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ancient thinker greece

I have always assumed that the Ancients were wiser than us, but I admit that my evaluation is subject to survivor bias: the best of their thinking has been passed on to us, the mediocre rest forgotten. The Ancients were not all at the level of Socrates, they also included the dullards that killed him.

With these reflections in mind, how can we evaluate the ability of ancient peoples? One way is to consider those ancients whose ideas are known to us, and see how well they rank against the current crop of thinkers. To avoid getting enamoured of the chatter of current times, let us stop the clock at 1950, as Charles Murray did in “Human Accomplishment”. Who still gets talked about?

In Western philosophy: Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Descartes and Hegel; in Western literature: Shakespeare, Goethe, Dante, Virgil, Homer; in Sciences: Newton, Galileo, Aristotle, Kepler and Lavoisier; in Mathematics: Euler, Newton, Euclid, Gauss, Fermat.

These thinkers are still revered and their thoughts influence our civilization. How bright were these guys? More to the point, how bright were the ancient populations from which these exceptional thinkers were drawn? How far can we look back at our ancestors? Can we go back as far as the Bronze Age?

Now up comes young Woodley, him of the frock coat who champions the cleverness of Victorians and has a sombre view of quality of current humanity, and tells me of a crafty addition to this debate. By poking about in ancient DNA of which, to my amazement, about 30% can be recovered in some samples, it is possible to hazard a guess as to whether the genes for intelligence have been selected for, that is, whether humans have become brighter. Apparently, yes, we have become brighter, say Woodley of Menie, Younuskunju, Balan and Piffer. Over a very long period, the trend has been upwards. We are superior to our ancestors. However, we will need far more ancient genomes before we can hazard a guess at exactly how many IQ points we have gained since the Bronze Age.

Twin Research and Human Genetics Volume 20, Number 4, 2017 doi:10.1017/thg.2017.37
Holocene Selection for Variants Associated With General Cognitive Ability: Comparing Ancient and Modern Genomes
Michael A. Woodley of Menie,1,2 Shameem Younuskunju,3 Bipin Balan,4 and Davide Piffer5,†

1 Unz Foundation, Palo Alto, CA, USA
2 Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
3 Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, Dohar, Qatar
4 Department of Agriculture and Forestry Science, University of Palermo, Palermo Italy
5 Department of Psychology, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

http://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/02/20/109678

Since the rise of agriculture about four and a half thousand years ago, humans living in Europe and Asia have increased in cognitive ability. The authors base their argument on the study of 99 ancient Eurasian genomes (from 4.56 to 1.21 thousand years ago) which they compare to the genomes of 503 modern Eurasians. Using three different way of calculating the genetic code scores, they find that all three show advantages for modern humans. These three scores are better than 80% of control measures of random genome scores, showing that they are highly likely to have picked up real improvement in intelligence. They checked this on a sub-sample of 66 ancient genomes for which carbon dating was available, and found that their method correlated significantly with this sample. Far from evolution slowing up as our ancestors became farmers, it seems to have speeded up selection for problem solving capacity.

Here is their abstract:

Human populations living in Eurasia during the Holocene underwent considerable micro-evolutionary change. It has been theorized that the transition of Holocene populations into agrarianism and urbanization brought about culture-gene co-evolution that favored via directional selection genetic variants associated with higher general cognitive ability (GCA). To examine whether GCA might have risen during the Holocene, we compare a sample of 99 ancient Eurasian genomes (ranging from 4.56 to 1.21 kyr BP) with a sample of 503 modern European genomes (Fst = 0.013), using three different cognitive polygenic scores. Significant differences favoring the modern genomes were found for all three polygenic scores (odds ratios = 0.92, p = .037; .81, p = .001; and .81, p = .02). These polygenic scores also outperformed the majority of scores assembled from random SNPs generated via a Monte Carlo model (between 76.4% and 84.6%). Furthermore, an indication of increasing positive allele count over 3.25 kyr was found using a subsample of 66 ancient genomes (r = 0.22, pone-tailed = .04). These observations are consistent with the expectation that GCA rose during the Holocene.

ancient genomes

The authors point out that selection for intelligence increases when humans move from familiar to novel environments, in which new thinking is required. Old established routines, possibly even those hard-wired like the detection of cheats, no longer cope with novelty and changeable environments.

