Stephen G Nichols: What is a Manuscript Culture

To the post-print world, then, manuscript transmission of medieval works conjured the image of an individual scribe, whose hand graphically imposed its presence as the tenuous link between author and reader. How could one be certain that a scribe’s mind and imagination had not exceeded “the strictly mechanical task” of copying the author’s text? The answer, of course, was clear: scribes not only could not avoid leaving their mark upon the work, there was no expectation that they should. After all, scribes frequently worked with versions of a work the poet himself (who was often long dead) had never seen. If a passage in the work suggested other examples or anecdotes, why not simply include them? For the the Middle Ages this did not pose a problem.

…Manuscript books were products of an urban micro-culture where every aspect of production was carried out by artisans living in the same or nearby streets. Preparation for copying a text included transforming the animal skin into parchment, grinding minerals and plant products for paint colors and ink, planning the layout of the codex in columns with spaces for miniatures, decorated and historiated initials, marginalia, and rubrics. The actual production of the work involved copying the text, decorating the margins, and painting the illuminations, determining the binding, and, finally, delivering the codex to its patron.This micro-culture also left its imprint on the contents of the codex.

…Manuscripts were used to shape cultural and political perceptions. It does so thanks to the interaction of text and image,rubrics and interpolated passages. In other words, by representational components that medieval manuscript culture invented and cultivated as its own unique form of multi-media literacy.

More interesting from our viewpoint than the mechanics of “updating”manuscripts is why such interventions should take place so readily. To alter an historical document suggests that manuscript technology and cultural perception must have had a degree of consonance with attitudes about written records. They must, in short, reflect shared viewpoints. To understand the manuscript folio as “a partner” in the representational process, we have to understand manuscript culture itself as a way o frepresenting the world in accord with contemporary—as opposed to historical—perception. In short, manuscript culture was presentist in orientation.

Since medieval “readers” had no conception of mechanical printing, it was natural for them to view the parchment page as consisting of different kinds of images, each positing meaning that engaged the other systems. It was up to the viewer to register and synthesize the several systems and interpret their collective meaning. Once we begin to think of the parchment page as a system of signs all of which contribute elements whose synthesis contributes meaning to the work as a whole, we can also understand how they interact to guide the viewer’s experience and understanding.

(PDF) What is a Manuscript Culture | Stephen G Nichols – Academia.edu

hmmm

Trump order to paint border wall black could drive up cost $500 million or more

[Trump’s] determination to have the steel bollards coated in black has fluctuated during the past several years, and military commanders and border officials believed as recently as last fall that they had finally talked him out of it. They consider the black paint unnecessary, costly and a significant long-term maintenance burden, and they left it out of the original U.S. Customs and Border Protection design specifications.

Trump has not let go of the idea, insisting that the dark color will enhance its forbidding appearance and leave the steel too hot to touch during summer months.

…The Post obtained a copy of painting estimates that federal contracting officials produced, and it shows costs ranging from $500 million for two coats of acrylic paint to more than $3 billion for a premium “powder coating” on the structure’s 30-foot steel bollards, the high end of the options the officials have identified.

…The White House has obtained about $15 billion for the project so far, two-thirds of which has been diverted from Defense Department construction funds and counternarcotics programs. CBP projections indicate the money will pay for approximately 731 miles of new barriers, but those estimates did not take into account the president’s painting plans.

…One official with knowledge of the plans said it wasn’t clear how the painting crews would operate on the Mexico side of the barrier, where only a narrow strip of land separates the two countries. Painters would potentially need to apply the black coating using a specialized boom long enough to extend up and over the barrier from the U.S. side.

…Last year, after Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) heavily promoted Fisher to the president as a cheaper option for building the border wall, Trump urged aides to give the firm a building contract. The North Dakota company and its owner have donated to Cramer and the president, and the company sued the government when its border wall bids were not accepted.

Trump order to paint border wall black could drive up cost $500 million or more – The Washington Post

Loser.

Former Green Beret takes responsibility for failed boat raid aimed at overthrowing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

Goudreau said 60 of his men were still on the ground and calls were being activated inside Venezuela, some of them fighting under the command of Venezuelan National Guardsman Capt. Antonio Sequea, who participated in a barracks revolt against Maduro a year ago.

None of their claims of an ongoing operation could be independently verified. But Goudreau said he hoped to join the rebels soon and invited Venezuelans and Maduro’s troops to join the would-be insurgency although there was no sign of any fighting in the capital or elsewhere as night fell.

In an interview later with Miami-based journalist Patricia Poleo, he provided a contradictory account of his activities and the support he claims to have once had — and then lost — from Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader recognized as Venezuela’s interim president by the U.S. and some 60 countries.

…The government’s claims that it had foiled a beach landing Sunday triggered a frenzy of confusing claims and counterclaims about the alleged plot. While Maduro’s allies said it had been backed by Guaidó, Colombia and the U.S., the opposition accused Maduro of fabricating the whole episode to distract attention from the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis.

