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  7. <title type="text">Rad Geek People&#039;s Daily</title>
  8. <subtitle type="text">official state media for a secessionist republic of one</subtitle>
  10. <updated>2020-05-29T16:48:04Z</updated>
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  17. <link rel="license" type="text/html" href="" /> <entry>
  18. <author>
  19. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  20. <uri></uri>
  21. </author>
  22. <title type="html"><![CDATA[Pale Battalions]]></title>
  23. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  24. <id></id>
  25. <updated>2020-05-29T16:48:04Z</updated>
  26. <published>2020-05-29T16:36:47Z</published>
  27. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  28. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[What I&#8217;m Reading: Charles Hamilton Sorley, in World War One British Poets: Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, Rosenberg and Others (1997, ed. Candace Ward). When you see millions of the mouthless dead Across your dreams in pale battalions go, Say not soft things as other men have said, That you&#8217;ll remember. For you need not so. Give [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  29. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p><em style="font-size: 0.8em;"><strong>What I&#8217;m Reading:</strong> Charles Hamilton Sorley, in <cite style="font-style: normal">World War One British Poets: Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, Rosenberg and Others</cite> (1997, ed. Candace Ward).</em></p>
  31. <blockquote>
  32.  <p style="max-width: 30.0em; text-align: left;">When you see millions of the mouthless dead<br/>
  33.  Across your dreams in pale battalions go,<br/>
  34.  Say not soft things as other men have said,<br/>
  35.  That you&#8217;ll remember. For you need not so.<br/>
  36.  Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know<br/>
  37.  It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?<br/>
  38.  Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.<br/>
  39.  Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.<br/>
  40.  Say only this, <q>They are dead.</q> Then add thereto,<br/>
  41.  <q>Yet many a better one has died before.</q><br/>
  42.  Then, scanning all the o&#8217;ercrowded mass, should you<br/>
  43.  Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,<br/>
  44.  It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.<br/>
  45.  Great death has made all his for evermore.</p>
  47.  <p style="max-width: 28.0em; margin-right: 2.0em; text-align: right">&#8212;Charles Hamilton Sorley (1915/1916)<span class="for-context"><cite class="poem">When you see millions of the mouthless dead&#8230;</cite><br/><cite>World War One British Poets: Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, Rosenberg and Others</cite></span></p>
  48. </blockquote>
  50. <p>This was Sorley&#8217;s last poem. The manuscript was recovered from his soldier&#8217;s kit after a sniper killed him at Loos.</p>
  52. <p>It was published posthumously in <cite>Marlborough and Other Poems</cite> (Cambridge, 1916). I read it, and copied it out of, the Dover anthology <cite>World War One British Poets: Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, Rosenberg and Others</cite> (1997, ed. Candace Ward).</p>
  54. ]]></content>
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  58. </entry>
  59. <entry>
  60. <author>
  61. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  62. <uri></uri>
  63. </author>
  64. <title type="html"><![CDATA[No Elder Light, no new-grown crescent horns, but air, soil and sea and aether there together]]></title>
  65. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  66. <id></id>
  67. <updated>2020-05-28T16:52:45Z</updated>
  68. <published>2020-05-28T16:44:01Z</published>
  69. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  70. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[After the epic invocation and the opening description of primordial Chaos (1, 2), Ovid continues the epic narrative by introducing more of the cosmic picture &#8212; not only is this before the elements of sea, earth and sky, it is also before the elemental beings or the eldest gods that give shape to the world [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  71. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p class="first">After the <a href="//" title="GT 2020-04-23: Into something new and strange! -- Lead out unbroken song">epic invocation</a> and the opening description of primordial Chaos (<a href="//" title="GT 2020-05-09: Before sea and dry lands — heaped masses and messes and the seeds of ill-joined things!">1</a>, <a href="//" title="GT 2020-05-25: Quem dixere CHAOS: Before sea and dry lands and heaven over all, the senseless weight and the seeds of ill-joined things in strife!">2</a>), Ovid continues the epic narrative by introducing more of the cosmic picture &#8212; not only is this before the elements of sea, earth and sky, it is also before the elemental beings or the eldest gods that give shape to the world and shape it by their presence and activity. Like <a href="//" title="GT 2020-05-25: Quem dixere CHAOS: Before sea and dry lands and heaven over all, the senseless weight and the seeds of ill-joined things in strife!"><q>Chaos</q></a> in line 7, we begin to see more mythological allusions here &#8212; if only to say that the tale of forms trans-formed begins before any of all that. <a href=";fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0029">Here&#8217;s Book I, lines 10-15 in the original Latin</a>:<sup>[<a href="#no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-1" class="footnoted" id="to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-1">1</a>]</sup></p>
  73. <blockquote>
  74.  <h3>Mundi origo.</h3>
  76.  <p><ins class="ellipsis editorial" title="[Elision by the editor.]">.&#160;.&#160;.</ins> nullus adhuc mundo praebebat lumina Titan,<br />
  77.  nec nova crescendo reparabat cornua Phoebe,<br />
  78.  nec circumfuso pendebat in aere tellus<br />
  79.  ponderibus librata suis, nec bracchia longo<br />
  80.  margine terrarum porrexerat Amphitrite;<br />
  81.  utque aer, tellus illic et pontus et aether.   </p>
  82. </blockquote>
  84. <p>Here is a word-for-word breakdown of the Latin grammar and vocabulary:</p>
  86. <table class="interlinear"><tbody><tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">10</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">nullus</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">adhuc</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">mundo</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">praebebat</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">lumina</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">Titan,</a></td></tr>
  87. <tr class="line2"><td>adj., masc. nom. sg.</td><td>adv.</td><td>n., masc. dat. sg.</td><td>v., 3d sg., impf. act. ind.</td><td>n., neut. acc. pl.</td><td>prop. n., m. nom. sg.</td></tr>
  88. <tr class="line3"><td>[no]</td><td>[until now, yet]</td><td>[to the world]</td><td>[proferred]</td><td>[lights]</td><td>[Titan]</td></tr>
  89. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">11</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">nec</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">nova</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">crescendo</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">reparabat</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">cornua</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">Phoebe</a></td></tr>
  90. <tr class="line2"><td>conj.</td><td>adj., neut. acc. pl</td><td>v. gerund, masc. abl. sg.</td><td>v. 3d sg., impf. act. ind.</td><td>n., nom. acc. pl.</td><td>prop. n., f. nom. sg.</td></tr>
  91. <tr class="line3"><td>[nor]</td><td>[now]</td><td>[growing, revealing]</td><td>[was renewing]</td><td>[horns]</td><td>[Phoebe]</td></tr>
  92. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">12</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">nec</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">circumfuso</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">pendebat</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">in</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">aere</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">tellus</a></td></tr>
  93. <tr class="line2"><td>conj.</td><td>pf. pass. part., masc. abl. sg.</td><td>v. 3d sg., impf. act. ind.</td><td>prep.</td><td>n., masc. abl. sg.</td><td>n., f. nom. sg.</td></tr>
  94. <tr class="line3"><td>[nor]</td><td>[enveloped]</td><td>[was hanging]</td><td>[in]</td><td>[the air]</td><td>[soil, earth]</td></tr>
  95. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">13</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">ponderibus</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">librata</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">suis</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">nec</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">bracchia</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">longo</a></td></tr>
  96. <tr class="line2"><td>n., neut. abl. pl.</td><td>pf. pass. part. f. nom. sg.</td><td>pron., neut. abl. pl.</td><td>conj.</td><td>n., neut. acc. pl.</td><td>adj., m. abl. sg.</td></tr>
  97. <tr class="line3"><td>[by weights]</td><td>[balanced]</td><td>[its own]</td><td>[nor]</td><td>[forearms]</td><td>[the long]</td></tr>
  98. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">14</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">margine</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">terrarum</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">porrexerat</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">Amphitrite</a></td></tr>
  99. <tr class="line2"><td>n., m. abl. sg.</td><td>n., f. gen. pl.</td><td>v. 3d sg. plupf. act. ind.</td><td>prop. n., f. nom. sg.</td></tr>
  100. <tr class="line3"><td>[edge, margin]</td><td>[of lands]</td><td>[had stretched out]</td><td>[Amphitrite]</td></tr>
  101. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">15</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">utque</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">aer,</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">tellus</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">illic</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">et</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">pontus</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">et</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">aether.</a></td></tr>
  102. <tr class="line2"><td>adv. + conj.</td><td>n., masc. nom. sg.</td><td>n., fem. nom. sg.</td><td>adv.</td><td>conj.</td><td>n., masc. nom. sg.</td><td>conj.</td><td>n. masc. nom. sg.</td></tr>
  103. <tr class="line3"><td>[and where]</td><td>[the air]</td><td>[the soil, earth]</td><td>[that yonder]</td><td>[and]</td><td>[sea]</td><td>[and]</td><td>[aether]<sup>[<a href="#no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-2" class="footnoted" id="to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-2">2</a>]</sup></td></tr>
  104. </tbody></table>
  106. <p>Here&#8217;s my attempt at a prosy sort of a translation:</p>
  108. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  109. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  110. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  111. <h3>Mundi origo.</h3>
  112. <div><ins class="ellipsis editorial" title="[Elision by the editor.]">.&#160;.&#160;.</ins> nullus adhuc mundo praebebat lumina Titan,</div>
  113. <div>nec nova crescendo reparabat cornua Phoebe,</div>
  114. <div>nec circumfuso pendebat in aere tellus</div>
  115. <div>ponderibus librata suis, nec bracchia longo</div>
  116. <div>margine terrarum porrexerat Amphitrite;</div>
  117. <div>utque aer, tellus illic et pontus et aether.</div>
  118. </blockquote>
  119. </td>
  120. <td>
  121. <blockquote>
  122. <h3>World&#8217;s Beginning</h3>
  123. <p><ins class="ellipsis editorial" title="[Elision by the editor.]">.&#160;.&#160;.</ins> No Titan was yet offering lights to the world, nor was Phoebe renewing new-grown (crescent) horns, nor was Earth hanging in air poured out around it, balanced by its own weights, nor had Amphitrite stretched out forearms along the the long margin of the lands, and where the soil (was), right there (was) air, and sea and aether.</p>
  124. </blockquote>
  125. </td></tr>
  126. </table>
  128. <p>This passage is full of mythological allusions, which are intended to be significant but which are only lightly explained by context. The allusions here are all to elder gods and to elemental divinities outside of the Olympian pantheon. The <a href="">Titans</a> are the elder gods, led by <a href="">Saturn</a>, who first took control over the primal elements, until they in turn were overthrown by the present generation of Olympian gods, led by <a href="">Jupiter</a>.<sup>[<a href="#no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-3" class="footnoted" id="to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-3">3</a>]</sup> Earlier Roman and Greek epics and hymns either associate the Light-Titan <a href="">Hyperion</a> or his son <a href="">Helios</a> with the Sun. <a href="">Phoebe</a> is a Latinization of Greek Φοίβη (Phoibe), one of the Titan sisters of <a href="">Saturn</a> associated with the Moon. <a href="">Amphitrite</a> is a sea goddess and daughter of the elder ocean gods, a cousin to the latter-day Olympians.<sup>[<a href="#no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-4" class="footnoted" id="to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-4">4</a>]</sup> She is associated with calm seas, the sea-coast and coastal surf. </p>
