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The Maya and Their Doings
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This is a greatly updated version of a column of some years back on an unusual and intriguing people. Maya civilization was not 1850 Vienna, but neither was it the primitive horror lovingly imagined by the ill-mannered and barely informed of the web.

Inasmuch America has a large population of Latin Americans, it seems to me that people, or some people, might want to know about them, and what they are, and where they came from. Most Latinos of the south are either a mixture of Spanish and Indian, or sometimes pure Indian. We have some idea of the Spaniards. They were European. But what were the Indians? What is their contribution to the great numbers of–whether you like it or not–new Americans? In particular, what are their blood lines? Are they, as insisted by web louts hostile to Mexicans, of very low IQ–83–and has their Asian blond enstupidated the Spanish? Were they horrendously primitive?

Without thinking about it, I had the entrenched idea that they were just that. I wasn’t conscious that it was either an idea or entrenched–just a fact. It didn’t occur to me that I knew virtually nothing about these people, or that there was anything to know.

What pulled me up short was their architecture. Throughout a large region, sort of Yucatan through parts of Honduras, you find ruined cities of monumental architecture that would match most of what is found in the ancient Near East. A great deal of it is overgrown with jungle. To get to major sites like Palenque, you walk along dim trails with unexplored walls and passageways. But the existence of these ruins did not set well with the idea of primitive incapacity. The architecture was entirely Indian since they had no contact with Europe.

Chiapas. Compares well with a lot of Roman monumental architecture. There are lots of these: Palenque, Tikal, Piedras Negras, Copán, Yaxchilan, Teotihuacan, Caracol, Uxmal, etc.
Chiapas. Compares well with a lot of Roman monumental architecture. There are lots of these: Palenque, Tikal, Piedras Negras, Copán, Yaxchilan, Teotihuacan, Caracol, Uxmal, etc.
Chiapas. Time and the weather have not treated this building well, but it seems to me that these things must take considerable engineering talent. Phredfoto
Chiapas. Time and the weather have not treated this building well, but it seems to me that these things must take considerable engineering talent. Phredfoto
Pyramid at Chichén Itsá. For scale, note people at lower left.
Pyramid at Chichén Itsá. For scale, note people at lower left.

Aha! I thought with the brilliance of one who has been hit over the head by the obvious. Something screwy is going on here. How witless can you be and engineer these things? I started poking around. And found interesting stuff. For example:

Writing

The invention of writing is among the major intellectual achievement of humanity and one that occurred at most three or four times on the planet, and perhaps fewer. Specialists argue, idiotically in my view, over whether Chinese was or was not influenced by earlier writing. Specialists have to do something with their time. What is not arguable:

Wikipedia: “It is generally agreed that true writing of language (not only numbers) was invented independently in at least two places: Mesopotamia (specifically, ancient Sumer) around 3200 BC and Mesoamerica around 600 BC. Several Mesoamerican scripts are known, the oldest being from the Olmec or Zapotec of Mexico.”

The Maya script is logosyllabic and said to be functionally similar to Japanese, to which it is utterly unrelated. It is not “proto-writing,” but actual real writing. This was not immediately known because the script had not been deciphered, but now about ninety percent can be read. This doesn’t help as much as might be expected since the Spanish Christians, as destructive as the Muslims of today, burned almost all Maya books–codices actually–and so almost everything we know comes from inscriptions carved on buildings. Imagine how we would look to Martians with the same problem. The book to read if interested is Breaking the Maya Code.

Mesoamerican Mathematics

The Maya had a sophisticated base-20, positional-exponential number system, including zero. The invention of zero is regarded as major advance in mathematics. Until Fibonacci brought zero back from the Hindu-Arab world in 1202, Europe used Roman numerals, which are horrible. I knew this, but had never thought about it. Well, it’s worth a little pondering.

In a positional number system, a number–7, say–has an absolute value–in this case unsurprisingly 7–as well as a different value depending on its position. For example, in the number 100,007, seven means, well, 7. In 100,070, its value is 70, and in 10,700, its value is 700.

“Exponential” means that each position in a number represents a different power of the base, in our case 10. Thus we have ten to the zero power equals one, to the first power, ten; squared, 100, cubed, 1000, and so on.

The Maya, using base twenty, had a similar progression, going 1, 20, 400, 8,000, 160,000 etc.. (Inevitably the choice of 20 as the base is attributed to our number of fingers and toes, though I have trouble imagining anyone actually counting on his toes.)

Neither of these ideas is obvious, or anywhere approaching obvious. Both eluded Archimedes, for example. They seem natural to us because were are steeped in them from the first grade and, since everyone has had high school algebra, exponents seem routine. Using a thing and inventing it are very different animals. Any bright freshman can sling definite integrals; it took a Newton to invent them.

Imagine that you are a Mesoamerican Indian somewhere in Central America trying to figure out how to deal with large numbers. The fact that you are interested in large numbers suggests that you are not stupid. You have never had high-school algebra or heard of exponentiation. I cannot imagine how you would get from here to “Eureka!” (though as a Maya you probably didn’t know Greek either).

The idea, “Hey, what if I line up powers of 20, multiply them by sort of coefficients, and add them….?”–is a huge intellectual leap. So far as I can determine, it only happened twice. It never happened in Europe.

For the mathematically curious, the Maya system had a remarkable peculiarity. Number systems, or anyway all I have heard of, require a number of symbols equal to the base. For example, binary, base-2, has two symbols, 0 and 1; decimal, base-10, ten symbols 0-9; and hexadecimal, base sixteen, 0-F. So I thought, Oh help, I’m going to have to memorize twenty symbols of some weird sort. In fact, the Maya ran a base-20 system with only three symbols representing 0, 1, and 5. That is truly strange, but it works. If interested, the link above explains it nicely.

ORDER IT NOW

For the record, from The Story of Mathematics: “The importance of astronomy and calendar calculations in Mayan society required mathematics, and the Maya constructed quite early a very sophisticated number system, possibly more advanced than any other in the world at the time ….The Pre-classic Maya and their neighbors had independently developed the concept of zero by at least as early as 36 BCE, and we have evidence of their working with sums up to the hundreds of millions, and with dates so large it took several lines just to represent them. ”

Finally, the Mesoamericans invented a base-twenty abacus that would be difficult to explain in a sentence but takes only about ten minutes to learn. It easily and precisely expresses numbers into the hundreds of millions, though it is not clear why the average Maya would want to do this.

The Meso Abacus, good for numbers to 20 to the 13th power.
The Meso Abacus, good for numbers to 20 to the 13th power.

Curious from a Stone Age people, which they essentially were.

Various sources assert that the Maya could perhaps add and subtract (they certainly could) but could not multiply or divide. A problem with this theory is that only four Maya documents remain, the rest having been burned by the Spanish clergy, and societies do not carve grocery lists into monuments.

However, a densely populated, complex urban people engaged in trade with other city-states and constructing elaborate buildings would almost have to be administratively numerate. A Maya civil engineer building a wall twenty feet by thirty would have little idea how many bricks he needed unless he could multiply the number in a horizontal row by the number of rows necessary. Further, if he needed two thousand bricks and porters brought them ten at a load, he would have to divide two thousand by ten to order his material. Putting it simply, the said engineer (a) needed a functioning number system, (b) had one and so (c) probably used it.

The Wheel

It is often said that the Maya never invented the wheel. Actually they did. Hundreds of these wheeled pull-toys for children have been found. Several writers have commented that it is difficult to understand why the Maya were unable to manage the mental leap to making full-sized carts. But of course they could. Thing is, there were no animals to pull them, such as horses or donkeys. Making a mental leap to horses does not get you a horse. Well, say some, why didn’t they make wheeled carts and pull them?

Note that if men are used to pull a cart, they are pulling the weight of both the cart and the load. In the absence of steel, a cart sturdy enough to bear much weight would involve heavy wooden beams, heavy wooden axles, and heavy wooden wheels that, being rimmed with wood, would wear out with extreme rapidity. If the cart weighed five hundred pounds, and the cargo another five hundred, then the human pushañullers would have to translate a thousand pounds per mile to deliver five hundred. Dividing the load up and having the pushapullers carry the weight individually would require much less work, and no maintenance of wheels. Do you suppose they thought of this?

Metallurgy

Many lightly read and growly web louts assert that the Maya were a Stone Age people. This lack of metals may explain why the Spanish so easily stole their gold and silver.

In fact metallurgy appeared in Latin America–which of course was not then Latin–quite early. Iron did not appear at all.

From Pre-Colombian Ecuador
From Pre-Colombian Ecuador

Wikipedia: “South American metal working seems to have developed in the Andean region of modern Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina with gold and copper being hammered and shaped into intricate objects, particularly ornaments. Recent finds date the earliest gold work to 2155–1936 BCE. and the earliest copper work to 1432–1132 BCE. Ice core studies in Bolivia however suggest copper smelting may have begun as early as 2000 BCE.”

In South and Mesoamerica, gold, silver and copper in pure form or alloys were made by lost-wax casting into intricate objects. In lost-wax casting, you make a wax figure–a statue, bell, or ornament perhaps. You coat it with clay, leaving small holes at top and bottom. You then pour molten metal into the top hole. The wax melts and runs out the bottom hole, leaving the metal to harden in exactly the shape of the original artifact. It is not three-D printing, but neither is it primitive.

Maya Civilization Keeps Growing

The general public knows little of the Maya and, until recently, archaeologists were not much better. This is changing. For example, some 60,000 Mayan structures, previously unknown, were recently found in the Guatemalan rain forest. A few snippets and link:

BBC: “Results from the research using Lidar technology, which is short for “light detection and ranging,” suggest that Central America supported an advanced civilization more akin to sophisticated cultures like ancient Greece or China….The archaeologists were struck by the “incredible defensive features,”which included walls, fortresses and moats….

“With this new data it’s no longer unreasonable to think that there were 10 to 15 million people there,” said Mr Estrada-Belli,..Another discovery that surprised archaeologists was the complex network of causeways linking all the Maya cities in the area. The raised highways, allowing easy passage even during rainy seasons, were wide enough to suggest they were heavily trafficked and used for trade…..”

To call the Maya a Stone Age people is correct if you disregard gold and silver, and deeply satisfying to web louts of twilit understanding, but a tad deceptive to those who think. These were people who invented writing, hydraulic cement, paper (as much paper-like as papyrus anyway), the wheel, the planet’s best number system at the time, elaborate water-management systems, paved roads, schools, astonishingly accurate astronomical observations, and densely populated cities requiring the organized supply of food from outlying farms. This they did as a small, almost totally isolated people in a rain forest. The Roman Empire (for example) had the advantage of intellectual and cultural contact with many contemporary and older civilizations–Greece, Persia, Phoenicians, and the Hellenistic world among others, and yet did not invent a number system. In fact Europe in its entirety did not invent one, or the wheel, or writing. Categories more instructive for analogizing civilizations might be Pre-agricultural, Agricultural, Pre-literate, and Literate.

Human Sacrifice

ORDER IT NOW

The Maya in the popular mind are thought to have been murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. This is probably because they were in fact murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. Why this is thought especially reprehensible is a mystery. The Romans sacrificed large numbers in the arena so that the public could enjoy watching them die, crucified large numbers, and poured molten lead down the throats of criminals. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive. The Tudors hanged criminals, cut them down still conscious, opened their abdomens and removed their bowels while still alive, and had four horses attached to their arms and legs put them into pieces. And of course everybody and his dog put entire cities to the sword, from Joshua to Hiroshima. Despite their best efforts the Maya could not keep up with the moderns.

The Arts

The aesthetic is a matter of taste but these to my eye appear artistically respectable. The Maya of today do nothing in math and technology, but retain a fine sense for design and color.
The aesthetic is a matter of taste but these to my eye appear artistically respectable. The Maya of today do nothing in math and technology, but retain a fine sense for design and color.

Astronomy

Again from The Story of Mathematics: The Maya “were able to measure the length of the solar year to a far higher degree of accuracy than that used in Europe (their calculations produced 365.242 days, compared to the modern value of 365.242198), as well as the length of the lunar month (their estimate was 29.5308 days, compared to the modern value of 29.53059).”

Conclusion

It is well not to make more of a people than they were, but also not to make less. In their Classic Period (200-900 A.D.) the Maya were far ahead of the Nordic peoples of Europe, though they did not come close to the Greeks. (Who did?) In the book of civilization, they belong perhaps on the same page with Egypt. The Gauls, Huns, Hittites, and Europe outside of the Roman Empire would serve as footnotes. Papua-New Guineans the Maya were not.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Mayans 
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  1. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:

    I have always have had a problem with the idea that the Mayans had anything to do with the splendid pyramids like Chichen Itsa other than having done the manual labor. How could the Spanish have completely erased their brains? Every other place on the earth that had a great civilization (like Egypt, China, India) and the population might of been less advanced than previously, but never reverted to the stone age like the Mayans and Aztecs did. There are examples of unbelievably sophisticated building technologies all over the Americas that have been lost. In Cuzco, there are walls that show enormous blocks that fit together with great precision and the much less sophisticated Inca stonework that the Incas did on top. There are glaring examples of this all over the Americas that politically correct archaeologists ignore because they can’t explain it. It contradicts their world view. It’s easy to explain all these when one comes to the conclusion that there was a great disaster or disasters that happened thousands of years ago and wiped out most of the world’s civilizations. Science gives us examples in explanations of what caused weird formations such as the Scablands of Washington State.
    http://www.sevenwondersofwashingtonstate.com/the-channeled-scablands.html
    What we are seeing in Yucatan and other areas of Mexico are structures that were built by civilizations that existed not in 100 BC but more like 12000 BC!

  2. Anonymous[135] • Disclaimer says:

    Fred, it is hard to get beyond the MASS continued human sacrifices and cannibalism.

    • Replies: @niteranger
  3. How did that greatness you describe ever turn into Mexico Fred? You left that out.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  4. peterAUS says:
    @anonymous

    Ancient civilizations “debate”….. here?
    Good luck there.

    While we are onto it,though, when, do you think, it all started?

    Deeper in the rabbit hole….who started it, in your opinion?

    • Replies: @TRM
  5. Rurik says:

    Conclusion

    It is well not to make more of a people than they were, but also not to make less. In their Classic Period (200-900 A.D.) the Maya were far ahead of the Nordic peoples of Europe, though they did not come close to the Greeks

    the Maya must have somehow been in France around the time the Nordic peoples there were cannibals sleeping in their own excrement.

    https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/lavau-celtic-prince-2500-year-old-royal-tomb-starts-reveal-its-secrets-1623933

    S0meone must have taught them this technology. Obviously they’re not smart enough to figure this stuff out on their own.

    Or, as I suspect, there was many thousands of such tombs and artifacts pointing to a very advanced culture during those days. But in the style of Caesar burning the Library of Alexandria, powerful people do not like, and are often willing to destroy all evidence that doesn’t support their particular narrative, which is the foundation of their power. So all those Byzantium priests, when confronted with artifacts or fossils, that were in any way inconvenient to their particular narrative, had those artifacts destroyed.

    It’s even going on today in Sweden

    http://www.eutimes.net/2017/08/sweden-caught-destroying-all-new-found-viking-archeological-artifacts/

    http://www.renegadetribune.com/critiqued-swedens-black-minister-culture-ordered-viking-artifacts-melted-recycled/

    this was an excellent video of the subject, but it’s been taken down.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9onF9T7Q_88

  6. @anonymous

    “How could the Spanish have completely erased their brains? ”

    wipe out 90 percent of the population of the US, destroy all the reference material and prevent access to new knowledge and see how fast US brains “shrink”

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Wally
  7. Asagirian says:

    This is probably because they were in fact murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. Why this is thought especially reprehensible is a mystery. The Romans sacrificed large numbers… so that the public could enjoy watching them die, crucified large numbers, and poured molten lead down the throats of criminals. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept… The Tudors hanged criminals, cut them down still conscious, opened their abdomens and removed their bowels while still alive… . And of course everybody and his dog put entire cities to the sword, from Joshua to Hiroshima. Despite their best efforts the Maya could not keep up with the moderns.

    Why was Mayan human sacrifice ‘worse’? Romans killed for entertainment or punishment. Now, killing people for entertainment is grisly and ugly, but it is what it is. Romans didn’t pretend it was anything more elevated than bloody fun. People like to see violence. We love violent movies and violent video-games. Romans did it for real. But Romans never claimed there was any moral or spiritual dimension to gladiator sports. As for stuff like crucifixion, they were meant as punishment. A bit too extreme perhaps but still a tool of ‘justice’ and power, nothing more and nothing less. Draconian but meant as a message to make people obey and preserve the peace.

    While European witch-hunts could be ugly and violent, the point was to root out evil and demonic forces. Europeans believed that certain individuals were possessed with evil spirits or dabbled in witchcraft to serve Satan. So, they believed such people must be smoked out and punished so that God’s way would prevail. Witch-hunts were NOT done to honor Devil but to defeat him.

    Tudors had an ugly way to treating criminals, but it was still a form of justice, punishment for bad elements.

    In any case, one could put forth moral and/or rational arguments against what the Romans, Christians, and Tudors did. One could argue that gladiatorial sports, while fun and exciting, are cruel and ugly. One could argue that hunting witches, though in the name of God against the Devil, is excessive and unforgiving(against the preaching of Jesus). And one could argue that the Tudors were a bit to sadistic in their treatment of criminals. Though we find what was done back then as ugly and gross, we can still understand the motivations behind them on the human and even moral level.

    But what is to make of Mayan human sacrifice? It wasn’t for sports or entertainment, which is ugly but understandable as spectacle and thrill. It wasn’t to root out evil(as with witch-hunts). It wasn’t to punish the criminal elements.
    It was a ritual of sacrificing innocents to amoral or even immoral gods. The very cosmology of the Mayans was demented and psychotic. It believed that the universe is ruled by cruel uncaring and sadistic gods who demand sacrifice of the innocent. Against such psychopathy, there could be no moral or rational argument. The culture was twisted and demented at its core. Christians misused the teachings of the just God. Mayans correctly served their immoral gods by slaughtering the innocents.

    And that may have been why no South American civilization was able to maintain continuity. They could make art, do math, master astronomy, and build temples. But they failed to come up with a deep and resilient theory or vision of justice. Greeks and Romans, even as pagans, believed in gods who had the power of reason and ethics, even though they were far from perfect themselves. Apollo and Athena favored reason and intelligence. Zeus was not without sentiment.
    And even though Jews and Christians bloodied their hands time and time again, their conception of God was one of power and justice. In contrast, the South American civilizations were dead in soul. They were alive in many endeavors and remarkable in many respects, but they failed to fill the soul with moral-spiritual meaning. Civilization after civilization, from Mayans to Aztecs to Incas, they fell to the ritual of human sacrifice to appease the blood-thirst of amoral or even immoral gods. When a people believe that even the gods are heartless and amoral, they are bound to fall no matter their achievement in monumental architecture and mathematics.

    As for modern wars and their mass killing of millions, war is hell. Always has been and always will be.

  8. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rurik

    That link about Sweden destroying artifacts from the iron and bronze ages sounds very fishy to me. Everything on the web is not the truth. Even a dim-witted negro knows that old artefacts are worth a lot of money. They could buy lots of hair extensions and malt liquor.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  9. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Scalpel

    Methinks that this has already happened in the US>

  10. There are alternate theories as to Mesoamerican marvels and Machu Picchu. To wit:

  11. Thanks Fred. Your work and reason is appreciated.

  12. Throughout a large region, sort of Yucatan through parts of Honduras, you find ruined cities of monumental architecture that would match most of what is found in the ancient Near East.

