Author Archive | mindworks

人生/是一场旅程。 Life / is a journy [Learn Chinese! Poetry!]

we experience so many reincarnations
just to exchange places in this journey
but each journey is very brief
thus, you might as well dare to be a bit bold
you might as well dare a bit to love one person
to go and climb a mountain, to chase a dream. …
there are many matters / we all do not understand
but i have faith in one thing 上天/让我们来到这个世上,
heaven above / allowed us to come into this world
thus it should allow us to create something wondrous.

Free preview!

The Bar Exam Approaches!

Free Law Search Engines
Free Legal Commentary (including a couple of free booklets about the bar exam!)

You remember best what you work for, which is why I post the links for you to fish through. Who searches is rewarded!

Good luck! P.s. … there may be a book give-away next weekend.

I want you to pass!

Any questions about the books? Just write to: [email protected]

Memory Keys

The following are mnemonics.

ONE GUN A Red point
TWO SHOE B Orange a line segment
THREE FLEA C Yellow triangle
FOUR DOOR D Green square
FIVE HIVE E Blue  pentagon
SIX BRICKS STICKS F Indigo hexagon
SEVEN HEAVEN G Violet seven pointed star
EIGHT GATE H White octagon islamic 8 pointed star
NINE WINE I Black  3×3 tictac toe board
TEN HEN J Grey a line segment with two pentagons at the start and end

Words in this list are as long as their position in the alphabet. (A1, B2, C3… Z26)

Other memory tricks: Odd numbers are black. Even numbers are white. 0 is grey, neither even nor odd.
In grids: x axis horizontal is numeric, y axis vertical is alphabetic.
Six locations: left front right back above below center self
Directions: forward backward
Time: past is behind and above. future is ahead, in front, and below
Cold is down hot is up
Dry dirt is down warm in the ground cold clouds of wet water are up high in the sky.


仄 narrow tilt oblique Zè
广 broad
兼 grasp two things both at once
廉 side wall; incorruptible honest inexpensive
侧 lean incline lateral side
秉 grasp hold maintain
庆 celebration qìng
庄 manor zhuāng
压 pressure yā
另 other Lìng
別 don’t bié guǎi
拐 turn guǎi

去 大 囗

去 qu to go

This character is so simplified/deformed there is almost no point to its etymology. The top plus used to be 大 da big. The bottom si 厶 means private personal but is often as here used as a pictorial element. It used to be something like enclosure 囗 The idea was a big man on top, stepping out from the city. It may be easier to think of the top as earth tu 土 and the bottom as an arrow. that is a false etymology but like I said this character is terribly deformed due to the standardization and simplification of the Song dynasty font.

A New Cold War: Global Strategy

Path dependent variables like history economies culture language trade geographye are behind the reasons why the USA and China will wind up in a new cold war.

Here they are in summary.
1) China is a mercantilist state capitalist regime
2) China is a dictatorship
These two facts alone doom the U.S. and China to inevitable conflict. It gets worse.
3) Xi Jinping has consistently concentrated all power and decision making in his own hands, freezing other factions (Jiang Zemin, Li Keqiang) out of power, whilst dissolving the politburo and rewriting the constitution to allow for a president (Chairman in fact…) to have a life long tenure (no more term limits). This is the exact opposite of what neoliberals predicted would happen as China grew richer.
4) Despite promising not to militarize China’s man made islands China (Xi) did exactly that.
5) China’s human rights record and
6) Political corruption
remain serious problems but never truly addressed or solved, again contrary to the neoliberals rosy predictions. Enemy of the party? No human rights, de facto. In the wrong faction? Brought up on corruption. In the right faction? Amnesties deferrals of prosecution etc.

Add to all that
7) unfair trading practices (dumping, subsidies)
8) monetary policy (currency manipulation)
9) the great firewall (mercantilism)
10) i.p. theft
11) espionage

Welcome to the new cold war. :/

I also didn’t mention the 12) naval arms race, 13) the space arms race, or the ideological competition to attract allies. But the crowning achivement is their little bio war experiment which escaped from their lab the French built and then got kicked out of:
only men (soldiers), with blood type A (Europeans), preferably the older ones in command, because they want to seize as many of their resources after victory as possible.
Pointing that out is unseemly.
ALL fake losing Trump had to do to win the election was play that card hard and long and blame China relentlessly. He didn’t.


Fortunately, though an authoritarian autocracy, Russia is no longer a dictatorship. Russia will wind up a U.S. ally against China as part of a grand coalition which will isolate and contain China. Ultimately it will break the CCP. Liberalism’s “peace through trade” and “political reform through trade” was self-indulgent folly. That’s over now. So it’s time to crush the dictators again. Yay team.

All I write here is true regardless of what President Biden wants.

We’re looking at interactions of literally billions of people. No one man, not even the President of the USA, can ignore history language trade culture geography and climate

From what I see Biden or his team know about
1) China
2) Marxist ideology

So they will founder a bit at first with all their hopey changey failed b.s.,
and Xi will decide “clueless suckers are in power! take advantage of them!”
this will provoke the undecided to see the ugly truth and make those who STILL believe in all that profitable happy talk to look like fools.

I would however like the U.S. to stop failing at foreign policy.

First chapter is free.

Best wishes,



Clausewitz was wrong: war, though a political instrument, is not the continuation of politics because in war compromise is always impossible, whereas compromise is the essence of politics. In a merely political clash people lose office to their contender, but in war, however fought, people kill and die. It is simply incorrect to equate war and the political and results in failure as can be seen from all of German military history since 1870, and in Japanese history too. One must read Clausewitz due to his influence but one must read him very critically due to his errors. See: 1918, see also, 1945.


zan, as in dian zan is xian xian bei 赞 first first clam = praise
zha = explode 炸了 as in frying things or burning bamboom

niu bi = force the cow, cow as in coolio bi as in force 牛逼 riches on the road = forced bi

挺好 rather good the ting t tishoupang ting it’s a person assigned a mission on a long road with their hand in use.

蛮好  bug transformed into good

lihai a thousand scorpions cut off the tongue terribly impressive

棒 wooden cudgel wood+feng big stick

屌爆 diao bao exploding dicks

don’t say hi by asking if they ate a meal anymore that’s totally outdated.

称程秤(稱) cheng

称 程 秤(稱) cheng

禾he2 grain

In the following characters 禾 appears, yet all four 称, 程, 秤(稱),  sound like cheng.

The common semantic concept is: weighing (of e.g. grain) on a balance (which looks like the figure for grain).

称 cheng1 to weigh, (publicly) then state (proudly) the accurate measured weight: thou didst weigh and state proudly thy measure of grain.

程, cheng2 rule regulation order namely the regulation and rule of what the weighed object weighs, the official weights and measures rule.  Top right is “mouth” 口 bottom right is king 王 The mouth of the king states the order, the rule, as to the proper measure of grain.程

秤 cheng4 the scale, balance on which the grain is weighed, later became also “steelworks”. Right component means “level”

稱 cheng4 this is a variant character of  秤


仅 劝  权

仅 劝  权

Often times 又 is used in simplification, often representing something to do with a bird. Usually the simplification is based on a cursive representation of the much more complicated original character. The simplification tends to destroy the semantic content.

仅 劝  权

In all three  the you2 又 character is a simplification. We can try to impose meaning on it but the etymology may disagree with our imagination.

仅 Jin3 means “only”: a man has only one friend? This must be a compound concept character since there is no phonetic clue.仅


劝 Quan4 means “exhort”: right hand + power = exhort. Li 力 here is both semantic and phonetic.


权 Quan2 means “right” as in “to have a right”. Structured/Patterned/Wooden thing on the left, hand on the right. So this is a material possesory right, not an abstract idea or ideal of what one supposes to be right. There must then be a word for right which uses either the speech 言 or heart radical 心 for those indicate communication and mentation respectively. Yet I know not such word.

Chinese is a journey out of ignorance.

