TNH's Particles
* The Bobblehead Project.
* John Holbo's review of David Frum's Dead Right.
* Mormon Transhumanist Association.
* Howard Rheingold quotes.
* Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln.
* How to invest when no one really knows what to do.
* If the Moon were only 1 pixel.
* Ignatius Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln.
* Make a plan to vote with Biden and Obama.
* Jon Stewart's Twitter war with Donald Trump.
More...
PNH's Sidelights
* Storytelling for Medievalists: A Proposal
* Goodbye, and Good Riddance, to Centrism
* And the sequel: Lee's Reputation Can't Be Redeemed
* The Myth of the Kindly General Lee
* Organizing involves rallying friends more than persuading foes
* This is not a crisis, Republicans say as a large spider slowly devours them
* Winners and Losers of the Recent Nuclear Holocaust
* The Culture of Predatory Harassment Dominating the Conservative Movement
* Disruption!
* The Complicated Friendship of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow
More...
Abi's Parhelia
* Universal basic income trials being considered in Scotland
* Basic Income - from utopian vision to policy proposition to movement
* How do liberals halt the march of the right? Stand our ground and toughen up
* Opposition in the Age of Gish Gallops
* Schneier on the next four years
* Thomas Merton's letter to a young activist
* EU negotiators will offer Brits an individual opt-in to remain EU citizens, chief negotiator confirms
* Democrats and the idea of a leader of the opposition
* Trump's businesses and potential conflicts: sorting it out
* Can we take a moment to just think about how incredibly scary magical healing is in-context?
More...
Avram's Phosphenes
A Guide to Weird Leftist Internet Slang
How did world newspapers handle the translation of Scaramucci’s tirade?
Hayao Miyazaki’s Cosmologics
So a Nazi Walks Into an Iron Bar: the Meyer Lansky Story
Now is the Time to Talk About What we are Actually Talking About
Anil Dash on the work that needs to be done now
Autocracy: Rules for Survival
The gender of Brexit
West Wing Cabinet Battle
Harrison!
More...
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Commonplaces
“We are prophets of a future not our own.” (Oscar Romero)

“Peace means something different from ‘not fighting’. Those aren’t peace advocates, they’re ‘stop fighting’ advocates. Peace is an active and complex thing and sometimes fighting is part of what it takes to get it.” (Jo Walton)

“Fascism doesn’t look like jackboots dragging a man off a plane. It looks like people defending it.” (Emily Gorcenski)

“You really think that safety can be plucked from the arms of an evil deed?” (Darla, “Inside Out”)

“Forgiveness requires giving up on the possibility of a better past.” (unknown)

“The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature.” (Arthur D. Hlavaty)

“Terror consists mostly of useless cruelties perpetrated by frightened people in order to reassure themselves.” (Friedrich Engels)

“Any sufficiently advanced neglect is indistinguishable from malice.” (Deb Chachra)

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of believing that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“You don't owe the internet your time. The internet does not know this, and will never learn.” (Quinn Norton)

“Great writing is the world's cheapest special effect.” (Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

“Everyone gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” (Gertrude Stein)

“Very few people are stupid. It’s just that the world really is that difficult and you can’t continually be careful.” (Quinn Norton)

“Armageddon is not around the corner. This is only what the people of violence want us to believe. The complexity and diversity of the world is the hope for the future.” (Michael Palin)

“Just because you’re on their side doesn’t mean they’re on your side.” (Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

“The fact that ‘there are only a handful of bad cops’ cuts no ice with me. If ‘only a handful of McDonald’s are spitting in your food,’ you’re not going to McDonald’s.” (Ta-Nehisi Coates)

“Young men and women, educated very carefully to be apolitical, to be technicians who thought they disliked politics, making them putty in the hands of their rulers, like always.” (Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars)

“The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists.” (G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday)

“When liberty is mentioned, we must observe whether it is not really the assertion of private interests.” (Hegel)

“History is the trade secret of science fiction.” (Ken MacLeod)

“But isn’t all of human history simultaneously a disaster novel and a celebrity gossip column?” (Anonymous LJ commenter)

“I see now that keen interest can illuminate anything, and that anything, moreover, has something worth illuminating in it, and that without that interest gates carved by Benvenuto Cellini from two diamonds would merely look chilly.” (Lord Dunsany)

“I grieve for the spirit of Work, killed by her evil child, Workflow.” (Paul Ford)

“The opposite of ‘serious’ isn't ‘funny.’ The opposite of both ‘serious’ and ‘funny’ is ‘squalid.’” (R. A. Lafferty)

“Ki is, of course, mystical bullshit. That’s why it works so well, both as a teaching idiom and a tool of practice in martial arts. It’s as nonexistent as charm, leadership, or acting. Humans are all about bullshit.” (Andrew Plotkin)

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” (Charles Kingsley)

“Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even when the plan is horrifying.” (The Joker)

“Hope has two daughters, anger and courage. They are both lovely.” (attributed to St. Augustine)

“Plot is a literary convention. Story is a force of nature.” (Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

“This movie has way too much plot getting in the way of the story.” (Joe Bob Briggs)

“If there is no willingness to use force to defend civil society, it’s civil society that goes away, not force.” (Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

“Always side with the truth. It’s much bigger than you are.” (Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

“Listen, here’s the thing about politics: It’s not an expression of your moral purity and your ethics and your probity and your fond dreams of some utopian future. Progressive people constantly fail to get this.” (Tony Kushner)

“I don’t want politicians who are ‘above politics,’ any more then I want a plumber who’s ‘above toilets.’” (Ta-Nehisi Coates)

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.” (Otto von Bismarck)

“Every organization appears to be headed by secret agents of its opponents.” (Robert Conquest)

“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” (Anne Lamott)

“Nothing makes one so vain as being told that one is a sinner.” (Oscar Wilde)

“Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical science-fiction cowboy detective novel.” (Alan Moore)

“See everything, overlook a great deal, improve a little.” (John XXIII)

“You will never love art well, until you love what she mirrors better.” (John Ruskin)

“Having a smallpox vaccine scar is like walking around with the moon landing and the Sistine Chapel on your upper arm.” (Angus Johnston)

“They lied to you. The Devil is not the Prince of Matter; the Devil is the arrogance of the spirit, faith without smile, truth that is never seized by doubt. The Devil is grim because he knows where he is going, and, in moving, he always returns whence he came.” (Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose)

“I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” (Jay Gould)

“I’m a leftist. I don't argue with anyone unless they agree with me.” (Steven Brust)

“Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.” (Mark Twain)

“Details are all that matters; God dwells there, and you never get to see Him if you don’t struggle to get them right.” (Stephen Jay Gould)

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” (Gustav Mahler)

“But this kind of deference, this attentive listening to every remark of his, required the words he uttered to be worthy of the attention they excited—a wearing state of affairs for a man accustomed to ordinary human conversation, with its perpetual interruption, contradiction, and plain disregard. Here everything he said was right; and presently his spirits began to sink under the burden.” (Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander)

“Hatred is a banquet until you recognize you are the main course.” (Herbert Benson)

“For a Westerner to trash Western culture is like criticizing our nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere on the grounds that it sometimes gets windy, and besides, Jupiter’s is much prettier. You may not realize its advantages until you’re trying to breathe liquid methane.” (Neal Stephenson)

“‘There are no atheists in foxholes’ isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.” (James Morrow)

“And after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)

“The man who tries to make the flag an object of a single party is a greater traitor to that flag than any man who fires at it.” (Lloyd George)

“The United States behaves like a salesman with a fantastic product who tries to force people to buy it at gunpoint.” (Emma of Late Night Thoughts)

“I’m a fuzzy-headed warm-hearted liberal, and I think fuzzy-headed warm-hearted liberalism is an ideological stance that needs defending—if necessary, with a hob-nailed boot-kick to the bollocks of budding totalitarianism.” (Charles Stross)

“The real test of any claim about freedom, I’ve decided, is how far you’re willing to go in letting people be wrong about it.” (Bruce Baugh)

“As with bad breath, ideology is always what the other person has.” (Terry Eagleton)

“Only he who in the face of all this can say ‘In spite of all!’ has the calling for politics.” (Max Weber)

“No, it’s not fair. You’re in the wrong universe for fair.” (John Scalzi)

“I don’t understand death, but I got hot dish down pretty good.” (Marissa Lingen)

“Skepticism is the worst form of gullibility.” (John “adamsj” Adams)

“We have a backstage view of ourselves and a third-row view of everybody else.” (Garrison Keillor)

“The Reign of Sin is more universal, the influence of unconscious error is less, than historians tell us.” (Lord Acton)

“All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them.” (H. L. Mencken)

“Tomorrow never happens. It’s all the same fucking day, man.” (Janis Joplin)

“Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning. It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants in custody and bring them back to their right senses.” (W. B. Yeats)

“It is a little embarrassing that, after 45 years of research and study, the best advice I can give to people is to be a little kinder to each other.” (Aldous Huxley)

“Never believe in a meritocracy in which no one is funny-looking.” (Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

“Probably no man has ever troubled to imagine how strange his life would appear to himself if it were unrelentingly assessed in terms of his maleness; if everything he wore, said, or did had to be justified by reference to female approval [...] If he gave an interview to a reporter, or performed any unusual exploit, he would find it recorded in such terms as these: ‘Professor Bract, although a distinguished botanist, is not in any way an unmanly man. He has, in fact, a wife and seven children. Tall and burly, the hands with which he handles his delicate specimens are as gnarled and powerful as those of a Canadian lumberjack, and when I swilled beer with him in his laboratory, he bawled his conclusions at me in a strong, gruff voice that implemented the promise of his swaggering moustache.’” (Dorothy L. Sayers)

“Grown ups are what’s left when skool is finished.” (Nigel Molesworth)

“If you don't like the ‘blame game,’ it’s usually because you’re to blame.” (Jon Stewart)

“Slang is for a war of signals.” (Unknown semiotician/palindromist)

“Science fiction is an argument with the world. When it becomes (solely) an argument within science fiction, it breathes recycled air.” (Ken MacLeod)

“All worthy work is open to interpretation the author didn’t intend. Art isn’t your pet—it’s your kid. It grows up and talks back.” (Joss Whedon)

“I really don’t know what you do about the ‘taxes is theft’ crowd, except possibly enter a gambling pool regarding just how long after their no-tax utopia comes true that their generally white, generally entitled, generally soft and pudgy asses are turned into thin strips of Objectivist Jerky by the sort of pitiless sociopath who is actually prepped and ready to live in the world that logically follows these people’s fondest desires.” (John Scalzi)

“So whenever a libertarian says that capitalism is at odds with the state, laugh at him. It’s like saying that the NFL is ‘at war’ with football fields. To be a libertarian is to say that God or the universe marked up that field, squirted out the pigskins from the bowels of the earth, and handed down the playbooks from Mt. Sinai.” (Connor Kilpatrick)

“True religion invites us to become better people. False religion tells us that this has already occurred.” (Abdal-Hakim Murad)

“There is a machine. Its program is ‘profit’. This is not a myth.” (Joss Whedon)

“There's always romance at the top of a system.” (Will Shetterly)

“Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak.” (John “Second US President” Adams)

“There is a document that records God’s endless, dispiriting struggle with organized religion, known as the Bible.” (Terry Eagleton)

“There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part; and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop, And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, the people who own it, that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all.” (Mario Savio)

“Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others.” (Ta-Nehisi Coates)

“To live is to war against the trolls.” (Henrik Ibsen)

“There is at the back of all our lives an abyss of light, more blinding and unfathomable than any abyss of darkness; and it is the abyss of actuality, of existence, of the fact that things truly are, and that we are ourselves incredibly and sometimes almost incredulously real.” (G. K. Chesterton)

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

“It’s just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.” (Bill Hicks)

“I don’t think we have a language, will ever have a language, that can describe transcendence in any useful way and I am aware that that transcendence may be nothing more than the illusory aspiration of a decaying piece of meat on a random rock. The thing is to be humble enough to be content with that while acting to other people as generously as if better things were true, and making art as if it might survive and do good in the world. Because what else are we going to do with the few short years of our life?” (Roz Kaveney)

“I hate living in a satirical dystopia.” (Arthur Hlavaty)

“No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” (Samuel Beckett)

“Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.” (Iain Banks)

“If it doesn’t connect with people around you who aren’t like you, it isn’t politics.” (Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

September 07, 2017
NYC primary elections 2017
Posted by Avram Grumer at 09:03 PM * 8 comments

NYC primary elections are coming up next Tuesday, and there’s actually some interesting action going on in the normally dull and opaque civil court judge elections. What usually happens is there are five positions available, and the party machine picks five candidates, and those are your choices.

