Re: CHAT: facing your own mortality (as a conlanger)
|From:||Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, August 9, 2008, 14:27|
Rick Harrison skrzypszy:
>Tuesday night I fell into a pond and nearly drowned. Since it was warm
>stagnant water, there is a remote chance that I may have been infected
>by Naegleria fowleri amoeba; if so, I could be dead within a couple of
I hope you are doing fine!
>If you have a personal language that you've never revealed to
>anyone else, for example: would you want to write a description of
>the language ahead of time, and make arrangements to have it
>published after passing away? How would you make such arrangements?
I can't really say I have anything of significance that is not online. Nothing complete enough
to be published in whatever way, in any case.
It's a slightly different story with my music. Nothing of it has ever been published, although
most of it has been performed. I haven't made any arrangements regarding this; all I can
hope is that when I'm gone my family will take care of it and make sure that it's being
performed every once in a while - IMO that's a much better way of commemorating a person
than visiting a grave.
>If you have web pages that you want to stay online after you can
>no longer pay the hosting bill, what options are available? The
>Wayback Machine at archive.org doesn't catch everything and it might
>not be around forever.
I have to admit that this thought has occurred to me sometimes. Well, I suppose my domain
at free.fr will stay around for a while. But nothing lasts forever, and there will be a day when
it's ultimately gone. As for all my Wenedyk/RTC stuff, I would certainly hope someone else
would make sure my work stays around for another while.
What worries me more is actually this: how is the world going to find out that I'm dead?
Even my friends from Ill Bethisad are pretty used to me being inactive from time to time. All
they will notice that I don't post to Conculture, don't edit the IBWiki, and don't reply to
private mails. But it might take quite some time before people would find out that I'm dead.
One case comes to mind here. Remember Libor Sztemon? Well, my Internet carreer started
more or less in 2001, and one of the first things that caught my interest were his North
Slavic conlangs. I was thrilled to find out that someone else had been exploring the same
ideas as I had. After I had created a Langmaker profile for Vozgian, he quickly linked to it
from his pages. Later, I wrote him several private e-mails, but never got any reply. Only in
2004, it was Jan Havlis who posted to Slaviconlang that Libor had died in 2002 at the age of
24. His pages (with his languages and fonts) are still online; AFAIK, his family takes good
care of them. I have copies of most of his pages on my computer. Should his work disappear
from the net, because the host stops hosting it or something, than I'll be ready to upload
>The conlangers of ancient times published their ideas in books,
>which has preserved them to some degree, although some of the old
>books are scarce collectors' items, unavailable from libraries and
Frankly, I'm very hesitant to even give it a try. My only conlang big enough for such a thing
would be Wenedyk. But it's still under development. I keep creating new words, and every
once in a while I make minor modifications to the existing material. Once it were to be
published, that would mean the language is "frozen" from that moment on. I'm not sure if
I'm ready for that.
All that is pure theory, of course, because I can't think of a publishing house that would be
waiting for my stuff to publish it!
>Is it arrogant to want some of your ideas to live on after you die?
Not at all! For me, it's crucial. After I'm dead, all that stays of me are two things: the
memories people have about me, and my work. The latter would be my very tiny imprint in
world history - one way to achieve immortality.