  130. <p>Besides the mythological allusions, the other major element here are words for the elements of nature. Three of these are familiar to modern world-views. <i lang="la">Tellus</i> is an old Latin word meaning soil, ground, land or earth; <i lang="la">aer</i> and <i lang="la">pontus</i> are common loan-words from Greek for air and sea. <i lang="la">Aether</i> refers to <a href="">another, celestial element</a> &#8212; it&#8217;s a more learned Greek loan-word, with mythic-religious or with philosophical-scientific associations. In mythological texts, aether is the clear or shining air that the gods breathe in the heavens; in philosophical texts, it is a changeless celestial element above the terrestrial air, through which the heavenly bodies move or in which they are set. If it&#8217;s muddled all together with the elements of soil, sea and (ordinary) air, then that means cosmologically that there is no separation yet between the earthly and the heavenly, the human and the divine, or the mortal and the undying realms.</p>
  132. <p>The allusions pose a translation problem &#8212; not a problem of language but a problem of cross-cultural communication. How do you handle allusions to the literature, the lore, the religion or the culture of a bygone time, or a faraway culture? How familiar are the references going to be to your audience or audiences? How familiar would they have been to the audiences reading them or hearing them at the time? Besides familiarity, what kind of effect do they have given the audiences&#8217; background beliefs and practices?<sup>[<a href="#no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-5" class="footnoted" id="to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-5">5</a>]</sup> Ovid makes the problem even more complicated because his allusions are often allusions to <em>Greek or Hellenistic</em> literature, in a foreign language and from bygone ages and faraway places <em>for him and his own audience</em>. You could just leave the allusions as they are, and carry the same names and epithets over into modern language &#8212; the upside is transparency for the ancient poet&#8217;s <em>diction</em>, but the downside is the risk or cost of opacity about their <em>meaning</em>. You could leave the references as they are and just hope the modern reader gets it; or hope that they will look it up, now or later, possibly with the aid of annotations in the book. But the former may be a risky bet, and the latter may have a cost for the tone or the immediacy of the impact that you want the reader to get from the poem. Some translators favor sneaking in subtle or overt explanatory material where they can fit it into the text &#8212; for example, <a href="">Lombardo (2010)</a> keeps the mythological references in lines 10-11 but adds explicit notes to make clear that they refer to the Sun and the Moon: <q>No Titan Sun as yet gave light to the world, / No Phoebe touched up her crescent horns by night&#8230;</q>. Others favor dropping out potentially opaque mythological allusions, and replacing them with their references &#8212; <a href="">More (1922)</a> has them as <q>As yet the sun afforded earth no light, / nor did the moon renew her crescent horns&#8230;.</q><sup>[<a href="#no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-6" class="footnoted" id="to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-6">6</a>]</sup> Of course, it&#8217;s hardly likely that a single approach is going to work best in all circumstances, or for all readers in any given circumstance. But in any case, it leaves the translator with a decision to make.</p>
  134. <p>The Latin word-order here is often deeply nested or bracketed: lines or clauses begin with a negation at the head, and then at the end they name the god or element that had not yet done their thing; in the middle, they bracket an image or an aspect of the orderly procession of the world which they did not yet govern. Amphitrite and her fore-arms similarly bracket around the long edges of the dry lands, which many translators have taken as an image of the sea-coasts embracing the lands encircled by them. In the last line, the nouns are interspersed and rapidly chopped together, like the disordered, undifferentiated muddle that the line describes.</p>
  136. <blockquote>
  137.  <p>No ( <span style="color: blue">yet</span> ( <span style="color: green">to the world</span> ) <span style="color: blue">was offering</span> ( <span style="color: orange">lights</span> ) ) Titan<br />
  138.  Nor ( <span style="color: orange">new</span> ( ( ( <span style="color: red">by growing</span> ) <span style="color: blue">was repairing</span> ) ) <span style="color: orange">horns</span> ) Phoebe<br />
  139.  Nor ( <span style="color: red">enveloped</span> ( <span style="color: blue">was hanging</span> ) <span style="color: red">in the air</span> ) the soil<br />
  140.  ( <span style="color: red">by weights</span> ( <span style="color: black">balanced</span> ) <span style="color: red">its own</span> ), nor (  <span style="color: orange">fore-arms</span> ( <span style="color: red">on the long</span><br />
  141.  <span style="color: red">edge</span> ( <span style="color: purple">of the lands</span> ) ) <span style="color: blue">had stretched out</span> ) Amphitrite;<br />
  142.  and where ( <span style="color: blue">air,</span> ( <span style="color: green">soil</span> ) <span style="color: blue">[was] there</span> ), and ( <span style="color: orange">sea</span> ) and ( <span style="color: red">aether</span> ).</p>
  143. </blockquote>
  145. <p>You could try to preserve some of this in English with awkward syntactical breaks or contorted poetical word order; or you might try it by adding in little words. For example, here&#8217;s one way to render lines 10-11 that keeps just a little of what it can in the syntax, by adding English qualifiers or shifts in case or voice that aren&#8217;t justified by the Latin text:</p>
  147. <blockquote>
  148.  <p>No-one <span style="color: blue">yet offered</span> <span style="color: green">the world</span> <span style="color: orange">light</span>, not even an Elder God<br />
  149.  Nor <span style="color: orange">the new</span> <span style="color: red">growth</span> <span style="color: blue">revived</span> <span style="color: red">in the crescent</span> <span style="color: orange">horns</span> of Phoebe,<br />
  150.  Nor <span style="color: red">enveloped</span>, hanging, <ins class="ellipsis editorial" title="[Elision by the editor.]">.&#160;.&#160;.</ins></p>
  151. </blockquote>
  153. <p>Or you could give up and submit to a different sort of parallelism that fits better with the least-resistance English word order:</p>
  155. <blockquote>
  156.  <p>No Titan <span style="color: blue">yet offered</span> <span style="color: orange">light</span> <span style="color: green">to the world</span>,<br />
  157.  No Phoebe <span style="color: blue">renewing</span> <span style="color: orange">new<span style="color: red">-grown crescent</span> horns</span>,<br />
  158.  No Earth <span style="color: blue">hanging</span> <ins class="ellipsis editorial" title="[Elision by the editor.]">.&#160;.&#160;.</ins>   </p>
  159. </blockquote>
  161. <p>Anyway, let&#8217;s try a pass at a verse translation. Since these are part of the same stanza as <a href="//" title="GT 2020-05-25: Quem dixere CHAOS: Before sea and dry lands and heaven over all, the senseless weight and the seeds of ill-joined things in strife!">the last set</a> and continue the theme started there, I&#8217;ve included all of lines 5-15. Here&#8217;s a version that makes really minimal alterations to the allusive references. (There are good reasons to try to do something about them, but if you&#8217;re reading this we&#8217;ve already talked all about them, and in the age of hypertext and <a href="">Wikipedia</a> I suspect that the best balance to strike is different from what it used to be.) This one doesn&#8217;t make much effort to keep the original word-order of the lines, but it touches up syntax and redistributes some clauses over the lines where they occur, for the sake of fluency and some parallelism of its own.</p>
  163. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  164. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  165. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  166. <h3>Mundi origo.</h3>
  167. <div>Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum</div>
  168. <div>unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,</div>
  169. <div>quem dixere Chaos: rudis indigestaque moles</div>
  170. <div>nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem</div>
  171. <div>non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.</div>
  172. <div>nullus adhuc mundo praebebat lumina Titan,</div>
  173. <div>nec nova crescendo reparabat cornua Phoebe,</div>
  174. <div>nec circumfuso pendebat in aere tellus</div>
  175. <div>ponderibus librata suis, nec bracchia longo</div>
  176. <div>margine terrarum porrexerat Amphitrite;</div>
  177. <div>utque aer, tellus illic et pontus et aether.</div>
  178. </blockquote>
  179. </td>
  180. <td><blockquote>
  181. <h3>World&#8217;s Beginning</h3>
  182. <div>Before sea, and dry lands, and the cover of sky,</div>
  183. <div>Nature had but one face in all the circle of the world&#8212;</div>
  184. <div>Which folks have named <strong style="font-variant: small-caps"><a href="">Chaos</a></strong>: a shapeless heaped mess,</div>
  185. <div>Not a thing but dumb weight, and all together in piles,</div>
  186. <div>The seeds of things, ill-joined due to discord.</div>
  187. <div>No <a href="">Titan</a> yet bearing light to the world,</div>
  188. <div>No <a href="">Phoebe</a> revealing new-grown crescent horns,</div>
  189. <div>No earth surrounded, suspended in air,</div>
  190. <div>Balanced on its own weight, no <a href="">Amphitrite</a> to spread</div>
  191. <div>Her fore-arms along dry lands&#8217; long shores;</div>
  192. <div>And air where the ground was &#8212; air, sea and <a href="">aether</a>.</div>
  193. </blockquote>
  194. </td>
  195. </tr>
  196. </table>
  198. <p>Anyway, that&#8217;s what I&#8217;ve got in my notebook. What do you think? How would you handle these lines?</p>
  200. <p><em>All the original translations that I post to this blog are <a href="/about/anticopyright">freely available in the public domain</a>.</em></p>
  202. <ol class="footnotes">
  203. <li class="footnote" id="no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-1"><strong><sup>[1]</sup></strong>I got the text from P. Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses at the Perseus Digital Library; they transcribed the text from Hugo Magnus’s edition of 1892 (Gotha: Friedr. Andr. Perthes).<a class="note-return" href="#to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-1">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  204. <li class="footnote" id="no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-2"><strong><sup>[2]</sup></strong>Roughly, heavenly air or the clear or shining sky; an element that fills the divine or celestial world, which gods breathe or which heavenly bodies move through or are set in. See below.<a class="note-return" href="#to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-2">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  205. <li class="footnote" id="no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-3"><strong><sup>[3]</sup></strong>The most familiar form of this story comes from Hesiod&#8217;s <cite>Theogony</cite>: <a href="">Ouranos</a> (Sky) and <a href="">Gaia</a> (Earth) conceive children, later called <q>Titans</q> but Ouranos imprisons them within Gaia&#8217;s body. At Gaia&#8217;s instigation, <a href="">Kronos</a>, the younger son, attacks their father by ambush, castrates him with a sickle and then drives him away forever from Earth.He and his elder siblings take control of the world, but they are cursed by Ouranos as usurpers (Hesiod supplies a really dubious etymology for <q>Titanes</q> based on a verb for over-stretching) and receive a prophecy that Kronos will be overthrown in his turn by his own son. Kronos conceives six children of his own with Rheia, but devours each of the children as soon as they are born. Rheia conspires with her parents, Ouranos and Gaia, to deceive Kronos at the birth of their youngest son <a href="">Zeus</a> &#8212; Rheia conceals a stone in swaddling clothes for Kronos to swallow, while Zeus is safely hidden away until he grows to adulthood, and then returns to free his brothers and sisters and depose his father. Kronos is tricked into vomiting up Zeus&#8217;s older brothers and sisters and discovers the deception of the stone; meanwhile Zeus and his siblings make alliances with other divine beings who had been subjugated or punished by Kronos and the Titans, leading up to a catastrophically violent ten-year cosmic war between the younger gods and the elder titans. The younger gods and their allies finally overpower the Titans, Zeus usurps his father&#8217;s rule, and the triumphant younger gods cast the elder gods who fought against them down into a sealed chamber in Tartaros, beyond the Abyss (Chaos) in the deepest depths of the universe. Some of the Titans and their children are left free because they aided the Olympian gods or took no side in the war. This is all detailed at length in Hesiod, and there are allusions to this series of events scattered through the cosmogonic sections of Ovid in the <cite>Metamorphoses</cite> &#8212; for example, some lines further down Ovid will refer to Saturn ruling and then being confined to misty Tartarus by his son Jupiter. But in general, Roman myths tended to have a significantly different attitude towards the elder gods and a more complicated picture about their geneaological and political relationships with the younger generations than Hesiod did; and in Ovid specifically, most of this tale is <em>only</em> alluded to, not told in detail. Despite these background allusions to the Titanomachy, Ovid&#8217;s <em>foreground</em> story for the earliest prehistory of the universe is far more agnostic and far less agonistic or violent than the familiar story from Hesiod. Ovid&#8217;s read his Hesiod, but I think it would be a mistake to interpolate Hesiod&#8217;s tale into Ovid&#8217;s version of cosmic prehistory.<a class="note-return" href="#to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-3">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  206. <li class="footnote" id="no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-4"><strong><sup>[4]</sup></strong>Hesiod describes her as a Nereid, the daughter of the Old Man of the Sea, the granddaughter of Pontos on her father&#8217;s side and of Okeanos on her mother&#8217;s side. Other sources describe her as an Oceanid, the daughter of the Titans Okeanos and Tethys. That makes her a second cousin and/or a first cousin of the elder Olympians, and of <a href="">Poseidon</a> or <a href="">Neptune</a> in particular, depending on which genealogy you accept and which line of descent you trace. In late Greek sources she becomes the wife of <a href="">Poseidon</a>.