This year, a journalist named Gary Tilzer has decided to shake things up a bit by proposing his own slate of five candidates as rivals to the Democratic machine slate. In addition, an eleventh candidate is running, on neither slate. That link up there has details about all eleven candidates; I’m leaning towards the Tilzer slate (Patrick Hayes, Isiris Isella Isaac, Thomas Kennedy, Sandra Roper, and John O’Hara).

Those are county-wide positions, affecting all of Brooklyn. In addition, there’s a district-level municipal civil court system, and something odd going on here in the 6th Municipal District. The machine seems to be siding with Rupert Barry; I’ve received two different full-color glossy cardstock flyers promoting him. But I see here that he was fired from a previous position for poor evaluations. Also, he’s a former homicide prosecutor, so the heck with him. I’m leaning towards Hemalee Patel for that spot.

I also like Anne Swern for Kings County DA, and will probably vote for the incumbents for Mayor (DeBlasio) and Public Advocate (Letitia James) unless anyone can give me good reasons not to.

NYC voters can check Who’s on the Ballot to find out what choices you’ll see on your ballot.

Update: One of our commenters has drawn my attention to this newsletter by Jen Abrams, who’s done a whole bunch of research that I didn’t bother to do, including sending out her own questionnaires to candidates. She’s changed my mind on a few of the races; I’m gonna vote her recommendations on the wacky county-wide Civil Court race (C Melendez, II Isaac, EE Edwards, F Arriaga, P Frias-Colon), and my district’s City Council member (Ede Fox). And I’m now leaning towards Elena Baron for the 6th District Municipal Civil Court position, though I won’t cry if Barry or Patel get it.

August 26, 2017
“If you feel safe now, it’s an illusion born of your relationship to power.”
Posted by Patrick at 05:53 PM * 149 comments

From a post by Logan Rimel, parish administrator at University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley, Caifornia.

I outsourced the sin of my violence to them. I asked them to get their hands dirty so I could keep mine clean.

In Charlottesville, my “nonviolent” stance was met with heavily armed men. They came with bats, clubs, plywood shields painted with swastikas, brass knuckles, tear gas canisters, and wooden sticks. Not to mention the guns. The heavily armed militia were everywhere. They liked that they made you feel nervous. It was fun for them.

They came to hurt people, and they did.

Let me take a moment to be clear—I do not advocate for violence. I trust, however pig-headedly, that all of creation—including all people—is both capable and worthy of salvation. That there is no such thing as a lost cause with God. I cannot explain this trust; it is a part of me deeper than rational faculty. To commit violence against another human being is to commit violence against the image of God in them. To me, it is a sin. I do not believe God requires us to sin. But it seems apparent to me that the world sometimes does.

I never felt safer than when I was near antifa. They came to defend people, to put their bodies between these armed white supremacists and those of us who could not or would not fight. They protected a lot of people that day, including groups of clergy. My safety (and safety is relative in these situations) was dependent upon their willingness to commit violence. In effect, I outsourced the sin of my violence to them. I asked them to get their hands dirty so I could keep mine clean. Do you understand? They took that up for me, for the clergy they shielded, for those of us in danger. We cannot claim to be pacifists or nonviolent when our safety requires another to commit violence, and we ask for that safety.

And so I come to this—white liberal Christian friends, I’m talking to you. I’ve seen a lot of condemnation of “violent response,” lots of selective quoting Dr. King, lots of disparagement of antifa and the so-called “alt-left,” a moral equivalency from the depths of Hell if I ever saw one. You want to be nonviolent? That is good and noble. I think…I think I do, too. But I want you to understand what you’re asking of the people who take this necessary stance against white supremacy, the people who go to look evil in the face. You’re asking them to be beaten with brass knuckles, with bats, with fists. To be pounded into the ground, stomped on, and smashed. You’re asking them to bleed on the pavement and the grass. Some of them are going to die. And you’re asking them to do that without defending themselves.

Are you willing to do that? Are you going to to go out when the Nazis come here, to the Bay Area, next week? Are you going to offer your body to them? No? Are you willing to take a bat to the head? To be surrounded by angry young men who want nothing more than to beat you unconscious, like they did Deandre Harris? Are you going to rely upon a different type of violence—that imposed by the state—to protect you—even knowing it is a danger to your neighbors? To outsource the violence your safety requires to someone else? Or are you just not going to show up, at the rally or afterward? To choose passivity over pacifism—because let’s be clear, nonviolence is still about showing up.

If you are unwilling to risk your bodily integrity to stand against literal Nazis, but you are willing to criticize the people out there who are taking this grave threat seriously but not in a way of which you approve….I just don’t know what to say to you. Truly. Your moral authority is bankrupt and you’re not helping. You’re a hypocrite.

Everyone wants to feel safe. You are not safe. Your Muslim neighbors are not safe. Your immigrant neighbors are not safe. Your black neighbors are not safe. Your disabled neighbors are not safe. Your indigenous neighbors are not safe. Your Jewish neighbors are not safe. Your transgender neighbors are not safe. If you feel safe now, it’s an illusion born of your relationship to power. But make no mistake—you may not be the canary, but we’re all in the same coal mine. These people have been “community organizing” for DECADES. They are base-building and they have the White House. They have infiltrated law enforcement. They are in every legislative body and on every school board. You are not safe.

August 16, 2017
August 08, 2017
FTL, Y’all
Posted by Avram Grumer at 03:55 AM * 67 comments

Iron Circus Comics (Spike Trotman’s company) has just announced its next anthology project: FTL, Y’all. Imagine what would happen if someone, this year, invented an FTL drive that could be built with $200 in easily-available parts, and put the plans up on the Internet so just about anyone could build one.

The open submission period starts next week (Aug 15), so comickers, start your engines. I don’t know when the Kickstarter launches. You might want to look over Iron Circus’s general submissions page for an idea of what Spike likes and doesn’t.

June 11, 2017
Mosaic face
Posted by Teresa at 05:17 PM * 36 comments

I love the faces in Byzantine mosaics. 28.-St-Georges-Rotunda-Thessaloniki copy.jpeg

I used to make my own Mac icons back in the 1990s, when pixels were bigger and the Finder was user-tweakable. You had 31 x 31 pixels to work with. I learned to respect the art of using jagged little squares of color to imply details when seen from a distance.

Byzantine mosaicists were masters of it. The image at right is from the Rotonda of Galerius aka Agios Georgios aka St. George’s Rotunda in Thessaloniki.* It’s remarkably sophisticated. Seen up close, the heavily underlined jaw, the bright yellow highlights, and the checkered colors on his eyes, throat, and chin, look harsh and unnatural: abstract decoration, not mimetic representation. But the more you blur its edges — squinting through your eyelashes should work — the more realistic it looks to your brain.*

It also has that odd characteristic of recognizably being the face of a real person. I don’t know why people can spot that; I just know they do. The differences must be infinitesimal.

Byzantine mosaics thrived in the midst of physical limitations. Their palette was limited to the natural colors of rocks, plus a few colors of glass. The formal architecture of the time didn’t admit a whole lot of light, many of the best decorative surfaces were located way up toward the ceiling, and eyeglasses hadn’t been invented yet.

They still made them sing.

March 20, 2017
March 14, 2017
Wealth, risk, and power
Posted by Teresa at 01:56 PM * 162 comments

This is a thread I wrote on Twitter, because sometimes it’s easier to write about big subjects on very small pieces of paper. Numbers link to individual tweets. Title swiped from Jonathan Korman.

1. The rich don’t need fed. health insurance. Their up-and-coming competitors, who aren’t rich yet, do: one major illness can wipe them out.

2. The rich donor class hates social policies that make the non-rich braver and more enterprising. For example…

3. Social security, so a lifetime of hard work doesn’t end in misery. Student financial aid, so that talent + hard work can = achievement.

4. Bank regulation, so our careful savings and investments aren’t wrecked by irresponsible games the big-money guys play with each other.

5. Health and safety regulations, because it shouldn’t be okay to maim or poison people who don’t have clout. And so forth.

6. Us little guys shouldn’t have the nerve to start new businesses, develop new products, or go as far as our work and talent will take us.

7. Poor whites are supposed to stay poor, and know in their bones that they’re born to sorrow, and their luck will never last.

8. Blacks should keep quiet, and do first-rate work on jobs that are well below their ability, because things can always get worse, y’hear?

9. There’s no point in women having ambitions, because one little mishap can wreck everything you’ve worked for.

10. Keeping the rest of us in a constant state of low-level fear is the one consistent goal of the policies the donor class supports.

11. Why? Because we have to tolerate some risk in order to successfully compete with them and their less-than-talented offspring.

12. I’m not talking about rational, calculable risks. I mean the unforeseeable: illness, accidents, market crashes, natural disasters.

13. They want us to know in our bones that we have no defense against risk. If *anything* happens, we’ll be stuck paying for it forever.

14. We’re not allowed to build a more level playing field that we all share. They want us out of the game entirely, so they can always win.

15. Meanwhile, they’re always angling to get their own risk reduced. Always. Because winning.

16. One more thing. Who are the Alt Right? They’re guys who think they’re entitled to a place among the wealthy and risk-averse, …

17. …And haven’t figured out yet that few if any of them are going to succeed at that. They’ll get consolation prizes at best.

18. That’s why they harass egalitarians: they think we’re interfering with a game they plan to win, but have already lost.

[end]

19. And one more thing I forgot.

20. The wealthy donor class wants to instill fear in us, so we’ll be unwilling to try to compete with them.

This is grounds for hope.

21. Because if they could have made it impossible for us to fight back & compete, they’d have done it by now. Therefore, we can.

[real end]

March 13, 2017
Making Conversation
Posted by Teresa at 08:50 PM * 9 comments

This is just to say
that my recent essay collection,
Making Conversation,
is eligible for Best Related Work.

Forgive me.
I know this sort of reminder can be done badly;
but it’s my book,
and Hugo nominations close in four days.

March 08, 2017
Dori Smith and Tom Negrino
Posted by Patrick at 03:32 AM * 14 comments

Long ago in Internet time, the well-known tech writer and programmer Dori Smith, a sometime reader hereabouts, did Making Light a very useful kindness.

Now she and her husband Tom Negrino are going through the hardest of times. Whatever the outcome, we wish them solace and ease.

February 01, 2017
January 27, 2017
I know what I’m needin’, and I don’t want to waste more time
Posted by Avram Grumer at 03:34 AM * 13 comments

Hey, New Yorkers (City and State)! Want health care? There’s a bill making its way through our state legislature that would set up a state-wide single-payer health care system! It’s called the New York Health Act, and it’s already been passed by the Democratic-majority State Assembly. Next step is to push it through the Republican-controlled State Senate, so backers of the bill have scheduled a call-in day for Friday, January 27th, 9AM–9PM. Look up your State Senator’s phone number, call ’em up, and ask them to pass it.

This isn’t the first time this bill has been tried. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried has been pushing it since 1999, but it got through the Assembly for the first time in 2015. Maybe this year it’ll get through both houses. And if not, we can try again next year.

January 03, 2017
Universal Basic Income discussion thread
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 05:51 PM * 176 comments

There are many things I am not, among them an economist, a futurologist, a historian of labor, (a person who writes ‘an historian’,) or an expert on Universal Basic Income in any or all its variants.

But it’s pretty clear that the world economy is changing. Jobs are already being automated away; the advent of self-driving cars, trucks, and vans is going to take another big bite out of the labor market. Between that and the lack of a living minimum wage, one possible future is more people scrambling after fewer positions and getting poorer in the process.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We have the resources in America and Europe to feed and house our people, all our people, at an acceptable minimum standard. Thus, the proposal for a Universal Basic Income, which would give people economic security. Work would then become the way one earns extra money, acquires luxuries, or just something one pursues because it feels good and is interesting.

It’s almost a litmus test for one’s view of humanity: do we need fear and anxiety to keep us going, or do we work and create for the sheer pleasure of doing it?

Some of the fears UBI raises are the ones that turn welfare so toxic: the fear that those people will get away with something, the feeling that one’s possessions should be entirely one’s own, the feeling that we need poverty as leash and lash for people we see as morally corrupt or lazy.

(And one has to accept all of these things for any kind of redistributive system: there will be people who abuse it—but more people will benefit; the rich will have less—but inequality breeds political chaos and injustice; there are almost certainly poor people who are immoral for any given value of immorality—but you can say the same for any class of people; there are certainly poor people who do not like to work—but I’m not always big on getting out of bed of a Monday morning either.)

And there are more realistic issues too, ones I certainly don’t know the answer to. Who will do the unpopular jobs, the messy ones, the dangerous ones? Won’t everyone just stop working? How can this work with immigration? Is it moral to keep the population of the West in (relative) luxury on the profits of offshore labor? (Would we do something more moral with the money?)

And the big questions: what will people do with their time? Will they produce art, great or mediocre according to their talents? Will they be less stressed, and spend more time and energy on their families, creating a generation of more emotionally secure adults to face the future? Will they have more children, and is that a good thing? What jobs will we keep working at, and why?

In short, will UBI make us more free, or will we all melt into the sociological equivalent of grey goo? And how could we get there?

I’m watching the trials and proposals with interest. I think we need more information, more evidence. But I’m also aware that I haven’t read up on all the options and implications. I haven’t had the time. I have to go to work tomorrow.

December 30, 2016
Defense in depth
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 07:33 AM * 126 comments

I’m strongly suspecting that New Year’s is going to be a time of listicles and advocacy. Everyone’s going to be at us to support this cause or that, act in this way or that, over the coming year. Everyone has priorities, urgent issues, things they think we should care about most of all.

And that’s cool. Passion is wonderful, and clearly many hands are going to be needed for the work ahead.

But when others have different priorities than you, things slide so easily into guilt-tripping and blame. Accusations of indifference. Spoon banditry. And that’s not so cool; it robs us of energy and joy that we need as a community. Someone 100% committed to Cause A, if persuaded to switch to Cause B, may only have the talents, resources, or passion to give 70%—even after the energy costs of diverting their attention are paid off.

Can I suggest an XKCD-like reformulation? Can we think of this diversity of tactics and causes not as dilution or diversion, but as defense in depth?

I first encountered the term defense in depth in its infosec incarnation, where we use multiple independent means to combat possible intrusions. Run antivirus software and have a strong-password policy and train your staff against social engineering. It’s based on a broader military strategy where you use multiple layers of resources, even weak ones, to bog an attacker down, rob them of their momentum, and leave them vulnerable to counterattack.

It may not be, in the abstract, the best strategy for the time ahead of us—the Wikipedia entry points out that it’s most effective in opposition to a single, focused attack, and we’re facing something much broader-based than that. But given the costs and risks of circular firing squads, given that our strength as evidence-based thinkers and anti-authoritarians will be in nurturing diverse opinions and tactics and then sharing the results widely to expand everyone’s toolkit, it’s the most pragmatic approach to moving in a generally-agreed direction with people with whom we may not always see eye to eye.

A couple of skills for that toolkit, if you’re going to follow this model:

Any more resources? Or am I talking out of my arse here?

December 28, 2016
And ever morne and may
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 12:58 PM * 55 comments

As 2016 draws to a close, many of us are looking on it as a year of loss, not just of elections and referenda, but also of people we’ve cared about. Some of the losses are personal—I’m keeping a number of the bereaved in my thoughts these days—and many more were cultural.

It’s the dark time of the year for me, and I don’t really know how to mourn right now. I wanted to pick a song that summed up what Carrie Fisher in particular meant to me, but there’s nothing there. The Coventry Carol, appropriate to the day, is as close as I come: the impulse to sing away the loss, the inability to do so.

Help me, friends, to remember the people we’ve lost this year. Let’s choose songs* and share memories as it comes to a close. I think it’ll help, even if it can’t cure.


* If you’re doing YouTube links, (a) read the link format hint just above the comment box and follow it precisely; (b) test your link at preview, and (c) give the song title and artist in text so people don’t have to click blind.

December 26, 2016
Arouse us noble
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 02:46 PM * 54 comments

Out of this darkness, let the unmeasured sword
Rising from sleep to execute or crown
Rest on our shoulders, as we then can rest
On the outdistancing, all-capable flood
Whose brim touches the morning. Down
The long shadows where undriven the dawn
Hunts light into nobility, arouse us noble.

—Philip Larkin, “Come Then to Prayers

When we look back on the late twenty-teens, I suspect we’re going to think we were out of our collective minds in the months between Trump’s election and his inaguration. And I say this as someone who is herself affected.

Twitter, in particular, has been hard to cope with for those of us with personalities that do not thrive on exhaustive examinations of all of the terrible possiblilities of 2017 and beyond. (I assume there are people for whom such examinations are meat and drink, in which case, go you. But maybe consider your impact on others?)

I’ve talked about this a little on Twitter. Yes, I am aware of the irony. But that’s where the people being pummelled and terrified by the discourse—the people who might benefit from what I’m trying to say—are. Also, I didn’t feel ready to blog more on it. It felt too big. It still feels too big, but maybe it’s time to write this next piece out anyway.

So: my read is that many of us are trapped between vague hope and terribly detailed despair, and the contrast is eating us up. Not the contrast between the light and the dark, but between the clear and the vague.

Because the despair is so clearly articulated, so widespread, so pervasive (and thus persuasive). The numerous hot takes that add up to guys, I can explain how we’re screwed, but I can’t see how we’re going to get out of it; the trending tweets with handy tools to predict nuclear blast radii; the promises and threats of someone who is still a private citizen, albeit a powerful one—all give us a laundry list of bleak and horrible outcomes. A person can read them until she can’t even blink any more, until her heart breaks, and not get through it all. And it’s not going to stop; too much of it is making someone money, feeding an emotional hunger in its readers, or serving a political purpose.

I can’t argue against it, not directly. Much of it is reasoned, well-sourced, gravely sensible.

But it’s incomplete, like bread without yeast, flesh without life. It’s missing a thing that I know exists but cannot explain in detail, cannot predict the place or extent of, cannot forecast the effect of.

The thing that’s missing has given us prominent figures like Rosa Parks and Edith Stein, but also less well-known ones such as Viola Liuzzo, Marion Pritchard, Ruth Coker Burks, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett. (I picked these people almost at random. I could go on for paragraphs.) More recently, it gave us Bree Newsome up the flagpole and Ieshia Evans in the street, the Water Protectors of Standing Rock and the veterans who came to join them. It gave us Łukasz Urban in Berlin last Monday. Maybe next time it will give us me, or you, or someone in our community, among the hundreds or thousands that I know will appear at the right place and time, even though I cannot explain beforehand how, when, or where that will be.

Fred Rogers, the uncanonized saint of American television, said it best: When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’

It is impossible to tell you who these helpers will be, or where they will arise, because they will be ordinary people, which is to say, weird and unpredictable, indvidual and quirky. Their activism and heroism will be like that too, becomes it stems from their humanity. That’s their, or rather our, strength. (Also—hard words here—not everyone who stands up will be OK afterwards. Some of the people I listed died. Some lost everything. And there were many alongside them who were too afraid to step forward. This too is human.)

I’d just like to ask you, next time you read some article or tweetstorm that sets out, piece by deliberate piece, how any particular future is inevitable, to remember: the more the writer limits their analysis to what is already known, and the more certain they sound, the less of a clue they really have. Because they’re missing a real thing they can’t name, can’t describe, and won’t see coming until it’s already in motion. If then.

(This is, by the way, a seasonally appropriate message in my tradition. If you’d asked Herod the Great of Judea what event would make his reign remembered all over the world for thousands of years; if you’d asked Augustus Caesar why his name would be on children’s lips every year long after Latin itself was dead, they’d give you answers that were detailed and sensible, but also completely wrong. Because off in a backwater barn, out of sight, a baby was born. And even if you don’t believe a word people say about the man he grew up to be, he and the people who came after him diverted the plans of kings and emperors.)

