All Translations Present And Accounted For, Sir
I’m a big fan of Battlestar Galactica. Not the seventies series, the recent version, reimagined by Ronald D. Moore. It starts with a nuclear attack on the Twelve Colonies. The only survivors are those who happened to be on a ship at the time of the attack. Under the guidance of Commander Adama and Madam President (love that!) Roslin, they try to stay one step ahead of the Cylons, in search of a new home. After every ‘jump’, they check whether nobody got lost, and Petty Officer Dualla reassuringly says “All civilian ships present and accounted for, Sir!”
This past week, I often felt like I was on a ship that was part of a colourful fleet: it has large ships, manned by strong teams, but also small rubber boats with only two people. There’s no captain. All crews consist of volunteers. They speak 86 different languages. And now all of them have to change engines mid journey. That is no less than a heroic effort.
We have been working on this together for the past week. We found bugs, made suggestions, discovered exciting new features. Last Sunday, I posted this on Facebook: “Am currently chatting with Unnawut about ways to work our way through this transition. He is in Thailand. Katja is in Moscow. Krystian is in Krakow. There's no way I can explain to my non-TED friends how special an experience that is.”
I am sure that some day soon, we will be able to declare “All translations present and accounted for!” Until that time, let’s enjoy the work together and keep our Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at hand.
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.
First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover. (Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)