    Native Mesoamerica isn’t ancient, though. They’re contemporaneous with the Cologne Cathedral and Thomas Aquinas. Not so impressive when viewed in that context.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  13. MBlanc46 says:

    Great. Good on ‘em. I have nothing against these people. No. Thing. I have nothing against Sub-Saharan Africans. I have nothing against Milddle Easterners. I have nothing against Subcontinentals. I have nothing against the Chinese, But the Central Americans should stay in Central America. The Sub-Saharan Africans should stay in Africa. The Middle Easterners should stay in the Middle East. The Subcontinentals should stay on the Indian Subcontinent. The Chinese should stay in China. I’ll stay in the US, except as a tourist.

    • Agree: Joseph Doaks
    • Replies: @another fred
  14. swamped says:

    “The Gauls, Huns, Hittites, and Europe outside of the Roman Empire would serve as footnotes”…but not for long. Every dog has its day.Maybe it’s time all these descendants of the marvelous Mayans rebuilt the glories of their ancient utopia and stayed there. Interesting though that, “archaeologists were struck by the ‘incredible defensive features,’ [of Mayan settlements]which included walls, fortresses and moats….” So it seems Mayan civilization was also very advanced in recognizing the need to Build A Wall long before someone else in the hemisphere thought of it. Then how can anyone with Mayan heritage object to a big, beautiful Wall? Some one please tell that jerk Pelosi how historically correct a Wall in the Americas really is!

    • Agree: Alfred
  15. Until Fibonacci brought zero back from the Hindu-Arab world in 1202, Europe used Roman numerals, which are horrible.

    The Roman Empire seem to have managed rather well with them.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  16. ‘…Further, if he needed two thousand bricks and porters brought them ten at a load, he would have to divide two thousand by ten to order his material. Putting it simply, the said engineer (a) needed a functioning number system, (b) had one and so (c) probably used it…’

    Or, he could have just kept demanding more bricks. I wound up buying six cubic yards of bark to cover the yard of our new house until I could deal with it.

    Did I calculate this volume correctly?

    No… I bought one cubic yard, spread it, said ‘hmm’ and bought five more.

    There’s no compelling reason the Mayan engineer couldn’t have done the equivalent.

  17. ‘…“With this new data it’s no longer unreasonable to think that there were 10 to 15 million people there,”…’

    ‘..This they did as a small, almost totally isolated people in a rain forest….’

    Make up your mind. Ten to fifteen million people is a pretty respectable number for a pre-modern society. For example, the Holy Roman Empire on the eve of the Thirty Years War is estimated to have had eight million people. Even a monster like China frequently dipped to as low as sixty million.

    P.S., you’re actually one of my favorite bloggers here. I’m just naturally argumentative.

  18. @anonymous coward

    ‘Native Mesoamerica isn’t ancient, though. They’re contemporaneous with the Cologne Cathedral and Thomas Aquinas. Not so impressive when viewed in that context.

    Yeah, but on the other hand, they got a later start.

    If one assumes that civilization advances through multiple layers of paleolithic and then neolithic culture, and then literate, monument building cultures, and that each advance is driven by resource depletion coupled with population growth, then the mere fact of not having had to make the preliminary advances until later would put the Maya et al several thousand years behind — and in fact, they had pretty clearly advanced to at least the stage marked by ancient Sumer by 1000 a.d. — which would be right about where they should have been.

    Civilization advances in response to need. It took the native Americans quite awhile just to fill up the Americas and deplete the game. Only then would they have had an incentive to start first, primitive farming, and then the advance to still more elaborate societies. The Indians of Eastern North America, for example, had just visibly reached the point where there were just not enough deer and berries, and so had started primitive farming when the Europeans showed up. Presumably, the predecessors of the Maya had passed that point about three thousand years previously, and the inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia about six thousand years before that. Not at all coincidentally, perhaps, the ancient Near East would have been about the first area to be settled by non-black people. Is it at all surprising it was the first to start moving along this arc? Hunting is fun, and so is collecting nuts and berries. Only when these give out do people start thinking about what to do instead.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @dfordoom
  19. Just one nitpick, Fred…

    Until Fibonacci brought zero back from the Hindu-Arab world in 1202, Europe used Roman numerals, which are horrible. I knew this, but had never thought about it.

    Not really: for technical applications, Roman mathematics used a Greek number system, which better enabled the geometry, algebra and so forth that they inherited from the Greeks (and they improved upon it, too). They (Romans and Greeks) also had zero as a concept (but not infinitesimals, although Archimedes was sneaking up on it as far as we can tell from what we recovered from his “Methods”).

    Readers might also be interested to note that thanks to multispectral aerial and satellite imagery (LIDAR, mostly), the size of major Mesoamerican city complexes has been re-estimated to be between 16 and 24x as large as previous estimates. El Palmar (one site) is 40x as large as prior estimates. Not bad for a pack of nikked savages who were ostensibly spending most of their time doing human sacrifices, eh?

    Tikal is actually gigantic – it may have had 250,000 inhabitants in its exurbs: the most recent survey discovered an additional 61,480 structures hidden in jungle overgrowth.

    Science is constantly showing us the limits of our knowledge – of the depths of the ocean; of space; and of shit right under our feet on dry land that no man has walked on for half a millennium.

    Meanwhile, some folks are content to waste their emotional energy trying to perpetuate a Late Bronze Age ahistorical belief system that makes ‘Apocalypto’ look like kindergarten.

    • Agree: niceland
    • Replies: @Negrolphin Pool
  20. Bliss says:
    @Asagirian

    The very cosmology of the Mayans was demented and psychotic. It believed that the universe is ruled by cruel uncaring and sadistic gods who demand sacrifice of the innocent. Against such psychopathy, there could be no moral or rational argument.

    Was Jesus not innocent?

  21. It believed that the universe is ruled by cruel uncaring and sadistic gods who demand sacrifice of the innocent. Against such psychopathy, there could be no moral or rational argument.

    But a god who drowns the world because some people weren’t kissing his arse enough… that‘s OK?

    A god who deliberately and wantonly tortures a genuinely pious man (Job) to win a bet… that‘s OK?

    A god who insists that his adherents kill “every thing that breathes” when conquering… that‘s OK?

    A god who ‘smites’ 15,000 of his ‘favourite’ people because they find the enemy ladies a bit fetching (and therefore rape them rather than genociding them as instructed)… that‘s OK?
    .

    The Mesoamericans looked at the world and thought “Whoever thought this up is a cruel cunt: if we decide to have a propitiary ritual, it better be suitably bloodthirsty or we risk their wrath“.

    A bunch of retards in the Levant looked at the world and thought “Whoever thought this up is a cruel cunt. If we decide have a propitiary ritual, we should mutilate our baby boy’s genitals, and slaughter livestock, set fire to the offal, and sprinkle blood around the altar, for it is a sweet savour unto the Lord“.

    Fuck me drunk. Rank-ordering primitive nonsense is a fool’s errand, but if you’re remotely sympathetic to the Yahweh cult, you haven’t got a leg to stand on.

    • Agree: Stan d Mute
  22. Bliss says:

    Fred the fraud wrote:

    Most Latinos of the south are either a mixture of Spanish and Indian, or sometimes pure Indian.

    Wrong. Most Latinos are triracial. Just because you have a pathological hatred of africans doesn’t mean you can change reality.

    Btw, before the Maya there were the Olmecs the Mother Civilization of the Americas. I am guessing you are avoiding visiting the famous 3500 years old Olmec head statues because they would scramble your brain:

  23. @Asagirian

    ‘… It believed that the universe is ruled by cruel uncaring and sadistic gods who demand sacrifice of the innocent…’

    That seems to more satisfactorily explain the course of events than the theory that there is a kind, caring, and benevolent God who protects the innocent.

    Anyway, it is an observable fact that we tend to extend a certain understanding to our own sins but be self-righteously outraged by those of others.

    • Replies: @Asagirian
  24. @Asagirian

    Very good comparison, Asagirian. (I just used up my AGREE a bit ago.) It is true that all cultures contained a lot more wanton cruelty than they do in the present. That might have had to do with the Enlightenment, but then that doesn’t explain China with their 5,000 y/o culture that was definitely not always at peace*, but you don’t read of this cruelty describe in Mr. Reed’s and your comment.

    However, the myth of the noble Indian savage is being torn up, as more archaeological finds discover thing that make one realize “Hey, maybe Cortez and Pizarro did the right thing after all.” See Peak Stupidity’s Cannibalism as microAggression writ LARGE. If you want to be entertained by this stuff, I’ve got reviews of a movie called The Green Inferno (Part 1 and Part 2 – DON’T READ PT 2, IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE MOVIE – IT’S A SPOILER!)

    I’m glad Mr. Reed at least gives kudos to ancient Greek civilization. He hasn’t got that far to hate all things Western yet …

    .

    * They had wars with the same order-of-magnitude as many men killed as in WWII that most Westerners have NEVER EVEN HEARD OF.

  25. On the Civil Engineering of the Mayans:

    No, Fred, using arithmetic to calculate quantities of brick required is not engineering. I’ve known you don’t have a clue what engineering involves, ever since you came out with your reasons why it’s so hard to build walls.

    I see the apartment building and pyramid pictures and am not that impressed, I’ve got to tell you (though the system of raised walkways in the swamps that you mention may be more impressive). Until I see arches, wood (at least) beams for which bending moments, and normal and shear stresses are calculated, I don’t see much real engineering – that’s in the Western sense, not in the School of Ancient Bad-Mouthed Civilizations Studies sense.

    This stuff is just piled up blocks and concrete, done with the back-breaking labor of millions of peasants, same as it is in any civilization that DOESN’T create engineering. Engineers make better methods of construction, and they would have made wheels and carts work.

    WTF, BTW is that about the carts? Americans had huge-ass Conestoga wagons with wooden wheels. They may have used metal for the riding surface, but didn’t you just say these people had copper*? I get that there were no beasts of burden, but you don’t need to make a 1,000 lb cart, and if you can make a decent road and keep the rolling resistance down, nobody is pulling 1,000 lb, even if the cart weighs that.

    Physics, dude! Even gonzo-journalists should learn a little bit, especially if they are going to shoot their mouths off about engineering.

    .

    * Oh, and thousands of years after refining copper, and all that used it for was ornaments? No wonder the Conquistadors had no respect for these people.

  26. On the Mayan number system:

    I did look over the numbering system. Here’s what I think of it. With the simple symbology, made of lines that resemble sticks and big dots that resemble stones (hmmm), it was indeed made to be easy to work with by uneducated people. The addition and subtraction of large numbers is pretty neat, I’ll admit.

    However, as the site says (and I kind of wondered about already), the system does not enable multiplication and division. It seems pretty much worthless for that, unless you just want to multiply or divide by 20, 400, etc. Engineers of any kind, even if they are doing nothing but coming up with a bill of materials, would need to multiply and divide readily.

    I don’t at all think the system is as bad as Roman Numerals, as much as they look pretty when carved into buildings. No, Roman Numerals are terrible for math, but this Mayan 3-symboled deal is not made for any kind of serious math. It’s not the base 20 – nothing wrong with that – but it’s the lack of a symbol for each of the 20 numbers we must represent in a base-20 symbol ( 0 through 19). As you noted yourself, Mr. Reed, base-16 has the letters in there, 0-9, then A-F, making 16.

    It is interesting nonetheless. Imagine if someone decoded the language.

  27. Interesting history lesson. But they are not my people. They are not of my culture. They do not belong in the United States.

    Build the wall, deport them all.

  28. Rurik says:
    @anonymous

    That link about Sweden destroying artifacts from the iron and bronze ages sounds very fishy to me. Everything on the web is not the truth. Even a dim-witted negro knows that old artefacts are worth a lot of money.

    Last year a sensational little dragon was found in Birka. It looked the more like a lump of rust when it was picked up, but the archaeologists in Birka are among the few who have the time and capabilities to investigate. On a commissioned archaeological dig, the dragon would probably have been thrown away.

    Archaeologists do not give away or sell finds because they do not want to create a market for antiquities and encourage robbers with metal detectors, says Runer. Thus: the bin.

    “It is troubling when in other countries everything is done to preserve their heritage …,” says archaeologist Lena Holmquist.

    Conclusion: If society no longer believes it can afford to take responsibility for Sweden’s history, county councils should stop builders and developers from excavating ancient sites. One alternative is to stop outsourcing the cultural heritage to the lowest bidder with the largest waste bin.

    The dragon head of Birka

    https://neveryetmelted.com/2017/08/24/in-sweden-officials-are-simply-recycling-bronze-and-iron-age-artifacts/

    but no doubt a Maya or other numinous savants from south of the equator left it there, being as the Nordics were primitive peoples grunting in the bogs, with no discernible language or skills.

    https://www.wired.com/2009/08/bogosphere/

    This wheel was discovered in the Netherlands along with another just like it. It’s about 2½ feet in diameter and carved from a single piece of oak. It’s been dated to 2700 B.C., which makes it one of the oldest wheels found in Europe

    • Replies: @Bliss
    , @Stan d Mute
  29. Truth says:

    LOL Frijole Fred rides again!

    Dude, I gave you the golden ratio years ago, you decline to use it, but If you did you would pretty much be isolated from criticism here.

    OK, so you have 4 basic topics of your blog:

    1. I hate N-s.

    2. I love Mess-Kins

    3. War is hell.

    4. The (white) US gov’t is incompetent.

    Ok, out of every 10 articles just break it down like this:

    US Gov’t incopetent -1

    War is hell, -1

    I love Mess-Kins -2

    I hate N’s – 6

    If you write to this golden mean, you will be fine to all but the most ardent WN’s. Trust me FF, I’m your friend.

    (…Oh, and I forgot, when you write the 4 non I hate N’s articles, make sure you dog whistle that point at least once. You do seem to have that part down already though.)

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  30. I fail to see the point of all this. Oh right, it’s for Fred to point his bony gringo finger in the faces of those unnamed “web louts” who say disrespectful things about people who scavenge gasoline gushing from a broken pipeline, until some genius lights up a Newport, turning hundreds into gyrating human flambes. I don’t know the precise IQ required for this activity, but my guess is it would be in the 83 range.

  31. Asagirian says:
    @Colin Wright

    That seems to more satisfactorily explain the course of events than the theory that there is a kind, caring, and benevolent God who protects the innocent.

    True, the way of the world is violent and cruel. BUT, that is precisely why we need to counter the natural way of the world with a more humane vision. Not that we will create heaven on earth, but surely a people who struggle to move away from human sacrifice are preferable to people who succumb to it on grounds of appeasing the gods.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  32. @Rurik

    In their Classic Period (200-900 A.D.) the Maya were far ahead of the Nordic peoples of Europe

    Stone Age
    ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking

    Iron Age
    Northern Europe (500 BC – AD 800)

    Commentaries on the Gallic War

    [MORE]

    Commentaries on the Gallic War
    …the Veneti both have a very great number of ships, with which they have been accustomed to sail to Britain

    …The keels were somewhat flatter than those of our ships, whereby they could more easily encounter the shallows and the ebbing of the tide: the prows were raised very high, and, in like manner the sterns were adapted to the force of the waves and … The ships were built wholly of oak, and designed to endure any force and violence whatever; the benches which were made of planks a foot in breadth, were fastened by iron spikes of the thickness of a man’s thumb; the anchors were secured fast by iron chains instead of cables, and for sails they used skins and thin dressed leather.

    • Replies: @Rurik
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  33. Corvinus says:
    @Colin Wright

    “Only then would they have had an incentive to start first, primitive farming, and then the advance to still more elaborate societies.”

    Let’s offer the proper context here.

    –Three centuries ago, corn-farming Indians in today’s New York State were out-producing European wheat farmers.

    –The lack of plows in the Americas actually helped sustain soil fertility.

    –Stable, sophisticated food-gathering systems existed throughout the Great Plains

    –Natives in Canada, specifically, British Columbia, implemented a sophisticated permaculture to harvest the same plants year after year

  34. @Bragadocious

    Mexicans smoking Newports. I don’t care who you are, that’s funny!!

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  35. @anonymous

    Wiping out a civilization is easy if the people with the organizational skills (writing, numeracy, etc.) are a small percentage of the population. That some of the skills evident in the Mayan survived to be revived is evident in such civilizations as the Aztec and Inca. The Maya were preceded by the Olmec.

    It takes a while to get re-organized. The more skilled people there are the faster the re-organization.

    Western example:

  36. @MBlanc46

    If people started staying at home it would be the first time in human history that they had done so.

    I suggest that a more modest and maybe realistic aim would have been to keep the numbers to a manageable level so that societies (I’m mostly interested in mine, here in the USA) are not catastrophically destabilized. Unfortunately, the USA has a great tradition of romantic optimism and that horse left the barn in 1965.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  37. @Corvinus

    ‘…Let’s offer the proper context here.

    –Three centuries ago, corn-farming Indians in today’s New York State were out-producing European wheat farmers.

    –The lack of plows in the Americas actually helped sustain soil fertility.

    –Stable, sophisticated food-gathering systems existed throughout the Great Plains

    –Natives in Canada, specifically, British Columbia, implemented a sophisticated permaculture to harvest the same plants year after year.’

    They must have been pretty advanced. You used the word ‘sophisticated’ not once, but twice.

    …I don’t suppose we’re talking about going back to the same huckleberry patch each summer?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  38. @Asagirian

    ‘True, the way of the world is violent and cruel. BUT, that is precisely why we need to counter the natural way of the world with a more humane vision. Not that we will create heaven on earth, but surely a people who struggle to move away from human sacrifice are preferable to people who succumb to it on grounds of appeasing the gods.’

    Sure. I just thought it was only fair to note that the Maya did have a point.

  39. They also did drugs. Wild crazy drugs.

    And engaged in sorcery. Wild crazy sorcery.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  40. @Achmed E. Newman

    ‘* Oh, and thousands of years after refining copper, and all that used it for was ornaments? No wonder the Conquistadors had no respect for these people.’

    I wonder if there were easily exploited sources of tin in the New World? No tin, no bronze. No bronze, no point. Not until you discover that iron can be smelted — and that requires serious heat.

    I’m galloping off here, but it would be ironic if in fact no tin was easily available. Jared Diamond made all those lame excuses for everyone — but he never noticed that.

    Anyway, the Maya et al seem to have been at about the level of the ancient Sumerians, early Egyptians, Mohenjo Daro, et al — sort of stage one civilization, before the discovery of bronze and all the impacts that had.

  41. @Bragadocious

    ‘…I don’t know the precise IQ required for this activity, but my guess is it would be in the 83 range.’

    It struck me more as what happens if you have a materialistic, consumer culture — with lots of poor people.

    There would be all these Mexicans with their pickups — who can’t afford to buy gas to put in them. So someone busts a gas line, and now there’s free gas squirting everywhere.

    I can see lots of people rushing to get it. If you’re really poor, you rush to get it because now you have something you can sell to someone who does have a pickup. After all, it’ll just soak into the ground if you don’t. One would have to be singularly principled not to take advantage — given the dire need.

