Counterfeit Monkey — 270 of 292

Emily Short

Release 5

Section 5 - Professor Brown

The greeting of professor brown is "He grunts."

The generic positive of professor brown is "yes".

The generic negative of professor brown is "no".

The generic confrontational of professor brown is "uh".

what he seems doing is a questioning quip.

The printed name is "what he is doing". The true-name is "what he seems doing".

Understand "is" as what he seems doing.

It mentions research and Professor Brown.

The comment is "'What are you up to there?' we ask. Asking Brown questions when he's working is a bit of a crap-shoot, I tell you now.".

The response is "He wiggles his nose back and forth. I knew him for three months before I figured out what the wiggle is: it is his hands-free way of working his spectacles back up his nose when they start to slide down. [paragraph break]Without looking at us, he says, 'I'm getting ready to do a new calibration run on [']love['].' [paragraph break]This is a fav[our]ite of his, because you can get it so easily from a glove, so the materials are inexpensive.".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

what love looks like is a questioning quip.

It mentions research.

The comment is "'What does love look like, then?' we ask, as though I hadn't seen this a bunch of times already.".

The response is "[long love answer]".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It indirectly-follows what he seems doing.

To say long love answer:

say "'It varies,' Professor Brown replies. 'The manifestation of a complex concept depends on a variety of circumstances; by default if multiple concepts are available, the letter tool will produce whichever concept requires least energy to produce, but in cases where several concepts are indistinguishably popular, the results are apparently random.

'Recent research suggests that the outcome can be influenced by the language community surrounding the operation and even by the intention of the tool's user (to a limited degree); but I am not interested in pursuing those angles at present.' [paragraph break]There: Professor Brown in a nutshell. Did he tell you anything you wanted to know? No.[paragraph break]";

say "The deal is that manifestations of 'love' tend to look like stuff you'd find on a greeting card: roses, hearts, kiss symbols. Every once in a while you get something a little more platonic. But it's a let-down, if you want to know the truth. Most significant abstracts are like that: all you get by reifying them is a popular visual[ization]. "

what he thinks of Higgate is a questioning quip.

It mentions Professor Higgate.

The comment is "'What do you think of Professor Higgate?' we ask..".

The response is "He gives a convulsive jerk of the shoulders. 'She's okay,' he says. 'She comes down here a lot and she keeps trying to get me to join her Conversational Lojban Tea, and I don't much see the point of her research, but I don't hate her or anything.'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It is background-information.

what he thinks of you is a questioning quip.

It mentions yourself.

The comment is "'So... There's a guy who I think is a graduate student here [--] Matthew Rosehip? Do you know him?'".

The response is "This startles Brown enough that he turns around and looks at us. There is a curiously wary look in his eyes, and it hits me: He's worried. [paragraph break]See, about a month ago I was down here talking to Brown and I let slip some general hints about what I've been working on, and I had the impression that for once he was listening. When I was done with the very rough outlines, he told me to be careful, really really careful [--] not just on the island, but in the outside world, too, because there were a lot of people who wouldn't want a plan like that to succeed. [paragraph break]'I know all the graduate students,' he replies, turning another knob until his equipment gives a high-pitched whine. There is no functional purpose to that knob, he confessed once, other than to make strangers and idiots think they're interrupting a dangerous test. 'I'm not supervising his research, if that's what you mean. His advisor is Professor Waterstone.'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It is background-information.

what he thinks of Waterstone is a questioning quip.

It mentions Professor Waterstone.

The comment is "'Do you get along with Professor Waterstone?' we ask.".

The response is "He is silent for a minute. Then he says, 'Once Professor Waterstone gave me a conch shell. He said I could s-remove it and settle the dispute about the afterlife once and for all.'

This is not an anecdote I've heard before, but that sounds like a typically Waterstonian way of sending someone to blazes. 'What did you say?' I make us ask.

'I pointed out that in the phrase [']conch shell['], [']conch['] is a strongly-adhering adjective, so that actually you can't make a conch shell into much of anything, and moreover that reifications merely represent an amalgam of the most common beliefs about an abstract, rather than having any essential truth value.'

Brown sniffs. 'He didn't have a come-back to that.'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It is background-information.

why Waterstone gave him the conch shell is a questioning quip.

It mentions Professor Waterstone.

