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Messages - xasop

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: July 13, 2021, 05:37:37 PM »
By the CDC's own data, there were more deaths from the vaccine last week in the US than there were from the Coronavirus
No, Tom. Read your own source again. Carefully this time.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Irish reunification
« on: July 13, 2021, 05:29:02 PM »
The Irish Echo makes a solid case for scheduling a referendum right away. To quote their concluding statement:

The denial of a democratic vote of the people is the real threat to the GFA, not the posturing of illegal, criminal loyalist gangs which prey on their own communities. A date for a referendum needs to be set now, and a timetable established for adequate preparation and public discussion to take place beforehand.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: July 13, 2021, 05:23:11 PM »
I'm a bit uneasy about this. I do think people should get vaccinated but there are some people who can't be and making it so that people can't travel or get certain jobs without being vaccinated...
It's a dangerous precedent
People who can't be vaccinated are exactly the people rules like this are protecting. If they can't be vaccinated themselves, we should be doing everything we can to protect them with herd immunity.

Once we have sufficient herd immunity built up, these restrictions should obviously be eased, but I firmly believe they are necessary for the coming months.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: July 13, 2021, 05:04:08 PM »
Though not an EU nation, Iceland has already done the same, right? I think it makes a lot of sense for island nations, where they can maintain a strong control over access points.
I was unfamiliar with the case of Iceland, but it seems that there are some exemptions for citizens of certain countries with negative test results. Malta is going a step further and requiring vaccinations for everyone.

I see that being a huge challenge for many of the EU states with multiple border crossings. Definitely an interesting development though.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate may make this easier to check, but we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Personally, I'm all in favour of this now that the vaccine is broadly available to everyone. For the vast majority of people, there will be no excuse not to be fully vaccinated in another couple of months.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: July 13, 2021, 04:43:00 PM »
Starting tomorrow, Malta will be the first country in the EU to close its borders to anyone not fully vaccinated (source in Dutch). I wonder how many more will follow.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Territorial map of the world
« on: July 13, 2021, 02:35:32 PM »
This map from openDemocracy shows the nations of the world including their sea territories.

There's also a close-up section of Europe.

It's interesting to see how different everything looks when you include maritime boundaries.

There is some amount of documentation on BBcode here and more generally on posting here, but as usual for SMF, it isn't very thorough or complete. We also have some custom BBcode tags that aren't in SMF; they aren't really documented anywhere.

Generally, you use BBcode when you know why you want to use BBcode. There's no compelling reason to use it if you don't have a need for it.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Irish reunification
« on: July 09, 2021, 04:40:26 AM »
Mary Lou McDonald, president of Sinn Féin, spoke on this topic recently.

Outlining her party’s political hopes for the future, the Sinn Féin president said that the party wants “an Ireland built on the principles of equality, fairness and justice. An Ireland, free from division, inequality and injustice. An Ireland in which ordinary workers and families have decent housing, good healthcare and a fair economy that works for them”.

She added: “I firmly believe that within this decade the people will have the opportunity to freely choose new constitutional and political arrangements on this island, as underpinned by the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement. We will achieve the referendum on unity, and we can win it.

“This is an exciting time to be an Irish Republican. But opportunity only becomes reality if it is seized. We all have a part to play in getting there. We need to continue to build the party and bring more and more young people into our ranks. We need to talk and listen and learn,” she said.

Sinn Féin recently became the largest party in Stormont, now that the DUP is disintegrating.

The times, they are a-changin'.

Technology & Information / Re: Custom keyboard layouts in X11
« on: July 07, 2021, 11:49:56 PM »
I've been making some more tweaks. It now supports all letters and diacritics used in the 10 most widely spoken languages in the EU, plus Esperanto. The placement of keys is mostly mnemonic — AltGr gives Western European variants of letters, PrtSc Eastern European, and AltGr+PrtSc less common ones. In some cases, the placement is based on the keyboard layout normally used for typing that language. There are now two dead keys, for grave and tilde accents.

