Best Of The Web
“Some 40 years ago, like many of my fellow undergraduates, I read One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel García Márquez. While plenty of my recollections of the novel have sadly faded since then, one remains indelible: the feeling of disorientation, of complete immersion in the book’s atmosphere, that lasted for nearly half an hour after I’d turned the final page. It was García Márquez I had been reading, of course, but more immediately, it was the English words, rhythms and sonorities of his translator, Gregory Rabassa. Even had I been able to appreciate the original Spanish, I didn’t need to compare the two to know that what Rabassa had created was indisputably right.
What makes a translation ‘good’ or ‘bad’? The question has been with us since saints Jerome and Augustine first wrangled over the most orthodox way to render the Bible – with Augustine pushing for obeisance to the canon, and Jerome striving for ‘the grace of something well said’ – and despite centuries of scholarship since then, we are no closer to a definitive answer. In the age of Google Translate and artificial intelligence, we might even be tempted to abandon the question altogether, and let our smartphones do the talking.
Indeed, there is something to be said for the speed and impartiality with which computers can process certain translations, whether we’re enlisting Google’s help to buy aspirin in Seoul or spitting out foreign-language drafts of a multinational contract. Moreover, as the need for global communication grows by proverbial leaps, the efficiency of machine-based translation starts looking rather attractive. In this regard, a ‘good’ translation might simply be one that conveys the requisite bytes of information in the shortest time.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Until recently, most Americans have understood that the biggest threats to their privacy came from their own government."
"As the charges, indictments, plea deal, and years of incarceration pile up over the next couple of years, I'll never stop being amazed at the incredible galaxy of thieves and lowlifes this president* attracts."
"Sometimes anti-Zionists are — surprise! — homicidal anti-Semites, too. That’s a thought that can’t be far from the mind of anyone living in northern Israel..."
"Some things never change. The sun rises in the east. Forks are set on the left. And if there is a pregnant woman in a movie, she will go into labor at the worst possible moment."
"The American dream is about the opportunity to earn happiness—and the government has a responsibility to facilitate that."
"A reflection on my month without Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, plus a how-to guide if you want to quit the biggest companies in tech."
"Against moral sainthood: As philosopher Susan Wolf argues, life is far more meaningful and rich if we do not aim at being morally perfect."
"We all know two plus two equals four. And we begin with that. We learn to add before we learn how to take away, to lose. It’s a great way to learn how to write. "
"There is no shortage of songs, movies and television shows depicting the difficulties of breakups with a romantic partner. But when it comes to navigating the end of friendships, it can feel like we’re on our own."
"The rapidly growing trend of veganism is likely to become another major contributor to hidden hunger in the developed world."
"Thankfully, in science, we don't need to be there ourselves to have proof. Here are four different pieces of evidence we can point to that demonstrate the Moon landings actually occurred."
"It’s December again, which means it’s time to put away childish things and once again heed our era’s highest moral calling and resume our arguments about Love, Actually."