Instead, such problems require generalized and open-ended problem-solving systems, such as learning and working memory, in order to tailor solutions to them. The ability to innovate a solution to such a problem (via the development of a tool) is a key manifestation of the action of these generalized problem-solving systems (Geary, 2005).

Innovations that played a major role in facilitating this transition would have included the domestication of cultivars and animals and the development of novel tools for raising the productivity of land (such as the plough; Cochran and Harpending, 2009). Cultural innovations such as monotheism, monarchy, aristocracy, feudalism, and currency-based economics arose in response to the need for coping with the hierarchical power distribution characteristic of large, static populations (Cochran and Harpending, 2009).

A number of things arise from this finding. In European and Central Asian biomes at least there is evidence of selection for intelligence. The effect is slight but positive: the intellectual tone is improving. Bronze Age humans may have moved towards slow life histories: more long term, considered, restrained lives. Wisdom, you might say. However, although we are brighter than the ancients, we are probably not as bright as the Victorians. In fact, we have probably passed our peak.

Here’s why:

Selection operating over the course of millennia (as in the present case) would be expected to produce quite considerable micro-evolutionary change. As was discussed in the section Introduction, Holocene populations appear to have undergone accelerated adaptive micro-evolution relative to those living in the Pleistocene (Cochran & Harpending, 2009; Hawks et al., 2007). Increasing cultural complexity and technological sophistication among these populations may therefore have arisen in part from selection favoring GCA. Cultural and technological change can in turn create, via culture-gene co-evolutionary feedback, conditions favoring higher GCA (Cochran & Harpending, 2009; Piffer, 2013).

This process likely continued until the Late Modern Era, where it has been noted that among Western populations living between the 15th and early 19th centuries, those with higher social status (which shares genetic variance with, and is therefore a proxy for GCA; Trzaskowski et al., 2014) typically produced the most surviving offspring. These in turn tended toward downward social mobility due to intense competition, replacing the reproductively unsuccessful low-status stratum and effectively ‘bootstrapping’ those populations via the application of high levels of skill to solving problems associated with production and industry, eventually leading to the Industrial Revolution in Europe (Clark, 2007 2014). The millennia-long micro-evolutionary trend favoring higher GCA not only ceased, but likely went into reverse among European-derived populations living in the 19th century (Lynn, 1996; Lynn & Van Court, 2004), largely in response to factors such as the asymmetric use of birth control and prolonged exposure to education among those with high GCA (Lynn, 1996). Consistent with this, it has been found that various POLYCOG negatively predict reproductive success in contemporary Western populations (Beauchamp, 2016; Conley et al., 2016; Kong et al., 2017;Woodley of Menie, Schwartz et al., 2016). It is important to note that this recent micro-evolutionary trend (working in the opposite direction) has likely attenuated the difference in POLYCOG between the modern and ancient genomes noted in the present study.

In other words, if we had been caught in our Victorian prime our rise in ability since the pre-agricultural hunter-gatherer ages would have been even more apparent. Selection is the key. When you must use your wits to survive, and restrain present urges for future gains, then the brighter multiply. When, in less taxing circumstances, there is no particular need for wit or restraint, then there is no premium for those characteristics.

 
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  1. anarchyst says:

    Utilization of energy has been one of the most important aspects pushing the “ascent of mankind”. The ancients did not have much to work with, but understood basic and advanced concepts to a much greater degree than even our own “enlightened” geniuses.
    Witness the Roman Coliseum, utilizing a still unknown concrete mix, along without the use of “rebar”.
    The Egyptian pyramids are another example of large structures, created without today’s power equipment, put in place by yet unknown processes. It is clear, that even with today’s equipment and technology, they could not be built or recreated.
    There is much knowledge that was lost with the collapse of the various civilizations. Yes, we are “reinventing the wheel” in many aspects…

    Read More
    • Replies: @polistra
    Interesting that you mention Roman concrete. The secret was just figured out this year, after 2000 years of mystery. Instead of plain lime, they used lime and volcanic ash, and they cured it with salt water instead of fresh. The salt reacts with parts of the ash to bring out an aluminum-based mineral that steadily hardens over centuries. In other words, Roman concrete was part metal, so it didn't need metal rebars.
    , @Rurik

    There is much knowledge that was lost with the collapse of the various civilizations.
     
    not just lost, but often deliberately destroyed, like the Library of Alexandria

    during the entire Middle Ages, the church must have burned or otherwise destroyed all archeological artifacts or other records of ancient man's genius and creations, unless they comported with the priest's narrative of the day.

    they were no better than the Taliban destroying ancient statues carved into mountain sides, or their ideological brothers today destroying the Baghdad museum and re-writing ancient history to comport with their own tribal narratives.

    So much has been lost, that it's impossible to really know just how magnificent our ancestors really were, when there's so many with their assorted agendas trying to make hay with some trite fable to enthrall the masses with and enslave their collective minds.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways.
     
    that's the easy part. The hard part is thinking up unique insights in the first place. For Copernicus to be told his entire life that the earth was the center of the universe, and that to question that was wrong and sinful, but not only did he question it, he revolutionized our understanding of the very skies and stars and our place in the universe.

    That's the kind of genius that's remarkable. The kind that pops up from out of nowhere and sees what's right in front of all our faces, but we lack the courage and intelligence to see it.

    Like Darwin, who singlehandedly saw what was really quite obvious.. now that he pointed it out. But for his mind to burst free of the mental chains of the day, and soar beyond the shackles his fellow scientists could not break, is the kind of genius we seem to be lacking today.

    we can build on the work of the giants who've come before us, but we seem woefully unable to innovate and create out of thin air, what men like Copernicus or Newton or Darwin were able to do.
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  2. I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways".

    It ain't that simple. Think of the golden age of quantum theory when, as one of the participants remarked, good physicists could do great physics.
    , @Randal

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.
     
    See above, Anatoly. What do you think Socrates' achievement level might be if he were born into a mid-middle class family in a modern US sphere society? (Based upon his known work - obviously we have no way of knowing how much more he might have been capable of if tested).
    , @Dumbo
    Durr, thinking something for the first time is obviously harder than just reading about it.

    We are not only dumber than the ancients, we seem to have lost the basic skills to understand the most basic things about life.

    The fact that they are easily understood and make sense even after thousands of years is actually proof that they were smart.

    Heidegger is "complex" because he isn't that bright -- or useful.

    As Schopenhauer said, "And yet nothing is easier than to write so that no one can understand; just as contrarily, nothing is more difficult than to express deep things in such a way that every one must necessarily grasp them."

    And as Bugs Bunny said, "What a maroon!"
    , @Anonymouse
    I'll accept this assertion after I read your explanation of Plato's Parmenides.
    , @Joe Hose
    You make a short, highly reasonable, and understandable assertion. Thanks from we readers! Also, thanks to author for non-dogmatic ability to change his mind based upon new evidence.
    , @Ivan
    The genius is in coming up with the things that the Greeks did. To take but two examples Euclid's proof of the infinity of primes and the sheer audacity of Eratosthenes method of measuring the circumference of the Earth. And that is just in the sciences.
    , @MarkinLA
    So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    And the tools we have for discovery keep allowing us to see things the ancients never could have dreamed of. So are we just smarter or are we just dealing with the ability to see things for the first time in history?
    , @Anonymous White Male
    "Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein."

    Yeah, but Heidegger and Wittgenstein were Krauts (German, Austrian). When reading German Philosophers you come to the conclusion that they ranked each other by how much their books weighed. Talk about soporific! Just open any book by a "German" Philosopher. You will be sawing logs very shortly.
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  3. Randal says:

    One way is to consider those ancients whose ideas are known to us, and see how well they rank against the current crop of thinkers.

    Tricky. Apart from the inherent difficulty in avoiding subjective judgements, there’s also the problem that presumably the earlier thinkers snapped up the low hanging fruit.

    I have always assumed that the Ancients were wiser than us

    A natural tendency for any visceral conservative, I suppose – I’ve always tended that way myself.

    But when it comes to elite thinking the issue is not the overall average, but the absolute number at any given level, so presumably we’d have to evaluate the distribution as well as the raw population sizes and estimate the comparable numbers at the highest levels of ability.

    There really are an awful lot more people in the modern global society than there were in the classical age world.

    Assuming a broadly similar distribution, how much higher a mean would classical civilisation have needed to have to produce an equivalent number of say IQ 150 (or whatever figure you choose to use) thinkers as today’s global society?

    Using plausible mean estimates, how far would you need to speculatively stretch the distribution away from what we think is normal for human populations to produce similar equivalence?

    These estimates would seem likely to give an indication of broad plausibility. Presumably someone has done them before. For all I know people in your field do them routinely as back of envelope estimates for fun :-)

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  4. Ron Unz says:

    I’d really be pretty skeptical about this analysis as a uniform conclusion unless a good selection of the old DNA comes from Ancient Greece.

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Victorian Era Western Europe represented the peak of recent innate intellectual ability and compare the results with those of Classical Athens during (say) a comparable 50-100 year period.

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let’s be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.

    But now let’s consider the population sizes. There were probably something like 100-150K Athenian adult male citizens, who were the source of such ancient thinkers, and probably something like 500-1000x that number in the case of modern Europe (depending upon how we evaluate class and gender barriers).

    So wasn’t the relative intellectual productivity of Ancient Athens at least a couple of orders of magnitude greater?

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    • Replies: @benjaminl
    Would it be fair to compare ancient clusters of accomplishment such as Plato's Academy, with their modern equivalents such as Trinity College, Cambridge, or the Fasori Gimnázium in Budapest?

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/05/26/the-atomic-bomb-considered-as-hungarian-high-school-science-fair-project/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_College,_Cambridge#Nobel_Prize_winners
    , @Randal

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let’s be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.
     
    So what would happen to Socrates if he were born into a mid-middle class family in a modern US sphere society? Would he stand out as a first rate thinker, or would he just end up a run of the mill Ivy League/Oxbridge philosophy prof, or perhaps a minor political troublemaker?

    What is a plausible guess at Socrates' IQ? Or Archimedes?

    I see Karlin at the piece he links above suggests the Greek philosophers' and Archimedes' work would require a 115 IQ to fully grasp and, he suggests, +30 IQ points above that to innovate them. On the other hand he quotes Galton as suggesting (rather implausibly imo) that: "We have no men to put by the side of Socrates and Phidias, because the millions of all Europe, breeding as they have done for the subsequent 2,000 years, have never produced their equals". If Karlin is putting Socrates and Archimedes (or their lower bound at any rate) at 145+, a quick online search produces a Wikipedia reference to a "Triple-9 society" purporting to accept members only above around 146+ with 1700 members (and presumably only a proportion of the whole population of exceptional IQ people are interested in such societies).
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let’s be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.
     
    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?

    The Greek population in the Mediterranean numbered close to 10 million in the 4th century BC.

    The Greeks were the first society in history to attain "craftsman's literacy", that is, 5%-10% literacy rates. (In previous societies, it had been bounded at around 1-2%, so-called "priestly literacy"). That's close to a million literate Greeks! (For comparison, the population of Qin China was around 22 million around 210BC, of whom perhaps 200,000 might have been fully literate, considering that it was at the stage of "scribal literacy," and the challenges of attaining full literacy in character-based writing systems).

    There was just an astounding amount of low-hanging fruit to be picked up for the first large civilization to raise its literacy rate by an order of magnitude relative to what had been attained previously.
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  5. The Ancients were not all at the level of Socrates, they also included the dullards that killed him.

    Socrates was an enemy of the people who openly mocked the people’s courts (and if he hadn’t done so he would probably just have been exiled). He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    He also was an avowed pedophile who corrupted the male youth of Athens:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Sodomy/greek_homos.htm

    Most of the early philosophers seemed to thoroughly understand and discuss the actions pederasty and homosexuality, and Socrates, considered the first philosopher, even described himself as being “experienced in the pursuit of men.” According to the dialogues of Plato – a student of Socrates - pederasty and homosexuality were a part of everyday life, at least for aristocrats.