    Then, kablooey. Sad, more than anything. Not really evidence of either intelligence or its absence.

  42. Rurik says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    In their Classic Period (200-900 A.D.) the Maya were far ahead of the Nordic peoples of Europe

    it is supreme arrogance to presume we modern humans know the full story of our collective history, based on what archeological remains have lasted the myriad dynasties that have laid waste to so much of our ancient fossil and artifact records.

    These figurines

    are from Gobekli Tepe, dating back to 9000 BC.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

    What wonders, one can only imagine.. were documented in the Library of Alexandria, before a power-crazed tyrant burned them to ashes.

    We really know next to nothing about the early Holocene Epoch..

    This is a computer like devise found off the coast of Greece, dating from about 100 BC

    shortly after the reign of Alexander the Great

    if such a device had been discovered during the Dark Ages, do you suppose the all-powerful priests of the day would have heralded the discovery as a challenge to their religious narratives, or simply destroyed the damnable thing as a threat to their earthy power?

    • Agree: Stan d Mute
  43. @Asagirian

    You are an idiot. Gladiatorial contests were religious rituals.

    Any everyday Mayan is smarter than you.

    • Replies: @Asagirian
  44. You are all idiots. You just scrabble around trying to find something anything no matter how stupid in order to badmouth Mayans because it doesn’t fit your prejudices to see them as superior to your smelly flea-bitten ancestors.

    The agriculture and husbandry of the Americas was eminently, enormously, fantastically superior to that of the West. The West won, not because of guns and horses, how stupid to think that blunderbusses and animals could have made a difference, no, the West won because of General Smallpox, and Colonel Influenza. 100 million Indians lived in the pre-Columbian Americans. Within a few generations, 90% of them were dead without seeing a white man.

    You people just believe all the crap you were sold back in 50s grade-school. And continue to parrot it as if it were news which it aint.

    • Agree: Bliss, bluedog
    • Replies: @renfro
  45. As regards the savagery of the gods in Meso-America, the Middle East, or anywhere else is concerned, these people were trying to explain catastrophic natural phenomena. storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, and it is likely even strikes from asteroids or comet fragments.

    The ferocity of the phenomena they experienced would shape their “understanding” of the beings that controlled the skies and earth. While it seems possible (likely, to me) that the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah are based on some sort of actual astronomical event, it is also possible that the Meso-Americans had a cultural memory of a strike that occurred at the Younger Dryas. Even if these extreme events are not eventually proven there are still volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. that would strike, to say nothing of seemingly healthy people dropping dead from time to time.

    The need to propitiate these “gods” with sacrifice may come from some aspect of human psychology, but instead it may come from some tradition that was established in human groups before the dispersion of Homo Sapiens from MENA some 50,000 to 70,000 years ago. We don’t know about that.

    Point being that the difference in culture may stem from a difference in experience, not HBD.

  46. @Corvinus

    –Three centuries ago, corn-farming Indians in today’s New York State were out-producing European wheat farmers.

    –The lack of plows in the Americas actually helped sustain soil fertility.

    –Stable, sophisticated food-gathering systems existed throughout the Great Plains

    Yet none of these groups could support a population large enough to keep the whites from conquering them.
    None of these groups developed the wheel.
    None of these groups developed metalworking.

    They were and are cultural dead ends.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  47. Asagirian says:
    @obwandiyag

    You are an idiot. Gladiatorial contests were religious rituals.

    In the sense that American Sports are ‘nationalist’ rituals because they sing the National Anthem before the game.

    Invoking some war god before gladiatorial games did not make them meaningfully spiritual.

    You are a pathetic dumbass.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    , @Ragnarok
  48. @Truth

    US Gov’t incopetent -1

    I suppose if a government is going to screw things up then they may a well go big, to the tune of multiples of trillions.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/overcoming-divide-and-conquer-propaganda-to-unite-the-american-people/5666724

  49. Joe862 says:

    Just because they haven’t always sucked doesn’t mean they don’t suck now and haven’t sucked for a while. This long term comparison is useless. Who knows why some of them were advanced long ago? It’s sort of interesting but not useful information. Does anyone not understand that peoples rise and fall? What do advanced ancient civilizations really have in common with the lawn-mowing latinos of today? I don’t wish them any harm but I don’t want them wrecking the schools and displacing my culture. They already have a couple of dozen countries of their own that they can’t govern to their own satisfaction. Do we really need to let them take over here and give them a 25th chance to fail? They don’t have some sacred human right to move here to be babysat by white people.

    • Replies: @Bill
  50. @Bragadocious

    Fred Reed would have nothing to supplement his SS check with, without us web louts, come to think of it. He’d be eating rice and beans… oh, wait, he’s in Mexico, that IS probably what he eats. Sorry, that was not very PC – on Beans, Beaners, and Political Correctness.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  51. @Hippopotamusdrome

    I am interested in this discussion, but do you mind leaving out that “BCE”/”CE” PC crap and using the traditional AD and BC? I know it’s your comment, and maybe just transcribed, but I just hate the political correctness. I used up most of an ink pen one time correcting a library book on this shit. It’s a lot easier on the computer.

    Carry on.

    • Agree: foolisholdman
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
  52. @Si1ver1ock

    So, you’re saying that they had their 1960’s earlier than we did? Sounds pretty advanced.

  53. Corvinus says:
    @Colin Wright

    “They must have been pretty advanced. You used the word ‘sophisticated’ not once, but twice.”

    What is happening here is you are, in typical fashion, undervaluing their agricultural prowess.

    “I don’t suppose we’re talking about going back to the same huckleberry patch each summer?”

    For the early Europeans, probably.

    https://modernfarmer.com/2016/11/pilgrims-no-idea-farm-luckily-native-americans/

  54. Corvinus says:
    @Chris Mallory

    “Yet none of these groups could support a population large enough to keep the whites from conquering them.”

    Indeed. Europeans were legendary in their barbarism and cruelty.

    “None of these groups developed the wheel.”

    Here is the reality–those who insist that wheeled transportation is a definitive benchmark for measuring civilization rarely take the natural environment into account. Suitable draft animals did not exist in the pre-contact Americas. Terrain was another factor that discouraged the development of wheeled transportation in the Americas. European new to North America often found their wheeled wagons inappropriate for the land they were trying to cross. Moreover, indigenous people throughout the Americas used runners to deliver communications. The Inca built a road system that included suspension bridges for their runners.

    “None of these groups developed metalworking.”

    You truly are not that bright. Consider the people of the Old Copper Culture in the Great Lakes region of North America who 7,000 years ago who developed annealing to strengthen the tools they made. In addition, pre-contact metallurgists living in what are now Ecuador and Guatemala learned how to work with platinum by developing a technique called sintering. Caribbean metallurgy has been dated to between 1200-1500 A.D. and consists of simple, small pieces such as sheets, pendants, beads and bells. Once again one must consider environmental conditions when it comes to extraction and use.

    “They were and are cultural dead ends.”

    Not exactly.

  55. @Asagirian

    You know nothing about ancient Rome except from bad movies. I am proud to suffer your obloquy. Rocket Scientist.

    • Replies: @Wally
  56. I see that Mr. Reed reads little:

    “The architecture was entirely Indian since they had no contact with Europe.”

    No open minded reader of history believes that old BS. They could sail all the way around Africa, but not the short trip westward toward Brazil where the currents carry them? There are tons of artifacts, but let us ignore these to admire the brilliance of root grubbers, whose brilliance somehow disappeared.

  57. MBlanc46 says:
    @another fred

    As you note, you’ve answered your own question.

  58. Bliss says:
    @Rurik

    Nordics were primitive peoples grunting in the bogs, with no discernible language or skills.

    No one is saying Nordics were all primitive Neanderthals until recently. But there is no denying that there was no Civilization worthy of the name in Northern Europe until invaders from the South imposed it.

    Which makes the obnoxious nordicist megalomania, which peaked in Nazi Germany, look silly and fraudulent.

    • Replies: @Emblematic
    , @Rurik
    , @Nick Diaz
  59. @Corvinus

    ‘…Suitable draft animals did not exist in the pre-contact Americas…’

    This is kind of a half-point. That it’s endlessly repeated doesn’t make it more valid.

    Neither wild cattle nor wild horses started out as ‘suitable draft animals’ either. They had to be bred for generations before anything like oxen or cart horses came into being.

    So could llamas have been similarly bred? I dunno — but I suspect you don’t either.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  60. @Rurik

    Renegade Tribune is as sketchy as Veterans Today. What these sites do is carry some solid critiques of the mainstream narrative but also include complete crank stuff. The intention is to taint genuine scepticism by mixing it up with kooky paranoid fantasies so that normal people will be turned off and go back to the mainstream,

    • Replies: @Rurik
    , @foolisholdman
  61. @Bliss

    Except the ancient Greeks originally came down from the north themselves. They and the Nordics were both descended from the same Indo-European invaders. Which was what the Nazis thought mattered.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  62. Bliss says:
    @Emblematic

    Typical nordicist nonsense. The immediate ancestors of the ancient Greeks, the Minoans and Mycenaeans, were from the same neighborhood. The ancestors of northern europeans were still primitive hunter gatherers at that time. The modern Greeks are the closest to the ancient Greeks genetically:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/08/greeks-really-do-have-near-mythical-origins-ancient-dna-reveals

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  63. Corvinus says:
    @Colin Wright

    “This is kind of a half-point. That it’s endlessly repeated doesn’t make it more valid.”

    Actually, it’s a complete point. The New World did not develop a (larger than toy-sized) wheel due to the lack of large animals capable of being domesticated enough to be harnessed to said wheels other than fellow humans. There was no pressing need given their available means of transportation.

    “So could llamas have been similarly bred? I dunno — but I suspect you don’t either.”

    Llamas were domesticated about 6000 years ago in the Andean highlands. They were used as pack animals since they are rather docile but too small to be ridden by humans. An increase in their size may have undercut their fitness for the highlands, which was a desired trait. One has to take into account a smaller animal that carries a lighter load, but can navigate winding paths, and a larger animal which carries heavier loads, but has difficulty traveling up and down narrow passages.

    Of course, the wheel did not arrive in the British Isles until 500 B.C., while domestic cattle existed there since around 3000 B.C. So the British had a draught animal available which did not put carts. Why?

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  64. Anonymous[724] • Disclaimer says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    ” the short trip westward toward Brazil where the currents carry them?”

    There have been several artifacts discovered in Brazil which suggest foreign origin. One favored theory (not necessarily mine) suggests that they indicate Carthaginian origin. Then there is that city on the eastern side of the Andes (the name escapes me) the architecture of which bears no relation to the architecture on the western Andes.

    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
  65. @Corvinus

    Caribbean metallurgy has been dated to between 1200-1500 A.D. and consists of simple, small pieces such as sheets, pendants, beads and bells

    Trinkets, not tools. Big difference.

    The travois was the high mark of red savage technology.

    “They were and are cultural dead ends.”

    Not exactly

    An “elder” drumming in the face of his superior is not culture.

    Indeed. Europeans were legendary in their barbarism and cruelty.

    Not hardly, remnants of these barbaric savage red indian cultures still exist as a testimony of the mercy of the white man. We even gave them reservations where they could continue their savage ways.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  66. “… has their Asian blond enstupidated the Spanish?”

    Apparently the Gringos among them too.

  67. Arguments about certain animals not being able to be domesticated are being called into question by the Russian experiments with foxes. The same results are leading to some pretty interesting observations about human evolution.

    https://carta.anthropogeny.org/events/sessions/did-homo-sapiens-self-domesticate

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_red_fox

    • Replies: @Anon
  68. Rurik says:
    @Bliss

    But there is no denying that there was no Civilization worthy of the name in Northern Europe until invaders from the South imposed it.

    I like the way you characterized it as having been “imposed” on them.

    Nation-states are not the most conducive structure for human happiness. Hardly.

    Egypt may have been the first large ‘civilization’, but unless you were royalty, or high up on the societal ladder, life could be brutal and short.

    So if the peoples living in Nordic lands, preferred to live in small tribal groups, perhaps larger chieftain-led societies, that doesn’t mean they were primitive peoples lacking sophistication, as so many would like to suggest.

    If given a choice, would the average person want to live in a Mayan or Aztec-like society, (with all the attendant hierarchies and religious ceremonies) or as a small and self-sufficient farmers and fishermen and tradesmen among their extended families?

    Who today are more advanced, the people of the most powerful civilization the world has ever known – the ZUS 0f A?

    Gaping slack-jawed at computer screens or jerking off to Internet porn?

    or the people in small villages on the outskirts of ‘civilization’, practicing their ancient trades and cultures?

    Which people are more likely to snap, and become the latest ‘school shooter’?

    I have nothing against the modern descendants of the Maya or anyone else. But I do find it tiresome how these agenda-driven SJW are always harping on how savage-like the Nordics or Europeans were until they were civilized by Muslims and Africans, (or in this case, apparently Mexicans).

    It’s all a transparent part of the anti-Western, globohomo agenda to guilt whitey into laying down what he has so that others can take it. Duh.

    The Maya people did have a remarkably advanced (if brutally horrific in many ways) society long ago. So did the Egyptians and Greeks and many others. Kudos to them all.

    But if some lying scoundrel tries to characterize the Norse people as savages who needed the civilizing influence of dark-skinned people to teach them not to be cannibals grunting in the mud, (as they are so often characterized – by butt-hurt losers with an agenda) then I just feel compelled to point out how tiresome all that bullshit has become.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @another fred
    , @Anon
  69. Rurik says:
    @Emblematic

    I’m sure you’re right, Emblematic.

    I in no way endorse that particular, (or even most) sites I link to. I just routinely do Internet searches for snippets of info that I leave to the reader to validate.

    The salient part of that page, that ‘Sweden’s Black Minister for Culture Ordered Viking Artifacts Be Melted Down and Recycled’ rings true. Once you delve into it.

    And this is consistent with everything I know about human nature and history.

    People can be made to despise their own history and culture and even their ancestors, if they’re taught to do so with sufficient malice and at an early enough age.

    This is what all the mandatory Holocaust ‘education’ (indoctrination) in America’s public schools, is all about all over the ZUSA, (and Europe). To indoctrinate people to hate their own history, their own kind, and especially to hate themselves.

    Such a self-loathing people are very easy pickings, by their enemies. You just walk up and take what you want from such people. They don’t dare even defend themselves, having their dubious and guilty history of being genocidal “racists” and oppressors and slavers and all. They’re like fish in a barrel. You just pluck what you want from them.

    And that is the whole point.

  70. @Corvinus

    ‘…Llamas were domesticated about 6000 years ago in the Andean highlands. They were used as pack animals since they are rather docile but too small to be ridden by humans…’

    Yes — my point precisely. The same statement applies to wild horses as they were originally domesticated. They were too small to be ridden by humans.

    Conversely, wild cattle were just too damned big. There’s a reason Gilgamesh wrestles the great bull of heaven. The original wild cattle were formidable beasts — certainly not easily managed by humans. They had to be bred down in size.

    So — at least in theory — the American Indians could have bred their llamas up in size and used them to pull things, and even perhaps eventually to ride. However, unlike some posters, I don’t see the failure to do so prior to the arrival of Europeans as indicative of much of anything beyond evidence that the need hadn’t arisen. Technological advances tend to occur when and only when the need arises. The evidence shows that the American Indians had the wheel, and of course they had the llama. That they hadn’t linked the two doesn’t demonstrate that it couldn’t have been done — but on the other hand, it doesn’t demonstrate any racial disability either. It merely demonstrates that there was no need.

    The analogy here would be the Greeks and the steam engine. The ancient Greeks discovered that boiling water to make steam could generate mechanical power. That they did nothing with the fact merely suggests that they had no particular used for a source of mechanical power, not that the ancient Greeks were suffering from some sort of racial deficiency.

  71. @Rurik

    Nation-states are not the most conducive structure for human happiness. Hardly.

    On that topic:

  72. @Anonymous

    From my blog:

    Oct 8, 2012 – Africans Discovered America!

    As we “celebrate” America’s oddest holiday, most Americans now know that Columbus (actually Colombo) did not discover America, but arrived to steal what he could. Asians discovered America when they migrated across the Bering Sea. More recent evidence proved that some Polynesians sailed across the Pacific and settled in Chile. Vikings had several settlements, one as far south as Maine. Some “pure” blond Canadian Intuits (aka Eskimos) were tested and found to have European DNA.

    The great book “Lies my Teacher Told Me,” notes that Columbus’ diary records that when they reached Haiti, he found the Arawaks (local natives) in possession of some spear points made of “guanine.” The Indians said they got them from black traders who had come from the south and east. Guanine proved to be an alloy of gold, silver, and copper, identical to the gold alloy preferred by West Africans, who also called it guanine. Given that West Africa is half the distance to the Caribbean compared to Europe, this is not surprising.

    I found this interview with the author on youtube.

    I recently stumbled upon the fact that hundreds of ancient Rome coins were unearthed in the Americas at dozens of places over hundreds of years. Most were fakes or hoaxes, but there are several cases with enough evidence to consider it likely they were transported to the Americas prior to Columbus. Of course the guardians of history and archeology never accept changes to the official narrative, no matter the evidence. Most have authored books that would become outdated should official history change.

    http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp364-fs17/files/2012/08/Epstein-1980-Current-Anthropology.pdf

  73. Look into the Tartarian Empire which covered most of the world, loads to watch on Youtube, do your searches…..

  74. Corvinus says:
    @Chris Mallory

    “Trinkets, not tools. Big difference.”

    Except we were not talking about how that technology (metallurgy) was employed, we were discussing whether it existed with tribal groups. You had incorrectly stated that they did not develop it. Are you going to admit you were wrong?

    “The travois was the high mark of red savage technology.”

    Native Americans used a wide variety of means of moving around and transporting themselves. The choices depended on the climate and the resources of the area. Do you need links to help you further understand this point?

    “An “elder” drumming in the face of his superior is not culture.”

    Non-sequitur.

    “Not hardly, remnants of these barbaric savage red indian cultures still exist as a testimony of the mercy of the white man. We even gave them reservations where they could continue their savage ways.”

    The fact is that tribal groups developed civilizations. They were content with their lives until the greedy European came in and demanded gimmedats and free stuff. It was an inborn trait to jackboot the elderly and pregnant women who wore shiny objects made of gold and silver. How do you curb your own proclivities for violence?

    • Replies: @By-tor
    , @Rich
  75. @Achmed E. Newman

    Just a cut’n’paste blockquote from wikipedia.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  76. @Carlton Meyer

    The architecture was entirely Indian since they had no contact with Europe

    Or there could be contact from crossing the Pacific.

    Compare:

    Tiruvannamalai Temple [India, Tamil Nadu]

    Palenque [Mexico]

    Both have a step pyramid style with a rectangular top with a stone “house” at the top.

    India: Tamil diaspora: Why there are large chunk of Tamil population all over the World?

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  77. By-tor says:
    @Corvinus

    What violence is he guilty of, Corvinus? I see, you are a PC ideological cripple: A capacity invented by limp-wristed, smallish, Ivy League white men who- being weak-minded and frail beings incapable of actual physically demanding skilled trade or agricultural work- set about to radicalize easily impressionable and increasingly unemployable legions of blacks and browns against those whites who were unlike themselves.

    • Replies: @Ragno
  78. Bill says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    if you can make a decent road and keep the rolling resistance down, nobody is pulling 1,000 lb, even if the cart weighs that.

