Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

What would you like to do?
coi lo jbopre
My name is Dustin and you might know me as ldlework or mokau or cadgu'a. I'm
writing to announce the current motion to nominate selpa'i as the current warden
for the language in a provisionally offical capacity contingent on the general
attitudes professed by the community's response to the motion. selpa'i would be
replacing Robin Lee Powell in this position.
Currently, the IRC and Facebook communities have been approached. The response so
far has been extremely positive with a current count of 20 to 1 in favor of the
motion. Broca of the BPFK has given his provisional support of the motion and Ali
Sajid Imami of the LLG has given positive approval.
Robin Lee Powell has declared that he will abstain from voting explicitly, citing
personal reasons but has offered the following words (edited for clarity):
rlpowell: I confirm [that] I'd [just] as soon someone else took my Lojbanic authority.
rlpowell: I'm ever so slightly mildly skeptical about selpa'i specifically because
he's not well known throughout the community the way I was.
rlpowell: I'm mildly worried that his lack of presence there will lead to schism or something.
rlpowell: Having said that, I certainly don't know of anybody *better* suited for the job.
rlpowell: and I, personally, like him and his attitude towards Lojban.
So what will this actually mean for the community and the language?
As it stands Lojban is a vibrant community of speakers of a wide range of fluency.
At the tail end, some extremely active and hard-working jbopre have, over the
years, contributed many efforts to the language such as translations, music but
also proposals of enhancements or refinements of various aspects of the language
including its grammar, cmavo and general lexicon. However without an active
leadership many of these modifications remain in conversational limbo where they
are discussed for years in vain since there is no explicit mechanism for
integration into the language or lexicon. New speakers get confused at the
apparent lack of consensus.
selpa'i would be the figurehead for the re-activation of this explicit mechanism for
integration. If you are familiar with software development, this responsibility is
synonymous with that of a repository maintainer. In that sense, he will have the
authority to merge pull requests back into the repository thereby making the change
"official". The authority to perform the "last-step" approval or disapproval of any
of the number of outstanding or future proposals that may take place is what allows
the language to continue to evolve and adapt to the creativity and usage of its
I ask that everyone refrain from accusations of dictatorship and other similarly
colored arguments. Lojban has always had an acting leadership for all of the
utilities mentioned above. The motion should not in anyway be interpreted that
selpa'i is solely responsible for engineering proposals and that all our own
responsibilities to partake in the creative process have been revoked. On the
contrary, with an actually active leadership we hope that the motion will encourage
those who tend to think very deeply about the nuance of Lojban's various systems to
feel more confident that they have a venue through which their ideas may actually
one day be realized.
Furthermore, if selpa'i is indeed found to be an acceptable leader for our lovely
language a major effort will be made to "open source" the language. We have a PEG
grammar, reference material, and a lexicon all of which are data that can be
managed with principles and procedures that more resemble the management of a
software development. The intention is to make the entire process extremely more
visible and open with actual mechanisms for structured review and integration just
like in the software world. I hope it is readily apparent how this could be an
incredible boon for the direct democracy that so many desire.
Lastly, I will speak a bit about selpa'i himself. As I have known him, he has
demonstrated a prowess of the language that I have yet to see matched in a
demonstrated way. His deep familiarity with not only the various grammatical
systems but their nuance, their great qualities and their systemic inefficiencies
is really inspiring. As one of the most active jbopre, he continuously emits
high-quality literary translations, and even music. He is an active Lojban
teacher with a number of current students that he lectures and gives formal
training to. The guy can *rap* in Lojban :) I invite you to read his active blog
which is where most of his published thinking on Lojban resides: *
and also many of his Lojban writings are available at:
* NB: These are proposals only! I think they show a depth of thinking about the
language. But the intended work is completely community-driven and no proposal
would be implemented without wide support.
Here is a current log of everyone who has given a direct response to the motion
(which will be updated as the motion is on-going):
Here is log of the discussion that has taken place on facebook as of this
Please, use this thread to voice your approval or disapproval for this motion. If
you disapprove it is enough to say so and give a bit of reasoning behind why you
think so. Long digressions will make it difficult to ascertain an accurate
distilling of everyone's approval or disapproval. Nays will be counted regardless
of their length! :)
Thank you for reading! If you'd like to participate in a more real-time discourse,
I highly encourage you to visit #lojban on Freenode IRC. If you're
unfamiliar with that, you can use to join.
.i finti fa la'o gy Dustin Lacewell gy no'u la'o irci ldlework irci no'u la mokau
.i cusku'i fa la'o gy Alex Burka gy no'u la'o irci durka42 irci
.i mu'o
Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment