“Aries: Sometimes you just have to let things go. Let places and people disappear from your memory. Let people walk away from you, as much as it feels like their ripping part of you out with them. You don’t need them to function. You don’t need them to make the sun rise and set. You don’t need them to see that the stars still shine in the night sky. You only need yourself and a pair of eyes. Taurus: You aren’t stuck forever. I know it feels that way. But you are not trapped in this hell. You will get out. Even if you have to claw yourself out with bloody fingernails and bruised skin. But you WILL get out. You will pull through to things much bigger then this. Every new step is terrifying, but you will get there. You will make something of yourself. Gemini: Stop opening the door for ghosts that you aren’t even sure you want in your life. You can’t revive them just to force them back into a tomb. Make up your mind if you want to be friends with the past, or bury it forever. Either way is totally fine, but every time you half dig up skeleton, you just leave everyone with old wounds. Open up all the old scars and leave fresh blood on the floor. There’s no right or wrong choice, but there is a choice you have to make. Cancer: It won’t be this hard forever. You won’t need that vice for all of eternity. It’s okay to need a crutch every once in awhile. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to be fucking desperate sometimes. You do not have to always be the strong one. Always be the brave one. Always be the fucking okay one. You can let yourself collapse under the weight of this world every once in awhile. Leo: Do not let them use you to bury their pain. You are not their whipping post. You are not their cemetery. They can not use you when it is convenient for them to hide secrets and agony. You don’t owe them shit. They can not hold you down and force feed you every painful moment they can’t handle. You are much better then everything their putting you through. Virgo : The future is never quite certain. It’s always a little bit terrifying. Always a little bit anxiety causing. You’re making the right steps. Stop doubting your footing. You’ve gotten through the worst of the storm. Time to celebrate, and move forward. Always keep moving forward. Always keep going on even when it feels like terror is around every corner. Libra: Set backs are temporary. Pain is temporary. Even baby steps are huge accomplishments. I know it feels like shit right now. Know it feels like the world is ending. But sweetie, you’ve survived the apocalypse before. You can do it again. And again. And then again. As many times as it takes. You are going to get through this rough patch too. Just like all the other times. Scorpio: Self hatred and self destruction will never get you where you need to go. You can’t run on spite forever. Eventually the candle of self anguish will burn itself out. You have to start healing. Have to start saying all of the hardest things in life, even though it hurts. Even though it makes you cry. Even if sometimes it feels like you’re going to die. Recovery is hard but dying is harder. Sagittarius: If they don’t need you, you are so much better then them. The way they see you is not how you are. It is not your fault if they can’t figure out your worth. You don’t need them to thrive. Even if no one sees your beauty, you are still gorgeous. Still shining as bright as the stars. You don’t need anyone to recognize that. You don’t need them admit you shine to be brighter then all of them. Capricorn: Your past doesn’t define you, but it did make you who you are. You don’t have to live in it, but at least fucking acknowledge what happened. What brought you here. What gave you those scars, and what gave you those laugh lines. You can acknowledge your past and who you use to be, without becoming that person all over again. You are better then that now. Aquarius: Coming home is not a defeat. You did something most people only dream of. Sometimes all you can do is grab on to plan B and make it work. Doesn’t mean that you are a failure because plan A failed. You tried your absolute hardest. You still won. So come back. Enjoy the sanctuary while we have it. Pisces: If you’re going to cut people out, you can’t just be uncommitted. You can’t decide one minute you’re done only to open up the door the next. Make up your mind and stick to it. Bar the doors. Throw out the vodka. Turn off your phone. Wait this out. Take however long you need to break their spell over you.”
