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  • Book of Changes, first semantic lexicon

    Semanticus F. Alpaerts suggests in De Denkbeeldige Ruimte (1980) that the I Ching or Book of Changes, originating from mythical antiquity, is the first semantic lexicon of mankind. In this Chinese classic, unquestionably one of the most influential books in the world’s literature, 64 chapters are coded with a double triplet line code called hexagrams.

    Alpaerts used the Wilhelm (1971) translation to show a possible connection between the code lines from the I Ching and the codon encoding in the Semantic Colour Space. The open (- -) and closed (—) lines from the I Ching correspond with respectively the 0’s and 1’s from his semantic coding system. This way he could associate the concepts described in the 64 chapters of the I Ching, with the eight primary colours and their combinations (8×8) from his classification. Later, his hypothesis was confirmed by a comparative research he conducted on the similarities between his keyword-colour classifications, in which the concepts from the I Ching form an important part, and the empirical data from sociologist Eva Heller’s word-to-colour association study (Alpaerts, 1993).

    The following list includes I Ching chapter titles with links to pages in the DSD (between brackets: if the title is not in the DSD, a synonym), chapter numbers, digital coding (hexagram), and colour combinations.

    chapter titlechaptershexagramcolour combination
    creative heaven1111:111YL:YL
    the receptive2000:000BL:BL
    difficulty at the beginning3010:001GR:BK
    youthful folly (inexperienced, foolish)4100:010BR:GR
    the fight6111:010YL:GR
    the army7000:010BL:GR
    the all-encompassing8010:000GR:BL
    the taming power of the small (newborn)9110:111WH:YL
    standstill (stagnation, blocking)12111:000YL:BL
    fellowship with men (together, community)13111:101YL:RD
    great possessing (imperium)14101:111RD:YL
    rage (rancor, attack)16001:000BK:BL
    correcting (addressing)18100:110BR:WH
    nearing, rapprochement19000:011BL:PL
    viewing (perception)20110:000WH:BL
    biting through (stick-it-out)21101:001RD:BK
    adorning (embellish)22100:101BR:RD
    splitting apart (slivering)23100:000BR:BL
    the turning point24000:001BL:BK
    the taming power of the great (steering)26100:111BR:YL
    the corners of the mouth, providing nourishment (feeding, grooming, open mouth)27100:001BR:BK
    great exceeding (overloaded)28011:110PL:WH
    the abyss29010:010GR:GR
    the clinging, fire (flame, attach)30101:101RD:RD
    influence, wooing (courtship)31011:100PL:BR
    duration, constancy32001:110BK:WH
    the power of the great (powerful)34001:111BK:YL
    darkening of the Light (hiding)36000:101BL:RD
    polarising (contrasts)38101:011RD:PL
    increase, beneficial, useful (growth, functional)42110:001WH:BK
    resoluteness, determination43011:111PL:YL
    gathering together, massing (assemble)45011:000PL:BL
    pushing upward46000:110BL:WH
    oppression, exhaustion (depletion, sucked out)47011:010PL:GR
    the well48010:110GR:WH
    revolution, moulting49011:101PL:RD
    the cauldron (terrine)50101:110RD:WH
    the arousing, shock, thunder51001:001BK:BK
    keeping still, mountain (still, not moving)52100:100BR:BR
    development, gradual progress53110:100WH:BR
    the marrying maiden (concubine)54001:011BK:PL
    abundance, fullness55001:101BK:RD
    the wanderer, travelling (wanderlust)56101:100RD:BR
    the penetrating, wind57110:110WH:WH
    the joyous, lake (gay)58011:011PL:PL
    dispersion, dissolution, (scattering)59110:010WH:GR
    limitation, moderation (delimitation, restriction)60010:011GR:PL
    inner truth61110:011WH:PL
    preponderance of the small (unremarkable, incompetent)62001:100BK:BR
    after completion63010:101GR:RD
    before completion64101:010RD:GR
  • Universal Patterns in Color-Emotion Associations

    Many of us “see red,” “feel blue,” or “turn green with envy.” Are such color-emotion associations fundamental to our shared cognitive architecture, or are they cultural creations learned through our languages and traditions? To answer these questions, we tested emotional associations of colors in 4,598 participants from 30 nations speaking 22 native languages. Participants associated 20 emotion concepts with 12 color terms. Pattern-similarity analyses revealed universal color-emotion associations (average similarity coefficient r = .88). However, local differences were also apparent. A machine-learning algorithm revealed that nation predicted color-emotion associations above and beyond those observed universally. Similarity was greater when nations were linguistically or geographically close. This study highlights robust universal color-emotion associations, further modulated by linguistic and geographic factors. These results pose further theoretical and empirical questions about the affective properties of color and may inform practice in applied domains, such as well-being and design.

    Jonauskaite et al. (2020).

  • Bling bling style
    Icorponline, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Doeshun, Southern Rap Artist From Atlanta Georgia.

  • Resurrection from death
    Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb by Fra Angelico (1440-41) Wiki Commons

  • The lamb triumphs over death

    Because of its touching innocence, the young sheep is a symbol of purity and innocence. The image of the divine shepherd leading his people like a flock, along with that of the servant of God being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb (Isaiah 53:7), yielded the New Testament image of the Good Shepherd Jesus in search of lost lambs. In John (1:29), John the Baptist calls Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” In the Apocalypse (14:1) there is mention of the victorious lamb. In the west, the triumphant paschal lamb with the banner of victory over death is a beloved symbol of the resurrection. The sacrificial lamb is also a symbol of martyrdom, for example as a lamb in the midst of wolves. (Biederman, 1992)

  • innocent sheep

    The sheep is generally regarded as a silly and innocent animal, which is a willing prey for the wolf. The sheep, one of mankind’s oldest domestic animals, had to be herded by shepherds and became a symbol of naivety and helplessness in the face of any enemy. The lamb also often figures as a striking symbol of innocence, which ultimately triumphs over the devil.

    Biederman, H. (1992)

  • Proverbs and sayings: open-closed

    Lakoff and Johnson (1999) saw that there are many proverbs and sayings that have to do with form characteristics and emotions. Open / empty / bald: honest, neat, welcome, hospitable, logical, poor, soft. Closed: unfair, messy, meaningless.

  • ‘Extrovert’ and colour in Germany

    Extrovert: yellow 24%, gold 24%, orange 19%, red 14%, …
    Heller (1989)

  • ‘Extravagance’ and colour in Germany

    Extravagance: purple 30%, gold 21%, silver 15%, …
    Heller (1989)

  • ‘Expensive’ and colour in Germany

    Expensive: gold 61%, silver 15%, black 10%, …
    Heller (1989)