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Messages - xasop

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Suggestions & Concerns / Re: SMF software update
« on: April 26, 2022, 10:32:24 PM »
In that way, our implementation is arguably superior to SMF 2.1's.
Along with our implementation of practically everything else we've changed.

Suggestions & Concerns / Re: SMF software update
« on: April 26, 2022, 09:31:56 PM »
We intentionally didn't upgrade to 2.0.18 because it has some changes to UTF-8 handling, after we'd just spent days testing loads of edge cases and fixing our version to make sure it works well. We still have to replicate that testing on 2.0.18 (or 2.0.19) before we can accept SMF's changes (or apply the update without that particular change). I am unlikely to have much time to devote to that until June.

2.1 is a whole other kettle of fish. I don't know if we even want it at this point. We've fixed so many bugs in 2.0 in features that have been completely overhauled for 2.1 (such as PostgreSQL and IPv6 support) that it would likely continue to generate a lot of work for us for months after "upgrading".

Suggestions & Concerns / Re: Let's use the site-wide theme in CN
« on: April 26, 2022, 04:02:20 PM »
I agree with this, and since I was the one to move it in the first place, I'll also be the one to restore it. It was a bad judgement on my part.
Thanks, that resolves the immediate issue.

This, IMO, is the logical conclusion of all this. In fact, why don't we take this 5 steps further and just try freeing markjo altogether? If he misbehaves, we can restrict him from just S&C and the FE boards.
Also agreed. I'll wait a day or so to see if there are objections, and if not I'll make it so.

That said, I'm still against de-CN-ifying CN. Threads shouldn't be moved into it (and it's why we normally go with AR for thread moves), but if we're going to make it identical to other boards, it may as well not exist.
I'd be okay with merging CN and AR as well, but I'll butt out for now and see if there are more opinions. Personally, I'm happy to go whichever way consensus lands.

Suggestions & Concerns / Let's use the site-wide theme in CN
« on: April 26, 2022, 11:30:43 AM »
Last time this issue was discussed, the argument against changing the CN theme went along the lines that CN is for garbage threads with no value, and therefore it doesn't make any difference if they are readable or not. But if we're putting threads like this one, in which people are actively participating, into CN, then I think it certainly does matter that people can continue to use them.

The CN theme has long been unsuitable for colour-blind users and a burden on those of us who maintain the forum because the code is not up to the same standard as the rest (which, for SMF, is saying something). I propose that we delete it, save ourselves some work, and just use Blanko's theme everywhere.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Translations of the Bible
« on: April 12, 2022, 10:12:26 PM »
I have spent long enough considering Bible translations in different languages now that I have been able to articulate the criteria by which I evaluate a translation. These are, of course, subjective to my reasons for reading the Bible — as a cultural influence and a (somewhat biased) historical document, without any particular religious affiliation.

My criteria are, in descending order of importance:

1. It must include the Deuterocanonical books.

Aside from the Jewish Tanakh, no Christian denomination — whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant — excluded these books until around the 19th century. Martin Luther himself asserted that they should be read, but not considered to be scripture in the same way that the other books are. Thus, they were placed in their own section of the Luther Bible, rather than among the Old Testament books where Catholics prefer them. The refusal by many Protestants to read them at all is a modern invention. In any case, since they were universally treated as scripture prior to the Reformation, they are just as important to the cultural influence of Christianity as the rest of the Bible.

Of the Bibles I own, the Good News Bible, the New Revised Standard Version and the NBV21 all include the Catholic Deuterocanonical books separately from the Old Testament, which is ideal, as it makes the separation of sources clear to the reader. They vary in the order of books within this section and the inclusion of additional books not considered canonical by the Latin Church — they all include the Prayer of Manasseh, but beyond that there is considerable variation.

An Bíobla Naofa, on the other hand, includes only the Catholic canon in the Vulgate order. This is not surprising, since — unlike the ecumenical translations mentioned above — this is a translation commissioned by the Catholic Church. This approach somewhat masks the distinction between Hebrew scripture and the later Greek additions, especially in books like Esther and Daniel with extensive insertions of entire passages, but is acceptable.

Many Protestant translations fail this test and are immediately eliminated. The New International Version is a notable such failure.

2. It should be as faithful to the original as possible, according to scholarly consensus based on available manuscripts.

This is nebulous in some cases — for example, is 1 Corinthians 7:36 about a betrothed couple, or a father and his daughter? Both are valid scholarly interpretations of the Greek, so neither one makes a translation any more or less acceptable based on this test. But there are translations that ignore scholarly consensus in favour of traditional (mis)translations, particularly where there are valid interpretations of the Greek Old Testament which do not reflect the original Hebrew.