The comment is "'Do you have any idea why Professor Waterstone, er, offered you the conch shell?'".

The response is "Brown twitches. 'I was just in his office talking to him. Suddenly he got testy and sarcastic and gave me the shell. Some of the department here don't have very good people skills.'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It indirectly-follows what he thinks of Waterstone.

what Professor Brown thinks of the academic job market is a questioning quip.

Understand "he" as what Professor Brown thinks of the academic job market.

It mentions Employment.

The comment is "'How is the job search going?' we ask. 'Are you still considering moving?'".

The response is "He looks confused, so I have us hastily add, 'I heard from one of the graduate students that you were on the market.' [paragraph break]'Yes well,' he replies, in a tortoise-like voice you have heard often before. 'Under recent circumstances it is unlikely that I would receive a visa to work elsewhere. Nonetheless, I do send out the applications every fall, just in case the contract does not get renewed. Sometimes I even get a telephone interview or two.'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It is background-information.

wish Professor Brown luck is a performative quip.

Understand "wish him luck" as wish Professor Brown luck.

It mentions employment, Professor Brown.

The comment is "'Well, good luck with that.'".

The response is "'At this point I need some kind of major change in the universe more than I need lu[--]' He stops and stares into the middle distance through the green spectacles. Then he bends over the work table and scribbles something in tiny writing on one of the scraps of paper there. [paragraph break]'Sorry!' he says. 'Had a thought.'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It directly-follows what Professor Brown thinks of the academic job market.

how Professor Brown makes abstracts is a questioning quip.

Understand "he" as how Professor Brown makes abstracts.

It mentions research.

The comment is "'What equipment do you use to make your abstracts?' we ask.".

The response is "'It's an ordinary letter-remover with a few adjustments,' Brown says. 'The department's computer can lift some of the legal overrides on standard letter tools. The job would be easier if I had access to higher-powered machinery, but...'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It indirectly-follows what he seems doing.

Availability rule for whether he can fix the letter-remover:

if the letter-remover is not visible, it is off-limits.

Plausibility rule for whether he can fix the letter-remover:

if Professor Brown does not recollect how Professor Brown makes abstracts, it is dubious.

Instead of Professor Brown discussing whether he can fix the letter-remover when the letter-remover is not touchable:

say "'I'd need access to it first, obviously,' he says, as though speaking to a freshman."

whether he can fix the letter-remover is a demonstration quip.

It mentions the letter-remover.

The comment is "'Could you fix my letter-remover to make abstract objects as well?'"

The response is "'It's not difficult, you just[--] oh, stay here, I'm not supposed to bring students into the rectification room.'

He takes the letter-remover and steps out into the hallway. I can hear him using his keycard on the door, going into the little room west of the hallway, doing something there. (Don't bother thinking we're going to cosh him and take the keycard. I'm sure there's a better way, and I don't cosh people.)

He comes back in a minute.

'There,' he says. 'Should be abstract-enabled now.'"

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

Understand "if" as whether he can fix the letter-remover.

what he thinks of the letter-remover is a demonstration quip.

It mentions the letter-remover.

The comment is "[one of]'Is there anything else that could be done to upgrade my letter-remover?' we ask naively.[or]'Anything else I should know about the letter-remover?' we ask.[stopping]".

The response is "[one of]'Nothing I can help you with, I'm afraid,' he says. 'There are some safety overrides that could be programmed out, allowing you to make living creatures, but that's...' He does his spasmodic shrug. 'One of those things where I think the laws have a point. It's dangerous and possibly even cruel.'[or]'That's as good as I can make it for you,' he says. 'As I said, I think the law is right to prohibit living creatures.'[stopping]".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It is repeatable.

It indirectly-follows whether he can fix the letter-remover.

Carry out Professor Brown discussing whether he can fix the letter-remover:

record "lifting abstraction limits on the letter-remover" as achieved;

now the letter-remover device is upgraded.

why reifying living creatures seems cruel is a questioning quip.

The printed name is "why reifying living creatures is cruel". The true-name is "why reifying living creatures seems cruel".

Understand "is" as why reifying living creatures seems cruel. The comment is "'Why would it be cruel to make a living creature?' you ask.".

It mentions letter-remover.

