Chris Leeds

About Chris

Areas of Expertise

Music

I'm passionate about

Being rational in the face of chaos, being free of dogma, keeping my BS detector engaged at all times and remembering that clarity is illusory, truth is contingent and reality is a construct.

Comments & conversations

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Chris Leeds
Posted 8 months ago
Elliot Krane: The mystery of chronic pain
Benjamin - I think there is definitely a link between chronic pain and tinnitus - they both seem to be a failure of the stimulus response nerves to 'shut down' correctly after a particular type of external event - i.e. a prolonged or excessive stimulation like a sudden loud noise or traumatic injury, or a continuous exposure to even low levenls of sound or repetitive action. I think it is a failure of the 'damping' system in the way nerves function - and possibly something to do with a 'pain gate' in the spine - thresholds and feedback etc Certainly a topic for research!
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Chris Leeds
Posted about 1 year ago
ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!
One of the oddest things for people brought up in English is having to learn the genders of definite articles in French or German - it just seems so redundant - I guess Slovaks think using any article at all is redundant!
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Chris Leeds
Posted about 1 year ago
ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!
thanks Paul - yes - my mistake - I meant 'definite article' - but also personal pronouns like 'I' - or 'we' they seem to exist but are not routinely used, and are understood implicitly according to context. I've been working on some text with a Slovakian colleague, and when she writes in English she misses out all the 'the's and other parts of speech - presumably in Slovakian they are just not used, or only in limited ways...
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Chris Leeds
Posted over 1 year ago
ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!
thanks for your kind offer - at the moment I am happy following the Chineasy FB / Blog - I am mainly interested in the artistic possibilities of photoshop + characters - I guess the other real subtlety with Chinese is in the pronunciation of the 'tones', which don't seem to be represented in the written form - apart from in the Pin-Yin notation system. Time for some youtube!
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Chris Leeds
Posted over 1 year ago
ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!
thanks Roland - did you have a thought about sub-vocalisng while reading - I think I read somewhere that when reading Chinese the reader takes in whole blocks of characters at once - though I think this happens in English reading as well - but perhaps more so than in Chinese? I'ts fascinating to me that being brought up in one language system makes you assume that there is only one way of doing it! PS on further looking I see there are personal pronouns - like 'Wo' for 'I' - but there seem to be less of some parts of speech like prepositions - e.g. 'to', and this role is taken by putting two verbs together
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Chris Leeds
Posted over 1 year ago
ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!
Hi Vicky - in my - limited - foray into Chinese I investigated a Chinese English dictionary and found it gave 11 meanings for the character 'Er' - commonly the character for '2' I believe, but it seemed also to have meanings as diverse as 'bait' and 'at that time'. Am I misunderstanding something?
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Chris Leeds
Posted over 1 year ago
ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!
for an interesting wander through Chinese, I suggest getting hold of a Chinese / your language dictionary - tho first you have to learn how to look up the Chinese characters you want to translate (it's based on the number of strokes and type of character - e.g. radical, compound or simple. I did it to see how the English translations of Chinese restaurant signs match the characters shown). However, when you look up even a common character like 'Er' (like an equals sign) commonly meaning 'two', but with 10 other meanings, it quickly becomes apparent that each character may have many different meanings, and indeed be associated with differently pronounced words,, depending on context and whether they are functioning as part of a more complex character. (Though generally simple characters have only one meaning, more complex character often have several, hence the Chinese love of puns), Though some compound characters contain parts that are pronunciation guides, they do not attempt to stand for sequences of spoken syllables, vowels or consonants - pronunciation is learned by rote. And, of course, it is what holds China together - the characters are universally read and understood, despite the fact that there are several different spoken versions - separate languages - each one pronouncing the characters in a unique, way but meaning the same thing. Altogether it's a fascinating insight into another way of thinking. Perhaps the lack of the equivalents of English parts of speech - pronouns etc like 'the' or 'we', reading Chinese is not sequential like reading English. Perhaps its more a perception of a block of characters carrying basic information and the reader sorts out object, subject, case etc unconsciously? Do Chinese readers sub-vocalise in the same way as English readers?
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Chris Leeds
Posted almost 3 years ago
Malcolm Gladwell: The strange tale of the Norden bombsight
I agree Fernando - does JK think that if Churchill or Eisenhower had been 'bombed' that the UK or the US would have surrendered? - of course not - and neither would Germany. Hitler was seen by many as the saviour of the country from ruinous inflation and poor international standing following WW1. Hitler's assassination would Ihave made him a martyr of mythic proportions, and subsequent military strategy would have been taken from the hands of a malfunctioning obsessive madman into the hands of competent, lethally efficient and equally patriotic Generals. Norden was not well served by his Christian indoctrination - the idea that more and better killing machines can lead to less killing is a logical and moral non-starter. A little study of history would have shown him that attempts at even the most extreme and thorough extermination efforts failed on any scale larger than a town. Nuclear weapons raise the numbers, but do not affect the outcome. For the world today - how can we condemn Iran for seeking nuclear weapons when the dominant military power in the world has already used them, with, apparently, little regard for anything except trying to bully and intimidate the rest of the world into submission.