…The government’s claims that it had foiled a beach landing Sunday triggered a frenzy of confusing claims and counterclaims about the alleged plot. While Maduro’s allies said it had been backed by Guaidó, Colombia and the U.S., the opposition accused Maduro of fabricating the whole episode to distract attention from the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Former Green Beret takes responsibility for failed boat raid aimed at overthrowing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro – Chicago Tribune

Huh?

Tribes Were Supposed To Get $8 Billion In COVID-19 Aid. They’ve Gotten $0.

Tribal governments were supposed to get $8 billion in direct emergency relief from the CARES Act, the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill that became law on March 27.

More than a month later, they haven’t gotten any of it.

Tribal communities are among the most vulnerable to a rapid and devastating spread of the coronavirus. They face some of the highest rates of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and asthma, all of which leave them more susceptible to the virus. They are often in remote parts of the country, where it’s tough to quickly disseminate resources and where families live in small homes shared with elderly family members who are particularly at risk. And the Indian Health Service, which provides health care to nearly 3 million Native Americans, is already notoriously and chronically underfunded.

Put those pieces together and add to the situation that tribal governments still haven’t gotten their fair share of federal relief, and it’s not hard to imagine how quickly this could become a disaster.

Tribes Were Supposed To Get $8 Billion In COVID-19 Aid. They’ve Gotten $0. | HuffPost

digh…

With the world distracted, China pursues its nefarious ambitions

With the coronavirus dominating the attention of governments around the world, China has taken advantage. It established new research stations on illegal artificial islands in the Paracel and Spratly Islands. It purposely rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel, began operating various military aircraft from Fiery Cross Reef and increased provocative fighter aircraft patrols around Taiwan. Currently, China is operating one of its government survey ships along with China Coast Guard escorts in the mineral-rich and disputed territorial waters some 200 nautical miles off the coast of East Malaysia in order to harass and bully Malaysian drilling exploration activities.

Additionally, as indicated in a recent U.S. Department of State report, there are signs that Beijing has been preparing to conduct – and has likely already conducted – underground nuclear tests in clear violation of the zero-yield standard that China and the United States signed as part of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

With the world distracted, China pursues its nefarious ambitions | TheHill

hmmmm

Global famines of ‘biblical proportions’ will be caused by coronavirus pandemic, UN warns

The world is facing multiple famines of “biblical proportions.” The UN has said, warning that the coronavirus pandemic will push an additional 130 million people to the brink of starvation.

Famines could take hold in “about three dozen countries” in a worst-case scenario. …Ten of those countries already have more than 1 million people on the verge of starvation.

…”There is also a real danger that more people could potentially die from the economic impact of Covid-19 than from the virus itself.”

The WFP had already warned that 2020 would be a devastating year for numerous countries ravaged by poverty or war, with 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. Their updated projections nearly double that number.

…That scenario would push more than 1 billion people into dire situations.

…”Lockdowns and economic recession are expected to lead to a major loss of income among the working poor,” Beasley said. Overseas remittances will also drop sharply, affecting countries such as Haiti, Nepal, and Somalia, for example.

…Even before the outbreak of the coronavirus, food supplies in some of the most vulnerable regions in the world were being directly affected by impacts such as crop failures and locust swarms. [Yep, locusts. Cue the end of the world comments.]

Exceptional drought followed by extremely heavy rainfall markedly decreased the seasonal crop yield in the Horn of Africa during 2019. These irregular weather and climate patterns also contributed to the worst desert locust invasion in 25 years, which further threatened the crop supply in the region.

Global famines of ‘biblical proportions’ will be caused by coronavirus pandemic, UN warns – CNN

Seriously…. In the middle of all of this… Locusts??! those poor people.

Trump tweets order to ‘destroy’ Iranian boats. Pentagon calls it a warning.

Trump announced Wednesday that he had directed the Navy to “shoot down” Iranian gunboats that harass U.S. ships. Pentagon officials said they had received no new directives.

…“What he was emphasizing is all of our ships retain the right of self-defense, and people need to be very careful in their interactions to understand the inherent right of self-defense,” said Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist. [?????!]

“It was a very useful thing he put out,” Norquist added. [?????!]

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. John Hyten said “the president’s message was crystal clear,” adding, “I like that the president warned an adversary.” [?!!!!]

Trump tweets order to ‘destroy’ Iranian boats. Pentagon calls it a warning.

For the love of….

Muted celebrations as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth turns 94 – Reuters

Royal birthdays and anniversaries are traditionally marked by ceremonial gun salutes, in which blank rounds are fired from various locations across London, but the queen felt it would be inappropriate to allow this to go ahead given the circumstances.

The latest official figures show that about 16,000 Britons infected with the new coronavirus have died in hospital, the fifth highest number globally. The nation is in its fourth week of lockdown, with most businesses closed and citizens ordered to stay at home.

Muted celebrations as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth turns 94 – Reuters

hmmm