Of Deserts and Bureaucracies

2015-7-30 Bureaucracy img01I was in the desert waiting, watching, praying, hoping for a miracle to come. Yes, a few months ago I was celebrating the liturgical season of Lent and looking forward to the miracle of Easter, just as were most other Christians around the world at that time. However, that is not the waiting nor the watching, praying, and hoping to which I am referring in this specific instance. No. I was simply doing all of the above in response to bureaucratic ineptitude. Continue reading

Color Theory for Movie Fans

2015-7 Colors img09All movie-watchers indulge in their own pet obsessions. Maybe you watch for plot twists; your sister watches for gorgeous soundtracks; your dad for the quotable one-liners; your mother for her Hollywood crushes; and your college roommate watches for goof-ups he can skewer later in ironic Youtube videos. As for me, I obsess over cinematic color theory. Continue reading

Pursuing Truth

2015-7-15 Science img01Natural. Organic. Carcinogenic. Genetic modification. Artificial ingredients. Preservatives. Climate change. Vaccines. I was seriously tempted to give my best case for my positions on all of these, but there are already too many articles, blog posts, and sundry other pieces of information, misinformation, confusion, vitriol, opinions, and outright lies scattered across the internet on these topics. Anyone trying to decide among them is in a difficult position, unless they choose to blindly accept all sources that agree with them and disregard everything else with extreme prejudice (a strategy that is sadly common on both sides of most modern debates). Assuming you care more about what’s true than massaging your ego, how do you decide for you (and your family, if applicable) what products and paths are best, and which ones are overly dangerous? Continue reading

On the Differences between Revisiting, Reinterpreting, Retconning, and Retroactively Ruining Stories

2015-7-16 Retcon img01What does it mean to tell a story? Why does spinning a yarn matter, and what kind of effect does it have on both the tale-spinner and the audience? And, of most concern to this article, what happens when a storyteller decides that some tales do not meet a particular need in their current form? This last question invites an examination primarily of means in a creative act; that is, how does an author go about changing or altering something he has already published or released to others? Implicit in such literary activity, however, is also a moral component worth consideration on a case-by-case basis. Continue reading

The Morality of Translating

2015-7-2 Translate img01Translations of great works are commonplace. We can go the bookstore and pick up a translation of anything, from Plato’s Republic to The Brothers Karamazov, but we rarely think about the moral and practical difficulties of translation.

We generally purchase translations because we cannot read the work in the original language. We therefore put our faith in the translator, trusting that they know both the original and translation language well enough to communicate accurately the meaning of the original text.

We are implicitly trusting in both a translator’s skill and sense of moral obligation or reverence towards a text.

This had never occurred to me until one of my Latin professors brought it up. Continue reading