— This Weeks Horoscope
it’s hilarious to me when people call historical fashions that men hated oppressive
like in BuzzFeed’s Women Wear Hoop Skirts For A Day While Being Exaggeratedly Bad At Doing Everything In Them video, one woman comments that she’s being “oppressed by the patriarchy.” if you’ve read anything Victorian man ever said about hoop skirts, you know that’s pretty much the exact opposite of the truth
thing is, hoop skirts evolved as liberating garment for women. before them, to achieve roughly conical skirt fullness, they had to wear many layers of petticoats (some stiffened with horsehair braid or other kinds of cord). the cage crinoline made their outfits instantly lighter and easier to move in
it also enabled skirts to get waaaaay bigger. and, as you see in the late 1860s, 1870s, and mid-late 1880s, to take on even less natural shapes. we jokingly call bustles fake butts, but trust me- nobody saw them that way. it was just skirts doing weird, exciting Skirt Things that women had tons of fun with
men, obviously, loathed the whole affair
(1850s. gods, if only crinolines were huge enough to keep men from getting too close)
(no date given, but also, this is 100% impossible)
(also undated, but the ruffles make me think 1850s)
it was also something that women of all social classes- maids and society ladies, enslaved women and free women of color -all wore at one point or another. interesting bit of unexpected equalization there
and when bustles came in, guess what? men hated those, too
(probably also 1880s? the ladies are being compared to beetles and snails. in case that was unclear)
(1870s, I think? the bustle itself looks early 1870s but the tight fit of the actual gown looks later)
hoops and bustles weren’t tools of the patriarchy. they were items 1 and 2 on the 19th century’s “Fashion Trends Women Love That Men Hate” lists, with bonus built-in personal space enforcement
Gonna add something as someone who’s worn a lot of period stuff for theatre:
The reason you suck at doing things in a hoop skirt is because you’re not used to doing things in a hoop skirt.
The first time I got in a Colonial-aristocracy dress I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The construction didn’t actually allow me to raise my arms all the way over my head (yes, that’s period-accurate). We had one dresser to every two women, because the only things we could put on ourselves were our tights, shifts, and first crinoline. Someone else had to lace our corsets, slip on our extra crinolines, hold our arms to balance us while a second person actually put the dresses on us like we were dolls, and do up our shoes–which we could not put on ourselves because we needed to be able to balance when the dress went on. My entire costume was almost 40 pounds (I should mention here that many of the dresses were made entirely of upholstery fabric), and I actually did not have the biggest dress in the show.
We wore our costumes for two weeks of rehearsal, which is quite a lot in university theatre. The first night we were all in dress, most of the ladies went propless because we were holding up our skirts to try and get a feel for both balance and where our feet were in comparison to where it looked like they should be. I actually fell off the stage.
By opening night? We were square-dancing in the damn things. We had one scene where our leading man needed to whistle, but he didn’t know how and I was the only one in the cast loud enough to be heard whistling from under the stage, so I was also commando-crawling underneath him at full speed trying to match his stage position–while still in the dress. And petticoats. And corset. Someone took my shoes off for that scene so I could use my toes to propel myself and I laid on a sheet so I wouldn’t get the dress dirty, but that was it–I was going full Solid Snake in a space about 18″ high, wearing a dress that covered me from collarbones to floor and weighed as much as a five-year-old child. And it worked beautifully.
These women knew how to wear these clothes. It’s a lot less “restrictive” when it’s old hat.
I have worn hoop skirts a lot, especially in summer. I still wear hoop skirts if I’m going to be at an event where I will probably be under stage lights. (For example, Vampire Ball.)
I can ride public transportation while wearing them. I can take a taxi while wearing them. I can go on rides at Disneyland while wearing them. Because I’ve practiced wearing them and twisting the rigid-but-flexible skirt bones so I can sit on them and not buffet other people with my skirts.
Hoop skirts are awesome.
Hoop skirts are a fucking godsend in summer. Nothing’s touching your legs. It’s like wearing a big box underneath whic you’re naked, temperature wise.
Did this with a bustle rather than a hoop skirt, but was quite comfortable running around in said bustle, shirt, full corset, gloves, and overskirt in 117 degrees for a con. It was far more comfortable than the more modern dress i wore the next day.
Writer Note: this is fascinating research information not restricted to just the Victorian era under discussion. Though it’s stating the obvious, the obvious often needs to be stated: when seemingly-awkward garments like crinolines and hoop-skirts (or ruffs, or houppelandes, or etc.) were everyday wear, the wearers knew how to move in them because of practice.
For instance, how not to clear a table with a gesture while wearing sleeves like these…
Fashionable footwear has been weird for centuries. Think of chopines, pattens, poulaines, non-fetishy-y high heels, or platform boots worn with bell-bottom jeans so long and wide that without the platforms they trailed along the ground. The 1970s is called “the decade that style forgot” for good reason.