Piao – Varieties of floating

漂    票 嫖 瞟 瓢 剽 飘 骠      螵

float(water) ticket     whoring   glance     ladle        rob        float(air) white-horse nest-of-mantis-eggs



镖 膘 標

dart         lard         topmost-branches



Quán shìjiè dōu zàixué zhōngguó huà
The whole world is studying Chinese

kǒng fūzǐ dehuà yuè lái yuè guójì huà
Confucius’ words are more and more an international language

quán shìjiè dōu zài jiǎng zhōngguó huà
The whole world is speaking Chinese

wǒmen shuō dehuà ràng shìjiè rènzhēn tīnghuà
That which we are saying, let all listen to attentively

Guì jǔ huǒbǎ qiánchéng xiàng dàoguāng
Kneel, raise the torch, righteous and true like the way of light!

Xī fāng tián dì luò gǔ chéng cāng
the grain of the western fields falls into the granary

Gǔrén xiàng xíng shēng yì biàn è liáng
Ancient Chinese pictographs’ sound and meaning distinguish evil from good

Bá xiāo kuí qi chī mèi wǎng liǎng

drought demon, elf, chief, child ghost, mountain demon, magic, sprite, fairy

Yòu shuāng ruò zhuó
again paired obedient joined

Huǒ yán yàn yì
fire flame flaming blaze

Shuǐ zhuǐ miǎo màn
water rivers flood inundation
Kuí bǎo
earth treasure

Qióngqióng jié lì
stand alone in desolation

hàngxiè yīqì
acting in collusion

jǔjǔ dúxíng
walking alone

tíhú guàndǐng
be filled with wisdom

mián mián guā dié
May your family grow and prosper like spreading melon vines!

fèng wéi guī niè
revere as the dear standard

Lóng xíng dádá
the path of the dragon he is a good man

犄角旮旯 Jījiǎo gālá
angled corners

Pīng tíng niǎonà
graceful and slender

Tì sì pāngtuó
torrential tears

Náonáo bùxiū
an endless stream of words clamoring ceaselessly

bù láng bù yǒu
neither useful nor injurious

Duōjiē diéxiè
cry out step by step

耄耋饕餐 Màodié tāo cān
a feast for the elderly

Língyǔ yīngyù
a kind of prison

Jìyú jǔyǔ
coveting discord

Yòu è wú xuān
a flying carriage

怙恶不悛 Hù è bù quān
irredeemable impenitent

Qí léi huīhuī
its thundering rumble

Ā zā jiéjué
clumsy writhing like worms

陟罚臧否 Zhì fá zāng pǐ
advance, punish, righteous, evil

Zhēnbiān shíbì
point out problems

lín cì zhìbǐ
row upon row

Yī zhāng yī xī
one by one

Wǒmen zhōngguó de hànzì,
our Chinese characters

luòbǐ chéng huà liú xià
falling brushestrokes leave behind a painting

wǔqiān nián de lìshǐ
five thousand years of history

let the whole world recognize them

Wǒmen zhōngguó de hànzì,
our Chinese characters

yī piē yī nà dōu shì gùshì
each brushstroke is an ancient story

Xiànzài quán shìjiè gèdì, dàochù yǒu zhòng guó zì,
Now each place on earth is reached by Chinese characters

huáng pífū de rén jiāo’ào de bǎtóu tái qǐ
The yellow skinned man raises his head with pride

Wǒmen zhōngguó de hànzì,
our Chinese characters

Yīpíng yī zè pǔxiě chéng shī
a line and a square become a poem

扁擔寬 板凳長

扁擔 想綁在板凳上

哥哥 弟弟 坡前坐

坡上 臥著一隻鵝

Qióngqióng jié lì
stand alone in desolation

扁擔寬 板凳長

act in collusion with

踽踽独行 jǔ jǔ dúxíng
to walk alone

扁擔 想綁在板凳上

mián mián guā dié
May your family grow and prosper like spreading melonvines!

fèng wéi guī niè
look up to as the standard

板凳 不讓 扁擔 綁在板凳上

优美旋律白宮商角微羽 Yōuměi xuánlǜ báigōng shāng jiǎo wēi yǔ
a beautiful melody in the white house and wall street

众人皆说成之于语故成语 Zhòngrén jiē Shuō chéng zhī yú yǔ gù chéngyǔ
everyone is talking about Chinese idioms

扁擔 偏要綁在板凳上

扁擔寬 板凳長 扁擔 想綁在板凳上
倫敦瑪莉蓮 買了件旗袍送 媽媽
莫斯科的夫司基 愛上牛肉麵疙瘩
各種顏色的皮膚 各種顏色的頭髮
嘴裡唸的 說的 開始流行中國話
多少年我們苦練 英文發音和文法
這幾年 換他們 捲著舌頭學
平上去入的變化 平平仄仄平平仄
好聰明的中國人 好優美的中國話
扁擔寬 板凳長 扁擔 想綁在板凳上
板凳 不讓 扁擔 綁在板凳上
扁擔 偏要綁在板凳上
板凳 偏偏 不讓 扁擔 綁在那板凳上
到底扁擔寬 還是板凳長
哥哥 弟弟 坡前坐
坡上 臥著一隻鵝 坡下 流著一條河
哥哥說 寬寬的河 弟弟說 白白的鵝
鵝要過河 河要渡鵝
不知是那鵝過河 還是河渡鵝
全世界 都在學 中國話
孔夫子的話 越來越國際化
全世界 都在講 中國話
我們說的話 讓世界都認真聽話
紐約蘇珊娜 開了間禪風lounge bar
柏林來的沃夫岡 拿胡琴配著電吉他
各種顏色的皮膚 各種顏色的頭髮
嘴裡唸的 說的 開始流行中國話
多少年我們苦練 英文發音和文法
這幾年 換他們 捲著舌頭學
平上去入的變化 仄仄平平仄仄平
好聰明的中國人 好優美的中國話
有個小孩叫小杜 上街打醋又買布
買了布 打了醋 回頭看見鷹抓兔
放下布 擱下醋 上前去追鷹和兔…

不得不 bu de bu

不得不 bu de bu

“I can’t but” or “I can’t help but” or “can’t but” are good ways to remember 不得不 It means that one is compelled, that one has no choice 我不得不爱你 I have no choice but to love you, e.g. “I am unable not to love you” is a literal and comprehensible though ungrammatical English turn of that Chinese phrase.

A List of All Chinese Determinants (Pianpang: Side characters)

Determinants (pianpang) play a key role in pictophonetic characters usually operating as a semantic key to the meaning of the word, a topic classifir. Occasionally they are used as phonetic clues, even more rarely as pictorial elements. Some of these can be used independently as their own characters. Most of them only appear as a character component and cannot be used independently. Some of these are rarely used or are variant forms which are rarely used, especially in simplified Chinese.

笔画一:丨 亅 丿 乛 一 乙 乚 丶 these are pictograms / ideograms.

笔画二: 勹 匕 冫 卜 厂 刀 刂 儿 二 匚 阝 丷 几 卩 冂 力 冖 凵 八 人 亻 入 十 厶 亠 匸 讠 廴 又 wrap  daggar ice wand cliff  knife sword kid two box hills 8 table kneel cover power topper trap 8 person person enter 10 private (this last one is often used as a pictorial element not semantic)

笔画三: 屮 彳 巛 川 辶 寸 大 飞 干 工 弓 廾 广 己 彐 彑 巾 口 艹 马 门 宀 女 犭 山 彡 尸 饣 士 扌 氵 纟 巳 土 囗 兀 夕 小 忄 幺 弋 尢 夂 子 grass road river river road inch big fly trunk tool bow raise factory self hand (NOT pig snout) mutual towel mouth grass horse gate roof woman dog mountain shadows corpse food master hand water silk snake dirt box towering star small heart onesies dart lame stomp kid

笔画四: 比 灬 长 车 歹 斗 厄 方 风 父 戈 卝 户 火 旡 见 斤 耂 贝 毛 木 肀 牛 牜 爿 片 攴 攵 气 欠 犬 日 氏 礻 手 殳 水 瓦 尣 王 韦 文 毋 心 牙 爻 曰 月 爫 支 止 爪

comparative fire long car scapula dipper seal cangue wind axes spear ???? door fire choke see ax  old clam hair tree monarch cow cow board card hammerhand hammerhand breath yawn wardog sun clan  clothing hand spear water tile splitsun kind leather culture not heart tooth trigram tongue moon claws branch stop claws


