbers, the equivalent of Roman numerals, to index into these lists. The people who later built compilers for this language found they had to correct, or down shift, the array index into real computer memory, otherwise they were wasting space. That down shift took CPU time.
I remember in college helping others debug FORTRAN programs. This down shift had to be understood and corrected when looking at the memory of broken FORTRAN programs. It was a mental gyration that not everyone could do easily. Even those well practiced often got it wrong.
The C computer language, and its more modern heirs, is from a different tradition of software systems design. It was designed and built by experts in the wiring of computers. They wanted the code to run fast and not waste space.
Like FORTRAN, arrays also exist in C. Instead of indexing arrays from 1, C uses 0 as the initial offset. This was and remains slightly counter intuitive to those not practiced in software. But it is efficient computationally and something that becomes second nature with time. It is much easier to debug, especially at the level of physical computer memory.
This approach to C software design was based on the physical wiring of the logic gates of all computers. All arrays live somewhere in computer memory, so they start at some address. The array index is an offset, if any, from there.
Because of the way the physics of computers forces the zero as first entry we are confident the zeroth letter in the Paleo alphabet is there for some important physical reality too. We need to trust and follow that design, not fight against it.
This Week's Great Renumbering
With today's update to our scripture apps we are converting all heading systems to a zero based list of numbers.
So, for example, the TT numbering of books is now 0 through 24 instead of 1 through 25. The table of 400 and TT are both now story 0 through story 399. Sabbath reads are now numbered 0 through 49 instead of 1 through 50.
The table of 400 is still called the table of 400 because there are 400 stories. They just have labels of 0 through 399. Ditto in every other list. The length of the list is always 1 higher than the last element of the list. This is quirky at first, but powerfully useful.
Anyone who has done any C programming will have little trouble with this change. It will just seem a little strange to someone used to the way addresses work in the Bible.
There is, though, a great benefit to this change. These addresses can now be used to 'see through' to their Paleo alphabet natural heading pairs.
Something headed as a zero tells the reader to see this as an introduction. A 1 is next, so a Wa letter, means to look for a star or start. This works down through the alphabet in a predictable, normal, fashion. Anything numbered 24 means something special about Joshua.
There is no longer any need to add or subtract 1 to move from a heading to the underlying Paleo alphabet letter. None of the same head games that befuddled FORTRAN programmers.
Let me give the math, so you can convert yourself and see why this is better.
Any story that is an even multiple of 25 is a dot, an introduction. No more math to do, you are done.
You can use the modulus button on any calculator to take a higher heading number and reduce it down to the Paleo Alphabet letter number. Modulus by 25 instead of dividing by 25 to find the remainder. This is the button to use if you are using a calculator for this at all. If converting in your head there is an easier way than dividing.
If not already an even multiple of 25, you can just subtract the next lower multiple of 25 from any heading number to find the underlying Paleo letter's number. This math should be quick and easy, at least for anyone who can do math at all.
The numbers 0 through 24 will be learned to map directly back to their respective positions in the alphabet. 1 through 9 already do this visually. Anyone up to this challenge is already almost 1/2 way there.
This may seem hard to change, but it makes many things better.
You can thank me later.