Thanks for your interesting comments!
Your write-up was especially fun to read because it avoided the touchy politics of mao vs chiang, mainland vs hongkong and taiwan, etc., that I've only somewhat recently been exposed to (including Korea somewhat). It seems very neutrally written and focuses more on the interesting details than the emotional tribalism that I sometimes see.
Or is it Taipeh in other languages? Though the blog is in English...
Taipeh is the German spelling of Taipei as far as I can tell.
At that time the first emperor purged the bureaucratic class, except for a small school of philosophers, and delegated most clerical tasks down to military officers and slaves. These people absolutely butchered the script and replaced its refined artistic regularity with a more casual free-form style. This is called Li Shu or "clerical script".
Fast forward a hundred years or so, the new emperor is kinder to Confucianists and the academics are out of hiding. Now the scholars have a choice: use the standard script of Li Si or adopt the messy free-form style of the officers and slaves. The amazing thing is that they chose to use clerical script and did a complete re-interpretation of the aesthetics of Chinese writing based on the characteristics of that script. The "refined" artists of the later eras appreciated how fluid and dynamic the writing of untrained scribes was and incorporated those qualities into a completely new standard. There's an absolutely mind-blowing history here in terms of the evolution of an art form.
That's not an example of extreme weirdness; not only do different languages countries have different colors (international traffic conventions require that navigation signs be a pure green -- and define two, one use AFAIK only in Japan), those colors change over time. Remember the "wine dark sea?" British Prime Minister Gladstone, of all people, analyzed (before going into politics) why this was not metaphorical but actually how color was perceived (best reference I can find at this moment: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-is-blue-and-how-do-w...)
Politics plays a role in color selection: we have 8 colors in the English rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) because Newton insisted there must be eight for mystical reasons, who really uses indigo? Really most English speakers see six, the primaries taught in school.
And lets not get into the politics of language itself.
(My grandfather was named Gladstone, surely after the PM. He was born in the bush in South Australia so I'm pretty certain that the PM's early work on Greek had no influence on the choice)
You mean 7, right? If your quip regarding Newton is true, I would have assumed he was influenced by Latin. However, there's no evidence that Romans saw 7 rainbow colors either [1,2].
My next best theory is that the 7 rainbow colors are analogous to the 7 notes on the major scale.
For what it's worth, to a Russian speaker, the 7 colors are quite distinct. English blue maps to light blue (голубой) and indigo to blue (синий).
Violet is the real oddity in the modern age because it is outside the gamut of most (all?) of our displays, so we only see it in RL
Another way color perception changes culturally: the gamut of reds (in particular) has changed due to the advent of industrial dies, changing people's description of what is "typically" red.
> The world's first movable type printing press technology for printing paper books was [...] invented in ancient China around AD 1040 by [...] Bi Sheng
> Around 1450 Johannes Gutenberg made another version of a metal movable-type printing press in Europe
> The printing press may be regarded as one of the key factors fostering the Renaissance and due to its effectiveness, its use spread around the globe.
> The more limited number of characters needed for European languages was an important factor.
There are short story write with hanyu pinyin(a latin alphabet system) which all words with the same pronunciation.
Words are much more important. Chinese has words, there are just no spaces. "如果" is a word. The meaning of the characters "如" (such as) "果" (fruit) is totally different to the word (in case).
Soon I'll be releasing a program to do automatic word spacing, literal translation of each word, bopomofo, and more. The code is finished, I'm just writing the documentation now, and then put it onto my Facebook. When I get simplified characters working, I'll release it here on Hacker News.
You shall not take the 'fruit' meaning for "果", as it also means 'just as expected' and 'effect' in 'cause and effect'.
The ultimate goal of Chinese simplification was to destroy Chinese characters at all, and to use Latin characters instead, because people believed that Chinese was the reason why China was behind the western world.
我是韩国人。- wo shi hangguo ren can easily and concisely be written using Korean alphabet phonetically.
