20 September 2005

Abulafia

Abulafia is the name of the fictitious computer program mentioned in Foucault's Pendulum. It is the database of the three editors in which they input the stories they read and the computer in turn makes connections within the stories. You might have noticed that I am taking such a long time to finish this book. Well, that is expected, I am again a full-time student, and add to that I have some teaching responsibilities as well.

There was once a funny passage, when the editors were trying to test the program. They instructed the computer to change every "a" into "alla" and to change every "u" into "ulla". They wanted that to happen so that the text would look like Finnish. Why don't I try it myself?

There wallas once alla fullanny pallassallage, when the editors were trying to test the prograllam. They instrullacted the compullater to challange every alla into allallalla alland to challange every ulla into ullallalla. They wallanted thallat to hallappen so thallat the text woullald look like Finnish. Why don't I try it myself?

Hmm, that doesn't look Finnish to me. Well, I guess since I have a little knowledge of Balto-Finnic languages in terms of structure, and so I know what to expect.

I observed that there is a trend with regard to the comments that I receive in this blog. Whenever I post something technical (remember my post entitled "Pragmatic" and the other post entitled "[(p > q) & q] > p"?) I get a few comments. Maybe because of the technicality of the topic. I am not saying that the post is so "high" up there. Honestsly, some of the readings I read are incomprehensible. But I think the reason is that the topic is specialized that it is not too plausible that many people would have an interest in it.

I had a haircut this morning. I had it cut short. How do I describe it? (This is the bad thing, when I don't have a digicam.) I just told the barber to give me a short haircut that would look like a two-week growth of a military haircut. I wanted my hair to be short, not dangling, and I wanted it short enough to stand up whenever I put hairgel on it.

I also realized last weekend how close to nature I am here. I see things that I haven't seen before in Manila. Right here, I actually can see birds! Birds are a rarity in Manila, with the pollution and all. Here, I see the geese quacking and the birds flying in formation. And I see the rabbits, the squirrels, the racoons, and all the other crawling creatures on the prairie, I mean, on the stretch of land. And last Sunday, I saw two dead deer on Millersport Highway, in the middle of the road! I guess they were crossing in the middle of the night and got hit by a car. But my friend had a different hypothesis. He said that those might have been dumped by illegal deer hunters. Oh, that was an instance of abduction! We saw the effect, and we abduced the cause!

I am slowly doing my research for my papers that I wil write for the classes I am taking. I am spending more and more time in the library since last week. And I had a discovery. I was searching for journal articles, and I found out that all the journals in UB Libraries are online. Apparently, UB is a subscriber of a certain database of scientific and academic journals. So I could just go to the internet and download a PDF version of the necessary journal article! How convinient!

Also, someone mentioned to me that if I was to write papers, and since Linguistics is a subject known for papers (we rarely, if not never, have exams, our grades are based on our written output), someone recommended me LaTeX (pronounced lay-tech with the "ch" as a German "ch" as in "Bach"). I've heard of it before, and they say it is a very user-friendly application for people who write a lot. Does anyone know how to use this? Maybe some of you can enlighten me.

3 comments:

  1. Good luck with your papers!

    Keep smiling

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  2. Is there a great pollution in Manila?

    In Würzburg you can see many birds, ducks at the river, pigeons in the city and many little birds in the great park - and around our house are even extreme much birds cause there are so many trees in the garden.

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  3. Susanne,

    Du hast keine Idee!

    If you permit me to be a bit frank for a moment, I can actually see the difference between the color of my nosedirt whenever I go to school (which is in the city center) and whenever I don't, since I live in the suburbs. It is that apparent. And animals are a rarity because of that, we never see birds and crawling creatures anymore.

    LIW

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