笔画五: 癶 歺 甘 瓜 禾 钅 立 龙 矛 皿 母 目 疒 鸟 皮 生 石 矢 白 示 罒 田 玄 穴 疋 业 衤 用 玉

legs scapula tongue gourd grain metal standing dragon spear dish mothe eye sickbed bird skinning birth stone arrow white altar net field rope cave cloth industry clothing bucket jade

笔画六: 艸 臣 虫 而 耳 缶 艮 虍 臼 米 齐 肉 色 舌 覀 页 先 行 耒 血 羊 聿 至 舟 衣 竹 自 羽 糸 糹

Grass minister bug beard ear pottery stopped tiger mortar rice even meat color tongue bag page first crossroads  plow blood goat affair arrive boat clothing bamboo feather silk silk

笔画七: 采 镸 车 辰 赤 辵 豆 谷 见 角 克 里 卤 麦 身 豕 辛 言 贝 邑 酉 豸 走 er

pluck long car dragon scarlet walk bean valley see horn helmet  lining salt wheat body swine daggar words clam citygate alcohol unicorn walk foot

笔画八:青 靑 雨 齿 长 非 阜 金 釒 隶 门 靣 飠 鱼 隹 green green rain tooth long not city-gate gold gold scribe door face food fish jaybird

笔画九:风 革 骨 鬼 韭 面 首 韦 香 页 音 wind rawhide bone ghost leeks face head leather fragrant leaf music

笔画十:髟 鬯 斗 高 鬲 马 hair liquor dipper tall  cauldron horse

笔画十一:黄 卤 鹿 麻 麦 鸟 鱼 yellow salt deer hemp wheat bird fish

笔画十二:鼎 黑 黾 黍 黹 pot black toad millet embroidery

笔画十三:鼓 鼠 drums mouse

笔画十四:鼻 齐 nose even

笔画十五:齿 龙 龠 tooth dragon flute

The Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary 妖就是妖!

Whilst scrying in my dark glass I crossed upon the strange raspy voices, detached from this world, talking in strange tongues of plans for this world
“Old Nick is quite pleased! You have rendered this poor broken world a bit cheaper, shabbier, Mammon! Nick’ knows … hunger causes conflict and leads to a … bountiful harvest.” but then the other voice said “Dan, woe hi yo shen me huai de zou…” but then a scrap of paper fluttered between them. And this golden glyph appeared before both of them

I caught a glimpse of the notes inscribed on the paper fluttering between them. I have transcribed them carefully for your … edification.

外交 Wàijiāo external exchange, i.e. diplomacy
谈判 tánpàn negotiation (literally: discuss + split)
金圆外交 jīn yuán wàijiāo golden circle diplomacy
巨棒外交 jù bàng wàijiāo big stick ddiplomacy
希臘城邦 xīlà chéngbāng Greek city state
汉语文化圈 hànyǔ wénhuà quān Chinese cultural circle

When one traffics with darkness one must of necessity stay in shadow. Whether my transcript is faithful or faithless is for you to Jiaodge.

The Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary: Free Sample!

Free Samples: Just like any drug dealers selling you a dream that turns out to be a nightmare Ol’ Nick gives away free samples.

Here are two Choice Items salvaged from the smoking ruins . .

Gloatees: The fine tendency of hipsters to brag with no regard to truth. It doesn’t have to be true to be relevant or effective. “It was all I could do to choke back their tears, then I took them of course to their just reward…”

YGWFD: A demonic imprecation, intended to vent. Lies eventually get exposed. And then what? Pronounced YigWeFid, purportedly the name of a lesser devil, a real joker that one.

For further … edification ..

The Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary: Free Supplement

Driplomat: A diplomat with a doctorate; A diplomat who tends to “leak” secret information; A diplomat with no sense of aplomb.

Diplomath: The secret science of writing words with numbers.

Diplomation: The process of replacing diplomats with artificail intelligence – which in turn powers heavily armed robot drones.















Translation Exercise

​这是毛泽东的一些要做的事情: 必须发展中国特色社会主义。 必须提倡中国化宗教。 提高道德水平,公民意识和家庭美德。 改善礼节,个人诚信,职业道德。 确保干净的互联网和网络空间。 所有的待办事项都伴随着少量诗歌。 “具有中国特色的社会主义……来自五千年的中国文化……一种健全,以人为本并提高道德标准的文化……。 “还必须鼓励不在党内的知识分子帮助建立中国特色的社会主义。


Blood was streaming down her face like tears but more than that fresh dots of flecks of blood on her face rivers of pain tracing down the tracks of her cheeks.
The explosion was deafening, bright, blinding – airburst? She could not hear any screams, no longer could she hear their cries of pain.
Desperately she stretched out her Arms trying to hug her children, to hold them fast to her heart.
But all that were left were stumps, bright red, 朱, bleeding, burning 赤
He tried to tourniquet them. Was there any point? The red in her face was no longer inside her, it was on her, all over her.
Her eyes stared outward star struck by the blinding light. Could she even see?
They collapsed to the earth together.



紧张 jinzhang
坚持 jianchi

Jinzhang means tense, nervous; it’s literally tight+pulled.
Jianchi means persistence. Firm base on the left, grasp support maintain on the right.
Jin and Jian sound alike and look alike. They both have two vertical sticks on the left; that is a simplifaction of chen 臣 which is a picture of an eye turned 90% degrees looking down from its perspective but to the right from your perspective. The difference is jin has small+silk 小+幺 benath whereas jian has a clump of dirt tu 土 beneath it.

yet another Fine legal question or three

Could Tesla be legally liable to victims of accidents for marketing its vehicles as “self-driving”?
Could Tesla be legally liable to victims of accidents for marketing its vehicles as “assisted driving”?
Could Tesla be legally liable to victims of accidents involving its vehicles where the driver disabled software intended to force the driver to in fact drive the car?
Could Tesla be legally liable to victims of accidents involving its vehicles where the driver ignored software intended to force the driver to in fact drive the car?




Nixies, girl water sprites, doing handstands and acrobatics for the Emperor in his imperial robe to show the dragon emperor the tactics they will use on the COUNTERSTRIKE they are planning
NiXi is: upside down person on the long road is going BACK TO ATTACK



龙 long2 dragon
衣 yi1 robe, clothing

put together 龙衣y are representing the imperial robe, the Chinese Emperor was also known as the dragon. It’s a compound concept character not pictophonetic so there is no sound clue.

RARA AVIS Mnemonic to Transfer Knowledge to Long Term Memory

Interest: You’re likelier to remember whatever interests you.
Selectivity: Focus on the relevant ignore the irrelevant
Recitation: Read it Out Loud
Vivid Visualization: Close your eyes and imagine seeing it
Association: Link knew facts to known facts
Repetition: Rote learning is boring but effective



把 吧 巴 色 ba

You know how English has him (accusative) and to him (dative)? Chinese doesn’t do that. Nouns don’t decline, there is no case. How does Chinese express the idea of a verb happening TO something and changing the thing so affected? And that’s where ba comes in! It literally means “handle” What happened to the milk? “Me handle cow milk drink completed” is literally what 我把牛奶和了 says. “Me handle book place table on” is literally what 我把书放在桌子上 says. The “completed” 了 particle indicates the action was completed. Of course we translate those sentences properly as “I drank the milk up” “I put the book on the table.” In 我把书放在桌子上 maybe i didn’t use 了 because you or I next plan to pick the book back up: point is 了 here is a colocation. It’s not required but it usually appears to indicate the action resulted in a change of state – “I drank the milk up.” Here “up” functions like le 了 it indicates the completion of the action. Although English doesn’t have particles Russian does. le, ba, ma 了 把 吗 are particles. They mark grammar: state change, accusative case, questions. Notice also this ba has a hand determinant on the left 把. Mouthy ba 吧 is also a particle, it functions to form rhetorical questions and is easily translated with “, ok?” so for example “let’s start, ok?” 让我们开始吧 rang women kai shi ba. The other ba has no determinant and basically means “looking forward to, longing for”. 巴 also nominalizes words. Ba looks a lot like se 色 which means colorful, sex and is, I kid you not, a picture of two people having sex. See? Chinese is really interesting!

memory tricks

Odd numbers are black. Even numbers are white. 0 is grey, neither even nor odd.
In grids: x axis horizontal is numeric, y axis vertical is alphabetic.
Six locations: left front right back above below center self
directions: forward backward
time: past is behind and above. future is ahead, in front, and below
cold is down hot is up
dry dirt is down warm in the ground cold clouds of wet water are up high in the sky
fire is hot and up

Our common concern 多少的词

This is a frequency list of Mandarin Chinese syllables sorted descending without considering tones.

Anyone with a half brain knows what this is used for. Anyone who doesn’t know? Well, get a brain.

人之初 性本善

de 8722289
shi 7050291
yi 5869055
zhi 3185308
ji 2977951
bu 2943968
you 2746758
zhe 2602857
ta 2376365
ren 2318926
li 2308041
zai 2252027
le 2226721
zhong 2141356
wei 2092014
guo 1841775
dao 1788900
qi 1765121
wo 1749745
ge 1748292
di 1724350
yu 1713834
he 1635213
zi 1589345
xiang 1575940
da 1469164
jian 1451889
men 1391330
wu 1372087
xing 1359245
er 1353892
shang 1292610
ke 1254178
ye 1240777
chu 1221539
jing 1186243
hui 1181130
xian 1167460
jiu 1166024
jin 1163074
sheng 1150523
lai 1118779
jie 1109315
fa 1088739
xi 1082565
gong 1072260
fu 1056555
si 1055744
jia 1051033
yuan 1024450
shen 1006355
yao 988311
zheng 983292
zhu 958453
mei 933373
xin 918778
tong 909188
zuo 893830
shuo 884288
qu 884073
fang 874075
dui 870671
xiao 868443
shu 867809
cheng 857501
chang 849564
na 831925
ni 812061
hua 807991
shou 803601
yan 791181
guan 788407
hai 779180
qing 774492
yin 750738
hou 749405
duo 747728
xia 734342
ti 724525
dong 723244
huo 712024
jiao 703885
dan 700482
ying 698618
yang 698164
ming 696618
wen 695970
nian 695312
xie 686105
ju 685312
ba 679337
bei 670092
ru 669787
neng 665358
ci 657819
yong 652185
liang 639396
qian 638821
bao 620534
suo 604505
bian 597897
zhan 584585
dian 575699
hao 573206
xue 572292
xu 570666
fen 566699
dang 564806
ran 549902
wang 545917
dou 541323
bing 533163
ding 521121
jiang 511050
mian 503878
quan 503025
dai 497044
yue 491401
tian 489761
me 480720
gao 475204
hu 471675
kan 469240
jun 463498
fan 459450
ling 457865
wan 452252
she 433892
gu 432908
ban 429225
fei 427791
cai 427296
gan 426276
bi 421278
an 418511
zhen 418098
tai 412339
ben 411819
mu 408250
cong 405173
tou 400461
kai 398586
zui 392734
lian 389564
ma 388106
jue 384873
pi 376008
ri 363763
lu 362789
deng 356833
nan 356362
min 354208
liu 351731
san 349119
bai 349026
zu 344981
tu 341681
zhang 341340
gai 335105
hen 321875
que 321359
biao 320022
su 318074
ting 314552
chi 312261
wai 300896
lao 299072
ze 293345
chan 291680
zhao 289937
feng 289836
ya 289491
chen 288341
qie 287521
shan 284678
ping 281773
luo 281150
chuan 280973
gui 280303
shui 277968
mo 273029
zao 272008
zong 271651
lun 264565
kong 260769
shao 256246
cha 255265
du 248897
duan 247728
qiu 244599
sui 243720
tiao 242251
te 239091
zhou 239028
lei 238732
guang 238613
huan 232948
qiang 232291
nei 231331
mi 230299
gou 229650
bo 226232
tan 224714
zhuang 220567
yun 219022
gei 217815
zhuan 215756
ai 213586
kou 208960
zou 208069
han 203571
geng 202642
qin 199822
gen 196736
xuan 195599
lin 192140
man 188310
bie 188222
huang 184840
pin 184837
la 183642
pai 177618
po 176842
cun 173519
mao 170048
xun 169768
diao 167083
che 166297
lie 165597
rong 164398
chao 163164
kuai 163050
pian 158598
se 155077
tui 154449
kuang 153891
song 152392
hong 149967
tao 147601
sha 147176
chong 146742
a 143836
ceng 143033
lan 142369
can 141816
gang 140899
pu 138110
mai 137363
rang 136101
ku 132880
meng 132845
nong 131225
liao 130518
kao 130219
xiu 129816
ce 128686
chuang 125052
tang 122309
tuo 121320
suan 121239
mou 116225
pei 114110
zhun 113877
zen 112294
ne 112185
e 109896
pan 108530
qiao 105464
xiong 104841
tuan 104151
zeng 103042
peng 102631
pao 99236
huai 97699
pa 96735
hun 96486
cuo 94761
long 94753
nao 93398
kang 91959
ruo 89865
dun 87900
bang 87257
chou 85191
cao 84874
hei 84324
kuo 81713
chun 79748
shuang 76927
reng 75535
qun 74521
lang 73480
re 72069
nai 69877
sun 69029
miao 68770
zha 68234
nu 67922
kuan 67005
mang 65817
fou 64772
ou 64452
piao 63377
tie 62877
leng 62152
shei 61528
lüe 61411
ao 60455
ka 60440
zan 60431
zhui 59572
heng 58378
pang 57763
zang 55933
guai 55710
luan 55675
sai 55584
kun 53949
niu 52960
ha 52475
lou 52042
juan 51759
hang 51372
nin 51094
zhuo 51036
zhai 50407
sa 48768
wa 48764
ken 47955
fo 47038
cu 46527
rou 45636
za 44146
ning 44017
gua 43244
shun 42354
niang 40907
nuo 40022
cui 39761
en 37898
mie 37465
die 37329
zun 36597
zhua 36094
kui 35822
rao 33503
sang 32783
chui 32523
ruan 30350
sen 29533
sou 29413
niao 29319
rui 28898
cang 28725
sao 27351
teng 27136
shuai 26859
bin 25234
qiong 23167
qia 21271
kua 19956
gun 18003
run 16922
pen 16807
ca 15954
tun 14204
shua 13882
nie 12991
beng 12432
diu 11285
ang 10267
zuan 10064
nuan 9762
weng 8702
chai 7276
zei 7045
keng 6954
seng 6920
nang 6709
eng 6707
cou 5544
pie 5059
ga 5050
cuan 5002
o 4582
miu 4290
shai 4290
chuo 4140
jiong 4019
pou 3767
nen 3707
yo 3635
shuan 3605
nüe 2979
chuai 1829
zhuai 1396
cen 1069



tian1 di4 xuan2 huang2, yu3 zhou4 hong2 huang1
heaven earth mysterious-black gold
flood, out of practice, uncultivated, desolate

Heaven and earth are mysterious black and gold.
The universe, flooded, desolate.

Memory Techniques

Visualise vividly
See it
Add Emotion

What makes something memorable
Involve all senses

Relate back to known

ONE GUN A Red point
TWO SHOE B Orange a line segment
THREE FLEA C Yellow triangle
FOUR DOOR D Green square
FIVE HIVE E Blue  pentagon
SIX BRICKS STICKS F Indigo hexagon
SEVEN HEAVEN G Violet seven pointed star
EIGHT GATE H Black octagon islamic 8 pointed star
NINE WINE I White  3×3 tictac toe board
TEN HEN J Grey a line segment with two pentagons at the start and end

Story Method
Person Action Object
Loci Palace

how SMALL is an otter? acronym

里 力 立 利 李 吏 厉 历 理 离 丽 例 礼

一 十 木 米 茶  本 未 末 来 林 森


Does invention follow fiction?

Science faction?


In the future the fact that gravity space and time are in fact the same phenomenon will be not only an established fact but also understood sufficiently that they will launch time probes into the past. These probes will move around time as much as they do through it, basically functioning like a remote viewing telescope broadcasting past images (us) into the future where they have receivers. After the future determines how to look into the past it then moves on to determine how to communicate with the past. What starts as mere observation portals, and possibly invisble ones, become communication devices. Then, the future works on not only observing then communicating into the past but also on temporal distortion: speeding up or slowing down the flow of time in localized areas.

Get obtain, possess, dirt. 得的地 得

Get obtain, must 得de/dei
Possess 的, de=’s di=aim 目的=mudi, intention
de=-ly di=land 地方 =difang place

Someone walking down a road beneath the sun at dawn pinches what ?
dirt that’s what Dirty di, difang de di


They obtained 得 dirt 地

and now it is the dirt OF 的

someone on their spoon beside the bright white sun. 的





































允yun3 permit it’s a picture of mom nursing a baby. she PERMITS it.

充chong1 fulfill the child is happy because it has FULLY fed.

弃qi4 abandon it’s a picture of a kid being held up in a basket and abandoned.


The first people to insult the police are also generally the first people to call the police for help. They hate the police, until they need them.

People who think they have all the rights, that the rules don’t apply to them, and that they can treat others like trash, use them and throw them away are about to find out: they can’t. The rules apply to you. You cannot abuse people.

Policing is a very difficult job physically and psychologically.

Even in a tyrannical regime, a police state, the police are people.



These characters all look a bit similar and some of them are even conceptually related. By learning them as a group they are easier to recall.

亦 Yi4: Also, Too

Also, Too: It’s a pictogram of a person carrying something under his arms He is ALSO carrying something else.


变 Bian4: Betray, Change, Rebel, Renounce

Change, Rebel, Renounce, Betray

is a combined composite character. On top is a persons Also carrying something; beneath is a hand. The idea is that the person is going back on their oath; this idea grew into the idea of change generally. To change, alter, but also to renounce, betray.


赤 Chi4: Scarlet, Red, Bare, Naked

Scarlet, Red, Bare, Naked赤

It’s a picture of a naked person on top (this portion deformed/simplified to its present form) above a fire, he is naked and heating himself. The fire’s flames are red so is the naked person’s heating body.


弃 Qi4 Abandon

It’s an infant in a basket, above two hands. Is that baby for sale? It is now! It means to abandon: baby in a basket, abandoned.

允 Yun3 Allow, Permit

It’s a combined concept character of a mother above nursing an infant below; she is PERMITTING and ALLOWING it.允



These are some of the logical connectors in Chinese.



只有。。。 if only … then (if)
只有。。。ONLY IF … then (if, and only if)
既是。。。  even if … there is still
尽管。。。但是 despite
。。。 no matter what … all
。。。 although … still
。。。 instead of … why not
。。。 only if/if not/unless … otherwise
。。。 except for … all
。。。 although … all
不是。。。就是 either … or

合 谷 容 浴

Though they look alike they appear to have no phonetic relationship and are likely associative compound characters (hui yi zi)

合 he2 to close join fit
谷 gu3 grain, valley
容 rong4 hold contain countenance
浴 yu4 bathe

盒 he2 box case
舍she2 residence

I’m going to hide from the U.S prosecutors!

I’m going to hide from the U.S prosecutors! In the USA! They will never think to look there!

How can any person be that stupid? Ok, granted, we’re talking about a pedophile pimp… even for that class of low life New Hampshire is a really stupid place to try to hide.

Well, stupid is as stupid does. How many blackflips will she do? Hint: she’s stupid. As many as the FBI wants! And if she doesn’t the prosecution will rip her throat out on cross examination.



Self Explanatory Chinese Characters (Indicative Characters) 指事字

To my surprise, there does not seem to be a comprehensive list of indicative characters on the internet. Indicative characters are more often called self explanatory characters in English but in Chinese are called indicative characters (指事字). We may also rightly call them ideograms. Indicative characters are abstract symbols, sometimes derived from pictograms, to express an abstract concept graphically. So for example an arrow, a dot. Most numbers are indicative characters because they are an abstract concept. Some of the indicative characters are inversions of other characters. They are self evident. The dots tend to be used to call attention to a particular aspect of a pictogram. Like pictograms, ideograms generally do not have a phonetic clue as to their pronunciation, though some do. Some ideograms are quite abstract others are referenced to pictograms. They are symbols, abstract expressions of an idea graphically represented.

一 one

七 seven

三 three

上 up

下 down

世 world (three generations of ten years each)

中 middle

之 possessive particle

乏 deficiency

九 9

二 2

于 at

五 five

亦 also

八 8

公 public

凶 pit trap disaster

刁diao knife in the mouth as symbol of the idea of wicked

xi a fledgling bird’s wing as a symbol of revision

刃ren4 edge of a blade

勺shao spoon dot is the depression for the food


千 1000

升 rise

叉 fork. dot is the food on it

只 only dots of speech from the mouth

员 employee

四 4

夏 summer (hundreds of people walking about)

太 too much (too big too heavy)

孔 kong

寸 cun inch

小 xiao small 3 dots of sand grains as symbol of small

尤 excellent outstanding; a lame man with an accentuated particularity (he was wounded in war)

尺 one foot long

屯 village, troop outpost; originally a sprout.

左left (work tool in left hand)

幻 huan fantasy

廷ting2 palace courtyard

旦 dan dawn

曰 yue tongue

末 mo tip (of a tree)

本 ben root (tree root)

朱 zhu red bark cambium of a tree, spiral rings of a tree; scarlet, ring.

氐di foundation (the roof of a clan is its foundation)

爻 trigram markings,

牟mou moo

牵qian to pull an animal on a tether, to lead along, to hold hands

犮right (two right hands of two people shaking hands, two hands clasping each other)

甘 gan sweet (sweet food on the tongue)

示 shi vision alter as a symbol of the idea of a divine vision of the divine; two+small=divine visions

臣chen government  minister (ju giant is a component of it; ministers are big and powerful people)

逆 ni contrary opposite backwards. inverted da big as symbol of retreat, backwards, going back.

凹 ao concave

凸 tu convex

习 xi wing of a fledgeling bird as symbol of the idea of revision, review, study

少 few xiao+negation stroke? not small, but few.夕 xi evening star venus or moon as symbol of evening

士 shi master

灭mie disaster


This list is definitely not complete.

The shou wen jiezi claims there are only about 150 indicative characters.

When do Countries War? USA, China, Russia

States sometimes go to war with former allies and sometimes make alliances with former enemies. Are there conditions which make wars between states less likely? Are there conditions which make alliances among states more likely?

When we think of war we are using an abstract concept to simplify our world as a kind of a lemma; of course, “the state” doesn’t reallye exist, but people do. What things make groups of people likelier to trust and trade? What things make groups of people likelier to fear, distrust, or even hate?

Abstractions of identity help to explain when groups are likelier to conflict or get along. Common points make conflicts less likely, and differences make conflict likelier. So the question of war in a sense is also the question of identity, of self as opposed to other.

What criteria do people use to identify themselves? Well, we are all human, so in principle we all could get along. Yet, even though we are all human some have different skin colors, others have different religious views, others have different languages, others still have different ideologies, different systems of government.

So, countries (abstractions from individuals) with common religions, languages, skin colors, and ideologies are likelier to get along as opposed to countries split by race, religion, language, and ideology.

Viewed in this light the USA and China may be doomed to conflict. Their ideologies and religions are quite different, so are their languages; and even race is to a larger extent than not different. All they really have in common is the desire to grow rich: they are culturally driven to acquire and enjoy property and to view property ownership as all important.

Viewed this way too the USA and Russia are likelier to get along than to conflict. Their religions are similar though not entirely the same; their racial composition is likewise similar, but not the same. Their contemporary ideologies are more similar than different. In short, the four splits, race, religion, ideology, and language are much less severe between the USA and Russia as compared to the USA and China or Russia and China. The Chinese-Russian relationship is thus more fragile, and the U.S. Russian conflicts are more illusory. It is likelier that the USA will be able to bring Russia into an anti-Chinese coalition than for China to bring Russia into an anti-USA coalition.

合作 hezuo = collaborate

hezuo collaborate

合 is a picture of a mouth on top with a dot of food or a word, and a mouth below. it is the idea of close/to close//mutual. Once you understand the underlying pictograph or ideograph’s logic the characters are much easier to remember.合 thus can mean “and” “with” “co”. It, like so many Chinese words doesn’t correspond exactly to one single English word. 作 is a person on the left and on the right is cloth which is spread out as a display or for sale. this zuo means to make or to do. There is another zuo which ALSO means to make or do and in the same tone to boot. Polysemicity is unfortunately a big part of Chinese so get used to sound alikes. So: “to do”+”together”=collaborate.