<a class="note-return" href="#to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-4">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  207. <li class="footnote" id="no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-5"><strong><sup>[5]</sup></strong>When Ovid alludes to to Jupiter deposing Saturn and confining him to Tartarus, that might actually be just about as familiar to a somewhat literate 21st century American audience as it would be to a pagan Roman audience. (Hard to say; it may have depended on how much the pagan Romans in question liked reading Greek literature.) But even if it is familiar, does it have the same impact for a twice-a-year Presbyterian who thinks of Saturn and Jupiter as fantasy-fictions like Sauron or Q, as it does for someone who attended yearly religious festivals in Saturn&#8217;s honor, or who may have worshiped them as gods in the Capitoline temples?<a class="note-return" href="#to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-5">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  208. <li class="footnote" id="no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-6"><strong><sup>[6]</sup></strong>Similarly, ancient poets often have a lot of names for pagan gods and goddesses &#8212; Venus may be called Aphrodite, Cytherea, Cypris, Philommeides, Mater Acidalia, etc. depending on what inspires the poet or on the place in the narrative or on what sounds good in the right place in the line. Many modernizing translations rightly reckon that most most readers will only know one or two canonical names for a Greek or Roman divinity, the one that appears in <q>Graeco-Roman Mythology</q> books, and &#8212; rightly or wrongly &#8212; replace the more recondite references to, say, <q>Cytherea</q> with the canonical name <q>Aphrodite</q> or <q>Venus.</q><a class="note-return" href="#to-no-elder-light-no-new-grown-crescent-horns-but-air-soil-and-sea-and-aether-there-together-n-6">&#x21A9;</a></li></ol>
  209. ]]></content>
  210. <link rel="replies" type="text/html" href="" thr:count="0"/>
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  213. </entry>
  214. <entry>
  215. <author>
  216. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  217. <uri></uri>
  218. </author>
  219. <title type="html"><![CDATA[Things The President Of The United States Is Not Entitled To Do (Part 1,223 of ???)]]></title>
  220. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  221. <id></id>
  222. <updated>2020-05-27T19:24:47Z</updated>
  223. <published>2020-05-27T19:22:08Z</published>
  224. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  225. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[The man in the White House is upset that Twitter is attaching fact-checking links as context to posts he made. Of course, nobody likes to be told that they&#8217;re wrong on the facts; and maybe that man thinks that these contextual links are unfair or inaccurate on the merits, or that they are being selectively [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  226. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p class="first">The man in the White House is upset that <a href="">Twitter is attaching fact-checking links as context to posts he made</a>. Of course, nobody likes to be told that they&#8217;re wrong on the facts; and maybe that man thinks that these contextual links are unfair or inaccurate on the merits, or that they are being selectively or unfairly applied. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that he might even be right about that.<sup>[<a href="#things-the-president-of-the-united-states-is-not-entitled-to-do-part-1223-of-n-1" class="footnoted" id="to-things-the-president-of-the-united-states-is-not-entitled-to-do-part-1223-of-n-1">1</a>]</sup> If he were &#8212; well, that&#8217;s tough. The President of the United States still has no authority whatsoever to <a href=""><q>strongly regluate, or close &#8230; down</q></a> social media platforms for treating him unfairly, or for treating other <q>conservative voices</q> unfairly.</p>
  228. <p>If you think the Constitution of the United States matters, then the President of the United States has no authority to ignore what the <a href="">First Amendment</a> to it has to say when it comes to abridging the freedom of the press, even if he thinks he could get fairer or more favorable press by doing so. <a href="">If you don&#8217;t think the Constitution of the United States matters</a>, then we are all entitled to ignore what the <a href="">second Article</a> of it says about the President, and the man in the White House has no authority to do <em>anything at all</em> above and beyond what any other person in any other house is entitled to do. In either case, if that man doesn&#8217;t like how Twitter formats or contextualizes his posts, he can suck it up like the rest of us and use a blogging platform other than Twitter. That might, indeed, do some positive good for the world.</p>
  230. <ol class="footnotes">
  231. <li class="footnote" id="things-the-president-of-the-united-states-is-not-entitled-to-do-part-1223-of-n-1"><strong><sup>[1]</sup></strong>He isn&#8217;t. Or if he is, he&#8217;d need to provide better evidence than he has.<a class="note-return" href="#to-things-the-president-of-the-united-states-is-not-entitled-to-do-part-1223-of-n-1">&#x21A9;</a></li></ol>
  232. ]]></content>
  233. <link rel="replies" type="text/html" href="" thr:count="0"/>
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  236. </entry>
  237. <entry>
  238. <author>
  239. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  240. <uri></uri>
  241. </author>
  242. <title type="html"><![CDATA[Quem dixere CHAOS: Before sea and dry lands and heaven over all, the senseless weight and the seeds of ill-joined things in strife!]]></title>
  243. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  244. <id></id>
  245. <updated>2020-05-25T20:09:44Z</updated>
  246. <published>2020-05-25T20:02:27Z</published>
  247. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  248. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[So let&#8217;s look back at the beginning of the epic narrative in Ovid&#8217;s Metamorphoses (I.005-009), and make some attempts to translate the lines into English. Here&#8217;s the original Latin again, together with my prosy sort of translation from the earlier post. Mundi origo. Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum unus erat toto [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  249. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p class="first">So let&#8217;s look back at the beginning of the epic <q>narrative</q> in Ovid&#8217;s <cite>Metamorphoses</cite> (I.005-009), and make some attempts to translate the lines into English. <a href="">Here&#8217;s the original Latin again, together with my prosy sort of translation from the earlier post.</a></p>
  251. <blockquote>
  252. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  253. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  254. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  255. <h3>Mundi origo.</h3>
  256. <div>Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum</div>
  257. <div>unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,</div>
  258. <div>quem dixere Chaos: rudis indigestaque moles</div>
  259. <div>nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem</div>
  260. <div>non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.</div>
  261. </blockquote>
  262. </td>
  263. <td>
  264. <h3>World&#8217;s Beginning</h3>
  265. <p>Before the sea and lands and the sky that covers all, the appearance of nature was one in all the globe, which they (people) have named Chaos: a crude,<sup>[<a href="#quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-1" class="footnoted" id="to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-1">1</a>]</sup> unorganized heap, nor anything at all except a senseless weight, and also &#8212; piled up together, all in the same place &#8212; the seeds of things not well-joined due to discord.</p>
  266. </td></tr>
  267. </table>
  268. </blockquote>
  270. <p>See the earlier post for <a href="">a detailed breakdown of the vocabulary and grammar</a> in these lines.  I&#8217;ve been struggling with how to fit the ablative singular <q lang="la">discordia</q> grammatically into the description of <q>seeds of things not-well-joined</q> in the final line; I&#8217;ve ended up taking it as an ablative of instrument, connected with the passive participle <q lang="la">(non bene) iuncatrum,</q> i.e. specifying that which causes the things to be not-well-joined. The word order here would turn out awkwardly in some places, unintelligibly in others, if you tried to make a hyperliteral word-for-word translation into English. Modifiers aren&#8217;t nearly as interspersed, or as far separated from the nouns they modify, as <a href="">they were in the opening invocation</a>, but they still break across some gaps, especially in the second line and the last couplet:</p>
  272. <blockquote>
  273.  <h3>World&#8217;s Origin</h3>
  275.  <p>Before the sea, and the lands, and &#8212; that which covers everything &#8212; the sky<br />
  276.  One<sup>[<a href="#quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-2" class="footnoted" id="to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-2">2</a>]</sup> (it) was<br />
  277.  &#8212; in all &#8212;<br />
  278.  nature&#8217;s appearance<sup>[<a href="#quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-3" class="footnoted" id="to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-3">3</a>]</sup> (was, that is)<br />
  279.  &#8212; in the globe<sup>[<a href="#quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-4" class="footnoted" id="to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-4">4</a>]</sup> &#8212;<br />
  280.  which (they) have named Chaos:<br />
  281.  an unformed, disorganized heap<br />
  282.  nor anything at all except a senseless weight<br />
  283.  and also, piled up together in the same place<br />
  284.  the not-well-joined &#8212; due to discord &#8212; seeds of things.</p>
  285. </blockquote>
  287. <p>There are a few notes, and a couple of significant decisions to make here on the vocabulary. <i lang="la">Caelum</i> is <q>Sky</q> or <q>Heaven</q> or <q>the Heavens.</q> In a Latin vocabulary, and a pagan worldview, this has some of the suggestions of divinity that <q>Heaven</q> does, but hardly any of the suggestion of the afterlife, and the association with gods is not as strong as what&#8217;s suggested by modern English and Christian <q>Heaven.</q> When it&#8217;s grouped here with the sea and the dry lands, it seems like a more ordinary reference to the physical sky. <i lang="la">Unus</i> is the number one (1). It also is used to indicate unity, uniqueness, uniformity, as in <q>it&#8217;s all one,</q> <q>it&#8217;s just one,</q> <q>it&#8217;s singular,</q> etc. <i lang="la">toto <ins class="ellipsis editorial" title="[Elision by the editor.]">.&#160;.&#160;.</ins> in orbe</i> means <q>in the whole globe</q>, <q>in the whole world,</q> <q>in the entire universe</q> (literally, <i lang="la">orbis</i> is a circle or sphere, i.e., the circle of the world). <i lang="la">Moles</i> could be a mass, a pile or a heap; <q>mass</q> would go well with the reference to dumb weight (<i lang="la">pondus</i>) below it, but piles and heaps seem to fit nicely with the adjectives for disorganization, confusion and congestion below it. <i lang="la">Rudis</i> (cognate: rude) is a very ordinary term for the crude, unrefined, raw, unshaped or formless. <i lang="la">indigesta</i> (unarranged, disorganized, confused) and <i lang="la">congesta</i> (piled up, congested) pair nicely with each other in the Latin lines but there may not be a great way to keep this internal rhyme with English translations.</p>
  289. <p>The word (or the name, or the act of naming) at the center of these lines is the Latin term <q lang="la">Chaos</q>. We are told that an unnamed They (folks, people) have given this term<sup>[<a href="#quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-5" class="footnoted" id="to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-5">5</a>]</sup> Of course, that name is the origin of our ordinary English word <q><a href="">chaos</a></q>, meaning disorder, structurelessness, conflict, confusion or apparent randomness. So you could translate the line just using the cognate English word:</p>
  291. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  292. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  293. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  294. <div>quem dixere Chaos: rudis indigestaque moles</div>
  295. </blockquote>
  296. </td>
  297. <td><blockquote>
  298. <div>&#8230; which they call <q>chaos:</q> a crude and unformed heap &#8230;</div>
  299. </blockquote>
  300. </td></tr>
  301. </table>
  303. <p>Or you could translate it into English synonyms:</p>
  305. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  306. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  307. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  308. <div>quem dixere Chaos: rudis indigestaque moles</div>
  309. </blockquote>
  310. </td>
  311. <td><blockquote>
  312. <div>&#8230; which they call <q>The Mess</q>: a crude and unformed heap &#8230;</div>
  313. </blockquote>
  314. </td></tr>
  315. </table>