    Two of Plato’ s works, The Phaedrus and The Symposium, paint a brilliant picture of what the attitude toward pederasty was at the time. In the opening pages of The Phaedrus, Phaedrus and Socrates are discussing a speech that Lysias – a popular orator of the day - has written; a speech that was “…designed to win the favor of a handsome boy….” Socrates seems to understand why one would write a speech on this subject, and even states that man “cannot have a less desirable protector or companion than the man who is in love with him.” The Symposium goes into even greater detail about pederasty.

    The setting is a symposium – a type of dinner party that only included males as guests, and had entertainment, wine, and discussion of politics and philosophy – in which several men are gathered and all give speeches about why a love of boys is a good thing. Phaedrus - the first to give his speech - states, For I can’t say that there is a greater blessing right from boyhood than a good lover or a greater blessing for a lover than a darling [young boy]. What people who intend to lead their lives in a noble and beautiful manner need is not provided by family, public honors, wealth, or anything else, so well as by love. Pausanias - the second speaker - adds even more to this argument when he states Aphrodite only inspires love among men for young boys, and not women. Those inspired by Aphrodite are naturally drawn to the male because he is a stronger and more intelligent creature.

    Socrates also comments on the importance of pederasty in his own life. He says, “My love for this fellow [Agathon- another member of the party who is a beautiful young boy] is not an insignificant affair.” Yet another member of the party, Alcibiades, also loves Agathon and tries to discredit Socrates when he says, “…Socrates is lovingly fixated on beautiful young men, is always around them – in a daze….” Socrates was one of the most influential persons in ancient Greece, and was in fact put to death for what the authorities thought was leading the youth of Athens astray. They did not condemn him for his love of young boys, however, but thought he was leading them away from the gods and causing them to question authority.

    Pederasty was also condoned by the law. According to Plato, legal and social norms did not clearly condemn or prohibit homoeroticism. The court records of a case between an older gentleman and a man named Simon help one get an idea of the prevalence of pederasty. The case revolves around two men fighting over a younger boy, but never assigns any dishonor to either of the men for chasing the boy, and actually rule in favor of the old man even though he is married. Of course, each city-state was different, clearly reflected sexual norms in Greece as a whole.
     
    , @utu
    He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

    Spoken like true German. Ordnung muss sein.
    , @ANON
    You're right about Socrates. He was basically preaching revolution to his students. They of course were upper class who would be the next generation of rulers.

    He was similar to professors Marcuse, Apthoker, Lawrence Tribe, Igantious and the rest who preached hatred of America since the 1930's and "exterminate the White race" since the 1980s.

    Shakespeare wrote "first get the lawyers" I'd like to get rid of all the professors, administrators, counselors, advisors and rabble rousers on every campus in America.
    Judging by Socrates execution, I'd say the Athenian dullards were 1,000 percent smarter than American politicians.
    , @jacques sheete

    Socrates was an enemy of the people...
     
    While true, I doubt that would've got him killed.

    He was an enemy of the state and that's what did it.

    Consider that JC was a friend of the people, but an enemy of the "state," i.e., the de facto ruling hierarchy such as the money changers of the time.

    More general notes.:

    Judging by the faith we generally place in centralized political systems compared to the skepticism of our predecessors, I'd say that population-wise, we've been pretty effectively enstupified ( thank you , Freddie) and the reasons are not hard to understand.

    Oh, and add to that the selecting of the best and brightest then sending them of to kill other bright and fit ones and die while leaving the, ahem, "others" home to breed probably hasn't helped the gene pool mush either.
    , @Brás Cubas
    The sentence you quoted is simply wrong, even if one does not fully agree with your response to it (I, for one, never put political matters in terms of deserving, it seems moralistic and I am not a moralist). But the fact remains that the quoted sentence reveals a profound ignorance of politics. Those who killed Socrates had understandable reasons for doing it, and therefore were not dullards. One may argue against such executions, but it would be a very complex argument, and would not make dullards out of those who disagreed with them. I wonder what exactly it is that the author of the piece admires about Socrates (or his spokesman Plato). That still would not make his assertion correct, but would make his error more understandable.
    , @Epaminondas
    This is all true. Socrates showed very poor judgement and very little common sense in starting up controversial dialogs in the very teeth of the worst times of the Peloponnesian War. Pericles was dead, along with tens of thousands of other citizens who died during the plague. The disaster of the Syracuse expedition was weighing on everyone. And here comes Socrates looking around for "the meaning of life." The Athenian leadership may have been dullards, but they were highly irritated and desperate dullards, and Socrates was not helping matters by stirring up young people to go off on irrelevant tangents when social cohesion was of paramount importance.
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  6. dearieme says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

    “The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways”.

    It ain’t that simple. Think of the golden age of quantum theory when, as one of the participants remarked, good physicists could do great physics.

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  7. Maybe you’re comparing very different space/size of times…

    XX and XXI century versus most part of human story**

    Of course it’s expected where there are ”geniuses” we will have at least a brighter upper-class and at the most a brighter population, on avg and a higher variation in personality, namely among men.

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  8. benjaminl says:
    @Ron Unz
    I'd really be pretty skeptical about this analysis as a uniform conclusion unless a good selection of the old DNA comes from Ancient Greece.

    For the sake of argument, let's assume that Victorian Era Western Europe represented the peak of recent innate intellectual ability and compare the results with those of Classical Athens during (say) a comparable 50-100 year period.

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let's be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.

    But now let's consider the population sizes. There were probably something like 100-150K Athenian adult male citizens, who were the source of such ancient thinkers, and probably something like 500-1000x that number in the case of modern Europe (depending upon how we evaluate class and gender barriers).

    So wasn't the relative intellectual productivity of Ancient Athens at least a couple of orders of magnitude greater?

    Would it be fair to compare ancient clusters of accomplishment such as Plato’s Academy, with their modern equivalents such as Trinity College, Cambridge, or the Fasori Gimnázium in Budapest?

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/05/26/the-atomic-bomb-considered-as-hungarian-high-school-science-fair-project/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_College,_Cambridge#Nobel_Prize_winners

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  9. Cultural innovations such as monotheism, monarchy, aristocracy, feudalism, and currency-based economics arose in response to the need for coping with the hierarchical power distribution characteristic of large, static populations

    The dark side of human story is that this ”cultural innovations” has been or even, they were created to perpetuates unfair and gross social inequalities.

    What happen[ed] during this transition* The leaders of hunter-gatherer groups tend not to be intentionally evil* Pajés tend [try] to be a wiser leaders than pathetic elites of complex/bigger societies*

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    • Agree: jacques sheete
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  10. Since the rise of agriculture about four and a half thousand years ago, humans living in Europe and Asia have increased in cognitive ability.

    And that study saying at least english upper-class surnames were becoming more common since the modern era*

    This increase was ”recent” or apex of civilizations tends to correlates with apex of avg intelligence*

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  11. Randal says:
    @Ron Unz
    I'd really be pretty skeptical about this analysis as a uniform conclusion unless a good selection of the old DNA comes from Ancient Greece.

    For the sake of argument, let's assume that Victorian Era Western Europe represented the peak of recent innate intellectual ability and compare the results with those of Classical Athens during (say) a comparable 50-100 year period.

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let's be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.

    But now let's consider the population sizes. There were probably something like 100-150K Athenian adult male citizens, who were the source of such ancient thinkers, and probably something like 500-1000x that number in the case of modern Europe (depending upon how we evaluate class and gender barriers).

    So wasn't the relative intellectual productivity of Ancient Athens at least a couple of orders of magnitude greater?

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let’s be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.

    So what would happen to Socrates if he were born into a mid-middle class family in a modern US sphere society? Would he stand out as a first rate thinker, or would he just end up a run of the mill Ivy League/Oxbridge philosophy prof, or perhaps a minor political troublemaker?