我们的公司会跟你们合作 our business will work with you.


c.f. he tong, contract.

Tangled Twisted and Tied Up in Knots (The STRUGGLE is real!)

纠结(jiū jié)STRUGGLE

Jiu1 means tied, twisted. On the left is the silk determinant since it’s usually ropes and on the right is stylized image of

丩 jiu1

two ropes twisted together. It occurs these days as a character component.

On the right is


jie2 which means KNOT. But jie2 is a polyphonic character and in the first tone means produce, solid, bear fruit.

Put together jiu1jie2 means STRUGGLE. We STRUGGLE to break the bonds of ropes tied together which bind us.


Ah the Strug Gull! My favorite Bird!


Circular Reasoning

Chinese has lots of words which could be translated as round, circle. None of them correspond exactly to the English word “circle”. But each in context is unambiguous. Here are some of them. Context words are italicized, these express the core of the Chinese word.

圈 round as in a roll, whether a rolled pearl curtain, a rolled mat, a rolled tortilla, a rolled up fist. quan1
轮 a round (measure word; just like English “a round of golf” e.g.) lun2
圆 round, circle, sphere yuan2
圜 round, circle, around, ring huan2
周 circle, circumference zhou1
围 encircle, surround, around wei2
entwine, coil around, around, round rao4
团 round, as in lump, as in ball; regiment tuan2
patrol, round as in the police made their rounds xun2

Advanced Vocabulary Terms

坚持 solid+support=PERSIST JIANCHI
节奏 festival+music=RHYTHM JIEZOU
原则 source+standard/norm=PRINCIPLE YUANZE
违背 disobey/violate+burdened back = WEIBEI VIOLATE
独处 solitary+reside/place = LIVE ALONE DUCHU
属于 category+there/at = TO BE CLASSIFIED AS shuyu
沉默 submerge+silence=taciturn CHENMO
功课 merit+course=homework GONGKE
眺望 gaze into distance + hope = SURVEY tiaowang
凝视 congea+vision = GAZE AT ningshi
替代 replace+represent=SUBSTITUTE tidai

Pro Testing is all the RAGE these days


罢 ba4 stop

Net on top (wang2)
big foot on the bottom walking out of the city below (qu4 – it is a deformed character due to simplification; memory trick? the si on the bottom is an arrow pointing his way out! not really: it’s deformed, but hopefully more memorable that way).

It’s an associative idea character. Two ideas brought together to express a third.


罢手 ba shou – ba to stop, shou, hands; it means to stop as in quit as in surrender as in hands up!


罟 gu trap, implicate

Literally a net for trapping birds or fish; figuratively catch in the criminal drag net.

Net on top (semantic)
Gu character below (phonetic) = 10 mouths.
A pictophonetic character.

10 mouths caught in a  net: TRAP, IMPLICATE


Hope you like my blahg :/ cough cough
Rage, btw, is French for madness as in rabies.

“The night of the long knives” (Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary Free Supplement)

“When they came for the Land O Lakes Butter Princess – I wasn’t a butter princess, so I said nothing.

When they came for Aunt Jemima – I wasn’t fake maple syrup, so I said nothing.

When they came for Uncle Ben – I wasn’t brown rice, so I said nothing.

When they came for me – I wasn’t Elizabeth Warren, so no one came for me.”

First, the land o lakes indian princess. this has long been the brunt of bad jokes and since the farmers coop don’t seem to be founded by or funding ndn issues i’m ok with it, though it was nice to see something other than genocide.

Then Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, the Cream of Wheat mascot is next on the chopping block.
Cui bono?



Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary

“Right Side PAC”

Trump  can and likely will win the election. I anticipate the usual dismissive elitism of the governing class, which is one of the reasons he will win. Meanwhile, polls supposedly show Biden 14% ahead. Let’s suppose that’s true. So what? The ONLY poll that matters is taken on the second Tuesday next November.
Meanwhile, some republicans purportedly decided to start a pro-Biden super pac aww.
Even if true: so what? Even if not in fact spies or disinformation agents they will be in any case quickly branded sell-outs, traitors, RINOs, and deep-state with no future career. If sincere, and not a feint to disinform and gather electoral data, these pactivists  are people willing to cut their own throats rather than see someone else win — and there are very very few such people. There are however plenty of useful idiots. I wouldn’t put much hope or any trust in “Right Side PAC”.
Elections are 51% affairs thanks to focus groups and exit polling the modern campaign data frequency attacks. The incumbent has about 5% advantage just by being incumbent. Despite a ruined economy and no foreign military victory to Trumpet (me so witty). The election is in fact Trump’s to lose.
Biden Can win. But I have yet to see him elaborate an actual strategy beyond “let’s win those democratic states Trump stole”. This seems to be working in Michigan but failing in Ohio.
I honestly think Trump is likelier to win Despite the cratered economy and inbound death wave. Have you looked at the Florida infection rate recently?


Much of what passes for “news” and “reporting” these days is really just marketing fakery to push a given “narrative” “story”.


1) Generate a pseudo conflict e.g. by making an outrageous counterintuitive claim, preferably one which is unverifiable or at least difficult to verify. Many people are lazy and will never bother to do their basic research. (paradox, contradiction).

2) Use that false conflict to polarize readers, preferably viewers, into two or more hostile camps. Split people into hostile groups and stoke up their mutual rage at each other. Viewers are preferable to readers since they are less likely to think critically or analytically and are also less likely to try to verify claims, or even to know how to do so.

3) Spin off as many conflict stories as possible from the generated conflict into poutrage lamentation shock and horror. The “story” now has “legs”! It must be true!

4) Use search engine optimization and fake bot accounts on social media to push aspects of the story.

5) Use one polarized segment (your audience) to destroy another polarized segment (your viewers). Ideally use two disposable factions since you might miscalculate but their mutual destruction would nonetheless serve your hidden agenda.

Season with hidden agenda and conspiracy, whether political OR economic (who cares about the truth I just want to sell product / manipulate the stock price).

Must 须   XU1 需 Need


bi4xu1 must+must/beard (male as symbol of commanding obligation)


xu1yao1 Need+Want, Require+Desire = NEED

Winter snow NEEDS to be swept away by a man with a beard.
Women WANT bags and bottles of products.

Need and Must are both xu1 but have a different character.


Book Review: Pictogram Palace

YOU Can read Chinese! This book breaks down Chinese characters into their pictographic, phonetic, and semantic elements. Presented as digital flash cards for easy memorization! Free preview lets you see for yourself! Over 2000 different Chinese characters provides the building blocks for basic Chinese literacy. Learn to read a new language! Impress your colleagues, friends, and family! Learn the language spoken by over a billion people and the worlds fastest rising economic and political power. The worlds oldest writing system, the world’s first civilization, and the world’s most popular language are unlocked for YOU in this simple entertaining book which is keyed as character sequences following the Shuangfa Method for Chinese literacy pioneered in Bai Shuangfa’s (白双发) “Hanzi Gong”. 汉字宫.
Learn more at:

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Varia 禁 楚

at the altar before the grove the priest made clear that which was PROHIBITED

that which was prohibited was made quite clear by the clear green blue burning brazier at the altar before those who would walk past the grove.


历史 li4shi3 history

HISTORY is a central LIne in her hand SHI3

the HISTORIAN has a chopstick in her hair: One LIne on one’s head

使 an ENVOY is an historian in the EMPLOY of the government SHI3

These look similar too but do not appear to be etymologically related to

更 geng1 geng4便 replace, change (the guard); more
便 bian4 pian4更 ordinary, plain, convenient; cheap, inexpensive

須 xiu

須 xiu

It’s a pictogram.
3 lines of hair on the left
2 dots for the mustache  on the bottom
eyeball in the middle on the right
line on top on right is a hair tie chopstick.

The man with the flowing BEARD tells you what you MUST do.


Must, to have to, to be obligated.

德 de Virtue, Germany



Path on the left, light of the eye it’s focal direction on top of the all-seeing eye in the middle. line underneath is the path, implying choice, heart underneath shows it is moral choice.

the light of the all seeing eye is on the path of VIRTUE it is guided by the heart.

Approaching Chinese through homophones YU2 于 余 与

Chinese is replete with homophones. Some seem to be cognitively related. Let’s have a look at the phoneme yu2, usually in second tone.

