Thursday, 30 November 2017

This is the love (of my life)

Life.

It happens again. and again.

Every pulse an 'empty space' between the heart-beats.

Life,

in the spaces...in between...

pulsating, giving...

life.

Jay

Friday, 10 November 2017

"basket of deplorables"?

I remember when Stephen Harper was re-elected the second time a friend saying apologetically that he was 'not one of those' but a 'fiscal conservative'. Below are a list of links to stories that would repulse anyone who is a reasonable person (all from Huffington Post, November 10, 2017).

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/roy-moore-alabama-senate-sexual-misconduct_us_5a050f4be4b01d21c83da941?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/roy-moore-sexual-assault-alabama-gop_us_5a04c816e4b0e37d2f366dba?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/paul-manafort-bail-phone-company-florida_us_5a047884e4b03deac08bc166?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sean-hannity-roy-moore-allegations_us_5a050814e4b0e37d2f3697c2?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-duterte-meeting_us_5a03707ee4b0f76b05c32244?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-aberdeenshire-dune-damage_us_5a050e0be4b01d21c83da8f8?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gary-cohn-tax-cut-ceos-donors_us_5a049571e4b0f76b05c4249e?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/students-punished-confederate-flag_us_5a04819fe4b03deac08bd2f0

and, lastly, Canada's own basket of deplorables:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/mansplaining-hepeating-alberta-legislature-rachel-notley-1.4394671

Jay

Saturday, 16 September 2017

How inter-community, inter-regional, and (inter)national communications between Inuit is possible

I've had what I consider a great privilege of working with Inuit organizations, government departments and interesting people (students and colleagues alike) on issues and challenges pertaining to the Inuit Language. I'm involved in an Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami task force that is looking into reforming and unifying the vastly diverse writing systems of Inuit groups from different regions of Inuit Nunangat (Inuit Homelands), and we've been struggling to envision how inter-Inuit communication would even be possible.

We've made great strides as a task force of Inuit whose languages (ie, dialects) can vary to the point of mutual unintelligibility the further the geographical distance exists between us (and we cover almost the entire circumpolar world). The orthographic conventions we've been working on and developing for a few years now is reaching the point where we'll be able to present a list of recommendations to the ITK Board of Directors in the not too distant future. Thus, the importance of testing out the script as it would unroll in each Inuit region of Canada.

Since we intentionally do not propose to change the unique dialects in any way the issue of converting dialects from one region to another for the purposes of sharing educational resources has seem like such a hurdle to overcome. And it would be weren't it for the shared grammatical structure that all Inuit languages are based on.

The Inuit language, as I've mentioned earlier in this blog, has a polysynthetic grammar - ie, it fuses together morphemic elements to construct meaningful phrases. The verb and noun roots, the infixes in between, and the mood and case endings may differ slightly or dramatically from region to region. But the principles of the grammar do not vary from dialect to dialect.

And this where the strength lies.

In a meeting yesterday with the Nunavut delegation, it suddenly occurred to me that we should exploit this strength and try and come up with an app or software that is designed to analyse and convert one dialect to another by focussing on morphemic features and functions that though may differ at the surface level but do not vary in function are elements that all Inuit dialects share.

For example, the differences between the pronominal endings from dialect to dialect may be accounted for and converted to another because the grammatical function is exactly the same no matter the dialect. In fact, all morphemic elements may thusly be convertible.

I think this approach has the potential to be a game-changer at the international level because the more elements are data-based the more dialects can be converted into another (as long as there is a common orthography on which to base the conversions on). This is a very exciting prospect to me.

Jay

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Edward T Hall: a stranger in a strange land

I'm not anthropologist/sociologist so I don't know if Edward T Hall's work is obsolete, but he is one of those whose work I admire (besides Max Weber, of course). According to Wikipedia, he was an influential colleague of Marshall McCluhan and Buckminster Fuller with his work on what is called, proxemics, or how culturally-specific conception of space (and time) influences different cultures differently. I think I still own a couple of books written by him.

His insights were very important to me as I struggled with the inevitable (sometimes) vast differences between the worlds in which my parents grew up and lived in and that to which I was enculturated by my education (which I inadvertently intensified with my natural curiosity). I've always felt somewhat alienated and have always been quite sensitive about it.

Things haven't seemed to really changed at all. In fact my awareness of Hall's wonderful insights seem to have alienated me further. I love living and working in Rankin Inlet and have made wonderful friends there. But I am still me: always the stranger in a strange land. The loneliness I sometimes feel (even at a house party) does become overwhelming, and, I must admit, puts me increasingly in a state of clinical depression which seems to last longer than the previous ones. I sometimes cannot even leave the house for days.

I'm a teacher but I've always made a conscious effort to not try and change any of my students in the same way new knowledge changes or affects me. I'm an Inuk and not a white person but I'm very much aware that I really don't belong in either. Only once or twice in my life have I come across people of similar circumstances. But even these have turned out to be only "two ships in the night".

Sometimes when I'm marking my students' papers I'm reminded of how different I am (or, feel that I am very different). What makes me empathetic can also become a source of great personal pain and loneliness.

Edward T Hall's work is something that I deeply appreciate but it takes too long to unroll to people who've never read him. I know that I'm going through what he describes so ably but I cannot share it to alleviate my sense of alienation. I sometimes feel that I subject people I love to a Cassandra Phenomenon - Cassandra is a mythical figure with whom Apollo falls in love and gives her the gift of prophesy but she spurns his love so he curses her so that no one can ever believe her warnings. But I digress.

The Cassandra Phenomenon is a term that is used to describe people like me affecting those we love deeply: https://adifferentvoice.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/cassandra-and-the-aspie-marriage-and-aspergers-syndrome/

and here: https://theneurotypical.com/cassandra_phenomenon.html

This syndrome is I think why I live alone. This fact of my life really bothers me because it really isn't my choice.

Now why did I make the connection between Hall and the Cassandra Phenomenon? Because I think Aspies and Cassandras suffer most deeply the inadvertent misunderstandings and miscommunications that almost need an Edward T Hall to sort out.

Jay

Saturday, 9 September 2017

hork....hork...'secuse me, I have to vomit a furball


oops. let me preen myself.


dang! that's gonna hurt.


ok.. you may vomit the furball.


hork...hork.


I swear, it must be this big...

 hork...hork


it's this big, I tell ya.



wait. let me see if I can pass it the other way



it's like giving birth


hey, trump el-don


efff....you, little bro


it's coming


aahh...


see!!! I told you it was yuge.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Those left behind by suicide

When my brother, Wally, was adopted by my parents I was old enough to consciously perceive the ambivalence I felt towards the event. It became easier when I saw that my mom and my sister (who is just younger than me) absolutely adored and loved him—he was always small with a big heart, a true definition of a mensch. It seemed as if his whole being was surrounded by the immediate and unconditional love of these two wonderful souls and I came to accept him as my real brother.

Always in the back of my mind as an older brother I felt something that I couldn't quite define but that which would eventually take him away from us. I felt protective of him throughout our childhood though we were not as close as he was with my mom. That some families in Clyde River never accepted my dad (who came up from the Iqaluit region to work for the Hudson's Bay Company to net seals and shore up their annual shipments of seal skins and as a result gave pretense to justify their unkind regard for our family) gave me further cause to feel protective of him. I never told anyone of this but sometimes I'd secretly feel vigilant and watchful over him. I've always been kind of distant and aloft even to my parents but I still feel a certain deep connection.

I have memories of his genuineness: his obvious joy in seeing others good fortune; his natural ways of showing real appreciation of his mom and sister and his friends; and so on...as I have memories of not getting along and the guilt that comes with them. I'm haunted by my memories both good and bad.

When he became a teenager he got a girlfriend from another community. But his happiness was unacceptable to some who had bullied him most of his life. That they had no compunction in trying to take away his love simply because of who he was is something I still struggle to forgive and move on.

When he took his own life my nephew who was panicked greatly tried to carry him in his arms to the health centre. I think he was screaming for help as he ran with the dead body just as my mom who had been visiting was coming out of her friends house. Thinking it was a drunk person she ran back into the house laughing nervously at her reaction. Had she seen the real situation I know in my heart she would have ran the opposite direction. I think she feels guilt when the memory inevitably comes to her though it's totally unjustified and that a jury of her enemies would have forgiven her for that.

My distraught parents couldn't deal with sleeping in the house that night so they stayed at ours. I remember the next morning when my dad awoke I was in the next room. I heard him stir and mutter quietly, "aittaa", as he wept. My dad the stoic, who had trained his mind to ignore the pain of even a growing cancer in his body, reduced to that state...

Though I've since wanted to die many times, I cannot. The devastation suicide leaves behind is something I've personally experienced (as many families in Nunavut have).

Jay

Sunday, 3 September 2017

First completed qajaq project

Here are pictures of the first model qajaq that I completed. I plan to make as many replicates of different styles as I can.

almost completed.

from a different angle.


completed.


this completed project is about 3 feet long and about a foot longer than the very first one I started but have yet to complete.

Jay

"my hands are too big"

Trump was putting on gloves during a photo-op in Texas recently and made a point of his hand size: "My hands are too big": http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-my-hands-are-too-big-houston-shelter_us_59ab1b81e4b0b5e530ff16b6?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Here is the actual size of his hands:


He's 6'2", I'm 5'5" and my hands are actually bigger than his freakishly small hands.

Jay

Saturday, 2 September 2017

a million dollar(?) president

We're not sure where and how the 45th intends to pledge his(?) $1M to the Harvey relief. Is he a billionaire, or merely a window-dressing one?

-a million bucks is "a drop in the bucket". Check out a pledge from a real billionaire: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-dell-donates-harvey-charity_us_59aa0a4be4b0b5e530fed205?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Jay

Friday, 11 August 2017

Woodworking Project: qajaq

A few years ago I was given a nice set of fine woodworking tools by someone very important to me when I made my first attempts at making model qajaqs. Recently I've been marshalling up upgrades to the basic kit and even made my own home-made table saw from a power saw so I can make long straight slats.

Here are a few pictures of a variation on the Ivujivik form that I've started on:


the gunwale and few crossbars.




completed top half of the qajaq.



first three ribs.


and rolling along...I'll post more pics of the above once completed.

I've also started on a 4 foot version. Hopefully, the bigger the version the finer the detail work. I'll try and make the bigger one without any glue and purely with lashing.

Jay

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

What is "cultural awareness"?

I was listening to the CBC News this morning about the death of Romeo Wesley during a take-down by two police officers in a nursing station at Cat Lake First Nations, Ontario. The resulting inquest into his death just came out with a jury's report that includes 53 recommendations including:

-Ensure nurses in Indigenous communities get cultural awareness training before getting placed in a community. [emphasis mine]

It got me thinking again about what exactly "cultural awareness" is. I think I've made mention of this concept and concluded somewhere in this blog or elsewhere that "culture" as used by government-indigenous relations is really an empty, umbrella buzz-word. And I'll tell you why.

I've thought a lot about the concept Inuit (sans 'traditional') Knowledge or IQ especially in my years as a policy analyst/advocate for Inuit language and education rights. Never have I heard nor seen a realistic, let alone satisfactory, definition/explanation of "culture" throughout all my years in the discourse. In other words, it is one of those things in government reports intended to be dangled in front of Indigenous peoples mostly as a "negotiation" tactic.

It is intended most of all to pass the buck back to the aboriginals so governments can rightly claim that they've listened and heard what we want without having to own up. This is because the obverse of the argument is the uncomfortable notion of government fiduciary responsibility, plain and simple.

Let no one be responsible, most of all not the government, if things go drastically wrong in the interventions such as the one that resulted in Wesley's death which are all to common. Let no notions of human decency interfere in the mindless operations of government.

But I'm not here to lay blame. Why I'm writing this entry is to argue that what we (both sides, I mean) have fundamental responsibilities to try and better this unjust and unjustifiable relations.

What I mean is that we need to ensure ethics (not "culture awareness") training for not just nurses, but for every non-indigenous government employee who serves in the frontlines in our communities (I would include in our non-indigenous communities here).

Don't get me wrong: I have great respect and appreciation for most of these souls who take their jobs, their calling, most seriously and want nothing but the best be reflected in their service records simply because of who they are and what their characters demand of them. We (the both sides) can learn so much from them. These are people who can see beyond race and colour of those they've come to serve in the name of human decency.

In being confronted by novelty all of us start out from a probationary position. We learn proper etiquette and behaviours by learning from others. Our education, in this respect, has nothing to do with "cultural awareness" and everything to do with well-formedness both in the professional and personal senses.

It has always been the kindness and compassion of others that have me carried this far. And, like people like me, I've done and said things I'm not proud of at all. I've needed to be talked down from great mental and emotional distress in my life, including by the police. I'm talking here about decent people who've been there to do their jobs with honour and decorum (sadly, above and beyond the call of duty).

No one, among us, after all should ever be judge, jury and executioner. Usually, when we do our jobs it is a small part we've been assigned within a much larger picture. This "small" part is a link in a chain, though, mind you, a very important link nonetheless.

There are always community leaders, respected healers/elders. Perhaps we should seriously think about including them in the protocols where their safety and security are not jeopardized. I think had an elder or healer been called in, Wesley's meaningless and unnecessary death would had been avoided. I don't know, but I think he was asking desperately for help with his alcoholism...

I think what I'm trying to say is that community involvement (not "cultural awareness") in police and medical intervention, wherever realistic and possible, is what is missing, sorely missing.

Jay

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Linkin Park

Chester Bennington,

I totally disagree with your decision to cut your life short but I respect it. Very few can or could have walked in your shoes and come away as long as you did. You ran with the best and put most to rest and went as far as you did. ALL ON YOUR OWN.

A beautiful voice and musical creativity hardly paralleled. You were the spirit of humanity, broken but perseverant. You remind me of many I know and knew (sadly).

Growing old is never a disgrace. It is time to let go and let G*d. Tomorrow is a new day...

Jay

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Some aspects of Taoism in Inuit Knowledge

-The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions into our consciousness.
-Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.

In IQ (Inuit Knowledge) the philosophy to learning is experience: we see; we observe; we try our hand; we try again. Having said that, we have our guides and advisors: our parents and those more knowledgeable and experienced than us, people we can trust.

In Jean Brigg's Morality Play, we see that some statements and directions from our loved ones and people we know from forever is not always the "truth", a harmless misdirection or challenge intended to make us think, to attain a higher dimension into our consciousness.

-At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and what you want.
-When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

Inuit believe in reincarnation. The elders say that we all die and are reborn in those who are given our names. We retain some characteristics and mannerisms of our namesakes in our next lives but we also have the capacity to evolve. In my youth my mom was always fond of saying that I just acted exactly as my namesake (which I will not divulge). I always took this as I'm not exactly my namesake; I'm undeniably me. I'm not defined by the name(s) that was given to me, but I belong to a greater whole in which I exist.

Actually, Inuit all have more than one name. These are not "nicknames" but rather that we are someone to our family and loved ones and someone else still to those who loved or hated us in our previous lives. Our given names are our honour, our human connection, even if we were born of a different name.

-Nature is not human hearted.
-Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?

All things in Nature have their time. We are not in control, are not the final arbiters of Nature. We are subject to, are subjects of Nature. Kangiqtugaapingmiut are not people or residents of the Clyde River area but subjects of that area. All existence and what exists there is possible because of what Nature has to offer. How far its blessings and limitations (its yin and yang, if you will) have carried me in my life. Only in my advancing age and experience have I begin to appreciate that.

-Going back to the first point above (that we learn by experience) my greatest highs and my lowest funks have all been necessary in my education.

Jay

September when it comes

I love Johnny Cash. I'm not much into country music but the man in black is more than that. September When It Comes was written by Rosanne Cash and John B Leventhal as a tribute to Johnny Cash.

There's a cross above the baby's bed,
A Savior in her dreams.
But she was not delivered then,
And the baby became me.
There's a light inside the darkened room,
A footstep on the stair.
A door that I forever close,
To leave those memories there.
 
So when the shadows link them,
Into an evening sun.
Well first there's summer, then I'll let you in.
September when it comes.
 
I plan to crawl outside these walls,
Close my eyes and see.
And fall into the heart and arms,
Of those who wait for me.
I cannot move a mountain now
I can no longer run.
I cannot be who I was then
In a way, I never was.
 
I watch the clouds go sailing
I watch the clock and sun.
Oh, I watch myself, depending on,
September when it comes.
 
So when the shadows link them,
And burn away the clouds.
They will fly me, like an angel,
To a place where I can rest.
When this begins, I'll let you know,
September when it comes.
 
and here is a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2WilM6ljUg
 
Jay

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

if at all possible...

I'd like to donate my (viable) organs upon my death.

I am of sound mind and body...and I love the fact that I'm alive.

without art...

without life there is no art

without art there is only thug life

there is nothing there...only pain, only sadness

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The thing about...

...the Putin-Trump thingy is that it is purely an exercise in the ridiculous bordering on the absurd, a disjointed, perverted reality.

Never have I ever seen a "strongman" so obsequious to such a better as Trump has been to Putin. Pathetic. I bet you Trump couldn't sleep the night before his audience with Machia...I mean, Putin.

We can see in the official photos Putin grimacing at Trump, who's apparently creaming his knickers in anticipation of a good going through by his don.

Putin, such a powerful figure in his realm of influence. "in his realm of influence" being the key phrase here.

He may have meddled in the US elections that got Trump in the Oval Office. And has, so far, been able to sustain a grip on Trump and his administration. But little does he seem to realize that Trump does not, and can never, rule as he does.

The great institutions and bureaucracies of the United States of America are too mature and set to rid of so easily. They are truly the checks and balances of the immense power of the President. Already, the system has responded and a special counsel appointed to investigate the Russian hacking of the 2016 US elections. Many intel agencies and public safety departments have had their unblinking eyes seemingly since day one on the actors that apparently played their shameful roles in the immense assault on America's sovereignty and integrity.

Whether we may never "find out" what truly happened is now and long since beside the point, Mr. Tillerson. The shamelessness of Trump and the hubris of Putin cannot be countenanced for long; not by a system where many and diverse interests and conglomerations have one unifying idea: a market system that does much better under the guise of an open and democratic society than a totalitarian state. It will never let go easily.

Jay

Friday, 7 July 2017

a sonnet unfinished

in the quiet moments I can hear you
words to music light and shade to a sketch
it is like the acts that say "I love you"
it turns a man an angel from a wretch
if it were just a song from songbird
and I were but a twinkle in your eyes
it would be divine grace from the absurd
from the depths of hell on to paradise.

Monday, 19 June 2017

a lifetime...

...she is the love of my life.

A lifetime of memories enveloped in my soul ...

-here, i look at the seams

-there the dreams, swirl.

Jay

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Seen recently on the internet

These readers' comments were posted to a story of Trump being Trump in 'politicizing' the London terror attacks:

Pete Cornwell
Trump might be better served by being more patient and waiting to find out who the actual perpetrators are before going off half-cocked as usual. Even if it turns out to be foreigners, it doesn't make his Muslim ban any more constitutional. It's certainly not going to influence the Supreme Court's review of it either way.

Joel Claus ·
You just insulted people who go off "half-cocked" everywhere. He isn't even that good.

Connie Cunningham
Joel Claus, Trump's tiny hands reveal he could never be half-cocked; probably an eighth-cocked.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Music, beautiful music

I think that our sense of music is so ingrained in us that we sometimes take it for granted. It permeates our every aspect of life. Even in its absence we constantly 'have' it in the background of our consciousness every once in a while coming up for air and becoming an earworm. There are some songs that I can 'hear' from beginning to end, some musical phrases that will repeat over and over again. It is unpredictable.

But I do apologize for my digression...

Music, beautiful music: it surely comes from divine inspiration.

I know a bit about music. I'm not a properly trained guitar player as I've mostly taught myself through reading and as a result 'bad' habits have crept in so I just call it a uniquely-my-own-style-of-music. You can go very far with only the pentatonic scale (to which the blues (and rock) is based). With the acquiring knowledge of more scales the more enhanced the listening to all styles of music becomes. With a deepening 'love' every time the appreciation of music arises and works to its peak. It hooks you. Every single time.

