This may become an ongoing study! Where I fine awesome uses of words and display them to you.
This one comes from a friend of mine who twittered a blog post from the blog The Curt Jester. It appears to be a blog by a former atheist now catholic on the topics of politics, religion, and other items of interest. I’ve only ever read the entry I’m about to quote but from that one entry, I might suppose that this blog is a nice peaceful place for discourse on the above topics, rather than the usual extreme you might find.
But that aside, the is a Power and Use of Words post. The following quote does touch upon a political and moral debate that can quickly aggravate. (Link) I stress I did not pick this quote due to its political content.
“Fighting against abortion is not a conservative thing, it is a protection of the truth that we are created in the image of God and that the innocent can not be murdered.”
The last statement made really caught me eye as I was reading this. Remember the source, this quote comes from a Catholic. So what we are seeing here is a statement regarding a believe held by a member of the Catholic Church.
Here was my analysis/thought processes. Is can the correct word there? Perhaps the writer was mistaken. Perhaps he meant to use the word should. The innocent should not be murdered. I mean, the innocent can be murdered. That is true. It is a statement of fact, in as so much that one believes in the concept of innocence. We agree that a baby is innocent and through some action, I cause it’s life to end, then I’ve murdered it. I’ve heard of no proof that states that babies are immortal until no longer innocent.
But what if it isn’t a mistake? What if it is, instead, a statement of emphasis? The innocent CAN NOT be murdered. Even if one can actually murder, the use of the word can becomes imperative, even more so than the word should, as should implies a choice, where as can implies inevitability.
Now there might be something more to it. An deep understanding of Catholic faith, law, dogma, tradition, or fact that I am not privy to, that sheds better or more light upon this word choice but the above interpretation I found interesting. It is, I think, a great example of how the rules of grammar can be bent or broken in small ways to provide even further levels of communication.
The Power and Use of Words
So to quickly summarize, the editor, Cat Valente, of a speculative fiction magazine called Apex Magazine I will be likely picking up after I post this, has declared that one particular issue in the future will carry narratives from Muslim and Arab writers as a feature theme. This is in result to another author, Elizabeth Moon, writing a blog post that apparently made a lot of writers angry/shocked, and, to quote a friend, made a well known troll of the writing sphere sound like the voice of reason.
Here it he link to the actual Moon blog entry in question although it’s proceeding commentary was deleted. But I think what you should take out of this is what Cat Valente has decided to do in response. I have often wondered what it’d be like to read novels from different cultures. I’ve read some English translated Japanese novels, spin offs of popular manga series I like. Manga is an interesting import since it has been a narrative mode in Japan since before America’s inference post WW2, and the cultural differences I think is what made their speculative fiction so interesting and innovative to me.
I’m not sure I could imagine what might come of a Muslim or Arab speculative fiction, but now I am very curious and hopeful. Anyone else want to read that particular issue with me and discuss it later?
An extremely well written, in my opinion, analysis of the publicly proposed net-neutrality measures they want the FCC to adopt, focusing primarily on the “wireless hole”, or that is the proposed lack of non-discriminatory rules on wireless internet providing, and the hinted at proposed future of the internet.
Plus he makes a good point on Google’s involvement in this. I do wish Google would help clarify why they felt this was a deal worth putting their names on. Do they really feel that transparency is enough to make consumers shy away from bad deals?
Anyway, as always, this is up for discussion. Anybody have thoughts? Net Neutrality is going to be one of the things that governs what kind of future we’ll have, I suspect. Do you have an opinion on it, even if it’s going to be decided by others?
“Y’see, they say journalism is the art of controlling your environment, but that’s all wrong. I can’t control anything with this typewriter. All this is, is a gun…”
“The point is, the only real tools we have are our eyes and our heads. It’s not the act of seeing with our own eyes alone; it’s correctly comprehending what we see. Laying open the guts of the world and sniffing the entrails, that’s what we do.”
– Spider Jerusalem, Transmetropolitan, by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson
He just… reminded me of spider, just a little. Its a very eloquent speech, which is primarily why I posted it. I’m not sure I agree with everything said, and it certainly is biased, but is is convincing.
There is a foundation out there I’m pretty sure not many people know of. It is called the Free Software Foundation and it is a non-profit organization with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users.
The link above is a response to Steve Job’s criticisms of Adobe which you can also find a link to in the article. Being a software developer I could see the hypocrisy in some of the things Apple said about Adobe but I realized others may not. However the article above better illuminates the issue, as long as you are familiar with the concept of adobe and the App Store.
Recently I was re-reading one of my favorite web comics on an mobile apple device. The archive occasionally contains flash animations of the comic for special events such as anniversaries and full movies. Since the comic is completed it seems highly unlikely that the author will be willing to go back and convert these movies to HTML5 or some other more easily readable format should Apple or other telecom based mobile computing “win” this “war”. The idea made me sad.
A really good short story and author’s note on how scary Digital Rights Media (DRM) can be if we let it go too far and get too extreme (as it is already doing in some cases, behind the scenes where we can’t see it).
I highly suggest the read even if you aren’t interested in the topic.
The above is a link to a decent non-partisan particle on the concept of Net Neutrality, in case you’re still confused by all the hype and commercials.