QUOTE(Qcks @ May 19 2012, 02:35 PM)
I think divorcing and ignoring the cultural context of the ideogram/pictogram is only so-so useful in that there's always going to be a context that developes as the pictogram/ideogram is used. Divorcing it from a given culture is useful if that culture is so foreign as to prevent an outsider from ever having a chance of honestly understanding that context, but it does nothing to prevent your own context from building up around a given focus, which may negatively effect the meaning of the symbol.
An important point, and normally I am more interested in what a culture thinks about something than what essential qualities it might have. That is actually why I am doing a ideogram. I am forced to deal with the essentialism. I wanted to see if there was something, anything, I could say is quintessentially money. It seems not, but I did learn something.
Continuing to meditate on both the Bagua and the ideogram produced how the two diverge. Using the millenia of meaning built up around the Bagua leads to a more energetic understanding of money. While my ideogram seems to have lead me not to any essential qualities but rather to a richer understanding of how I (and perhaps my culture) think, use and interact with money.
I am still interested to see how others represent the idea of money. It may or may not illuminate some universal properties but it would be fun to see.