Blogging is a little on the low side due to a big 33,000-word technical translation about a huge machine for making parts for aircraft. It fills up a whole factory! As with any complicated piece of machinery, the operators have to learn their job of running the machine and doing its job of making engine turbines, wings and all that sort of thing – and the job of a maintenance technician fills up whole books! My job is translating this stuff from French into English. On top of that, I have four hours teaching English today and four hours tomorrow.
I’m not complaining! I’ve had some slender months this year, and things seem to be picking up with my translation agencies. It’s the downside of being a non-stipendiary priest, but it has its advantages too…
This kind of work brings me a lot of information about technology and its advances in our life. This machine makes aircraft parts to a very high degree of precision. Most of us travel by air from time to time, and know that we will be safe only if the aeroplane is properly built and maintained. The machines that make the machines have to be just as accurate and fault-free!
In the Middle Ages and Renaissance times, man’s culture was artistic, centred on beauty and harmony. Today, we are worried about where technology will take us, when we consider that technology has done much good, but has also invented atomic bombs, evermore deadly weapons of war, cloning, biological manipulation, pollution of the seas and land of this planet in the name of lust for money and greed.
Yet, we are part of it through using technology and earning our living as a part of the chain.
It’s as Tolkien says in The Hobbit:
”Now goblins are cruel, wicked and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. They can tunnel and mine as well as any but the most skilled dwarves, when they take the trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light. It is not unlikely that they invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, for wheels and engines and explosions always delighted them, and also not working with their own hands any more than they could help…” (Chapter IV, Over Hill and Under Hill).