    What is a plausible guess at Socrates’ IQ? Or Archimedes?

    I see Karlin at the piece he links above suggests the Greek philosophers’ and Archimedes’ work would require a 115 IQ to fully grasp and, he suggests, +30 IQ points above that to innovate them. On the other hand he quotes Galton as suggesting (rather implausibly imo) that: “We have no men to put by the side of Socrates and Phidias, because the millions of all Europe, breeding as they have done for the subsequent 2,000 years, have never produced their equals”. If Karlin is putting Socrates and Archimedes (or their lower bound at any rate) at 145+, a quick online search produces a Wikipedia reference to a “Triple-9 society” purporting to accept members only above around 146+ with 1700 members (and presumably only a proportion of the whole population of exceptional IQ people are interested in such societies).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    What is a plausible guess at Socrates’ IQ? Or Archimedes?
     
    We really can't know, IMO. Weren't they surrounded by other bright students all the time? Maybe it was a group effort and what we're seeing are distilled achievements of large groups of people. In a way - of course we are - none of it was created in a vacuum and that applies throughout history.

    Can anyone guess, reliably, what was the Tesla's IQ just from his achievements? I didn't think so. And that was the guy who really broke new ground repeatedly.

    So, when a person scores very high on an IQ test we can safely assume that he's got the potential to excel - but we can't go backwards and measure the IQ from the achievement. Not with any kind of accuracy. Same can be said for nations. There are too many variables so you have to go and directly test.
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  12. Randal says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    See above, Anatoly. What do you think Socrates’ achievement level might be if he were born into a mid-middle class family in a modern US sphere society? (Based upon his known work – obviously we have no way of knowing how much more he might have been capable of if tested).

    Read More
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  13. Dumbo says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

    Durr, thinking something for the first time is obviously harder than just reading about it.

    We are not only dumber than the ancients, we seem to have lost the basic skills to understand the most basic things about life.

    The fact that they are easily understood and make sense even after thousands of years is actually proof that they were smart.

    Heidegger is “complex” because he isn’t that bright — or useful.

    As Schopenhauer said, “And yet nothing is easier than to write so that no one can understand; just as contrarily, nothing is more difficult than to express deep things in such a way that every one must necessarily grasp them.”

    And as Bugs Bunny said, “What a maroon!”

    Read More
    • Agree: Old fogey
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Exactly.

    And the question on this post was very vague as usual... Cleverer about what??

    The avg Athenian was cleverer than avg American? Because seems difficult to compare achievements for example recent achievements in STEM if compared with that ancient time, because today science is more accumulative than in the Aristotle times. It's not all achievements that seems improbable to be fairly compared. For example, how socially harmonic ancient Greece was if compared with today? How superstitious or religious they were if compared with today?

    My opinion is that great civilizations undoubtedly require at least a brighter upper classes to work.

    Philosophy require a different type of intelligence-use than science so also compare philosophers with scientists will be always arbitrary. The problem of philosophy is that great part of itself is so obvious that appear to be less important. Also because indeed is easier than science it's appear to be less important. It's like compare intellectual gymnastics of all wrong ideologies and religions require with "look for the quasi-obvious truth". It's more difficult to deceive the truth than to look for her but it's not more important.
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  14. @Ron Unz
    I'd really be pretty skeptical about this analysis as a uniform conclusion unless a good selection of the old DNA comes from Ancient Greece.

    For the sake of argument, let's assume that Victorian Era Western Europe represented the peak of recent innate intellectual ability and compare the results with those of Classical Athens during (say) a comparable 50-100 year period.

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let's be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.

    But now let's consider the population sizes. There were probably something like 100-150K Athenian adult male citizens, who were the source of such ancient thinkers, and probably something like 500-1000x that number in the case of modern Europe (depending upon how we evaluate class and gender barriers).

    So wasn't the relative intellectual productivity of Ancient Athens at least a couple of orders of magnitude greater?

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let’s be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.

    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?

    The Greek population in the Mediterranean numbered close to 10 million in the 4th century BC.

