In modern times, human have developed and created a whole new world with many new technologies and tools that can be expressed with sound but don’t necessarily have matching symbolic representations using simple images. If it was fire, tree, house, lion, banana, book, ball, its simple but nowadays there are new objects and technologies that are forming the world around us and becoming integral parts of our everyday life: VR, AR, V2X, 3D printing, smart cites, hologram, satellites, digital money and so on.
Can you tell what the iconic representations of those look like?
With TING Global Interactive Ideographs Table we can prepare future generation toward a better understanding of the future working spaces.
From Egyptian hieroglyphics through the Emoji language to a new language
The importance of universal symbols
As we all know communication is a key and a new type of communication can be the key to open a door to a whole new reality.
Now let me surprise you with a question: What if we could communicate images from one mind to another without the use of the spoken words? And if so, let us ask first can there be a Universal language for all to understand, despite the cultural differences?
Human, same as many other animals, are seeing the world also in low order associative thinking. For example when thinking of a banana we think of food, a lion=danger, etc., and as humanity formed into civilizations and more complex societies along with them various languages and phonetic have developed to represent sound.
Let me take you on a journey about 4000 years back in time, Egyptian hieroglyphs is a form of writing that was practiced in ancient Egypt by scholars and sorcerers. This writing is unique in that it is based on a combination of logograms forming scripts using symbols of images as characters – and in modern simple words – pictures.
Chinese characters are also pictures, some literal whilst others are quite abstract. This image for example is taken from Shao Lan’s TED talk which is well worth watching.
Learning from the Ubiquitous Language: an Empirical Analysis of Emoji Usage of Smartphone Users
Why do we need symbolic representations? Why do we need ideographs when we can express our thoughts so accurately with well written words and phonetic? In a digital world, many people find emojis an exciting way of communicating, it is fast, easy and fun, but are they universal? And do they need to be universal?
emojis are adopted by Internet users from many different countries, on many devices, and in many applications. The “ubiquitous” usage of emojis enables us to study and compare user behaviors and preferences across countries and cultures.
Here we can see an analysis on how smartphone users use emojis based on a very large data set collected from a popular emoji keyboard. The data set hereby contains a complete month of emoji usage of about 4 million active users from over 200 countries and regions.
This short study demonstrate that users from different countries present significantly different preferences on emojis.
What we can learn from viewing this image alone? About French people? Mexican people?
We can clearly say that emojis can be a signal to tell the difference between users from different countries even without any textual information.
Based on the results, we can confirm that the usage of emojis presents significantly different patterns across countries, which to certain extent comply with the culture backgrounds of the countries.
The top 20 “emojis-of-the-month” are illustrated in Figure 5. The emoji , known as face with tears of joy, is the most frequently used one, followed by and heart and smile with heart eyes. We can find that all of the 20 emojis fall into the categories of face, heart, and hand. Such an observation indicates that expressions and body signals play an important role in expressing ideas when using emojis.
One of the implications can be when trying to understand user preferences, for example, smartphone users tend to use more emojis other than type in plain texts when they commit reviews for food, movie, and so on. In such scenarios, the understanding of user preferences can be more accurate by synthesizing emoji usage with other contextual information, enabling developers to customize country-aware and personalized user experiences or place accurate in-app advertisements.
Now let me ask you a question – Can you send someone an entire message consisting of emojis only?
IMAGE: Xu Bing – Book from the Ground, A book without words, recounting a day in the life of an office worker, told completely in the symbols, icons, and logos of modern life.
In april 2012 BING XU presented a new graphic novel—one composed entirely of symbols and icons that are universally understood – pictograms and emojis
Xu Bing spent seven years gathering materials, experimenting, revising, and arranging thousands of pictograms to construct the narrative of Book from the Ground. The result is a readable story without words, an account of twenty-four hours in the life of “Mr. Black,” a typical urban white-collar worker.
4000 years later and we’re back to the same language.
Indeed, in a digital world, many people find emojis an exciting way of communicating, it is fast, easy and fun, but what is next?
With new advanced tools humanity is making progress towards better means of communication, such as the Google Pixel Buds
What if we took a new approach? A visual one? No words at all.
Say for example, taking emoticons a few steps farther, toward a Universal new language for us to write together.
In modern times human have developed and created a whole new world with many new technologies and tools that can be expressed with sound but don’t necessarily have matching symbolic representations using simple images. If it was fire, tree, house, lion, banana, book, ball, its simple but nowadays there are new objects and technologies that are forming the world around us and becoming integral parts of our everyday life: VR, AR, V2X, 3D printing, smart cites, hologram, satellites, digital money and so on.
Can you tell what the iconic representations of those look like?
Ting Global Interactive Ideographs Table is an open source taxonomy for the future work space. This framework provides common structure and language for mapping, exploring and protecting of the complexity and volume of innovation happening globally. Licensed under the Creative Commons and as an open source project, the taxonomy is available for anyone to support their own work with innovation in education.
So let me ask you another what if question and here is my idea.
What if we could map humanity’s subjects of interest and combine them to create new ideographs?
For example as to have a better picture of what future educational institutions be like? Future jobs be like…?
Goal: To combine 3 icons and to come up with new ones representing future topics of interest. Source: Ting.Global
For example, what the sign of a bionic athlete will look like?
What if we could co create the future by combining new icons together?
Or in other words: What if we could connect between people with same topics of interest to co create the future?
Mission: Connect people with the same combinations of topics of interest and create the future together.
Group exercise: Choose three areas of interest from the group members and think about how to combine them together into 1. a new project. 2. An ideograph for a new field of interest.
Then why do we need symbolic representations?
Why do we need ideographs when we can express our thoughts so accurately with well written words and phonetic?
Well, the human brain `see` images and it’s easier for it to combine images as to come up with new ideas.
with ideographs symbolically representing new world tools, objects, topics of interest, cutting edge technologies, and the various combinations we can achieve much more, inspiring us to come up with new ideas.
There are more than 2000 Egyptian Hieroglyphs and an educated Chinese person will know about 8,000 characters, but you will only need about 2-3,000 to be able to read a newspaper.
How many TING ideographs do we need then?
So then how should we consider emojis or ideographs collectively? Are they a ‘language’, albeit one that is only used in writing? You can send someone an entire message consisting of emojis. But you probably can’t use emojis by themselves as a self-contained way of communicating with people without sooner or later needing to resort to English, Hebrew or another language. But who knows, maybe this is also about to change now?
Now think of the ideographs in TING Global Ideographs Table, what each represents? What type of ideas and new ideographs/icons the combinations of those can inspire us to come up with? What type of future jobs and ventures the combinations of those can inspire of us to come up with?
With the goal of nurturing the connection between Israel and the Diaspora & harnessing Israeli’s DNA to inspire, nurture, and bridge global cross-cultural innovation I am inviting you to join me on this exciting journey. This is an open call for schools and universities globally to join TING.Global open source taxonomy ideographic language as to co-create symbolic iconic representations of our digital world and future working spaces and technologies.
To download the PDF file of the table click here.
For more details contact me here.