December 25, 2016
Texts, 2016
Posted by Teresa at 06:28 AM * 39 comments

Luke 2:1-14, Anglo-Saxon (via):

Soþlice on þam dagum wæs geworden gebod fram þam casere Augusto, þæt eall ymbehwyrft wære tomearcod. Þeos tomearcodnes wæs æryst geworden fram þam deman Syrige Cirino. And ealle hig eodon, and syndrige ferdon on hyra ceastre. Ða ferde Iosep fram Galilea of þære ceastre Nazareth on Iudeisce ceastre Dauides, seo is genemned Beþleem, for þam þe he wæs of Dauides huse and hirede; þæt he ferde mid Marian þe him beweddod wæs, and wæs geeacnod. Soþlice wæs geworden þa hi þar wæron, hire dagas wæron gefyllede þæt heo cende. And heo cende hyre frumcennedan sunu, and hine mid cildclaþum bewand, and hine on binne alede, for þam þe hig næfdon rum on cumena huse. And hyrdas wæron on þam ylcan rice waciende, and nihtwæccan healdende ofer heora heorda. Þa stod Drihtnes engel wiþ hig, and Godes beorhtnes him ymbe scean; and hi him mycelum ege adredon. And se engel him to cwæð, Nelle ge eow adrædan; soþlice nu ic eow bodie mycelne gefean, se bið eallum folce; for þam to dæg eow ys Hælend acenned, se is Drihten Crist, on Dauides ceastre. And þis tacen eow byð: Ge gemetað an cild hræglum bewunden, and on binne aled. And þa wæs færinga geworden mid þam engle mycelnes heofenlices werydes, God heriendra and þus cweþendra, Gode sy wuldor on heahnesse, and on eorðan sybb mannum godes willan.

Luke 2:1-20, tr. John Wycliffe, 1382 (via)

And it was don in tho daies, a maundement wente out fro the emperour August, that al the world schulde be discryued. :: This firste discryuyng was maad of Cyryn, iustice of Sirie. :: And alle men wenten to make professioun, ech in to his owne citee. :: And Joseph wente vp fro Galilee, fro the citee Nazareth, in to Judee, in to a citee of Dauid, that is clepid Bethleem, for that he was of the hous and of the meyne of Dauid, :: that he schulde knouleche with Marie, his wijf, that was weddid to hym, and was greet with child. :: And it was don, while thei weren there, the daies weren fulfillid, that sche schulde bere child. :: And sche bare hir first borun sone, and wlappide hym in clothis, and leide hym in a cratche, for ther was no place to hym in no chaumbir. :: And scheepherdis weren in the same cuntre, wakynge and kepynge the watchis of the nyyt on her flok. :: And lo! the aungel of the Lord stood bisidis hem, and the cleernesse of God schinede aboute hem; and thei dredden with greet drede. :: And the aungel seide to hem, Nyle ye drede; for lo! Y preche to you a greet ioye, that schal be to al puple. :: For a sauyoure is borun to dai to you, that is Crist the Lord, in the citee of Dauid. :: And this is a tokene to you; ye schulen fynde a yong child wlappid in clothis, and leid in a cratche. :: And sudenli ther was maad with the aungel a multitude of heuenli knyythod, heriynge God, :: and seiynge, Glorie be in the hiyeste thingis to God, and in erthe pees be to men of good wille. :: And it was don, as the aungelis passiden awei fro hem in to heuene, the scheephirdis spaken togider, and seiden, Go we ouer to Bethleem, and se we this word that is maad, which the Lord hath maad, and schewide to vs. :: And thei hiyynge camen, and founden Marie and Joseph, and the yong child leid in a cratche. :: And thei seynge, knewen of the word that was seid to hem of this child. :: And alle men that herden wondriden, and of these thingis that weren seid to hem of the scheephirdis. :: But Marie kepte alle these wordis, berynge togider in hir herte. :: And the scheepherdis turneden ayen, glorifyinge and heriynge God in alle thingis that thei hadden herd and seyn, as it was seid to hem.

Luke 2:1-20, tr. William Tyndale, 1530

And it chaunced in thoose dayes: yt ther went oute a comaundment from Auguste the Emperour that all the woorlde shuld be taxed. :: And this taxynge was ye fyrst and executed when Syrenius was leftenaut in Syria. :: And every man went vnto his awne citie to be taxed. :: And Ioseph also ascended from Galile oute of a cite called Nazareth into Iurie: vnto ye cite of David which is called Bethleem because he was of the housse and linage of David :: to be taxed with Mary his spoused wyfe which was with chylde. :: And it fortuned whyll they were there her tyme was come that she shuld be delyvered. :: And she brought forth her fyrst begotten sonne and wrapped him in swadlynge cloothes and layed him in a manger because ther was no roume for them within in the ynne. :: And ther were in the same region shepherdes abydinge in the felde and watching their flocke by nyght. :: And loo: the angell of ye lorde stode harde by them and the brightnes of ye lorde shone rounde aboute them and they were soare afrayed. :: But the angell sayd vnto them: Be not afrayed. For beholde I bringe you tydinges of greate ioye yt shal come to all ye people: :: for vnto you is borne this daye in the cite of David a saveoure which is Christ ye lorde. :: And take this for a signe: ye hall fynde ye chylde swadled and layed in a mager. :: And streight waye ther was with the angell a multitude of hevenly sowdiers laudynge God and sayinge: :: Glory to God an hye and peace on the erth: and vnto men reioysynge. :: And it fortuned assone as the angels were gone awaye fro them in to heven the shepherdes sayd one to another: let vs goo eve vnto Bethleem and se this thynge that is hapened which the Lorde hath shewed vnto vs. :: And they cam with haste and founde Mary and Ioseph and the babe layde in a mager. :: And when they had sene it they publisshed a brode the sayinge which was tolde them of that chylde. :: And all that hearde it wondred at those thinges which were tolde the of the shepherdes. :: But Mary kept all thoose sayinges and pondered them in hyr hert. :: And the shepherdes retourned praysinge and laudinge God for all that they had herde and sene evyn as it was told vnto them.

Luke 2:1-20, tr. Miles Coverdale, 1535

It fortuned at the same tyme, that there wete out a comaundement fro Augustus the Emperoure, that the whole worlde shulde be taxed. And this taxynge was the first that was executed, whan Syrenius was leftenaunt in Siria. And they wente all, euery one to his owne cite to be taxed. Then Ioseph gat him vp also fro Galile, out of the cite of Nazareth, in to Iewry, to ye cite of Dauid, which is called Bethleem, (because he was of ye house and lynage of Dauid) that he might be taxed wt Mary his spoused wife, which was wt childe. And it fortuned whyle they were there, ye tyme was come, that she shulde be delyuered. And she brought forth hir first begotte sonne, & wrapped him in swadlinge clothes, and layed him in a maunger: for they had els no rowme in the ynne.

And there were in ye same region shepherdes in the felde by the foldes, and watchinge their flocke by night. And beholde, ye angell of the Lorde stode by the, and ye brightnes of the Lorde shone rounde aboute them, and they were sore afrayed. And the angell sayde vnto them: Be not afrayed. Beholde, I brynge you tydiges of greate ioye, which shall happen vnto all people: for vnto you this daye is borne ye Sauioure, eue Christ ye Lorde, in the cite of Dauid. And take this for a token: Ye shal fynde the babe swadled, and layed in a maunger. And straight waye there was by the angell a multitude of heauenly hoostes, which praysed God, and sayde: Glory be vnto God an hye, & peace vpon earth, and vnto men a good wyll.

And it fortuned wha the angels were gone from the in to heaue, the shepherdes sayde one to another: let vs go now euen vnto Bethleem, and se this thinge that is happened, which ye Lorde hath shewed vnto vs. And they came wt haist, & founde both Mary and Ioseph, & the babe layed in ye maunger. And whan they had sene it, they published abrode the sayenge, yt was tolde the of this childe. And all they that herde it, wondred at the wordes, which the shepherdes had tolde them. But Mary kepte all these sayenges, and pondred them in hir hert. And the shepherdes returned, praysinge and laudinge God, for all that they had herde and sene, euen as it was tolde them.

Luke 2:1-14, King James Version, 1611

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, she being great with child.

And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered; and she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes; and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: That ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:1-14 - Δοξα εν υψιστοις θεω, και επι γης ειρηνη εν ανθρωποις ευδοκιας
εγενετο δε εν ταις ημεραις εκειναις εξηλθεν δογμα παρα καισαρος αυγουστου απογραφεσθαι πασαν την οικουμενην
    αυτη απογραφη πρωτη εγενετο ηγεμονευοντος της συριας κυρηνιου
    και επορευοντο παντες απογραφεσθαι εκαστος εις την εαυτου πολιν
    ανεβη δε και ιωσηφ απο της γαλιλαιας εκ πολεως ναζαρεθ εις την ιουδαιαν εις πολιν δαυιδ ητις καλειται βηθλεεμ δια το ειναι αυτον εξ οικου και πατριας δαυιδ
    απογραψασθαι συν μαριαμ τη εμνηστευμενη αυτω ουση εγκυω
    εγενετο δε εν τω ειναι αυτους εκει επλησθησαν αι ημεραι του τεκειν αυτην
    και ετεκεν τον υιον αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον και εσπαργανωσεν αυτον και ανεκλινεν αυτον εν φατνη διοτι ουκ ην αυτοις τοπος εν τω καταλυματι
    και ποιμενες ησαν εν τη χωρα τη αυτη αγραυλουντες και φυλασσοντες φυλακας της νυκτος επι την ποιμνην αυτων
    και αγγελος κυριου επεστη αυτοις και δοξα κυριου περιελαμψεν αυτους και εφοβηθησαν φοβον μεγαν
    και ειπεν αυτοις ο αγγελος μη φοβεισθε ιδου γαρ ευαγγελιζομαι υμιν χαραν μεγαλην ητις εσται παντι τω λαω
    οτι ετεχθη υμιν σημερον σωτηρ ος εστιν χριστος κυριος εν πολει δαυιδ
    και τουτο υμιν το σημειον ευρησετε βρεφος εσπαργανωμενον και κειμενον εν φατνη
    και εξαιφνης εγενετο συν τω αγγελω πληθος στρατιας ουρανιου αινουντων τον θεον και λεγοντων
    δοξα εν υψιστοις θεω και επι γης ειρηνη εν ανθρωποις ευδοκιας

(Thank you, Nick Whyte.)

