lojbo karni number 8
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Copyright, 1989, 1991, by the Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA Phone (703) 385-0273 firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved. Permission to copy granted subject to your verification that this is the latest version of this document, that your distribution be for the promotion of Lojban, that there is no charge for the product, and that this copyright notice is included intact in the copy. le lojbo karni Number 8 - February 1989 Published by: The Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031 USA (703)385-0273 This publication is the news and product announcements section of Ju'i Lobypli, the quarterly publication of The Logical Language Group, Inc., known in these pages as la lojbangirz. la lojbangirz. is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of completing and spreading the logical human language "Lojban". le lojbo karni has been split off as a separate publication, but retains the number of the corresponding issue of Ju'i Lobypli. Your returned questionnaires indicated that a substantial number of you did not have time to read the longer Ju'i Lobypli publication. In the interests of keeping you informed with less time expenditure, le lojbo karni will continue to bring you news. Ju'i Lobypli will be continue to be published quarterly within a couple of weeks of this publication, and the expected contents will be summarized in this publication. This issue of le lojbo karni will be distributed to about 400 people, including all JL subscribers. Some 275 of you will receive Ju'i Lobypli. You are scheduled to receive Ju'i Lobypli if the level code on the top line of your mailing label is "1", "2", or "3", but not if it is "0". See below for a discussion of mailing label codes. If you listed as mailing code "0", YOU MUST WRITE TO US TO RECEIVE Ju'i Lobypli. This issue of le lojbo karni contains 12 pages of news. We are also including as one-time inserts, a copy of the revised Lojban brochure and the new "Overview of Lojban". These will be the first two things given to any new Lojbanist, and will hopefully provide basics as to what Lojban is all about. As a result, newcomers will be more prepared to understand the writings in Ju'i Lobypli, le lojbo karni, and our other publications. In the future, le lojbo karni will be without extra attachments. It will probably average less than 10 pages in length. Your contributions to voluntary balances and donations are needed to defray our costs. The questionnaire response to JL7 was great, and we received enough contributions to pay for JL7. However, over 100 of you still have never responded, and some 300 of you have negative balances. Others are paying for your materials; we are having to use donations to pay for your copies, and this is preventing our using that money to develop new publications and reach out to new people. (We know some of you can't afford to pay, and that's fine if you continue to keep in touch.) We strongly ask that those who can do so at least cover your negative balances, paying only for that which you have already received. Potential donors please note: we have not received IRS approval for Section 501(c)(3) status, which will officially allow your donations (not contributions to your voluntary balance) to be tax-deductible. We hope to have such approval by the end of the year. We are operating in accordance with that section, and your contributions now should be deductible if approval is obtained later, although there is always the possibility of disapproval. We will inform all donors at the end of the year as to the status of deductibility of their gifts. We also note for all potential donors that our bylaws require us to spend no more than 30% of our receipts on administrative and overhead expenses, and that you are welcome to make you gifts conditional upon our meeting this requirement. Your Mailing Label We've simplified your mailing label, and now report to you only your current mailing status, and your current voluntary balance including this issue. Please notify us if you wish to be in a different mailing code category. Balances reflect contributions received thru 20 February. Mailing codes (and approximate annual balance needs) are defined as follows: Level B - Product Announcements Only Level 0 - le lojbo karni only - $5 balance requested Level 1 - le lojbo karni and Ju'i Lobypli - $15 balance requested Level 2 - Level 1 materials and baselined/final products - $20 balance requested Level 3 - Level 2 materials and teaching materials as developed - $50 balance or more News of This Issue Results of JL7 Questionnaire - page 2 Products - page 3 Education - page 6 LogFlash PC revised DC Lojban Class Starts MAC LojFlash Users Take Note Status of Other Classes gismu Flash Cards Available Advertising and Publication Efforts Other New Products Other News - page 8 Research and Development - page 5 News for non-USA Lojbanists Lojban Parser Status No News from The Institute Lojban Grammar Status 1988 Financial Report Textbook Reviewers Wanted 1989 Budget Note on Our Prices 2 lei lojbo - A continuing Lojban comic strip - page 11 Contents of Ju'i Lobypli #8 - page 11 Enclosures Product List and Order Form Lojban Brochure: la lojban mo Overview of Lojban Results of JL7 Questionnaire We've had a very good response rate to the questionnaire we sent out with JL7. About 100 of you responded, and we are still getting a few responses trickling in now, over two months later. Thank you for letting us know you care. And thank you for expressing the many and varied opinions we've received. The most important response we got led to the separation between this news section and JL8. About 20% of the respondents indicated that JL8 was too long. We followed up on a few responses, and determined that some of you are not really ready to learn the language, some are awaiting a final product before they get actively involved, and some just simply don't have time to read a long journal like JL. Coupled with the large number of people who still have never responded, it made sense to separate this news section and send it to everyone. Then we will send JL8 only to those who we believe want the greater information that publication includes. After sorting your responses, we still have plenty of JL subscribers to use bulk rate, so the result costs us (and therefore you) much less. The only pain is the extra mailing labor, and we are reducing that problem by not using envelopes on LK8 (le lojbo karni #8) bulk rate mailing. Besides this decision, we found you well divided on most other questions. For each category of article, there were people who wanted more, and people who wanted less of that type. In general, most of you want more teaching materials and translations. A few of you prefer that we have more original Lojban as opposed to English translations. We'll try, but there are only a couple of us who can write Lojban, and you can see how bad my poetry is. A lot of our Lojban writings are going into the textbook, too. English translations are apparently to be avoided since they end up being very complex - The Lord's Prayer was cited as an example by some. A significant portion of you wanted fewer letters and responses, and follow-up discussions with some of you indicated that you want a bit more screening and editing to make sure more of the stuff is relevant. We'll try, but what is relevant to some is irrelevant to others. As I've said, there are numerous reasons for supporting Lojban development, and different people place their priorities differently. I suspect, however, that the quality of letters will improve as more people learn the language. The one question we didn't get a clear response on was whether to report the news of other projects. A few of you wanted no such news - you are interested in Lojban. Some query why we give 'free advertising to the competition'. Others, however, want more such news; their support for us is predicated on the fact that we are the ones who regularly provide such news, even when it isn't favorable to us. We will try to keep both viewpoints in mind, and concentrate on news that is relevant to our efforts. Since 'competition' isn't our purpose, it will not guide our selection. It may be irrelevant - there isn't a lot of news to print. Speaking about negative news, about 35 of the respondents were people asking to be dropped. Many did so because they didn't have time for Lojban; some felt their interest level didn't justify our expenses. A few asked to be dropped until we had a textbook completed. Only one person dropped as an expression of disapproval of our activities with respect to The Loglan Institute, Inc.; Dr. Brown of that organization had called for people to cancel their subscriptions to JL as a measure of protest. We received several letters of support after his request. We think the vote is decisive. The 35 dropouts were balanced by a greater number of new people, so that our numbers grew this time even with the large number of deletions. We also received contributions from a larger number of people than ever before, although the total amount was less than that received after JL5. Products LogFlash PC revised Nora has revised LogFlash so that it no longer takes words from the New Word pile randomly. Instead, the words are arranged in the order that they are presented in the textbook. The program takes exactly your specified number of New Words from the pile, in that order. If you have too many words 'in play', and your daily lesson time has gotten too large, you specify to 'regroup' with a small number of new words per lesson - 1 or 2, perhaps - until your lesson times drop to an acceptable level. In addition, the words are separated into two sets. The first set has 900 words which can be studied and mastered. Then a separate utility program can be used to add the rest of the words in. This allows you to master a subset of the vocabulary, those words which we have put a priority on for the textbook, and then pick up the rest at your leisure. (Note - copies of LogFlash shipped in February and March will not have the utility, which is not yet tested; we will instead put all 1357 words in a single pile, so that this enhancement is not applicable.) 