There is a point of diminishing returns trying to support more European languages. I could try to include å for Swedish, č for Czech and ø for Danish, but all of the logical places for those are taken, so it would be difficult to remember. XCompose is more convenient for these less common languages, since it involves more keystrokes but is more intuitive to use.

I have named this new layout europa, for the great number of European languages it now supports — more languages than the "US International" layout, and more intuitive to use.

Code: [Select]
xkb_symbols "basic" {
    include "us(basic)"

    name[Group1] = "Europa";

    // grave accent
    key.type[Group1] = "TWO_LEVEL";
    key <TLDE> { [ dead_grave, dead_tilde ] };

    // inverted exclamation mark
    key.type[Group1] = "FOUR_LEVEL";
    key <AE01> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,     exclamdown,     exclamdown ] };

    // Euro on 5 key
    key <AE05> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,       EuroSign,           cent ] };

    // Q row
    key <AD02> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,         ubreve,         Ubreve ] };
    key.type[Group1] = "EIGHT_LEVEL";
    key <AD03> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,         eacute,         Eacute,     eogonek,     Eogonek,  ecircumflex,  Ecircumflex ] };
    key <AD07> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,         uacute,         Uacute,    NoSymbol,    NoSymbol,  ucircumflex,  Ucircumflex ] };
    key <AD08> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,         iacute,         Iacute,    NoSymbol,    NoSymbol,  icircumflex,  Icircumflex ] };
    key <AD09> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,         oacute,         Oacute,      oacute,      Oacute,  ocircumflex,  Ocircumflex ] };
    key <AD11> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,     udiaeresis,     Udiaeresis,      abreve,      Abreve, udoubleacute, Udoubleacute ] };
    key <AD12> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,       NoSymbol,       NoSymbol, icircumflex, Icircumflex ] };
    key <BKSL> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,       NoSymbol,       NoSymbol, acircumflex, Acircumflex ] };

    // A row
    key <AC01> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,         aacute,         Aacute,     aogonek,     Aogonek,  acircumflex,  Acircumflex ] };
    key <AC02> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,         ssharp,         ssharp,      sacute,      Sacute,  scircumflex,  Scircumflex ] };
    key.type[Group1] = "FOUR_LEVEL";
    key <AC05> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,    gcircumflex,    Gcircumflex ] };
    key <AC06> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,    hcircumflex,    Hcircumflex ] };
    key <AC07> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,    jcircumflex,    Jcircumflex ] };
    key.type[Group1] = "EIGHT_LEVEL";
    key <AC09> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,             oe,             OE,     lstroke,     Lstroke ] };
    key <AC10> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,     odiaeresis,     Odiaeresis,       U0219,       U0218, odoubleacute, Odoubleacute ] };
    key <AC11> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,     adiaeresis,     Adiaeresis,       U021B,       U021A ] };

    // Z row
    key <AB01> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,             ae,             AE,   zabovedot,   Zabovedot ] };
    key <AB02> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,       NoSymbol,       NoSymbol,      zacute,      Zacute ] };
    key <AB03> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,       ccedilla,       Ccedilla,      cacute,      Cacute,  ccircumflex,  Ccircumflex ] };
    key <AB06> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,         ntilde,         ntilde,      nacute,      Nacute ] };
    key.type[Group1] = "FOUR_LEVEL";
    key <AB08> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,  guillemotleft,  guillemotleft ] };
    key <AB09> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol, guillemotright, guillemotright ] };
    key <AB10> { [   NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,   questiondown,   questiondown ] };

    // spaces
    key <SPCE> { [      space,      space,   nobreakspace,   nobreakspace ] };

    include "level3(ralt_switch)"

    key <PRSC> {
        type[Group1] = "ONE_LEVEL",
        symbols[Group1] = [ ISO_Level5_Shift ]
    include "level5(modifier_mapping)"

I decided to take advantage of my relatively recent bilingualism and try to get a feel for how accurate the interpretation of the European parliament sessions is. Take this speech by MEP Anja Hazekamp of the Left group, originally given in Dutch, but with an English interpretation available.

