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The following is a draft of the statutes. Different people have diverse ideas for the structure and purposes of the organization. There remain areas where much more detail is needed. Please sign up for the Wiki, double-click this text and add your comments.
The International Lojban Enthusiast Society (lo rolnai lojbo bo nelci jikca)
A social membership organization whose mission is to provide venues and contexts for interacting in Lojban.
1. What's the difference between ILES and The Logical Language Group?
ILES would not control what the Lojban language is. That is an application of language design, math, logic, and the sciences. ILES would solely be in charge of creating the purposes toward which languages are put.
To work effectively as a legally incorporated entity, The Logical Language Group, Inc. can only fit about a couple of dozen LLG Members and an even smaller Board of Directors. The Bylaws restrict membership to those with certain types of expertise. It is in charge of the language definition and development.
But according to the Bylaws of The Logical Language Group, Inc., it is also tasked with social objectives that are outside the scope of a group so small to do alone. Social functions need to be delegated to a body large enough to be democratic for the community, and large enough to stay active when half its members are unavailable for months at a time.
2. What does ILES do?
2.1 Social Functions
A social function is anything that depends on agreeing to show up at a particular place at a particular time. It would be enhanced by a voting process similar to that of meetup.com.
- Organizing and attending Logfest.
- Scheduling phone chats.
- Scheduling IRC meetups.
- Creating, administering, and playing the Lojban MOO and roleplaying micronation, xartum.
- Chartering branch clubs such as the one in Detroit, and the potential one in California.
- Coordinating collaborators on original Lojban literarature, music, art and film.
2.1 Mouthpiece to Enthusiasts
ILES will not speak for the LLG, or for what the language is. But it will democratically represent the enthusiasts (see 3.2), and create an online digest of the output of the Lojban community.
Lojban has leveraged the potential of the internet to an incredible degree, but the best is yet to come. The success of other communities in networking through Livejournal, Friendster and MySpace proves that the internet is an incredible galvanizing mechanism. Lojban now has a podcast, but should also syndicate all Lojban blogs on the home page, and have Lojban enthusiasts create profile pages for themselves on the wiki.
Another mission of ILES will be an eventual outreach to offline Lojbanists. After the new org builds up great momentum with its internet constituency, we can do a postcard mailing and call the phone numbers on the list to see if they work, and try to have a non-internet outreach the same way we try to have outreach to countries that don't have Lojban materials in their language yet.
3. Who is involved? How much do we have to have in common?
3.1 Who is involved?
Membership is open to anyone who is interested in Lojban, at any skill level. Voting rights in the organization are conferred for one year by sending $5 to the Logical Language group with a request for membership. Subsidized memberships are available to students enrolled in school or college who demonstrate interest in the language.
3.2 How much do we have to have in common?
The first thing that is often asked about Lojban is "what is it for?" and many Lojbanists are quick to say "there are a huge variety of unrelated purposes, and to each person it is for whatever they want." Then we go on to describe Saphir-Whorf, AI research, the use of Lojban as a toy for shared fiction, and many others.
Each use is valid, and if someone thinks their usage of it is the only valid one, the misperception is not about Lojban. Their misperception has to do with whether their own valuation criteria are absolutes.
Those who employ Lojban for artistic and literary purposes should recognize that it would lose its unique potentials for those purposes were it not for those who participants who are formally trained in Linguistics, Psychology, Philosophy, Logic, Mathematics, Computer Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Education and Human Biology.
Similarly, how much good is Lojban for serious experimentation if it isn't used? A language involves populations of speakers, which means all kinds of people from all walks of life, and many of them are going to use an artificial language for purposes unfitting to reputable scholarship, such as playing games or writing erotic horror novels. This is what a language does. More to the point, this is what linguistics test subjects do in their natural habitat.
Neither the researchers nor the hobbyists can do as well without each other. The functions of ILES should respect the variety of purposes to which Lojban can be put.
4. What Method Is Used To Make Decisions?
RSPVing on times and locations for online and offline meetups will take place on the Lojban e-mail lists and polls on the wiki. It will merely be chiming in with one's desires, and tabulating them to figure out how to get the desired number of people to agree to be at the same online place at the same time.