From Lognet, issue 96/1.

Sau La Sacdonsu

(From the Start-Giver = Founder)

This is a distinguished issue. Four features distinguish it.

First, I had more pieces ready to print this time than I could use. As we go to press we still have three articles, two columns, and several long letters waiting in the wings. I can’t tell you how unusual that is! Ours is ordinariuly a hand-to-mouth operation; I’ve never had more than a letter or two or a spare column left over before. It may be that we’re about to become a proper periodical, soi crano, one of which the editor (tisra) is actually permitted to choose (tisra) from more stuff than e (that editor) can use.

Second, this issue marks a changing of the guard. As you can see from our backcover masthead, Kirk Sattley has, for the wisest of personal reasons, decided to give up the editorship of La Logli. K will now be devoting all of his L-dedicable time to the Keugru (Caretaking-Group). Aleks Leith has offered to take over the LL editorship from K, and no doubt we’ll hear from A next time about A’s plans for LL. As for K, in addition to participating in the language-shaping functions of the Keugru, K will be carrying on three other Keugru-related duties: 1) writing up its occasional Lognet reports (Sau La Keugru); 2) maintaining the “L1 Updater” for annual publication in La Logli; and 3) sharing with the other Kejgrudjo (Keugru-Members) his role as a snible of (close-looker-at) The Institute’s “official publications”. For example, Kirk is now engaged, as Bob and I are, in preparing Steve Rice’s Master’s Thesis, Loglan 3: Understanding Loglan, for serial publication in LL.

This decision of K’s was made possible by the arrival among us of a new tiftua (offering-worker), Alex Leith. (See A’s self-introductory letter in LN95/1:10; Wes Parsons will also make A the subject of a Profile in LN96/2.) A very kindly offered to take over the LL editorship, and K and I very happily accepted. So this stalled publication is now in the hands of a younger man. This is exactly how The Institute ought to work: younger people taking over the watches of older workers.

Speaking of which, is there a junti logli out there who would like to take over Lognet from this laldo turka, soi srisu? I could continue writing some sort of SLS and working on Lo Nurvia Logla; but the rest of LN, and putting it all together, could be this person’s baby. Any potential Lognet-penre out there?

The third distinguishing feature of this issue is that it bears a second epochal announcement. You are, however, forgiven in advance, soi crano, if you remain a mite skeptical about this one. But it really is true that Kirk had stacked up enough LL material before Alex took over to make at least three, and maybe four, 80-page issues! I don’t mean that three or four issues of this long-talked-about but so-far-unseen publication are actually ready to be taken to the printer. They’re not. Neither K nor A has got that far with them. But K had actually assembled about 300 pages of LL-usable material, which K is now in the process of turning over to A. How did that happen without an issue actually being issued? Slowly and carefully, soi crano. But the welcome fact is that K had assembled a veritable jugful of LL material, and was just about to pour it out into issues when the opportunity came along to hand the jug to A.

So it’s now (somewhat unfairly, soi crano) going to be Alex’s pleasure to prepare this Loglandical feast for us. Probably the first issue will consist of K’s L1 Updater plus the first seven lessons of Steve Rice’s Loglan 3, our long-awaited primer. (L3 will eventually be sixteen lessons long; but only the first seven have been accorded “official” status by the Keugru.) I know; I’ve said substantially this before. But until recently we’ve been a set of—if not grumpy, at least fairly slow—old men. With luck, A, a younger bloke, will change all that.

