Wednesday, November 12, 2008

automating creativity by application of ancient greek prefixes

It's not all Greek to me
automating creativity by application of ancient greek prefixes

Whenever you have an interesting problem, you hold it in your hands and look
at it, turn it around, look underneat (see if it has a makers marque),
peer inside, knock on it with your knucles and so on.

One thing you can do is to try and make a variation of the problem, and then
see if the variant is easier to solve....

The Greeks have a "system" of prefixes for words, which modify the meaning, in
a systematic way, to explore all the alternative "views" of that meaning.
Other languages are less systematic (obviously, English, being effectively
"panglossian", has lots of prefixes for all these including the Greek ones,
but then the most common one might be somethign else (even, ugh, Latin:)

So here's a (not comprehensive) list - think of them as functors, or
even illocutionary acts....

eu-meta-lateral thinking, so to speak

an - not

amphi- both

ana- back

anti- against

apo- away from

dia-, di- across

dys- ill, (dystopia v. utopia)

ex- out

ecto- on the outside (ectoplasm:-)

en-, em- in

endo- within

eso- inward

exo- outward

epi- upon

eu- well

kata- down

meta-, among/between

palin-, back again

para-, beside

peri- around

pro- before,

pros- to

syn-, together

hyper- above

hypo-, under

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home