The common feature seems to be a contract between two parties that begin as equal in which one agrees to become subordinate. later as the state became more centralized we mainly hear about fu presented to officials as a means of conveying order
so ineq and carhart-harris entropy law et al
paper version of such debt contracts, ripped in half and reunited..
why propitious omens were called ‘fu’ signs that heaven approved of the ruler, just as natural disaster were a sign that he had strayed..
chinese ideas grow closer to chirstian ones.. but chinese conception of cosmos had one crucial diff: since no absolute gulf between world and beyond.. contractual relation s w gods were by no means out of the question
monks ordained thru ceremony called ‘rending the tally’ ripping apart a piece of paper that rep’d a contract w heaven..
just looking at a yin yang symbol.. easy to imagine left and right (sometimes too male and female) halves of a tally..
a tally does away w need for witnesses, if two surfaces agree (fit back together) everyone knows the agreement between contracting parties exists as well.. this is why aristotle saw it as a fit metaphor for words: word a corresponds to concept b because there is a tacit agreement that we shall act as if it does..
The striking thing about tallies is that even though they might begin as simple tokens of friendship and solidarity, in almost all the later examples, what the two parties actually agree to create is a relation of inequality: of debt, obligation, subordination to another’s orders.
yesterday via thomas:
Thank you for consistently bringing this to my attention @monk51295. https://t.co/6kySpuM4IQ
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/listenaddress/status/1347536055340326917
ha.. links to long thread of me saying this (didn’t know you could gather tweets like that – evidence of a broken record)