    Yes, that was a pretty credibility-destroying argument. How do you get to be a grown-up and not know that pulling 100lbs in a wagon is easier than carrying 50 lbs, at least once you get it rolling?

  79. peterAUS says:

    ..a PC ideological cripple: A capacity invented by limp-wristed, smallish, Ivy League white men who- being weak-minded and frail beings incapable of actual physically demanding skilled trade or agricultural work- set about to radicalize easily impressionable and increasingly unemployable legions of blacks and browns against those whites who were unlike themselves.

    You are onto something there.
    Goes deeper I think. Keywords: masculinity; access to females….stuff like that.

  80. Bill says:
    @Joe862

    Just because they haven’t always sucked doesn’t mean they don’t suck now and haven’t sucked for a while. This long term comparison is useless. Who knows why some of them were advanced long ago? It’s sort of interesting but not useful information

    Personally, I think it’s more than sort-of interesting. What weird dysgenic process led from the Maya to what we see now? It’s pretty breathtaking.

    • Replies: @foolisholdman
  81. Anonymous[978] • Disclaimer says:

    Cue Giorgio, the two Michaels (Avuncular and Bitter), the guy with the orange hair and the other usual suspects… “So you have to wonder if–“

  82. @Hippopotamusdrome

    And…..covered with bas relief carvings, similar rounded off square forms, dragon heads spouting water (or blood) from the corners of walls etc.

    The resemblance between Mayan and S.E. Asian art and architecture has drawn comparisons by more than one researcher. Genetic evidence would clinch it.

    If more than one wave of Asians reached the Americas then it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that one of them came later and bore the stone building techniques, skills in astronomy and arithmetic, with them. They would have been a cultural Elite lording it over the primitive stone-age native population, which would account for necessity of butchery and sacrifices.

    As for why Mayan Civilization went into an irreversible decline, it may have been that these elites were toppled in a peasant revolution in the wake of the disorder wrought by the epidemics and plagues brought by Europeans.

  83. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Colin Wright

    then the mere fact of not having had to make the preliminary advances until later would put the Maya et al several thousand years behind — and in fact, they had pretty clearly advanced to at least the stage marked by ancient Sumer by 1000 a.d. — which would be right about where they should have been.

    And we have no way of knowing how far they might have advanced, given time. They might have had religious revolutions, such as we had in the West when Christianity displaced paganism, or when Islam displaced existing religions. They might have developed more morally advanced religions and more a morally advanced civilisation.

    If you look back at the ancient Near East the Assyrians for example were not overly caring and sharing.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  84. Ragno says:

    I read ya loud and clear Fred! Spics si!…spooks no!

    I strongly doubt your warm endorsement of our neighbors to the South is going to get you off with time served when the Truth & Reconciliation hearings begin in North America, but who knows? Maybe Mamacita’s got familia in el gobierno, but when they peek into your cuenta bancaria and don’t see very much beyond tequila money and a pot to piss in, you might find yourself betting on cockroach races with matchsticks until 2050.

  85. Ragno says:
    @By-tor

    Don’t mind Corvinus, a/k/a Tiny Duck’s grade adviser.

  86. @Carlton Meyer

    ‘The Indians said they got them from black traders who had come from the south and east. Guanine proved to be an alloy of gold, silver, and copper, identical to the gold alloy preferred by West Africans, who also called it guanine. Given that West Africa is half the distance to the Caribbean compared to Europe, this is not surprising.’

    That’s mildly ridiculous. West Africa is inhabited by blacks. They never even settled or discovered the Cape Verde Islands, 350 miles offshore. You would propose they sailed across to the New World.

  87. @Emblematic

    Renegade Tribune may be an unreliable source, I don’t know, I heard of it only today. However, I took the advice in the video referenced and googled for “Swedish museum ordering Viking artefacts destroyed” and turned up a lot of other references.

    It may be untrue, but it is all of a piece with what seems to be happening elsewhere. It fits well into the Orwellian state we seem to entering.

  88. @Colin Wright

    That’s mildly ridiculous. West Africa is inhabited by blacks. They never even settled or discovered the Cape Verde Islands, 350 miles offshore. You would propose they sailed across to the New World.

    There is an island off India that still hasn’t been explored, because the inhabitants are not merely hostile but have weapons that they have used to keep everyone else out.

    You are jumping to conclusions: a) that it was was West Africans who reached the Caribean and b)that because they were black they could not have done that. Two non sequiturs.

  89. @Bill

    Personally, I think it’s more than sort-of interesting. What weird dysgenic process led from the Maya to what we see now? It’s pretty breathtaking.

    Have a look at all the help Uncle Schlomo has given them since the time of President Monroe and I think most of the mystery is dispelled.

  90. KenH says:

    So since meso-Americans attained some advancements in mathematics in 300 AD that means the brown squat monsters who live in tin shacks throughout Mexico and Central America still carry those genes and must be let into the U.S. en masse according to Fred. And the 20 million or so illegal aliens should be made citizens since since their distant forbears from 300 AD pioneered some math advances. And the entire nation of Mexico should be granted free access to the U.S.A. Great logic.

    Maybe they’ll get us back on the moon along with the next generation of black female mathematicians a la Hidden Figures.

    The genes that gave rise to meso-American accomplishments have long since vanished and most Mexicans today are actually mestizos with varying degrees of European admixture with their indian blood.

    But it still appears that they’ve retained their meso-American zeal for torture, murder and sacrifice based on the horrific things the drug cartels do to each other and to people who threaten their economic interests.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  91. @KenH

    What are you Ken, one of those web louts? Fred knows best. If, by some odd chance, it doesn’t work out the way he’s been patiently explaining to us, he can always just hole up down there and ride it out when the SHTF. He’s been caching huge amounts of tequila. We web louts del Norte are on our own.

  92. @Colin Wright

    May be ridiculous if you don’t understand ocean currents. The South Equatorial current flows from West Africa directly to the Caribbean.

    If Africans could build boats that went a few miles offshore, the current would carry them there. It is ridiculous to think this didn’t occur hundreds of times by accident. There are many old accounts of small black tribes in Brazil.

  93. Chinese up to this day could not invent alphabet. How sad!

    • Replies: @Eustace Tilley (not)
  94. @Carlton Meyer

    This link provides ample proof of pre-Columbian Africans in the Americas.

    http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/ancientamerica.htm

    It looks interesting, but I’ve made no attempt to study or verify this information. Perhaps we should allow black Americans equal rights to live on Indian reservations in the USA. That would be an interesting political clash.

  95. renfro says:
    @obwandiyag

    Well I was going to say something nice about Mexico and Mexicans and you cut me off at the knees.

    My buddy and I use to fly across the Gulf to Cozumel for fishing Some times we took the wives but they lost interest after one time staying in Mérida we rented a un air conditioned Volkswagen to drive to the Uxmal ruins. ..lol.
    This was back in the 70’s mostly and I found the locals hospitable and extremely clean, clean houses, clean hotels…..I kept smelling what I thought was perfume everywhere and on everyone but learned it was soap….people and everything washed in this same soap.
    Somewhere I have a picture of young Mexican girls in white communion dress outside an old church waving at us. Went down the west coast in the 90’s didnt care for it as much …too barren.

  96. @Anonymous

    Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas for the most part were Blood Cults. Their leaders were basically schizoids who talked to their Gods through human sacrifice. The people who developed certain buildings and roads were extremely competent in certain areas but not in other complex thinking abilities. In my opinion almost a form of autism. When their Blood Cult Leaders collapsed so did their civilization. The many tribes they ruled over and enslaved joined the Spanish to defeat them.

    Most Psychologists don’t like Jaynes and his theory of the Bicameral Mind but if you read him carefully you might decide too that these races were in a different state of consciousness and when their leaders collapsed due to the fact that their sacrifices no longer seemed to be answered by their gods…..the populace with a limited skill set and not advanced thinking skills in other areas fell apart.

    • Replies: @Anon
  97. Wally says:
    @The Scalpel

    said:
    “wipe out 90 percent of the population of the US, destroy all the reference material and prevent access to new knowledge … ”

    Proof of all that is where?

    Thanks.

  98. Wally says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    “No wonder the Conquistadors had no respect for these people”

    There were only a few hundred conquistadors in Latin America at any one time.
    Why?
    Because the brutal & racist Aztecs, Mayans, & Incas were so despised by the other tribes that the Spaniards had countless ready & willing allies.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Anon
  99. @Corvinus

    QUOTE Natives in Canada, specifically, British Columbia, implemented a sophisticated permaculture to harvest the same plants year after year END QUOTE

    After I searched the net and read the source for these claims, I read that the “sophisticated permaculture” was Indians eating roots and tree bark.

    The largest study ever conducted on NA Indian remains (11,000 or so) showed that they lived in more or less a permanent state of war, disease, and starvation. BC Indians were no different, and some tribes far more violent.

    Romanticizing a stone age culture eating insects and tree bark should be reserved for Disney movies, not sensible discussions.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  100. Nick Diaz says:
    @Bliss

    Oh, don’t worry. Nordics already have a solution for that problem: nordicize the ancient Greeks and Romans. It’s that old saying: “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Because ancient Hellas and Rome were vastly and incomparably superior to northern Europeans in every way, trying to dispute their superiority is a very hard proposition. So, instead, nordicists decided to simply fabricate facts by taking quotes from ancient writers describing the physical appearance of the Greeks and Romans out of context, or using afrescos as evidence showing blond Roman women, etc. Fact is, Roman women would wear blond wigs made from the hair of captive northern European women because they liked it. It was a fashion.

    We cannot deny that there were some Greeks and Romans with light hair and eyes. For instance, Sulla is described as having grey eyes. Horatius was desbribed as “rufus”(red hair). But blond and red hair and green and blue eyes were in the minority. We know this for a fact because the Romans constantly remarked how physically different the Celts and Germans were compared to themselves. The most consistent observation that the Romans made about them is that they were taller and much lighter in eye and hair color compared to Romans. So we can deduce that Romans were shorter and darker than northern Europeans.

    A lot of the posters at Unz are angry white men who want to justify a sense of superiority first and foremost on being a citizen of the World’s most powerful country. And secondly, some of them are flat out racists and cannot tolerate the thought that north(western) Europeans were not always the top dogs. Their pride flows from them belonging to a group that is superior to others. The fact that they might be losers in their individual lives doesen’t matter as long as they are members of the Master Race. So they go in a frenzy when theur delusions are busted.

    • LOL: Rurik
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
  101. clyde says:
    @Asagirian

    Mayans to Aztecs to Incas……..What they all had in common was corn as their staple food. My theory is that corn is deficient compared to wheat and rice. We know about corn’s lack of niacin which is counteracted (supposedly) by nixtamalization. We know Aztecs cannibalized the human sacrifice victims due to Aztec protein deficiencies. Maybe their dark, blood propitiated gods were produced by corn as staple food.

    • Replies: @Anon
  102. clyde says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    African women were not on those boats…so I would think. And they better have enough water on board to make it to Brazil alive.

  103. @Achmed E. Newman

    Book:
    J. E. Gordon
    _Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down_

    gives a fairly good intuitive understanding of what’s involved in very basic mechanical engineering.

    I should point out that scaling laws, at least for beams, were unknown, apparently unknown world wide, until Galileo discovered them, c.a. AD 1638 [1], which was awfully late in the day. Before that, only structures that had no significant tensile strength could be scaled up with any degree of assurance that they would not break under their own weight. In engineering terms, all stresses had to be compressive, pushing the material together rather than pulling it apart. The rule of thumb is that if you can build a small scale structure using many small stone blocks, and the small scale structure stands, then you can safely scale that small scale structure up, Even there, one can run into trouble: there is some evidence that one of the pyramids actually fell down, or at least shed its outer layers [2,3], and constructing a tall and slender tower was always a bit of a gamble due to wind forces.
    If you wanted a structure that could withstand tension or twisting (such as a ship or a truss bridge), you had to build the real thing, beefing up structural members until the structure stopped failing (at which point it could be imitated by duplicate structures). This approach to machine design lasted until the early AD 1900s, and is (I believe) still the case today to some extent, in that one still has to build a prototype to be sure, and bridges still fall down [4].

    Conclusion:
    a) Mechanical design isn’t easy. It requires calculus just to be even approximately understood, and we should really not assume that our ancestors understood it all that well in any basic sense.
    b) Even simple box construction using stone isn’t easy. The degree of social organization, to include a design studio, is impressive, and shows considerable experience in design using stone.

    Counterinsurgency

    1] Mark A. Peterson.
    “Galileo’s Discovery of Scaling Laws”.

    2] https://www.ancientpages.com/2017/01/02/meidum-collapsed-pyramid-of-great-builder-pharaoh-snefru/

    3]
    https://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0110031v3 , 2001/02/05
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0110031.pdf

    4] https://bridgemastersinc.com/9-common-reasons-for-bridge-failures/

  104. Reed just do not hate yourself. It looks like unique white man decease. While it is interesting to read about other civilizations, I do not give a damn about Maya. And Chinese would not too. They only care of Chinese. It is healthy and prevents mental breakdown on civilizational scale, just what is going on with the west right now. Be proud of your own people achievements and stop digging shit non stop.

  105. @Wally

    Don’t you want to be taken seriously? What did the Mayan civilisation have to do with the Spanish conquistadors?

    • Replies: @Poco
  106. @Bliss

    Weren’t the Athenians different from many of the others in being Mediterranean Achaeans?

  107. @Rurik

    It’s part and parcel of the JewGod propaganda that our ancestors were grunting savages before the camel piss drinkers showed us the way. Amazing how successful they have been in brainwashing the masses.

  108. @Counterinsurgency

    I do have the book in my library. It is paper bag. I did start to read it. Few pages. Very primitive.
    After few pages I did put it assize. I did consider to burn it. But it does not take too much space.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  109. Any of this might matter if we actually needed pyramids in remote jungles. But we don’t. What the Mayans did not anticipate were people’s whose intent was acquire precious metals and territory by hook or by crook. Because of that they failed to build a wall to thwart any advance by foreign powers. Unlike traders from the continent of Africa, these visitors intended to occupy, be given or take as they would.

    The native populations allowed the foreigners to occupy without demanding that they obey their customs, and practices, or learn their language or obey their rules. It appears the consequences were largely devastating. This a matter of identity ,management and what the record makes clear the world over is that national identity is magical. It takes active work to maintain it.

    I think it’s pretty clear from the native mexican example — a wall is a good start to national identity management and maintenance against people who simply don’t care about such things.

    Lesson: You simply cannot have foreigners coming into your home doing what they want in spite of your expressed wishes.

  110. Rich says:
    @Corvinus

    I’m not sure how clearing the land, planting a farm, building towns and cities, starting trade, is the same as demanding “gimmedats and free stuff”. I think you’re a bit confused about how that vast wilderness that was the Americas was actually settled. Wars were fought, it’s true, but it’s also true that many peaceful tribes intermarried with, and traded with, the Europeans who settled here.

    • Replies: @Poco
  111. Wally says:
    @obwandiyag

    The fact that you know nothing about Africa except from the violent convicted sexual pervert who invented the laughable “Kwanzaa” is not surprising.

    The gladiators were entertainers, not shaman. And it was the Romans who stopped the games.

    It was the other Indians & Spaniards who stopped the savage Mayan, Aztec, Inca religious sacrifices.

  112. bluedog says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    And his intelligent post will come sometime this after-noon, or as soon as he can get someone to write it….

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  113. Anonymous[131] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Correct you are. I have visited Cuzco and witnessed these structures myself. In some structures you can even see 3 different layers on top of each other, commonly attributed to 1) an unknown advanced civilization 2) later South American culture and then finally 3) the inferior Spanish construction.

    More speculative: It is alleged that Atlantis set up colonies in both the Americas and in Egypt. Atlantis itself having sunk under the sea around 12,000 BC.

    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
    , @Anon
    , @Anon
    , @neprof
  114. Poco says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Well Dullard of Oz, Cortez sent Pedro de Alvarado to conquer the Maya. So the conquistadores had some influence on the end of their civilization.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  115. Anonymous[131] • Disclaimer says:

    Before we get too caught up in issues surrounding human sacrifice:

    10 cultures that practiced human sacrifice
    Carthaginians
    Israelites
    Etruscans
    Chinese
    Celts
    Hawaiians
    Mesopotamians
    Aztecs
    Egyptians
    Incans
    https://www.toptenz.net/10-ancient-cultures-practiced-ritual-human-sacrifice.php

    *Please note that the Aztecs were a separate civilization from the Maya. It was the Aztecs that engaged in massive human sacrifice as recorded by the Spanish conquistadores and proven by archeology

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Anon
    , @dfordoom
  116. Poco says:
    @Rich

    If corvinus is White then he is a chickenshit traitor and Whites would be better served if he and those of his ilk were summarily executed by Whites. If he is non-white then he is doing what any non-white enemy would do and talking shit about Whites while enjoying White civilization and invention. He’s trash either way.

  117. @Nick Diaz

    Europeans were not always the top dogs

    Italy and Greece are in Europe, BTW.

  118. Hindu-Arab? Really, Fred? Isn’t it an oxymoron? Anyway, you have convinced me that the Mayans did have a good size culture which may have produced some significant “things”; however, until they can create a symphony of the Mozart, Beethoven, or Wagner class, there is no point trying to educate the “deplorable” creatures of the great civilizational contributions of the INDIOS!

  119. @Carlton Meyer

    No open minded reader of history believes that old BS. They could sail all the way around Africa, but not the short trip westward toward Brazil where the currents carry them? There are tons of artifacts, but let us ignore these to admire the brilliance of root grubbers, whose brilliance somehow disappeared.

    Then there’s the inconvenient fact of their worship of gods with blond hair and blue eyes. How could they even have conceived such a divine race if all they’d ever contacted were short brown people with black hair and brown eyes?

  120. @Anonymous

    Atlantis has been located, in West Africa! Several people have written about this, but our world rulers suppress all historical updates. From my blog:

    Nov 25, 2018 – Atlantis Found?

    The great thing about YouTube is that anyone can post well researched documentaries. You don’t see these on TV news since the producer has just a few hours to put a report together, has no background and little interest in a topic he was assigned, and knows to avoid issues not approved by court historians. YouTube allows anyone to post findings, without self-censorship (in most cases) and after hundreds of hours of independent research. For example, watch this interesting short historical documentary.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  121. Meneldil says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    I think that Fred Reed means Indian as natives, not Indians from India, who do you mean could sail around Africa but not to Brazil ?

  122. @Counterinsurgency

    I gotta tell you, CI, that this guy Peterson fancies himself a historian of engineering, I suppose, but is not a good one, from those excerpts, and no kind of engineer either. Indeed, any structures made from un-reinforced concrete or rock must be build to have compressive stresses only. Building pyramids involves piling up materials that will all be in compression. What’s the difficulty, besides having enough slaves to move rocks all their lives? Arches were a step above, as they were known to keep the material in compression. I don’t know the history of arch bridges, but with all Mr. Reed’s bragging of his step-ancestors, I didn’t see anything on arch bridges. I do know they’ve been around in the West since the Romans (again, I’m not a historian, but I’ve seen them).