  317. <p>But on the other hand, the English meanings of the term <q>chaos</q> <em>derive</em> from poetic descriptions of primordial Chaos in later epic poems like this one. In a way, you run the risk of making the meaning of the line shallowly circular &#8212; of course they call chaos <q>chaos;</q> what else would they call it? In earlier epics, <q>Chaos</q> is always described as a primordial being or as a primordial state, before the formation of the world and the birth of the eldest gods. But it isn&#8217;t necessarily described as particularly <em>chaotic</em>, in our sense: Ovid&#8217;s decision to depict the Before-the-World-or-Gods as undifferentiated, confused mass is a later elaboration, and an artistic or philosophical <em>choice</em>, that isn&#8217;t required by his sources or by the origins of the term. The fashion now is for translators to go to some lengths to try to avoid conflations of our modern meanings with the use of the term in ancient epics, either by writing around it with alternate translations or by tacking on footnotes. If that&#8217;s your inclination, you might want to go to Ovid&#8217;s sources to find a more etymologically literal translation for <q>Chaos,</q> to avoid the too-quick association. But then the problem is that Ovid&#8217;s word <q>Chaos</q> is not a word that he got from Latin roots. Like <q>Metamorphoses,</q> it&#8217;s a learned loan-word that he got from ancient Greek poets. The exact etymology of <a href="">Ancient Greek <i lang="grc">Χάος</i></a> is uncertain, but its literal meaning outside of epic poems seems to have been something like <q>Yawning Gap</q> or <q>Abyss</q>; in any case, descriptions in ancient poetry seem to bear out a range of meanings having to do with empty space or with vast drops.<sup>[<a href="#quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-6" class="footnoted" id="to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-6">6</a>]</sup> So you might go for a literalistic rendering in terms of the Greek etymology:</p>
  319. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  320. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  321. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  322. <div>quem dixere Chaos: rudis indigestaque moles</div>
  323. </blockquote>
  324. </td>
  325. <td>
  326. <blockquote>
  327. <div>&#8230; which they call <q>The Abyss</q>: a crude and unformed heap &#8230;</div>
  328. </blockquote>
  329. </td></tr>
  330. </table>
  332. <p>But I think that diving from the over-modern, post-Ovid reading of <q>The Mess</q> down to the archaic, pre-Ovid reading of <q>The Abyss</q> makes the passage less tautological only at the expense of making it less intelligible. What Ovid describes isn&#8217;t aptly describable as an Abyss or a Chasm or a dark gulf far beneath the earth. And I think the difficulty here is that you need a way to indicate what Ovid is doing when he chooses to take over a Greek term from ancient, foreign lore (by then, Hesiod was almost three quarters of a millennium old) and put it as-is into his own modern epic in his own native language. I think Ovid uses <q lang="la">Chaos</q> here essentially as a <em>mythological reference</em> &#8212; it&#8217;s a name, taken from a foreign tongue, much like the allusive references to a <q>Titan</q> light-bearer and to <q>Phoebe</q> in subsequent lines to refer to the Sun and the Moon, and in this case I think the element essential to the reference that he gets from sources like Hesiod is the idea of <em>primordiality</em>, of a cosmic state before the earth or the heavens or the gods themselves. There may not be much to do about it except to do what you can to make sure that <q>Chaos</q> comes out as a proper name with mythic reference.</p>
  334. <p>So, here&#8217;s my pass at a verse translation.</p>
  336. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  337. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  338. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  339. <h3>Mundi origo.</h3>
  340. <div>Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum</div>
  341. <div>unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,</div>
  342. <div>quem dixere Chaos: rudis indigestaque moles</div>
  343. <div>nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem</div>
  344. <div>non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.</div>
  345. </blockquote>
  346. </td>
  347. <td><blockquote>
  348. <h3>World&#8217;s Beginning</h3>
  349. <div>Before sea, and dry lands, and the cover of sky,</div>
  350. <div>Nature had but one face in all the circle of the world&#8212;</div>
  351. <div>Which folks have named <strong style="font-variant: small-caps">Chaos</strong>: a shapeless heaped mess,</div>
  352. <div>Not a thing but dumb weight, and all together in piles,</div>
  353. <div>The seeds of things, ill-joined due to discord.</div>
  354. </blockquote>
  355. </td>
  356. </tr>
  357. </table>
  359. <p>Anyway, that&#8217;s what I&#8217;ve got in my notebook. What do you think? How would you handle these lines?</p>
  361. <p><em>All the original translations that I post to this blog are <a href="/about/anticopyright">freely available in the public domain</a>.</em></p>
  363. <ol class="footnotes">
  364. <li class="footnote" id="quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-1"><strong><sup>[1]</sup></strong>Rude, unformed.<a class="note-return" href="#to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-1">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  365. <li class="footnote" id="quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-2"><strong><sup>[2]</sup></strong>Singular, alone, all the same.<a class="note-return" href="#to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-2">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  366. <li class="footnote" id="quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-3"><strong><sup>[3]</sup></strong>Look, face, visage<a class="note-return" href="#to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-3">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  367. <li class="footnote" id="quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-4"><strong><sup>[4]</sup></strong>The universe, the circle of the world.<a class="note-return" href="#to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-4">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  368. <li class="footnote" id="quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-5"><strong><sup>[5]</sup></strong><q lang="la">dixere,</q> syncopated form for 3rd person plural perfect <q lang="la"><a href="">dixerunt</a>,</q> with the primary meaning <q>they said,</q> <q>they have spoken,</q> <q>they have told,</q> but also commonly with a double accusative object complement, <q>they have called <var>D.O.</var> <q><var>O.C.</var></q>,</q> <q>they have named <var>D.O.</var> (as) <q><var>O.C.</var></q>,</q> also <q>they have appointed <var>D.O.</var> (as) <var>O.C.</var></q> (to an office).<a class="note-return" href="#to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-5">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  369. <li class="footnote" id="quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-6"><strong><sup>[6]</sup></strong>Ovid&#8217;s go-to source for many of his cosmogonic myths is Hesiod, and the <cite>Theogony</cite> lists Chaos first, before any of the elementals or Titans or Olympian gods. But Hesiod&#8217;s Chaos is described as (1) <a href=";fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0129">the very first that came to be, before Earth itself</a>; (2) <a href=";fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0129">the progenitor of Erebos and Night</a>, both of them associated with darkness (below the earth and above it); and (3) as <a href=""><q>gloomy</q> or <q>dusky</q></a>. (4) In the War of the Gods and Titans, when Zeus puts forth his full power, the <a href=";fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0129">astounding heat is said to seize (even) Chaos</a>, as well as everything in the earth and the heavens far above it. (5) After the War, the defeated Titans are banished to dwell far beneath the earth, in a locked chamber utterly remote from the gods and the inhabited world, which is described as being as far beneath the earth as the earth is beneath the sky, and <a href="">beyond gloomy Chaos</a>. The descriptions of <q>Chaos,</q> where we get them, do not mention disorder or confusion, but emphasize its primordial age, elemental darkness, extreme remoteness, depth below, and division from the worlds of men and gods.<a class="note-return" href="#to-quem-dixere-chaos-before-sea-and-dry-lands-and-heaven-over-all-the-senseless-weight-and-the-seeds-of-ill-joined-things-in-strife-n-6">&#x21A9;</a></li></ol>
  370. ]]></content>
  371. <link rel="replies" type="text/html" href="" thr:count="0"/>
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  374. </entry>
  375. <entry>
  376. <author>
  377. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  378. <uri></uri>
  379. </author>
  380. <title type="html"><![CDATA[Before sea and dry lands &#8212; heaped masses and messes and the seeds of ill-joined things!]]></title>
  381. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  382. <id></id>
  383. <updated>2020-05-09T22:30:50Z</updated>
  384. <published>2020-05-09T16:19:56Z</published>
  385. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  386. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[I talked a bit about the epic structure and the opening lines of Ovid&#8217;s Metamorphoses, Book I. The Homeric epics begin in medias res &#8212; with a quarrel in the Achaian camp in the ninth year of the war, or with Telemachus beset in Ithaca and setting out from news of his father, just weeks [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  387. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p class="first">I talked a bit about <a href="">the epic structure and the opening lines</a> of Ovid&#8217;s <cite>Metamorphoses</cite>, Book I. The Homeric epics begin <i lang="la">in medias res</i> &#8212; with a quarrel in the Achaian camp in the ninth year of the war, or with Telemachus beset in Ithaca and setting out from news of his father, just weeks before Odyseeus&#8217;s eventual return. Ovid emphatically does not start his epic in the middle of anything &#8212; the unbroken song goes back to the very first beginnings of the <i lang="la">orbis</i>, and the very first taking of a form &#8212; the first forming of the world itself. Here&#8217;s the <a href="">the next five lines in <cite>Metamorphoses</cite>, Book I (I.005-009)</a>, in their original Latin.<sup>[<a href="#before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-1" class="footnoted" id="to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-1">1</a>]</sup></p>
  389. <blockquote>
  390.  <h3>Mundi origo.</h3>
  392.  <p>Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum<br />
  393.  unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,<br />
  394.  quem dixere Chaos: rudis indigestaque moles<br />
  395.  nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem<br />
  396.  non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.</p>
  397. </blockquote>
  399. <p><a href="">Like before</a>, it&#8217;s tough to translate the Latin word-order directly into English. Here&#8217;s a word-for-word breakdown of the Latin:</p>
  401. <table class="interlinear"id="ovid.metamorphoses.i.005-009.breakdown.table"><tbody><tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">5</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">Ante</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">mare</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">et</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">terras</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">et</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">quod</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">tegit</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">omnia</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">caelum</a></td></tr>
  402. <tr class="line2"><td>prep.</td><td>n., neut. acc. sg.</td><td>conj.</td><td>n., fem. acc. pl.</td><td>conj.</td><td>rel. pron., neut. nom. sg.</td><td>v., 3d sg. pres. act. ind.</td><td>pron., neut. acc. pl</td><td>n., neut. acc. sg.</td></tr>
  403. <tr class="line3"><td>[before]</td><td>[the sea]</td><td>[and]</td><td>[the lands]</td><td>[and]</td><td>[that which]</td><td>[covers]<sup>[<a href="#before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-2" class="footnoted" id="to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-2">2</a>]</sup></td><td>[everything]</td><td>[sky, heaven]</td></tr>
  404. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">6</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">unus</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">erat</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">toto</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">naturae</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">vultus</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">in</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">orbe,</a></td></tr>
  405. <tr class="line2"><td>adj., masc. nom. sg.</td><td>v., 3d sg. impf. act. ind.</td><td>adj., masc. abl. sg.</td><td>n., fem. gen. sg.</td><td>n., masc. nom. sg.</td><td>prep.</td><td>n., masc. abl. sg.</td></tr>
  406. <tr class="line3"><td>[one]</td><td>[was]</td><td>[all]</td><td>[of nature]</td><td>[the looks]<sup>[<a href="#before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-3" class="footnoted" id="to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-3">3</a>]</sup></td><td>[in]</td><td>[the globe]<sup>[<a href="#before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-4" class="footnoted" id="to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-4">4</a>]</sup></td></tr>
  407. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">7</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">quem</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">dixere</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">Chaos:</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">rudis</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">indigestaque</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">moles</a></td></tr>
  408. <tr class="line2"><td>rel. pron., neut. acc. sg</td><td>v., 3d pl. pf. act. ind.<sup>[<a href="#before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-5" class="footnoted" id="to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-5">5</a>]</sup></td><td>n. neut. nom. sg.</td><td>adj., fem. nom. sg.</td><td>pf. pass. part., fem. nom. sg. + conj.</td><td>n., fem. nom. sg.</td></tr>
