wonder, surprise, or incredulity [Language]

dear dear,

“actually kyle…”
and i changed my mind

and i changed yours


Left behind [Music]

In early 2003 I mined my record collection for samples to create the following musical-collage:

Wally Glutton - Things to come

I later made some changes to this track to produce:

Wally Glutton - Incremental Changes - Etc Mix

I’m not sure the changes improved the track. Actually, many of the voice samples are less intelligible on the this version.

The second version highlights the music of fellow Winnipegger Equanim. His album Instrumental Language is available online care of Balanced Records.


Last Friday I sent the following via email to some friends, as well as to ask.metafilter:

According to Leibniz, a theory must be simpler than the data it explains. In other words (for the nerds amongst us), understanding equals compression.

I challenge you to help me understand this via a thought-experiment:

Let’s take two experiences we are all familiar with: Pleasure and Pain.

Explain the difference between these two experiences.

There is (of course) no “correct” answer; however, I ask that you attempt to use as few words as possible to explain your answer.

If you’d like to add to the debate, hit me up with a comment. I’ll be compiling the responses this weekend.

It’s interesting to note that the question was removed from ask.metafilter for being too meta.


Via Uncle Ken in T-Dot:

  • Motorist throws food out of window.
  • Courier, disliking littering, picks up food and throws food back in car.
  • Motorist dumps coffee on courier.
  • Courier scratches car with key.
  • Road rage ensues.


And finally, from the stungeye archives: My Winnipeg, Against the Reality.

revealed [Language]

It is interesting to note that orthodox Hinduism believes that the language of the Vedas is eternal and revealed in its wording and word order. Evidence for this belief is found in the Vedas itself, where in the Upanishads they are described as the very “breath of God” (nihsvasitam brahma).

The Vedas are therefore considered the language of reality, so to speak, and are unauthored, even by God, the rishis or seers ascribed to them being merely individuals gifted with a special insight into reality with the power of perceiving these eternal sounds. At the beginning of every cycle of creation, God himself “remembers” the order of the Vedic words and propagates them through the rishis.

It may be interesting to note that Hinduism encourages the Vedic mantras to be interpreted as liberally and as philosophically as possible.

A pull quote from the last culling of links

two chariot wheels [Meme Propagation]

The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five-dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way…

—Isaac Asimov thought that The Last Question was his best short story.

Tolkien recalls how he once saw the words Adeiladwyd 1887 cut on a stone-slab. It was a revelation of beauty. “It pierced my linguistic heart,” he recalls. “Most English-speaking people…will admit that cellar door is ‘beautiful’, especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful. Well then, in Welsh for me cellar doors are extraordinarily frequent, and moving to the higher dimension, the words in which there is pleasure in the contemplation of the association of form and sense are abundant.”

“Nobody believes me when I say that [Lord of the Rings] is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real”

Tolkien’s Not-So-Secret Vice [Related: Woody and Tinny Words & Beautiful words in English]

Meditation consists of two aspects or components. The first, called shamatha in Sanskrit, is the step by step development of mental and physical calmness (stopping). The second, vipashyana, is the step by step heightening of awareness, sensitivity and observation (seeing).

Stopping is the wholesome resource that nurtures the mind. Seeing is the marvelous art which fosters intuitive understanding.

How Meditation Works


Transplanted [Language]

Gezellig (Geh-ZEL-ick) - companionable, sociable, convivial, snug, cozy, social.

A gezellig environment is one that allows good times to happen. It’s almost like a vibe. And it’s contagious. A gezellig place is cozy and inviting and full of gezellig things that make it so gezellig.

via {f} {gi) {gv}

Currently, number six.

The Dutch explain through Wikipedia Nederlands: Gezelligheid translated using Bablefish.

The evolution of vibe.

Side note: The contents of these links will morph with time.

When there's nothing left to burn... [Meme Propagation]

…you have to set yourself on fire.


A few days ago I stumbled across An Experimental Study of the Emergence of Human Communication Systems [pdf] by Bruno Galantucci.

From the abstract:

Pairs of participants played video games requiring communication. Members of a pair were physically separated but exchanged graphic signals through a medium that prevented the use of standard symbols (e.g., letters). Communication systems emerged and developed rapidly during the games, integrating the use of explicit signs with information implicitly available to players and silent behavior-coordinating procedures.

Yesterday, serendipity lead me to discover the Nicaraguan Sign Language (NLS).

By 1983 there were over 400 deaf students enrolled in the two [Nicaraguan deaf] schools. […] The [language] program achieved little success, with most students failing to grasp the concept of words. However, while the children remained linguistically disconnected from their teachers, the playground […] provided fertile ground for them to communicate with each other, and by combining gestures and elements of their home-sign systems, […] they were creating their own language.

You can watch a 5 minute documentary on NLS over at PBS.

It’s interesting to note that NLS would not have developed if these children had been older than 7, when our language absorption(/creation) faculties begin to fade. If NLS is any indication, the bulk of our world’s 6300 languages was developed by young children.

Side note: That last sentence sounds funny with ‘was’ beside a plural, but I assure you that the verb is in agreement with ‘bulk’ not ‘languages’. ;)

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:—
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

And so begins As Man Thinketh [Also here], James Allen’s turn of the century take on the power of thought.

Further off topic: An atheist speaks with god.


two for the price of one [Travel]

My favorite letter in the Dutch alphabet is 'ij', pronounced "eye". This letter -yes, two characters can be a single letter- puzzled me when I first arrived in Amsterdam. Locals would laugh when I pronounced mijn (English translation: my) with a 'j' sound in the middle.

Then one afternoon, I saw the word bedrijf (company) written in cursive.

Try this yourself: Grab a pen/paper and write the word "bedrijf" in cursive. What does the 'ij' remind you of?

'ij' in cursive = ÿ (A y with a diaeresis.)

The Dutch alphabet doesn't contain a 'y'. I find it fascinating that they would represent the 'y' sound with this cursive pseudo-y.

Check the Wikipedia entry on the Dutch Y.


Side note: I bought a computer, and hope to be Net enable in a week or so.

Emphasis theirs [Sticker]

The idea puzzled me. The execution more so.

Four cards were to be made.

The first -a poetic prequel- was to be related solely through the dimensions of the card stock, and the font.

figure parse

The remaining cards were to form the idea triage; the literal, symbolic, and fancy-full componets -all which I mistook to be equivalent.

figure muted

figure biz


()}{{})( "aren't ready for the Net yet", so they have no website.

Pardon me? [Travel]

In certain parts of Spain, 'C's and 'Z's are often pronounced as 'TH's. Whereas, I might be inclined to express my thanks with "Grassy-ass", a local will say "Gra-thi-as" or "Gra-thi-a." Similarly, the word "plaza" is spoken as "pla-tha."

I can't help but imagine hoards of lisping Roman soldiers, spreading their Vulgar Latin, through-out the Iberian Peninsula, during the 3rd to 1st century B.C.

Our bus to Portimao, Portugal, leaves in a couple hours. I'm told the pronunciation of Portuguese can be tricky for foreigners; the vowel sounds are often muted, or nasalised. Our phrase book describes one tourists impression of the language, as sounding like "a drunken Frenchman trying to speak Spanish."

Cucumber Cool [Meme Propagation]




  • PaperFormers - Print, cut, and fold, these paper Transformers.
  • Philosophy of Art - A group weblog on philosophy of art and its various relationships to mind, ethics, and culture.

Beekind [Meme Propagation]

I heard a knocking at my window, just now. I discovered a woodpecker, climbing the wooden-edged frame, of the opened window, across the hall.




Creative Commons License Valid CSS!