    It wasn’t the 1900’s, but the mid-1700’s during which Euler and Bernoulli (yes, fluids Bernoulli, same guy) developed the theory of beam deflections (leading to stress analysis) based on Isaac Newton’s calculus. However, ships had been made out of wood (a material that can be put in tension, of course) for long before that, as we all know. The design of hulls, masts and other parts must have been based on empirical methods, but that still would involve a lot more than “hey, that small one worked, let’s scale this up by 2 x and try it.” Western men were pretty damn smart in those days, IMO, much more clever with their imaginations than the geeks today who play around with pieces of code.

    BTW, twisting is called “torsion” or torsional loading. That wouldn’t be a factor in a truss bridge – the whole idea of a truss bridge is to have material in nothing but pure axial loading* – “2-force members” is what they are called. That makes design and implementation simple. The truss members act as though each side of the bridge is one big deep beam, in a way (deep is the height direction, so kind of a confusing term, but look at railway bridges – the steel is way “deeper” than that of a highway bridge with the same span and width), but with a whole lot less material. Nice wooden pieces can make up a good truss bridge, though steel can take 20 X the stress, even for the low-end stuff, meaning much less material … less dead weight…. better load carrying. Of course, you have to live in a civilization that has figured out how to make steel.

    * This can’t work for concrete of course, as some members will be in tension, others in compression, but even for the members in compression, buckling (which happens with long and thin member) will be a factor, and basically creates tensile stresses as a part undergoes buckling forces. Concrete will crack before it buckles. You can’t have steel buckle either, or the piece no longer carries any load, that’s another story. Euler was a BIG BIG buckling guy – his equations are used today.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  123. @bluedog

    Wee don’t neeed no steeenking intelligence, Senor! Manana! Manana!

  124. @Hippopotamusdrome

    Geography is a Western construct. Nick Diaz was led to believe there would be no geography when he signed up as Nick Diaz.

  125. @Hippopotamusdrome

    Yeah, I understand not wanting to correct it, but I couldn’t stand to leave it this way, personally. However, I’m also the guy who still says “Peking” and “Ceylon”, so … you know… ;-}

  126. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    When the Spanish arrived in Peru they marveled at the massive buildings. The Incas informed the Spanish that the buildings were there when the Incas arrived.

    No one knows how those buildings were built and I doubt anyone will ever know.

    The Mayan kids in both Mexico and America can’t even handle fractions percents and decimals so I doubt they are descendants of math geniuses.

    Maybe the Ancient Aliens program is right.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  127. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    The Roman’s practiced human sacrifice until about 300 BC when it was outlawed.

    • Replies: @Rich
  128. Nick Diaz says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    I meant northern Europeans. But of course you what I meant. You are being disingenuous on purpose.

    • LOL: apollonian
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
  129. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wally

    Cortez conquered the Aztecs with a few hundred Spainiards and 80, 000 Mayans. The Mayans were happy to join the Spanish to defeat their heridatary enemies.

    The Aztec wars were more for the purpose of capturing human sacrifice victims than the usual cause of territory etc.

    Same thing in N America. The Hurons welcomes the French as allies against their hereditary enemies the Iroquois. The Iroquois welcomed the English as allies against the Hurons.

  130. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @niteranger

    That’s why Christianity was so popular. From a religion that demanded thousands of human sacrifices a year to a religion that demanded no more than occasional attendance at an innocuous ceremony, what’s not to like?

    Supposedly the Aztecs would buy small children in the slave market dress their own children as slaves and when the priests cane around seizing sacrifices passed off the slaves as their own children.

    The Spanish stopped the mass human sacrifices, the sun came up the next day the world didn’t come to an end and the Aztec religion was gone. Easiest mass conversion ever.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  131. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Nick Diaz

    Diaz you need to learn the history of Spain. Before the Roman, gothic and Arab invasions they were celts and many still are.

  132. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    There’s some evidence that the Portuguese discovered Brazil a couple hundred years before Columbus but kept it secret.

  133. Sparkon says:

    Well, it’s a good thing climate change, extreme weather events, or natural disasters didn’t affect the Maya or any other ancient civilization, when they couldn’t blame it on CO₂, and had to go with unhappy gods or witches.

    More seriously, farmers are always at the mercy of the elements, primarily rainfall. In addition to corn, the Maya also cultivated beans and squash. These are the same “Three Sisters” raised by many if not most N. American tribes, who continued to hunt abundant game, and also to engage in blood feuds with enemy tribes.

    Many N. American tribes tortured captive enemy braves with fire and burned them alive at the stake, after which there was a big feast on the roasted enemy. The Wikipedia article about Maya human sacrifice enumerates various methods they used to kill captured enemies, but fire is not mentioned.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Maya_culture

    In the unrelated Aztec culture, human sacrifice was thought to sustain the gods. Killing and destroying beautiful things were part of the process, so at least that aspect of the meso-American culture has survived to the present day.

    For reasons that remain obscure, civilization in the Americas lagged behind development in the so-called “Old World” by a couple thousand years, and of course terrain, geography, climate (change) had nothing to do with it, because, you know, environment has no effect.

    It seems that a few civilizations of the Americas were just entering the Bronze Age when they were more or less stopped dead in their tracks by the arrival of the Europeans, whose behavior toward the natives is among the more shameful and ignominious chapters of human history.

    Who knows what priceless knowledge was destroyed? Or where civilization in the W. hemisphere may have gone had it not been terminated.

    • Replies: @Meneldil
    , @dfordoom
  134. Rich says:
    @Anon

    You are incorrect, the ancient Romans didn’t practice human sacrifice. If you’re trying to say that gladiatorial contests were human sacrifice, that’s not exactly what’s meant by the term. I’ve studied Roman History and have never come across human sacrifice, there were two Greeks and two Gauls that were sealed in a chamber and left to die, but those two incidents hardly equal a society that practiced actual human sacrifice.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @EliteCommInc.
  135. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @clyde

    The Incas raised potatoes which are much more nutritious than corn. Potatoes are almost a complete food

    • Agree: jim jones
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
  136. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    How about if every White person turns off their TV for the entire month of black history month including super bowl.
    If the networks want to glorify blacks let them but we don’t gave to participate

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  137. @Anon

    Plus the Spanish had cannon, so that shit was going to end either way. As much cruelty as the Spanish practiced, they may have seen the sick business being done by these people and figured “convert or die, bitches!”, and you can hardly blame them.

    The natives were not actually the people glorified in old Neil Young songs. See Peak Stupidity’s visual fisking of Cortez the Killer.

    • Replies: @Meneldil
  138. Stick says:

    Fred, the Mayans, Olmecs, Aztecs and Incans are remarkably interesting. The biggest problem in learning about them is the modern literature describing them is so covered in White Guilt that you end up tossing the book away because its not about the Subject its about the fucking author. I’ve done this more than a dozen times with this subject area. It would be nice if anthropologists and historians would get back to basics instead of theology studies.

  139. Meneldil says:
    @Sparkon

    I always thought human sacrifices in the Maya world were rare and only came in their world through Aztec influences, shows what I know.

  140. @Nick Diaz

    I keep forgetting that Italians, Greeks, Eastern Europeans etc. aren’t white.

    Saturday Night Live Transcripts
    Season 14: Episode 3 [1988]

    [MORE]

    Saturday Night Live Transcripts
    Season 14: Episode 3 [1988]
    88c: John Larroquette / Randy Newman
    Vote Bush III
    [ show each President’s head encircled over a North European country ]
    Announcer: Franklin Delano Roosevelt was of white northern European heritage.
    Thomas Jefferson was of white northern European heritage.
    John F. Kennedy was of white northern European heritage.
    George Herbert Walker Bush is of white northern European heritage.
    [ show Dukakis’ encircled just above the Mediterranean Sea ]
    But Michael Dukakis?
    Bush. He’s whiter.
    [ SUPER: “Bush. He’s Whiter.” ]

  141. Meneldil says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Maybe they did but I wouldn’t glorify it, if you justify your conquests like that the third world invasion of Europe could be seen as a righteous cause from their point of view, the only truth unfortunately is that Might is Right, the only puzzling thing is that white countries are not invaded by Might, but voluntarily and with a significant support by the natives (at least where I live).

  142. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    Yea Reed , the mayas were the superior race , really the spanish went to America to learn from the mayas , never mind human sacrifices , canibalism , incest , etc…..

    Spain ( just 10 million inhabitants at the time ) , the europeans , brought to isolated and backwarded America the advances of more than 3000 years of eurasian civilization . Spain brought to the Americas :

    wheat , rice , vineyards , olive trees ,beans , lentils ,garlic , onion , oranges ,lemmons , bananas ,plums ,apples , pears ,figs , sugar cane , almonds etc…

    Horses , bulls , cows , pigs , sheep ….

    The wheel , the latin alphabet , print , literature , ship construction , navigation , machines , arms , powder , metalurgy , chemistry , silk , pulleys , paper , tissues , clothes , watches , mining , music, glass , building construction techniques , hydraulic works ……

    A language , a religion , universities , hospitals , cities , roads , in 3 centuries Spain founded 1000 cities in the American , 700 of them in the first century .

    And …..:

    Spain brought fron America to Europe , to Eurasia , the following items :

    Tomatoes , potatoes , corn ,peanuts , tropical fruits , tobacco , coca leafs ….

    So , the eurasia-america meeting was magnificent , it was a cosmic encounter , that put the Americas in the history of mankind . It benefited tremendously both Eurasia and America . Of course 3000 years of isolation and retardation are not easy to compensate with just 3 centuries of spanish and portuguese effort with limited means , and with 2 centuries of angloyankee despise towards the native american people , get it Reed ?

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Anonymous
  143. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:
    @obwandiyag

    Idiots

    BBC = British Bullshit Corporation

    • LOL: apollonian
    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  144. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    An alphabet lowers the bar;
    Easy Access is not Who They Are.
    They want only the best
    For their Mandarin test.
    Han Zu are the marks of a star.

  145. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    You forgot to include the western culture in the list of cultures that presently practise human sacrifices ( sacrifices babies under the name of legal abortion )

    • Agree: Simply Simon
  146. Corvinus says:
    @Genrick Yagoda

    “After I searched the net and read the source for these claims, I read that the “sophisticated permaculture” was Indians eating roots and tree bark.”

    Source?

    • Replies: @Genrick Yagoda
  147. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Europe, Asia most of the world but sub Sahara Africa and America had plenty of carts small enough to be pulled by humans and large dogs. With their slave society, whoever built those structures attributed to the Mayans has plenty of humans able to pull and push carts.

  148. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Corvinus

    I don’t think it’s possuble to grow much wheat in up state New York or anywhere in New England. Little ice age was about 1600 to 1850 so Nee York was even worse for wheat than it is now. Americans had to invent rye whiskey and pretty much lived on cornbread during colonial times.

    It was probably possible to raise enough wheat in New Jersey for local consumption in those days. I never heard of wheat raised in the south in colonial times but it was possible.

  149. @Hippopotamusdrome

    Actually, Romanized Europe used Roman numerals. Scandianavians used the Elder fuþark.

    What Fred doesn’t mention is that the Mesoamericans welcomed the Spanish as their returning White gods, the ones who gave them their civilization. Blond haired people are shown being sacrificed in pre-Columbian art in the Temple of the worriors Chichen-Itza .

    Additionally, pyramids have been found world wide, including the Canary Islands. Thor Heyerdahl, after his Ra expedition, found papyrus in Lake Titicaca.
    Let’s not mention the red haired giants further north, or the light skinned mummies of the Cloud Warriors in Peru.

    • Replies: @Anon
  150. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Corvinus

    Before big wagons drawn by animals Europeans used smaller carts pushed or pulled by humans.

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
  151. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @another fred

    I think coyotes are domesticating themselves intruding into human habitat where they can find food.

  152. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rurik

    When ever historians and others praise the Roman civilization I remember that it was my ancestors they were enslaving and brutalizing to use as expendable labor to build their great civilization.

    The slaves who worked on the big latifundias were not sold individually but in lots, like herds and flicks of farm animals.
    The “ barbarian” invasions were just revenge for a thousand years of slave raiding and destruction

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  153. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rich

    No I’m not confusing gladiators with human sacrifice. And you’re not the only person around that studied Roman history. Major reason the Romans outlawed human sacrifice was to differentiate themselves from the uncivilized Guals who practiced mass human sacrifice.

    Livescience.com has an article about human sacrafice. Just as I learned in a top 5 university history course many years ago, the early Romans practiced human sacrifice as recorded by Roman historians, livescience.com confirms what I learned in college. Just type it into any search engine.

    • Replies: @Rich
  154. Art says:

    Human Sacrifice — Reed glosses over this subject by saying that everybody else has done something comparable.

    But still, there is something in the Mexican native Indian makeup that can be very cruel.

    It is not in everyone, or most, in fact it is in very very few – but Mexican males can be very cruel with a disregard for life and the human body.

    We can see this in the cartel mass killings. Many of them have an element of cruelty in them.

  155. @Stick

    Try Charles Manns 1491 and 1493.

  156. Edit Charles Manns’ 1491 and 1493.

  157. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    10 cultures that practiced human sacrifice
    Carthaginians
    Israelites
    Etruscans
    Chinese
    Celts
    Hawaiians
    Mesopotamians
    Aztecs
    Egyptians
    Incans

    And, occasionally, the Romans.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @By-tor
  158. @Hippopotamusdrome

    Yea but they’re Not White ..
    this stuff is easy when you know how

  159. @Anon

    less complete than sauerkraut. (and bacon)

  160. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Carlton Meyer

    The great thing about YouTube is that anyone can post well researched documentaries.

    And they can also post crazy conspiracy theories and any kind of bizarre pseudoscientific hogwash.

    • Agree: RobinG
  161. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Sparkon

    It seems that a few civilizations of the Americas were just entering the Bronze Age when they were more or less stopped dead in their tracks by the arrival of the Europeans, whose behavior toward the natives is among the more shameful and ignominious chapters of human history.

    If you invented a time machine and travelled back to Europe in the early Bronze Age you’d conclude that these people were ignorant savages who would never amount to anything.

    Developing civilisation takes a long long long time. Given enough time the Mesoamericans would have reached the same high stage of civilisation that we’ve reached, with carpet bombing of cities, nuclear weapons, drone strikes on civilians, Gay Pride marches and transgender bathroom rights. You just have to be patient.

    • Replies: @RobinG
    , @Colin Wright
  162. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    Asian blond? This article certainly escapes me.

  163. anon[155] • Disclaimer says:

    Giza Plateau, Baalbeck, Dolems in southern Russia, Malta megaliths, Iranian Megalithic carvings (eye opening craftmanship there), Peruvian-puzzle-fit-megalithic walls, Machu Pichu and all the Central and South American sites.

    Either the ancients were simply made of sterner stuff than we are (can you imagine the backbreaking physical labor involved) or just possible several civilizational collapses have killed off several smart fractions in multiple societies, leaving us with the peasant stocks lineages in most races. I understand many of the patrician lines in Rome failed by the third century A.D. and were no more.

    If those walls could talk……….

  164. @Eustace Tilley (not)

    Alphabet is popular easily learned by wide population, Picture writing was learned only by affluent part of the population That is why Chinese culture was left behind.

  165. just possible several civilizational collapses have killed off several smart fractions in multiple societies

    only if they had even the slightest connection to each other, Tonto.
    Otherwise it’s just tears in the rain …

  166. Congrats on disproving the wheelbarrow, Fred!

  167. Rich says:
    @Anon

    I can find no historical record of the Romans ever practicing human sacrifice. Some historians have suggested that the Etruscans may have practiced human sacrifice on the Italian peninsula, but even that is doubted by most historians. I’d be interested in your source. I’m not trying to start an argument with you, I’m genuinely interested.

    • Replies: @Anon
  168. @Colin Wright

    Didn’t the Inca have an arsenic-copper amalgam that was used for spear points? Didn’t the conquistadors use the spears they captured and find them as good as Spanish weapons? I’m 80 now and I’ll have as vague a memory as I like but the price of weapons is all-important. If a weapon costs too much to use, it’s not much of an advantage. [email protected]

  169. TRM says:
    @peterAUS

    The Inca never claimed to have built Machu Picchu. They built on top of what was there. In fact the Inca said that the “temple of 3 windows” was built by “the gods”. Now I don’t know who or what “the gods” were but the Inca didn’t claim to have built it.

    The smaller stone work was done by the Inca but not the large stuff. At least according to the Inca.

  170. @Anon

    Mine’s been off since before there was a Black History Month, so , what do you want me to do?

    • Replies: @Anon
  171. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rich

    I asked Mr google “ did Roman’s practice human sacrifice? “. There were some sites and life science. Com has a section on human sacrifice in early Rome, before about 300 250 BC just as the book I read in college said. The book I read claimed it was done to show Roman superiority over the barbarian Gauls.

  172. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Good for you. I didn’t know you were an engineer I’m impressed.

  173. RobinG says:
    @dfordoom

    Given enough time the Mesoamericans would have reached the same high stage of civilisation that we’ve reached……

    Yes, but unless they’d also developed vaccines for the diseases they’d not yet encountered, they would still have been decimated upon the arrival of Eurasian explorers.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  174. Like the Egyptians, they are lucky. Nobody is extorting them to apologize and pay up for their magnificent place in history. I wonder if white Europeans will finally be off the hook when all that remains of them is some crumbling architecture and an unremarkable population composed mostly of outsider blood and customs.

  175. Biff says:
    @Anon

    You can bring the America’s(North and South) all you want, but they will still remain isolated, and full of shithole countries. I don’t recommend the place.

  176. @Anon

    Idiot. Ethos is not Logos.

  177. @Poco

    The Mayan civilisation had collapsed hundreds of years before the sporadic battles of Spanish invaders and miscellaneous Mayans.

    • Replies: @Plato's Dream
  178. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    Ancient Scandinavian warlords graves often had slaves killed to accompany the lord to the other world in the graves. Most cultures did it at one time or another. I don’t think there’s any evidence of N American Indians doing it other than the Indians in Mexico.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Rich
    , @dfordoom
  179. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Pyramids are very simple structures. If there’s enough incentive. labor and materials a society can build enormous ones.

  180. @Corvinus

    You must know the source. All 4 of your bullet points were copied from the link below. And yes, this link confirms that the “sophisticated subculture” was simply Indians eating tree bark and roots.

    https://whyfiles.org/2012/farming-native-american-style/index.html

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  181. @Carlton Meyer

    ‘…If Africans could build boats that went a few miles offshore, the current would carry them there. It is ridiculous to think this didn’t occur hundreds of times by accident. There are many old accounts of small black tribes in Brazil…’

    Still, weird how they didn’t land in the Cape Verde Islands, huh?

  182. @Anon

    ‘…I don’t think there’s any evidence of N American Indians doing it other than the Indians in Mexico.’

    It was done at potlatches in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve read accounts of human sacrifice being practiced in the Andes. I’ve also read discussions of how common it was in general in the New World — even if the prevalence usually isn’t emphasized.

  183. @dfordoom

    ‘…Developing civilisation takes a long long long time. Given enough time the Mesoamericans would have reached the same high stage of civilisation that we’ve reached, with carpet bombing of cities, nuclear weapons, drone strikes on civilians, Gay Pride marches and transgender bathroom rights. You just have to be patient.’

    Actually, and at a guess, if the American Indians had reached a high level of civilization in isolation, that civilization would be so different from ours that we’d find it utterly repulsive.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  184. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    I do have the book in my library. It is paper bag. I did start to read it. Few pages. Very primitive.