Elton John’s stage platforms aren’t as exaggerated as you think…
And then there are the doeskin breeches claimed in some fiction as fitting so tightly the inside had to be soaped to get them on, going commando was compulsory, and the wearer couldn’t sit down.
You’d certainly believe it from portraits like this one, “Hunter in a Landscape with his Dogs”, said to be General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, father of Alexandre Dumas the novelist, with legs apparently clad in just a thick coat of paint. (X-skin breeches would seem more suitable for hunting, but these may represent cotton “inexpressibles” which really did fit like that.)
Like the supposed problems with crinolines etc., not true. Research and reconstruction has shown that doe / buck / sheepskin breeches have natural stretch and recovery; a common comparison is to old, well-worn jeans. Of course the artist also wanted to show that his subject “had a good leg” (look up “artificial calves” and be amused) and wasn’t letting realism get in the way of doing so.
This is a bit more like it.
Nowadays “deportment” seems to have an aura of outdated snobbishness - upper-class debutantes learning to curtsey, or walk with books balanced on their heads - but ”porte” in French means “carry” and the old meaning of deportment was “how to carry yourself”; how to move properly, without inconveniencing yourself or others.
Various historical-costume books point out that “moving properly” in some periods - memory suggests the court of Louis XIV at Versailles was one - meant a sequence of artificial, prescribed gestures, partly enforced by the clothing and partly by court protocol. IIRC one description was of “movements as precisely delineated as the steps of a formal dance”, and getting them wrong resulted in social mockery.
Elizabethan men were taught, as part of their deportment, how to move while wearing the long rapiers of the period; that hand-on-hilt stance in portraits isn’t drama, it’s control.
Once familiar with the length of the sword, they know exactly what shifting the hilt one way or another will do to the rest of it - and the people, furniture and crockery behind them - without needing to look. IIRC the technique is still taught to actors today.
Crinolines, bustles, bloomers, breeches, inexpressibles and all the rest were clothing; after reading about peculiar but oh-so-stylish ways of standing and moving like the “Grecian bend” and “Alexandra limp”, the Kink’s satirical 1960s hit “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” isn’t just a song any more…
Even better than the version I posted before.
I would note that I have a RenFaire style corset and I have run significant distances, sword fought, and danced in various styles without any discomfort. The only thing I can’t do is bend over. It actually forces you to pick things off the ground safely. It’s not wasp waist tight, partly because I have abs and don’t compress like that (which might be part of the wasp waist thing. Being able to do that said you didn’t have abs…and thus didn’t work for a living, which has often been a thing with women’s fashion).
This is all really interesting and new to me! And I have thought of deportment as a snobbish thing all my life, but now I’m wondering if early lessons in it would have been a good thing for clumsy and oblivious folks like me.
Somebody should…I wonder if I can convince some cosplayers to do a panel about this. Both for authenticity and because some of them need to learn what happens to their sword when they turn around quickly…
I’m amazed how few people understand what wearing a real corset is like. It isn’t uncomfortable in the slightest to me, and it’s actually quite fun. People think if you wear a corset you’re going to crush your bones or something. It just simply isn’t true.
If you’re intentionally waist training (it’s a kink with some people) then it will have an effect. Otherwise, a correctly-fitted corset provides more support than a typical bra, it also supports your back - I do wonder if women had fewer back problems in times when they were common, and I do know women who wear them instead of back braces…
honestly? even serious waist training (which isn’t always a kink) shouldn’t hurt hurt. Depending on the person and how the corset fits there might be some tension, sure, but there’s this whole process that you should be going through when you first get your corset(seasoning) that basically allows your body to get used to it. It might be a little uncomfortable for someone unused to it, but a properly fitting corset won’t hurt (it can also increase flexibility in the obliques – I wasn’t even seriously waist training last school year and I still felt looser in the sides at the end).
Some people today wear corsets because it def provides a lot of support to large breasts, and custom corsetiers sometimes specialise in making medical corsets for scoliosis and stuff.
And yeah, corsets really often were worn by working women! Not just the delicate ladies in parlours, but also farm women who had to haul 50 lb sacks of feed or whatever. The corsets would function the same way a weightlifter’s belt or back brace would today, keeping everything aligned and providing support.
With the super heavy dresses and skirts, too, it helps to provide support for the weight of the cloth over the hips so the skirts don’t sag.
“Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?” Dumbledore asked calmly.
The word ‘calmly’ can hold different meanings in different circumstances. If you were to pass someone a bucket of water calmly when their house was burning down, it could suggest that you were the sort of brave individual who was always prepared to combat the sources of arson when they occur. If you were to ask a nervous bank teller to fill a sack with money while calmly pointing a gun at their head, it might mean that you were the kind of villainous person who practiced such odious and criminal activities on a regular basis. Or if, like me, you were to sit calmly typing the next chapter of your chronicle in the lives of some unfortunate young children, while all around you the kitchen of the reputable restaurant that you were hiding in was slowly filling with sand, it would indicate that you have a life that is often filled with peril and misfortune, and that you were bound by duty to complete your task, no matter how miserable.
Of course, the word ‘calmly’ is never used to indicate a person flying into a rage and shouting your words angrily. ‘Angrily’ is in fact an antonym of ‘calmly’, an antonym being a word with entirely the opposite meaning of the original, such as ‘villain’ and ‘volunteer’, ‘birthday party’ and ‘tragic fire’, or ‘author’ and ‘happy person’.
Now, obviously, a well-read and distinguished director of cinema would never mistake a word with its antonym. That would be preposterous, a word which here means ‘create an incredibly out of character scene and confuse the audience.’
Did you just Lemony Snicket “Calmly™”
@thebibliosphere I just really appreciate this. 'Author’ and ‘happy person.’ snorts
This is amazing.
@deadcatwithaflamethrower I don’t know if you’ve read A series of Unfortunate events but now I can’t help but imagine Lemony Snicket narrating HP and nitpicking the shit out of Dumbledore’s behaviour and the incoherence of JKR’s behaviours.
He would go along famously with Nizar and Salazar, I believe.
I really really need to read those books. I even have the first one on my bookshelf.
…But a narrative like the one above for HP? I’d read the shit out of that. *g*
“When you’re in an abusive relationship, the abuse, in your head, is a blip. It’s something that happens between the good times. You trick yourself with “everyone has problems in their relationship” and assume this is what healthy looks like. You only realise too late it’s not. You realise too late how unhappy you really are. You see, the brain is a beautiful and terrible thing, it is sharp as the end of a knife, whilst staying soft as a silk against your cheek. It is a paradox and it holds you hostage, it turns on you when it goes through trauma. It takes time to convince your own mind that you deserve better and what is happening to you is messed up and you must find a way out.”
— Nikita Gill
Machine learning algorithms are not like other computer programs. In the usual sort of programming, a human programmer tells the computer exactly what to do. In machine learning, the human programmer merely gives the algorithm the problem to be solved, and through trial-and-error the algorithm has to figure out how to solve it.
This often works really well - machine learning algorithms are widely used for facial recognition, language translation, financial modeling, image recognition, and ad delivery. If you’ve been online today, you’ve probably interacted with a machine learning algorithm.
But it doesn’t always work well. Sometimes the programmer will think the algorithm is doing really well, only to look closer and discover it’s solved an entirely different problem from the one the programmer intended. For example, I looked earlier at an image recognition algorithm that was supposed to recognize sheep but learned to recognize grass instead, and kept labeling empty green fields as containing sheep.
When machine learning algorithms solve problems in unexpected ways, programmers find them, okay yes, annoying sometimes, but often purely delightful.
So delightful, in fact, that in 2018 a group of researchers wrote a fascinating paper that collected dozens of anecdotes that “elicited surprise and wonder from the researchers studying them”. The paper is well worth reading, as are the original references, but here are several of my favorite examples.
Bending the rules to win
First, there’s a long tradition of using simulated creatures to study how different forms of locomotion might have evolved, or to come up with new ways for robots to walk.
Why walk when you can flop? In one example, a simulated robot was supposed to evolve to travel as quickly as possible. But rather than evolve legs, it simply assembled itself into a tall tower, then fell over. Some of these robots even learned to turn their falling motion into a somersault, adding extra distance.
[Image: Robot is simply a tower that falls over.]
Why jump when you can can-can? Another set of simulated robots were supposed to evolve into a form that could jump. But the programmer had originally defined jumping height as the height of the tallest block so - once again - the robots evolved to be very tall. The programmer tried to solve this by defining jumping height as the height of the block that was originally the *lowest*. In response, the robot developed a long skinny leg that it could kick high into the air in a sort of robot can-can.
[Image: Tall robot flinging a leg into the air instead of jumping]
Hacking the Matrix for superpowers
Potential energy is not the only energy source these simulated robots learned to exploit. It turns out that, like in real life, if an energy source is available, something will evolve to use it.
Floating-point rounding errors as an energy source: In one simulation, robots learned that small rounding errors in the math that calculated forces meant that they got a tiny bit of extra energy with motion. They learned to twitch rapidly, generating lots of free energy that they could harness. The programmer noticed the problem when the robots started swimming extraordinarily fast.
Harvesting energy from crashing into the floor: Another simulation had some problems with its collision detection math that robots learned to use. If they managed to glitch themselves into the floor (they first learned to manipulate time to make this possible), the collision detection would realize they weren’t supposed to be in the floor and would shoot them upward. The robots learned to vibrate rapidly against the floor, colliding repeatedly with it to generate extra energy.
[Image: robot moving by vibrating into the floor]
Clap to fly: In another simulation, jumping bots learned to harness a different collision-detection bug that would propel them high into the air every time they crashed two of their own body parts together. Commercial flight would look a lot different if this worked in real life.
Discovering secret moves: Computer game-playing algorithms are really good at discovering the kind of Matrix glitches that humans usually learn to exploit for speed-running. An algorithm playing the old Atari game Q*bert discovered a previously-unknown bug where it could perform a very specific series of moves at the end of one level and instead of moving to the next level, all the platforms would begin blinking rapidly and the player would start accumulating huge numbers of points.
A Doom-playing algorithm also figured out a special combination of movements that would stop enemies from firing fireballs - but it only works in the algorithm’s hallucinated dream-version of Doom. Delightfully, you can play the dream-version here
[Image: Q*bert player is accumulating a suspicious number of points, considering that it’s not doing much of anything]
Shooting the moon: In one of the more chilling examples, there was an algorithm that was supposed to figure out how to apply a minimum force to a plane landing on an aircraft carrier. Instead, it discovered that if it applied a *huge* force, it would overflow the program’s memory and would register instead as a very *small* force. The pilot would die but, hey, perfect score.
Something as apparently benign as a list-sorting algorithm could also solve problems in rather innocently sinister ways.
Well, it’s not unsorted: For example, there was an algorithm that was supposed to sort a list of numbers. Instead, it learned to delete the list, so that it was no longer technically unsorted.
Solving the Kobayashi Maru test: Another algorithm was supposed to minimize the difference between its own answers and the correct answers. It found where the answers were stored and deleted them, so it would get a perfect score.
How to win at tic-tac-toe: In another beautiful example, in 1997 some programmers built algorithms that could play tic-tac-toe remotely against each other on an infinitely large board. One programmer, rather than designing their algorithm’s strategy, let it evolve its own approach. Surprisingly, the algorithm suddenly began winning all its games. It turned out that the algorithm’s strategy was to place its move very, very far away, so that when its opponent’s computer tried to simulate the new greatly-expanded board, the huge gameboard would cause it to run out of memory and crash, forfeiting the game.
When machine learning solves problems, it can come up with solutions that range from clever to downright uncanny.
Biological evolution works this way, too - as any biologist will tell you, living organisms find the strangest solutions to problems, and the strangest energy sources to exploit. Sometimes I think the surest sign that we’re not living in a computer simulation is that if we were, some microbe would have learned to exploit its flaws.
So as programmers we have to be very very careful that our algorithms are solving the problems that we meant for them to solve, not exploiting shortcuts. If there’s another, easier route toward solving a given problem, machine learning will likely find it.
Fortunately for us, “kill all humans” is really really hard. If “bake an unbelievably delicious cake” also solves the problem and is easier than “kill all humans”, then machine learning will go with cake.
Mailing list plug
If you enter your email, there will be cake!
