Zero Parallax

Tools for Learning, Problem solving and Creating

One of my long gestating projects has been an online Chinese Dictionary.

Rather than just being a tool for looking up characters easily, I wanted to create something that would help make learning/memorizing the pronunciation of characters (as well as their meaning) easy also.

And so I'm happy to say that I've finished a Beginners Chinese Dictionary for Traditional Chinese characters. It's a web app (or so I believe) but I prefer the term dynamic website. I wrote it using node.js. But a lot of the back end development (the datafiles) was done using a mix of python and a little bit of excel.

The dictionary itself offers two main modes, a shape based mode and a phonic mode. The shape based mode is designed to make character lookup easy, sorting characters by shape based on their first and last elements. The phonic based mode allows characters to be looked up by phonetic pronunciation, but just as importantly allows you to see characters with the same toneless or toned pronunciation as well as characters grouped by phonetic element.

I think it's easier if I just point you to the dictionary itself. Here it is, the Beginners Chinese Dictionary.

And for a Chinese word dictionary, check out this: Chinese Word Dictionary (still in testing!)

What is zero parallax? It's where we know how how things relate, including ourselves, so that we can take into account of errors in positioning or perception.

Read more about understanding how things relate (below).

For some simple definitions of terms I'll use regularly, check out the Ideas, relationships and other definitions (further below).

Ideas, relationships and other definitions

A relationship is any two connected "elements". These elements are termed ideas
Relationships are the context for change.
The process of creating or breaking a relationship is a change.
An idea is something that is clearly defined or easy to recognize. It can be real or imaginary. When two ideas are connected, they form a relationship.
Ideas can have gravity. They can also have spin, radiance, or both.
A system is two or more connected relationships or ideas. A relationship could be defined as the simplest possible system. A system can be represented by an idea.
Limits are used to define ideas, relationships and systems. They can be imaginary or real.
Change (or information)is how ideas communicate. For change to be transmitted between two ideas they need to be in a relationship.
A signal is a definable or recognizable unit of change. A signal is a definable change transmitted between two ideas that are in a relationship.
The state where limits are removed.
Real space
The space our consciousness occupies when present or in the flow.
Imaginary space
The space our consciousness occupies while daydreaming or meditating.
Analytic space
The space our consciousness occupies when differentiating experiences or reintegrating. The space that we think in. Also the space where ego lives.
The process of building or constructing a mental model within ourselves.
Mental model
Any model without our brain or consciousness that represents an action, a system, or both.
A mental model function that can be performed without conscious oversight.
a tool to speed up location of physical things, memories, information, or habits
System Boundary
The system boundary is the limit used to define the extend of the system. It separates the system from it's environment
Inner environment
Defining a system, anything within the system boundary is the inner environment
Outer environment
Bound by the system horizon, the outer environment includes everything that can relate, or be sensed by the system.
System Horizon
The system horizon defines the outer limit of a systems outer environment. This is where the systems ability to sense external change ends.

Understanding how things relate

Zeroparallax, in a nutshell, means understanding.

It means understanding how things relate and how both we and others relate to different things so that we can account for those differences in relationship.

While most of the things that I write about and create and sell are based on my own experiences, at the heart of them all is the idea of understanding. What I'm trying to create and sell is understanding and the ability to acquire it for yourselves.

The better our understanding the better our experiences

Why work to acquire understanding?

It means we aren't dependent on others. It also means we can use our understanding for deeper or better experiences. These in turn can be used to build our understanding so that further experiences build on previous experiences.

And so, the better our understanding-the better our experiences (when we use that understanding).

What is parallax?

So what is parallax?

Parallax is viewing error. Or it's a difference in what is perceived based on differences in viewing angle.

One person looks at a clock, the old fashioned kind with two or three arms that move relative to a fixed back plate, and sees that it's three o'clock. Another person looks at the same clock but from the side and sees that it's two minutes past three. If each person is aware of the other's viewing angle,it can be corrected for.

The importance of clear reference point(s)

There are dangers here. What if both people correct for each other? Or what if neither person corrects?

And so it's important that there be a reference, something that both can refer to so that they know whether or not to correct for error.

In the army, marching in neat rows and columns, the person at the right front was called the right marker. Unless told otherwise, he/she was the one that we adjusted our position to and maintained our position relative to so that we kept our nice neat rows and columns.

So zeroparallax, or the process of zeroing parallax, is in part based on understanding how we relate. But it's also about having clear references.

With clear references, a group of soldiers can march together in a nice neat square. But references are also used in other areas, for example when linking pages on the internet, or using an excel spreadsheet or reading the temperature or making any other sort of measurement.

I first learned about parallax in chemistry class. Our teacher was Ms Klobature. She taught us that when measuring liquids using a beaker (or whatever the specific apparatus that was used for measuring was called) we had to view the measurements with the vessel level but with our eyes level with the surface of the liquid. This was the reference position that made all of our measurements consistent because they were made using a fixed reference point. Note, she could have defined it as 89 degrees above the horizontal. The point was if we knew it, and could find it, we could use it, consistently.

Zeroparallax is about understanding how we relate, and about understanding relationships in general.

Part of what makes understanding easier is having a general language for describing relationships and the things that they relate.

Indexing, Memory, Learning

Effective indexing makes things easier to find and recall.

Basic Principles
(for Doing Anything)

Principles that can be applied when problem solving or trying to do things efficiently, effectively and even enjoyably.

Decision Making, Taking Action,
The Power Of Choice

If you know what you are trying to do, you can get on with doing it. Hence know mind.

Know Mind, Presence, Flow

Fully engaged in flow, there is no room for thought.

First Principles, Flexible Thinking, Modular Habits

Breaking systems down into signals as well as components.

Two Points Of View, Consciousness, Understanding

How we can apply zero parallax concepts to ourselves as well as the world we are a part of.


The Art of Balance

How to find balance and maintain it

Center, the heart of an idea

How connection relates one center to another

Consciously connecting

Expressing ourselves through our connections

Expressing ourselves freely

Learning ideas and then expressing them

Software Tools for your brain

Simple concepts for mentally abstracting complex systems

by: Neil Keleher
Published: 2019 04 24
Updated: 2023 01 02
Defining ideas, relationships (and change) for better understanding, problem solving and experiences