I no longer have as favorable a view of Chinese characters/Japanese kanji as I used to. I now think they have their strong and bright points, but are generally shot. They are way, way too complex and just chock full of nonsense. They are old–primitive attempts at representing ideas graphically. Their forms are limited by the fact that they were originally written with brush and ink. Modern writing instruments allow much more versatility–neat little circles, filling in, and much more detail.
In the short selection below of kanji and their id equivalents, I would guess that the ids take generally a fifth or less time to write. And ids represent things and ideas with more true-to-lifeness and thus are much easier to recognize. On top of that, ids are embedded in “families” with the same or related components for related ideas. A major class of these families is “graphic opposites,” in which ideas with opposite meanings are represented with graphically opposing elements–see good/bad, short/long, and the directions NSEW. Compare these ids to the kanji and you’ll see that the ids are much clearer and simpler.
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