A Rainbow of Thoughts

[…] His vast, mild head overhung by a canopy of vapor, engendered by his incommunicable contemplations, and that vapor—as you will sometimes see it—glorified by a rainbow as if Heaven itself had put its seal upon his thoughts. For, d’ye see, rainbows do not visit the clean air; they only irradiate vapor. And so, through all the thick mists of the dim doubts in my mind, divine intuitions now and then shoot, enkindling my fog with a heavenly ray. And for this I thank God; for all have doubts; but doubts or denials, few along with them, have intuitions.
— H. Melville, 1851, Moby-Dick, Chapter 85

I can’t express how much this last sentiment resonated with me … this is exactly the feeling when you’re looking for a solution to a problem for days and in one moment: there it is; the solution laid out so clearly … when God lifts the cloak of ignorance for a second, allowing you an insight into what seemed incomprehensible just moments ago … a flash of insight sparking, kindling further thoughts … fearing it will dim out before it can be burned into memory … *sigh* those moments -.-

Hayao Miyazaki And His Women

Watching Kari Gurashi no Arrietty by Studio Ghibli something occurred to me. Thinking back to my last year in high school where I watched almost all movies produced by Studio Ghibli until then (and by extension Hayao Miyazaki) the main character was “always” a female with strangely freakish history, fate or ability. Let’s “prove” this scientifically-ish … 🙂

Theory: Studio Ghibli movies by Hayao Miyazaki have this peculiarity of a strange/freakish main female character.

Data source: Wikipedia’s list of Studio Ghibli films from 1984-2014.

Let’s see how far we get. 🙂

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: pre Ghibli, but still … the heroine has a supernatural connection with the giant insect-like Ohmu … fulfilling an ancient prophecy for good measure. pass
Castle in the Sky: Sheeta is of royal decent from an ancient civilization building flying cities. pass
Grave of the Fireflies: not by Hayao Miyazaki … phew I had almost forgot about this one. 😛 skip
My Neighbor Totoro: two curious girls befriending ghosts/spirits/trolls of the forest. pass
Kiki’s Delivery Service: the main character is a witch running a delivery service. … need I say more? pass
Only Yesterday: not by Hayao Miyazaki again. 😛 skip
Porco Rosso: no “main” female character: strike 1!
Pom Poko: phew … not by Hayao Miyazaki … Tanuki to the rescue! 🙂 skip
Whisper of the Heart: … I don’t remember the plot any more … so, strike 2!
Princess Mononoke: raised-by-wolves warrior princess of the woods. pass
My Neighbors the Yamadas: haha … I was almost worried … not by Hayao Miyazaki 😀 skip
Spirited Away: Chihiro has to master her passage from childhood to adulthood in the spirit world … also falling in love with a boy-dragon-hybrid-formshifter-thing. pass
The Cat Returns: not by Hayao Miyazaki, but in this film the main character Haru is offered the hand of the Prince of the Cat Kingdom for saving him … too bad it doesn’t count. 🙂 skip/pass
Howl’s Moving Castle: The main character, Sophie, gets cursed and is transformed into an old woman. she works at the hand of the wizard Howl to remove the curse. pass
Tales from Earthsea: not by Hayao Miyazaki. skip
Ponyo: Let me quote the first line of the plot section in the Wikipedia article of the film “Brunhilde [also named Ponyo] is a fish-girl who lives with her father Fujimoto, a once-human wizard who now lives underwater, and her numerous smaller sisters.” pass
Arrietty: is only 10cm tall! pass
From Up on Poppy Hill: knowingly agreeing to incest (at least from what they knew at that time) … really?!? pass
The Wind Rises: tragic story, but no “main” female character. strike 3! 🙁
The Tale of Princess Kaguya: not by Hayao Miyazaki, but she starts out as a “miniature girl inside a glowing bamboo shoot” skip/pass
When Marnie Was There: not by Hayao Miyazaki … (not seen yet) skip

Summary: 21 Studio Ghibli films; 13 of them by/with Hayao Miyazaki; of which 10 fit the theory, with 3 “outliers” and 1 “unexamined” data point.

Not bad for a hunch. 😉

Update 14.09.2013:
Updated the list and the summary after seeing From Up on Poppy Hill.

Update 11.08.2014:
Updated the list and the summary after seeing The Wind Rises and the The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

Fixing Bioshock’s Language Settings

I got myself Bioshock 1 and 2 during Steam’s Summer Sale and just came around to play it.
After installation I found out that the game was in German (while my Windows and Steam are in English)!?!? … I hate dubbed films and games!

Sadly Bioshiock doesn’t allow you to change the language in the settings menu so I had to look around. After piecing together information from several 5+ year old, outdated forum posts I found the solution.

  1. Close the game
  2. Open C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\Bioshock\bioshock.ini
  3. Find the  [Engine.Engine]  section
  4. Set  Language=int  (“int” is for international i.e. English)
  5. Save the file and restart the game

Everything should be in English now. 😀

Verallgemeinerung im Singular

Inspiriert von Kübras #SchauHin-Kampagne zur Sichtbarmachung von Alltagsrassismus in Deutschland möchte ich eine Beobachtung beisteuern.

Wie hinlänglich bekannt ist, hat Sprache Einfluss auf das Denken (zumindest teilweise 😉 ). Daher finde ich es äußerst interessant, dass die deutsche Sprache ein eigentümliches Merkmal hat, das sozusagen den Rassismus auf eine tiefgreifende Art und Weise in den Köpfen, im Alltag, in der Kultur verankert:

die Verallgemeinerung im Singular.

Beispiele:

Der Russe trinkt am liebsten Wodka.

Macht der Ami schon wieder Krieg?

Obwohl die Konstruktion nicht ausschließlich in Negativaussagen Verwendung findet, entfaltet sie darin eine ganz besondere Schlagkraft.

Allein die Konstruktion suggeriert schon eine mentale und körperliche Einheit, eine homogene Masse. Davon ausgehend, bietet es aber noch weitere argumentative Krücken, die ihre Prämisse und sich gegenseitig bestätigen und verstärken.

Denjenigen, die so “zusammengefasst” werden, spricht man jegliche Individualität ab. Sie haben keine eigene Meinung, kein Gewissen, keine Träume, keinen Sinn; das Kollektiv ist ihre Identität. *schauder*

Darauf aufbauend, bietet es die Möglichkeit zur Generalisierung des Speziellen. D.h. das Verhalten, die Ansichten, etc. von Einem lässt sich auf alle in der “Gruppe” übertragen, denn alles was sie tun ist im Kontext des Kollektives zu sehen. Das Kollektiv hat sie dazu erzogen oder es ihnen befohlen.

Natürlich gilt bei so viel geistloser Einheit auch die Sippenhaft. D.h. jeder einzelne kann für die Taten eines Teiles oder des ganzen Kollektives zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden.

Wenn sich dann doch etwas regt und Teile der Gruppe Charakter und Selbstvertrauen zeigen, muss das im Keim erstickt werden, da ja die Prämisse war, dass es eine homogene Masse ist und der Rest der Argumentation darauf aufbaut. 😉 Dann muss man so häufig wie möglich und mit soviel Nachdruck wie geht, die “Individuen”, durch Anwendung der obigen Regeln, wieder in der Masse untergehen lassen.

So schließt sich der Kreis. 😉