  409. <tr class="line3"><td>[that which]</td><td>[they have named]</td><td>[Chaos]</td><td>[crude, unformed]</td><td>[and] [disorganized, confused]</td><td>[mass, pile, heap]</td></tr>
  410. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">8</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">nec</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">quicquam</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">nisi</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">pondus</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">iners</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">congestaque</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">eodem</a></td></tr>
  411. <tr class="line2"><td>conj.</td><td>pron., neut. nom. sg.</td><td>adv.</td><td>n., neut. nom. sg.</td><td>adj.</td><td>pf. pass. part., neut. nom. pl. + conj.</td><td>adv.</td></tr>
  412. <tr class="line3"><td>[nor]</td><td>[anything]</td><td>[except]<sup>[<a href="#before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-6" class="footnoted" id="to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-6">6</a>]</sup></td><td>[weight]</td><td>[idle, stupid, senseless]</td><td>[and] [piled]</td><td>[in the same place]</td></tr>
  413. <tr class="line1"><th scope="row" rowspan="3">9</th><td lang="lat"><a href="">non</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">bene</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">iunctarum</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">discordia</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">semina</a></td><td lang="lat"><a href="">rerum.</a></td></tr>
  414. <tr class="line2"><td>adv.</td><td>adv.</td><td>n., fem. gen. pl</td><td>n., fem. abl. sg.</td><td>n., neut. nom. pl.</td><td>n., fem. gen. pl.</td></tr>
  415. <tr class="line3"><td>[not]</td><td>[well]</td><td>[joined]</td><td>[by discord]</td><td>[the seeds]</td><td>[of things]</td></tr>
  416. </tbody></table>
  418. <p>In this case, a hyperliteral word-by-word translation stays a bit more intelligible. Still pretty awkward, though:</p>
  420. <blockquote>
  421.  <p>Before sea and lands and that which covers everything, sky<br />
  422.  one was in all &#8212; nature&#8217;s appearance [was, that is] &#8212; the circle of the world<br />
  423.  which [they] have named Chaos: rude, confused also, mass<br />
  424.  nor anything whatever but for weight, idle &#8212; piled up, too, in the same place,<br />
  425.  of the not-well-joined &#8230;<sup>[<a href="#before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-7" class="footnoted" id="to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-7">7</a>]</sup>, &#8212; because of strife, &#8212; the seeds, of things.</p>
  426. </blockquote>
  428. <p>Here&#8217;s a prosy sort of translation; for reasons of conventional English word-order it looks at grammatical agreement and uses it to join some of the phrases together that Ovid had put asunder.</p>
  430. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  431. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  432. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  433. <h3>Mundi origo.</h3>
  434. <div>Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum</div>
  435. <div>unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,</div>
  436. <div>quem dixere Chaos: rudis indigestaque moles</div>
  437. <div>nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem</div>
  438. <div>non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.</div>
  439. </blockquote>
  440. </td>
  441. <td>
  442. <h3>World&#8217;s Beginning</h3>
  443. <p>Before the sea and lands and the sky that covers all, the appearance of nature was one in all the globe, which they (people) have named Chaos: a crude,<sup>[<a href="#before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-8" class="footnoted" id="to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-8">8</a>]</sup> unorganized heap, nor anything at all except a senseless weight, and also &#8212; piled up together, all in the same place &#8212; the seeds of things not well-joined due to discord.</p>
  444. </td></tr>
  445. </table>
  447. <p>I&#8217;ll have some more to say, and some attempts at a less prosy sort of translation, in a following post.</p>
  449. <p><em>All the original translations that I post to this blog are <a href="/about/anticopyright">freely available in the public domain</a>.</em></p>
  451. <ol class="footnotes">
  452. <li class="footnote" id="before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-1"><strong><sup>[1]</sup></strong>I got the text from P. Ovidius Naso, <cite>Metamorphoses</cite> at the Perseus Digital Library; they transcribed the text from Hugo Magnus&#8217;s edition of 1892 (Gotha: Friedr. Andr. Perthes).<a class="note-return" href="#to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-1">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  453. <li class="footnote" id="before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-2"><strong><sup>[2]</sup></strong>Like a weaving or blanket; shelters, protects; hides, conceals.<a class="note-return" href="#to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-2">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  454. <li class="footnote" id="before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-3"><strong><sup>[3]</sup></strong>Appearance, expression; face.<a class="note-return" href="#to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-3">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  455. <li class="footnote" id="before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-4"><strong><sup>[4]</sup></strong>Circle, ring; the world, the earth, the universe.<a class="note-return" href="#to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-4">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  456. <li class="footnote" id="before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-5"><strong><sup>[5]</sup></strong>Syncopated form, for <q lang="la">dixerunt</q><a class="note-return" href="#to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-5">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  457. <li class="footnote" id="before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-6"><strong><sup>[6]</sup></strong>Lit., if not<a class="note-return" href="#to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-6">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  458. <li class="footnote" id="before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-7"><strong><sup>[7]</sup></strong>Agrees with and describes <q>things,</q> at the end of the line.<a class="note-return" href="#to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-7">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  459. <li class="footnote" id="before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-8"><strong><sup>[8]</sup></strong>Rude, unformed.<a class="note-return" href="#to-before-sea-lands-heaped-masses-seeds-ill-joined-things-n-8">&#x21A9;</a></li></ol>
  460. ]]></content>
  461. <link rel="replies" type="text/html" href="" thr:count="3"/>
  462. <link rel="replies" type="application/atom+xml" href="" thr:count="3"/>
  463. <thr:total>3</thr:total>
  464. </entry>
  465. <entry>
  466. <author>
  467. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  468. <uri></uri>
  469. </author>
  470. <title type="html"><![CDATA[GiveDirectly COVID-19 relief funds: New York City, Las Vegas, Detroit, Kenya, and more]]></title>
  471. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  472. <id></id>
  473. <updated>2020-04-27T13:48:37Z</updated>
  474. <published>2020-04-27T13:48:37Z</published>
  475. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  476. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[Follow-Up to GT-2020-03-25: GiveDirectly has set up an emergency relief project to directly assist low-income families impacted by Covid-19 in the United States and GT 2020-04-09: GiveDirectly has begun its international Covid-19 emergency relief project in Nairobi. You can provide direct cash assistance to informal-sector workers affected by the pandemic and government disease control measures. [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  477. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p><em><strong>Follow-Up</strong> to <a href="">GT-2020-03-25: GiveDirectly has set up an emergency relief project to directly assist low-income families impacted by Covid-19 in the United States</a> and <a href="">GT 2020-04-09: GiveDirectly has begun its international Covid-19 emergency relief project in Nairobi. You can provide direct cash assistance to informal-sector workers affected by the pandemic and government disease control measures.</a></em></p>
  479. <p class="first"><a href="">GiveDirectly</a> is organizing a massive direct cash-relief project to assist low-income families affected by novel coronavirus disease and by emergency travel controls and economic restrictions. In addition to the general <a href="">U.S.</a> and <a href="">international</a> emergency relief response funds which I posted about over the past month, they are also now setting up regional response funds, to target relief to low-income families in <a href="">14 hard-hit metropolitan centers in the U.S.</a> and to <a href="">informal-sector workers living in extreme poverty around Nairobi, Kenya</a>.</p>
  481. <p>They accept credit cards, PayPal, checks, wire, stock transfers, or cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ETH or XRP). I had some old bitcoin sitting around that&#8217;s appreciated quite a bit, so I&#8217;m using it to support these GiveDirectly funds:</p>
  483. <ul>
  484. <li><a href="">Detroit + Ann Arbor COVID-19 Fund</a></li>
  485. <li><a href="">Las Vegas COVID-19 Fund</a></li>
  486. <li><a href="">New York City COVID-19 Fund</a></li>
  487. <li><a href="">Kenya COVID-19 Fund</a></li>
  488. </ul>
  490. <p>If you&#8217;re not familiar, here&#8217;s <a href="">more information about GiveDirectly and an independent, measurable-output based evaluation of their programs</a>.<sup>[<a href="#give-directly-new-york-las-vegas-detroit-kenya-etc-n-1" class="footnoted" id="to-give-directly-new-york-las-vegas-detroit-kenya-etc-n-1">1</a>]</sup> <a href="">Updates about all their programs, Frequently Asked Questions about Covid-19 donations, operations, and Emergency Cash Response</a> are available on the GiveDirectly page.</p>
  492. <ol class="footnotes">
  493. <li class="footnote" id="give-directly-new-york-las-vegas-detroit-kenya-etc-n-1"><strong><sup>[1]</sup></strong><strong>Evidential Note:</strong> From November 2018. The evaluation does not, of course, speak to their new Covid-19 emergency relief programs. However, it does discuss the operations and effectiveness of several of their existing direct cash assistance programs, which have traditionally focused on relief of extreme poverty in the developing world.<a class="note-return" href="#to-give-directly-new-york-las-vegas-detroit-kenya-etc-n-1">&#x21A9;</a></li></ol>
  494. ]]></content>
  495. <link rel="replies" type="text/html" href="" thr:count="0"/>
  496. <link rel="replies" type="application/atom+xml" href="" thr:count="0"/>
  497. <thr:total>0</thr:total>
  498. </entry>
  499. <entry>
  500. <author>
  501. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  502. <uri></uri>
  503. </author>
  504. <title type="html"><![CDATA[Minor Notes on Pet Peeves in Journalistic Language]]></title>
  505. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  506. <id></id>
  507. <updated>2020-04-24T22:12:31Z</updated>
  508. <published>2020-04-24T22:12:31Z</published>
  509. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  510. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[Man, I don&#8217;t know about you, but I listen to a lot of NPR, and I sure am exhausted at living in a moment. Or living in a series of Moments. I feel like someday someone will make a series of period pieces about the 2010s and early 2020s and the previews will all start [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  511. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p>Man, I don&#8217;t know about you, but I listen to a lot of NPR, and I sure am exhausted at living <q>in a moment.</q></p>
  513. <p>Or living in a series of Moments. I feel like someday someone will make a series of period pieces about the 2010s and early 2020s and the previews will all start with a booming Voice of God narrotor announcing: <q>IN A MOMENT&#8230; where all our assumptions about daily life are turned upside-down&#8230;</q></p>
  515. ]]></content>
  516. <link rel="replies" type="text/html" href="" thr:count="0"/>
  517. <link rel="replies" type="application/atom+xml" href="" thr:count="0"/>
  518. <thr:total>0</thr:total>
  519. </entry>
  520. <entry>
  521. <author>
  522. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  523. <uri></uri>
  524. </author>
  525. <title type="html"><![CDATA[Could it be the subways? (Follow-Up to Is epidemic Covid-19 much worse in New York and New Jersey than everywhere else? If so, why?)]]></title>
  526. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  527. <id></id>
  528. <updated>2020-04-24T18:13:37Z</updated>
  529. <published>2020-04-24T18:05:29Z</published>
  530. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  531. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[Follow-up/What I&#8217;m Reading: Back in late March, I had a post on questions about Is epidemic Covid-19 much worse in New York and New Jersey than everywhere else? If so, why?. This is follow-up to that post based on a new paper that&#8217;s related to one of the questions I was wondering about: Could New [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  532. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p><strong>Follow-up/What I&#8217;m Reading:</strong> Back in late March, <a href="">I had a post on questions about <q>Is epidemic Covid-19 much worse in New York and New Jersey than everywhere else? If so, why?</q></a>. This is follow-up to that post based on a new paper that&#8217;s related to one of the questions I was wondering about: <a href=""><q><strong>Could New York and New Jersey be more severely affected than the rest of the U.S. because of population differences?</strong> Well, maybe. &#8230; You might want to look not only at densities but at other features of how those populations go about and live their lives; for example, New York is unusual within the United States not only in having a very dense population but also in having extremely high levels of transit and subway usage within the inner city, unusually low rates of car ownership per household and per capita, etc.</q></a></p>