    The book is deliberately on the intuitive level, and it is by a highly accomplished British mechanical engineer whose professional life coincided with the peak of mechanical engineering. Understanding material behavior requires calculus, preferably expressed in matrix form. Yes, I took the courses back when things were a bit more rigorous than today.

    In addition to being inaccessible to most people, this approach is that it grants little or no intuitive understanding, _and_ leaves out important failure mechanisms. Gordon covers the basic rules of thumb for intuitive design, plus quite a few counter-intuitive behaviors of materials, and does so with just enough mathematics so that it can be understood by general public.

    You probably should have finished the book. Intuitive understanding of some general rules can help even a fairly sophisticated designer, and Gordon provides enough examples to show just how surprising material behavior can be, and just how difficult design of something new really is.

    Counterinsurgency

  185. Anonymous[724] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Spain brought from America to Europe , to Eurasia , the following items :

    syphilis

    • Replies: @republic
    , @Anon
  186. @Achmed E. Newman

    Achmed

    Thanks for looking at the reference! You read it more closely than I did. You’ve given a really good summary of stresses in construction of bridges. Maritime engineering has always been deeply conservative, in large part because much of what looked like it would work, wouldn’t. I’m amazed that something like the Dutch flute ship could have been developed. Using so much automation (block and tackle systems) in the North Sea looks a lot like madness, but they did make it work. Scaling that automation up to HMS Victory is another feat of slow evolution that I simply don’t understand in any detail. Thanks for the comment!

    Re: Compressive stresses, concrete, and stone.

    [MORE]

    I fully agree about the necessity of pure compressive stresses in concrete and stone structures. Tensile forces => failed structure, falls down, goes “BOOM” as we used to say when cheering up toddlers.
    One of the points that Gordon brings up is that pure compressive structures are harder to get than you might think, or at least that I thought. The problem is that stone (and concrete) is to to some extent elastic. Gordon’s book contains a picture of a slender stone column in Salisbury Cathedral that is quite visibly bent along its length, not at the joints.
    In a pyramid, the Poisson ratio says that, if a volume of stone is compressed, it will bulge. It gets shorter top to bottom, but longer side to side. Given enough force, and enough stone blocks side by side, the accumulated bulge can be large enough to be important, and could produce tensile stresses in the pyramid. If you make a pyramid from plasticine, it sort of sags, getting shorter but bulging out at the bottom, which shows the flow of forces in a complete pyramid.
    One proposal for failure of the collapsed pyramid is that (as its picture shows) the pyramid was really a stepped mastaba (you can see the steps in the surviving structure) that the Egyptian Chief of State commanded be modified into a pyramid. Rocks were added to the stepped mastaba, but the slip planes at the junction between mastaba and new material were activated when the weight of the new rock bulged the bottom layer of the mastaba, producing a tensile stress in the new rocks that, in effect, made an artificial landslide. Supposedly the rocks were moving at about 60 mph when they hit the worker’s housing.
    Another proposal, given in my reference, is that the new rock was on a poor foundation, which shifted, producing the above landslide.
    Subsequent pyramids were built on solid rock using custom shaped stones, and did not collapse.
    Moral: design is harder than it looks, even when you’re stacking blocks, and models don’t always scale well.

    Second point of possible interest:
    Concrete will fail explosively and with no warning under compressive stress (rather like a postal worker), and good design of reinforced concrete avoids using _too much _ rebar, so that failures will be under tension and inspectors will at least have a chance to spot incipient failure.
    You would think this would be understood by professionals, but occasionally one reads of rebar being added to the _top_ of a parking garage floor (where the stresses are compressive rather than tensile).

    Third point:

    It turns out that there is twisting (torsion, as you said) inside a girder with even one fixed end (a “cantilevered beam”. If you put a load on the end of the beam, you produce a torque, which is ordinarily (in text books) calculated around the attachment point. The beam is then designed to resist that torque (and resist a few other things, such as shear, fatigue failure, resonance, chemical damage, and more yet). Granted, the simple cantilever beam is supposedly not twisted around its long axis, but in real structures that are welded or bolted at both ends, long axis twisting can occur. I suspect that avoiding this problem is the reason that most bridges are symmetric about their long axis.

    Finally:

    Western men were pretty damn smart in those days, IMO, much more clever with their imaginations than the geeks today who play around with pieces of code

    Gordon was from those days, which is what makes his book worthwhile. Gordon didn’t have to worry about computers being smarter than he was. His book does a great job of describing how structures work from an intuitive standpoint. You can’t actually design a high performance structure after reading it, but you at least see many of the pitfalls and, if you are willing to be the non-engineer that spends two dollars where and engineer would spend only one, you can probably design something serviceable. It provided several insights that my technical education did not.

    Counterinsurgency

  187. @Anon

    The Mayan kids in both Mexico and America can’t even handle fractions percents and decimals so I doubt they are descendants of math geniuses.

    One of the things that has always bothered me is that the ancient civilizations of the Middle East have been replaced by, well, by uncivilized people. It’s as if civilization itself has not long term survival value. The conversion of Mesopotamia into a salty wasteland doesn’t help my optimism either.
    Now we see the replacement of high Mayan civilization with jungle tribes.

    It used to be, AD 1800s, that Europeans thought civilization was maintained and extended only by the constant efforts of men of genius. It was a commonplace. Wouldn’t it be ironic if that turned out to be correct?

    Counterinsurgency

  188. Rich says:
    @Anon

    I believe the Iroquois would sometimes roast and eat their enemies. Not human sacrifice, but still, not pleasant.

  189. Corvinus says:
    @Genrick Yagoda

    It’s not about what they eat, it’s about a complex process by which their food was grown.

    https://modernfarmer.com/2016/04/permaculture

    https://permaculturenews.org/what-is-permaculture/

  190. Corvinus says:
    @Counterinsurgency

    “One of the things that has always bothered me is that the ancient civilizations of the Middle East have been replaced by, well, by uncivilized people.”

    Ironic considering how the Europeans were described by the people in that region has being uncivilized themselves as they pillaged and plundered the reason. Perhaps the term “uncivilized” has been bandied about merely to make a certain group feel better about themselves when describing another group.

    “The conversion of Mesopotamia into a salty wasteland doesn’t help my optimism either.”

    Yeah, about that…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_Arab_Emirates

    http://www.arabnews.com/node/1376406/saudi-arabia

    “It used to be, AD 1800s, that Europeans thought civilization was maintained and extended only by the constant efforts of men of genius. It was a commonplace. Wouldn’t it be ironic if that turned out to be correct?”

    The civilizations of the world, from the Mayan to the Yellow River Valley to the Indus River Valley, were sophisticated in their time period. As humans progress, our species advance. Would you like to know more, citizen?

  191. Anonymous[724] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Adopt my “ancestry”. We painted ourselves blue and slaughtered Romans (the Valerian Disaster)

  192. I’m surprised that Fred Reed lacked a Discovery show’s worth of general knowledge about the pre-Columbian civs until now. What I find damn right stupid and offensive is the fact that he somehow imagines that his (relatively extraordinary, considering the milieu) hitherto rank ignorance is somehow shared by right wingers on the Internet. It’s not.

  193. neprof says:
    @Anonymous

    Some theorize this happens every 12,000 years or so :

  194. Ragnarok says:
    @Asagirian

    Gladitoral contests in Rome did indeed arise out of a religious obligation or “munus” to a dead relative. The practice was borrowed from the Etruscans and initially involved two men, usually slaves bought for the purpose, fighting it out over the grave of the deceased. This is the form in which it existed up until the beginnings of republican disintegration in the latter half of the 2nd cen B. C.

    As Roman politicians fought the increasingly bitter elections to gain control of the state, new means of winning popularity were sought and gladitorial contests were recognised for their value in securing votes. The development of the games was slow and did not achieve the classic form understood today until well into the 1st Cen A.D.

    So, religious origins indeed, but by the time it had developed into the form widely accepted as the norm today it was indeed a mass entertainment, held entirely under the patronage of the emperor.

    Ragnarok

  195. @Asagirian

    my wise Armenian (i think) – thank you. “the gods/idols of the heathens are the demons.” quote from Psalm of St. King David.
    the rulers or deep state are acting on amoral principles. let’s hope their behavior does not filter down to the general population. then america will fall despite all her achievements.

  196. Northeast says:

    Fred never fails to disappoint these days.

  197. @Bliss

    Big lips and wide nose doesn’t equal “black” you racist.

  198. dfordoom says: • Website
    @RobinG

    Yes, but unless they’d also developed vaccines for the diseases they’d not yet encountered, they would still have been decimated upon the arrival of Eurasian explorers.

    Probably.

    But the point is that it’s absurd to regard the mesoamericans as inferior simply because they hadn’t yet had time to develop more advanced civilisations, a process that takes an immense amount of time. That’s like saying the Romans were an inferior people because they failed to invent motor cars and telephones, or that 19th century Americans were an inferior people because they failed to invent television and jet airliners.

  199. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Anon

    Ancient Scandinavian warlords graves often had slaves killed to accompany the lord to the other world in the graves. Most cultures did it at one time or another.

    Yes, it seems to be a stage that most human societies go through. It obviously corresponds with a very primitive rather magical view of religion. As religions inevitably become more sophisticated such practices get dropped.

  200. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Colin Wright

    Actually, and at a guess, if the American Indians had reached a high level of civilization in isolation, that civilization would be so different from ours that we’d find it utterly repulsive.

    Certainly weird and alien and scary. Maybe repulsive, but then they’d find our civilisation repulsive. I find our civilisation repulsive!

    Japanese civilisation is very very different compared to any western civilisation but westerners mostly seem to find it fascinating.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  201. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Counterinsurgency

    One of the things that has always bothered me is that the ancient civilizations of the Middle East have been replaced by, well, by uncivilized people.

    To be brutally honest they’re no more uncivilised than we are. Consider some of the wonderful western technological and social innovations of the past century – the machine gun, the extermination of ideological opponents, the terror bombing of civilians, napalm, dropping nuclear weapons on civilians, naval blockades that caused hundreds of thousands of people to starve to death, economic sanctions that killed several hundreds of thousands of children.

    They’re not uncivilised. They simply have a worldview that seems to us to be very alien. That scares us and it offends us. How dare they hold beliefs that differ from ours! We don’t want to think about the fact that maybe not everybody shares our beliefs and values. That’s because we have zero cultural confidence.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    , @Joe862
  202. The Romans and Greeks never had a religion that demanded Human sacrifice. And to compare the Engineering feats or science or philosophy of Ancient Greece to the Aztecs is laughable.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  203. @dfordoom

    ‘…Japanese civilisation is very very different compared to any western civilisation but westerners mostly seem to find it fascinating.’

    Indeed — and compared to an advanced American Indian civilization, Japanese civilization actually shares some genetic material with us, so to speak. It’s heavily influenced by China, and ideas and goods have long gone back and forth between us and China.

    …or maybe not. But anyway, Indian cultures seem to have been headed off on some very different tangents from us. For example, in their various ball games, it was at least sometimes known in advance who was to win and who was to lose.

    Then there was the undeniably widespread and often very large-scale cults of human sacrifice. This in turn made some of their behavior very strange. For example, Preston points out that aside from their other handicaps, one reason the Aztecs kept losing to Cortez was that in battle, they were always trying to take the Spanish alive.. The point of battle was to obtain a victim for sacrifice, you see.

    Our total victory promptly made it all a matter of the Indians trying to understand and adapt to us rather than the reverse. However, had the outcomes been less swift and decisive, I suspect we’d have found Indian behavior and culture seriously hard to fathom.

  204. Medvedev says:
    @anonymous

    Peru placed above France, Germany and Israel in International Math Olympiad: 2 silver and 3 bronze medals. Well ahead of Spain with larger wealthier population 🙂
    These kids don’t look like norther Europeans, most don’t even look like Spaniards.
    Methinks Amerindians aren’t as dumb as you think and there is a huge opportunity to catch up.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  205. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Columbus’ sailers brought syphilis back to Europe as documented by ship’s physician Dr Bernal and numerous other sources.

    Too much anti White anti European anti Christian anti Weaterncivilization in high school
    And college history

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  206. @dfordoom

    To be brutally honest they’re no more uncivilised than we are

    They’re not uncivilised. They simply have a worldview that seems to us to be very alien

    We don’t want to think about the fact that maybe not everybody shares our beliefs and values.

    That’s because we have zero cultural confidence.

    And, having zero cultural confidence, you are not opposed to your “worldview”, your “beliefs and value”, in short, you (assuming you are Western, which you seem to be from the patter).

    Let’s take a look at your assertions.

    As far as civilized goes, nope. Not in the sense that their predecessors – Persia and Egypt, to take two examples, were civilized. Their society has devolved to raiding clans, who will raid each other if nobody else is available. To the extent that it has overall organization, that organization is devoted to the maintenance of the status quo — nothing else is possible. Moreover, this situation is apparently stable, and appears to gradually deteriorate for the foreseeable future, as measured in centuries, or possibly millennia. It is precisely as civilized as a hectare of tropical forest — teaming with life, but unchanging in form.
    Also hideously opposed to any other form of organization, seeking to replace the other organization with itself. Shall I point out the actions of ISIS? Crucifying children, while it had a chance, dynamiting rock that looked ‘pagan’, conducting terror campaigns that managed to turn an initially friendly population against them, etc. ISIS had done this using machine gunss, exterimination of ideological (actually religious, ideology isn’t religion) terror bombing of civilians (usually using high explosives and ejecta, as these are more effective than napalm), and economic incapacity that killed many thousands of civilians, men, women, and children? Or Iran, which is developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile, apparently for use on civilians, and threatening to blockade the Gulf, on which the fuel supply of much of human society depends?

    Now, you may say that this is good, that all Homo Sapiens organizations are equal. You may also say:

    Consider some of the wonderful western technological and social innovations of the past century – the machine gun, the extermination of ideological opponents, the terror bombing of civilians, napalm, dropping nuclear weapons on civilians, naval blockades that caused hundreds of thousands of people to starve to death, economic sanctions that killed several hundreds of thousands of children.

    What grounds, precisely, do you have to say that this is bad, if you draw no distinctions? Who, in short, gave you a privileged position? Have you found the elusive Absolute, upon which you sit and from which you issue judgement? Are you now God? As God, did you simplify everything so much that you can condemn entire populations for what it has not done? A non-Western people, the anti-Enlightenment, did a good deal of the above, and it is that group (or possibly the Middle Eastern social organization) with which you are apparently aligned.

    In short, you’re playing Susan Sontang’s “White people are the cancer of mankind”. Sontang got away with that because she was claiming to be White, and (genetically) was largely white, with a strong middle Eastern mix along the male line. The West, unlike pretty much every other civilization on Earth, will accept internal criticism. However — now that Sontang’s group is claiming to be non-White, her criticism is clearly from outside. The West isn’t so good at accepting outside criticism, having realized long ago that it is valueless and quite often simple lies. Sontang’s time is over, and so is yours. So is mine. We are entering a time of chaos, which is nobody’s time, and if you want to keep what you have, you will have to want to keep it, as you now do not want to.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  207. @Corvinus

    Hi, Corvinus! Nice to know you’re still around.

    “uncivilized”. Islam prides itself on destroying the achievements of previous civilizations, replacing them with Islam. Learning is memorizing the Koran. Rationality is important only insofar as it self destructs, showing that rationality is no substitute for faith. The social organization supported is specialized for the destruction of all other civilizations, a permanent raiding party that raids itself if it can’t find other people to raid, that offers raiders along the border an ultra-high status within Islamic society and a wonderful afterlife [1] with all sins forgiven.
    Islam does not regard civilization as maintained by the efforts of genius, but rather by faith and the direct will of Allah. It destroys all traces of previous civilizations (ISIS, recently) and rejects all imports from other civilizations (Boko Haram) beyond those with immediate utility. The civilizations of “Mayan to the Yellow River Valley to the Indus River Valley” are thoroughly rejected as “pagan”. So are you.

    You might call that civilized, and by the Wikipedia definition (apparently from anthropology) it is:

    A civilization or civilisation (see English spelling differences) is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification imposed by a cultural elite, symbolic systems of communication (for example, writing systems), and a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment.

    If you accept this definition, then Islam is not as civilized as, say, China or Western Europe, or Russia, because it does not have effective dominion over the natural environment. Islam produces little of use, and exists from military effectiveness or sale of natural resources. This is not surprising, as Islam is a particularist religion that is opposed to rationality and, for that matter, to natural laws.

    In the (translaed) words of Musashi, you should consider this.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @RobinG
  208. Joe862 says:
    @dfordoom

    If that were true they wouldn’t be 1,000 times more likely to want to live with us than we are to want to live with them. This isn’t that tricky. The problem isn’t that white European built countries are full of people who think they’re better than everyone else. The problem is that everyone else thinks that white European countries are better so they’re crowding into and ruining them. They won’t be honest about it and they’re a combination of childish and malicious. They’re trying to enjoy the benefits while changing the European countries to be more like the dumps they came from. This is of course stupid, selfish, short-sighted insanity. Instead of White European ways spreading to other places because those places find them superior, Muslim and other ways are being spread to white European countries because muslims and others find white European ways superior.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  209. @Wizard of Oz

    Yep, it was the Aztecs that the conquistadors destroyed. Mayans had self-imploded centuries prior to that, probably due to an environmental catastrophy (whether self-inflicted or climate-change related, is a moot point). The Aztecs were largely a parasite culture, having retained elements of the achievements of their predecessors in Mesoamerica (they had actually come relatively recently from what is now northern Mexico).

  210. Corvinus says:
    @Counterinsurgency

    ““uncivilized”. Islam prides itself on destroying the achievements of previous civilizations, replacing them with Islam.”

    Using your metric, Christianity also falls under that domain. The reality is that both religions traveled throughout the world in diverse ways– it spread by way of trade networks on land and sea, through the work of missionaries, and of course by military conquest. Along the way, the societies they came into contact bought into those beliefs, had to be convinced of those beliefs over time through recruiting and conversion…perished as they fought to preserve their own ways of life.

    “Learning is memorizing the Koran.”

    No, learning and applying the principles is the Koran, the Bible, and the Torah.

    “Rationality is important only insofar as it self destructs, showing that rationality is no substitute for faith.”

    Assuming that rationality leads to a person or group to self destruct, and that faith does not lead a person to become rational and avoid that self-destruction.

    “The social organization supported is specialized for the destruction of all other civilizations, a permanent raiding party that raids itself if it can’t find other people to raid, that offers raiders along the border an ultra-high status within Islamic society and a wonderful afterlife [1] with all sins forgiven.”

    A false premise. You are assuming that Islam is a faith designed to destroy. Islam, like Christianity, has different sects with clear guidelines how to spread the word of Allah. Of course, fundamentalists pervert their holy book, and interpret passages as evidence to subjugate infidels.

    “Islam does not regard civilization as maintained by the efforts of genius, but rather by faith and the direct will of Allah. It destroys all traces of previous civilizations (ISIS, recently)”

    That would be the work of fundamentalists, NOT Islam in its entirety.

    http://www.zwemercenter.com/isis-un-islamic-or-true-islam

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/12/isis-jihadist-manual-analysed-rebutted-by-islamic-scholar

    “and rejects all imports from other civilizations (Boko Haram) beyond those with immediate utility. The civilizations of “Mayan to the Yellow River Valley to the Indus River Valley” are thoroughly rejected as “pagan”. So are you.”

