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Lim's Poetic Notes

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Wed May 18, 2022 10:49 am
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Liminality says...

Ayer's Verification Principle

I could not tell how
humans can know right from wrong,
not even this bridge
can predict energetic
flashes of watery light.

An attempt to define meaning: a sentence S is meaningful if and only if its truth value can be verified (by observation). It ruled out a lot of sentences that seem meaningful, as meaningless, including moral statements. The verificationists later admitted the kinds of meaning this can accommodate is really quite narrow.

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277 Reviews

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Points: 11910
Reviews: 277
Wed May 18, 2022 11:00 am
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Liminality says...

Text Analytics Abcedarian

Alphabet soup left to dry
becomes an alphabet fossil.
Clusters of words coalesce,
dancing dust motes overhead.
Effortfully meaningless, the eater must
find the head and tail of it,
give it a life.

High temperatures, a stuffy restaurant
in the dark corners of downtown.
Juice bar, abandoned: only Jupyter.
k-means little, the static, the noise.
Lullaby for unsuspicious dreamers.
Meddling is a must, so we
needle our way through
or crack the surface.

Pie is the next available alternative.
Questions upon questions, we
rack our library stacks to answer.
Standardisation of the salt shakers,
terror of the tumeric.
U don't put tumeric
victoriously into
Western cuisine.

X-axis is running late, runs out of time, eventually.
Y-axis only had the chance to finish lunch, on the
zebra crossing -- a splash of spilled soup.

An absurd abcedarian about timed lunch, trying to make sense of text similarity models and the Python Standard Library.

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Points: 11910
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Tue May 24, 2022 4:06 am
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Liminality says...

Spectrogram Worlds

Our voices paint
black ocean waves
and some dark comets
streaking, racing each other
over a sky of noise.

Every so often
a portal opens --
the sound sizzles
into silence

only to resume
tracking paths
along the mountainsides
as though the water
never ceased.

We try to chart maps
of these movements
in red, peppering
the winding routes
and forming
constellations that sigh
with the wind.

Spectrograms are really hard and I need to romanticise them. They look quite beautiful, actually, when you switch off the formants layer and can see the actual, well . . . Formants.

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277 Reviews

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Points: 11910
Reviews: 277
Tue May 24, 2022 4:16 am
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Liminality says...

There was a front vowel

There was a front vowel who tried
to run from the linguist and hide,
it hiked up its skirts
and heaped up its shirtsː
a tumbling lateral disguiseǃ

You've got to watch out for those vowel transitions! And also hope you don't mistake one for what is actually a whole other vowel entirely @_@ An overly high formant 1 (or fundamental frequency) could mean either there's something about the [i] being influenced by an adjacent sound, or that's not actually an [i] at all, but an [ɪ]. Hmm, the more I write this note, the more I'm thinking it might be the latter . . .

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277 Reviews

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Wed May 25, 2022 9:37 am
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Liminality says...

Outline: A story about a philosophy student

Just a bunch of idea notes for now!

Spoiler! :
- Writing three or four drafts of an essay within a weekend
- Trying to figure out the nature of personal identity because had an argument with a friend-crush over whether or not they were the same person
- The protag wants to philosophically prove to their childhood friend they have a hot-and-cold relationship with that they ARE the same person from their youth even though they seem to have changed a lot
- The first plot point is when they review their own first draft and see the lack of direction and the desperation
- Dark Night of the Soul -- is when they worry about whether or not their friend is trying to send them a different message and say they want them to prove something to them
- Final Battle -- overcoming the doubt and writing the essay
- Ending -- hanging out with the friend next weekend, friend has forgotten all about that argument -- they hang out more because the protag has finished their assignment early

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Tue May 31, 2022 4:57 am
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Liminality says...

ValueError Mismatch

Code: Select all
ValueError: Length of list vectors must match length of `data` when both are used, but `data` has length 39 and the vector passed to `languages` has length 20.

(we are operating at a surplus of talk
an unbalancing surplus of talk.)

file = os.path.join(ai.data_dir, "The_World.gz")
df = pd.read_minds(file)

#doesn't work

(we are unbalancing talk
an embarrassing surplus of talk.)

#still trying to debug this

The problem of having a lot of one kind of data and not enough of the others.

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Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:43 pm
Liminality says...


I drew {a diagram of the musculature of the arm}
in my year seven Science notebook.

It was a hard and lonely little thing
pressed into paper
coloured a powder red
having won itself ten marks.

Real muscles are always losing,
pulling against each other, giving way,
shedding dead cells like
sawdust flakes.

But all I had was {a diagram of the moving
of the musculature of the arm}
locked in place until the paper rotted.


I was reading a paper (Fang 2004) today about scientific literacy and features of scientific language. One of the features described was abstraction. When someone tries to write, say, a science textbook, they prefer to write nouns and noun phrases where in spoken language, they might have used verbs and adjectives. The paper argued this was because nouns allow something to become a participant in a sentence and so allowed more use of general statements, such as 'the moving of the musculature of the arm allows us to manipulate objects of interest'. :] I thought it was interesting, because it shows an area of difficulty. Reading these super long noun phrases and making sense of them is hard, and yet somehow they are necessary for talking about science in a 'scientific' way. (The paper also cited a study showing that instances of 'messy' mixing of informal and scientific registers tended to confuse students even more, because they were unable to acquire the language of science in full.)

Edit: Another point that made me sort this under 'Epistemology' was also that nominalization tends to 'fix' things in place, make them unchanging, whereas in real life things do change and flux all the time. So that reminded me of something we discussed regarding the Western construct of 'knowledge' in Philosophy classes. For example, when we discuss muscles that move in the abstract, we kind of take it for granted that the muscles do indeed always move this way, so we can classify this movement, maybe even put it in a taxonomy, etc. Whereas an alternative view might be to see not a general 'moving of the muscle', but to see many diverse instances of muscles that move, each in different ways. However, this way of viewing it makes it more difficult to discuss, generalise, compare and synthesise, which are all operations that are staples in Western Science. Ultimately, I think the paper by Fang is trying to describe Science as this mode of meaning(or knowledge) making.

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
— Henry David Thoreau