July 7th, 2006

beartato phd

(no subject)

I was poking around in my old paper journals today, and I found the following thing amusing in its sheer impractical nerdiness. I have tried to stay true to the primaary source document, accurately reproducing, I hope, the appalling typographical bad taste, impoverished vocabulary, questionable sense of grammar, and crappy spelling skillz that I had at the time.

The basic idea was just to have a collaborative constructive language project run within a Nomic, something that I still think is nostalgically/amusingly appealing, but I can't imagine you could easily get enough people together with enough interest and free time to make it work. I sure was obsessed with nomic at about that time, (and also, thanks to Hofstadter, unreservedly so with the prefix "meta-" without really understanding what it meant) but the linguistic angle was more of a novelty to me then, I think.

(TL5 pp.120-121, c. October 16th 1996)

Nomic Variant : METAlanguage
     Initial Set:

I. There exists the METALinguistic Committee
 (MLC) , and t and the set of
 players, both subsets of all
 living person. A person becomes
 a player by submitting a proposal
 to the MLC. All mumbers of the
 MLC are also players.

 The MLC initially consists of [name].

II. Any player may make a proposal
 to the MLC, which must be published
 publicly. If no more than one-half, rounded down
 of the members of the MLC object
 within one week of the proposal's
 publishing, any portions of the
 proposal ordering any tof the following:
  • Making a player a member of the MLC
  • Removing a member of the MLC
  • Modifying the ruleset
 will take effect.

III. The MLC is charged with the
 responsibility of devising
 a language wholly dissimilar
 from any existing natural
 language and gradually modifying
 the ruleset to be written
 wholly in this language. Any
 proposal making this task
 more difficult directly or
 indirectly, or makes it
 completely impossible, should
 be objected to.
beartato phd

(no subject)

Ah, here is the book I should have got about tie-tying! krasnoludek did point me to a paper by the same authors, but not soon enough for me to get the full benefit of it, I suppose.

The review in Nature by Gregory Buck of this book is pretty hilarious:

[...] I am a modern American mathematician, well-schooled in the sartorial traditions of my field, and so would perhaps be a natural reviewer for a book entitled The Well-Wrinkled Tee Shirt or, perhaps, Wearing Sandals in the Snow. However, I teach at a liberal arts college, and so can wear a tie while teaching when I want to without risking my mathematical reputation — of course, for conferences I pull my clothes out of the bottom of the dirty laundry pile like everyone else. (My colleagues in the economics department scoff at my tie-wearing, considering it too infrequent to be taken seriously, but they are extremists — I am pretty sure they wear ties with their pyjamas.) [...]
beartato phd

(no subject)

Another good find from the ol' paper journals:

(TL23a p.47, July 13th 2003)

Amusing example phrases from the Yiddish section of "Germanic Languages":

"he got married but he didn't have a real wedding"
"he doesn't want to marry a Norwegian"
"he should announce that a goat of his was lost"
"what do I need a wife for?"
"what should I give you ten kopeks for all of a sudden?"
"so why are you walking around without pants?"
"where on earth is the second drumstick?"
"let's just try to ask the first guy we meet"
"then don't kiss me on the head!"
"then go and prove you're not a bear!"
"I'm cold and wet"