In short, these systems work fine for concrete vocabulary but completely fail for complex language, because language is too abstract. The Blissymbols for abstract words are somewhat suggestive but still must be learned individually, which is the whole thing he was trying to avoid.
My favorite part is that the inventor was supposedly a total jerk to the nurse that was in charge of the program using the symbols, but she still took care of him later in life.
There are a lot of people out there who are barely literate; although for obvious reasons probably not so many of them make it to HN. If someone don't know how to spell and needs to communicate in a latin script they have a couple of chances. Sounding things out, guessing at spellings for words that have only been heard, etc.
The idea is interesting and worth exploring; but ultimately I'd worry that it will be exclusionary and hard to work with for people who don't do much written communicating.
Humans are quite good at optimizing language without even thinking about it. This is a fact that almost all conlangs ignore. They are a fun mental exercise for linguists, but will ultimately never see any serious usage.
This happens in China
When I used to spend time with a Mandarin speaker, he explained to me that written Chinese is the same throughout the country, but the dialects are often so different that they can't understand each other.
It would be as if all romance languages were written the same way, so that written Italian, Spanish, French, ect, were the same.
And again, presuming here, but the outcome is a language that fails to adapt to the culture(s) that depends on it, and thereby becomes useless. Language, as we know it, evolved over an expansive period of time, from the first association of sounds to objects, now all the way to complex written grammar that includes some half-dozen tenses, some gendered, singulars/plurals, etc. We can describe things with written language that are otherwise indescribable with physical or spoken language, like the Portuguese saudade (a physical and emotional state of intense, fixated longing for someone or something that is absent, or which existed previously in a different state).
Not true. A lot of folk in the conlanging community, perhaps inspired by the world-building of Tolkien, very deliberately set their languages in a physical world, and a historical continuum.
As a concrete example, have a look at Biblaridion's video about Ilothwi here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpXsrBd2xn8
This tends to be the case for ppl impressed by Chinese characters from the outside. When you do have some understanding you realise that it is a very cumbersome writing system and one that places an unnecessary learning burden on its users.
If this is unusual, it's unusual by coincidence. It happens to me all the time that I'll hear something in Chinese, or see pinyin, and completely fail to understand it, even though it's easy for me to read the same phrase in characters and I know their pronunciation.
My Chinese and Japanese friends tell me that when they have traveled to Japan or China they have used a pen and paper to communicate basic things.
One challenge is that character simplification is somewhat out of sync between communist China (Taiwan and Hong Kong rejected simplification) and Japan, so sometimes a character will be hard to understand even though I know its original or differently simplified form.
A final point: I can read enough Chinese characters to be amused when I see a Chinese takeout restaurant with an English name that has no relationship to its Chinese name.
金 - gold
銀 - silver
鉄 - iron
鉛 - lead
Note that the first one appears as the left side of the others as a semantic marker.
(No, I don't have it all memorized, and I doubt many do.)
For example, to express something like "I went to the grocery store yesterday", the corresponding Japanese sentence would be structured like this: "I <topic-marker> grocery store <destination-marker> yesterday <time-marker> go-<past-tense-suffix>".
Though, the article states that there are about 2300 symbols. That seems very excessive, and if there's no way of interpreting without memorizing (would it then still be ideographic though?), it doesn't seem very useful to me.
I'm betting this person vastly underestimated the number of pidgins and creoles that have popped up ad-hoc in random places in the world.
The key adjective that you quoted is "interlinguistic" which is a planned language for international communication. From the wikipedia page:
>Interlinguistics, as the science of planned languages, has existed for more than a century as a specific branch of linguistics for the study of various aspects of linguistic communication. Interlinguistics is a discipline formalized by Otto Jespersen in 1931 as the science of interlanguages, i.e. contact languages tailored for international communication.
As you said, pidgins & creoles are unplanned/organic/adhoc -- so they're not deliberately interlinguistic.
And also another podcast from NPR:
I found the Radiolab one entertaining.