Old West Gunslinging Meets Futuristic Androids In HBO’s ‘Westworld’

HBO’s latest series is a high-tech theme park, whose visitors get to live out their wildest dreams of being in the Old West. Critic John Powers calls Westworld an “unexpectedly resonant show.”

“As you might guess, the series asks us to think about our relationship to technology, in particular to machines that come ever closer to displaying human intelligence and emotions, as the android hosts do here. After all, it’s one thing for a techno-genie to satisfy our needs; quite another for it to have needs of its own. What if we create beings that can grow beyond our ability to know and control them?”

I need to get this off my chest even if it probably already has been done : 

Rami Malek is so important. 

He’s a brilliant actor and a handsome fella, but the most resounding part of his Emmy win and of his boom in the TV world in general is : he, a man of color whom very few people knew before Mr. Robot, made a name for himself through a great tv show where he is the lead role. Not a side-kick, not an antagonist, not a white protagonist’s love interest or best friend who helps them through everything then gets killed for dramatic purposes, no : he is the main. freaking. role. Everything revolves around Eliot and this tv show is also fortunately great enough that this representation does not go unnoticed. I am still salty about the fact that they gave the protagonist a Western-sounding name quite clearly to make it more relatable, but baby steps : let’s at least appreciate the fact that this talented, humble, beautiful man of Egyptian descent has managed to land a main role in a perfect show where he is portrayed with extreme depth, where he suffers from mental health issues that are dealt with seriously, where his ethnicity is not conditioning him to any specific single box whatsoever, where he is in short portrayed as a real. person. The more we get people like Rami Malek on the front line, the more the world and the industry in general might actually understand that people of color are just as capable of being relatable and charismatic as anybody else.

I’ll end my rant here. Conclusion is : things can change and they will.

anonymous asked:

How did the Dothraki causative evolve? I'm most interested in the etymology (did it come from a preposition, auxiliary verb, or something else entirely?), but I'm also interested in what the sound change was that produced the gemination.

It was templatic. Not all morphology has a lexical source, despite the fact that I believe I once said all morphology has a lexical source. That’s the default. Sometimes, though, it’s simply iconic (e.g. longer vowel = longer duration for a verb, or plural for a noun; reduplication = more of something, etc.). In the case of Dothraki, this whole thing started with V-initial stems:

emat  “to smile” > emmat “to make smile, to amuse”

Recall that the original Dothraki word order was VSO. To emphasize the subject, it was dragged to the front; to emphasize the object, it was dragged to the front. To draw attention to the verb, though, there was really just intonation. In this case, the strengthening of that middle consonant was to draw attention to the verb: to linger over the verb as a way of marking it. The marking here was to emphasize that the subject wasn’t doing it, the subject was doing that to someone else.

As a morphophonological pattern, the VCC pattern generalized, so with stems beginning with a consonant, you had to add a vowel to the front (the default vowel a) to achieve the desired effect:

lanat “to run” > allanat “to make run”

And that’s how it came to be.

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