“Instead, it learned to delete the list, so that it was no longer technically unsorted.“
don’t tell me this doesn’t work in real life
i’ve been doing it for years
Ok so I just found out that two of my parents’ (female) friends used to be a couple and. I’m. Shook. Like I’ve been wondering about them for the last five or so years and I just found out because of a comment on health insurance?? Reassuring to know that my parents don’t hate gays as much as I thought.
the last time me and my ex talked the only thing i asked him for was his pancake recipe because that nigga really made the best / fluffiest pancakes ive ever tasted . every time i ate that i nearly cried . sharing this because i feel like the world needs to know this information
He who shall not be named Pancake Recipe
- 1 cup Flour
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Milk
- 2 tbsp Vinegar
- 1 Egg
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- Combine milk and vinegar and set aside to sour.
- Measure out flour and sift into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and combine.
- Put butter in the microwave until partially melted, about 10 seconds. Carefully stir butter until completely melted.
- Lightly beat the egg. Then, add melted butter and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Pour soured milk into a separate bowl big enough to hold all of your ingredients. Add egg mixture and combine.
- Add dry mix to wet mix, evenly covering the surface area of the wet mix. Using a rubber spatula, fold the wet and dry ingredients together to combine. Do not overmix; fold just until there are no more spots of dry mix. Your batter should be lumpy. Refrigerate batter for 10 minutes to rest.
- Over medium heat, coat a pan with butter or nonstick spray and spoon pancakes into the center to desired size. Return batter to the fridge to keep it cold. Cook until the edges turn golden brown and begin to lift, about 3-4 minutes, flip and cook the other side. Cook 1 pancake at a time.
this last part is extra shit you can add to it to make it taste even better
“The Rabbis once got into an argument about what in Jewish literature was the exact, direct word of God, and what was human interpretation. They argued and discussed this for days and perhaps weeks on end. Finally, one opinion carried the day: neither the Hebrew Bible, nor the Five Books of Moses, nor the Ten Commandments, nor the first commandment, nor even the first word of the first commandment, but the first letter of the first word of the first commandment is the only instance of God’s direct, unmediated voice. That letter, the aleph, was declared the only sound of God’s voice that humans ever heard. All the rest, in Gershom Scholem’s understanding of this narrative, was interpretation. Imagine the implications of this line of reasoning! Everything, except for one letter, is of human origin, and therefore imperfect and contestable. The Rabbis decided that one moment of sound contained all that God wanted to communicate to humans; it contained for all time God’s immense truth. For that reason, the Rabbis have referred to that first aleph as “the Immense Aleph.”
But there is more: the letter aleph, the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, is a silent letter. It has no sound. The Immense Aleph contained all sound, but it made no sound. It contained all truth, directly spoken from God to Moses, in one immense silence. There is a great deal that the world offers, an immensity, we might say, but it makes no sound until humans interpret it. The potentiality of all understanding is out there, waiting to be heard and comprehended, but first it must be interpreted by a human voice, imperfect but hopeful, limited and prejudiced, but full of ideas, grand plans, and high ideals. Even God’s voice, the Rabbis understood, was unhearable, until generations of sometimes poor and anonymous Jewish scholars put pen to paper and imaginatively interpreted God’s silences through their own cultural understands. The Immense Aleph is without end, pregnant with what is possible, but it can only be communicated through human interpretation…
In the social world the midrashic Rabbis inhabited, direct experiences of God, such as the witnessing of miracles, direct interventions, or communications from God, were not usually thought to happen. Because the Rabbis knew God only through the interpretations they compiled about God, there was no way to turn to some putatively unproblematic and unmediated experience of God or a text that specifically and concretely defined God. Humans, they seemed to think, learn about the world through imperfect, historically contingent, human-made sources. In fact, in one of the few instances when the Rabbis claimed God tried to intervene in midrashic deliberations, the Talmud relates a story in which the Rabbis brushed off God’s miracle making and refused God’s advice. They did so by using a phrase that became an idiomatic expression in Jewish interpretive tradition: “It is not in heaven.” This phrase indicates that midrash is properly decided through textual interrogation and human debate, not by recourse to the claim that God has spoken and announced the one truth. God is pictured in heaven laughing with pleasure in response and saying, “My children have defeated Me” (Babylonian Talmud, Bava Metzia 49b). Midrash consists of the human processes of interpretation conducted with human skills and human concerns––God was to have no direct role in the textual determinations the Rabbis decided upon.”
––– Philip Cushman, “The Danger of Cure, the Value of Healing: Toward a Midrashic Way of Being”, in Midrash & Medicine: Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition