Mark Twain wrote once that
The coldest winter I ever spent was a
summer in San Francisco. A few days after I first arrived in Berkeley,
someone told me that before I left here, I would hear those words many
times, and she was right. It's an exaggeration, of course, but like all
good Twain exaggerations it has enough truth in it to have some
punch. It's a cool, breezy, overcast day, and I expect the rest of
the week to be more of the same.
Matrix Reloaded again yesterday. I originally wanted
Finding Nemo, but could find nobody else who wanted
to go. But Mike had not seen
Matrix Reloaded, and I felt
like getting out of the apartment for a while. I think I enjoyed it more
the second time through, though I don't know that I would care to
see it a third time. I caught some references I missed before, not
to mention some background footage.
In particular, at the end of the movie when Captain Morpheus's ship
Nebuchadnezzar was destroyed, he quotes
dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
The line completely passed me by the first time; I didn't even register
it, probably because it was spoken relatively quietly. But I registered
it this time, and sure enough, it's straight out of Daniel -- spoken
by Nebuchadnezzar just before Daniel interprets his dream.
I may be comfortably agnostic by now, but early education and later study of the Bible proves to be very useful cultural background at unlikely times. There were other allusions, too, to classical mythology, Buddhism, and various other traditions. A lot of it is obscured by the action sequences and the more obvious fuzzy philosophizing of the main characters, though.
On the way home, I talked with Mike about some of those allusions.
Mike commented that he vaguely remembered a book called Daniel
existed, but didn't really remember it. He commented that he also
thought the Bible was interesting from a literary and cultural
perspective, but found the language differences between King James
and modern English to be frustrating. I asked if he knew what the
you actually was.
It's the difference between second person singular and plural:
thou refers to an individual,
you refers to a group.
Given the pre-eminent place of the King James translation of the Bible
and of the works of William Shakespeare, I think it's remarkable that
so few people remember the difference. I also think the invention of
y'all is an ironic twist of linguistic history.
And now I think I should go think about some eigenvalue computations.