3 Based on our class experiences, we will probably make some changes to the word order in the final textbook, and possibly shrink the number of words in the first pile somewhat. This change is not likely until summer or fall. The order in the current LogFlash will therefore match the draft textbook lessons used in the first round of classes. The final change is that we have merged LogFlash 1 (gismu) and LogFlash 2 (rafsi) into a single, menu-driven program. This makes it easier to switch between the two programs when you are doing lessons in both. We had originally planned to sell LogFlash 2 for $20; instead we are selling the combined LogFlash 1 and 2 for $30, or $10 for upgrade from your current LogFlash 1 if you are registered. We have revised and drastically shortened the user's manual. We've been told that the old one was too long, and that no one read it, which kind of defeats the purpose. The new version doesn't have the helpful hints that the old one did, but perhaps it is short enough that people will read it. MAC LojFlash Users Take Note Two weeks ago (early February), one of our MAC LojFlash customers reported that there were a couple of garbled words in the data file and that it was impossible to get by these words. The following night, another user reported the same thing. Apparently the rest of you either haven't been using the program (we hope this isn't so), or had manually corrected the files using a text editor. The data transfer from the PC to the MAC was bad, so all MAC LojFlash disks probably share this defect. As a result, there are words missing. If you have corrected the file manually, you may not have matched the real data exactly. Since it is our fault, we will be shipping new disks out to you within a couple of weeks. If you send the bad diskettes back to us, we can reuse them, but you are not required to do so. We had a brief scare when one user reported that he had detected the SCORES and NVIR viruses on his diskettes. Checking with other users, including the one who made the copies for us, we found that none of them had either virus on their diskette, so the 'infection' did not come from us. Be wary of these viruses, of course. There are public domain programs that can detect them and clean them up; they apparently are somewhat technical to run, especially for the MAC II. We could distribute copies, but I suspect most of you can more conveniently get them from a local source, who can also help you run them. If anyone can't get these programs, let us know. gismu Flash Cards Available We were able to get gismu flashcards made at a quite reasonable price with two minor concessions to keep the price down. First, the cards do not come out sorted, so you must sort them manually if you want them in textbook order. We have lesson codes on each card to help with this. The second 'feature' is that the cards are printed only on one side. On that side we give the lesson code, the English keyword, and the English place structure definition. You must write the Lojban word and the rafsi on the other side. This seems like a big flaw, but we realized that writing the Lojban is an excellent way to review the words prior to your New Word lesson. So you take 20 cards (or however many), write the Lojban and rafsi on them, then test yourself. Since it cut several dollars off the price, and minimized problems with lining up card cuts, we believe it was worth it. We include a list of words in textbook lesson order to help in quickly sorting and labelling cards. We also have included some blank cards, cards for labelling your various lesson piles, and instructions for using the LogFlash teaching algorithm that was developed by Dr. Brown. One of our class students who has used flash cards to study several languages says that the LogFlash method works several times as well as any other technique he has tried for using cards. We thus strongly recommend that technique, though you can experiment with others. We are selling flash cards at a price of $12.00 for the first set, and $10 for each additional set (since we don't need to give you 2 copies of the card list and instructions). A lot of you expressed interest in flash cards on your questionnaires, but our finances will not allow sending them to you without a specific order. Other New Products We have had some criticism that some of you who are new to the language are confused by the terminology, and feel somewhat left out. This certainly isn't our intent - some of our most important contributions have been made by newcomers who worked at learning what was needed. But we don't want to give the impression to anyone that Lojban is 'too hard' to get into. As such, we've revised the Lojban brochure to cover the questions newcomers most frequently ask. The revision was done by Athelstan, who joined us only a year ago himself, and has been our most active recruiter, bringing in over 3 dozen new Lojbanists over the last few months. A lot of the problems newcomers face relate to the 'jargon' we use. I try to do better than previous writers on the language at explaining things as I go, a new problem has arisen. There are lot of you who know the basic terms so well now that to explain them every time is redundant. We also can't explain them well enough in the glossaries that we've been putting in JL each issue