The two are a perfect match. One system to easily construct sounds and the other carrying deep compressed semantics with the minimal sound syntax.
It would be like like what Vietnamese language did using roman alphabets and accents.
And there goes Shakespeare. On average there's 15,000 words per play. I bet most readers do not have the education to know every single word in that 15,000.
"The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. To this may be added around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries." 
In English (as I assume in Chinese) you can usually figure out what is being said in Shakespeare even if you don't know the exact definition of the word. You also can usually pronounce it correctly (at least for the modern pronunciation).
These are pretty vernacular writing now: you only see 仃 painted on walls near alleys where they tell you to park or not to park a car somewhere and 歺 is found around some small canteens. 桔 is a bit more popular than the other two among schoolkids.
It reminds me of some of the past movements to reform English spelling rules. Taking things a step further, why not just replace every extant writing system with IPA? Sounds like fun. Surely nothing could go wrong.
情qing2 "feeling", mainly used in other words, e.g. 情况qing2kuang4 "circumstances"
睛jing1, used in 眼睛yan3jing "eye" where tone becomes neutral (don't confuse with 眼镜yan3jing4 "glasses")
鲭 qing1, only used in 鲭鱼qing1yu2 "mackerel" (the 鱼 radical repeats)
蜻 qing1, only used in 蜻蜓qing1ting2 "dragonfly" (and 蜻蛉qing1ling1 "damselfly") -- note the 虫 radical is used in each character
With a pen/pencil? Every where. School? Memo? Sticky notes?
With smartphones, this trend is only getting stronger.
Chinese source indicates that one thirds of people only write 1-2 times a week. 61.4% has problem remembering how to write certain characters.
Working link: https://al3x.svbtle.com/on-chinese-writing-when-mao-reinvent...
Chinese switch was motivated by the desire to improve literacy in the country, which was to be achieved by making the writing system more accessible/simple. The changes were far wider than in Japanese, and total count of characters that were simplified is cca 3500.
Like I said, in China primary motivator was improving literacy rate.
The number of simplified characters (3500 out of 7000) closely matches the number of characters necessary for almost-full literacy (most common 3500 characters cover about 99.5% of everyday written language).
> Many of the simplifications were made by taking a cursive form and declaring it the "official" version.
Wrong. While many simplified characters were modeled after their cursive forms, it's not simply taking these cursive forms and declared them "official". Per se, the cursive form is cursive, and the simplified characters are in regular script. The problem is, when you forcibly bend the curves into straight lines, many lost their artistic aspects and became ugly abominations.
> Like I said, in China primary motivator was improving literacy rate.
The funny thing: Taiwan uses the traditional set and has a higher literacy rate than China. People used to blame the traditional characters as too complicated and a hinderance to literacy. Apparently what really matters at all is the education itself.
Why are the cursive forms invented in the first place? Are they only artistic? They got their use in real life as well. People are lazy and always in a hurry.
And the comparison between `本` and `未`. It makes more sence with `本`(root, origin) and `末`(tip, end).
In modern Chinese, `蚤` and `早` are distinguish well. Also, `蚤` is nine-stroke and `早` is six-stroke.
How could a "list" of Chinese characters have worked? They're logograms. How would anyone reading the list know what the meaning of the character is without knowing the character in the first place?
It has the same bootstrap requirement. You need to already know some basics for it to be useful.
> Biologically Asians are quite different from Europeans which results in quite different cultures. However because of Political Correctness and lacks of good methodologies, most sociologists ignore the fact that the brains of Asians are naturally different from those of Europeans just like the brains of females are different from those of males.
Which seems like total nonsense.
I just think from a practical perspective, making sweeping assumptions about the way someone is based off of their appearance or race is going to lead to many inaccurate and racist assumptions. I think it's abundantly clear that in the end, we're all humans and share similar enough capabilities that the distinctions lead nowhere meaningful.