    Again, you are talking about extremists. Mesopotamia was one of the four cradles of civilization. Muslim scholars preserved the antiquities here, as well as the wealth of knowledge obtained from the Romans after their empire crumbled. Recall that the Italian, and European Renaissance, owes a great deal to them.

    http://yourwildlife.org/2015/06/how-islamic-scholars-saved-knowledge-and-science/

    https://planetherbs.com/research-center/history-articles/the-role-of-islamic-scholarship-in-preserving-and-developing-western-medicine-during-the-medieval-period-the-roots-of-planetary-herbology/

    As far as the fairly recent destruction of antiquities by ISIS, here is background why they are committing these heinous crimes.

    http://theconversation.com/erasing-history-why-islamic-state-is-blowing-up-ancient-artefacts-78667

    In response, Muslims are working diligently to preserve and protect their past.

    https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2014/creating-and-preserving-cultural-heritage-in-the-arab-world

    “If you accept this definition, then Islam is not as civilized as, say, China or Western Europe, or Russia, because it does not have effective dominion over the natural environment. Islam produces little of use, and exists from military effectiveness or sale of natural resources. This is not surprising, as Islam is a particularist religion that is opposed to rationality and, for that matter, to natural laws.”

    Your argument continues to rest on a false premise. You ought to go back to the drawing board.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  211. Sparkon says:

    Yep, it was the Aztecs that the conquistadors destroyed. Mayans had self-imploded centuries prior to that, probably due to an environmental catastrophy (whether self-inflicted or climate-change related, is a moot point).

    Nope. In fact, the Spanish destroyed all three: Aztecs, Incas, and Maya alike, irrespective of the individual fortunes of those civilizations when the Conquistadors arrived.

    Even without a dominant regional capital, the early Spanish explorers reported wealthy coastal cities and thriving marketplaces. During the Late Postclassic, the Yucatán Peninsula was divided into a number of independent provinces that shared a common culture but varied in internal sociopolitical organization. On the eve of the Spanish conquest, the highlands of Guatemala were dominated by several powerful Maya states. The K’iche’ had carved out a small empire covering a large part of the western Guatemalan Highlands and the neighbouring Pacific coastal plain. However, in the decades before the Spanish invasion the Kaqchikel kingdom had been steadily eroding the kingdom of the K’iche’.

    (my bold — Wikipedia link below)

    Your term “self-imploded” does not seem warranted in this context. If it was climate, then the agent was external. Based on what we know, climate change seems a reasonable explanation for what the Maya experienced:

    During the 9th century AD, the central Maya region suffered major political collapse, marked by the abandonment of cities, the ending of dynasties, and a northward shift in activity.– Martin & Grube

    Ninth century AD corresponds roughly to the onset of the Medieval Warm Period, so termed because the Europeans making note of the climate change got warmer weather, but conditions probably varied globally, and we have the movement and migrations of people and tribes to provide clues to the changing conditions. It’s not difficult to imagine that cooler and drier conditions may have prevailed in regions that previously had received regular, abundant rainfall, such as the Sahara desert, which before 8,000 BC had been lush. Droughts on Earth are a regular occurrence that affect different regions at different times.

    Of course, it’s always gratifying to find some science to support one’s hunches:

    The most arid time of the last 2,000 years occurred between 800 and 1000 AD, coincident with the collapse of the Classic Maya civilization. A newer high-resolution analysis of rainfall proxies from cave deposits in the Yucatan and in Belize indicates that multiple, decadal-scale severe droughts occurred during this interval.

    NOAA: Drought and the Ancient Maya Civilization

    Whatever the case, Spanish Conquistadors finally destroyed the Maya civilization. Wiki:

    In the Post-Classic Period following the collapse [sic], the state of Chichén Itzá built an empire that briefly united much of the Maya region, and centers such as Mayapán and Uxmal flourished, as did the Highland states of the K’iche’ and Kaqchikel Maya. Independent Maya civilization continued until 1697 when the Spanish conquered Nojpetén, the last independent city-state.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_civilization

    I think it can be argued that the Maya culture and civilization had suffered some hard knocks, with climate change being a plausible culprit, but was bouncing back in new geographical areas when the Spanish arrived, and put an end to it.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  212. @Corvinus

    “The conversion of Mesopotamia into a salty wasteland doesn’t help my optimism either.”

    Yeah, about that…

    ..Economy_of_the_United_Arab_Emirates

    A picture of a city of skyscrapers designed by Western architects, built from materials imported from the West and transported there on ships built in Western shipyards, worked on by southeast Asian construction workers, funded by the profit from the export of oil to the West to power the West’s internal combustion engines.

    And still, the entire population would quit their homeland and immigrate to the West, if they could.

    Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest man-made structure

    The tower’s architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as chief architect, and Bill Baker as chief structural engineer. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea.

    The contractor and the engineer of record was Hyder Consulting.

    Putzmeister created a new, super high-pressure trailer concrete pump, the BSA 14000 SHP-D, for this project.

    The Burj Khalifa was built primarily by workers from South Asia and East Asia.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  213. @By-tor

    General Butt-Naked

    I thought that was just a nickname, not literal.

    Like Rommel, the desert fox, wasn’t a furry.

  214. @dfordoom

    they hadn’t yet had time to develop more advanced civilisations, a process that takes an immense amount of time

    OK, fair enough. Then can we have a moratorium on the immigration of Kangs Tepalz until such time as they have advanced to our level?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  215. @Corvinus

    Corvinus
    Looks like I hit a nerve. Look, I’m tired of barbarian invasions, and I’m especially tired of people who praise the invasion.
    Just stop this and do something else.

    Now, to take your points ( they are all wrong.)
    NOTE TO INTERESTED PARTIES: You might want to look at the reference list. The book by Riley and the book by Wave are very good and fairly recent.

    [MORE]

    First, “There are many forms of Islam”. OK, but let’s stick to Sunni and Shia. They are the important forms, everybody else is so small that they have no effect on other societies.

    Western society has erased other societies

    Some, yes, mainly the Spanish in the Americas in the AD 1500s. The Catholics didn’t like human sacrifice, or praise of same. Too bad the writings weren’t saved for academic study starting in, say, AD 1900, but the priests took the writings seriously and considered them a threat to Spanish rule. Since the North American natives were killed off at the 90% to 95% rate by Asian diseases, there was probably no real danger.
    So you can, if you want, equate Western society’s destroying American native literature in the AD 1500s with ISIS destruction of antiquities and the effective slaughter of Christians _today_. Frankly, I think that makes you in some sense a criminal – you’re abetting, although not aiding, mass murder. As I said above, I’m tired of that sort of thing. Just stop it.

    Of course, fundamentalists pervert their holy book, and interpret passages as evidence to subjugate infidels.

    Ha. If so, all Shia and Sunni are fundamentalists. The “perversion” appears to be yours, not theirs.

    That would be the work of fundamentalists, NOT Islam in its entirety.

    Townsend [1] doesn’t give enough information to work with. My guess is that his source is Wahabi. The Wahabi are Saudi Arabian; it is their public position that the house of War should be destroyed by the house of submission but not just yet. In public, they criticize ISIS as premature, but that’s all. They may have a private position that differs from their public position. Wahabi are the people responsible for seeding Wahabi Madrasa’s throughout Islamic territory – these Madrasas are widely credited with turning out terrorists. At no point does Sheikh Salah al-Ansari say that ISIS should not be attacking or trying to establish an Islamic Caliphate; he merely says that they take the form of their attack from the wrong part of the Koran, and that (ultimate horror) they are not considering judicial authorities such as himself).
    Chapman [2] criticizes ISIS as being Marxist (that is, non-Islamic) but is very careful to criticize ISIS in no other way. No criticism of ISIS actions, just criticism of the justification of those actions (for the first part). The second part of the argument presented is that non-Muslims (being killed, mind you) have no standing to discuss or even mention ISIS because they are not Muslims. In other words, “sit down and shut up” once again. I’m _tired_ of this arrogance.
    So your two citations [1,2] appear to establish the opposite of what you claimed. They are not condemnations of attack, just quibbles about its form.

    Mesopotamia was one of the four cradles of civilization. Muslim scholars preserved the antiquities here, as well as the wealth of knowledge obtained from the Romans after their empire crumbled. Recall that the Italian, and European Renaissance, owes a great deal to them.

    [3]

    A) Your reference is simply wrong. The line “After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the eastern part of the empire, what would become the Byzantine Empire, continued to flourish. Within the Byzantine Empire, Islamic scholars still did science” is a howler. The Byzantines and Islamics were at daggers draw from the beginning [4]. Eventually (AD 1453), the Islamic Caliphate took Constantinople (and then the Caliphate took Eastern Europe, most of it anyway. The Eastern Europeans (the non-Islamic ones, anyway, are still highly upset over that episode). _That_ is where the spread of classic books into Europe occurred. Byzantine scholars scooted West, Byzantine copies of Greek texts were sold to Europeans, and that was the transmission that started the Renaissance.
    B) Your assertion is misleading. Granted that many texts were preserved after the initial conquest, and there was actually an age of intellectual inquiry. That came to a sudden halt around AD 1100 [5], with al-Ghazali’s _The Incoherence of the Philosophers, which established the dominance of Islamic faith over rational thought. Over the next 200 years or so, new additions to Islamic law were gradually forbidden, and it legal work became interpretation and application. To this was added the Mongol invasion of the Levant, a far more serious injury to Islam than were the Crusades [4a]. Islamic society in the Middle East froze, and remained static until about the end of WW II, with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. It may be freezing again; the issue is not decided yet.
    Noe that the freeze happened before AD 1453, and by a good margin. The books taken from Constantinople were not studied – apparently they were destroyed or the paper/velum was re-used or they were sold to Europeans.

    As far as the fairly recent destruction of antiquities by ISIS, here is background why they are committing these heinous crimes.

    Your reference, Iskahan [6], flatly says that ISIS is destroying antiquity because the Koran says to, and because they are trying to destroy any influence that an ancient society may have on modern day Muslims. In short, exactly what I said. Their reasoning is strikingly similar to that of the Spanish Catholic priests in South America during the 1500s, except that they are doing this _today_, where it might actually affect you, _and when you can fight it_!! If that sort of thing really offends you, why aren’t you out opposing it instead of condeming people who have been dead for centuries? It doesn’t make you look virtuous.
    Your reference, Almutawa [7], has nothing to do with reference [6]. [7] is not only not a response (you said it was) because [7] was published two years _before_ [6], it is about Islamics saving _THEIR OWN_ cultural artifacts. These same people, if they believe in the Koran, would have nothing to say or do against the actions of ISIS as described in reference [6].
    And your final comment:

    Your argument continues to rest on a false premise. You ought to go back to the drawing board.

    No facts, no references, no nothing. Just as “sit down and shut up.”
    Corvinus, your post is a disgrace. You sound as bad as the news media. I remember a time when guys like you were believed, because it was thought that they were trying to show how America could improve, or because you represented the Enlightenment (as they claimed to). Then they started advocating genocide of Whiteness and the same groups that advocated “freedom _from_ religion” started advocating Sharia Law. Now they don’t look like exemplars – they look like cheap and rather stupid criminals.
    That spoiled it, Corvinus. _Please_ play a better game, if you can. The lines you’re using above are _generally known to be false_, so generally that presenting them produces despair for humanity. Just stop, then try to do something better. I’d suggest what, but the only alternative I know is TD’s “CG&LoE”, which also isn’t working very well either.
    Counterinsurgency

    1] Mark Townsend.
    “The core ISIS manual that twisted Islam to legitimize barbarity ”
    _The Guardian_. 2018/0512 R
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/12/isis-jihadist-manual-analysed-rebutted-by-islamic-scholar
    2] Colin Chapman.
    “ISIS: Un-Islamic or True Islam”.
    “The zwemer center (sic) for Muslim Studies. (no visible date, accessed 2019/02/03),
    http://www.zwemercenter.com/isis-un-islamic-or-true-islam
    3] http://yourwildlife.org/2015/06/how-islamic-scholars-saved-knowledge-and-science/
    4] Tom Holland.
    _In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of eh Global Arab Empire_.
    Doubleday, 2012.
    4a] David Wave.
    “The Mongol Catastrophe and Islam’s Disrupted Archaeological Record”.
    “Patterns in Islamic Art”, 2014/04
    https://patterninislamicart.com/background-notes/personal-reflection/the-mongol-catastrophe-and-islams-disrupted-archaeological-record
    5] Robert R. Reilly.
    _The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis_.
    Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st edition, 2011/04/04.
    6] Benahmin Isakhan, Jose Gonzales Zaradona.
    “Erasing history: why Islamic State is blowing up ancient artefacts ”.
    _The Conversation_, 2107/06/04.
    http://theconversation.com/erasing-history-why-islamic-state-is-blowing-up-ancient-artefacts-78667
    7] Shatha Almutawa.
    “Creating and Persevering Cultural Heritage in the Arab World”
    _Perspectives on History_, 2014/01/01
    https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2014/creating-and-preserving-cultural-heritage-in-the-arab-world

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  216. @Counterinsurgency

    the ancient civilizations of the Middle East have been replaced by, well, by uncivilized people

    Have they, though. Could the current inhabitants maintain themselves at the level of the ancients?

    Exodus 5:7
    Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick

    Middle Easterners are still capable of making adobe* bricks just like the ancients, and in fact many still do.

    Genesis 49:14
    Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens

    Poor donkey doesn’t even get to pull a cart, as wheels or roads may be in short supply. They still use donkeys in Iraq for transportation, so they havn’t regressed. Although they may have a little trouble if you add the extra complexity of a cart.

    They did, apparently, have some wheels, though, but only the Emperor gets to ride, everyone else has to walk:

    Carry the war chariot** Neo Assyrian Sargon II

    [Carry the war chariot? You’re doing it wrong.]

    The ancients pumped irragation water with a Shadoof (a bucket hanging from a pole) and are perfectly capable of operating such a device today.

    So if you visit a Middle Eastern village and you see adobe buildings, and donkeys crowding the streets, and fields irrigated with bailing buckets, it’s just like living in the Babylonian golden age.

    It’s not that they regressed, it’s just that they didn’t advance.

    * When Europeans were still living in mud huts, the Egyptians were making bricks out of straw and… never mind.

    ** Iron Age chariot and horse found buried together in Yorkshire

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  217. A Mayan tour guide in Chichin Nitza referred to the present day Mayans as descendents of slaves. When the Mayan culture collapsed and fell into mass starvation and societal upheaval (read the book Collapse by Jared Diamond) the slaves revolted and murdered the Mayan elite in thier homes. No analysis of culture is complete without a class analysis. The Mayan culture was a feudal monarchy. It was also a slave society (as was Rome) but did not have even the limited democracy that existed in Greece and Rome. My take is that this lack of a social/democratic element within Mayan society is ultimately what caused its demise.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  218. @Medvedev

    Me thinks they are part Japanese … without even looking.

  219. RobinG says:
    @Mark W Anderson

    What did Diamond, or your Mayan guide, have to say about the Lacandon?

  220. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Honesthughgrant

    The Romans and Greeks never had a religion that demanded Human sacrifice.

    The Romans killed people for entertainment. You’re seriously suggesting that human sacrifice is wrong, but killing for entertainment is A-OK? They didn’t have to kill people for religious reasons, they just did it for fun.

    To suggest that the Romans were a great civilisation worthy of admiration is laughable.

    • Replies: @By-tor
  221. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Counterinsurgency

    Or Iran, which is developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile, apparently for use on civilians,

    White people would never do anything as barbarous as that. Oh wait, we did do exactly that.

    What grounds, precisely, do you have to say that this is bad, if you draw no distinctions? Who, in short, gave you a privileged position? Have you found the elusive Absolute, upon which you sit and from which you issue judgement?

    Hang on, you’re accusing me of not drawing distinctions, of being a moral relativist. You’re also accusing me of being a moral absolutist.

    The West, unlike pretty much every other civilization on Earth, will accept internal criticism.

    Not really. The core assumptions of the modern West (the awesomeness of liberalism, democracy, freedom, capitalism, etc) do not get questioned. Western politics is largely theatre.

    A non-Western people, the anti-Enlightenment, did a good deal of the above, and it is that group (or possibly the Middle Eastern social organization) with which you are apparently aligned.

    Because I criticise our own civilisation I must be aligned with some other civilisation. I thought you said the West welcomed internal criticism?

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  222. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Joe862

    The problem is that everyone else thinks that white European countries are better so they’re crowding into and ruining them. They won’t be honest about it and they’re a combination of childish and malicious. They’re trying to enjoy the benefits while changing the European countries to be more like the dumps they came from. This is of course stupid, selfish, short-sighted insanity.

    And we’re the ones responsible. It’s our stupid, selfish, short-sighted insanity. We don’t have to let them in. But we do. We let them in because because we like to virtue-signal. And we let them in because our leaders convince us that immigration means prosperity. More money! We’re happy to trash our society if it means having more money.

    Which seems to indicate that we’re not a very healthy society.

    One of the reasons I’m against immigration is that in the long run it’s bad for the immigrants as well. They get corrupted by our vacuous degenerate culture.

  223. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    they hadn’t yet had time to develop more advanced civilisations, a process that takes an immense amount of time

    OK, fair enough. Then can we have a moratorium on the immigration of Kangs Tepalz until such time as they have advanced to our level?

    It doesn’t bother me. I believe in zero net immigration.

    Not because I hate Mexicans or Muslims or blacks. For me it’s a numbers game. Mass immigration is a bad thing for a variety of economic social and cultural reasons, whether the immigrants are white or non-white. I’d be totally opposed to the immigration of masses of white Swedes or white Poles, or white Americans for that matter, to my country.

    I respect all cultures, which is why I loathe and detest the concept of assimilation. Assimilation is cultural genocide. Let a thousand cultural flowers bloom, all in their own countries.

  224. By-tor says:
    @dfordoom

    “To suggest that the Romans were a great civilisation worthy of admiration is laughable.”- dfordoom

    So claims a person who ignores Roman innovation in public works administration, arch and vault construction, the invention of concrete, heavy carriages, armaments and water sanitation: None of which were discovered by African Negroes in 100,000 years.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  225. wraith67 says:

    Mayan’s didn’t cut granite with bronze tools, any more than the Egyptians did.

  226. Corvinus says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    Thank you for showing how dead wrong was counterinsurgency’s comment regarding the “conversion of Mesopotamia into a salty wasteland”. It takes courage on your part to break away from the echo chamber, albeit your red herring.

    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
  227. Corvinus says:
    @Counterinsurgency

    “Looks like I hit a nerve. Look, I’m tired of barbarian invasions and I’m especially tired of people who praise the invasion.”



    Except Muslims and the current immigrants to the U.S. and Europe are not barbarians. Furthermore, what is tiring is this insistence that these two place are being “invaded”. Just stop now and do something else.

    “They are the important forms, everybody else is so small that they have no effect on other societies.”

    

That is not accurate.

    http://www.detroitinterfaithcouncil.com/what-are-the-major-similarities-and-differences-in-the-different-sects-of-islam/

    http://www.detroitinterfaithcouncil.com/what-are-the-major-similarities-and-differences-in-the-different-sects-of-islam/

    “Some, yes, mainly the Spanish in the Americas in the AD 1500s.”