to serve newcomers needs. Thus, we have written the 'Overview of Lojban' as a second step towards learning about the language after reading the brochure. This presents a lot of our terminology briefly, hopefully keeping things uncomplicated, and giving a few examples of the major points. The overview isn't complete or detailed enough to learn the language, but it should give you a framework sufficient to follow discussions in JL and in this publication, as well as aid you in grasping the 'big 4 picture' when you start to learn the language for yourself. Those of you with JL7 may gain some benefit in reviewing the 'quick tutorial sentences' after reading the overview. Some of the examples may then make more sense. We have included both the new brochure and the 'Overview of Lojban' with this mailing, since we want everyone to have the same basic information available to them, even those of you who are less active and are only getting le lojbo karni. Your comments are welcome, as usual. The draft grammar description has not been updated or revised. As a result of textbook writing, I should be able to do a much better job by rewriting it. Several of you have ordered it, and may have received it by now. Hopefully, it does some good; I won't recommend it to those of you who haven't gotten it. The cmavo list is more complete and is holding up fairly well, though portions are obsolete. There are only two or three words that are missing or which have changed, but the explanations are not nearly as good as I want them to be. Again, the textbook writing is leading to what will eventually be better explanations. The textbook is taking too much of our time for us to make teaching tapes at the same time. I've put together some decent recording equipment to allow us to make the tapes when we have time, but not yet, and I suspect I won't have time until after LogFest in June. Research and Development R&D progress will slow in a couple of months, since I'm going to have to go back to work so we can eat. Nora has supported me (and thus the bulk of the Lojban effort) for long enough, and our financial situation, my career status, and the short term outlook for Lojban all tell me that I can't continue as a full-time Lojban worker for free, and we aren't likely to become rich enough to pay anyone for quite a while. Lojban Parser Status There are at least 3 varieties of Lojban parsers in development. We will cover each in turn: 1. Most of our support is going towards Jeff Taylor's parser, since he has both the knowledge of parsing techniques and the Lojban grammar to make his time be used productively. He has been spending 10-15 hours per week since November on it, and just this week sent me the first usable version, based on the grammar as of the end of October. He is now updating it to reflect the grammar changes made since then. The parser seems to work quite nice. It is a preliminary version, and isn't ready for most of you to use, but it is a great start. There are a couple of problems in the grammar that are giving us a headache, although they are problems for the parser - not 'bugs' in the language. The most significant problem is the recovery of 'elidable' terminators. Lojban is unambiguous because every sub- structure that needs it is marked with cmavo that act something like parentheses. In most cases, the right parenthesis, or terminator, can be left out, or 'elided'. The rules for this are not easy to put into English though - the standard formulation is that you can leave them out whenever the result won't be ambiguous, which isn't too useful. It turns out that YACC's method of handling these markers is not correct for Lojban, and we are going to have to do some kind of 'backtracking error recovery' in the parser, for those familiar with the computer jargon. This is fairly sophisticated, and will take a while, but doesn't affect simple sentences. Jeff's parser is an improvement over the previous parser built with LYCES. It can take effectively unlimited strings of text. There will need to be a few 'bells and whistles' added before Jeff's parser is as useful to a learner as the older one, but it is reasonably up to date with the language, and has a few nice features of its own. 2. Jeff Prothero revised PLOP (Public Domain LO**AN Parser) late last year to reflect the October grammar, but he did not have time to write a lexer, which is needed to handle even simple sentences. A few of you have asked us for a copy, and hopefully he has responded. Jeff P., who invented that portion of the language dealing with 'elidable terminators' has solved that problem in PLOP, which IS a backtracking parser. But PLOP is fairly slow if you use elision, whereas Jeff T.'s parser is almost instantaneous in responding to even a 40-sentence block of text that we tested for the textbook. 3. David Bowen is the only person who was sent PLOP who has contacted me. He immediately recompiled PLOP to run on a Cray supercomputer ("the fastest Lojban parser around"). He found that he could bypass the need for a lexer by eliminating 'lexer lexemes' that we have defined in the grammar to force compounding of cmavo. This change is not formally correct, since it inserts some ambiguities; some errors will occur, but in general, PLOP will parse things correctly simply because it is 'backtracking'. Lojban Grammar Status The grammar has proven remarkably stable. There were only minor corrections of a typographical nature between November and February. All of the parsers are built using a late October grammar, which isn't quite complete, though Jeff T. has started updating his parser to the current grammar. I recently put in one trial change to help reduce the elidables problem while Jeff T. works on a permanent solution. It doesn't actually change the language grammar, but rephrases it using a few extra rules, so that the parser chooses correctly. 5 When Nora and I got Jeff's parser, we quickly found one other problem that will take a change to the grammar to fix. One sentence example in Lesson 4 caused a problem, which was minor and not likely to be common in conversation. The fix was easy. However, in making the fix, it was realized that a significant simplification could be made with minimal cost. The change involves simplifying abstraction and negation options. pc had argued for this change for a long time, but I hadn't been able to make it work until now. Teaching the language in the DC-area class significantly helped identify how the simplification made sense. While the change is noticeable, and affects some things that have appeared in JL, it turns out to be trivial to learn. We know this because we had just the week before taught abstraction and negation to the class in Lesson 3. Two days after making the change, we told the class of the change and worked through the Lesson 3 dialogs, identifying how the change affected Lojban sentences. They were able to correct the grammar on their own after the first couple of examples. There will no doubt be more changes, hopefully all minor. The grammar isn't baselined, and will not be until we have the textbook done and there are several speakers who have proven the grammar in actual usage. The current stability, and the minor impact of the one significant change that we have made gives us great confidence in the Lojban grammar. Textbook Reviewers Wanted As I go through the class, I have been writing the textbook for each lesson before teaching that lesson. In general, I am having to make very few changes after teaching. I seem to be writing at the level of the class. I am making available draft lessons as I get them revised to those of you who will pay for them. We cannot afford to send them to everyone, though all JL8 subscribers will get Lesson #1. In general, lessons are running 30-40 pages, and at low volume copying, we will have to charge about $5 per lesson. Obviously the textbook will be much cheaper, but some of you may not want to wait that long. We will not send lessons to you unless you specifically order them, or unless your balance is above $50 and you have previously said you want teaching materials as they are developed. We are trying to be cautious with your balances, since the costs are turning out so high. (My verbosity is legendary.) At the writing of this article, lessons 1 through 3 are done, and I'm writing lesson 4 tomorrow. Depending on our finances, we may be able to return some of your investment in draft lessons in the form of a credit on the textbook FOR THOSE WHO SIGNIFICANTLY CONTRIBUTE REVIEW COMMENTS. I can't make promises as to how much; ideally, a major contributor should get his/her textbook for free if they paid for the draft lessons. For those who review the draft lessons and who have questions, we will try to respond fairly quickly with answers. The outline of the lessons, and a copy of the revised draft lesson 1, will be a major portion of JL8. Education DC Lojban Class Starts By the time this is mailed, we will have completed five weeks of the DC-area Lojban class. We will probably be in the middle of Lesson 4 of 18; we got a little bogged down in Lesson 3 after moving through the first two lessons on schedule. The class will continue approximately until LogFest in the middle of June, and I think this group of people will really know the language by then. We found to our chagrin that people do not always answer questionnaires. Of the 80 DC-area people I sent class notices to, only 1 responded. I then got on the telephone to everyone for whom I had a phone number. After a couple of weeks of telephoning, 16 people signed up for a class, and we gave up on trying to hold two at once. We lost a couple of people before we actually started; there are now 11 people actively attending, and two who cannot attend regularly who are working through the lessons on their own. We've got good enthusiastic people, and they are learning, despite being guinea pigs for untested teaching materials (and teachers). There are problems with people not having the time between classes to study up on the vocabulary, which is heavily emphasized in the first 10 weeks. Instead, we spend a fair amount of time in class looking up words, which slows thing down. The comments I've gotten indicate that the language and the materials describing it are clear and understandable. Those of you getting JL8 can judge for yourself, and let us know what you think of Lesson 1. Status