Music, beautiful music. Sometimes it is possible to break apart the individual components—that is, each individual musical instrument (all the while keeping the integrity of the whole). For me, it is mostly like that for all formalizable systems, though it is music that informs them all. It must be primordial to us human beings: the very first experience of interesting repeating patterns from the mother's lullaby and doting coos that builds up the acquisition of everything else after that.

Some songs are sad.

When I was a policy analyst I was very much interested in early childhood development as a statistical science and for the practical results both positive and negative to try and understand why some children continue to thrive while others suffer material and psychological impoverishment some throughout their whole lives (most dying young for want of prospects and access to essential resources, many by suicide, or (more politely) self-destructive behaviours).

But I want to say:

Music, beautiful music. |For me, you are my transcendence. My hope. I know that you'll never leave humankind (a G*d-like quality). Music by Vivaldi and Handel are some of my favourites from the Baroque period and I'm totally delighted by Glenn Gould's performances. But I 'discovered' Heavy Metal first; then, the blues before working my way up (or down) to the classics (I mean from the music I grew up with in the eighties to the old, the very old).

Music, beautiful music.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

why am i alone?

I've lived all of my life a stranger.

I'm tired of it. I don't understand. I want to love; I want to be loved.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

What the frig'...

I highly doubt that it's only my imagination.

The so-called 'conservatives', on the main, are cry-babies.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

I think of things most people ignore

I have an irresistible need to organize things and events in my head into systems that I can map out in a 'landscape'. It is my safety net. It keeps me in touch with humanity. It keeps me calm. It keeps me safe and isolated and alienated. The notion of 'proximity' is moot.

Mostly I'm 'lost-in-my-own-head' at the expense of everything else. My family, my loves, my friends...all are beyond me. I cannot reach out and touch them even in my own presence, really.

My own admission: I have a hard time recalling the names of my beloveds' because they are more than that to me. My loves are pictures, images, and living clips of exceptional moments that define them for me.

I call them by nicknames (like my dad did with me).

In my loneliest moments I know I share my 'soul' with them. They confirm who I am as I revel in their stirrings in those exceptional moments that make my life worth living.

A casual smile, a small gesture, a simple pose, a whiff of smell...they mean everything to me.

Jay

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A post-script to "mora + metathesis = t becomes s after a strong i"

It was brought to my attention by a respected colleague that Richard Compton and B Elan Dresher (both of University of Toronto) co-authored a wonderfully insightful paper entitled, Palatalization and 'Strong' /i/ Across Inuit Dialects (2008)

In it there is an example provided from Barrow Inupiaq (p. 5):

          Stem                 Gloss                 'and a N'           'N plural'             'like a N'

a.       iglu                  'house'                iglulu                iglunik                 iglutun

b.       iki                    'wound'              ikiʎu                 ikiɲik                   ikisun

c.       ini                    'place'                 inilu                  ininik                   initun

Rows a and c do not palatalize and realize the [-lu]; [-nik]; and, [-tun] without palatalization of the first consonants, whereas row b exhibits palatalization of the same morphemes after a proto-language strong /i/ in [iki-].

In my first post I stated that there is an 'empty' slot in the onset of the first mora that metathesize with the onset of the following mora in the presence of a strong /i/. But the example above (row b) seems to have broken the pattern that I apparently saw.

Or has it?

I think I figured out how to deal with the metathesis + mora analysis such that Compton-Dresher Barrow Inupiaq example (row b) can be subsumed.

iki   'wound'       iki + tun  'like a wound'    realized as   ikisun

ok. Here is my revised stuff:

palatalization between morpheme boundaries can be formalized like this:













-plainly: the empty onset slot of the 1st mora may be treated as only 'provisionally' positional (subsegmental?) between morpheme boundaries (eg. iki + tun) when the slot is not occupied by an onset consonant in the final mora of the 1st morpheme (again, iki + tun -> ikisun).

In other words, the metathesis between the first palatal slot and the second that is palatalized is triggered regardless of whether the onset of the primary mora (ie, the one that contains V [+coronal]) is occupied or not (between morphemes or within a single morpheme), it just occurs after a strong i.

Now, I'm wondering if the process of metathesis actually converts the palatalized onset of the concatenated morpheme into a coda of the strong i or not? (do you have the answer?)

Jay


My little fixations

I've never been examined for nor diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. But I know enough, and recognize some of myself enough in the literature to strongly suspect that I have it.

At some point in my life I must have sought out human company spontaneously. But I'm socially-awkward and often don't remember to gauge my responses to social situations. At best I make people uncomfortable with my unexpected actions-reactions; at worst it is easy to victimize and bully me. My reaction time to social situations is measured in minutes, even days, you see. This often leads to crippling self-loathing and shame.

I rarely feel comfortable enough to look someone in the eye directly. It is 'painful' to me in that I don't know how long is appropriate so I tend to avoid it. I've had bad experiences. It gives me the impression that it is easy to 'hate' me. Though, my saving grace have been friends who'd come to the bat for me. But even here I have a hard time expressing my love for them all.

I have a faux marble floor in my crapper that I find entertaining. I look for patterns (mostly human and animal faces) in the marbling itself. Some images I see are comic book quality, and some I swear were drawn by da Vinci.

This fascination with abstract and found patterns permeates my being. I usually see abstract patterns only to found out that they've already been described by professionals. Physics, prime numbers...I let the juices ferment 'til I find transcendence. It is enough that I share in the experience of illumination. The spontaneous rejoicing at the moment of realization is my reward.

Lately, I've been trying to figure myself. It is not fun being depressed. I may most likely not find the answers but depression is not a permanent condition (this much I know). I know that I'm not a write-off. Though I expect I will always live alone I have a core of loved-ones (past and present) that integrate me as who I am.

Jay

Thursday, 20 April 2017

I am who I am

This is me, plain and simple.

I am who I am.

I'm not who I aint.

I have certain principles. I like beautiful ideas. I like elegant concepts.

Disregarding the 'good and bad' (ie, morality) of my actions, I'm not a "bad" person. I'm just uninformed currently. There is reason...

I've always been treated as an "exceptional" person.

My mom 'kowtowed' to my grandma's assessment of me.

I acted as"as if..."

but with "style", I hope.

I feel a sense of responsibility to be who I wanted to be. My grandma wanted me to be good. Good is me..

-the world is F***ed

should I be?

no. I'm my own man. I care about 'justice' my grandma showed me the sphere where I can say yes or no.

Growing up, there was 'yes' or 'no\'

 I did not fail. i did not succeed...

Do I still make the cut?

Jay

Saturday, 8 April 2017

my bud

There was a two-year-old kid destined to conquer my heart. I never knew...

What a happy child—such innocence should be left alone to flourish and develop unhindered—and, he was a boy to become the older brother of my children:

my bud.

His name is Mike. I love him and am so proud of him; he my bud.

-"look at all the stuff they've got..!", bud.

Jay

mora + metathesis = t becomes s after a strong i

UPDATED

This post is intended only for linguistic interest. It is pure speculation on my part.

I've been thinking about the palatalization of /t/ into [s] after the so-called, 'strong i', in North Baffin (don't remember whether the /t/ has to be between vowels or not, like so: itV...). Let me first clarify my assumptions here:

Assumption 1. that the proposed reconstruction of Proto-Eskimo as a four-vowel phonological system is correct and mathematically sound (ie, that there was, at least, a phonetic distinction between ə (an unstressed mid vowel) and i (ie, the strong i));

Assumption 2. that the notions of 'mora' as an analytical basis has predictive consequences;

Assumption 3. at the syllable level, the empty onset slot of the first mora in question contains, at least, an unrealized consonant-like feature(s).

The analysis itself is simple enough to follow (if one keeps in mind the three basic assumptions).

The Proto-Eskimo hypothesis is that, in the North Baffin dialects, the tendency to 'palatalize' /t/ into [s] after strong i (pronounced me) is a remnant of the 'original' (Proto-Eskimo) phonology.

As a practical illustration one may say, in Inuktitut,

itigak   'foot'  in South Baffin and elsewhere

and

isigak   'foot'  in North Baffin uniquely.

another example would be:

itiq   'to enter'  in South Baffin and elsewhere

and

isiq   'to enter'  in North Baffin uniquely.

In the literature I've read so far this phonological phenomenon is said to be due to the 'strong i' of Proto-Eskimo phonemic system. Period, full stop.

Now, I've been out of linguistics for a while, but I've not come across any analysis that I'd consider satisfactory. The theory seems contrived to fit the data from the get-go, and there seem to have been no proposals to transcend this glaring problem.

-What I propose here is unsubstantiated by any research and based solely on my intuition of Inuktitut as a linguist. But its elegance has captured my heart and soul. And, I think this may suffice.

I start out by assuming that a purely phonological analysis is insufficient to capture a theoretical basis that would approach any semblance of viability. So let us look, instead, at this problem as requiring a syllable-dependent analysis: like so,

for the itigak  vs  isigak  ('foot') variation, we analyse the problem this way:

First, we analyse the original morpheme as


-the Greek letter: μ (or mu) stands for 'mora' (a mora may be regarded as the 'weight' of sound segments within a single syllable structure);

-the Greek letter: σ (or sigma) stands for 'syllable'. Simple enough. Now...

-notice that the onset slot in the first syllable above is empty. Going by Assumption 3 (that the empty slot has 'inherent /s/-like quality'), we then try and account for the phonological change between North and South Baffin dialects. We do this by recalling to mind the notion of 'metathesis'.

In other words, we propose that the first and second onset slots 'transposed' with one another in the process of historical change which resulted in



The second example looks almost self-explanatory now:

1)
becomes

2)

/t/ and [s], again, metathesize.
                                                                             --

The above dialectal variation problem seems intimately tied into a metathesis phenomenon that affects specific morphemes like:

siti  vs tisi  'den'

sitamat  vs  tisamat  'four'

sitijuq  vs  tisijuq  'it is hard (in substance)'

etc. etc.

Jay 

Monday, 27 March 2017

beyak

A 'beyak' is the root-nominal form of the verb, 'leitching'—a drip, drip, drip resulting of something cringe-worthy into something even more vacuous and more out of touch: a zero, more precisely—a 'zero' is, in Newtonian terms, a fluent where the fluxion comes closer and closer to zero, and, then suddenly, it disappears, and/or vice-versa.

In other words, a beyak is like a stalagmite of leitching over, at least, two board meetings' long. It just hangs hanging, awaiting the evisceration protocol, the end of all rites and individuality finally—and, consequently,—as it will happen—it rids of the dead-weight and calls it 'mercy'; it labels the other as 'the rest'—the 99.999% of us—and is, undoubtedly, the original source of the term, 'bling'—baby-talk for 'that-which-brings-all-things-bigly—LIKE yUGE'.

Jay

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Love

What entangled word as 'love'?

It drives all things, from the pleasurable to the practical.

In time it reconciles everything.

From zero on we all begin anew. The twilight is nigh and closer, closer, I cum to the dawning light, to the love of my life...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Is this Trump?

Donlad Trump is not known for his powers of articulation. Is this quote possibly him?

“The agriculture sector of the United States is endlessly innovative,” Trump wrote. “It continuously builds on its centuries of progress through advances in science, research, technology, safety, production, and marketing to meet the demands of changing consumer needs and complex world markets.”

Bigly not.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

-emic, -etic, and -itic(?)

In linguistics, we use the short-forms '-emic' and '-etic' to distinguish between surface (phon'-etic') and deep-level (phon'-emic') representations of analysis. Methinks, we should, in this era of Trump, recruit a new level of representation called, '-itic' (from pol'-itic'), that is a level even less informative than -etic.

"Alternative facts" as well as "outright lies" belong to this new level of representation. So do "fake news" and concerted, sustained campaigns of malicious misinformation for political advantage: eg. Putin and Trump traffic in only the pure -itic level of reality. Brietbart (sic) News is an -itic website.

Jay

Ps: -itic sounds suggestive of 'anal' in Inuktitut.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Hagee's notion of marital love

I'm watching John Hagee's televangelism right now. He is talking about 'marital love'. -He is confusing 'divine/brotherly love' (ancient Greek: agape) with 'erotic love' (ancient Greek: eros), and assuming that sex is, even marital sex, 'unnatural' based on the biblical quotes on agape.

The bible has little, if nothing, to say of conflict between eros and agape. When it speaks of it as such, it is in the metaphorical: divine love is erotic sex:

The Song of Songs (שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים‎, Šīr HašŠīrīm) is an interchange between two lovers (female and male) in both 'familiar' and 'intimate' senses: the poet longs for the Holy Spirit as a promise given by G*d (ie, of the Holy Spirit (divine/fraternal love)), and the experience He offers as physical sexual pleasure and the spiritual joy we feel in real life are equivalent.

The Christ, himself, speaks of 'the bride and the groom' in His parables consistently between the saved (the bride) and Himself (the Groom): eros is not considered 'evil' in the Judeo-Christian doctrine.

It be the pedophiles and homosexuals (no offense to homosexuals) that have made religion corrupt and confusing for the light-heads (like GWBush (current GOP rank and file) and Bannon/Trmup/Putin -the anti-Trinity) and idiots (Bannon/Trump and John Hagee/Putin), all of whom would be considered 'inadequate' and 'unacceptable' by Alexander the Great and most his contemporaries for not indulging in homosexual behaviour).

May our Lord logos/epistates touch you and you know the difference. Baruch Atah Adonai...

PS: I'm violently reactive to any unwelcomed touching/homosexual advances: you (a person) touch me (without my permission), you want a fat lip?

Jay

Monday, 20 February 2017

If you look up the word 'trumpy'...

...well, actually: 'twatholethinskin' in the dictionary this is what comes up:


Now tell me that this not a pre-mature anticipation of a comb-over (deadpan), but the WTF!!! -didn't Ben Stiller already did that on Cameron Diaz?

Jay

Saturday, 11 February 2017

It's in the science of it

Inuktitut grammar is mathematical.

If it be an edifice, its bricks and mortar are arranged just so and no else. Read it 'backwards' and its terminus is either a noun or a verb and its initial a pronoun or something like it (interestingly, Inuktitut can and does incorporate dual pronouns -- I...you; you...it; we...them; they...us... surlu, -jagit; -jait; -javuk; -jaagut, respectively) and inflect verb/noun phrases to render their relative position in a meaningful sentence moot being as the grammatical marker is encoded into the inflection: (using 'house')

-mi 'in a/the house'   iglumi                                                      iglumi takujara;

-mik 'the/a house'   iglumik                                                      iglumik takujunga;

-mit 'from a/the house'  iglumit                                                iglumit anijuq;

-kkut 'thru a/the.../by a/the.../via a/the...house'   iglukkut       iglukkut nuviqqaujuq;

etc. etc.).

-the structure, for lack of a better word, is beautiful in all possible ways.

Any allowable sequence of sound segments (minimally, consonant-consonant; consonant-vowel; vowel-consonant; vowel-vowel), in Inuktitut, bear upon what forms the syntactic elements may take (a change in voicing and/or place of articulation motivated by the allowable sequences (CC, CV, etc.), suurlu,

takujunga/isiqtunga 'I see/I enter'; or,

pisugli from pisuk + li  'let him/her/it walk'

-Inuktitut does not distinguish gender: 'he/she/it' are all encoded equally and similarly in the -li pronominal ending 'let him/her/it...' -- the distinction dependent upon the context and the subject/object of conversation is mutually understood).

The structure is intertwined and helical in its links. But, it has chirality, -- a sense of left and right -- an asymmetry in the system that requires a solution for a snugly fit. It works beautifully.

And this is merely scratching the surface, so to speak, of the beauty I see in the Inuit language. This same splendor is manifest in all languages. Really.

The glory of G*d interpenetrates and transcends all of creation, from the subatomic to the filaments of galactic dust that comprise our known universe.

Jay

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Purposeful reading

Towards the end of last year I was asked to teach a course on Northern Government to management studies students. I was excited to be given the opportunity to try my hand at this having been a policy analyst for many years for both government and Inuit organizations (focusing on Inuit rights, education and language files), and that I thought I had something to contribute to this discourse.

I wanted to present the material from a historical perspective with the end view that the legal system of Canada is often the only recourse that Inuit have for 'political development'. Where does the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement come from? Why, when Inuit have had pan-Arctic presence as first occupiers, did it turn out that we ended up with four distinct Inuit regions in Canada? How long has the discourse on aboriginal rights been going on? (turns out it's been going since the 1700s with the Royal Proclamation 1763 of King George III)

The history of Canada is the history of the political and legal discourse on aboriginal rights.

But problems soon arose. There was a wall apathy and resentment I had never seen the likes of in my short career as a teacher of adults. I had always suspected that I was a capable teacher having had only pleasant experiences on the main. Even teaching Inuktitut to students with little or no grasp of the language gave me grounds to be optimistic.

But at the college level there is a certain amount of expectation that if the students do not immediately take on the subject discernible progress will happen shortly. Little did I know that I was in for a rough ride. Turns out that even if the majority of the students are willing to give me a chance it takes only one or two to dash any hopes of amicable relations. It eats away at the credibility of the teacher, especially for those who are socially awkward.

Despite all appearances, I didn't take any of the resistance personally. I just had to find a way to reach them. But it turns out that I was up against whole careers in elementary and secondary schooling that, to be brutally honest, cheat the students of any real meaningful engagement right from the start.

I ended up in arguments that neither side could really understand for, what to me were, kind of stupid reasons. It started out with me marking papers that barely made the cut. I gave one student a 19/20 for her two page essay but she was very unhappy about it. She demanded that I explain why I wouldn't give her the whole marks. I did try to explain to her that the logical transitions between ideas and paragraphs were kind of wonky as was her use of unconventional English (well, I didn't use such terms to point that out).

After our arbitrated exchange with the senior instructor, I was wracking my brain as to why I couldn't seem to convince her that my marking scheme was solid. In the final analysis, I decided it had something to do with what I call 'purposeful reading'.

Purposeful reading, I would define, is not just about picking up a strand from at least more than one source and following it where it leads but that it's also being able to be thoughtful in presenting one's begotten insights even if they turn out not to be original rather than parroting (plagiarizing) whole paragraphs of other people's works without giving credit to the original source.

Purposeful reading also allows one to context defined terms and concepts, and being able to roughly follow the logic of arguments. It is about being able to generate general statements from particular sets of facts.

This is where many students fail.

It is not that they're stupid. I highly doubt that there is such a thing as 'stupid' people—we all do stupid things sometimes but that doesn't make us stupid. The problem with many Inuit students is that they've just never been taught to think in a way that meets basic required academic standards. It is a failure of the system rather than a personal failing.

The notion of a liberal arts education requires something a whole lot more than just what the system gives or can afford to give. It requires a long-term commitment from both the student and the teacher. Since most of the teachers in Nunavut are transient government employees the commitment to continuity is key to education.

It is only right and just that we, as teachers, try and ensure this notion of continuity knowing that we're just one sign post along the highway of personal development of the students.

I've always been committed to following strands of thought that sometimes go back thousands of years. I'm no mathematician but I appreciate maths because I was trained by linguistics to appreciate formal logic and its constraint rules that are based on verifiable distinctive features of a discourse.

I've never entered a formal discourse fully-formed and fully-equipped to comprehend the subject; where I normally start from is the set of defined terms and how and why they interact with each other in the internal logic system of the discourse. I build upon what I can comprehend, what I can translate into and draw from other areas of my life experiences to enrich my learning. Most times I am drastically wrong in my thinking but my errors in replicating major arguments are the most instructive of what the discourse requires of me.

I know that I'm not unique in this respect: all viable educational experiences have this feature. Inuit and aboriginal peoples in general have not really been given this opportunity for personal growth.

Jay

Thursday, 26 January 2017

POTUS 45th's 'alternative facts' (alternate reality?)

I found this article from The New York Times interesting and wanted to share it. I absolutely love it. It reveals a profound insight (if not disclosing of how to deal with the 45th, himself) into what 'alternative facts' actually mean.

(from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/us/politics/trump-bernhard-langer-voting-fraud.html?_r=0)


Photo
Bernhard Langer during the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., in April. Despite the president’s claim otherwise, “he is not a friend of President Trump’s,” his daughter said. Credit Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
WASHINGTON — On Monday, President Trump gathered House and Senate leaders in the State Dining Room for a get-to-know-you reception, served them tiny meatballs and pigs-in-a-blanket, and quickly launched into a story meant to illustrate what he believes to be rampant, unchecked voter fraud.

Mr. Trump kicked off the meeting, participants said, by retelling his debunked claim that he would have won the popular vote if not for the three million to five million ballots cast by “illegals.” He followed it up with a Twitter post early Wednesday calling for a major investigation into voter fraud.

When one of the Democrats protested, Mr. Trump said he was told a story by “the very famous golfer, Bernhard Langer,” whom he described as a friend, according to three staff members who were in the room for the meeting.

In the emerging Trump era, the story was a memorable example, for the legislators and the country, of how an off-the-cuff yarn — unverifiable and of confusing origin — became a prime policy mover for a president whose fact-gathering owes more to the oral tradition than the written word.

The witnesses described the story this way: Mr. Langer, a 59-year-old native of Bavaria, Germany — a winner of the Masters twice and of more than 100 events on major professional golf tours around the world — was standing in line at a polling place near his home in Florida on Election Day, the president explained, when an official informed Mr. Langer he would not be able to vote.

Ahead of and behind Mr. Langer were voters who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote, Mr. Trump said, according to the staff members — but they were nonetheless permitted to cast provisional ballots. The president threw out the names of Latin American countries that the voters might have come from.

Mr. Langer, whom he described as a supporter, left feeling frustrated, according to a version of events later contradicted by a White House official.

The anecdote, the aides said, was greeted with silence, and Mr. Trump was prodded to change the subject by Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, and Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas.

Just one problem: Mr. Langer, who lives in Boca Raton, Fla., is a German citizen with permanent residence status in the United States who is, by law, barred from voting, according to Mr. Langer’s daughter Christina.

“He is a citizen of Germany,” she said, when reached on her father’s cellphone. “He is not a friend of President Trump’s, and I don’t know why he would talk about him.”

She said her father was “very busy” and would not be able to answer any questions.

But a senior White House staff member, who was not at the Monday reception but has heard Mr. Trump tell the story, said Mr. Langer saw Mr. Trump in Florida during the Thanksgiving break and told him the story of a friend of Mr. Langer’s who had been blocked from voting.

Either way, the tale left its mark on Mr. Trump, who is known to act on anecdote, and on Wednesday redoubled his efforts to build a border wall and crack down on immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.
The story, the aide added, had made a big impression on Mr. Trump. (end of article)

-This story about Trump being confronted by his own lies really heartens me. The silent but ever-present wall of truth and facts need only stare at him blankly to defang him.

Jay

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Drugs...

...tricked ya.

This is actually a title to a song, thusly (The Drugs):

Cause you're hotter than the sun
And you're better than the drugs
I used to love

I would lose my decadence
I'd do away with all the dirtiness
For your love
I would become innocent
I'd listen to everything mamma said
For your love

Cause you're hotter than the sun
And you're better than the drugs
I used to love
And you're deadly like a gun
Yeah you're deadly like the drugs
Oh the drugs, I used to love

Send me down an angel
And let it pull me up from my own hell
We could float around this place
We'd be above all of the pain in ecstasy

Cause you're hotter than the sun
And you're better than the drugs
I used to love
And you're deadly like a gun
Yeah you're deadly like the drugs
Oh the drugs, I used to love

Give my best to the mess
I've had my fill of it
And give my worst to the curse
I've had my fill of it
And give my blessing to depression
I've had enough of it
Had eh- had eh-
Had enough of it

Cause you're hotter than the sun
And you're better than the drugs
I used to love
And you're deadly like a gun
Yeah you're deadly like the drugs
Oh the drugs, oh the drugs
I used to love

-Mother Mother, 2016

Friday, 13 January 2017

Mental Health

I've had my own challenges and struggles with what could be called "mental health" issues. I've been, in fact, suicidal at various points in my life. Like most Nunavunmiut, I've seen friends and family and fellow Inuit from different communities end their own lives. Oh, such loss, such suffering. Most of them young—somebody's child, somebody's dad, somebody's mom...

I don't think we'll ever figure out suicide. The solutions are not in the terminus of a particular life, but in addressing that which 'caused' that person to do such a thingthe quality of life to which a child is born, the types of experiences they go through in the developmental years, whether the intellectual and moral character and expectations of that person have been cultivated sufficiently by the education they've received (literally, their existential reality from there on out), whether they've been equipped sufficiently to 'make a living', etc. etc.

I've ended up homeless and jobless numerous times in my life, and we all know that it is no way to live. Granted, many of these numerous times have largely been my fault. But the point is that we all go through hard times. Think about it.

What makes some people just give up in the hopeless darkness while others seem to be able to cope and live to see a new day?

In terms of quality of life, most Inuit households would be considered below or barely above the official poverty line. I, myself, grew up in a relatively poor and overcrowded household—many of my generation did. Yet many do not commit suicide.

In terms of types of experiences in my formative years, horrible a lot of it. It wasn't just me. Many went through hell.

My father was a religious man. He tried, of course, to instill Christian values in all of us, his children. I, of course, rebelled against that as a youth but have slowly come to understand him and his faith. I haven't attended church in years. But I'm a believer in the Christ's Gospel. However, I've had to grow old to realize this.

I like to think that I'm a quick study and sufficiently equipped to 'make a living' in most situations.

The point is that if some of our basic needs to become a relatively self-reliant individual are met (even if later than expected), things tend to look and feel a bit more tolerable, I think.

Jay

Sunday, 8 January 2017

solved two more puzzles

and here they are:



everything is solid throughout,But I'm no cheater: and i've been solving them all without any help (though a couple of days it takes me to configure them 'cuz I needs a few experiments to figure them out)




for my attauq

SRV: life without you

Oo oo now baby... tell me how have you been
We all have missed you... and the way you grin
The day is necessary... every now and then
For souls to move on... givin' life back again, and again
Fly on fly on....fly on my friend
Go on... live again... love again
Day after day... night after night
Sittin' here singin' every minute... as the years go passing by... by, by, by
Long look in the mirror... we've come face to face
Wishin' all the love we took for granted... love we have today
Life without you... all the love you passed my way
The angels have waited for so long... now they have their way
Take your place...

bigly...not love but obsession

Hatred, bigotry and extremism are not love, anymore than narcissism is not love but something more primeval—ego. It is nothing less than "a reward" for faithfulness to a cause (cause to oneself, no less).

DJT has tapped into a whole world that he has not known but anything else—self-regard and the aftermath of that self-regard. Only now he is the victim of that obsession (apparent sleepless nights trying to justify himself for his actions and loyalties, and tapping away his little fingers all hours of the night). He walks a razor-thin line but with the whole world on his shoulders.

This is a whole different level than what he is used to. He admires Putin. But he is but an admirer and not the admiree. By all accounts Putin is rather dismissive of the guy.