  534. <p>The follow-up here is that <a href="">Jeffrey Harris</a>, at <a href="">MIT</a>, thinks that the effect in New York City may be due to transmissions of infection within the subway system. Here&#8217;s an NBER Working Paper draft of a paper by which argues that <a href=""><q>The Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City</q></a>. It&#8217;s very new (written in mid-April 2020), and it&#8217;s an NBER Working Paper off-print, so it has not been peer reviewed. The paper is an observational study, which is based on observed correlations among subway ridership, subway line locations within New York City, and hotspots for detected coronavirus cases within New York City. Well, maybe. Anyway, here&#8217;s the abstract:</p>
  536. <blockquote>
  537.  <h3>ABSTRACT</h3>
  539.  <p>New  York  City’s  multitentacled  subway  system  was  a  major  disseminator  –  if  not  the  principal transmission vehicle – of coronavirus infection during the initial takeoff of the massive epidemic that became evident throughout the city during March 2020. The near shutoff of subway ridership in  Manhattan  –  down by  over  90  percent  at  the  end  of  March  –  correlates  strongly  with  the substantial  increase  in  the  doubling time  of  new  cases  in  this  borough.  Maps  of  subway  station turnstile  entries,  superimposed  upon  zipcode-level  maps  of  reported  coronavirus  incidence,  are strongly consistent with subway-facilitated disease propagation. Local train lines appear to have a higher propensity to transmit infection than express lines. Reciprocal seeding of infection appears to be the best explanation for the emergence of a single hotspot in Midtown West in Manhattan. Bus hubs may have served as secondary transmission routes out to the periphery of the city.</p>
  541.  <p>Jeffrey E. Harris<br />
  542.  Department of Economics, E52-422<br />
  543.  MIT</p>
  544. </blockquote>
  546. <div style="background-color: #ddd; border-radius: 5px; padding: 0.5em 1.0em; margin: 1.0em 3.0em;">
  547. <h3 style="font-size: 90%; text-transform: uppercase; margin: 0em; padding-bottom: 0.5em; text-align: center;">Shared Article  from NBER Working Paper Series</h3>
  548. <p style="margin: 0em; font-size: 1.1em;"><strong><a href="">THE SUBWAYS SEEDED THE MASSIVE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC IN NEWYORK C…</a></strong></p>
  549. <p style="margin: 0em;">New  York  City’s  multitentacled  subway  system  was  a  major  disseminator  –  if  not  the  principal transmission vehicle – of coronavirus…</p>
  550. <p style="margin: 0em; "><span style="color: #666; font-size: 90%; text-transform: uppercase;">Jeffrey E. Harris @</span></p>
  551. <br style="clear: both" />
  552. </div>
  556. <p>To be fair, the paper does not make much attempt to test whether subway lines explain disease transmission more than any other lines of pedestrian or vehicle traffic through the city, but for robustness he does also draw on some indications, drawn from press reports, that the prevalence of detected Covid-19 infections among MTA subway workers may be extremely, disproportionately high.<sup>[<a href="#could-it-be-the-subways-covid-19-new-york-new-jersey-n-1" class="footnoted" id="to-could-it-be-the-subways-covid-19-new-york-new-jersey-n-1">1</a>]</sup></p>
  558. <p>If Harris is correct, it would help to explain the situation within the greater New York City MTA network, although of course it leaves to be explained the situation in the rest of New York State and New Jersey. The sections on unintended consequences (discussed as <q>ironies</q> of policy responses, e.g. on pp. 15ff) and on possible suggestions for, so to speak, removing the pump handle within the subway system as restrictions ease and ridership begins to tick back up, are both interesting and suggestive.</p>
  560. <p><strong><em>(Reference to the paper thanks to <a href="">Chris Sciabarra (2020/04/23)</a>.)</em></strong></p>
  562. <ol class="footnotes">
  563. <li class="footnote" id="could-it-be-the-subways-covid-19-new-york-new-jersey-n-1"><strong><sup>[1]</sup></strong>Harris claims in this section that <q>It is hard to imagine any plausible explanation for these workers’ losses except that their place of work was the principal source of their coronavirus infections</q> and that <q>the high prevalence of detected Covid-19 among MTA workers <q>turns out to be the clincher that transportsus from correlation to causation</q>; I think it&#8217;s a really interesting and suggestive paper, but these claims are surely far too strong. You don&#8217;t have to be too imaginative to dream that MTA workers might be more likely to get tested than other people in New York City; they might be more likely to get infected simply because they have been continuing to work in public places, not because they&#8217;ve been working in the subway in particular, etc. You would need to compare MTA workers not to zipcodes but to other groups of essential-business workers who have been continuing to work in public places over the last month, and to gather some kind of information about any differences in rates of testing, etc.)<a class="note-return" href="#to-could-it-be-the-subways-covid-19-new-york-new-jersey-n-1">&#x21A9;</a></li></ol>
  564. ]]></content>
  565. <link rel="replies" type="text/html" href="" thr:count="1"/>
  566. <link rel="replies" type="application/atom+xml" href="" thr:count="1"/>
  567. <thr:total>1</thr:total>
  568. </entry>
  569. <entry>
  570. <author>
  571. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  572. <uri></uri>
  573. </author>
  574. <title type="html"><![CDATA[Into something new and strange! &#8212; Lead out unbroken song]]></title>
  575. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  576. <id></id>
  577. <updated>2020-04-23T17:38:45Z</updated>
  578. <published>2020-04-23T17:06:10Z</published>
  579. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  580. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[To-day in the world of Greek and Roman Myths, stories from Ovid&#8217;s Metamorphoses are usually carried off, willy-nilly, and dropped into mythologickal source-books to be read as stand-alone tales. Or they are redeployed as background stories for building the world of modern fantasy novels. So it goes, and there are plenty of instances in which [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  581. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p class="first">To-day in the world of <q>Greek and Roman Myths,</q> stories from Ovid&#8217;s <cite>Metamorphoses</cite> are usually carried off, willy-nilly,<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-1" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-1">1</a>]</sup> and dropped into mythologickal source-books to be read as stand-alone tales. Or they are redeployed as background stories for building the world of modern fantasy novels. So it goes, and there are plenty of instances in which this is done well and we&#8217;re all the richer for it. But the <cite>Metamorphoses</cite> itself is written as a single epic poem &#8212; or a sort of one, anyway. The <cite>Iliad</cite> sings the rage of Achilles over a few weeks of the ninth year of the Trojan War; the <cite>Odyssey</cite> and the <cite>Aeneid</cite> tell or sing of a man and his wandering over the course of years. <cite>Metamorphoses</cite> promises to tell of the theme (altered forms, new bodies) in unbroken song from creation of the universe to the narrator&#8217;s own times in the days of Caesar Augustus.</p>
  583. <p>Here are the <a href="">opening four lines of Metamorphosis, Book I</a> in their original Latin.<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-2" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-2">2</a>]</sup></p>
  585. <blockquote>
  586.  <p>In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas<br />
  587.  corpora; di, coeptis (nam vos mutastis et illas)<br />
  588.  adspirate meis primaque ab origine mundi<br />
  589.  ad mea perpetuum deducite tempora carmen.</p>
  590. </blockquote>
  592. <p>The opening is hard to translate directly into English. Latin is a highly inflected language: grammatical roles within a sentence are determined mainly by word-endings, not by word-order (as in English or modern Romance languages). So you can arrange the same words into all kinds of different orders without losing the meaning of the parts.<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-3" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-3">3</a>]</sup> Latin poetry exploits unusual, inverted, infixed or interspersed word orders much more than Latin prose does, and Ovid especially loves to do this in the <cite>Metamorphoses</cite>, whether for rhetorical effect, or just for the hell of it. Here&#8217;s a word-by-word breakdown of the Latin:</p>
  594. <table style="border-collapse: separate; border-spacing: 2px;">
  595. <tbody>
  596. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px dotted black;"><th style="background-color: #ccc; color: black; border: 1px solid black;" rowspan="3">1</th><td width="8em"><a href="">In</a></td><td width="4em"><a href="">nova</a></td><td width="8em"><a href="">fert</a></td><td width="8em"><a href="<a href="">animus</a></td><td width="8em"><a href="">mutatas</a></td><td width="6em"><a href="">dicere</a></td><td width="4em"><a href="">formas</a></td><td width="4em"></td></tr>
  597. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-style: italic; font-size: 0.7em; text-align: left;"><td>prep.</td><td>adj., neut. acc. pl.</td><td>v., 3d sg. pres. act. ind.</td><td>n., masc. nom. sg.</td><td>part., perf. pass., fem. acc. pl.</td><td>v., pres. act. inf.</td><td>n., fem. acc. pl.</td><td></td></tr>
  598. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-size: 0.7em"><td>[into]</td><td>[new]</td><td>[carries off]</td><td>[mind]<br/>[soul, spirit]</td><td>[changed, altered]<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-4" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-4">4</a>]</sup></td><td>[to tell, to speak]</td><td>[forms, shapes]</td><td></td></tr>
  599. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px dotted black;"><th style="background-color: #ccc; color: black; border: 1px solid black;" rowspan="3">2</th><td><a href="">corpora</a>;</td><td><a href="">di</a>,</td><td><a href="">coeptis</a></td><td>(<a href="">nam</a></td><td><a href="">vos</a></td><td><a href="">mutastis</a></td><td><a href="">et</a></td><td><a href="">illas</a>)</td></tr>
  600. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-style: italic; font-size: 0.7em; text-align: left;"><td>n., neut acc pl.</td><td>n., masc voc pl</td><td>perf. pass. part., neut dat pl</td><td>conj</td><td>pron., 2d pl acc</td><td>v., 2d pl perf. act. ind.<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-5" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-5">5</a>]</sup></td><td>conj.</td><td>pron., fem acc pl</td></tr>
  601. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-size: 0.7em"><td>[bodies]</td><td>[Gods]</td><td>[undertakings]<br/>[things begun]</td><td>[for]</td><td>[y&#8217;all]</td><td>[changed]</td><td>[and]<br/>[also]</td><td>[those]</td></tr>
  602. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px dotted black;"><th style="background-color: #ccc; color: black; border: 1px solid black;" rowspan="3">3</th><td><a href="">adspirate</a></td><td><a href="">meis</a></td><td><a href="">prima</a><a href="">que</a></td><td><a href="">ab</a></td><td><a href="">origine</a></td><td><a href="">mundi</a></td><td></td><td></td></tr>
  603. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-style: italic; font-size: 0.7em;"><td>v., 2d pl pres act imper</td><td>adj, neut dat pl</td><td>adj., fem abl sg</td><td>prep</td><td>n., fem abl sg</td><td>n., masc gen sg</td><td></td><td></td></tr>
  604. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-size: 0.7em;"><td>[breathe upon]<br/>[blow on]<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-6" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-6">6</a>]</sup></td><td>[my]</td><td>[and also the first]</td><td>[from]</td><td>[origin]</td><td>[of the world]</td><td></td><td></td></tr>
  605. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px dotted black;"><th style="background-color: #ccc; color: black; border: 1px solid black;" rowspan="3">4</th><td><a href="">ad</a></td><td><a href="">mea</a></td><td><a href="">perpetuum</a></td><td><a href="">deducite</a></td><td><a href="">tempora</a></td><td><a href="">carmen</a></td><td></td><td></td></tr>
  606. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-style: italic; font-size: 0.7em;"><td>prep</td><td>adj., neut acc pl</td><td>adj., neut acc sg</td><td>v., 2d pl pres act imper</td><td>adj., neut acc pl</td><td>n., neut acc sg</td><td></td><td></td></tr>
  607. <tr style="vertical-align: top; font-size: 0.7em;"><td>[to, toward]</td><td>[my]</td><td>[unending, continuous]</td><td>[lead out]</td><td>[times]</td><td>[song]</td><td></td><td></td></tr>
  608. </tbody>
  609. </table>
  611. <p>The word order makes it impossible to translate word-for-word into grammatical English &#8212; the first two words, <q lang="la">In nova&#8230;</q> agree with the <em>last</em> word of the opening clause, <q lang="la">corpora</q>, and wrap around the rest of the sentence;<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-7" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-7">7</a>]</sup> <q lang="la">fert animus&#8230; dicere</q> (a mind carries me off to tell) is interspersed with, or shuffled into, <q>mutatas&#8230; formas</q> (altered forms). A word-for-word translation would be gibberish:</p>
  613. <blockquote>
  614.  <p>Into new&#8211; it carries (me) off, a mind does, of altered things, to tell&#8211; forms&#8211;<br />
  615.  Bodies! &#8230;</p>
  616. </blockquote>
  618. <p>Here&#8217;s a prosy sort of translation, going clause by clause, that tries to get the literal meaning into grammatical English:</p>
  620. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  621. <tr style="vertical-align: top">
  622. <td width="50%"><blockquote>
  623. <div>In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas</div>
  624. <div>corpora; di, coeptis (nam vos mutastis et illas)</div>
  625. <div>adspirate meis primaque ab origine mundi</div>
  626. <div>ad mea perpetuum deducite tempora carmen.</div>
  627. </td><td><blockquote><p>A mind carries me away to tell of forms changed into new bodies; o gods, as you have changed both yourselves and others, breathe upon my undertakings, and from the first beginning of the world, to my times, lead out an unbroken song.<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-8" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-8">8</a>]</sup></p></blockquote></td></tr>
  628. </table>
  630. <p>In my prosy translation we lead off with <q>a mind,</q> <q>a mood,</q> <q>my soul,</q> at the very start, but in the Latin poem <q>animus</q> is right in the middle of the line. To keep up with English grammar, the easiest thing to do is to sacrifice Latin word-order. But the word order in the Latin is important. Classical epics have a topic, a subject that they tell or sing, often introduced in the first word or the opening few words of the poem.<sup>[<a href="#into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-9" class="footnoted" id="to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-9">9</a>]</sup> The topic of the <cite>Metamorphoses</cite> is <q lang="la">In nova&#8230; (corpora)</q> that is, <q>Into new (bodies)!</q> &#8212; or if we grant the effects of the long break (down to the next line) before we find out that the <q>nova</q> are in fact <q>corpora,</q> you might think of it as <q>Into something new&#8230;</q> This won&#8217;t make for a fluent sort of poem, but if we try to translate poetically into units that preserve something like the order in which the opening introduces its themes, word by word, at the cost of some grammatically necessary repetition, we&#8217;d get something more like this:</p>
  632. <blockquote>
  633.  <p>Into something new &#8212;<br />
  634.  a mind carries me off to tell &#8212;<br />
  635.  of shapes so changed into new bodies;<br />
  636.  o Gods, these things I&#8217;ve begun&#8211;<br />
  637.  for You have changed Yourselves, and others too&#8211;<br />
  638.  Breathe upon my works&#8211;<br />
  639.  and from the first beginning of the world,<br />
  640.  to my own times<br />
  641.  lead out an unbroken song.</p>
  642. </blockquote>
  644. <p>Let&#8217;s try to put some of all that together into a roughly line-by-line verse translation. I&#8217;ve tried to keep some indication of places where the poet uses word order for an effect.</p>
  646. <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
  647. <tr>
  648. <td><h3>Invocatio</h3>
  649. <div>In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas</div>
  650. <div>corpora; di, coeptis (nam vos mutastis et illas)</div>
  651. <div>adspirate meis primaque ab origine mundi</div>
  652. <div>ad mea perpetuum deducite tempora carmen.</div></td>
  653. <td><h3>Invocation: Into Something New and Strange</h3>
  654. <div>Transformed! A mind takes me, &#8212; to tell of figures changed into new</div>
  655. <div>bodies. Gods, &#8212; You transformed Yourselves, others too, &#8212; so breathe</div>
  656. <div>upon the things I have begun: from the world&#8217;s first beginning,</div>
  657. <div>without pause through to my own day, lead out an unbroken song.</div></td></tr>
  658. </table>
  660. <p>Anyway, that&#8217;s what I&#8217;ve got in my notebook. What do you think? How would you handle these lines?</p>
  662. <p><em>All the original translations that I post to this blog are freely available in the public domain.</em></p>
  664. <ol class="footnotes">
  665. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-1"><strong><sup>[1]</sup></strong>And often first edited to taste, or to bring them into conformity with details taken from other stories that the re-teller knows from Homer, or Vergil, or Bulfinch&#8217;s.<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-1">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  666. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-2"><strong><sup>[2]</sup></strong>I got the text from P. Ovidius Naso, <cite>Metamorphoses</cite> at the Perseus Digital Library; they transcribed the text from Hugo Magnus&#8217;s edition of 1892 (Gotha: Friedr. Andr. Perthes).<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-2">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  667. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-3"><strong><sup>[3]</sup></strong><q lang="la">puella amat puerum</q> and <q lang="la">puerum amat puella</q> both mean the same thing, but <q>the girl loves the boy</q> and <q>the boy loves the girl</q> do not. <q lang="la">Puella</q> is in the nominative case, so it must be the subject of the verb whether it comes before or after. <q>Puerum</q> is in the accusative, which in this sentence indicates that it is the direct object of the verb, even if it comes before.<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-3">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  668. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-4"><strong><sup>[4]</sup></strong>Or moved, mutated, different, successive.<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-4">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  669. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-5"><strong><sup>[5]</sup></strong>Syncopated form, short for <q lang="la">mutavistis</q>.<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-5">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  670. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-6"><strong><sup>[6]</sup></strong>Often said of the gods or of winds or sea, to indicate favor or providential encouragement.<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-6">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  671. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-7"><strong><sup>[7]</sup></strong>You can tell <q>nova</q> is intended to modify <q>corpora</q> because they agree in case, number and gender (neuter, plural, accusative). <q lang="la">Corpora</q> is in the accusative because it is governed by the preposition <q lang="la">In,</q> which means <q>located in,</q> <q>within</q> <q>on</q> with an ablative object, and <q>into</q>, <q>onto</q> with an accusative object.<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-7">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  672. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-8"><strong><sup>[8]</sup></strong>Some notes on grammatical and semantic issues in making the translation: <strong><q>In nova&#8230; corpora</q>:</strong> neuter accusative plural, together with <strong><q>mutatas&#8230; formas,</q></strong> <q>forms altered into new bodies</q>. In the accusative because they are the object of preposition <q>in,</q> i.e., suggesting motion into or onto. Translators pretty uniformly translate this according to one possible meaning, the human form, figure or body. I&#8217;ve done the same. But it could also used to mean <q>appearances</q> or <q>beauty.</q> <strong><a href="">animus</a>,</strong> <q>a mind</q> &#8212; Classical Latin doesn&#8217;t have or need definite or indefinite articles, so <q>a mind,</q> <q>the mind,</q> <q>mind,</q> <q>Mind</q> are all possible here. Could be translated as mind, thought, intelligence, spirit, soul, life-force, character, will, emotion, mood or temper. The interesting thing here, compared to the tradition of ancient Greek epic, is that the poet says *he* is moved to tell. He asks the gods to aid what he&#8217;s undertaken, but he, not they, has undertaken the project. In Homer, the invocation asks the goddess or the muse to sing <em>through</em> the poet. Vergil, like Ovid, begins <q>Of arms and the man <em>I</em> sing.</q> <strong>Fert&#8230; dicere</strong>: bears (me) off, carries (me) away to tell. <q>Fert</q> is a standard word for carrying or bearing a burden, also often used to mean take, take away, carry away or carry off. (When used of a person, it can mean to capture, abduct or rape &#8212; a common theme throughout the tales in the poem.) <strong><q lang="la">di</q>:</strong> vocative plural, calling out to some gods or all the gods. <strong><q>coeptis&#8230; meis</q></strong>: lit. <q>my things begun</q> or <q>undertaken</q>; it took me forever to figure out how these fit together with the clause, but these are in the dative here, because they are a dative object for the intransitive form of <a href=""><q>adspirate</q></a> See notes on transitive and intransitive forms in <a href="">Wiktionary: aspiro</a>. <strong><q>nam vos mutastis et illas</q></strong>: this is highly condensed, but <q>vos</q> could be either nominative or accusative according to the form of the word; <q>mutastis</q> is a contraction or syncopated form, shortened from <q>mutavistis.</q> In context, <q>y&#8217;all</q> (that is, <strong>di</strong>, the gods) would be an appropriate subject for the 2nd person plural <strong>mutastis</strong>, but I think the fem. acc. pl. <strong>et illas</strong>, lit. <q>and those,</q> <q>and those (others),</q> suggests <q>vos</q> is supposed to be a direct object paired together with the others (other shapes, besides their own), that the gods have transformed into new bodies. <strong><q>Primaque ab origine:</q></strong> The <q>-que</q> suffix (<q>too,</q> <q>also</q>) breaks off the word in front of it from the previous clause; ablative feminine <q>prima,</q> first, agrees with <q>origine,</q> origin or beginning. <strong><q>ad mea&#8230; tempora,</q></strong> <strong><q>perpetuum&#8230; carmen</q></strong>: to my times, unending or nonstop song. Again, agreement determines which adjective goes with which noun, despite the shuffled word-order. <strong><q lang="la">deducite</q>:</strong> Literally, lead out (y&#8217;all); it can mean to draw out or spin, as a thread, to stretch out or extend, to pull out, as a ship from harbor. It could also mean <q>escort</q> or <q>accompany,</q> if you think that the poet also here wants to emphasize his own role in composing the poem, and is asking the gods to accompany the unceasing song not to spin it out themselves.<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-8">&#x21A9;</a></li>
  673. <li class="footnote" id="into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-9"><strong><sup>[9]</sup></strong>The <cite>Iliad</cite> 1.1: <i lang="grc">menin</i> &#8212; <q>RAGE</q>; the Iliad is the song of the rage of Peleus&#8217;s son Achilles. The <cite>Odyssey</cite> 1.1: <i lang="grc">andra</i> &#8212; <q>the man</q>; the Odyssey tells us the man of many ways. <cite>Aeneid</cite> 1.1: <q>arma virumque</q>; the Aeneid sings arms and the man, who first&#8230;.<a class="note-return" href="#to-into-something-new-and-strange-lead-out-unbroken-song-n-9">&#x21A9;</a></li></ol>
  674. ]]></content>
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  678. </entry>
  679. <entry>
  680. <author>
  681. <name>Rad Geek</name>
  682. <uri></uri>
  683. </author>
  684. <title type="html"><![CDATA[&#8220;The process of building new homes is full of uncertainty and unexpected obstacles. Regulatory barriers make it riskier, longer and more expensive, which has consequences for housing affordability.&#8221; (Jenny Schuetz)]]></title>
  685. <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="" />
  686. <id></id>
  687. <updated>2020-04-23T00:33:19Z</updated>
  688. <published>2020-04-23T00:28:16Z</published>
  689. <category scheme="" term="Misc" label="Misc"/>
  690. <summary type="html"><![CDATA[Listening to: Russ Roberts and Jenny Schuetz discuss land regulation, the housing market, affordable housing and land cartels (EConTalk, 30 March 2020). Some roughly stated, sloganeering lessons you might take from the conversation. Or at least that I took. (Where I&#8217;m not quoting, these are in my own words, not Schuetz&#8217;s or Roberts&#8217;s.) Schuetz argues [&#8230;]]]></summary>
  691. <content type="html" xml:base=""><![CDATA[<p><em><strong>Listening to:</strong> <a href="">Russ Roberts and Jenny Schuetz discuss land regulation, the housing market, affordable housing and land cartels</a> (EConTalk, 30 March 2020).</em></p>
  693. <div style="background-color: #ddd; border-radius: 5px; padding: 0.5em 1.0em; margin: 1.0em 3.0em;">
  694. <h3 style="font-size: 90%; text-transform: uppercase; margin: 0em; padding-bottom: 0.5em; text-align: center;">Shared Article  from Econlib</h3>
  695. <div style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; min-height: 156px;"><a href=""><img src="" style="max-width: 200px; height: auto;" /></a></div>
  696. <p style="margin: 0em; font-size: 1.1em;"><strong><a href="">Jenny Schuetz on Land Regulation and the Housing Market - Econli…</a></strong></p>
  697. <p style="margin: 0em;">Jenny Schuetz of the Brookings Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about zoning, boarding houses, real estate development, and the housi…</p>
  698. <p style="margin: 0em; "><span style="color: #666; font-size: 90%; text-transform: uppercase;"></span></p>
  699. <br style="clear: both" />
  700. </div>
  704. <p>Some roughly stated, sloganeering lessons you might take from the conversation. Or at least that I took. (Where I&#8217;m not quoting, these are in my own words, not Schuetz&#8217;s or Roberts&#8217;s.)</p>
  706. <ul>
  707. <li>Schuetz argues that <q>The process of building new homes is full of uncertainty and unexpected obstacles. Regulatory barriers make it riskier, longer and more expensive, which has consequences for housing affordability.</q></li>
  708. <li>Unaffordable housing markets, gentrification and displacement are the result of a spiraling cost crisis in urban housing, and the cost crisis is the result of a suffocating crisis of supply in urban housing, especially in medium density in-fill building.</li>
  709. <li>A lot of the crisis of supply can be explained by explicit legal or bureaucratic barriers to entry, which burn out the supply of a large Missing Bottom and Missing Middle of affordable homes.
  710. **The Missing Bottom would be boarding houses and rented rooms, SRO flop hotels, and other entry-level means of <a href="">Scratching By</a> in the housing market. The Missing Middle would be duplexes and triplexes, row-houses, big old houses subdivided and refitted into smaller attached dwellings, and other ways of building for higher density within neighborhoods currently reserved exclusively for single-family detached housing.</li>
  711. <li>A lot more of the crisis of supply can be explained by the Fog of Regulation &#8212; where there aren&#8217;t explicit prohibitions spelled out ahead of time, in nearly every city there is a constant time-consuming and bewildering gauntlet to run with multiple regulatory bodies with overlapping jurisdictions and tremendous discretionary power to advance, delay, modify or veto new building and expansion of existing buildings.</li>
  712. <li>Many housing market regulations attempt to solve the problem of housing costs by attempting to directly control costs, without addressing the underlying problem of in-fill building or housing supply. This approach may seem logical and direct in the short-term, but addressing the symptoms
  713. (high costs) rather than the root causes (choked-off supply and deformed market structures) has profoundly damaging long-term effects. These often including the <em>perverse</em> unintended consequence of driving up overall housing costs for every generation after the immediate recipients of the initial benefits. </li>
  714. </ul>
  716. <p>From the conversation, on industry structure and the effects of time lags imposed by the paperwork chase involved in going through multiple authorities and multiple regulatory committees:</p>
  718. <blockquote>
  719.  <p><strong>Jenny Schuetz:</strong> The time makes it really difficult for developers to get their product on the market when it needs to be available. So, in an ideal universe, a developer would start building a couple of years before they anticipate the market really needing more units. By the time the units are finished and ready, they can rent them up and fill them and they don&#8217;t sit vacant for awhile.</p>
  721.  <p>One of the things that we learned in the Great Recession, many of these big projects are taking a decade or longer. So, people started working on projects in the late 1990s, early 2000s, and those projects finished just as we hit the Great Recession, and then buildings just sat empty. Had they finished four years earlier, they could have at least gotten people in there. Even if they took a hit on the price, they would at least have bodies moving into the new buildings.
  722.  ?
  723.  <strong>Russ Roberts:</strong> But, there&#8217;s also just the forgone rent&#8211;fhe fact you&#8217;re not earning anything over this period. All that money that&#8217;s being spent without any return, the longer that goes&#8211;so, let&#8217;s say you spent, you could spend it all up front to make it simple: you just had to pay a big fee and it would cover your architect and your lawyers and your surveyors and whatever else was needed, and then of course, the raw materials, but you can&#8217;t build for two years. Well, now let&#8217;s say but you can&#8217;t build for five. You can&#8217;t build for 10. Every extension of that downtime where nothing is coming in, only stuff is going out, is stuff that you need to be compensated for in the&#8211;and the marketplace will compensate you for that because otherwise you&#8217;re losing money.</p>
  725.  <p><strong>Jenny Schuetz:</strong> That&#8217;s right. I mean, this is a risky business because the developers essentially have to front a lot of this. They take on loans once you get to, say, the construction stage, so you can get a from a bank to do the actual building; but banks don&#8217;t like to lend for, sort of, the development process, the approvals&#8211;</p>
  727.  <p><strong>Russ Roberts:</strong> For maybes. They don&#8217;t like maybes.</p>
  729.  <p><strong>Jenny Schuetz:</strong> Exactly. So, banks don&#8217;t want to lend you money to spend the next five years paying consultants and lawyers to go through a process, and then at the end of the process they still say no and you can&#8217;t build anything.</p>
  731.  <p>So, developers essentially have to come up with the equity to do that themselves. You can imagine this really limits the sphere of who can be a developer and who can build. So, you have to have pretty deep pockets, or you have to be a company that has a bunch of projects going on in different stages of completion.</p>
  733.  <p>So, there&#8217;s actually a nice paper out by an economist at the Federal Reserve Board, who looks at how the big home-building companies essentially cross-finance different parts of their company. So, you have cash flows coming in from one project. You use that to finance the development of the next one. But, most developers work in one location, and they don&#8217;t want to take on too many of these projects simultaneously because any one of them could wind up being a bust.</p>
  735.  <p><strong>Russ Roberts:</strong> And, the area itself could be a bust in a certain period of time, and you&#8217;d like to have some diversification and be in lots of cities. But, since they&#8217;re all complicated in different ways, it&#8217;s hard to be involved in lots of different cities at the same time. So, you tend to have all your eggs in that one local basket.</p>
  737.  <p><strong>Russ Roberts:</strong> And, also thinking about this, you realize that the number of firms that can acquire the kind of expertise you need to deal with this regulatory thicket, it&#8217;s something akin to the pharmaceutical industry, where, you know, if you&#8217;re not big and large to spread the cost of FDA [Food and Drug Administration] compliance over lots of products, you&#8217;re done.</p>
  739.  <p>And so, for better, for worse, what we&#8217;ve done with the pharmaceutical industry is we&#8217;ve created a world where the large firms, they do their own research; but part of what they really are, tragically to me, is compliant experts, compliance experts. They know how to get through the FDA. A small firm can&#8217;t do that, can&#8217;t afford it, can&#8217;t acquire the expertise easily. And they are going to develop some products. They&#8217;ll sell those to the larger firm because they&#8217;re the ones who know how to shepherd it through the different trials, clinical stage of clinical trials.</p>
  741.  <p>Something similar is going on here, it would seem to me, where the regulatory burden can only be borne by large&#8211;a very small number of large firms. Which, of course, reduces competition and raises prices a little further probably.</p>
  743.  <p class="attribution">&#8212;&#8201;Jenny Schuetz, interviewed by Russ Roberts. <a href="">Jenny Schuetz on Land Regulation and the Housing Market</a><br><cite>EconTalk</cite>, March 30, 2020</p>
  744. </blockquote>
  746. <p>Later on in the conversation:</p>
  748. <blockquote>
  749.  <p><strong>Jenny Schuetz:</strong> I hear that argument a lot, that this is just landlords being greedy and trying to squeeze extra money.</p>
  751.  <p>It&#8217;s certainly true that landlords would rather charge a higher rent and take a profit if they can. But, landlords can only charge what the market will bear. So, in a well-functioning market, if a landlord charges $2,000 for a studio apartment, somebody else can charge $1800 for a studio apartment and they&#8217;ll take the tenants.</p>
  753.  <p>So, landlords can only get away with that if there&#8217;s a limited number of apartments and more people wanting to rent them than there are units available.</p>
  755.  <p>I will say that I&#8217;ve looked at the dispersion of rents within metropolitan areas&#8211;so not just what the median rent is, but the 75th percentile, and the 25th percentile. And, you see, when you look at the bottom end, that there&#8217;s really a floor below which rents don&#8217;t fall. Even in places like Detroit where land is basically free.</p>
  757.  <p>So, it&#8217;s hard to pay the minimum operating costs on an apartment for less than about $500 a month. So, if you think of just paying the mortgage on the building, the property taxes, water and sewer, common electricity and so forth, the stuff that the landlord has to pay to cover the cost of operating it, doesn&#8217;t go below about $500 a month.</p>
  759.  <p><strong>Russ Roberts:</strong> As opposed to abandoning it because it&#8217;s a losing proposition.</p>
  761.  <p><strong>Jenny Schuetz:</strong> That&#8217;s right. As opposed to just closing it down and taking it off the market altogether.</p>
  763.  <p>So, and that&#8217;s for sort of apartments that are good enough to meet our quality inspections. You probably, you&#8217;ve got some illegal rentals that are cheaper than that, but they&#8217;re cheaper than that because mostly they&#8217;re in pretty poor shape.</p>
  765.  <p>So, but, when you look at a place like San Jose, so the 25th percentile of rents in San Jose is about $1,200 a month, right? That&#8217;s close to the bottom. That&#8217;s not because it costs landlords $1,200 a month to run the apartment. That&#8217;s because there&#8217;s such limited supply that they can charge that. The best way to fight against greedy landlords is to flood the market with supply of new apartments and take away their market power.</p>
  767.  <p class="attribution">&#8212;&#8201;Jenny Schuetz, interviewed by Russ Roberts. <a href="">Jenny Schuetz on Land Regulation and the Housing Market</a><br><cite>EconTalk</cite>, March 30, 2020</p>
  768. </blockquote>
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