The next items on the LL menu that K had prepared for us are a set of longish but, I trust, fairly interesting technical papers. One is by Randall Holmes, our Cefli Lodtua, who considers ways of implementing some of W.V.O.Quine’s famous logical results for Loglan. A second is the “CACM Paper”, which got it’s name from being originally intended for the Communications of the Association of Computing Machinery. This was a long Institute paper addressed to computer folk about how a group of us had built the machine grammar of Loglan in the years 1978-1982; and it had been lovingly co-authored by some members of that working group (Scott Burson (then Layson), Bob McIvor, and me) joined by two of our computer-scientists (Chris Handley and Richard Kennaway). The paper was submitted several years ago to CACM; but even by that time several years had passed since the work was done, and other techniques for doing similar things had evidently been invented. CACM’s editors apparently felt that our paper was a bit too old-fashioned for them to publish. (But as Kirk says, they simply failed to perceive it as the historical document it had become, a fascinating sidelight on the use of computer science to solve a previously unsolved—and at the time “unsolvable”—linguistical problem: writing a computable grammar for a speakable language.) So a year or two ago K and I revived the CACM Paper by deciding that our logli, at least, deserved access to this historic document. That paper, too, is ready now for an early LL berth. The third paper is my own “Oranienbaum Paper”, the one I gave to the Language Origins Society in Oranienbaum, Russia, in the summer of 1993. It has a jocular title—“What Can be Learned about Language Origins by Thirty Years of Attempting to Teach a Logical Language to Humans?”...or some such thing—and will, I think, be of special interest to logli. You are, after all, the “humans” who have endured those efforts of mine, and who have, in any case, accompanied me on this remarkable journey.

I think you’ll agree that LL has a pretty fine trio of monographs coming up. Add K’s annual updater of L1 to them, stir in those seven lessons from S’s L3—they’ll probably number more than seven by the time they first appear—and then shoehorn in the rest of A’s “Nepo Neri Vizgoi La Loglandias”, a novelette whose first installment appears on pages 18-27 of this issue of LN, and I think you’ll agree that the long wait while LL was secretly building toward this mighty blooming was definitely worth whatever patience you have bestowed on it.

There is a fourth distinction. This is one I hesitate to mention because it involves an outrageously early esthetic judgement; but as I am never bashful about such things, soi crano, I‘ll make it. For this issue also introduces the community of logli—and such lojbi as may be reading it, soi crano—to the work of someone who may eventually prove to be Loglandia’s Charles Dickens. I am talking about Aleks Liq again. I’ve been dealing with cninu logli, mrenu ce botci, for a long time now...trying for “thirty years”, as the title of my Oranienbaum Paper suggests (actually, it’s been more like forty!), to teach others to handle more robustly than most humans do now that natural capacity for clear thinking that I believe resides in all our heads...but one so “sicklied o’er”, if Whorf is right, “by the pale cast of natural-language thought”—if you will permit me that rude intrusion on Shakespeare’s line—that very few of us have found enough of it to enjoy. In all that time I have never dealt with anyone who reached higher into the giddy structure of Loglan sooner, or who has used the alien resources of that language with greater effect, or who has actually achieved more in the way of literary...well, if not actual merit yet, at least more literary fun, than Aleks Liq has. As you see, I expect great things of A, as A expects of Loglan.

Loglan ze Aleks Liq. It should make an interesting couple to watch.

You’ve noticed, I expect, that this is Lognet 96/1. That is because Christmas and our many welcome visitors—of whom Randall Holmes and his family made several—pushed us over into 1966 with Lognet 95/3 undone. So it got rebaptized. Our thirdly journal will probably now come out in January, May, and September.

I also want to call attention to the interestingly logical flavor of this issue. In Lo Lerci there are three letters from our Cefli Lodtua (Chief Logic-Worker), Randall Holmes, on matters logical; there is both a letter and an essay from another lodtua, Jerome Frazee, bearing on our search for a logically defensible subjunctive; there is James Jenning’s major paper on the possible use of a new modal logic as a basis for the elusive L subjunctive; and there is my own paper on a fundamental ontological distinction between sets and not easily made in natural language and kin to the set-multiple distinction I drew for you last time. It would appear that the logical interests of logli are developing.

Finally, if there are any logli who’d rather buy L3 in parts as a notebook filler than as, say, three 80-page issues of LL, please let me hear from you. —JCB