In terms of the political message, the interpretation is adequate. If I had no knowledge of Dutch, I would still understand the key point she is making, so it is certainly better than nothing. But many finer details and the expressiveness of tone and adverbs are lost in translation. When I listen to the interpretation, I hear what she's saying; when I listen to the original, I feel what she's saying.

While being fluent in all 24 languages is probably out of the question, I have to conclude that the EU's policy of encouraging all its citizens to acquire at least two languages other than their native tongue is absolutely worthwhile, and should be adopted by the education systems of all member states. When MEPs speak in Dutch, I greatly prefer listening to their own oratory because it is easier to follow than the interpretation. This is not a criticism of the skills of the EP's interpreters, but the simple reality of interpretation.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Translations of the Bible
« on: July 04, 2021, 11:33:52 PM »
It is also interesting to compare some translations into languages other than English. Genesis 2:23 is especially interesting, which the GNB renders as (emphasis mine)
Quote from: Genesis 2:23
Then the man said, “At last, here is one of my own kind — Bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. ‘Woman’ is her name because she was taken out of man.”
The English words "woman" and "man" resemble each other in form, just like the Hebrew words "אִשָּׁה" and "אִישׁ" that they are used to translate, but this is not true of their equivalents in every language.

The Septuagint has
Quote from: Genesis 2:23
καὶ εἶπεν ᾿Αδάμ· τοῦτο νῦν ὀστοῦν ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων μου καὶ σὰρξ ἐκ τῆς σαρκός μου· αὕτη κληθήσεται γυνή, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς αὐτῆς ἐλήφθη αὕτη·
which makes somewhat less sense. There is no connection between the words "γυνή" and "ἀνήρ", even though the text seems (to my amateur Greek eyes) to imply one.

The Vulgate restores the connection between these words.
Quote from: Genesis 2:23
dixitque Adam hoc nunc os ex ossibus meis et caro de carne mea haec vocabitur virago quoniam de viro sumpta est
"Virago" is not the usual Latin term for a woman (Genesis 2:22 uses the more common "mulier"), but in this case it is substituted to convey the meaning of the Hebrew. I am curious how Symmachus dealt with this in Greek, but sadly his translation is lost.

Then we come to modern translations, which deal with this in a variety of ways. I will start with Dutch, because it is the only language other than English I can read fluently. One translation, Het Boek, has
Quote from: Genesis 2:23
‘Ja, dit is wat ik nodig had!’ riep Adam uit, ‘zij is echt een deel van mijn lichaam. Ik zal haar mannin noemen, omdat zij is genomen uit de man.’
This follows the original Hebrew, but in an extremely awkward and jarring way. "Mannin" is not a word anyone has ever used or will ever use outside this context. It is an artificial formation from the word "man" and the feminine suffix "-in", comparable to saying "manness" in English, which strains credibility to breaking point in order to preserve the Hebrew correlation.

Another Dutch translation, De Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling, instead removes the implied connection between the commonplace words "vrouw" and "man".
Quote from: Genesis 2:23
Toen riep de mens uit: 'Eindelijk een gelijk aan mij, mijn eigen gebeente, mijn eigen vlees, een die zal heten: vrouw, een uit man gebouwd.'
This has a footnote explaining the connection between the Hebrew words. This is a much more natural way to translate the verse, without leaving any information out.

In French, La Nouvelle Bible Segond handles things similarly.
Quote from: Genesis 2:23
L’homme dit : Cette fois c’est l’os de mes os, la chair de ma chair. Celle-ci, on l’appellera « femme », car c’est de l’homme qu’elle a été prise.
This also comes with a footnote to explain the original, but unlike De Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling, the French word "car" still implies a link where there is none between "femme" and "homme".