He cannot, and never can, perceive this. This is the nature of power-obsession: to see reality as nothing more that what is in his control and purview: his whim, and, ironically, that which shrinks smaller and smaller as in direct proportion squared to the distance of his point of origin every time he opens his mouth. He does not understand that a single person cannot influence neither intimidate a whole culture without buy-in from others whom he has alienated at key points of the power structure he has achieved; he will lose...and lose mightily. He is a complainer and a dead weight besides.

I knew a guy. I fought tooth and nail against him on his policy positions. I promised that he would lose to history. It was not my ego that informed me but history. He is now a professor of a not-ivy-league university without having any notion of it but intuition (an inarticulate existential dissatisfaction), and still acts as if. In his mind he is still all that. He is at the dusk of his life—an old man, and dishearteningly angry all the time. He has a mother and father and followers to account for.

Who has time for that?

 No satisfaction there, I can tell you that. He had his 9mm pistol and implied bomb threats to the rest of us in the office (he's an "American") but he wouldn't leave the world without assurance of his "proper" legacy. His ego won't allow him to be a common mass murderer:

mass extinction has a way of influencing ego as nothing else would. One needs survivors to celebrate one's achievements. Who else would celebrate his greatness otherwise? In death there are no winners and losers, only ashes. And, nothing more after that. Death makes us all equal. Breathless, mindless and without documentation. We know not now whom was the greatest amongst the dinosaurs but size. Humans are but a middling in the scale of evolutionary scale. Elephants and whales will be greater than us, hands down.

Jay

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis

I was recently sent an old issue of Scientific American (August 2013) where it features a piece on quantum physics called, What is Real?, by Meinard Kuhlmann (p. 41).

Though much has been said and written about the mysterious—even mystical—nature of quantum mechanics, over the many years of being a sideline watcher my faith in the credibility of the theory has only grown. The theory says that a particle is a wave and a wave a particle: Ok. I accept that. Perhaps it has to do with something deeper than what the human mind can grasp; perhaps this picture of the dual nature of particle-wave is only a mathematical artifact; etc. etc.

The fact remains: the theory works! even if we cannot now fully understand it. Indeed, it would still work without us ever 'understanding' it. It has worked so far because the 'mechanics' of it have largely been worked out if not the metaphysics of it.

In the self-same issue of Scientific American there is a letter to the editor talking about neutrino mass by Carl Gruel wondering "[i]f the current mass measurements of these basic particles [ie, electrons, neutrons and protons] are not sufficiently accurate, can a more accurate measurement be made with today's equipment?"

One of the co-authors of "Ghostly Beacons of New Physics" replies "...According to special relativity [...] energy and mass are equivalent. So the mass of the emitted antineutrino is not simply given by the neutron mass minus the proton and the electron mass; in addition, the kinetic energies of the emitted antineutrino and the electron enter the equation. What the experimentalists do, then, is look at the maximum possible energy of the electron and check whether it can carry away all the missing energy in the budget above. If it doesn't, the difference corresponds to the neutrino mass."

In talking about the paradoxes of particle physics Kuhlmann points out (p. 43) "what we see/calculate/do" with tracks in a bubble chamber is to infer that particles are flying through the chamber and leaving tracks. Then, he points out why this inference is wrong because "[a]ll we really see is a succession of bubbles..." and that it would be a mistake to link them together.

Now, a bubble chamber looks like this:


Each track, Kuhlmann says, comprises of a succession of tiny bubbles (the whorls and curves indicate only the 'particle's' charge, spin and energy resulting from a collision).

Kuhlmann's thesis is that if neither particles and fields are fundamental, then what is? He contends that "[a]s infants, when we see and experience a ball for the first time, we do not actually perceive a ball, strictly speaking. What we perceive is a round shape, some shade of red, with a certain elastic touch. Only later we do associate this bundle of perceptions with a coherent object of a certain kind—namely, a ball.
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Applying this idea to quantum field theory, what we call an electron is in fact a bundle of various properties or tropes: three fixed, essential properties (mass, charge and spin), as well as numerous changing, nonessential properties (position and velocity).
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A particle is what you get when those properties bundle themselves together in a certain way."

The philosopher in me is greatly assuaged by this elegant logic, but I'm still struggling to see why it would be "a mistake to link [...] together" the succession of bubbles that result in a bubble chamber. Perhaps we would be mistaken to link together a succession in a single track but as a system perhaps it is possible to correlate a bubble from one track with the rest of the contemporaneous bubbles on other tracks to gain further insights into the evolution of the system.

I mean, for all we know each successive bubble may not even manifest the three fixed, essential properties (mass, spin and charge) in isolation but are only realized in the context of the whole. As an egocentric sentient being I am all potentia (the greatest, the biggest, etc. as well as the smallest, the weakest, etc.); it is only in relation to the rest of the human world can I reasonably gauge where I am, who I am, and what is possible for me. Where and how and why I diverge from/converge with other human beings and identify myself is psychologically, politically, existentially, practically meaningless without the others to compare and contrast myself.

One of the fundamental questions in linguistics (phonology and morphology especially) is:

"Is the order in which rules apply predictable from any properties of the rules concerned? [italics mine] If it is, no ordering statement would be necessary: the rule is said to be intrinsic. If the order is not given by the theory, and an explicit ordering statement of the type 'Rule X applies before Rule Y' is necessary, the rule order is extrinsic. The issue of intrinsic rule order occupied many phonologists in the 1970s, but the search for the principles that exhaustively govern the order in which rules apply is generally considered to have been unsuccessful [...]. A principle that has stood the test of time is the ELSEWHERE CONDITION. This is really a principle governing the application of rules in general, and has been invoked in morphology as well as phonology. What it says is that when one rule applies to a subset of the forms that another rule applies to, the general rule is blocked from applying to that subset. So it is not just a principle governing order, but also application as such, in a sense that only one of the two rules will be allowed to apply." (Gussenhoven and Jacobs, Understanding Phonology, 2013 p. 111)

When all is said and done, this linguistics principle is equivalent to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle of quantum physics that basically states that we can never know simultaneously the position and velocity of a particle; we must 'sacrifice' one measurement for the other.

Earlier in the Understanding Phonology book, the authors talk about the notions of "distinctive features" in relation to the notion "constraint rules" that govern those distinctive features (of natural segment classes)—to be sure, these principles also apply to natural morphological classes as the Inuit language amply supplies.

This is what is called a "formalist" approach to analysis where we look at different species within a system and how these species do and/or do not interact with each other. A dog, a chien, a qimmiq can mean the same thing up to a certain point. The original "bundle of properties" of the animal allows this in the same way that spin, charge and mass of a particle allow physicists to identify its species and class.

Pragmatics and structural efficacy. We grope in the dark but we are not entirely helpless nor even hopeless: what the luminaries of humanity have found may not be certain metaphysically but they consistently carry us to the right answers often enough for us to come to faith.

Jay