    No, you are conveniently forgetting the English, Portuguese, Dutch, and to a lesser extent the French abuses of tribal groups.

    “The Catholics didn’t like human sacrifice, or praise of same. Too bad the writings weren’t saved for academic study starting in, say, AD 1900…”

    What writings are you referring to? Natives or Europeans? Indeed, the most notable account was that of the Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas, whose writings vividly depict Spanish atrocities committed against natives.

    “Since the North American natives were killed off at the 90% to 95% rate by Asian diseases, there was probably no real danger**.”

    **Of course there was danger! It was not “Asian diseases”, rather, it was the Europeans who unwittingly brought with them smallpox, measles, and typhoid. Natives lacked the immunities.

    
“So you can, if you want, equate Western society’s destroying American native literature in the AD 1500s with ISIS destruction of antiquities and the effective slaughter of Christians _today_.”

    You should be tired of the straw man you erected. I am equating Western society’s destroying of native culture with ISIS destruction of antiquities.

    “Frankly, I think that makes you in some sense a criminal – you’re abetting, although not aiding, mass murder.”

    That would be ad hominem and a red herring rolled into one. Please, just stop. Now, did you backtrack here by correctly noting it is ISIS, NOT Islam, that is committing the heinous crimes?


    “Ha. If so, all Shia and Sunni are fundamentalists.”

    Now you are reaching for anything here. The Shia and Sunni are not fundamentalists. Rather, it is the people who are Shia or Sunni who pervert Islam for their own demented purposes.

    “The Wahabi are Saudi Arabian…”

    Indeed, the Wahabi are a member of a strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect from Saudi Arabia. They strive to purify Islamic beliefs and rejects any innovation occurring after the 3rd century of Islam. Again, it is a sect. They do NOT reflect ALL Sunni Muslims.

    “So your two citations [1,2] appear to establish the opposite of what you claimed”

    Actually, the quotations support my contention that fundamentalist Islam, not Islam in and of itself, is the core issue.

    “After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the eastern part of the empire, what would become the Byzantine Empire…”

    Another red herring on your part.

    “Byzantine scholars scooted West, Byzantine copies of Greek texts were sold to Europeans, and that was the transmission that started the Renaissance.”

    The Renaissance began in large part due to the Italians, who served as the ship captains and primary traders during the Crusades, of rediscovering their past, compliments of Muslim scholars.

    “Within the Byzantine Empire, Islamic scholars still did science” is a howler.”



    You mean Muslim scholars inside and outside the Byzantine Empire did math, science, and other things.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

    http://www.iupui.edu/~msaiupui/contributiontoscinece.htm

    
“Your reference, Iskahan [6], flatly says that ISIS is destroying antiquity because the Koran says to…”

    
Because ISIS believes the Koran says to engage in such actions. In other words, it is interpreting this holy book for their own designs. ISIS has gone to great theological (if selective) lengths to justify their iconoclasm. The group claims the destruction of ancient sites is religiously motivated. Its militants have targeted well-known ancient sites along with more modern graves and shrines belonging to other Muslim sects, citing idol worship to justify their actions. At the same time, ISIS has used looting as a moneymaking venture to finance military operations.  

    “If that sort of thing really offends you, why aren’t you out opposing it instead of condeming people who have been dead for centuries? It doesn’t make you look virtuous.”



    That would be another straw man on your part.

    “Corvinus, your post is a disgrace. You sound as bad as the news media.”

    

No. What is happening here is that people, both on the left and the right, are becoming intellectually lazy. Rather than find sources that strike a balance and may challenge their assertions, people are searching for sources that confirm their own biases. That is what you are doing here. You enjoy the echo chamber. For what reasons, I can only speculate.

    “Then they started advocating genocide of Whiteness and the same groups that advocated “freedom _from_ religion” started advocating Sharia Law. Now they don’t look like exemplars – they look like cheap and rather stupid criminals.”



    No. You are painting broad brush strokes of Islam. I get it, you are not a fan of this religion. But your ignorance is getting the best of you here. Please learn more about this faith rather than construct arguments based on false premises.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    , @By-tor
  228. @RobinG

    What a load of crap.

    Good thing you told me, I wouldn’t have figured it out otherwise, and even then I might not have disbelieved my references had your statement been from such such a high authority. You do realize that your statement is self referential?

    Counterinsurgency

  229. @dfordoom

    Read your own initial post, and try to be consistent with it. As it is, your comment isn’t consistent enough to make replying possible.

    Counterinsurgency.

  230. @Carlton Meyer

    Once again, Robert E. Howard turns out to have been right on the money.

    Counterinsurgency

  231. dfordoom says: • Website
    @By-tor

    So claims a person who ignores Roman innovation in public works administration, arch and vault construction, the invention of concrete, heavy carriages, armaments and water sanitation

    The Romans were efficient and well organised. They were still vicious and barbaric. It was an empire based on war. A society that delighted in sadism.

    You can be both clever and vicious.

  232. @Corvinus

    Well, at least you’re consistent.

    At this point, you’re repeating yourself. I rest my case on my previous posts in this chain.

    I’ll also refer other readers (if any) of this chain to Hicks [1].

    Counterinsurgency

    1] Hicks
    _Understanding Postmodernism_
    Also see Youtube, search for “Hicks Postmodernism 2018”.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  233. Corvinus says:
    @Counterinsurgency

    “Well, at least you’re consistent.”

    Consistent in offering refutations to your positions. So, are you going to give up, or actually continue to engage in substantive debate?

    “At this point, you’re repeating yourself.”

    Actually, I am providing additional evidence in support of my argument while addressing your points.

    ““Hicks Postmodernism 2018”.

    In what specific ways is this relevant to our discussion?

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  234. By-tor says:
    @Corvinus

    ISIS is the American Establishment’s name for the Sunni Islamic mercenary army employed by the US, Saudis, Qataris, Israelis, UK and the Turks who have, all at one time or another: supplied, funded, trained, provided paid air transit for recruits moving from home countries to staging bases, medical care, satellite intelligence, operations centers, housing and sanitation, western military communication tech and equipment, food, new Toyota Tacoma and US market used trucks- fitted with DshK heavy MG’s by the thousands, plate steel from Ukraine for IED’s, welding and machine shop tools to modify pickups and 1-ton truck chassis vehicles for one-way bombing missions, explosive assembly tech and training, petroleum products and tanker fleets needed to fuel a mobile army operating in rural deserts, helicopters and drones, and a air force which masquerades as the the ‘US coalition’. Former East Bloc weapons are still being flown from the NATO bases in Bulgaria, Romania, Rep. of Georgia, Saudi Arabia and from the NATO Camp Bondsteel’ in Sunni Islamic Kosovo. It is ultra-obvious to anyone with a modicum of knowledge of modern warfare, that the only country in the world with such a large logistical air and sea transport fleet with the capability to move amounts heavy weapons illegally from First World Europe to Mideast war zones ( and avoid any physical inspection ) belongs to the USA. You are punching above your weight: ISIS is actually nothing more than a war criminal shock army used as a substitute for NATO soldiers.

    [MORE]

    US-based company provides Toyotas to Sunni mercenaries in Syria: and Iraq:

    https://www.upi.com/Bukkehave-to-provide-Toyota-pick-up-trucks-to-Syrian-allies/9901533910726/

    US-origin used vehicles imported into Syria through Turkish port for use by ISIS mercenaries:

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-12-15/how-texas-plumbers-truck-wound-isis-hands

    NATO nations, Israel and the Sunni Gulf Oil Monarchies are the powers behind the Islamic State mercenary army used against Syria and Iraq:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-isis-islamic-terrorists-are-supported-by-the-us-israel-and-saudi-arabia/5396171

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/27/weapons-flowing-eastern-europe-middle-east-revealed-arms-trade-syria

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-missile-arms-deals-west-us-uk-saudi-arabia-a8459731.html

    http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/croatian-island-airport-becomes-pentagon-hub-10-02-2017

    https://www.wired.com/story/terror-industrial-complex-isis-munitions-supply-chain/

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201808011066842136-Saudi-Gun-Running-Jihadis-Syria/

    “Captured” US armored vehicles and Abrams tanks taken by ISIS mercenaries who just happened to know how to operate them, because of what, Youtube ‘how to’ videos? Oh, look what we Sunni mercenary arsonist and rapist drug addicts found! Allah showed us how to operate them!

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/05/20/isis-captures-hundreds-of-us-vehicles-and-tanks-in-ramadi-from-i.html

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201805221064693429-nato-chemical-equipment-discovery-syria-implications/

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  235. @Corvinus

    Well, here’s Hicks, you can see for yourself:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hicks+postmodernism+2018

    We’re losing the ability to argue as per Greek philosophy and are adopting a “last person standing wins” rule. Chess match becomes bar fight becomes firefight. Basic problem with that (other than the casualties, direct and collateral) is that “last person standing” method doesn’t work with nature, so science and engineering goes right out the window.

    It’s something precious, and we’re losing it, and we have responsibilities and we just can’t fulfill them. This song captures the mood:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=OH+THE+CROWD+would+always+love+you%2C+but+for+me%2C+I%27ve+come+to+know+all+that+glitters+is+not+gold

  236. @dfordoom

    But the point is that it’s absurd to regard the mesoamericans as inferior simply because they hadn’t yet had time to develop more advanced civilisations, a process that takes an immense amount of time.

    or maybe it’s like saying that a 5 year old shouldn’t be given an adult job. Inferior for a reason is still inferior. You can do real damage to a person by throwing him into a job that’s over his head.

    Counerinsurgency

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  237. @Colin Wright

    I wonder if there were easily exploited sources of tin in the New World?

    There were. https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/0935c/report.pdf

    Report of arsenic and tin bronze in the context of ornaments:
    http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199341962.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199341962-e-12

    Arsenic bronze tends to emit arsenic vapor during smelting, with bad effects on nearby personnel, but I seem to remember that it was used before tin bronze, not sure why. Easier to make?

    I have no idea why bronze was not used for at least high status weapons. As I recall, obsidian spiked clubs were the favored hand weapon.

    Counterinsurgency

  238. @Eustace Tilley (not)

    There are several forms of easy access.

    Chinese ideograms represent concepts, not words. As a result, the same text can be read (in all its maddening imprecision) by speakers of many languages. That was ideal for Imperial China’s bureaucrats.

    Counterinsurgency

  239. @Hippopotamusdrome

    Could the current inhabitants maintain themselves at the level of the ancients?

    I don’t (and can’t) know whether the current inhabitants _could_, but I know that they _don’t_, and so do they.

    The Middle East was a source of social innovation up until the Bronze Age Collapse [1], after which innovation shifted to Italy and Greece (who were apparently refugees from the Collapse). Even after the Collapse, however, the Middle East rebounded and was, during Classical times, the most economically productive part of the Mediterranean littoral. It was still that way until the Arab conquest (late AD 600s).

    That’s not the case today. This is realized by the inhabitants of the area, and supposedly Saudi Arabia is trying to at least recapture the trading ethos of the Classical era Middle East. Again, see Reilly’s work [2]

    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_Age_Collapse
    2] Robert B. Reilly
    _The Closing of the Muslim Mind_.
    Reilly points out that Islam actively persecutes the idea of “cause and effect”. This produces a superior raider, and perhaps a superior trader, but an inferior engineer, inferior scientist, inferior factory worker and (in Weber’s sense of the word) inferior capitalist.

  240. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Counterinsurgency

    or maybe it’s like saying that a 5 year old shouldn’t be given an adult job. Inferior for a reason is still inferior. You can do real damage to a person by throwing him into a job that’s over his head.

    I’m objecting to the word inferior. It’s a loaded word. Would you describe a 5-year-old as being inferior to an adult? Is inferior the word you’d use? Is someone without a driver’s licence inferior to someone with a licence? Would you describe the Romans as inferior because they were so dumb they hadn’t even invented electricity? Would you describe Americans of the 18th century as inferior because they were so monumentally stupid they hadn’t even invented railroads?

    There’s no question that the Mayans were at an earlier stage of civilisational development. Just as we once were. I’d have no objections to terms like “less developed” being used about them.

    Using the word inferior about another ethnic group is not the way to win friends and influence people in the real world.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  241. @dfordoom

    I’m objecting to the word inferior. It’s a loaded word.

    This is the standard definition, which appears to be used in most dictionaries:
    inferior (adj): “Lower in rank, status, or quality.
    ‘schooling in inner-city areas was inferior to that in the rest of the country’”
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inferior

    Turns out it’s an analogy to height (or distance from the ground). Almost every human concept is an analogy, or at least developed from an analogy with something we are familiar with in daily life.

    It’s a loaded word.

    Granted that “higher” and “lower” are loaded except when discussing actual altititude, the real objection here appears to be an objection to classifying people along a continuum. I doubt that you found “schooling in inner-city areas was inferior to that in the rest of the country” to be in the least objectionable.

    Is someone without a driver’s licence inferior to someone with a licence? Would you describe the Romans as inferior because they were so dumb they hadn’t even invented electricity? Would you describe Americans of the 18th century as inferior because they were so monumentally stupid they hadn’t even invented railroads?

    In terms of ability to live in contemporary industrial society — sure, they would be inferior. No question.

    Using the word inferior about another ethnic group is not the way to win friends and influence people in the real world.

    Kid, it is. You can’t say “inferior”, but you’d better believe it. That’s because everybody else does. If you don’t keep that in mind, you end up throwing inferior people into tasks that are above them (note deliberate use of high/low metaphor). Everybody gets hurt, and you get blamed. The person thrown gets indignant — she/he/it doesn’t like getting shown up, it causes loss of peer status. Bad scene all around.

    It may seem worthwhile to conform to political groups that won’t tolerate “inferior”, doing so in the hope of avoiding invidious comparisons and ethnic in-groups. I used to try that, until an X project conference for the first successful Vertical Takeoff / Landing rocket, the “flying phone booth” as it was known back then (1980s, I think, — it’s been awhile). I was buttonholed by a Demcratic agent, who said he was at the conference to observe and report back to some body or another in the House of Representatives. The man was grossly obese, and his first act was the standard “everybody hates you” attack. When that failed, he tried “shocking honest”, which sort of succeeded. His one observation of the NASA sponsoered engieerring conference was that it was ‘too White”. Nothing else counted for the man, who was technically illiterate (i.e. technically inferior to all other attendees).
    Right about then, it came clear to me that politics was not about equality and consideration, it was about beating your breast, claiming that you had been wronged, and demanding compensation — compensation at any cost, since the question was a moral one and you merely wanted to be made whole. Injuries you did in pursuit of being made whole (such as destroying the space program) didn’t count. Recent development of the “intersectionality” spectrum of superior and inferior, as strict as the old order of precedence for the European nobility, only confirm that impression.
    If you really believe that “inferior” is a bad concept, then you want to avoid having to use it. Paradoxically, that requires you to avoid groups that avoid using the term “inferior”, because they use the concept more than any other group — at least in my experience. Stay with them and you’ll be like them. As the old saying goes, “If you sleep with the dogs to stay warm, you get fleas”.

    Counterinsurgency

  242. Corvinus says:
    @By-tor

    “ISIS is the American Establishment’s name…”

    Of course our military and intelligence community has played both sides to the middle and have provided fundamentalist Islamic groups (see Afghanistan in the 1980’s) with money and hardware. But the issue posed here is whether ISIS represents Islam, or is bastardizing Islam.

  243. @Corvinus

    The original “conversion of Mesopotamia into a salty wasteland” refers to the irrigation networks depositing and concentrating salts* over time on the soil, making it less fertile. And today, Iraq has 1/3 the cereal output as Scotland. Similar problems occur in the Midwest with the aquifers being drained from all the irrigation wells.

    Your reference to the Dubai skyline doesn’t contradict the salty wasteland point as it is still a city in the desert.

    Here is what Dubai looked like before they had oil and before experiencing Western Imperialism**: 1950s Dubai

    [MORE]

    *

    Iraq Agriculture and Food Supply

    Salinity Has Been a Persistent Problem.

    Salinization is the process by which water-soluble salts accumulate in the soil.

    Increasing salinization eventually renders the land sterile.

    The water table of southern Iraq is saline and so near the surface that it only takes a bit of injudicious over-irrigation to bring it up to root level and destroy the crop.

    Throughout history the irrigated agricu lture of Iraq’s center-south region has been menaced by salinization.

    In 1973, it was estimated that at least 2.5 million hectares of Iraq’s irrigated cropland had become uncultivable due to excessive salinity, and that every year another 6,000 to 12,000 hectares were lost to salinization.

    ** Dubai streetsigns are bilingual with Arabic and English

  244. Sparkon says:
    @Sparkon

    I‘m correcting a mistake I made here in reference to the Maya:

    In the unrelated Aztec culture, human sacrifice was thought to sustain the gods.

    According to Wikipedia:

    The decline of the Olmec resulted in a power vacuum in Mexico. Emerging from that vacuum was Teotihuacan, first settled in 300 BCE. By 150 CE, Teotihuacan had risen to become the first true metropolis of what is now called North America. Teotihuacan established a new economic and political order never before seen in Mexico. Its influence stretched across Mexico into Central America, founding new dynasties in the Maya cities of Tikal, Copan, and Kaminaljuyú. Teotihuacan’s influence over the Maya civilization cannot be overstated:
    […]
    The Aztecs, Tlaxcalans, Olmec, Mixtec, Maya, and others were very similar to each other, however. This is because they were all directly preceded by the Toltecs, and they therefore shared almost identical cultures. The Tarascans, however, possessed a unique religion, as well as other things.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Columbian_era

  245. buckwheat says:

    Ok Fred we get it, you’re banging a Mexican. Good for you trying to make the old lady happy about her heritage but when I think of Mexico I think of the current one and it is a piece of shit……..

  246. @Kratoklastes

    I’m highly skeptical of the idea that the invention of zero was a monumental achievement or that it has only been invented twice. If a civilization has advanced to the point of using ledgers and its members have the means to represent quantities of measurable items, then it takes no great leap of logic to identify the problem of entering into the ledger that there is currently none of any given measurable item. It’s a simple matter of identifying the need to symbolically represent the absence of quantifiable things. Since it is an important representation, let’s give it a one-character symbol that only means the absence of quantifiable items.

    Why is this assumed to be such a great feat?

    Compare this with the invention of calculus. First, to even be interested in finding the area under a curve for a class of functions, you would need to be interested in some pretty sophisticated problems, like the distance that a body has covered after a given time under constant acceleration or the volume of water in a cylindrical tank as a function of water level. Then, you would need to experience some rather stunning methodological insights: approximating an area through shapes with known geometric formulae then increasing the accuracy of the approximation by raising the number of geometric shapes towards infinity while realizing that the area of the curve will converge to a finite number. You would then need to deduce a formula for the limit of that process in general.

    One way to test how difficult an historic intellectual achievement might have been is whether you can easily explain to a layperson how that idea came to be. Describing how zero might have come about is as trivial as what I wrote above. People off the street could, on average, easily recap it after being told once. But the explanation I gave regarding calculus would probably leave most people staring in puzzlement.

    It can be argued that Newton, as he noted, stood on the shoulders of giants, none of whom would have seen so far without the concept of zero. But I find it unlikely that a people that produced the likes of Newton — and Liebniz, who developed the same methods independently and concurrently — would not have developed the concept at some point.

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