Compare, however, Bible en français courant, which rephrases the verse entirely.
Quote from: Genesis 2:23
En la voyant celui-ci s'écria: « Ah! Cette fois, voici quelqu'un qui est plus que tout autre du même sang que moi! On la nommera compagne de l'homme, car c'est de son compagnon qu'elle fut tirée. »
This is saying that she is called "companion of man", because she was taken from "her companion". Again, it also has a footnote explaining what the original says.

Finally, let's take a look at An Bíobla Naofa, the only complete modern translation of the Bible into the Irish language.
Quote from: Genesis 2:23
Dúirt an duine ansin:
“Is cnámh de mo chnámha-sa í seo ar deireadh,
Agus is feoil de m'fheoilse í.
Tabharfar bean (ís-seá) uirthi
Mar gur baineadh as an bhfear (ís) í.”
The Irish words "bean" and "fear", which have no connection with each other, are accompanied by the non-words "ís-seá" and "ís". These are actually Irish phonetic spellings of the Hebrew words "אִשָּׁה" and "אִישׁ", respectively. This technique serves the same function as the footnotes in the Dutch and French translations.

So, while none of Greek, Latin, Dutch, French or Irish has any resemblance between their usual words for "woman" and "man", they have tried various strategies to convey the meaning of the original Hebrew. Some of these are more literal, others are more natural, as is typical of Bible translations in general. But I do find the diversity of approaches fascinating.

Technology & Information / Re: On the notion of Powershell
« on: July 04, 2021, 08:52:15 AM »
Also you should put something for all other input, like an error message.
If the objective were to design a good UI, the commands would be named something more expressive than "1", "2", "3", "4" and "5". This is probably good enough for whatever Computers 101 assignment it's for.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Translations of the Bible
« on: July 03, 2021, 05:56:19 PM »
Your explanations all involve the writers being wrong about what they said in the Bible.
No, they don't. If you are going to make up nonsense, there is really no point in continuing the discussion.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Translations of the Bible
« on: July 02, 2021, 07:08:19 PM »
If all translators across the ages of Bible translation are translating the words to the same thing it kind of suggests that there isn't a translation issue. The original writers are sometimes saying that Satan is the Lord.
That is one possible interpretation, but not the only one, nor the most likely one.

It is possible that the authors of Samuel and Chronicles simply have different versions of events. Neither can be dated with certainty, but it is thought that they were written more than a century apart. To the author of Chronicles, Samuel was probably as old as 19th-century literature is to us.

Alternatively, the Hebrew word שָׂטָן ("satán") originally meant "adversary", and my New Oxford Annotated Bible suggests that that is its intended meaning in 1 Chronicles 21:1. The anger of the Lord certainly sounds adversarial. You'll notice that I didn't need to learn Hebrew to establish this, because I have a Bible translation produced by experts that explains the ambiguity.

Another possibility relates to the fact that monotheism was a relatively late development in the Old Testament chronology. Early Jews were polytheistic, and later merged their various gods together into one. This is why the Bible refers to God by many names, and it is possible that in this process of deity merging, some events became reattributed between God and Satan.

These are just a few possibilities I found in about 10 minutes of thinking and reading about the issue, as someone with no knowledge of Hebrew and little knowledge of the Bible. You are jumping to conclusions.

There could be a fundamental issue with what some people think the story of the Bible says. Anyone biased to think that the Lord is the good God would shape their interpretation of other passages as appropriate. Happy trees when the Lord comes to rule, for example.
Yes, there could be, and the entirety of the Hebrew Bible could be the ramblings of drunken lunatics. Why care about what the Bible says at all, if you're going to speculate wildly about possibilities for which you have no evidence?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Translations of the Bible
« on: July 02, 2021, 06:41:08 PM »
None of this is relevant to translations of the Bible. Do you have any evidence that these inconsistencies don't exist in the original Hebrew?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trans athletes
« on: July 02, 2021, 04:13:08 PM »
That's because she is not a man.
Well, yes and no. This is the problem we have created for ourselves by making "man" refer to both sex and gender. Insisting that we don't have that problem won't make it go away.

