The goals of Instrumentation

There are several things I hoped to accomplish with instrumentation. My personal goals are covered in the "What is wrong with you?" section that precedes this on the main page (essentially, I'm trying to get my muse off of my back).

There were several other things that I wanted the language to accomplish. I don't really know if any of these have been achieved, but I present them here in hopes of illuminating the ideal towards which I am attempting to grope.

I wanted to establish:

intuitive vocabulary

Instrumentation breaks terms down into basic Types. Ideally, the meaning of any word would be obvious to someone who had completely internalized the Types of the elements of a glyph. The trick, of course, is to completely align the 'true meaning' of each aspect with its translation into English (and other languages) while creating the reference vocabulary.

This goal is unaccomplished and possibly unattainable in the absolute, but I think it is still possible to establish a reasonable approximation of the 'perfect vocabulary' such that the natural human proclivity for 'fuzzy logic' will fill in the connotative blanks amidst the essentially quantum denotations of Instrumentation.

intuitive 'spelling'

A glyph is 'spelt' by picking the elements which correspond to its meaning. The syllabary is regular and invariant.  The 128 phonemes are created from an isometric combination of sixteen consonants and eight vowels. Sound, sight and meaning are coherent. 

This should eliminate the step of associating a meaningless sequence of letters with meaningless (and sometimes inconstant) sounds to a 'word' which may have multiple unrelated meanings. (meaningful sounds are things like laughing and crying)

For example, the word 'frog' may refer to an amphibious animal, the underside of a horse's hoof (to a farrier) or to a type of button (to a furrier). Furthermore, the meanings of 'frog', 'farrier' and 'furrier' are not obvious from the spellings of the words and vice versa (although 'furrier' is the least random).

Instrumentation is more regular than natural alphabetic or ideographic languages (in my unbiased opinion), but I have to admit that using English as a 'straw man'  example is obviously taking unfair advantage of the opposition. (full disclosure: I can't spell in English.)

I have thought about dyslexia. The Instrumentation glyph is excessively symmetric. My (hopeful) solution was to make the 'plug' (the central triangle) point to the beginning of the glyph. Don't worry about 'left' or 'right', just follow the plug. If anyone knows of a better fix, let me know.

intuitive syntax and grammar

This is a hard one.

The adverbial and adjectival degree forms and the plural forms attempt to match the Types of the Description layer. Verb conjugation attempts to match the Types of the Articulation layer and Instrumentation does not require agreement in number, case, etc. between glyphs within a sentence, but it can't stop people from using an incorrect tense when describing a situation.

In sentence construction, Instrumentation attempts to follow a few simple rules (Subject-Verb-Object with "modifiers follow principals") but there is no mechanism to automate, obviate or enforce those rules.

intuitive logic

The plan was to take advantage of the (alleged) "natural language" facility for identifying improper grammar by making logical and mathematical syntax an integral part of the language. I wanted to make illogical constructions 'sound wrong'.

This may be possible, but I've concluded that I don't have the expertise needed to align logical and mathematical operators with the Types of the Articulation layer such that "provably correct" functions are intrinsically inherent within the language.

clear communication

Instrumentation is designed so that two people who speak different languages can converse in real time on-line by having their own plug-in vocabularies. Standard translation errors (like misinterpreted homonyms) can be avoided as long as each native language speaker picks the correct terms for input.

This would also require the Articulation layer to contain explicit phrases which would substitute for the idiomatic constructions of a specific language. "On time", "in time", "since time", "for time" or "under time" would need to be rendered unambiguously in every language.

The current search function of the Instrumentation game is inadequate to the task of real-time communication, but more elaborate search functions and other navigational aids are certainly possible.

Instant translation is completely possible, but the creation of all of the plug-in vocabularies is a non-trivial task. Also, the clarity of any conversation between humans is never guaranteed.

standardized perception

The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis states that Elves don't think like Klingons because they speak different languages. (No, seriously, that's what it says. The actual hypothesis just uses longer words.)

Instrumentation attempts to exploit the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis by providing a "a fuzzily isometric codification of the derivative of function with respect to being". In other words the language is explicitly based on a (non-religious) philosophical schema that can be applied to many facets of life.

I'm not trying to create pod people here, I just want to simplify human-computer interfaces and other areas that rely on peoples expectations.

This would require a large number of people to become fluent before it could actually be tested. The design document discusses this here.

universal remote

We have an increasing need to manage the world around us in a simple, consistent and efficient way. Instrumentation is attempting to provide a direct ten-finger to ten-key interface that can be used to 'conjure' useful actions from all the things that we have the authority to control.

The Specialization layer is divided into 256 Areas. Each Area contains 16.7 million terms related to tasks and jargon specific to a field of endeavor. Each Area can contain any words necessary to discuss or manage tasks related to its field. The difference between describing the features of a printer or an entertainment system and actually using those features can now be a matter of intent rather than ability in most cases.

Instrumentation can be the standard interface to everything, but this will require consensus from designers and manufacturers to implement common control protocols. Market dominance and consumer demand are the chicken and egg of positive feedback in the business world. If either is achieved, the other will follow.

artificial intelligence

Or at least a data store that facilitates the type of associative reasoning required to implement an artificial intelligence. Instrumentation provides a scheme by which data can be organized according to its meaning. The design document discusses this here.

Within instrumentation, every term is potentially just one element change away from thirty-one other terms that have similar meanings. For example, if we subtract the 'self' element from the word 'agenda', we get the word 'history'. Both 'agenda' and 'history' relate to thinking about time, but one is personal and the other is not.

An artificial intelligence could use these contiguous semantic similarities to explore alternate solutions to a given problem.

This one is aggressively optimistic even for one of my pipe-dreams. I think the idea has potential, but it will require a very eloquent and complete vocabulary in order to fulfill its promise.


The unifying theme in these goals is the need for a vocabulary that perfectly matches the combination of Types (or meanings) that Instrumentation automatically assigns to each term. This extends beyond linguistic science and into the realm of art. If constructed properly, Instrumentation would be more than a language. It would be an eight and a half billion term poem.

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