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Open Thread, 10/09/2016
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  1. My friend, who has PhD in Philosophy from Princeton and who taught the subject for a while, recommended the following to me:

    The Dream of Reason: A History of Western Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance
    by Anthony Gottlieb

    The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy
    by Anthony Gottlieb

  2. One person means that Nara was cosmopolitan and treated foreigners equally? Sounds a little wishful. The Japan Times is a far left tabloid that caters to disgruntled ex-pats who find fault with everything. Take with a grain of salt.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the interp. dump/anachronistic, yes.
    , @Twinkie

    Archaeologists have unearthed a piece of wood revealing ancient Japan was a “cosmopolitan” nation “where foreigners were treated equally”
     
    Sounds fantastical. And of course "treating foreigners equally" (whatever that means) is a high moral value in today's "mainstream" America and Western Europe, so must be retrospectively applied to an "exotic" people with the more correct values.

    On a more serious note, it goes seldom mentioned or acknowledged that East Asia had considerable martime contact and likely trade with South and Southeast Asia as early as 2,000 years ago.

    There is even a Korean/Japanese king or chief who supposedly married an Indian or Thai princess around 2nd Century AD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suro_of_Geumgwan_Gaya

    These contacts seemed to have died out as agrarian Confucianism became dominant in East Asia.
  3. @Jason Liu
    One person means that Nara was cosmopolitan and treated foreigners equally? Sounds a little wishful. The Japan Times is a far left tabloid that caters to disgruntled ex-pats who find fault with everything. Take with a grain of salt.

    the interp. dump/anachronistic, yes.

  4. There is no reason to think that commoners can crush the US elite as Turchin fears and proposes to forestall with a metastable modus vivendi.

    • Replies: @iffen
    What?
  5. @Sean
    There is no reason to think that commoners can crush the US elite as Turchin fears and proposes to forestall with a metastable modus vivendi.

    What?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i let sean comment here "for entertainment purposes only" :-)
  6. @iffen
    What?

    i let sean comment here “for entertainment purposes only” 🙂

  7. War? What war? Afghan tribe so remote they didn’t know about the Taliban or that the US had overthrown them is captured in stunning images

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3829425/War-war-Afghan-tribe-remote-didn-t-know-Taliban-overthrown-captured-stunning-images.html#ixzz4McuDTUs5

  8. @Jason Liu
    One person means that Nara was cosmopolitan and treated foreigners equally? Sounds a little wishful. The Japan Times is a far left tabloid that caters to disgruntled ex-pats who find fault with everything. Take with a grain of salt.

    Archaeologists have unearthed a piece of wood revealing ancient Japan was a “cosmopolitan” nation “where foreigners were treated equally”

    Sounds fantastical. And of course “treating foreigners equally” (whatever that means) is a high moral value in today’s “mainstream” America and Western Europe, so must be retrospectively applied to an “exotic” people with the more correct values.

    On a more serious note, it goes seldom mentioned or acknowledged that East Asia had considerable martime contact and likely trade with South and Southeast Asia as early as 2,000 years ago.

    There is even a Korean/Japanese king or chief who supposedly married an Indian or Thai princess around 2nd Century AD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suro_of_Geumgwan_Gaya

    These contacts seemed to have died out as agrarian Confucianism became dominant in East Asia.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    To be fair, around the time of Japan's state founding, up to a third of the population could have been Korean/Chinese immigrants, although the distinction between "Korean" and "Japanese" were not as clear as people think today. But "social equality" is purely a western modernist myth.
  9. @Twinkie

    Archaeologists have unearthed a piece of wood revealing ancient Japan was a “cosmopolitan” nation “where foreigners were treated equally”
     
    Sounds fantastical. And of course "treating foreigners equally" (whatever that means) is a high moral value in today's "mainstream" America and Western Europe, so must be retrospectively applied to an "exotic" people with the more correct values.

    On a more serious note, it goes seldom mentioned or acknowledged that East Asia had considerable martime contact and likely trade with South and Southeast Asia as early as 2,000 years ago.

    There is even a Korean/Japanese king or chief who supposedly married an Indian or Thai princess around 2nd Century AD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suro_of_Geumgwan_Gaya

    These contacts seemed to have died out as agrarian Confucianism became dominant in East Asia.

    To be fair, around the time of Japan’s state founding, up to a third of the population could have been Korean/Chinese immigrants, although the distinction between “Korean” and “Japanese” were not as clear as people think today. But “social equality” is purely a western modernist myth.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    To be fair, around the time of Japan’s state founding, up to a third of the population could have been Korean/Chinese immigrants, although the distinction between “Korean” and “Japanese” were not as clear as people think today.
     
    That's because "Korea" and "Japan" did not exist when the Yamato state was founded.

    All this cantankerous modern dispute over Kaya/Kara/Minama Confederacy as "Korean" (source of Japanese state) or "Japanese" (colony in Korea) misses the point, because modern polities and ethno-national distinctions are utterly anachronistic to the timeframe in question.
  10. @Jason Liu
    To be fair, around the time of Japan's state founding, up to a third of the population could have been Korean/Chinese immigrants, although the distinction between "Korean" and "Japanese" were not as clear as people think today. But "social equality" is purely a western modernist myth.

    To be fair, around the time of Japan’s state founding, up to a third of the population could have been Korean/Chinese immigrants, although the distinction between “Korean” and “Japanese” were not as clear as people think today.

    That’s because “Korea” and “Japan” did not exist when the Yamato state was founded.

    All this cantankerous modern dispute over Kaya/Kara/Minama Confederacy as “Korean” (source of Japanese state) or “Japanese” (colony in Korea) misses the point, because modern polities and ethno-national distinctions are utterly anachronistic to the timeframe in question.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    yes
  11. @Twinkie

    To be fair, around the time of Japan’s state founding, up to a third of the population could have been Korean/Chinese immigrants, although the distinction between “Korean” and “Japanese” were not as clear as people think today.
     
    That's because "Korea" and "Japan" did not exist when the Yamato state was founded.

    All this cantankerous modern dispute over Kaya/Kara/Minama Confederacy as "Korean" (source of Japanese state) or "Japanese" (colony in Korea) misses the point, because modern polities and ethno-national distinctions are utterly anachronistic to the timeframe in question.

    yes

  12. I listened to the Planet Money episode, and I kept thinking … big picture, how much difference does it really make if Wells Fargo management was pressuring employees to break the law? Because what we know for sure is that they were pressuring employees to sell consumers products they didn’t need. Either way, Wells-Fargo management is profiting personally by providing nothing of value to society.

    Per Vankatesh Rao’s Gervais Principle (http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011/10/14/the-gervais-principle-v-heads-i-win-tails-you-lose/), management was getting lazy if they actually had to order employees to break the law. The smart move is putting them in a position where you know they will decide to break the law on your behalf, while keeping your own hands completely clean.

  13. Razib, do you have any plans to write a book? I love your writing and how you explain things. I’d love to have a book by you on my bookshelf.

  14. Razib –
    Since HBD Chick hasn’t posted since March, I’d like to impose on you and ask a question that’s just arisen. Regarding the Muslim population in Eastern Europe: While some became Muslim because of rape/concubinage/slavery etc., and the children of a Muslim father and Christian mother would have been Muslim, there were numerous cases of conversions. Whether for financial or political or social reasons, there are population groups in the Balkans which have been Muslim, although primarily Caucasian, for hundreds of years.

    Have they historically practiced the same degree and kind of inbreeding (father’s brother’s son) as Arab and other Muslim countries over those centuries?

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