于 余 与 all three are yu2 and are high frequency connecting characters! AT, EXCESS, RECEPTION
与 AND  宇 yu3 universe (image: a child underneath the sky-dome!.

AT, In, From. Can also function as a question particle like ma at the end of a sentence, that usage however seems literary to me as opposed to colloquial.


Extra Surplus Excess, Left over goods. Image is a house under construction with surplus material scattered about. AT this House is EXTRA construction material.

与 yu2 yu3 yu4


AND yu3

This one is the idea of mutuality, especially the mutual relation of reception by the younger generation from the donation of the elder generation.


欲 yu4


宇 yu3


雨 yu3


疑 yi2 uncertain, doubt, suspect, disbelieve.

疑 yi2

Uncertain, doubt, to suspect, to disbelieve.

Originally this was the image of a man with a walking stick as a representation of the idea of inquiry as to the proper way.
Later a road was placed to his right to make the idea clearer.
Still later, a foot symbol was added beneath that man to make the basic idea really clear.
An ox also appears in some images again to express the idea of not knowing the way: the man is guiding the ox and neither know the way.
This was then stylized and simplified to its present form.
It’s meaning extended over time to include extensions of the basic idea of uncertainty, lack of knowledge, to include disbelief, doubt, suspicion.
However, it’s core meaning is: uncertainty, implying inquiry.
This is one example where CEDict, which in many respects is very good, doesn’t reflect the Chinese language with perfect accuracy, which is tough since Chinese meanings often carry allusions and extensions not found in Western counterparts.

Uncertain, doubt, to suspect, to disbelieve.

On the left is a stylized and standardized image of a man. The top left is his open mouth asking the way bi3 匕. Yes, that character means spoon, knife, but here it is reused visually. Beneath him is shi3 矢 arrow which represents his body, his hand, and walking stick. Arrows of course represent direction, intention, awareness, focus so this stylization makes sense pictographically (his body) phonetically (sound clue as to pronunciation) and semantically (arrow as symbol of the man on his way, intent on his destination).

On the right is a representation of these ideas: the path he is on, the ox he is guiding, The top right is an inverted arrow: this figure is often used to represent the head, a circle, it’s usually pictographic. Here it is a remnant of the ox which the man is guiding, the ox also does not know the way.

Beneath is the foot figure zhi it represents the idea of his walking, that he is on a road and is also a pictographic remnant / standardization of the ox which was on his right.疑

止 zhi3 stop

路 lu4 road

正zheng1 upright

疋 pi3, ya3


Pangu (Chinese Pan-Atlas)

不知千年万年万年千年 I don’t know, thousands or tens of thousands of years?
终于终于醒过来醒过来 Finally finally awoke!
醒来是如此艰难 Awakening is like this, very hard.
擦一擦眼睛把世界看明白 wipe your eyes, look at the world, understand
清浊分明 混沌化开 distinguish clear from murky, chaos transforms and opens
清浊分明 混沌化开 distinguish clear from murky, chaos transforms and opens
从此有了阴晴暑寒 following this was shadow clarity heat and cold
从此有了兴替盛衰 following this was rise and fall, flourish and decline
从此有了日升月落 following this was sunrise and moon set
从此有了未来现在 following this was the future – now
从此就是天圆地方 following this then the round heaven, the square earth
从此就是五湖四海 following this then the five lakes, the four oceans
从此就是春华秋实 following this then spring flowers, autumn harvest
从此就是世世代代 following this then ages and generations
经历千载万载万载千载 experience a thousand loads ten thousand loads
一天一天站起来站起来 on one day – one day arose, stood up
一旦从梦中觉醒 following one dawn awoke in the middle of a dream
挺一挺腰杆把世界撑起来 standing straight, bearing a pole on the back, placing the world upright
生活起航 历史剪彩 life set sail! history’s ribbon was cut!
生活起航 历史剪彩 life set sail! history’s ribbon was cut!
从此有了阴晴暑寒 following this was shadow clarity heat and cold
从此有了兴替盛衰 following this was rise and fall, flourish and decline
从此有了日升月落 following this was sunrise and moon set
从此有了未来现在 following this was the future – now
从此就是天圆地方 following this then the round heaven, the square earth
从此就是五湖四海 following this then the five lakes, the four oceans
从此就是春华秋实 following this then spring flowers, autumn harvest
从此就是世世代代 following this then ages and generations

machine translation of poetry lol “Climbing Stork Tower”.

白日依山尽 bai ri yi shan jin
黄河入海流 huang he ru hai liu
欲穷千里目 yu qiong qian li mu
更上一层楼 geng shang yi ceng luo

Day after day
The Yellow River flows into the sea
Take it to the next level

Google… this is classical Chinese poetry. Not rap music.

Here’s my translation.

“The bright sun to the mountain goes

the yellow river to the ocean flows

the poor desire to see a thousand miles more

then climb up to a higher floor”

Maybe baidu does it better? Surprisingly it doesn’t do much better (usually does a better job than google translating Chinese).


Day by day

The flow of the Yellow River into the sea

in order to see far away

Take it to the next level


Maybe yandex??


Day by day
Yellow River into the sea
For a thousand miles
To the next level.


颂 song4 song

颂 song4 song

Song4 is a cognate. It means song in the poetic sense, ode, elegy, eulogy. Song in English also means poem but is rarely so used.

Gong1 public, duke, male on the left (phonetic) 公

Bei clam cowrie cash shell on the right 贝

(songs are performed in public for cash and are treasured)

+ 贝= 颂

螢 ying2 firefly

螢 ying2 firefly

火 火 huo3 fire
冖 mi4 cover
虫 chong2 invertebrate, creepy crawly flittiing flying
two fires on top, mi4 cover in the middle chong2 bug on the bottom fires represent
fire fire cover bug = firefly a pair of sparks in the dark a jar within to light the night firefly’s a real delight ying

Glowing. FIREFLY

How to memorize characters 看拆写比记 kan1 chai1 xie1 bi1 ji4

To memorize Chinese characters: look at them, then break them down into their componenents, then try to write them, then compare what you wrote with the character then remember all that.

Every character is a composite of sound and image to express an idea. It’s often to remember the meaning of the character than the sound since the characters are generally not phonetic. Likewise, it’s entirely possible to know a the meaning of a sound without knowing the character. Eventually however your knowledge of SOUND and IMAGE will line up! Especially if you know what the characters really mean using pictogram palace (free preview).

看拆写比 kan1 chai1 xie3 bi3 ji4

看 look at

拆 break down

写 write

比 compare

记 record, note, remember.

爰 yuan2 THUS 煖 nuan3 WARM

爰 yuan2

Pictograph of two hands pulling a thread as a symbol of the idea TO FOLLOW, THEREFORE, SEQUENCE, CONSEQUENTLY. Claws on top, hand on the lower right. Hand in the middle is a standardization, it used to be the thread, it’s a reuse of a character to depict something other than it’s main meaning.

暖 nuan3

The sun is on the left, Consequently it is WARM

煖 nuan3

A fire is on the left, Consequently it is WARM. This is a variant version of nuan3 暖 WARM.





秋 qiu1 愁 chou2

秋 qiu1

In the FALL we Burn 火 huo3 the Stalks of harvested grain 禾 he2; bonfires clear and fertilize the fields.

愁 chou2

In the Fall you WORRY  愁 chou2 ABOUT the coming winter.

做 versus 作 — a curious couple of characters!

做 zuo4

做 zuo4 is a VERY common character; it means to make, to do. Apparently it was coined recently since it does NOT appear in the liu shu tong, jia gu wen, or any other ancient sources.  Possibly it was coined to distinguish it from 作 zuo4 which ALSO means to make or do! Decomposing these characters may help.

This zuo4 做 should be understood as a hui yi zi, an associative compound character, person ren on the left and gu intentional on the right 故 gu4. 故 is a hand with a hammer on the left INTENTIONALLY hitting an old person to kill them and end their suffering. I promised you truth, not ponies.

ren+gu have no phonetic clue for zuo4 and so this 做 zuo4 must be an associative compound character and not a pictophonetic character. So this zuo4 做 means that which people intend to attain, and is make or do in exactly that sense.