Luke 2:1-20 in Old Church Slavonic:

мѣсѧца дєкѧбр҄ја иг въ навєчєриѥ рождьства хрьстова єванћєлиѥ отъ лѹкъі глава в въ оно врѣмѧ изідє заповѣдь отъ кєсарѣ авгоста напісаті в҄сѫ вьсєлєнѫѭ | сє напісаніє пръвоє бъістъ владѫщѹ сѹрієѭ и кѵрінієѭ | и идѣахѫ вьсі напісатъ сѧ кьждо въ свои градъ | вьзідє жє иосіфь отъ галілєѧ и града назарєтьска вь июдєѭ вь градъ давъідовъ іжє наріцаєтъ сѧ віѳлєємь занє бѣашє отъ домѹ и отьчьствіѣ давъідова | напісатъ сѧ съ марієѭ обрѫчєнѫѭ ємѹ жєноѭ сѫштєѭ нєпраздъноѭ | бъістъ жє єгда бъістє тѹ исплънишѧ сѧ дєниє да родітъ | и роді съінъ свои пръвѣнєць и обитъі и и положі и въ ѣслєхъ занє нє бѣ има мѣста въ обитѣли | и пастъирі бѣахѫ въ тоиждє ст҄ранѣ бъдѧщє и стрѣгѫщє стражѫ нощьнѫѭ о стадѣ своємъ | и сє анћєлъ господьнь ста вь нихъ и слава господьнѣ осіѣ ѧ и ѹбоѣшѧ сѧ ст҄рахомъ вєлиємъ | и рєчє имъ анћєлъ нє боитє сѧ сє бо благовѣщаѭ вамъ радость вєліѭ ѣжє бѫдєт бьсѣмь людємъ | ѣко роді сѧ вамъ съпасъ іжє єстъ христъ господь въ градѣ давъідовѣ | и сє вамъ з҄намєниє обрѧстєтє младьнєць повітъ и лєжѧшть вь ѣслєхъ | и вънєзаапѫ бъістъ съ ангѣломъ м҄ножьство вои нєбєснъіих хвалѧштиихъ бога и глаголѭшть | сла въ въішніих богѹ и на зєми миръ въ чловѣцѣхъ благоволєниє | и бъістъ ѣко отідѫ оть ніхъ анћєлі на нєбо и чловѣци пастъирі рѣшѧ дрѹгь кь дрѹгѹ прѣидѣмъ ѹбо до віѳлєома и відімъ глаголь сь бъівьшіи єгожє господь съказа нам | и прѣидѫ под҄вігьшє сѧ и обрѣтѫ маріѭ и иосифа и младьнєць лєжѧшть вь ѣслєхъ | видѣвъшє жє ськазашѧ о глаголѣ глаголанѣмь о отрочѧті сємъ | и въсі слъішавъшє дівішѧ сѧ о глаголанъіихъ отъ пастъирь кь німъ | маріѣ жє вьсѧ съблюдаашє глаголъі сіи въ срьдьци своємъ | и възвратішѧ сѧ пастъірі славѧштє и хвалѧштє бога о в҄сѣхъ ѣжє слъішашѧ и відѣшѧ ѣкожє глаголано бъисть кь нимъ |

(Thank you, Xopher)

Vulgate: Luke 2:1-14

Factum est autem in diebus illis, exiit edictum a Cæsare Augusto ut describeretur universus orbis. Hæc descriptio prima facta est a præside Syriæ Cyrino: et ibant omnes ut profiterentur singuli in suam civitatem. Ascendit autem et Joseph a Galilæa de civitate Nazareth in Judæam, in civitatem David, quæ vocatur Bethlehem: eo quod esset de domo et familia David, ut profiteretur cum Maria desponsata sibi uxore prægnante. Factum est autem, cum essent ibi, impleti sunt dies ut pareret. Et peperit filium suum primogenitum, et pannis eum involvit, et reclinavit eum in præsepio: quia non erat eis locus in diversorio. Et pastores erant in regione eadem vigilantes, et custodientes vigilias noctis super gregem suum. Et ecce angelus Domini stetit juxta illos, et claritas Dei circumfulsit illos, et timuerunt timore magno. Et dixit illis angelus: Nolite timere: ecce enim evangelizo vobis gaudium magnum, quod erit omni populo: quia natus est vobis hodie Salvator, qui est Christus Dominus, in civitate David. Et hoc vobis signum: invenietis infantem pannis involutum, et positum in præsepio. Et subito facta est cum angelo multitudo militiæ cælestis laudantium Deum, et dicentium: [Gloria in altissimis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis.]

(Thank you, Sisuile.)

Luke 2:14 in Gothic

Warth than in dagans jainans. urrann gagrefts fram kaisara Agustau gameljan allana midjungard. soh than gilstrameleins frumista warth at wisandin kindina Swriais raginondin Saurim Kwreinaiau. jah iddjedun allai ei melidai weseina. hwarjizuh in seinai baurg. urrann than jah Iosef us Galeilaia. us baurg Nazaraith in Iudaian. in baurg Daweidis sei haitada Bethlaihaim duthe ei was us garda fadreinais Daweidis. anameljan mith Mariin. sei in fragiftim was imma qeins. wisandein inkilthon. warth than miththanei. tho wesun jainar. usfullnodedun dagos du bairan izai jah gabar sunu seinana thana frumabaur. jah biwand ina jah galagida ina in uzetin. unte ni was im rumis in stada thamma.

jah hairdjos wesun in thamma samin landa, thairhwakandans jah witandans wahtwom nahts ufaro hairdai seinai. ith aggilus fraujins anaqam ins jah wulthus fraujins biskain ins, jah ohtedun agisa mikilamma. jah qath du im sa aggilus: ni ogeith, unte sai, spillo izwis faheid mikila, sei wairthith allai managein, thatei gabaurans ist izwis himma daga nasjands, saei ist Xristus frauja, in baurg Daweidis. jah thata izwis taikns: bigitid barn biwundan jah galagid in uzetin. jah anaks warth mith thamma aggilau managei harjis himinakundis hazjandane guth jah qithandane:

wulthus in hauhistjam guda
jah ana airthai gawairthi in mannam godis wiljins.

(Thank you, Lisa Spangenberg, a.k.a. the Digital Medievalist; who in turn gives credit to “Jim Marchand, medievalist extraordinaire.”) (see also)

Luke 2:1-14 in Lallans Scots

About this time the Emperor Augustus pat furth an edick ordeinin at aa the fowk i the haill warld suid be registrate. This wis whan Quirinius wis Governor o Syria, an it wis the first time at siccan a thing hed been dune. Sae aabodie gaed tae be registrate, ilkane til his ain toun, Joseph amang the lave.

He belanged til the stock an faimlie o Dauvit, an sae it was wis tae Dauvit’s Toun, Bethlehem in Judaea, at he gaed doun frae Nazareth in Galilee for tae gie in his name, takkin Mary, at wis haundfastit til him, wi him. She wis boukin gin this; an whan they war in Bethlehem, she cam til her time an brocht hame her first-born son. She swealed the bairn in a barrie an beddit him in a heck, sin there wis nae room for them intil the inn.

Nou, i that same pairt the war a wheen herds bidin thereout on the hill an keepin gaird owre their hrisel at nicht. Suddent an angel o the Lord cam an stuid afore them, an the glorie o the Lord shined about them, an they war uncolie frichtit. But the angel said tae them: Binna nane afeard, I bring ye guid news o gryte blytheness for the haill fowk—this day in Dauvit’s Town a saviour hes born til ye, Christ the Lord! This gate ye s’ken it is een as I say: ye will finnd a new-born bairn swealed in a barrie an liggin intil a heck.

Syne in a gliff an unco thrang o the airmies o hieven kythed aside the angel, glein laud tae God an liltin:

Glore tae God i the heicht o heiven, an peace on the yird tae men he delytes in!

(Thank you, Lee Sandlin.)

Luke 2:1-14 in Swedish, trans. 2000

Vid den tiden utfärdade kejsar Augustus en förordning om att hela världen skulle skattskrivas. Det var den första skattskrivningen, och den hölls när Quirinius var ståthållare i Syrien. Alla gick då för att skattskriva sig, var och en till sin stad. Och Josef, som genom sin härkomst hörde till Davids hus, begav sig från Nasaret i Galileen upp till Judeen, till Davids stad Betlehem, för att skattskriva sig tillsammans med Maria, sin trolovade, som väntade sitt barn. Medan de befann sig där var tiden inne för henne att föda, och hon födde sin son, den förstfödde. Hon lindade honom och lade honom i en krubba, eftersom det inte fanns plats för dem inne i härbärget. I samma trakt låg några herdar ute och vaktade sin hjord om natten. Då stod Herrens ängel framför dem och Herrens härlighet lyste omkring dem, och de greps av stor förfäran. Men ängeln sade till dem: “Var inte rädda. Jag bär bud till er om en stor glädje, en glädje för hela folket. I dag har en frälsare fötts åt er i Davids stad, han är Messias, Herren. Och detta är tecknet för er: ni skall finna ett nyfött barn som är lindat och ligger i en krubba.” Och plötsligt var där tillsammans med ängeln en stor himmelsk här som prisade Gud:

“Ära i höjden åt Gud
och på jorden fred åt dem han har utvalt.”

Luke 2:1-14 in Swedish, trans. 1917

Och det hände sig vid den tiden att från kejsar Augustus utgick ett påbud att hela världen skulle skattskrivas. Detta var den första skattskrivningen, och den hölls, när Kvirinius var landshövding över Syrien. Då färdades alla var och en till sin stad, för att låta skattskriva sig. Så gjorde ock Josef; och eftersom han var av Davids hus och släkt, for han från staden Nasaret i Galileen upp till Davids stad, som heter Betlehem, i Judeen, för att låta skattskriva sig jämte Maria, sin trolovade, som var havande. Medan de voro där, hände sig att tiden var inne, då hon skulle föda. Och hon födde sin förstfödde son och lindade honom och lade honom i en krubba, ty det fanns icke rum för dem i härbärget. I samma nejd voro då några herdar ute på marken och höllo vakt om natten över sin hjord. Då stod en Herrens ängel framför dem, och Herrens härlighet kringstrålade dem; och de blevo mycket förskräckta. Men ängeln sade till dem: »Varen icke förskräckta. Se, jag bådar eder en stor glädje, som skall vederfaras allt folket. Ty i dag har en Frälsare blivit född åt eder i Davids stad, och han är Messias, Herren. Och detta skall för eder vara tecknet: I skolen finna ett nyfött barn, som ligger lindat i en krubba.» I detsamma sågs där jämte ängeln en stor hop av den himmelska härskaran, och de lovade Gud och sade:

»Ära vare Gud i höjden, och frid på jorden,
bland människor till vilka han har behag!» <

Luke 2:1-14 in Swedish, trans. 1541 - Gustavus Vasa’s bible, translated from Martin Luther’s bible

Thet begaff sigh j then tijdhen, at aff Keysar Augusto vthgick itt bodh, at all werlden skulle beskattas. Och thenna beskatning war then första, och skeedde vnder then Höffdingen offuer Syrien, Kyrenio. Och the gingo alle hwar vthi sin stadh, til at läta beskatta sigh. Så foor ock Joseph vp aff Galilea, aff then stadhen Nazareth in vthi Judeska landet, til Dauidz stadh, som heter Bethlehem, Ty han war aff Dauidz hws och slecht, på thet han skulle låta beskatta sigh medh Maria sijn troloffuadha hustru, hwilken haffuandes war. Så begaff sigh medhan the woro ther, wordo daghanar fulbordadhe, at hon skulle födha. Och hon födde sin förstfödda Son, och swepte honom j lindaklädher, och ladhe honom nedher j een krubbo, Ty them war icke rwm j herberghena. Och j then samma egnden woro någhre Heerdar, the ther wakadhe och höllo wård om nattena offuer sin hiord. Och sij, Herrans Ängel stoodh när them, och Herrans klarheet kringskeen them, och the wordo stoorligha förfäradhe. Och sadhe Ängelen til them, Warer icke förfäradhe, Sij, iagh bodhar idher stoor glädhi, hwilken allo folckena widerfaras skal, Ty jdagh är idher födder Frelsaren, som är Christus Herren, j Dauidz stadh. Och thetta skal wara idher för tekn. J skole finna Barnet swept j lindaklädher, nedherlagdt j een krubbo. Och strax wardt medh Ängelen itt stoort taal aff then himmelska häärskaran, the ther loffuadhe Gudh, och sadhe, Ära ware Gudh j högden, Och på jordenne fridh, Och menniskiomen en godh wilie.

(Thank you, Mikael Johansson.)