My go-to example for this is Isaiah 7:14. If that verse contains the word "virgin", it is not an accurate translation of the Hebrew. It may be an accurate translation of the Greek, but every good translator knows you don't translate a translation if you can help it. The New International Version fails this test too, as does the King James Version. (The latter case is forgivable because modern Biblical scholarship did not yet exist in the 17th century; what is not forgivable is that such an outdated translation is still so widely relied upon.)

All four of the Bibles I own pass this test with flying colours. It is an issue I am not willing to compromise on.

3. It should be written in clear, straightforward, idiomatic and modern language, in whichever language it is translated into.

This is obviously quite subjective. Regular church-goers will have a much easier time understanding Christian jargon than the irreligious. My personal view is that while translations that try to render every word of the original Hebrew and Greek (formal equivalence) have their place as study Bibles, a good general-purpose translation is one that uses natural language to convey the same ideas that the source texts would have conjured up in early Christians (dynamic equivalence).

In practice, this is a spectrum and every translation does this to a greater or lesser degree. (Simply translating each word by itself would result in incomprehensible gibberish, while some concepts cannot be rendered into natural English without needing some background explanation — the archetypal example being the tetragrammaton.) As such, it is more of a way to choose between two translations than a test that can be applied to a single translation.

The Good News Bible passes with flying colours, and the NBV21 only slightly less so. The Bijbel in Gewone Taal does better than the NBV21, but it lacks the Deuterocanonical books, so it is already eliminated by this point. The New Revised Standard Version does not do very well here, being very literal, but that is acceptable for a study Bible. This does not really apply to An Bíobla Naofa, which is the only complete translation of the Bible into modern Irish, and therefore has nothing to be compared with.

Notably, this is where the King James Version truly proves its irrelevance. The New International Version doesn't score too badly here, but still loses out to the Good News Bible.

4. It should include ample footnotes where alternative readings are possible.

This comes last because a Bible that scores well on the other points is still an excellent reading experience, even without providing the reader with the opportunity to consider alternatives. But for a Bible that passes the other tests, this is the icing on the cake.

The Good News Bible is excellent at this. The New Revised Standard Version is also good, and the specific edition I have it in — the New Oxford Annotated Bible — includes a plethora of additional notes and essays with further detail and scholarly commentaries. The NBV21 includes ample footnotes — though not as many as the Good News Bible — while An Bíobla Naofa includes no footnotes at all (but does have introductory essays for each book).

I feel like I have a much clearer understanding of why I like the Good News Bible now, and a better appreciation of how to measure others by the same yardstick.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: April 10, 2022, 10:34:51 AM »
I've been pondering the aging population problem recently, and I think it ties into this. If you look at the fertility rate in the Netherlands over the past century, you can see clearly that it plummeted from 3.17 in 1965 to 1.6 in 1980, and has remained at about that level ever since. With a retirement age of 68 — the highest in the world — this means that from now until about 2050, we are going to see a gargantuan outflux of workers from the labour market, with no replacement available. What's more, everybody's vote counts equally, which means that the boomer vote is by far the most powerful, and the policies being made to deal with this problem have the retirees' interests at heart ­— not the young workers.

Perversely, this means that it is in young people's interests for their parents and grandparents to die as soon as possible for them to have the best life they can. I'm sure nobody intends for this to be a consequence of democracy, but it is the situation we now find ourselves in.

I can see two possible solutions to this problem, neither of them ideal, but both better than letting the market work itself out, which is what will happen if we let boomers continue to take all the decisions. One, weight everyone's vote according to their estimated remaining life expectancy — so with a life expectancy of 80, a 20-year-old's vote counts for double a 50-year-old's. Two, tie voting rights to retirement, so that it's a choice whether to continue working past retirement age or to give up your right to vote.

Although these suggestions sound absurd, they do not fundamentally conflict with democratic principles. We have a minimum voting age because children and adolescents — many of whom are well educated with strong political opinions — are considered unfit to make sound voting choices, so why not exclude an age group that has proven itself to make unsound voting choices for decades already?

Suggestions & Concerns / Re: SSL
« on: April 04, 2022, 10:57:04 AM »
Yes, it's fixed now. Sorry about that.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Translations of the Bible
« on: April 03, 2022, 03:12:57 AM »
I acquired a copy of the NBV21, and it is a very well produced book. It just feels so nice to hold in one's hand. The translation is beautifully done, too.