of Other Classes The Boston class has not yet jelled for the same reason that we had trouble here in DC. There are about 40 Lojbanists in Boston, but only 1 bothered to return a class questionnaire, and that person was reporting that he was moving away from Boston. Brooke Albert and Chuck Barton, who were quite enthusiastic about organizing and teaching the class, were justifiably depressed by the response. The organizational meeting they held drew only 1 person (who hadn't returned a questionnaire). I'm inclined to think that Bostonians and DC-area people don't like questionnaires, since we got very few of our JL7 questionnaires back from either group as well. Otherwise, I'm somewhat mystified, since a large number of you said you were interested in a class when you first signed up. 6 Brooke and Chuck haven't given up; they are hoping that the fact that we have started and are successfully teaching Lojban here in DC will motivate those of you in Boston to call them up or write. (See the phone number in the class insert to JL7.) They want to try again in a couple of months. We are hoping to play an active role at the World Science Fiction convention, which will be around Labor Day in Boston. This is big chance to show off Lojban to a sympathetic audience from around the world. We had planned on having those of you who learned the language in Brooke and Chuck's class play a part in our activities at 'Worldcon', but can do so only if the class gets started in the next couple of months. The Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City/northern New Jersey areas are now looking like the best places to organize classes right now. We have possible organizers in each area, and one of the New York Lojbanists is trying actively to keep up with the class here in DC with the intent of being able to teach a class up there as soon as she finishes. Two or three others up there have expressed interest to me, and we have discovered that at least three Lojbanists work in the same building without knowing each other (the Holmdel NJ Bell Labs plant). This may end up being a good group around which to build a class. We will wait a little while before trying to organize a class unless we start hearing from a few more of you that you are ready to participate. I don't want to recruit more organizers only to have them disappointed. Advertising and Publication Efforts I just mentioned our plans to participate in WorldCon at the end of summer. This is only one of several activities planned to spread the word about Lojban. We participated again at Evecon, the science fiction convention here in the DC area over New Years weekend. Several of the people in the Lojban class were recruited at Evecon. Nora, Athelstan, and I gave a presentation, and we handed out brochures throughout he convention. Athelstan also put brochures out at a couple of other conventions, bringing in several new people. Fact Sheet Five, put out by Mike Gunderloy, has continued to review our issues. That magazine now has a circulation of 5000 or so, and we get several responses after each issue (which is pretty good, since FSF consists of about 80 pages of reviews in fine print, probably several hundred magazines in toto, and his audience has a rather diverse set of interests). Aiming at an audience likely to match ours, we have placed an advertisement in Discover magazine; it should appear in the May issue. If response rates are proportional to those we've gotten from FSF, Discover's circulation of 3.4 million should net us several thousand responses. Then watch our community take off. We are also attempting to contact several science-media and news organizations to encourage people to write and talk about us. Our goals are ambitious. I'd like to have 2000 to 4000 Lojbanists by the end of the year (500-1000% growth), with comparable increases next year. We are also trying to emphasize efforts to reach non-English native speakers, as the next article will discuss. As such we have been talking to a Voice of America representative regarding a possible interview that would be translated and broadcast in many languages throughout the world. Other News News for non-USA Lojbanists We've heard from a few of our non-USA Lojbanists, and they have pointed out a problem I was afraid of. Not only are our costs higher in mailing to overseas locations (we can't exactly use bulk rate), making our balance charges to you higher, but the strong US dollar and relatively lower income levels in other countries makes our publications far to expensive for many of our recipients. We thus are dependent on Americans who donate towards covering our overseas publication expenses. To help reduce costs, we are considering switching from airmail to surface postage. We get a good rate on printed matter, but we might save a little bit on foreign postage this way. We are thus far continuing to send Ju'i Lobypli to all foreign subscribers, but need to hear from you. After all, we have no other way to know for sure that you are receiving our publications. Our policy will be to send to any non-USA subscriber who keeps in touch with us. We ask that you send what you can, even if it doesn't cover our costs. Every little bit helps. More than that, we value our non-USA Lojbanists especially, since you are our ties to the rest of the world. Because of this, we want to make two special offers that might help out the financial situation: 1. Any Lojbanist who translates the Lojban brochure and/or the Overview of Lojban into another language will receive considerable gratitude and a balance credit more than sufficient to keep you on our publication lists indefinitely. The cost of translation services is so high that we must otherwise be much larger and richer than we currently are, to otherwise be able to afford non-English publication. (If you are going to volunteer, please let us know so that we don't have several people doing the same publication into the same language). 