Unlike 做, this zuo4, namely 作 is found in the oracle bone script. INTENTIONAL OBTENTION, INTENTIONAL ACTION. ZUO4


乍 zha4

stitched spread out cloth as a symbol of work SPREAD, STAND ON END, BRISTLING by extension AT FIRST, ABRUPTLY as a cloth which breaks

Later determinanents were added to distinguish meaning from metaphor.乍


作 zuo4


work is that which is done by people thus the ren, person, on the left is added to show not the product itself but the production thereof.作作


I hate to send you to look elsewhere but as a non-native speaker I must. Regarding the usage of the two zuo4 both of which mean MAKE, DO Angela Fang says…


秉 bing3

争 zheng1

zheng looks a lot like bing but its meaning is somewhat different.

bing3 means to grasp hold maintain秉

zheng1 means to contend fight contest争

both have a hand grasping in the middle coming from the right hand side. but bing3 just has he2 a grain stalk which that hand is grasping whereas zheng1 now features a second person ren2 abbreviated on top (it’s either dao1 knife or ren2 person, it’s abbreviated and polysemic, keyword daozitou). Originally that second person/knife was a hand and the two were contending for a slab of meat.


夬 缶 缺 It is CERTAIN that URNS are sometimes DEFICIENT…

缶 fou3

Pottery, jar, urn; it’s a mortar and pestle (or any other earthenware vessel), seen from the side. The mortar is on the bottom the pestle is on the top.缶

夬 guai4

Certain, decisive. Originally a foot on top a hand below indicating the idea of certainty through experience. Transformed to a large powerful men (da ren, fu ren) the foot now also represents his ring of authority on which he might bear his jade royal seal.夬

缺 que1

Deficiency lack absence; most often seen in 缺点 shortcoming default flaw.

This must be a hui yi zi, that is an associative compound character since it’s clearly not a pictogram or a pictophonetic character




落 (each, river luo, fall; drop.)

各 ge2 each各
Mouth calls out. Foot then comes. EACH person comes when called.
stompmouth – foot on top of mouth: EACH is repressed!
EACH person has a foot and a mouth.
Don’t put your foot in your mouth.


洛 luo4 

the river luo洛
each person comes to the river luo.


落 luo4 fall, drop; la4 lag leave behind

fall, drop落
fall like leaves drop like drips

夅 jiang4 descend
降 jiang4 fall

夂夊 zhǐ foot and foot-right-kua 㐄

Time for some game theory!

弈论 bo2yi4 lun4

博弈 boy2yi4 games (of a competitive nature) gamble+ancient name for wei qi.

论lun4 theory (talking around the wheel)


囚徒困境 qiu2 tu2 kun4 jing4

prisoner+disciple=prisoner (qiu2tu2 tudi de tu)

kun4jing4 predicament (kun4 tired difficulty jing4 border place territory boundary)

kun4jing4 does not appear to indicate the idea of lemma.


旗 Flag (Qi2)

旗 qi2 flag

This character is the image of a flag. Originally the flag was on the left; the character was simplified and standardized to its present form. The person in stocks (cangue) on the left originally was the guard tower holding the flag. The sideways/abbreviated ren2 person character on the top right was originally the flag, and appeared on the left on top of what is now the slave in stocks (cangue). The bottom right character originally was the kit and equipment of the color guard.

Today it may be most easily remembered as a square flag on the left with it’s penannt on the top right and the standard bearers kit and equipment on the lower right. Alternatively, you may like to think of the man in stocks on the left as the guard, the flag as a tool (qi2) on the lower right and the image of the penant on the top right.

In any case, tool on the lower left is also a phonetic clue: it says qi2 just like this character. A flag is a tool of state power, which includes the power to imprison exile guard and defend.

It is a pictophonetic character. Note that phonetic elements generally also are pictorial and/or semantic.

Free supplement to “Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary” Mole; Poetic License to Ill

Mole (n.)
An infiltrator spy or other disloyal person. A disloyal spy, sent from the infernal world, to root out spies. Example sentences:
“A cat bumps into a dead mole.” 瞎猫碰到耗子
Must we suffer the infected people infecting each other and then emerging like morlochs and moles from their cavernous infection centers to infect the rest of us?
Must we hunt them ruthlessly and remorselessly like barrow wights seeking to feast on our flesh?
Is poetic license nought but a hunting permit for the most dangerous game?
License to Ill (n.)
The capacity of those who are well, to know what and with whom to jokify.

病 bing4 sick QI LAI.

病 bing4

bing4 means sick. It’s a picture of one’s ribs as a symbol of interior, inside and it is on a sickbed. the bed is sideways, the feet of the bed are on the left and the head of the bed is on top. See? Easy!

Sideways Sickbed + Inside? 病字偏旁! 就起来!Bingzi pianpang! Jiu qi lai!


条件 , 情况: tiao2jian4 versus qing2kuang4

Tiaojian条件,  qingkuang情况: tiaojian is a condition, like as in the clause of a contract. but qingkuang is a more general condition, situation, state. They are not exact synonyms but they are similar.

tiaojian CONDITION (a strip 条 + a piece (of cowhide) 件).
Tiao: this is a STRIP it is a Foot on top of a Tree. The foot stands on a strip of the tree’s branches.
Jian: is a Person next to a Cow. Guess who is gonna get turned into a PIECE of Leather?

qingkuang circumstance
qing is Heart + Clear Colored Green-Blue = FEELING 情qing

Ice+Big Brother=SITUATION. 况kuang

It’s freezing cold out my big brother has a heart set on clarity. These is the SITUATION in which we find ourselves. 情况qingkuang

静夜思 Still Night Thoughts jing4 ye4 si1

床前明 quan2 qian2 ming2 yue4 guang1
是地 yi2 shi4 di4 shang3 shuang1
ju3 tou2 wang4 ming2 yue4
di1 tou2 si1 gu4 xiang1

bright moon light before bed
doubtful is frost on land
lifting my head, hopeful bright moon
bowing my head, thinking of home

持 chi2 C.lasp H.old I.t

持 = 手 + 土 +

chi2 is a hand on the left (手shou3) a clump of earth on the top right (土tu3) and a pinching thumb on the bottom right (寸cun4)

u a r
n n tu3
4 d


“On the Beach”: A memoir

千山 the flight of a thousand birds cut short
径人 the tracks and traces of ten thousand extinguished
孤舟蓑 an old man alone in a boat in a wet raincoat
fishes in the frozen Yangtze river

all smiles kids

日 ri SUN 旦 dan DAWN 正 zheng UPRIGHT 是 shi IS

You are 是 standing upright 正 under the SHIning sun 日 at dawn 旦 and it’s a really hot day. This then is SHI是 and it means: to be. Shi’s character is a symbol: it’s a picture of the sun at dawn on top of a picture of a foot. Chinese characters are highly stylized standardized and simplified pictures. The idea of this shi is a person standing upright underneath the dawning sun. Chinese verbs don’t conjugate. That means i SHI you SHI we SHI – it’s always shi! Chinese has the simplest grammar. Verbs don’t have to agree in number or gender because Chinese doesn’t have gender or plurals really or conjugations. Let’s be egoists. Wo is Chinese for I. You can remember it with the word ego, which sounds similar I guess if you slur the g softly like – aygho – wo. Chinese wo also rhymes with Spanish yo, which also means I. So “Wo Shi”. I am! You are: ni shi. We are women shi. Can you guess what adding -men to wo does? Yes, it makes the plural, but Chinese plural only exists for people, not things. So nimen is you plural. Ta means he, but since Chinese has no gender it also means she. Can you guess what tamen means? Yep! It means them. And just like that you learned all the conjugations of to be in Chinese whether in the past present or future! Singuler: Wo shi. Ni shi. Ta shi. Plural: Women shi. Nimen shi. Tamen shi. You also learned four characters:
日 ri SUN
旦 dan DAWN
正 zheng UPRIGHT
是 shi IS

春眠不觉晓 chun mian bu jue shao

chun mian bu jue shao
处处闻啼chu chu wen ti niao
风雨声 ye lai feng yu sheng
知多hua luo zhi duo shao

dormant in spring, not asleep at dawn
hear and there the calling cry of birds
evening arrives with wind rains sound
how much do falling flowers know?

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