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Semiformalishmaybe

Catting /dev/audio

If we were to want to represent the sounds cats make in written form, how would we do it? One problem, which I will temporarily neglect, is that we don't hear (probably, anyhow) cat noises as language - in the same way that we usually parse human speech in languages we don't know as sounds using separate brain regions than those in a language we know, we probably parse cat sounds using that "sound path" (there may be some reason to doubt this given that we regularly extract meaning from the distinctions in cat sounds, and I am unaware of any imaging studies on the topic, but we'll provisionally accept it). Perhaps if we don't break them apart into language-phones, we'd have a tough time making appropriate graphemes for it.

I have two cats, one very vocal (the male), one very quiet (the female). The male cat's vocalisations are very expressive - with my eyes closed, I can easily tell if he's hungry, thirsty, desirous of attention, stuck, etc. Tone seems to be a big part of cat vocal meaning, although there's still some traditional phones - I think there are only two vowels, "oh" and "ahh", I often hear a "w" consonant (Tortfeasor's "I am hungry" sounds like "wohw-wohw" with the second "wo" in a higher tone) and sometimes a few others.

Incorporating tones into written language as a straight sound-grapheme map (rather than in meaning/context-inferred or concept-representative glyphs): challenging.

I wonder if cats have a stronger universal grammar than people do, and if there's any learnedness to it in the sense that humans, apes, and some whales/dolphins have. It's been a long time since I've met another cat as eager to communicate to me as Torts.

It would be interesting if in times past, the (in retrospect goofy) experiments where medievals tried to prove/discover a universal language by isolating (or finding isolated) youth from language learning and waiting for it to utter its own phonemes (not surprisingly, the most well known ancient experiments tended to discover whatever language people of the time wanted to place on a pedistal, be it Hebrew, Latin, Greek, or something else).

New Yogurt place in SqHill: Good, surprisingly inexpensive. Also managed "Less Lazy Loop" without walking on today's jog. I am puzzled as to why jogging makes my arms and upper back sore without there being any feeling of wear from those parts of the body during. If jogging really does require any upper body strength (not sure how more muscles up there would help - my arms move fine), if I were to do it more often I might want to spend some time rock climbing to rebuild those muscles.

Was trying to figure out a way to work Diggers and Levellers into the distant backstory of the New England story (yes, it has a name, but if I ever put some effort into it, I'd rather be able to scoop up the domain name easily), but making some heritage from there into something plot-relevant would feel too contrived. I might already have way too much background (nontheless enjoyable) for what might actually be worth working into a sketch. The problem, maybe, is that this is set in the same world as another story I've been working on much less actively (and even less has seen another person's eyes) - that project is sci-fi futureblogging set several hundred years after this - while working out the course of world events between now and then this turned out to be one of the other good story points. Either way, having it be first person narrated puts it in common with that much later story, and makes it less like a comic.

A big deal was made of what its popularity meant for US-Turkish relations as well as provides yet another mirror for the observant among humanity to see what we are; I'm curious to read this book (perhaps some of my readers, even those of which don't consider patriotism/nationalism to be cultural rot, would also be interested). Unfortunately, it being a jingoistic junk novel (on par with but different in what type of "omg the reality is that I'm correct and I'm awesome/righteous and the rest of the world is wrong and people who called me egoistic and crazy sure feel stupid now" content is present in LaHaye's worryingly popular 「Left Behind」 series), it's not likely to be translated to English, German, or Spanish (and I can't read Turkish at all).

I'd like to think that Sarkozy's party will lose big in the next election, perhaps giving Royal another shot at the presidency (and hopefully not one of the Le Pens). Sarkozy isn't irritating-as-hell like Blair or Gordon Brown, but it'd be nice to see him out.

I wonder if there are any statues to Pitt the Elder (city's namesake) in Pittsburgh.

I sometimes wonder if the science-fiction-esque state of the biotech industry is because of exceptional funding or because these crazy inventions really were low-hanging fruit. In agencies funding science (and those close to them), I wonder whether people really use a two-box truth table of low/high, or whether there's different treatment of time and funding. I've heard a reasonable amount about future breakthroughs where it's said "at our current level of funding we'll make zero progress while the same amount of money applied over just 15 years all at once would have a reasonable shot at success" (most recently, in one of the stanford youtube videos on nuclear fusion). Interplay of politics and science funding sounds complex.

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