Paschal Greeting

I led a brief multilingual Paschal Greeting in church this past Easter Sunday. When I was researching the greetings I found the Wikipedia article and various websites not very useful for getting actual pronunciations. With the help of more research and some native speakers I came up with the following list. The second line of each part is my attempt a phonetic transcription, and the third line is aimed at getting native English speakers as close as possible (for monolingual English speakers) to something resembling the actual pronunciation.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
[ kʰɹɐʲst ɪz ˈɹɪzn̩ hi ɪz ˈɹɪzn̩ ɪn.ˈdiːd ]
Kraist ihz RIH-zen! Hee ihz RIH-zen ihn-DEED!

Christ est ressuscité! Il est vraiment ressuscité!
[ kʀist ɛ ʀe.ˌˈte il ɛ ˈvʀɛ.mã ʀe.ˌˈte ]
Kreest ay ray-SÜÜ-see-TAY! Eel ay VREH-mahn ray-SÜÜ-see-TAY!

基督復活了! 他確實復活了!
[ kei˦˥ tɔk̚ ˥ fɔk̚ ˨ wʊt̚ ˨ liuː˩˨ taː˦ kɔk̚˦ sʌt̚˦ fɔk̚ ˨ wʊt̚ ˨ liuː˩˨ ]
GAY DOLK folk wuht leew! TAA KOLK SUT folk wuht leew!

¡Cristo ha resucitado! ¡En verdad ha resucitado!
[ ˈkɾ a ɾe.ˌˈtaː.ðo ɛɱ βɛɾ.ˈɗaːð a ɾe.ˌˈtaː.ðo ]
KREES-to ah ray-SU-si-TA-dho! En ver-DADH ah ray-SU-si-TA-dho!

基督復活了! (Jīdū fùhuóle) 他確實復活了! (Tā quèshí fùhuóle)
[ tɕiː˥.tu˦ fu˥˩.xu̯ɔ˩˥.lɯ̯ʌ˧ tʰaː˦ tɕʰy̯œ˥˩.ʂi˩˥ fu˥˩.xu̯ɔ˩˥.lɯ̯ʌ˧ ]
CHEE-DOO FOo-khwO-luh! TAA CHwö-shI FOo-khwO-luh!

Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!
[ ɪst ˌau̯f.eɐ̯ˤ.ˈʃtan.dɨn eɐ̯ˤ ɪst vaˤ.ˈhaf.tiç ˌau̯f.eɐ̯ˤ.ˈʃtan.dɨn ]
KREES-toos ihst AWF-eya-SHTAHN-den! Eya ihst vaa-HAHF-teekh AWF-eya-SHTAHN-den!

예수 부활 하셨네! 참으로 부활 하셨네!
[ ˈ ˈpu.ɸʷɐl ˈhaɕːjɔnːɛ ˈtɕɐm.u.ɾo ˈpu.ɸʷɐl ˈhaɕːjɔnːɛ ]
YAY-soo BOO-hwal HASS-yon-ne! CHAM-oo-ro BOO-hwal HASS-yon-ne!

!المسيح قام! حقاً قام
[ ɜl mɜ.ˈsiːʲħ qɑːm ˈħɐqː.ɐn qɑːm ]
El-ma-SEE-ehh QAHM! HHAQ-qan qahm!

Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
[ xɾi.ˈstɔs aˈnɛs.tiˈθɔːs aˈnɛs.ti ]
Hree-STOESS a-NESS-tee! A-lee-THOESS a-NESS-tee!

Consciousness and Free Will

There has been a lot of literature recently, both scholarly and popular, about the fact that humans’ decision-making processes are not actually carried out in a conscious fashion. That is, experiments have shown that decisions are made in the brain some time — up to several seconds — before we are aware of making them. Google “consciousness free will” for many, many links.

This biological fact leads a lot of people to declare that we don’t have free will and are therefore “actually” mindless automatons, whatever that is supposed to mean. I’m a little bemused by this — I don’t think the fact has any bearing whatsoever on the question of “free will”, whatever that is (I have no idea).

The brain obviously makes a decision somehow, and the fact that we only percieve our brain’s having made the decision after the fact has little bearing on how exactly the brain makes it. Someone will have to define “free will” for me before I can opine on whether or not the brain has it. As to whether or not it’s “me” making the decision, why should I think of the parts of myself whose functioning I am not aware of as not being a part of me? I’m quite comfortable with the idea that my conscious experience of myself is really a summary, a newsreel, of the vaster collection of structures and activities that are me.

I think the real reason people have sensationalized this result is that the sophomore bullshitter in many of us would like to be able to say “since I actually have no free will at all, it doesn’t matter what I do” to get a reaction out of other people.

Unsettled Science

Sixteen prominent scientists give a little bit of perspective to the “we must hand our future over to faceless bureaucrats because the earth is burning up” global warming religion.

The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere’s life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today [emphasis added]. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.

Imagine egalitarianism

One of the more delightful responses to a recent book by a seriously troubled, yet all too explicably popular, demagogue:

Sometimes the questions people ask or judgments they imply can make us chuckle, don’t they, my darling?

Well, who is in charge here?

We are.

Yes, but if push comes to shove, who is the leader?

We are.

But then who is the spiritual head of your home?

Only Jesus.