Nederlandse Statenvertaling (1637), Lukas 2:1-20

1 En het geschiedde in diezelfde dagen, dat er een gebod uitging van den Keizer Augustus, dat de gehele wereld beschreven zou worden.
2 Deze eerste beschrijving geschiedde, als Cyrenius over Syrie stadhouder was.
3 En zij gingen allen om beschreven te worden, een iegelijk naar zijn eigen stad.
4 En Jozef ging ook op van Galilea, uit de stad Nazareth, naar Judea, tot de stad Davids, die Bethlehem genaamd wordt, (omdat hij uit het huis en geslacht van David was);
5 Om beschreven te worden met Maria, zijn ondertrouwde vrouw, welke bevrucht was.
6 En het geschiedde, als zij daar waren, dat de dagen vervuld werden, dat zij baren zoude.
7 En zij baarde haar eerstgeboren Zoon, en wond Hem in doeken, en legde Hem neder in de kribbe, omdat voor henlieden geen plaats was in de herberg.
8 En er waren herders in diezelfde landstreek, zich houdende in het veld, en hielden de nachtwacht over hun kudde.
9 En ziet, een engel des Heeren stond bij hen, en de heerlijkheid des Heeren omscheen hen, en zij vreesden met grote vreze.
10 En de engel zeide tot hen: Vreest niet, want, ziet, ik verkondig u grote blijdschap, die al den volke wezen zal;
11 Namelijk dat u heden geboren is de Zaligmaker, welke is Christus, de Heere, in de stad Davids.
12 En dit zal u het teken zijn: gij zult het Kindeken vinden in doeken gewonden, en liggende in de kribbe.
13 En van stonde aan was er met den engel een menigte des hemelsen heirlegers, prijzende God en zeggende:
14 Ere zij God in de hoogste hemelen, en vrede op aarde, in de mensen een welbehagen.
15 En het geschiedde, als de engelen van hen weggevaren waren naar de hemel, dat de herders tot elkander zeiden: Laat ons dan heengaan naar Bethlehem, en laat ons zien het woord, dat er geschied is, hetwelk de Heere ons heeft verkondigd.
16 En zij kwamen met haast, en vonden Maria en Jozef, en het Kindeken liggende in de kribbe.
17 En als zij Het gezien hadden, maakten zij alom bekend het woord, dat hun van dit Kindeken gezegd was.
18 En allen, die het hoorden, verwonderden zich over hetgeen hun gezegd werd van de herders.
19 Doch Maria bewaarde deze woorden alle te zamen, overleggende die in haar hart.
20 En de herders keerde wederom, verheerlijkende en prijzende God over alles, wat zij gehoord en gezien hadden, gelijk tot hen gesproken was.

Luke 2:1-14 in Portuguese:

1. Naqueles tempos apareceu um decreto de César Augusto, ordenando o recenseamento de toda a terra.
2. Este recenseamento foi feito antes do governo de Quirino, na Síria.
3. Todos iam alistar-se, cada um na sua cidade.
4. Também José subiu da Galiléia, da cidade de Nazaré, à Judéia, à Cidade de Davi, chamada Belém, porque era da casa e família de Davi,
5. para se alistar com a sua esposa Maria, que estava grávida.
6. Estando eles ali, completaram-se os dias dela.
7. E deu à luz seu filho primogênito, e, envolvendo-o em faixas, reclinou-o num presépio; porque não havia lugar para eles na hospedaria.
8. Havia nos arredores uns pastores, que vigiavam e guardavam seu rebanho nos campos durante as vigílias da noite.
9. Um anjo do Senhor apareceu-lhes e a glória do Senhor refulgiu ao redor deles, e tiveram grande temor.
10. O anjo disse-lhes: Não temais, eis que vos anuncio uma boa nova que será alegria para todo o povo:
11. hoje vos nasceu na Cidade de Davi um Salvador, que é o Cristo Senhor.
12. Isto vos servirá de sinal: achareis um recém-nascido envolto em faixas e posto numa manjedoura.
13. E subitamente ao anjo se juntou uma multidão do exército celeste, que louvava a Deus e dizia:
14. Glória a Deus no mais alto dos céus e na terra paz aos homens, objetos da benevolência (divina).

(Thank you, Fragano)

Lik 2:1-14 en Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian)

1. Lè sa a, Seza Ogis te bay lòd pou yo te konte dènye moun ki nan peyi l’ap gouvènen yo. :: 2. Premye travay sa a te fèt nan tan Kireniyis t’ap kòmande nan peyi yo rele Siri a. :: 3. Tout moun te al fè pran non yo nan lavil kote fanmi yo te soti. :: 4. Jozèf te rete nan peyi Galile, nan yon bouk yo rele Nazarèt. Men, paske li te moun nan fanmi ak ras David, li moute, li ale nan Jide, nan lavil David yo rele Betleyèm lan. :: 5. Jozèf tapral fè yo pran non l’ ansanm ak non Mari, fiyanse li, ki te ansent. :: 6. Antan yo te la, jou pou Mari te akouche a rive. :: 7. Li fè premye pitit li a, yon ti gason. Mari vlope pitit la nan kouchèt, li mete l’ kouche nan yon kay kote yo bay bèt manje, paske pa t’ gen plas pou yo nan lotèl la. :: 8. Nan menm zòn sa a, te gen gadò mouton ki t’ap pase nwit la deyò ap veye mouton yo. :: 9. Lè sa a, yon zanj Bondye parèt devan yo, bèl limyè Bondye a klere tout kote yo te ye a. Yo te pè anpil. :: 10. Men zanj lan di yo konsa: Pa pè. N’ap anonse nou yon bon nouvèl ki pral fè tout pèp la kontan anpil. :: 11. Jòdi a, nan lavil David la, nou gen yon Sovè ki fenk fèt: se Kris la, Seyè a. :: 12. Men remak ki va fè nou rekonèt li: n’a jwenn yon tibebe vlope nan kouchèt, kouche nan yon kay kote yo bay bèt manje. :: 13. Menm lè a, yon foul lòt zanj nan syèl la vin jwenn zanj lan; yo t’ap fè lwanj Bondye, yo t’ap di konsa: :: 14. Lwanj pou Bondye anwo nan syèl la, kè poze sou latè pou tout moun li renmen.

Lúkasar guðspjall 2:1-20 in Icelandic:

En það bar til um þessar mundir, að boð kom frá Ágústus keisara, að skrásetja skyldi alla heimsbyggðina. Þetta var fyrsta skrásetningin og var gjörð þá er Kýreníus var landstjóri á Sýrlandi. Fóru þá allir til að láta skrásetja sig, hver til sinnar borgar. Þá fór og Jósef úr Galíleu frá borginni Nasaret upp til Júdeu, til borgar Davíðs, að láta skrásetja sig ásamt Maríu heitkonu sinni, sem var þunguð. En meðan þau voru þar, kom sá tími, er hún skyldi verða léttari. Fæddi jún þá son sinn frumgetinn, vafði hann reifum og lagði hann í jötu, af því að eigi var rúm handa þeim í gistihúsi.

En í sömu byggð voru hirðar úti í haga og gættu um nóttina hjarðar sinnar. Og engill Drottins stóð hjá þeim, og dýrð Drottins ljómaði kringum þá. Þeir urðu mjög hræddir, en engillinn sagði við þá: “Verið óhræddir, því sjá, ég boða yður mikinn fögnuð, sem veitast mun öllum lýðnum: Yður er í dag frelsari fæddur, sem er Kristur Drottinn, í borg Davíðs. Og hafði þetta til marks: Þið munuð finna ungbarn reifað og lagt í jötu.”

Og í sömu svipan var með englinum fjöldi himneskra hersveita, sem lofuðu Guð og sögðu: Dýrð sé Guði í upphæðum og friður á jörðu með mönnum, sem hann hefur velþóknun á. Þegar englarnir voru farnir frá þeim til himins, sögðu hirðarnir sín á milli: “Förum beint til Betlahem að sjá það, sem gjörst hefur og Drottinn hefur kunngjört oss” Og þeir fóru með skyndi og fundu Maríu og Jósef og ungbarnið, sem lá í jötu. Þegar þeir sáu það, skýrðu þeir frá því, er þeim hafði verið sagt um barn þetta. Og allir, sem heyrðu, undruðust það, er hirðarnir sögðu þeim. En María geymdi allt þetta í hjarta sér og hugleiddi það. Og hirðarnir sneru aftur og vegsömuðu Guð og lofuðu hann fyrir það, sem þeir höfðu heyrt og séð, en allt var það eins og þeim hafði verið sagt.

(Thank you, Sica)

Luke 2:1-20, trans. 1545 by Martin Luther

1. Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit, daß ein Gebot vom Kaiser Augustusausging, daß alle Welt geschätzt würde. :: 2. Und diese Schätzung war die allererste und geschah zu der Zeit, daCyrenius Landpfleger in Syrien war :: 3. Und jedermann ging, daß er sich schätzen ließe, ein. jeglicher inseine Stadt. :: 4. Da machte sich auch auf Joseph aus Galiläa, aus der Stadt Nazareth,in das jüdische Land zur Stadt Davids die da heißt Bethlehem, darum daßer von dem Hause und Geschlechte Davids war :: 5. auf daß er sich schätzen ließe mit Maria, seinem vertrauten Weibe,die war schwanger. :: 6. Und als sie daselbst waren, kam die Zeit, daß sie gebären sollte. :: 7. Und sie gebar ihren ersten Sohn und wickelte ihn in Windeln undlegte ihn in eine Krippe; denn sie hatten sonst keinen Raum in derHerberge. :: 8. Und es waren Hirten in derselbigen Gegend auf dem Felde bei denHürden, die hüteten des Nachts ihre Herde. :: 9. und siehe des Herrn Engel trat zu ihnen, und die Klarheit des Herrnleuchtete um sie, und sie fürchteten sich sehr. :: 10. Und der Engel sprach zu ihnen: Fürchtet euch nicht! Siehe, ichverkündige euch große Freude, die allem Volk widerfahren wird; :: 11. denn euch ist heute der Heiland geboren, welcher ist Christus, derHerr, in der Stadt Davids. :: 12. Und das habt zum Zeichen: Ihr werdet finden das Kind in Windelngewickelt und in einer Krippe liegen. :: 13. Und alsbald war da bei dem Engel die Menge der himmlischenHeerscharen, die lobten Gott und sprachen: :: 14. Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe und Friede auf Erden und den Menschenein Wohlgefallen! :: 15. Und da die Engel von ihnen gen Himmel fuhren, sprachen die Hirtenuntereinander: Laßt uns nun gehen gen Bethlehem und die Geschichtesehen, die da geschehen ist, die uns der Herr kundgetan hat. :: 16. Und sie kamen eilend und fanden beide, Maria und Joseph, dazu dasKind in der Krippe liegen. :: 17. Da sie es aber gesehen hatten breiteten sie das Wort aus, welcheszu ihnen von diesem Kind gesagt war. :: 18. Und alle, vor die es kam, wunderten sich der Rede, die ihnen dieHirten gesagt hatten. :: 19. Maria aber behielt alle diese Worte und bewegete sie in ihremHerzen. :: 20. Und die Hirten kehreten wieder um, preiseten und lobten Gott umalles, was sie gehöret und gesehen hatten, wie denn zu ihnen gesagt war.

(Thank you, Fidelio)

Luke 2:1-14 in Quenya

1. Ar túlë entë auressen i etelendë canwa Auhustus i Táraranello, i mo notumnë quanda ambar. :: 2. Minya notië sina martanë írë Quirinius nánë cáno Sírio. :: 3. Ilyë queni lender náven nótinë, ilquen véra ostoryanna. :: 4. Yando Yósef lendë amba Alilëallo, et i ostollo Nasaret, mir Yúrëa, Laviro ostonna, ya ná estaina Vet-Lehem, pan anes maro ar nossëo Laviro, :: 5. náven nótina as María ye nánë antaina sen vestalessë, ar ye sí nánë lapsarwa. :: 6. Írë engettë tassë, i lúmë túlë yassë columnes lapserya. :: 7. Ar colles yondorya, i minnóna, ar se-vaitanes ar panyane se salquecolcassë, pan lá engë tún nómë mí marmen. :: 8. Enger mavalli i imya nóressë i marner i restassë, tírala lámáreltar i lómissë. :: 9. Ar i Héruo vala tarnë ara te, ar i Héruo alcar caltanë os te, ar túra caurë nampë te. :: 10. Mal i vala quentë téna: “Áva rucë, pan inyë cára sinwa len túra alassë ya nauva i quanda lien, :: 11. an anaië cólina len síra Rehtando, ye ná Hristo, i Heru, Laviro ostossë. :: 12. Ar si nauva tanna len: Hiruvaldë vinimo, vaitana ar caitala salquecolcassë.” :: 13. Ar rincanen engë as i vala rimbë i meneldëa hossëo, laitala Eru ar quétala: :: 14. “Alcar i tarmenissen na Erun, ar cemendë rainë atanin pa i sanas mai.”

(Thank you, Helge Kåre Fauskanger at Ardalambion.)

Matyu 1:1-12 in Jamiecan

Jiizas did baan iina Betliyem, wan toun iina Judiya. Dem taim de, a Erad did a king iina Judiya. Nou, iina dem siem taim de, som waiz man fram di Iis said did kom a Jeruusilem an a aks, :: “We di pikni de we baan di ada die, we fi kom ton king fi di Juu piipl dem? Wi si im staar iina di Iis, we shuo se im baan, an wi kom fi shuo im nof rispek.” :: Nou wen King Erad ier dis ya, dis bada bada im ed, an it bada uol iip a piipl iina Jeruusilem tu. :: Erad kaal evribadi tugeda iina wan miitn — aal a di ed priis an di man dem we tiich Muoziz Laa — an im aks dem a wich paat di Krais — di king we Gad pramis, fi baan. :: Dem ansa se, “Iina Betliyem, kaaz a dat di prafit did rait dong: :: ‘An yu Betliyem we iina Judiya, wen yu luk pan aal di ada toun dem we a liid, yu no wot no les dan dem — yu op de mongks di tap-a-tap toun demkaaz a fram outa yu wan liida a-go kom we a-go protek an liid mi piipl dem we iina Izrel.’” :: Den Erad sen kaal di waiz man dem fi kom kom chek im anda di kwaiyat, an fain out fram dem a wa taim dem did si di staar. :: Im sen dem go a Betliyem an se, “Gwaan go luk fi di pikni. Luk gud gud, an wen unu fain im, kom tel mi, so mi kyan go shuo im nof rispek tu.” :: Afta dem don lisn di king, dem lef go we. Az dem a go bout dem bizniz so, no di sed staar we dem did si iina di Iis said kom bak agen! It galang infronta dem til it riich wich paat di pikni did de, an a uova de-so it tap. :: Wen dem did si di staar agen dem glad-bag bos! :: Dem kom iina di ous an si di pikni wid im mada, Mieri, an dem go dong pan dem nii an priez im. Dem tek out di prezent we dem did bring, an gi di pikni — guol, frangkinsens an mor. :: Nou, chuu Gad did don waan dem aaf, an tel dem iina wan jriim se dem no fi go baka Erad, dem tek wan neda wie go baka dem konchri.

(Thank you, Fragano Ledgister)

Luke 2:1-14 in Amharic

1 በመጀመሪያው ቃል ነበረ፥ ቃልም በእግዚአብሔር ዘንድ ነበረ፥ ቃልም እግዚአብሔር ነበረ። 2 ይህ በመጀመሪያው በእግዚአብሔር ዘንድ ነበረ። 3 ሁሉ በእርሱ ሆነ፥ ከሆነውም አንዳች ስንኳ ያለ እርሱ አልሆነም። 4 በእርሱ ሕይወት ነበረች፥ ሕይወትም የሰው ብርሃን ነበረች። 5 ብርሃንም በጨለማ ይበራል፥ ጨለማም አላሸነፈውም። 6 ከእግዚአብሔር የተላከ ስሙ ዮሐንስ የሚባል አንድ ሰው ነበረ፤ 7 ሁሉ በእርሱ በኩል እንዲያምኑ ይህ ስለ ብርሃን ይመሰክር ዘንድ ለምስክር መጣ። 8 ስለ ብርሃን ሊመሰክር መጣ እንጂ፥ እርሱ ብርሃን አልነበረም። 9 ለሰው ሁሉ የሚያበራው እውነተኛው ብርሃን ወደ ዓለም ይመጣ ነበር። 10 በዓለም ነበረ፥ ዓለሙም በእርሱ ሆነ፥ ዓለሙም አላወቀውም። 11 የእርሱ ወደ ሆነው መጣ፥ የገዛ ወገኖቹም አልተቀበሉትም። 12 ለተቀበሉት ሁሉ ግን፥ በስሙ ለሚያምኑት ለእነርሱ የእግዚአብሔር ልጆች ይሆኑ ዘንድ ሥልጣንን ሰጣቸው፤ 13 እነርሱም ከእግዚአብሔር ተወለዱ እንጂ ከደም ወይም ከሥጋ ፈቃድ ወይም ከወንድ ፈቃድ አልተወለዱም። 14 ቃልም ሥጋ ሆነ፤ ጸጋንና እውነትንም ተመልቶ በእኛ አደረ፥ አንድ ልጅም ከአባቱ ዘንድ እንዳለው ክብር የሆነው ክብሩን አየን።

(Thank you, Nick Whyte.)

===

Over the years, our readers have also gifted us with:

Maori, from Thomas;
Galego (Galician), from Fragano Ledgister;
Gronings Dutch, from Joris M;
Limburgs, from Abi Sutherland;
Old Georgian, from Tim May;
Schwäbisch, from Debbie;
Tagalog, From Lizzy L;
The 1839 Hawaiian translation, from Linkmeister;
Pitjantjatjara, from Dean Gahlon;
The 1884 Anishinaabemowin translation, from Fidelio;
Modern Irish, from JO’N;
Turkish, from Praisegod Barebones;
Modern colloquial Welsh, Bishop William Morgan’s 1588 Welsh, and the 1988 BCN’s Welsh, from Arwel;
Arabic, from Firefly;
A different version in Greek, from TR;
Armenian, from Praisegod Barebones; and
Frisian, from Nick Whyte.

- o0o -

Remembering Christmas Day posts and threads from years gone by — 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 — because hey, family photo album.

Merry Christmas, dear all and sundry, and grace and peace and joy be with you in the year to come. Thank you for being here.

December 19, 2016
Rogue One SPOILER thread
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 08:14 AM * 94 comments

We know the context here. Somewhere else, the simple story is about to begin: the brave farmboy with secret gifts, the princess without a throne, the smuggler who finally finds a treasure worth keeping. The last teachers of the lost arts, goodness, loss with purpose, gain with hope.

Right now, those stories seem hopelessly naïve, both in- and out-universe.

So maybe this is the movie we need, another, more complicated look at struggle and redemption, even if no victory is ever final. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m hopeful (from my knowledge of the franchise, if nothing else) that it will be, at the very least, a good watch. I’m interested to see what else there is in it.

(Like all Making Light spoiler threads, this is a place to discuss the film without having to ROT-13 spoilers. Because it does contain them, though, and thus excludes those in our community who want to avoid knowing too much before seeing the film, please do not let the conversation stray.)

December 10, 2016
Taking it back
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 10:29 AM * 200 comments

Save me from a villainous imagination;
Deliver me from my friends.

— Barenaked Ladies, “Take it Back”

CW: references to self-harm.

Dear people, we’re more than a month past that last turn toward the Darkest Timeline1. It’s time to buckle down and do some hard work. Time to gather and maintain the tools we need now, and are going to need in the future: tools we’ve left neglected, ones we’ve taken for granted, ones we never even knew we had. This kind of care is always important, but right now, right this minute, these tools are under attack.

No, not the Constitution, our rights, our freedom, our systems of checks and balances, our privacy, our internet security. What I’m talking about is upstream from all that: our minds, our hearts, our courage. Our (for many different meanings of the term) souls.

The Trump campaign was, and the post-election Trump news is, a Gish gallop. And now on lefty Twitter, I’m seeing a similar phenomenon on the emotional level: a firehose of things we must all pay attention to. All at once! Right now! A person can never catch up. There’s never enough emotional energy. But, the drummer beats out under the melody of grief and the bass line of fear, if you don’t care about this then you’re a bad person. React! React! React!

Turn that music down and listen to me for a minute. If you have ever listened to me before, listen now.

There’s a fair argument that America gave itself a collective case of PTSD over 9/11. I’d submit that the Right has been giving itself the same treatment over abortion2 for decades. And even before 2016, the consequences were not good: neither the War on Terror nor the Tea Party is fruit that makes me want more from that tree. Then Trump’s election campaign made jam of it, boiled it up with sweet nihilism until it jelled and poured it into jars with little red labels.

If you can resist anything, in these days where your resistance is everywhere demanded, resist this kind of damage. There are people deliberately trying to inflict it on you, right now. More than one part of our culture encourages us to acquire a taste for it, whether in the form of glib cynicism or wretched martyrdom. And perhaps sometimes we seek it out, for the same reason that people indulge in other forms of self-harm: as an assertion of control in an otherwise uncontrollable world.

How to resist?

December 05, 2016
Open thread 215
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 11:02 AM * 962 comments

Nine years ago.

It was Pakjesavond, my first here in the Netherlands. That’s the night before the feast of St Nicholas, and it’s when good little Dutch children get their Giftmas presents. Since we were going to be celebrating Christmas in Scotland, we didn’t do much for it—just a present and a chocolate letter each for the kids.

I can still remember both presents, and the sick terrible dread that somehow they weren’t enough, that the kids wouldn’t be pleased. It wasn’t really about the Barbie puzzle or the marble maze, of course.

It was a terrible time for us. My SAD was all but out of control. We were living in a rented house with black slate floors, which seemed to suck all the light out the world. Martin was miserable. Alex was wretched. Fiona broke a finger and swallowed a battery. We wondered whether we’d made a terrible mistake coming here. We had to choose soon whether to sell the Edinburgh house and buy something in this strange and difficult country, or go back with our tails between our legs.

It was time for a new Open Thread. I wrote and mailed off a piece of abject homesickness after everyone else had slunk off to bed. I wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere but there in that chilly dark space, typing at that cheap laminate desk in a house full of other people’s stuff and no bookshelves, the oven too small and high, the coffee machine whose coffee I couldn’t love. I was listening to Lowlands by Gillian Welch, and half-laughing, half-crying at the literal meaning of the word “Netherlands”.

And then Patrick contacted me on IM and told me he thought I was a good writer and did I want to post that piece on Making Light myself? And I did, and at the tail end of that thread we started talking about familial dysfunction. And spring came eventually. We bought the oak-floored house we live in now, changed jobs, got the kids settled into the school system. Obama was elected twice; puppets and puppies came and went. There was poetry and politics. People we loved died or blew up or drifted off. New people came, became beloved.

It’s been, on balance, a wonderful nine years. We’ve been in a number of dark places along the way, and we’re certainly in one now. I don’t know if, or how, we get out of this, but I know that we’re more likely to do it together than apart.

I’m glad to be here. Happy Pakjesavond, happy anniversary, happy Open Thread.

November 27, 2016
The Arrival of SPOILERS
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 11:34 AM * 46 comments

A spoiler thread for “Arrival”, which is not about how aliens make first contact to tell us who shot JR, the nature of Rosebud, or what question is answered by ‘42’.

Or if they do, you’ll read about it here.

November 13, 2016
What now?
Posted by Patrick at 01:26 PM * 414 comments

Donald Trump Will Be President. This Is What We Do Next. By Jon Schwarz. This is the piece that got me back on my feet.

Masha Gessen, Autocracy: Rules for Survival. “I have lived in autocracies most of my life, and have spent much of my career writing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I have learned a few rules for surviving in an autocracy and salvaging your sanity and self-respect. It might be worth considering them now.” Rule #1 is “Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.”

Laurie Penny, On the Election of Donald Trump. “I am done listening to my liberal friends contort themselves to take into account the notional opinions of the ‘white working class.’ What does that even mean? How did we come to the craven consensus that the ‘white working class’ is a homogenous mass of blustering bigots who must be pandered to as one might pander to a toddler having a tantrum at the edge of a cliff? A great many white people who are far from wealthy take issue with that particular patronising strain of self-scourgery on the left. A great many non-wealthy white people manage not to blame all their problems on feminazis, immigrants and their black and brown neighbours. Those people are real Americans, too.”

Bruce Sterling, Notes on the 2016 Election. “It’s hard to write of momentous events in the hot, crispy, pan-fried moment in which events are momentous. But I know that the events of this week are just a part of stranger, larger things that are coming. During my lifetime there’s always been something sacrosanct about the American Presidency. Not anymore. Yes, it will still be the office of a chief executive with atomic bombs and a huge military and spy apparatus. But it’s no longer the lay Papacy for a unipolar superpower. Like other aspects of the digital landscape, the Presidency is just up for grabs.”

Monica Hesse, Stop saying “This isn’t my America.” Sorry, it is. “‘I’m seeing so many posts, from mostly white friends, saying, “America, I don’t even know you,”’ says Wendy Tien, a Milwaukee attorney and second-generation Taiwanese American. ‘And I’m thinking, “Where have you been? What do you mean you don’t know this America? Why haven’t you seen it?” I’ve seen it. I see it all the time.’”

Alex Steffen, There Will Never Be a Better Time to Save the Planet. “2°C is a vanished target now. But this isn’t a 2°C or bust fight. It’s a fight to limit consequences. It’s a fight for every 1/10th of a degree. If we fail to hold to 2°C, we have to fight for 2.1°; failing that, we battle on for 2.2°. With millennia of impacts at stake, we never get to give up, even if we end up in 4°C. For future generations, 4° is still better than 4.1°. ‘Game over’ is neither realistic nor responsible. Even the most catastrophic outcomes humanity aren’t the apocalypse—the end of the future itself—they’re just appalling failure and tragedy. We have a duty to people who will live after those failures.”

Teju Cole, A Time for Refusal. “[O]ne by one, various people in the town begin to turn into rhinos. Their skin hardens, bumps appear over their noses and grow into horns. Jean had been one of those scandalized by the first two rhino sightings, but he becomes a rhino, too. Midway through his metamorphosis, Berenger argues with him: ‘You must admit that we have a philosophy that animals don’t share, and an irreplaceable set of values, which it’s taken centuries of human civilization to build up.’ Jean, well on his way to being a rhino, retorts, ‘When we’ve demolished all that, we’ll be better off!’”

Let’s Have a Fresh Start. Bush speechwriter David Frum isn’t buying the everybody-come-together happytalk.

Seems relevant: People will literally risk their lives for stories.

Hope in the Dark: Rebecca Solnit is giving away one of her books for free. You want this one.

men-like-you.jpg

Be this guy.
November 09, 2016
The prospect before us
Posted by Patrick at 11:46 AM * 174 comments

This morning, at 9:30, saw a long-planned major meeting at Tor, not quite all hands but definitely the majority of our staff plus various Macmillan-level sales and marketing managers.

It could have been better timed, obviously.

I took the opportunity to make some remarks. Here’s what I said:

Last night, I found myself very grateful that I work in science fiction.

Science fiction came into being in response to a new thing in human history: the understanding that not only was the world changing, but also that the rate of change was speeding up. That in a normal lifetime, you could expect to experience multiple episodes of rapid, disorienting change. Science fiction at its best has always been about examining and inhabiting those experiences when the world passes through a one-way door.

Modern science fiction grew up in the Great Depression and flourished in World War II. It thrived in the strangeness of the 1950s and the different strangeness of the 1960s. It has continued to be an essential set of tools for engaging with our careening world.

I don’t want to argue that reading science fiction makes us smarter or morally better. (I personally believe that, but I don’t want to argue it.) But I do believe that good storytelling is a positive force in the world. And I really do believe that science fiction and fantasy storytelling makes us, in some fundamental way, a bit more practiced in the ways of a world caught up in wrenching change—and more open to imagining better worlds that might be possible.

Bottom line: I’ve never been more convinced of the need for more good science fiction and fantasy, and I’ve never been more fired up to find it and publish it, hopefully with the help of everyone in this room. Thank you.

September 25, 2016
Open thread 214
Posted by Patrick at 07:24 PM * 1030 comments

The air’s deciduous of letterhead.

September 23, 2016
SPOILERS in Orcus
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 02:08 PM * 308 comments

Summer, child,
Come on with me to Orcus
Leave your mother
And her worries behind.
Your dearest wish
Will lead to adventure
So come, little Summer,
It’s leaving time.

When you’re in Orcus
Birds going to speak like people
Women will shape-change
And frogs grow on trees.
But what’s that behind you?
It’s the Queen-in-Chains’ servant.
The Houndbreaker’s hunting;
Time to fly.

This is a thread to discuss, speculate about, and squee over Ursula Vernon’s new web serial Summer in Orcus, without worrying about spoiling it for people who aren’t caught up.

Note that the introductory lyrics are entirely drawn from the blurb and the first episode; I don’t know any more about what’s going to happen than anyone else. Except Ursula, I suspect.

(Also, it’s free on the web, but your attention is of course drawn to the Patreon and Paypal links on the front page.)

September 21, 2016
Dysfunctional Families: Think of the Children
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 06:00 AM * 530 comments

Normally when we use the phrase think of the children, it’s dismissive. And rightly so. The abstract possibility of children’s presence, a low-resolution notion of children’s safety, has been used as a club or a gag far too often. And the worst of it is, the people who say it are not thinking of the children, or they’d stop crying wolf and save that argument for when it really mattered. (When this is can be determined by listening to the children: a related skill, and indeed a basic prerequisite.)

I’ve read many stories about family breakdown in the news, heard them in conversation, seen them in my wider circle of friendship and acquaintance. These stories usually center on the adults whose relationships are in trouble, but I often find myself thinking of the children, wondering how they’re faring, wondering what hurt they’re suffering. Wishing someone could teach them how to navigate the situations they find themselves in far too young. So many of them will cope, but at a cost—one they’ll be paying interest on for years.

One thing that’s gone past my Twitter stream this last week is a British family court judgment written to be accessible to the people it affects: a mother who “often finds things hard to understand”, plus two children aged 10 and 12. Content warning for gaslighting. (But not, mercifully, for any neglect or physical or sexual abuse.)

I like this judge. He seems to be trying to give his intended audience the tools to deal with their situation, both explicitly and by example. So he says things like:

  • People can tell lies about some things and still tell the truth about other things.
  • I know that the children are loved and have been well looked after in many ways. Everyone says that the mother deserves praise for that, and praise also goes to Mr B and to Mr A when they deserve it.
  • There is a good side to Mr A - everyone has a good side - and this makes it hard for H and A and their mother to see what he is really like.
  • He has got inside her head and it will take time for her to recover.

He also talks about everyone in the story as people, with comprehensible motivations and reasons for their actions. The policewoman who was upset when Mr A put a video of her visit up on YouTube. Mr B, who has served time for violence and drugs offenses, but still tries to be a good father. The headteachers who have dealt with the family. The officials who exaggerated and skipped steps while reacting to the family’s trip to Turkey. Even Mr A, for good and ill.

And he talks about the children in the same way, with the same language. He writes with an awareness of what makes up their lives: school, home, parents and stepparents, grandparents, vacations; he treats these things as seriously as he does terrorism, religious extremism, crime, imprisonment. In doing this, he shows the children that they matter as much as adults do. That they have, as Jo Walton would say, equal significance.

This is what thinking of the children looks like. Thinking of them as people in need of concepts and tools for dealing with the situation they’re in and the people around them. Thinking about how to minimize the damage they’ll suffer from these chaotic circumstances. Thinking about how to support the good relationships in their lives and reduce the impact of this bad one.

Yes, please, let’s think of the children.


This is part of the sequence of Dysfunctional Families discussions. We have a few special rules, specific to the needs and nature of the conversations we have here.

  1. If you want to participate but don’t want your posts linked to your contributions to the rest of Making Light, feel free to choose a pseudonym. But please keep it consistent within these threads, because people do care. You can create a separate (view all by) history for your pseudonym by changing your email address. And if you blow it and cross identities, give me a shout and I’ll come along and tidy it up.
  2. On a related note, please respect the people’s choice to use a pseudonym, unless they make it clear that they are willing to let the identities bleed over in people’s minds.
  3. If you’re not from a dysfunctional background, be aware that your realities and base expectations are not the default in this conversation. In particular, please don’t do the “they’re the only family you have” thing. Black is white, up is down, and your addressee’s mother may very well be their nemesis.
  4. Be even more careful, charitable, and gentle than you would elsewhere on Making Light. Try to avoid “helpiness”/”hlepiness” (those comments which look helpful, but don’t take account of the addressee’s situation and agency). Apologize readily and sincerely if you tread on toes, even unintentionally. This kind of conversation only works because people have their defenses down.
  5. Never underestimate the value of a good witness. If you want to be supportive but don’t have anything specific to say, people do value knowing that they are heard.

Previous posts (note that comments are closed on them to keep the conversation in one place):