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September 8th, 2009

elusive, eluded, elucidate

Oak Point Preserve September 2009

I like to read weblogs in translation, by which I mean weblogs in which I must use a translation engine to figure out what the weblog posts say. I also like the way that a babelfish translation and a google translation can give the same basic content a different "feel".

Even among weblogs in the language I more or less speak, I read things in which I feel as if I am missing a key allusion or fact--a bit like watching an anime movie, in which one understands that a literary mythological allusion is being made, but I don't know the underlying myth.

There is in machine translations that sense of fragile mystery about what are, after all, commonplace things--"is this person his sister, or his girlfriend?", or "is this sarcasm, irony or a heartfelt feeling?". It's like a course in epistemology, except that you might also say it's just confusing to know what we know, y'know.

I'm left, as always, with that feeling I have gained insights into people I would not have gained in an actual meeting--but also that wish to sit some folks down for a long chat, particularly when one is, i believe, long overdue.