Even when humans in western world translate from languages like Sanskrit or Japanese they totally fail to understand the context that is so obvious to native speaker of those languages. Japanese quickly understand the Sanskrit word 'Namaste' ("I bow to you") but western scholars tends to replace it as "Hello" which it isn't. Hello (accounts vary) comes from Old High German word halâ, holâ which is a cry to seek attention of a boatman.
When translating a story from say Sanskrit to English, if we replace each instance of Hello with 'I bow to you', the story might becomes less readable for western audience and replacing it with "Hello" might sound consistent but it simply fails to capture the culture from which the word is originated.
My knowledge of Sanskrit is limited but when I first read about `Sage Dirghatamas` who is the father of meditation is often translated by western scholars as "Dirgha-Tamas" => "enveloped in perpetual darkness" => The man was probably blind. To their credit there are several stories that mention Dirgha-Tamas as born blind.
But even as a novice scholar of Sanskrit I was quickly able to see that Drigha-Tamas => "man staring into infinite darkness" => Very Very contemplative man. The "born blind" is mere a metaphor for someone who is very closed to out experiences and focused on his inner experiences.
'goodbye' has no religious interpretation. neither does 'jesus christ' as an exclamation - as far as i know both believers and nonbelievers use the term.
even something as recent as 'hi how are you' - you may be given this greeting in london, and the appropriate reponse is not an answer but also 'hi how are you'.
Even though that might be true the original meaning tells a lot about the culture. Ignoring that leads to cultural appropriation (I hate that phrase). For example "God damn" is a modern slang which is probably not even considered a slang but few centuries ago it was an extremely serious slang with serious repercussions. I don't think that phrase and its meaning can be translated in polytheistic dominated languages like Sanskrit. A cool example is that when as a Hindu I find it completely normal to worship Goddess of death I often find even non religious Christians finding it disgusting.
I think my favorite, though, is Akhilandeshvari. Just thinking about her brings tears to my eyes.
(I know only what little I've read about them. I'm not a practicing Hindu. Maybe I was in a past life :-)
This is great!
The way I heard it: "out of sight, out of mind" translated to "invisible idiot."
(Squirrel and protein are homographs in russian, although in different forms).
Hence, you can find thousands of images of "hernia lamp" with google.
Not long ago, Google translate was still doing the translation that way. It's since been fixed, probably by using a special case.
(As to the search, it seems that unlike many nursery rhymes, I'm a Little Teapot has not been imported.)
I noticed it first when translating to French a sentence and a Japanese word meaning 'to book (an hotel)' was translated as a word meaning a book (livre).
I've been wondering for 30 years if I'd ever hear that story again.
On a related note, someone posted a question to r/newzealand if it was true that having a vegetable garden is illegal in NZ. The entire subreddit then spontaneously decided that indeed it was.
The deadpan was so well done, that it had lots of people actually confused, if not convinced!
r/OutOfTheLoop post "outing" the hoax: https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/4ovxb1/is_the...
I cannot wait to send her the OOTL post.
I love the the logic here. As though "Lenin was a bottle nose dolphin" would have been more plausible. Also did the Soviets have the same taxonomy as the west, meaning mushrooms would be fungi and not plants?
After the Americans landed on the Moon, the Soviet Politburo went to the cosmonauts saying, "Russia can do better than the Americans, so we are going to send you to the Sun."
"Don't send us to the Sun," they said, "We'll burn up and die!"
The politicians replied, "You think we are stupid in the Politburo? We will send you at night."
Think of it like old astronomers who still refer to Pluto as a planet. They know it's not officially a planet anymore, but they still call it one because that's what they like calling it and they don't give a shit.
Most older mycologists still use the scientific names from before DNA sequencing in casual conversation. It's not that they don't know the new ones, they do, but that's just what they like calling them and they're fine with the younger generation waiting for them to die or whatever.
And let's be honest...."official" in that case just means, "what other people think."
While one of those entries is strictly fictional, if Pluto belongs on the list there's no reason to exclude Ceres or Eris (though in the true spirit of Discordianism, I have to stick with the initial, fictional name for the final known planet).
What brought about the change? Was some difference between them discovered or was it a matter of deciding that it would be more convenient to give them separate names?
>The close relationship between animals and fungi was suggested by Thomas Cavalier-Smith in 1987
>Early phylogenies placed fungi near the plants [...]
E.g., imagine there actually existed some little-known mammal/plant hybrids. The "historian" could have presented one and dramatically refuted the argument. Of course that wouldn't actually help in proving Lenin was a mushroom, but it would let that proposition appear more credible.
If you see a helicopter in the sky, but somehow believe it is an airplane, saying "it can't be an airplane because it has no wings" is perfectly valid. It doesn't somehow make the claim "a bird is an airplane because they both have wings" more plausible - it just means that a different argument is needed to refute it.
Well, I think, even if that were the case, it would still be a logical fallacy, because the fact that a mammal could be a plant/fungus/whatever doesn't tell anything about whether that particular mammal is. All it does is to increase the "refuted counter arguments" score which gives it the illusion of credibility. So the whole "can a mammal be..." debate would be a red herring.
You could pull the same trick with the airplane example: "What do you mean, this thing can't be a plane because a plane needs wings? The rocket plane XYZ-34 doesn't have wings either." (while ignoring the fact that the helicopter you're watching doesn't look anything like that rocket plane)
The rejection was nothing to do with Nazis and priests.
(It's also an error to claim that it's "wrong" to call a tomato a vegetable. Words have different meanings, and you're in for a lifetime of frustration if you go around insisting that cultures are only permitted to use all words in exactly the way that scientists use them.)
I recall reading an argument refuting this, but it didn't alter my way of differentiating.
Right, because if you ask your waitress, you expect culinary rather than biological definitions to be used.
Then again, you'd usually ask for something more specific than "berries".
All beans are seeds. Except "sea beans", which aren't beans, either.
I was in high school when one of the "moon landings were a hoax" documentaries made the rounds. A significant portion of my class was instantly converted by the documentary. I lost a little of my faith in humanity at that time, though much of it was quickly recovered thanks to an excellent math teacher who paid attention to his students, found out about the phenomenon, and dedicated half of a class to thoroughly debunking it.
No Way, the Government of the USSR would have done that if they had any doubt about it being an hoax.
I had to see this for myself.
Video, part1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2cs8QLnxlU
Video, part2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExXDxpBFFR0
The "revelation" occurs at 2m36s: https://youtu.be/ExXDxpBFFR0?t=156
I have a Lenin-grib.Sergey.Kuryohin.1991.avi with length of 1:33:11 on my PC.
Also I see that owners of 4 music compositions in it will monetize it:
There was no copyright during communism, there were no patents either.
It's possible that archive footage has been purchased after the fall of the soviet union and now it's owned by some one.
And even today some public television does not restrict rebroadcasting including uploading it to sites like YouTube under certain circumstances.
Anyway in 2012 Russia retroactively applied rules of the Bern convention to all RSFSR works by becoming the member of WTO.
But it's not subtitled.
What did they say?
Do you think any adults believed it?
You sounded confused rather than a believer.
My parents dismissed it right away and told me not to spend time watching that kind of rubbish. I doubt adults believed it, only those who'd fancy paranormal stuff. (All those UFOs, Bermuda triangle, fortune tellers were so ever popular in USSR those days).
Perhaps my favourite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiWlvBro9eI
"Bhopal Disaster - BBC - The Yes Men" - where they tricked media, including the BBC, into believing they were Dow Chemical spokespersons, and that Dow would take responsibility for the Bhopal chemical disaster, after Dow bought Union Carbide.
[ed: some context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lScyQYUHLA ]
Thanks, in part, to an unusual lull in population numbers of the notorious Spaghetti Weevil.
I was starting to think I'd imagined it.
Here's the 55min version I've found - I think it's the longest one available on youtube.
Random phrases that I just had to translate to illustrate the whole tone of the video:
"Do you know that Quran allows jews to eat mushrooms only one day a week - on saturday?"
"So you would think that this is an ordinary small mushroom... Although really, it is a huge, spherical, energy-intensive, cosmological matter, spreading it's dome into open astral space. -- So where does it grow? -- Excellent question. The thing is, it grows nowhere. I reaches out and finds a human - see, it's mushrooms who are picking humans, not humans picking mushrooms."
"We are looking at a mushroom culture - not really a culture, but a geodynamic, geopolitic sphere of the mushroom world - as a certain telescopic object"
"A great group of mushroom geneticists work in the Nuclear Physics Institute."
"So, it's been said that mushrooms look like flaccid phalluses, so I thought that they carry within them a manly spirit - or corrupted manly spirit, actually, since they're flaccid."
People had no clue that a TV can lie about "X happened" (rather than "X didn't happen"), what else you can do with money besides earn, buy and sell, and so on.
It was such a rich scam market.
Then debt, loans, bank accounts.
Saving in a bank vs saving under a pillow (former burned up in 1998, latter burned up in 1991).
Even more, it was now legal to sell things at a profit, so you could earn money in more than two ways (job or steal) now.
Things like that - the entire "market economics" was black magic to most.
"The last two weeks of March are an anxious time for the spaghetti farmer..."
For example, things people believe about the EU will affect their vote on Brexit tomorrow. Here's an egregious example of a widely circulated totally false myth:
Also, the titles are hilarious:
Council Regulation (EC) No 969/94 of 26 April 1994 fixing the basic price and the buying-in price for cauliflowers for the period 1 to 31 May 1994 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELE...
Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1775/93 of 2 July 1993 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2165/92 laying down detailed rules for the application of the specific measures for Madeira and the Azores as regards potatoes and endives http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELE...
EU is for a large part an agricultural subsidy organization. The paperwork does cause a lot of overhead for the farmers, no doubt.
Kuryokhin told a tall tale on the TV and people enjoyed its absurdity and humor. I would not say nobody believed it (you can find somebody who believes any given bs) but I'd bet the 11.25M number in the wiki is exaggerated many orders of magnitude. The whole statement of the article about many Soviet people falling for this is as true as that a lot of Americans believed that the film Borat is a documentary. Or, that Lenin was, indeed, a mushroom)).
Now people not just was given a freedom to think. Now it is a must. To think and to have OWN opinion.
And quite possibly one of the greatest artists of 90s Russia.
Many times survival in society vastly depends on believing absurdity because cost to sticking to obvious truth could mean death. That is why women in Saudi Arabia were Hijab and take beating from husband even though for any sensible human being it should sound ridiculously stupid.
Americans are no different either. One has to only look at the irrational fear of guns, terrorists or Muslims that schools or media promotes on regular basis and sometimes well supported by laws too.
To give an example, one of my friends bought a simple bow and arrow to his kids who practiced in a safe environment of his backyard. The bow itself was not very powerful and the arrows did not have any harmful tips. So one day cops showed up on his door and claimed that the neighbor had complained.
The cops told the guy that a "Bow and arrow" is considered a "Gun" in California. A gun can be fired only in a range as per the law and what his kids just did was "discharging a firearm in an harmful manner". This is a felony that required them to arrest the father and send him to jail. What father had done was completely common sense thing. The law was absurd. The cops were gracious to let him go but later the father told me that if tomorrow anyone tells him that it is a felony to make barbecue in your backyard without FDA approval I might as well believe it.
Is in Russian but has English subtitles
To summarize it, it was something like this: he persuades you, that Lenin was heavily abusing psychodelic mushrooms, then, going through some pseudo-scientific gibberish makes a claim, that heavy use of mushrooms led to that a mushroom basically displaced human consciousness, then, by making some random observations "supporting" his claim, makes the statement "Lenin became a mushroom" more and more literal.
Anyway, I would argue that it has nothing to do with Soviet propaganda and such: it was a great performance, but not so different in it's nature from a kind of reasoning in the very modern western propaganda or quasi-documental movies about aliens and such. Only it was mockingly exaggerated on purpose.
Heck, I know for one that I /could/ believe something like this. A friend of mine once convinced me that both wheels of a bicycle rotate into the opposite direction, just to test my gullibility. I totally fell for it, even though we were on the bike at that very moment. I could've easily checked or reasoned that it didn't make any sense whatsoever.
Your example reminded me that on a very rare occasion something that sounds stupid and counter-intuitive is true: A train wheel always has some point on it that is traveling backwards when the train is moving forward. It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? If the train is moving forward, then all points on the train are moving forward. How could it be otherwise?
This is very difficult to explain without a diagram:
The axle of the wheel is moving forwards, and the bit in contact with the track is stationary, so the bit further out than that is going backwards.
Consider the wheel in the frame of the train. The train moves at velocity v relative to the ground. So the bottom of the wheel moves with velocity v backwards in the frame of the train. The top moves velocity v forward in that frame. All other points move at the same speed but in directions that aren't perfectly horizontal so move at a slower horizontal speed. But for a point to move backwards relative to the ground it must move at a horizontal speed greater than v in the frame of the train. So there is no such point.
This is why a train is picked over most vehicles, which operate as you describe.
A tale in over-confidence / Google book previews availability.
From the article:
> Soviet television had, up to that point, been regarded by its audience as conservative in style and content. As a result, a large number of Soviet citizens (one estimate puts the number at 11,250,000 audience members) took the deadpan "interview" at face value, in spite of the absurd claims presented.
I guess this had something to do with it? If people were used to TV being a certain way, and this "interview" was presented in the same way, then it would seem reasonable that it would be taken up in the same was as every other. Nothing (aside from content) made it stand out from other shows.
Saying that, the claim is crazy, and it does seem strange that it was seemingly accepted as truth. I wonder how a similar stunt could be attempted today, and what the reaction would be...
Loved this one as well.
It does not help that there are no large TV stations anymore in Russia that are not state-owned (openly or covertly).
In order for revolutionary leaders in both places to have imagined these events in a similar manner, their minds must surely have been sub- jected to similar influences. In Mexico, the source of influence is clear. During ritualistic ceremonies, Kurekhin explained, the native peoples routinely used drinks prepared from Lophophora Williamsii or peyote— a Mexican cactus with strong psychotropic properties.2 Although Mexican cacti do not grow in Russia, Kurekhin noted, Russian forests do have an abundance of similar hallucinogens: mushrooms, most prominently the fly agaric mushroom (mukhomor).3 These mushrooms, he claimed, induce the same effects as the Mexican cacti: “people see absolutely incredible pictures very vividly and colorfully” and “enormous scenes of great events and revolutions fly before your eyes.”
Building on this premise, Kurekhin began to formulate his famous thesis: “Reading the correspondence between [Vladimir] Lenin and [Iosif] Stalin I came across one phrase: ‘Yesterday I ate too many mush- rooms, but I felt great.’” Bolshevik leaders ate a lot of mushrooms, Kure- khin mused, and some of them surely had hallucinogenic properties. If consumed for many years, these mushrooms can permanently change an individual’s personality. Indeed, Kurekhin continued in an unwaver- ing scholarly tone, “I have absolutely irrefutable proof that the October revolution was carried out by people who had been consuming certain mushrooms for many years. And these mushrooms, in the process of be- ing consumed by these people, had displaced their personalities. These people were turning into mushrooms. In other words, I simply want to say that Lenin was a mushroom.”
A Parasite from Outer Space:: How Sergei Kurekhin Proved That Lenin Was a Mushroom Alexei Yurchak Slavic Review Vol. 70, No. 2 (SUMMER 2011), pp. 307-333
Kind of gets you after 30 years of watching.
And then boom, and you have "Lenin is a Mushroom". I believe some confusion was genuine.
>some sort of incoherent meandering rant
That was the point: total absurdity told with total seriousness.
But now I've got the idea of trying to write lyrics for "Lenin Was A Mushroom" (to the tune of Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog) stuck in my head, but I can't because I have too much work to do today.
A Parasite from Outer Space:: How Sergei Kurekhin Proved That Lenin Was a Mushroom
Vol. 70, No. 2 (SUMMER 2011), pp. 307-333
Once your deducation goes whack, you can never go back.
Napoleon's a pastry
Bismarck is a herring
Alexander's a crème de cacao mixed with rum
And Herbie Hoover is a vacuum
Columbus is a circle and a day off
Pershing is a square, what a pay-off
Julius Caesar is just a salad on a shelf
So, little brother, get wise to yourself
Life's a bowl and it's full of cherry pits
Play it big and it throws you for a loop
That's the way with fate, comes today, we're great
Comes tomorrow, we're tomato soup