February 16th, 2019

(no subject)

This is the attitude promoted by the modern left (stemming from the feminist discourse on power dynamics and privilege) that I find very annoying.

I remember how in the early 2000s the head of the Russian Academy of Science made a statement that Russian scientists should publish in English. I do not remember his exact phrasing, but I remember that I did not like it then — it was too imperative and imperial. My objection was that authors should publish in the language they feel comfortable writing in, because their job is to express their thinking the best way possible. Writing is hard enough as it is, and if a person is not reasonably fluent in a language, he shouldn’t punish editors and readers by attempting to publish in it. An objection to my objection might be that the author’s job is to reach the widest possible audience, and English is a tool — arguably still the best tool — for doing just that. Anyway, although the statement itself might have been a bit too unnuanced, the spirit, I think, was the one that I like: push for wider use of the language of international communication.

The modern left, especially its natively English-speaking part, is infected with the idea of diversity and plagued with shame of how their native language makes them a privileged group. Totally understandable, but oh how maddening. If only they came to terms with their privilege and joined the effort of standardizing on the language of international communication!

(no subject)

Just started watching this and instantly liked the beginning:

One of the reasons that... his [Jordan Peterson’s] rise kind of disturbed me was... I looked at the main book he wrote, and it was just sort of... gobbledygook, right? Yet, he is tenured professor at University of Toronto, person who has academic credentials and accolades; the book was blurbed by the chair of Harvard Psychology Department, and that strikes me... as very strange.

Now, I don’t know what Peterson’s "main book" is — whether it is the self-helpish 12 Rules for Life, which became a bestseller, or whether it's the much more cerebral The Maps of Meaning, which he said he wrote for over a decade (if I am remembering correctly); but if it’s the 12 Rules, I am delighted to meet a kindred spirit who also thinks it’s rubbish. Although I applaud Peterson for his earnestness.

(no subject)

I knew the word turnkey in its prison sense, but did not know that it also has the same meaning as the Russian phrase "под ключ", a darling of so many ads I heard and saw perhaps in the late nineties. Is the Russian phrase a calque from the English turnkey, I wonder?

(no subject)

This is a brilliant tweet that gets better the longer you look at it. First time I saw it I was like 'huh?'. Then I recognized the process it was describing and it hit too close to home. And then I felt it was too poignant not to be reposted.

Cast: male designer emoji and female technologist emoji