Here's a soundtrack for this week

Sep. 25th, 2017 03:38 pm
drwex: (VNV)
[personal profile] drwex
Four full sets in here that you can pick and choose from. Like any other sets they're going to have better and worse parts and since they're mostly live, none of them is perfectly polished. I've tried to pick sets that have different styles to suit different moods and needs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ctN6DO9Wf4
Dmitriy Redko (AstroPilot) put out a nearly two-hour live psychill set last year. I confess I don't find a huge difference between psy-chill and psy-trance, if you know that style. This is not exactly downtempo, but it's airy, breathy, relaxing. Someone I played this for called it "floaty" music and I know what they mean. Good for destressing, or keeping your head down amid ongoing chatter.

https://soundcloud.com/thedolab/woogiewknd-pumpkin
Pumpkin uses a lot of what's good in Motown, rock, country (yes), and hip-hop from the last couple decades. Some of it is just sampled, some is updated and covered in the course of these two hours. It's fun to listen along and see what you can pick out. Some of it is really obvious (Paul Simon and Talking Heads, anyone?) and some of it is recognizable to people who listen to a lot of EDM (e.g. Zhu's "Faded"). Generally a lot of fun and keeping-you-going tempo without being overwhelming or hard-driving.

https://soundcloud.com/young-nrg-productions/nrg-live-show-uk-2years-w-dj-stex-feat-guest-mix-by-ale-tosses
NRG's live show also clocks in a bit over two hours, filled with tracks from other people and their own remixes. It's much more reggae, rap, bounce, and hip-hop than the previous two, featuring names like Defunk and Tribe Called Quest. The style is more scratch, electro, and breakbeats than my usual but I found it a nice contrast to what we've had so far.

https://soundcloud.com/markusschulz/transmissionasia2017
After featuring a good bit of Markus Schultz's work last time I went looking for a sense of what he's like live and found this, a 90-minute set he did earlier this year. This is a pretty straight-up club trance set, with mostly Schultz's own work on original tracks as well as remixes/mashes. High energy, high BPM even when he's using Sarah McLachlan.
lillibet: (pic#775945)
[personal profile] lillibet posting in [community profile] boston
What we wear, or used to wear, can be more than colors, patterns, and fabrics. They can be a time capsule, a scrapbook, to our most intimate memories. A dance. A birth. A funeral. All the coming-of-age insanity that defines us. From the mind that created When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, five women relive such moments through a series of monologues and ensemble pieces. They laugh and cry as they talk about childhood, high heels, motherhood, wedding dresses, cancer, surviving rape, and why we wear black.​

Bare Bones: Staged Readings at Theatre@First presents

Love, Loss and What I Wore
adapted by Nora & Delia Ephron
from the book by Ilene Beckerman
and directed by Santiago Rivas

ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Thursday, September 28th at 8pm

UNITY SOMERVILLE
6 William Street at College Ave

FREE with suggested donation of $5

No reservations required.
Our performance space is not wheelchair accessible.

For more information, visit theatreatfirst.org.
lillibet: (pic#775945)
[personal profile] lillibet posting in [community profile] davis_square
What we wear, or used to wear, can be more than colors, patterns, and fabrics. They can be a time capsule, a scrapbook, to our most intimate memories. A dance. A birth. A funeral. All the coming-of-age insanity that defines us. From the mind that created When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, five women relive such moments through a series of monologues and ensemble pieces. They laugh and cry as they talk about childhood, high heels, motherhood, wedding dresses, cancer, surviving rape, and why we wear black.​

Bare Bones: Staged Readings at Theatre@First presents

Love, Loss and What I Wore
adapted by Nora & Delia Ephron
from the book by Ilene Beckerman
and directed by Santiago Rivas

ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Thursday, September 28th at 8pm

UNITY SOMERVILLE
6 William Street at College Ave

FREE with suggested donation of $5

No reservations required.
Our performance space is not wheelchair accessible.

For more information, visit theatreatfirst.org.

It is that time of year again

Sep. 25th, 2017 11:29 am
drwex: (Default)
[personal profile] drwex
Last week was Rosh Hashona. We had a fun and very geeky dinner with the family and metamours. And this Friday will be Yom Kippur.

As I do every year during this time I try to reflect on my behavior during the past year and to seek forgiveness for harms I have done to people I know. I'm opening anonymous comments on this post (assuming I've understood Dreamwidth's instructions for that) and invite you to contact me in any way you feel comfortable to tell me what I may have done and how I can make amends.

Yuri/Otabek fic recs, part two

Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:36 pm
ignaz: icon by me, art by anne taintor (Default)
[personal profile] ignaz

GET YURIO LAID! He’s a very good boy and he’s had a very tough year. This is all healthy, life-affirming porn here:

[less than three] - angelsaves

Explicit, 1570 words. Texting turns into flirting turns into sexting. Cringingly realistic depiction of teenage awkwardness and nervous excitement, and so funny (and so, so hot). Comes with a smutty sequel, [eggplant emoji].

The picture comes out pretty good, Yuri decides, slapping a filter on it and sending it before he gets cold feet. He'd do himself, probably. Maybe Otabek would do him too.

He puts his shirt back on and buries his face in the pillow. Ugh, feelings. They're the worst. Why does Otabek have to have that serious, cute, seriously cute face, and that ass? Why does his opinion have to matter so much to Yuri?

When his phone dings, Yuri has to take some deep cleansing breaths before he can look at it. But when he does --

holy shit. I want to make you look like that

a slow invasion of the heart - radialarch

Mature, 5007 words. Another long-distance phone sex fic, in an alternate timeline where Yuri doesn’t medal at the GPF, and Otabek does. Achingly lovely.

After that, Otabek starts sending Yuri more pictures of himself. Shots at the rink; a video clip, short and shaky, of him not quite landing a quad Lutz. In front of a Tim Hortons, making a face at a cup of coffee while two girls laugh at him. That one, Otabek captions, don’t worry, they’re dating each other. Yuri sends back do you think you’re funny, and, because words alone cannot capture the depth of his disdain, refuses to answer Otabek’s messages for three days.

He doesn’t send back pictures often. Otabek follows him on Instagram, anyway, and it seems like admitting something to take photographs just for him. So he mostly just talks: short, idle thoughts he drops into the ether. What’s Canada’s deal with this Tim Horton guy. Beat Georgi at nationals. Do you like cats.

i walk my days on a wire - idrilka

Explicit, 14526 words. More long-distance fic, in which Yuri keeps dropping hints. Suuuuper hot, and also comes with a deliciously dirty sequel, you catch on like a bonfire.

Otabek looks at the clock; it’s past two a.m. in Saint Petersburg. He had no idea they’ve been talking this long.

“Do you wanna—” Yuri starts at the same time as Otabek says, “Are you planning on staying upright tomorrow in practice? Because that might be a problem if we keep this up.”

Yuri snorts unattractively. “Please, I could keep myself upright in my sleep. My balance is amazing.”

Otabek remembers the wide-eyed, bird-boned boy, executing a perfect arabesque so effortlessly it almost made him cry, the shame of his own inadequacy burning in his throat.

Of course.

Cures for Burning - stutter

Explicit, 15485 words. Three years on, Yuri is living with Victor and Yuuri when he confesses something to Otabek. Gorgeous pining, flawless characterization, and one of my favorite Yuuri+Yurio scenes EVER:

Katsuki watches him carefully. “Teach you,” he repeats, like a statement rather than a question.

“Yes. How to…how to do that. Everything you know.” Yuri swallows, and then reaches out and rests a couple of fingers on Katsuki’s knee. Those big, dark eyes go wide suddenly, as he realizes what Yuri means.

To his credit, Katsuki a couple of years ago would have probably jumped a foot in the air, screamed, left a pig-shaped hole in the farthest wall in his haste to get away. But he's changed since coming to Saint Petersburg. He's more relaxed, smiles more, makes more stupid jokes. Even so, he draws in a long, unsteady inhale, and says quietly, “Oh, Yurio, no.”

Welcome to the Friendzone - mischiefmanager and Jillian_Bowes

Explicit, 10456 words. Otabek is clueless, so Yuri decides to make his meaning clear by taking Otabek “on the date of a lifetime … He’s going to date the shit out of Otabek.” Funny and awkward!

“Are you actually going to eat any of that?” Otabek asks when Yuri buys a large popcorn, Milk Duds, an Icee with every flavor, and a questionable-looking hotdog.

“I’m going to eat all of this,” Yuri says. “In about thirty seconds. As soon as we sit down.”

They find their seats. Otabek moves to push the armrest between them down and before Yuri can even think about it, he backhands it into the upright position. The corners of Otabek’s mouth turn up very slightly, but he doesn’t say anything about it.

BONUS:

Mission D - Ren

General Audiences, 5799 words. Yuri and Otabek are dating, but Yuri hasn’t gotten laid yet. The gang attempts to help. No actual porn, but a hilarious ensemble fic, in which everyone is delightful.

v-nikiforov: The purpose of this chat is to get Yurio laid!

yuri-plisetsky has left the chat.

Go forth and shower these writers with praise!

Fic: A Hundred Heartbeats High

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:04 pm
ignaz: icon by me, art by anne taintor (Default)
[personal profile] ignaz
Day 205. Still in fake figure skating hell. No signs of rescue.

A Hundred Heartbeats High, a late fic for NSFW Yurio week, prompts: masturbation/jealousy. Explicit, 2325 words.
[personal profile] somervilleplanning posting in [community profile] davis_square
Monday, September 25, 6-8 p.m.

Tufts Administration Building (TAB), 167 Holland Street, Senior Center, 2nd Floor

Join the City Planning Department for a special update and discussion on the Davis Square Neighborhood Plan. We’re excited to present this meeting with the help of a facilitator who specializes in a meeting format designed to give participants control of the discussion topics. First, city staff will offer an update on the plan started in 2013/14 as well as a look at next steps. Then, to address outstanding topics and ensure that any new ideas and goals are identified, our facilitator will use the Round Robin meeting format, which asks participants to bring up topics for small-group discussions. In short, participants will set the agenda for the night and also shape topics for the next meeting.

At the second meeting in this series on October 19 (at the Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave. 6-8 p.m.), we’ll take a deeper dive into the community-selected topics and identify action steps to address the goals and needs related to each. City staff will bring in resources and experts on the topic areas selected in the first meeting to serve as a resource during discussions.

Whether your concerns are open space, traffic, parking, streetscape, bicycle infrastructure, housing or more, we hope you’ll join us.

Unfortunately we cannot monitor this page, so if have any questions or need any more information, please contact us at planning@somervillema.org

For more information about Davis Square Neighborhood Planning visit https://www.somervillebydesign.com/neighborhood-planning/davis-square/

Groups vs systems

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:13 am
dpolicar: (Default)
[personal profile] dpolicar
I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

Here's the thing: there's a difference between a group of people and a system of people. The difference is that a system of people comprises not only the individuals, but also the social constructs that guide the behavior of those individuals... in other words, the system itself.

For example, a company isn't just a bunch of people who coincidentally happen to work on the same projects in distributed ways. A school system isn't a bunch of teachers and administrators who independently happen to work the same way. A police precinct isn't a bunch of officers who just happen to follow the same rules.

In each of these cases there are policies and guidelines and hierarchies and informal structures and so forth that shape behavior. There's a system.

And when we praise or condemn the public school system, or the police, or Microsoft, or etc. we mostly aren't praising or condemning a whole group because of some good or bad individuals. I mean, sure, those individuals exist, but they aren't the reason. We are praising/condemning a whole group because of the system that organizes it. And the larger the system we're talking about, the more true that is: when we say that democracies are more just than totalitarian states, or that capitalism is more efficient than communism, or that communism is more humane than capitalism, or various other claims along those lines, we're basically not saying anything at all about any individual.

Or at least, that's how it should be. I mean, sure, sometimes we praise or condemn a group of people just because we're applying aggregate-level stereotypes to all the individuals in that group. And in those cases the "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group." narrative makes sense: we really shouldn't! Or at least, we're overwhelmingly likely to be mistaken when we do; we can draw our own ethical conclusions from there.

(I am reminded now of a friendship I broke some time back by expressing both the idea that condemning individuals because of their group affiliations is bad, and the idea that analyzing the common behaviors of individuals is the only way we can identify pathological systems, in ways that struck them as infuriatingly and relationship-endingly hypocritical.)

And sure, sometimes we make analysis errors in this space. Sometimes there's a system operating we're unaware of. Sometimes we infer the presence of systems that don't actually operate, or aren't relevant to what we're talking about. It's easy to talk about the behavior of people while ignoring the systems that shape us, and it's easy to handwave about notional systems without actually making any concrete or testable claims about whether they exist.

I'm not saying I expect us to be perfectly accurate when we describe groups and systems. But I want us to be better about acknowledging that they are two different things.

When someone condemns racism as a systemic attribute of a society, for example, there are folks who reply that no, racism is a property of individuals, end-of-story.

And in principle that can be a legitimate disagreement; if someone wants to argue that there really aren't any social systems underlying/guiding/constraining/coordinating the racist behavior of individuals, for example, that's a totally relevant argument. (Mind you, I think it's obviously false, but that's another matter.)

But usually they aren't arguing that; rather, they are simply insisting that we can only talk about individuals, because when we say that racism is also demonstrated through the systems that essentially all white people in this country participate in, we're talking about a whole group, and (all together now) "we shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

And I don't know how to say all of this, or any of it, in ways that are at all useful within the conversation itself. And I watch other people trying to do it, and not getting very far either.

And I understand that often that's because other people just don't want to hear it, and in general I don't believe that there's a way to say everything that will be accepted by the person I'm talking to and that it's my job to find it. But still, I try to express myself clearly and compellingly.

So, anyway. I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

usability struggles

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:51 pm
cellio: (Default)
[personal profile] cellio

I spend a lot of time on, and am a volunteer moderator for, several Stack Exchange sites. (Mi Yodeya is one of them.) SE has a banner ("top bar") that is the same across all sites. It contains notifications, information about the logged-in user, and some key navigation links. For moderators it contains a few more things relevant to that job.

Until recently it looked like this (non-moderator view):

original

The red counter is the inbox (waiting messages) and the green one is reputation changes. If there aren't any, you just get the gray icons that those alerts are positioned over. If I were a moderator on that site, there'd be a diamond to the left of my user picture and a blue square with the flag count to the left of that.

They've just changed this design. (Well, the change is rolling out.) Here's what it looks like now (for a moderator):

new, notifications

The most important links for moderation are the last two things, the diamond and the blue box with the number (flags). They're on the far right, where they're less likely to be seen for various reasons. (Non-moderators don't get those indicators.)

In the old design, those moderator indicators -- which are important -- were toward the center where they're easier to see. Also, all the numbers were a little bigger and easier to see.

When this was announced there was a lot of immediate discussion in the moderators-only chat room, during which I got a little upset about the reduced usability, especially those moderator controls -- which had a good chance of being scrolled away in a not-huge browser window, because SE doesn't use responsive design. After I calmed down I wrote a post on Meta about how this was going to make it harder for me to do my volunteer job, particularly with vision challenges. I expected to get a few sympathy votes, some "get a bigger monitor" snark (which wouldn't help, by the way), and no results.

That post is now one of my highest-scoring posts on the network. And I have a meeting with the product manager and a designer at SE next week to demonstrate my difficulties in using this in more detail.

Meanwhile, I've gotten some help with userscripts from some other moderators. It's hacky and a little buggy and it slows down page loads and I have no idea how to adjust some things, but at least I can see my notifications and the moderator stuff is in a better place. It'll do for now.

I sure hope I can get them to bake some of this in, though. The page-load delay is a little disconcerting as stuff jumps around on the screen. (Also, userscripts do not work on my Android tablet.)

Beyond the immediate problem, though, what I really hope for is to find some way to raise a little awareness that usability is hard, designers are not the users, there are all kinds of people with all kinds of usage patterns and constraints, and you need to somehow, systematically, figure out how to design for the larger audience. That's going to be the hard part.

dpolicar: (Default)
[personal profile] dpolicar
(A comment from another discussion)

I acknowledge, of course, that we are all imperfect humans, and what an individual officer does in a specfic situation is always the result of a million variables that are impossible to predict and often impossible to determine after the fact.

That's why I tend to focus more on training and evaluation protocols than on specific events. It's unjust to expect officers to do X in a sitution if they've been trained to do Y, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect officers to be trained to do X if we prefer that they do X in a situation.

I would prefer that police be trained and evaluated as peacekeepers rather than killers. So I would prefer, for example, they be trained and expected to identify situations that don't require a death, and to act so as to not create a death where none is required.

That said, how police are trained and evaluated is a collective decision, and if we collectively prefer police to choose deaths that aren't required -- for example, if we prefer to train and equip police as military officers who happen to deploy among civilian populations -- then that's how we should train and evaluate them, regardless of my preferences. That's part of the price I pay for living in a collective.

If police _are_ trained to choose unnecessary deaths, we should (individually and collectively) treat calling the police, permitting them into our homes, and otherwise making use of their services as a use of deadly force. Consequently, if we don't individually endorse the use of deadly force in those situations, we should not call the police, any more than we would fire a gun.

Those are individual decisions, not collective ones, and it's perfectly reasonable to hold one another as individuals accountable for them.

I acknowledge that this means that individuals who eschew deadly force in a situation may find themselves in conflict with any police who may arrive. I don't like this, and I don't endorse it, but I acknowledge it.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
Friends just pointed me to this nerd comedy event coming up at the Armory. I am a fan of new ways to reach out on science topics in fun ways, and this sounds good to me. 

Saturday, September 30 at 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT. Ticketing info over at facebook. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/116424495686654/

Come hang out with Boston Skeptics and enjoy a night of comedy between science friends.

"You know how Larry the Cable Guy's act pretty much consists of him yelling "Git 'er done!" every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee's material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin"
- The Boston Phoenix

a conversation snippet

Sep. 16th, 2017 10:36 pm
cellio: (shira)
[personal profile] cellio
Tonight at our s'lichot service (something tied to the high holy days), a fellow congregant greeted me and said "I haven't seen you in hours!". (We'd both been there this morning.) I said "hours and hours!". He complained that I was getting carried away.

I responded by saying: "hours" means at least two; "hours and hours" therefore means at least four; it's been longer than that since this morning, so "hours and hours" is not inappropriate.

It was at this point that somebody standing nearby said "oh, that's where I know you from!". We'd both been in a talmud-heavy class a while back.

There are worse things to be remembered for. :-)
bettyw: (Default)
[personal profile] bettyw posting in [community profile] davis_square
 There will be fireworks at Spy Pond at dusk (around 8pm) for Town Night/Day.

Yuuri/Victor fic recs, part two

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:58 pm
ignaz: icon by me, art by anne taintor (Default)
[personal profile] ignaz

I said last time that I wanted to do more first-time recs, which I almost completely fucked up. Sorry?

Repeat After Me - queenieofaces

Teen and Up, 5880 words. Victor and Yuuri aren’t speaking the same language. Lovely, lyrical examination of their relationship’s evolution from Victor’s POV.

Yuuri seems to communicate best through euphemism, through metaphor, through talking around the subject rather than approaching it head on, and so Victor tries his best to mimic him, to take his words and echo them back.  If Victor lets Yuuri set their pace, lets him choose how to frame the conversation, Yuuri stops shrinking away.  If Victor meets Yuuri where he is instead of bounding ahead and hoping he’ll catch up, Yuuri inches incrementally closer, closes the space between them.  So Victor lets Yuuri set the starting conditions (Yuuri is katsudon) and Victor will mirror that back to him with modification (Victor loves katsudon).  It’s a convoluted method of communication, especially given that neither of them are speaking their native languages, but after so long dashing ahead and looking back to see Yuuri running away, Victor will take anything that works.

Calligraphia - emilyenrose

Mature, 2924 words. Victor gets a tattoo. Yuuri gets publicly embarrassed. Funny and charming.

“You’re so cruel,” says Victor. “Of course I’m not skating in a wedding outfit. That’s for our wedding skate.”

“Wedding skate?” says Yuuri, and eyes Victor suspiciously. Unfortunately it is completely impossible to tell the difference between Victor’s joking grin and his I-am-deadly-serious grin. “Victor, are we doing a wedding skate?”

in the spaces between - sixpences

Teen and Up, 7237 words. Another beautiful story about languages, really nice domestic fluff featuring the whole Team Russia ensemble.

Victor speaks Russian with him at the rink too, unless it’s easier to get Yuuri to understand something in English or Japanese, and even when he’s tapping his foot in full, calculating coach mode it’s an education in Russian zoology. Yuuri is porosyonok when he flubs his third jump of the day, ribka when he struggles to articulate the changes he wants to make to his step sequence for the free skate, voronyonok as Victor buttons up his new black wool coat against the winter cold.

He laughs, though, when Yuuri asks him what kind of animal a kotletka is.

“Oh, a very fierce and dangerous one. Your mother hunts them down every week at Super Yuki and smothers them to death with egg and dashi.”

Yuuri tries to mitigate his blush with an eye roll. “Did you have to start calling me a katsudon in multiple languages?”

Immaculate Dream, Made Breath and Skin - RC_McLachlan

Explicit, 2875 words. Crazy-hot first-time PWP. Best tag: “Yuuri Katsuki: Craving Cock Since 2007.”

Almost half his life has been spent training for the day that Victor Nikiforov takes him to bed, so when it finally happens after the Grand Prix Final, Yuuri's prepared. More than prepared: he's ready. No one's ever touched him as a lover, sure, but there's nothing that he hasn't already dreamed about doing or having done to him to make anything that could happen a shock.

But he's said it before and he'll say it again: Victor lives to surprise him.

Three Sheets to the Wind - mousapelli

Explicit, 9086 words. Three times Yuuri and Victor had sex. Hot and funny and adorable.

"You're gorgeous," Victor said, making Yuuri squirm even harder. Victor laid two fingers against Yuuri's collarbone and dragged them slowly, slowly down to his stomach. "All mine. My delicious katsudon."

"Stop bringing that up," Yuuri huffed. "You're the idiot asking me about eros when you knew I'd never had a…" Yuuri hesitated. He'd never had an anything.

"Boyfriend," Victor finished. "Well, you've got a boyfriend now, haven't you? We can talk more about your eros now, if you want."

Go, enjoy, and comment!

mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
HeatSmart CoolSmart SomervilleAt the Climate Commission meeting last night, we got an update on the heat pumps program that's running now. If you have been thinking about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you really ought to take a look at these new and high-tech super efficient devices. Or if you know your heating equipment is getting up there in age, you should at least come and learn about these. And they can do heating as well as cooling. In my house, it looks like I'll be able to reduce my natural gas heating a lot and rely on my solar for much of my heating and cooling.

I've been resisting air conditioning over the years for a variety of reasons, but this new style of heating and cooling tech I can have both, with much less environmental impact (and noise). Also right now there are big rebates and low interest loans. It's hard to know how much longer good programs like this will run in our current political environment, you know?

So this event will give you the backstory on the tech. https://www.somervillema.gov/events/2017/10/04/heat-pumps-101

Wed Oct 4 2017 - 6:30pm

LOCATION
West Somerville Community School Cafeteria
177 Powderhouse Blvd.
Somerville, MA 02144

[work] "Okay. Where are we?"

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:16 am
mangosteen: (Default)
[personal profile] mangosteen
Things I say non-ironically: “I’m used to occupying a weird spot in the corporate realpolitik orgchart… the big open spot in right-center field where the outfielders aren’t because someone read the play wrong.”

More on that later, but I wanted to get the thought out.

daf bit: Sanhedrin 60

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:00 am
cellio: (talmud)
[personal profile] cellio

Blasphemy is a capital offense. Conviction for a capital offense requires careful testimony of two direct witnesses. This poses a problem, as they must testify to what exactly the person said. To minimize the damage, the court sent everybody out except for the witnesses and then told the first witness: tell us literally what he said. The witness did, and the judges tore their garments. The second witness then said "I heard this too" without repeating the testimony. (The mishna then says the third witness does likewise. I'm not sure where the third witness came from, as only two are required.)

The g'mara discusses tearing one's garments when hearing blasphemy. Rav Yehudah said in the name of Shmuel that one tears only when hearing a curse of the tetragramaton, but not when hearing other divine names. Rabbi Chiyya says that one who hears God's name in a blasphemous context today doesn't tear his garments, because if he did the garment would be torn to shreds. But who is R' Chiyya talking about? If we say that he hears this blasphemy from Jews, are Jews so irreverent as to frequently demean the name of God? No, he must be talking about hearing it from gentiles. But do gentiles know this specific name? No, if we're talking about gentiles it must be in regard to any name, and there'd be enough of that to leave one's garments in shreds. The g'mara concludes that nowadays one is not obligated to tear his garments when hearing the curse of a gentile and a curse using another name, but originally one was obligated to tear for both, contrary to what Shmuel says. (mishna 56a, g'mara 60a)

In case you're wondering (I did!) why the second witness doesn't tear his garment on hearing the first witness repeat the blasphemy, the g'mara says it's because he already tore his garment when he heard the original blasphemer. The judges, however, are hearing it for the first time.

Profile

bkdelong: (Default)
bkdelong

February 2011

S M T W T F S
  12345
678 9101112
13 141516171819
202122 23242526
2728     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 12:01 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios