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George Saunders in The Braindead Megaphone, of the news but perhaps applicable elsewhere as well:

In surrendering our mass storytelling function to entities whose first priority is profit, we make a dangerous concession: “Tell us,” we say in effect, “as much truth as you can, while still making money.” This is not the same as asking: “Tell us the truth.”

Old and New Testaments in JSON

Scriptures in JSON

The JSON versions of the Old and New Testaments are now available.

Also, I’ve compared all five standard works against the text on LDS.org and have fixed dozens of typos, a list of which you can see in the README changelog. (I had mistakenly assumed that my source text had been corrected, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.) None of the typos were doctrinal in nature — they’re all minor typographical fixes — but I recommend updating nonetheless.

General conference continues to get better the older I get. Clarity and light and revelation in pretty much every talk, not to mention the lovely solidity of it all, the soul-relieving reminder that in spite of all the madness in the world, the Lord still speaks through his prophets.

(I think I’m appreciating conference more now that I’m finally reading the talks regularly throughout the year. Makes a huge difference.)

Updated scriptures in JSON

There are now two new editions of the scriptures in JSON: flat and reference.

The flat edition is a flattened list of verses which makes it easier to iterate through the text for textual analysis and similar applications.

The reference edition structures the text so that it’s easily accessible via key: data['1 Nephi']['3']['7'], for example. (Thanks to Jon Faulkenberry for the recommendation.)

In the repo there are also the two Python scripts that I used to generate the new editions from the base edition.

Old and New Testaments are still forthcoming.

As of a few weeks ago, I’m now planning to apply for the master’s program in computer science at BYU, with a thesis focus in computer graphics (at this point I’m thinking maybe photorealistic rendering). If I do get admitted, I’ll start in January 2018 (I have some background courses to take first because my undergraduate degree wasn’t in computer science) and plan to finish by April 2021.

Anyway, I mention it mainly because things will probably slow down a bit on here for the next four years. I’ll try to keep blogging, but non-CG side projects will mostly be on the back burner till after I’m done.

The blog, merged

Nine months later, I’m merging my blogs back into one. (Apparently this is going to be a regular back-and-forth thing here, so you may want to get used to it.)

Long story short, I think I’m more prone to blog if I don’t have to worry about categorizing my posts. Tagging is fine for some reason, but categories seem to add cognitive friction, so I’ve gotten rid of them. We’ll see how it goes.

Of minor technical note is that I’ve turned Slash into a pure web service backend, and the blog frontend is now hosted on the same domain as the rest of my site. This is the first time I’ve split the frontend off from the backend, but already I really like it — division of concerns, loose coupling, etc. At some point I’m planning to look into doing the same split with the rest of the site. (To clarify: at the moment, the site and the blog run on two different backends. With the site, the backend and frontend are currently unified.)

More scriptures in JSON

Scriptures in JSON

The JSON versions of the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price are now available.

With the D&C, I opted to use section instead of chapter, which does mean a little inconsistency for scripts that use these JSON files, but it seemed better to be consistent with the source material.

With the Book of Abraham facsimiles in the Pearl of Great Price, I’m using the URLs to the images on LDS.org. (I don’t think I want to try to embed the images themselves.)

Old and New Testaments forthcoming.

Book of Mormon in JSON

Scriptures in JSON

I’ve released a JSON version of the Book of Mormon. Also available on GitHub.

Note: there’s an existing JSON version at the Mormon Documentation Project, but it has some unnecessary content (database IDs, duplicate info, etc.) and isn’t structured hierarchically. I did however use the MDP SQLite file to extract the text for this, then added additional content (title page, the book/chapter headings that were in the original text, testimonies) and made the changes from the 2013 edition.

Anyway, enjoy. I plan to do the same thing with the other volumes in the standard works. I’m also planning an expanded version of the Book of Mormon with extra metadata (people and places mentioned in each verse, author of the verse, etc.).