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Re: Imports / inclusion of s.el into Emacs

From: tomas
Subject: Re: Imports / inclusion of s.el into Emacs
Date: Mon, 4 May 2020 09:54:05 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Sun, May 03, 2020 at 11:12:54PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>   > The official translation into English of "pavé de bœuf" is just
>   > "beef steak". But the association cloud stirred up in the mind of a
>   > person rooted in French culture (think Bourgongne :)
> What associations would those be?  I don't know French culture well enough
> to have any idea of that.

Difficult to put into few words, but let me try :-)

As a disclaimer up front: all generalizations suck. It is very
dangerous to ascribe attributes to persons just because they
are an X (for X in women, French people, mathematicians, muslims,
what not). Moreover, reducing persons to being "elements" of one
of those "sets" has always caused no end of grief and pain.

I don't say this because I think you don't know it, rather to
clarify the frame of reference I'm anchoring this.

Back to the pavé. In general (but see above ;-), eating is a
central part of French culture. Three-course meals are widespread,
you'll often find very special food shops (butcher, sweet
shop [1]) in very small villages (say 1000 to 4000 inhabitants).

In contrast, Germans tend to eat just to top off their energy
requirements. If you go to a sweet shop in Berlin, the buns
tend to be double the size of those you'd get in France, but
the taste... (OTOH you might not perceive the difference if you
haven't been sensitized to it).

So a French person (see above) tends to associate to a pavé
the kind of cattle those come from (Charolais, of course [2]),
the sauces those are served with (red wine sauce) or whatever.
Of course, memories of those meals (with all the talks that
went with them) will follow in this association. For a French
mind, a food item is a highly connected node.

On the contrary, for most German minds, one meal resembles
the other. The name of the game is to top off bodily needs
as efficiently (quickly, cheaply) as possible. A food item
is a moderately connected node in that brain's association

You can't translate that without loss, as you can't translate
the Inuit's snow without loss. The graphs aren't isomorphic
(and hey, that's what makes diving into other cultures
an exciting experience, after all, no?)

And you can't translate `cdr' or `concat' without loss,

This is, of course, an image with a highly exaggerated contrast.
For one, things change over time; with the advancement of
austerity politics, the less rich French are less and less capable
of affording things -- while the Germans (at least those who
can afford) learn to appreciate other ways of living. Then
there are regional variations (you can see French traits in
German regions next to the French border).

Sorry for that wall-of-text

[1] See? There isn't even a word in English for confiserie!
[2] Those clarifications are a bit tongue-in-cheek and just
   try to illustrate the tone such a discussion might take
   (because you aren't eating alone, and of course you are
   talking about food and cooking meanwhile, aren't you?)

-- tomás

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