From Lognet, issue 93/4.
Wes Parsons, our President, General Counsel, and last year’s Fundraiser, is now wearing a fourth Loglan hat! Wes is now our PRP (“Public Relations Person”), having volunteered to take over this role from Joanne Sattley. His first project will be to prepare a series of biographical profiles of our more prominent logli, starting with the one on Steve Rice in this issue. Thank you, Wes, for cultivating this longneglected human dimension of our community life. Between Bill Gober’s occasional reports of his visits to the backstreets of Loglandia and Wes’s profiles of real world logli, we have a good chance of coming to know more about who and what we are.
Interviewing logli and writing up profiles is not the only thing Wes will be doing under his fourth hat. He also wants to know about any newsworthy thing any of you might be doing: publishing papers, taking trips, attending meetings, taking on new projects; even about the odd award or two our logli might be receiving. Please let him know about these things. Write him in care of The Institute or directly through CompuServe, where his email address is 70413,464.
Talking about volunteers, we need some M13 extenders. The original input files to these programs—all written before our GPA (“Going Public Again”) in 1989—need updating, refurbishing, extending, buttressing with new and more ambitious teaching inputs that will take the user to new competence heights. Who’d like to take that on? Write either me or Dr. McIvor about this.
I’ve already mentioned the LIP/LOD magic, but let me illustrate what I mean by mentioning the Loglan correspondence that’s been blooming amongst us ever since LOD arrived in our hands. It now resides alongside the powerful LIP in our machines; and nearly all of us who’ve been lucky enough to have both these textexamining tools available to us at once have experienced a sudden increase in both our desire and our capacity to be Loglan writers, at least; and this may be a harbinger of an emerging speaking confidence as well. In any case, LOD does appear to be a powerful stimulant to logla creativity. It is so easy to use! The clivi logla that appears in the Lo Nurvia Logla in this issue, for example, would probably never have happened without it. It is too soon to tell yet, but the publication of LOD may have signalled a quantum leap in our development as a language community.
Bob McIvor, our Cefli Purbuu Tisra and the builder of LOD, asks for your help in improving it. When, as a LOD user, you propose a new preda to him (as you undoubtedly will), or the revision of the placestructure of an old one, please assign one of Loglan’s eleven cases to each of its places; see L1:247. You can do this by using the initial letters of the case tags associated with those cases (B, C, D, F, etc.) as “dummy arguments” in the definition. Remember how we used X, Y, W, H, Q as arguments in the Lside definitions of the 1975 dictionary? We think that using variables in this way makes the definitions much clearer, and we wish to use this system again; only this time, we want to give casetag information along with the dummy arguments. Thus, suppose you want to propose that donsu ...gives...to... be changed back to the way it was in 1989: ...gives to...gift... (with the recipient in 2nd place). Bob asks you to propose a case structure along with the case change, for example, by writing K gives to D gift B. What these initials will mean to the knowing reader is that Actor K (from kao/kakto) gives Recipient D (from dio/dirco) Patient B (from beu/bekti), thus reminding u (that user) of the richness of the Loglan case system, and of the tags u may use at u’s discretion to express s. It will take some time to execute this massive revision in our entrywriting conventions. But never mind. We’ve got some time before the GWE (“Great Whorfian Experiment”) takes place, and at the new prices The Institute has just announced elsewhere in this issue, we’ll soon, we trust, have plenty of LODusers to help us do it. Besides, doing this will teach you the case system. By the way, don’t forget that the “lesser than” place tag mao has been replaced by jui; see the Sau La Keugru in this issue for the reason.
Our Cefli Lodtua, M. Randall Holmes, has an article in this issue that may be very significant. H undertakes to answer, and to integrate into H’s present thinking, an argument H presented in LN93/2:1012 that Loglan was not likely to generate important Whorfian effects. This time H shows us how L might well have such effects, and if so, where e are likely to come from. In doing so, H comes to the same conclusion, and from very similar premises, that I had reached in my recent LOS paper, the one given in Oranienbaum, Russia last August. (This paper is now, by the way, on Kirk’s desk, and may appear in LL before long; but see my second call for a helper for K below.) Another significant consequence of H’s argument is the crucial importance H places on providing “logically defensible interpretations” of every new usage we adopt., and making serious efforts to teach our logli how to use these u correctly. I expect you’ll see some very serious e in this direction in the coming months. (This is the end of this month’s exercise in reading loglastyle anaphora, soi crano.)
Here’s an idea: we have a Library Fund. How about starting a new fund to buy modems, and maybe even computers, for those logli who cannot, these days, afford to join us on the networks, and who’d be part of our enetwork if they had the necessary equipment? I know several people right now, one of whom is both a logician and a quadriplegic, who would very much enjoy ecorresponding with the rest of us on the logli net, and who would probably have some serious contributions to make if he could join us, and whom I’d buy a modem in a minute if The Institute had a Fund for this kind of gift. Hu nu jupni tu? Anyone want to make a kickoff contribution to such a Fund? “Seed money,” I believe it’s called.
The Logla Tiftua Grupa has an abiding problem which we discuss from time to time but which we do not know how to solve. We have become keenly aware, even embarrassedly so at times, of the high energy and involvement that we seem to be generating in the “inner circles” of Loglandia, and how we do not, sadly, seem to be evoking the same kind of energy from logli in the “outlying reaches” of our community. The big difference between the center and the periphery seems to be accessibility by email. The mechanical contrast in communication technologies is huge. There are those we can talk to “instantly”, as it were: pose a problem to, send information to in the blink of an eye; and there are those to whom we have to mail xeroxed copies of typedup documents if we want them to consider something, documents which have to be stuffed in envelopes, weighed, addressed, and postage stuck on. The difference is between the friend you made in Paris last year, and whom you will with luck see one or two times again, and the guy across the hall. How can we solve this problem? How can we get our omail logli (‘o’ for ‘ordinary’) as deeply and actively involved in loglo activities as our email logli already are? Or is the solution to somehow get all of us on email? If that’s the solution, how do we manage it?
Some of you will miss Bill Gober’s column from this issue, as from the one before. Bill’s not entirely absent, because he’s the main draftsman of our SLK column in this issue. But it is true that he had planned a piece on the ways of comparisonmaking in L for this issue—or was it for the one before?—and that topic got rather seriously unsettled by some extended discussions we’ve been having in the Keugru on the logic of comparison. These discussions have lasted for several months now. But we do seem to be nailing something down at last; see this issue’s SLK. And when we do, Bill will be back to talk to us about it.
Jim Smith is also absent from this issue. He really doesn’t have time to be EditorinChief of Lognet; so a couple of issues ago we made him Dzabi Nurkae Tisra (“Real World Editor”), and I’ve taken on his former coordinating role along with mine. Jim should really enjoy his new role; he’s a natural for it. He seems naturally to keep his ear tuned to the real world happenings that bear on Loglan; and I hope he will undertake to organize us, from time to time, for real world involvements like actually going to conventions, soi crano, or having gettogethers of our own. If you know of something happening, or threatening to happen, or that could be made to happen, that might amuse or instruct our logli, why don’t you write Jim and tell him about it? If you’re very quick about it, you might just apprise him of it before he learns of it himself, soi crano.
Kirk Sattley, our La Logli Editor, still needs associate editors. The burden of accumulating papers and translations, plus the sheer work of editing and formatting long compositions like Steve Rice’s L0, is proving more than Kirk can do in timely fashion by himself. You recall that he retired for medical reasons several years ago, so he has limited energy. Unfortunately our other volunteers are up to their necks in their own tasks and so can’t help out. So we really do need one or two new tiftua, Hoi Logli. Consult your souls and see if you can’t find the desire, the need—or, god forbid, even the duty, soi crano—to help us with this important project. I’m sure that once LL starts appearing with some regularity, there will be contributions enough to fill its 80 pages two or three times a year, and if Kirk has one or two helpers, they could actually prepare and publish that many issues. What kind of help does K need? Reading manuscripts; suggesting improvements to their authors; coming to agreements with those authors and executing the agreedto edits; formatting the pieces in LL form; and writing occasional “filler pieces” of specified lengths.
Steve Rice is presenting his L0 book to the University of Alaska this winter as his M.A. thesis. I believe his degree is going to be from the English Department this time, and that it is in Technical Writing. Quite an M.A. thesis!
What about renumbering L0 as L3? The third position in our Loglan library is now empty, as the “programmedteaching” text that once occupied it is now permanently out of print; and zero subscripting is a bit precious, soi crano. The idea of using ‘L3’ for Steve’s new book comes originally from Michael Demoulin, the logli who put together the Loglan Study Group now meeting in Lafayette, Louisiana. This is the group that is even now using L0 in draft form. I discussed Mike’s renaming idea with Steve, and he thinks it a pretty good one. Hu nu jupni tu? Is anyone so fond of the puckish ‘L0’ that he or she would be disappointed if we changed it?
Alan Gaynor is also doing a Master’s thesis with, about, and partly in Loglan. His is being offered the New School of Social Research, of New York City, through the Science and Technology program of their Media Studies Department. Alan’s thesis is that Loglan is an ideal language in which to program a “Philosopher’s Assistant,” which, as far as I currently understand it, would be an expert system standing ready to help philosophers and scientists—and inquisitive plain people—examine the consequences of any set of premises they might offer it. Alan is not actually writing this program but indicating how it could be written; and I gather that he has so far put up a pretty good defense of this wildly Loglandian notion, soi crano. At least the computer scientist gurus on his committee haven’t thrown it out! Stay tuned.
Ae tu speni ne logla proju nirne ji la Nevevefo’n!