Because she isn't a man. The pronoun "she" does not refer to a role, it refers to an object (a female human).
This is a common misconception among monolinguals who assume that the English language developed the way they think about it. A millennium ago, a dog would have been "he" and a mouse would have been "she", because those are the genders of the nouns "hound" and "mouse". Our pronoun system is not based on biological sex, it is a relic of a time when we assigned arbitrary genders to everything. Now we only assign arbitrary genders to humans, and people are beginning to confuse that with an inherent trait.

Languages without grammatical gender, and which never had it, usually do not have separate pronouns for "he" and "she". This is not a fundamental distinction we need to make, it is a feature of the language you happen to speak.

You can't identify as something else and expect others to bend reality around you. This is back to the old "I'm an attack helicopter!" meme. You're no longer talking about gender roles, rendering your original point moot.
I am talking about gender roles. Most gender segregation in modern society is based on gender, not biological sex. But there are exceptions, which is what the topic of this thread should be. I am trying to get us past the "transgenderism literally doesn't exist" diversion so we can talk about the actual topic.

If the argument is that gender roles shouldn't exist, then the transgender movement is going the wrong way to attack it.
And making millions of people happier in the process. Are you going to put ideological purity over people leading happy, fulfilling lives?

The problem is that I believe you are confused, the transgender movement is not an inherent problem with gender roles, it's a problem with biological ones. That's why they're attacking the words "man" and "woman". Not the roles they represent.
"They're attacking the words, not what we mean by them" is a new level of doublethink, even for you.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trans athletes
« on: July 02, 2021, 03:52:20 PM »
Blue women aren't forced to act orange all the time. We already have terms for women that take up traditional masculine roles: tomboys. We don't literally refer to them as men, because they aren't. "man" and "woman" are not gender roles.
Not quite. A "tomboy" will still be told that they can't be with men in gender-segregated facilities, and people will usually insist on using the pronoun "she". Although they may be accepted by their friends, there is constant reinforcement everywhere they go that their identity is wrong, or at the very least abnormal. Are you capable of placing yourself in someone else's position for a moment and trying to imagine what this would be like?

If anything, the transgenderism movement is a toxic reinforcement of gender roles, not a denial of them.
I agree, to an extent — I think the correct solution is to simply let everyone be however they want, with no arbitrary expecations based on their genitals. But we live in an imperfect world, and transgenderism is an imperfect solution that makes people happier in the world.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trans athletes
« on: July 02, 2021, 03:41:33 PM »
I think a large part of the confusion — willing as it may be on the part of some — arises from the fact that "male" and "female" are terms used to describe both sex and gender. So, let's refer to gender as "blue" and "orange" instead, and see what difference that makes.

There is a correlation between being male and being blue, just as males tend to be taller and stronger than women. But as in all things, there are exceptions. Some men are orange, and some women are blue, because your blueness/orangeness is not defined by your sex. Having a Y chromosome doesn't make you blue, and lacking one doesn't make you orange.

The problem arises when there is a social expectation for all men to be blue, and all women to be orange. This is so deeply ingrained into our society that we have begun to refer to blueness as "masculinity" and orangeness as "femininity", and we tell anyone who diverges from this arbitrary rule that they are wrong about themselves.

Can you understand why blue women might be unhappy about being forced to act orange all the time?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Translations of the Bible
« on: July 02, 2021, 05:13:58 AM »
Some people don't think that's what they were writing
Great! I look forward to their published translation based on their interpretation, which I imagine is forthcoming any day now, if they know so much better than the experts.

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