2. Any Lojbanist who recruits a non-English-native speaker as a Lojbanist will receive a credit towards your balance of $2 US. Your recruit should contact us in writing, and indicate that they were recruited by you. (Ideally they will use the registration form that comes with the brochure). (If they don't speak English at all, we may need to have you translate their letter first.) We will try this until September, and re-evaluate at that point. We may be able to give a higher credit if a substantial number of respondents are able to pay some or all of their costs. Similarly, if you 7 can find other Lojbanists who live close enough that you can share publications, you can split the costs, and all of us will benefit. We can perhaps save money then by shipping a quantity of publications to one person in your country who can then distribute them to others using local mail. We are currently doing this in England, aided by an American serviceman who returns to the US in May, and have saved considerable postage. Given publications and recruiting, we may be able to build enough of a community in your country that Lojban can be taught there. We really look forward to having a group of Lojban speakers overseas, and will go out of our way to aid any non-US group that attempts to achieve that goal. As a final aid to overseas Lojbanists, we will attempt to contact those of you that have another countryman in our community. Having someone closer who is interested in Lojban makes it much easier to think seriously about learning the language. No News from The Institute I said above that we will continue to publish news about The Loglan Institute, Inc. (TLI) and the efforts of Dr. James Cooke Brown (who is honored for his creation and development of the language over the past 35 years). Alas, we don't have much news. Dr. Brown isn't talking to me, and hasn't published any newsletter himself since November. One person I've talked to got a note from him; he is apparently still working on a 'GPA' (Going Public Again), and didn't go sailing this winter. Bob McIvor is doing a lot of hard work aiding Dr. Brown, but I haven't heard of anyone else that is still working with TLI. Nora remains a member of TLI and probably the largest financial contributor except for Dr. Brown, himself. My membership has probably run out by now, but I've gotten no notice. There have been some indirect exchanges between Dr. Brown and me regarding our dispute. I have nothing I can report except that a possible agreement that may settle the dispute has been sent to TLI and is awaiting response from Dr. Brown. 1988 Financial Report In keeping with our open books policy, we are publishing our 1988 financial report and our budget for 1989. The 1988 report is split into pre-incorporation and post-incorporation figures. We continue to lose money, and are barely solvent, in that we have maintained enough money to refund all your unspent portions of voluntary balances. Our inventory of publications has grown along with our subscriber list, though. If a substantial portion of new recruits cover their subscription costs, that inventory will mean that we stay afloat. We also hope that obtaining tax-exempt status will increase the flow of donations. We easily met our requirement for keeping administrative and legal fees low. These fees have only included the amounts needed to file papers and set up the corporation. The following is a report on the financial status of The Logical Language Group, Inc. upon the date of incorporation, 3 November 1988. Assets Liabilities Cash in bank account $2232.82 Subscriber Refundable Inventory $695.90 Balances $1501.70 Net Assets $2928.72 Net Liabilities $1501.70 Net Worth Transferred from Predecessor $1427.02 1988 Final Financial Report 1988 Summary - Unincorporated Predecessor 1988 Contributions Prior to Incorporation Pre-JL4 (50% matching) $190.01 matching $95.00 Post-JL4 (25% matching) $4713.31 matching $1172.05 Net Income $6170.37 LogFest $468.49 JL4 $849.40 JL5 $931.19 JL6 $1419.43 Other Publications $1332.00 Research and Review Costs $207.82 Telephone $820.05 Office and Publication Supplies $454.26 8 Administrative Fees and Legal Expenses $447.42 Total Expenses $6930.06 Net Loss ($759.69) The Logical Language Group, Inc. Incorporation Through 31 December 1988 Contributions $513.00 Other $93.35 Net Income $606.35 JL7 1247.60 Other Publications, Research, and Review 265.26 Telephone 158.05 Administrative Fees and Legal Expenses 5.00 Net Expenses $1675.91 Net Loss (1069.56) 1988 Summary (Incorporated + Unincorporated) Income $6776.72 Expenses $8605.97 including Administrative Expenses: $452.42 or 7% of income Net Loss ($1829.25) We were technically bankrupt at the end of 1988. Your responses to JL7, came during 1989. As of this publication, we have received about $2000 income against expenses of $1100 in 1989 and are again solvent; but some of that income is class tuitions to be spent on lesson materials not yet prepared. 1989 Budget Assumptions Assumes Advertising Thrice @ $200 .1% response Additional 10% increase in subscriptions and newsletter costs per quarter 80% of costs covered by people contributing to their balances. Overhead and Administrative Expenses 10% of total Unbudgeted Expenses 10% of total Expenses Income JL8/LK8 1st quarter 1989 1050 800 JL9/LK9 2nd quarter 1989 1104 845 JL10/LK10 3rd quarter 1989 1937 1901 JL11/LK11 4th quarter 1989 2872 3230 Textbooks 12000 16080 Tapes 8000 10720 LF1/Flashcards 4000 5360 Classes 4000 3200 LogFest 89 800 Telephone 720 _____ _____ Subtotal 36483 42136 10% Overhead and Administration 3648 10% Unbudgeted Expenses 3648 Donations (20% of income) 8427 _____ _____ Total 43779 50563 Net Cashflow Gain 6784 Net Gain in Inventory Value 7800 9 If we can do this well, we won't go bankrupt, and can afford continued growth. But $7000 won't even pay for one half-time person, so we must do better than this if we are to expand when I return to work. Note on Our Prices We have been forced to raise our prices due to the recent bad financial period, and the added expenses that have come with incorporation. For US bulk rate mailings, we are charging about 7.5 cents a page. For regular US mailings of materials that we get enough orders for, that we can print 100 or more at a time, we charge about 9 cents a page. For special orders, we have to charge as much as 16 cents a page. This includes the cost of envelopes and US postage. Canadian and Mexican charges approximate the US regular mailing rates. For other non-US mailings, we charge the same prices, but we also subtract the postage from your balance after mailing (so it isn't included in the mailing label balance). We send overseas by surface mail unless we know you are willing to pay extra for air mail. Air mail for printed matter tends to be about 30% higher than surface, probably about a US dollar on a typical mailing. lei lojbo - A continuing Lojban comic strip A complete discussion of the Lojban will be found in JL8, along with another comic strip. A brief synopsis is: Bob attaches a portable 'robot' peripheral to 'Sam' the computer. He uses a compound Lojban tense to say: "You couldn't-and-now-can travel, O Sam". After Sam causes Nora to drop her paint brush by surprising her ("Greetings! "), chases the cat ("Wait, O Cat! "), causes Bob to trip ("Complaint! "), the robot is no longer. Sam, in self-pity (".uu"), uses an even more complex tense to say: "At some (the) previous time, I couldn't-and-now-could-and-then- couldn't-in-the-future travel". The tense is the exact inverse of the one found in the English "The Once and Future King". The brief expression of such a complex idea is the source of the humor. This is obviously not something we would say in English, simply because it is too complex to manipulate the concept in words. Presumably, Lojban speakers will manipulate such complex tenses with comparable ease. Is this a 'Whorfian effect?' Contents of Ju'i Lobypli #8 As noted above, the bulk of JL8 will be draft lesson 1 of the textbook, and an outline of the rest of the book. We also have an article by Patrick Juola, a researcher at AT&T Bell Labs, on Lojban's potential for artificial intelligence and machine translation. In our previous discussions of the purposes of Lojban, I have not talked much about the computer applications, since I am not expert in AI or machine translation. Patrick has expertise in the subject and offers a bright vision of Lojban's unique potential contribution for the future of those fields. We also have another contribution from Ralph Dumain - an annotated bibliography of materials related to the Sapir- Whorf hypothesis. He also has some responses to others comments on his last article that we will try to fit in, probably over the next two issues. We have two song translations from English, "The Quest" from "Man of La Mancha', and "99 Bottles of Beer" (who promised great literature? - we used only grammar taught through Lesson 3 of the textbook), and another strip of lei lojbo. There are three or four letters that I'd like to include. There are three responses to materials in JL6 and JL7, and Dave Cortesi, self-taught using the grammar description and the gismu and cmavo lists, translates a biblical proverb accurately (and gives us a very positive comment on the language design). Finally, if I have room, I have letter frequency data and some ideas for updating rules for a Lojban variation of 'Scrabblertm'. The subject was originally addressed by Dr. Brown in The Loglanist, volume 2, back in the 1970's. Some of this may fall due to editing, lack of time, or space. I hope to have it out about 2 weeks after this newsletter is mailed.