The response is "'We don't know whether such creations have awareness and sensation like other creatures,' he says. 'If they do, it is horrible to bring them into existence only to send them out again.'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It indirectly-follows what he thinks of the letter-remover.

thank Professor Brown is a performative quip.

It mentions Professor Brown.

The comment is "'That's wonderful [--] thank you!'".

The response is "'Yes well,' he says. 'Don't show it to anyone. Technically you shouldn't have that.'".

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

It indirectly-follows whether he can fix the letter-remover.

Rule for refusing comment by Professor Brown when the noun is r-abstract:

say "We show off [the noun]. ";

if the noun is proffered by a person:

say "Brown frowns. '[That-those of noun] [is-are of noun] made from a living being,' he remarks. 'That's against policy [--] I recommend you put it back.'";

otherwise if the noun is noisy:

say "[one of]'These audio abstracts are always tuned in to what people have in mind at the moment. Like an all-time Top 40. In fact I think they use abstracts to DJ Island Radio 95.5 FM.' He might be joking, but it's plausible enough[or]He waves us off. Audio abstracts aren't really his thing[stopping].";

otherwise if the noun is verbal:

say "[one of]'Yeees,' says Brown wearily. 'These verbals are notoriously changeable and unstable. The name of a name.'[or]'I've seen the type before,' he remarks.[stopping]";

otherwise if the noun is proffered by the ring:

say "'Ah! inventive. Not an item of great cultural significance, but an unusual choice, I grant you.'";

otherwise:

say "'[one of]Mmhmm[or]Very nice[or]Not bad[at random],' he says, but he's obviously still focused on his own work."

what he thinks about the word is a demonstration quip.

It mentions the word.

The comment is "We demonstrate the word."

The response is "'It's odd, isn't it? You'd think this would somehow reveal something about the nature of words, but all it does is point to other words.'"

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

what he thinks about the pasts is a demonstration quip.

It mentions the pasts.

The comment is "We demonstrate the pasts."

The response is "'Yes,' says Brown, interested. 'This is good, very nice example of how an object can be affected by the creator and local environment. It appears to be a record of your own behavi[our] alone, but with the right laboratory conditions it ought to be possible to produce a past abstract referring to someone else, or to a place.'"

It quip-supplies Professor Brown.

Definition: a thing is verbal:

if it is the lie:

yes;

if it is the adage:

yes;

if it is the passage:

yes;

if it is the alterna-letter:

yes;

if it is proffered by the word:

yes;

no.

Rule for refusing comment by Brown when the noun is r-abstract:

if the current interlocutor is an animal:

make no decision;

say "'Hm, yes. A common specimen.'"

Rule for refusing comment by Brown when the noun is an age:

say "[one of]'I've done a bunch of runs of that, since the supplies are cheap,' he comments. 'It's pretty well-documented territory. Around Atlantis, you'll find it almost always resolves to a particular part of our history that children study in school.'[or]'Uh huh.' He barely looks up from his work.[stopping]".

Rule for refusing comment by Brown when the noun is an r-abstract noisy thing:

say "[one of]'There's some useful literature on which abstracts have to come with sound,' Brown says, checking out [the noun].[or]'Uh huh.' He barely looks up from his work.[stopping]"

Rule for refusing comment by Brown when the noun is a lie:

say "[one of]'Those can be dangerous,' he remarks. 'I wouldn't show it around [--] it might give away something important.'[or]'Uh huh.' He barely looks up from his work.[stopping]";

Rule for refusing comment by Brown when the noun is a pi-object:

say "[one of]'Well,' he says, 'that's not unattractive. I often wind up with just a string of numbers when I reify pi.'[or]'Yes, I saw.' He doesn't seem to have much further interest in the thing.[stopping]".

Rule for refusing comment by Brown when the noun is the climate:

say "[one of]'Synthetic, but really very elegant,' he says approvingly. 'It would be interesting as a side project to investigate how climate manufacture changed as a reflection of civic concern about global weather patterns. But I don't have time for such an involved research project. Perhaps you should consider it.'[or]Brown's already suggested we launch a research project about the climate.[stopping]".

Rule for refusing comment by Brown when the noun is r-abstract and the noun is proffered by at least two things:

say "'Synthesized,' he says, looking over it. 'It's interesting, but I have to be consistent in the instruments I use for my calibration runs. Synthesizers have different energy profiles than letter-removers.'"