I would like to take this opportunity to focus on 2 Chronicles 7:19, which includes a feature that is notoriously difficult to render into idiomatic English: the use of a plural "you" in Hebrew, where a singular interpretation of the English word "you" could also make sense. Of course, Dutch and Irish both have plural forms for "you", so there is no ambiguity there.

Quote from: NBV21
Maar mochten jullie je van Mij afwenden en je afkeren van de bepalingen en geboden die Ik jullie heb opgelegd, en in plaats daarvan andere goden gaan vereren en voor hen neerknielen,
Quote from: An Bíobla Naofa
Ach má iompaíonn sibh uaim, agus nach gcoimeádfaidh sibh m'aitheanta agus mo reachtanna a chuir mé romhaibh, ach imeacht agus seirbhís a dhéanamh do dhéithe eile agus iad a adhradh,

Predictably for how outdated it is, the KJV in English also makes this distinction clear — but perhaps not so clear to modern readers who haven't studied Early Modern English.

Quote from: King James Version
But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;

On the other hand, the NRSV uses the ambiguous "you" of Modern English, but with a footnote illuminating the reader as to its plural sense in Hebrew.

Quote from: New Revised Standard Version
"But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them,

Finally, we come around to my favourite English translation, which is an exceptional case here in treating this passage with the clarity it deserves in Modern English that everyone can understand.

Quote from: Good News Bible
But if you and your people ever disobey the laws and commands I have given you, and worship other gods,

Of all these translations of this verse, I actually like An Bíobla Naofa the most. It's slightly more literal (based on comparison with the very literal NRSV) than the Dutch, while conveying the message in clear and (as far as I can tell with my current level) idiomatic Irish. But in terms of reaching the greatest number of people, the Good News Bible is the clear winner, with a simple yet accurate rendering in the world's most widely spoken language.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Translations of the Bible
« on: March 27, 2022, 07:58:33 AM »
Since the last post in this thread, a newly revised version of the Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling from 2004, the de facto standard in Protestant churches in the Netherlands, has been released. It can be read for free online and purchased in the Nederlands-Vlaams Bijbel Genootschap's webshop. Very unusually, the general public was consulted for feedback on the first edition in preparing this revision.

This looks like a very nice publication. I don't own a physical Dutch Bible yet, but I am seriously considering adding this to my collection.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Stand with Ukraine Humble Bundle
« on: March 19, 2022, 08:12:10 PM »
I’ve also been a huge proponent of having strong deterrence against Russia in Europe for the longest time for situations exactly like this. Europe has been in lala land, cutting their military budgets and relying on the US and the UK for their defense needs so they can move that funding to comfy social programs. Donating a few bucks when the enemy is already breaking down your door just seems kind of silly to me, that’s all.
So, a lot of this is perfectly true and valid, but I don't suppose you happen to have a time machine to do anything about it?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Stand with Ukraine Humble Bundle
« on: March 19, 2022, 02:39:42 AM »
I've been ousted now too. :'( 🇺🇦

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Stand with Ukraine Humble Bundle
« on: March 18, 2022, 07:36:17 PM »
I'm at #4 on the leaderboard for now. I wonder how long that will last.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 Six Nations Championship
« on: February 14, 2022, 09:45:38 PM »
I'm a bit late, but:

Italy 0 – 33 England

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 Six Nations Championship
« on: February 12, 2022, 06:34:40 PM »
France 30 – 24 Ireland

Well played, frogs. Well played.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 Six Nations Championship
« on: February 12, 2022, 04:45:38 PM »
Wales 20 – 17 Scotland

Missed watching the game, but that's a surprising result. I thought Scotland would win easily. I only hope Wales keeps this momentum going into next week.

And now, time to watch Ireland annihilate France.

Suggestions & Concerns / Re: Allow Markjo Lounge access
« on: February 10, 2022, 11:28:48 PM »
This thread has run its course and achieved its objective. Locked.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 Six Nations Championship
« on: February 07, 2022, 08:46:11 AM »
This week's matches:
  • February 12, 2022, 02:15:00 PM — Wales–Scotland (Cardiff)
  • February 12, 2022, 04:45:00 PM — France–Ireland (Saint-Denis)
  • February 13, 2022, 03:00:00 PM — Italy–England (Rome)

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 Six Nations Championship
« on: February 06, 2022, 04:55:27 PM »
France 35 – 10 Italy

Bien joué, les gars.

Suggestions & Concerns / Re: Allow Markjo Lounge access
« on: February 06, 2022, 03:12:30 PM »
It is done.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 Six Nations Championship
« on: February 06, 2022, 02:50:40 PM »
February 06, 2022, 03:00:00 PM — France–Italy (Saint-Denis)
Today, I will be supporting France. 🇫🇷

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