    The Greeks were the first society in history to attain “craftsman’s literacy”, that is, 5%-10% literacy rates. (In previous societies, it had been bounded at around 1-2%, so-called “priestly literacy”). That’s close to a million literate Greeks! (For comparison, the population of Qin China was around 22 million around 210BC, of whom perhaps 200,000 might have been fully literate, considering that it was at the stage of “scribal literacy,” and the challenges of attaining full literacy in character-based writing systems).

    There was just an astounding amount of low-hanging fruit to be picked up for the first large civilization to raise its literacy rate by an order of magnitude relative to what had been attained previously.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?
     
    But probably about half or more of the great Ancient Greek thinkers and writers from the period under discussion *were* Athenian, so the population of Argos or Thebes or Magna Graecia really don't enter into the equation.

    Take Thucydides, not only the founder of serious history, but author of one of the greatest historical works ever written. If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn't they have produced hundreds of his equals?

    Admittedly, some very prominent Greeks such as Aristotle were born elsewhere and drawn to Athens (much like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto), but most were Athenian.
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  15. Ron Unz says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let’s be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.
     
    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?

    The Greek population in the Mediterranean numbered close to 10 million in the 4th century BC.

    The Greeks were the first society in history to attain "craftsman's literacy", that is, 5%-10% literacy rates. (In previous societies, it had been bounded at around 1-2%, so-called "priestly literacy"). That's close to a million literate Greeks! (For comparison, the population of Qin China was around 22 million around 210BC, of whom perhaps 200,000 might have been fully literate, considering that it was at the stage of "scribal literacy," and the challenges of attaining full literacy in character-based writing systems).

    There was just an astounding amount of low-hanging fruit to be picked up for the first large civilization to raise its literacy rate by an order of magnitude relative to what had been attained previously.

    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?

    But probably about half or more of the great Ancient Greek thinkers and writers from the period under discussion *were* Athenian, so the population of Argos or Thebes or Magna Graecia really don’t enter into the equation.

    Take Thucydides, not only the founder of serious history, but author of one of the greatest historical works ever written. If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn’t they have produced hundreds of his equals?

    Admittedly, some very prominent Greeks such as Aristotle were born elsewhere and drawn to Athens (much like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto), but most were Athenian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ANON
    Absolutely right I think Archimedes was Sicilian, but I don't think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .
    , @reiner Tor
    You can only found serious history once. Later guys have to found quantum mechanics, which is way way more difficult to do. You need a bunch of giants before you on whose shoulders you could step, and well, the air gets thin that high, so you might even need to be better than those giants.

    There is also the problem of too much information in the present day, a lot of historiography talent goes into writing about certain aspects of narrow periods like the Holocaust. The ancients didn't have the luxury of studying documents in archives, so they didn't need to worry about the details at all. A lot of their history might actually misrepresent the facts and we wouldn't even know it. It's not like we have many independently verifiable accounts of the Peloponnesian War. While modern historiography will be kept re-examined and so its works won't survive - if you want to read a Hitler biography, you'll probably turn to Kershaw (despite its flaws) and not, say, Bullock, simply because Bullock didn't yet know a lot of later research which Kershaw uses. I bet you at least a two or three major biographies of Hitler will appear until the end of the century, and they will overshadow Kershaw, too. As well as anyone before him. Thucydides was never overshadowed by later research, even if he omitted major aspects of the events which he described, and even if he misrepresented a lot of the facts.

    So there's that.
    , @jacques sheete

    If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn’t they have produced hundreds of his equals?
     
    Exactly, and compare the "German" areas of today with those of 200-300 years ago.
    , @Rurik

    like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto),
     
    :)
    , @Wizard of Oz
    While it may have been the Spartans who specially engaged your attention during your days as a classical scholar you may recall Ron that Athens was apparently occupied by more ancient Ancient Greeks than the rest of Greece. Indeed I remember reading somewhere that they were essentially a Mediterranean people with maybe strong links to Egypt and its civilisation. Unfortunately my searches using "Achaean" have't helped enlarge on that thought. But here's a thought for a historical fiction writer. Maybe the glory that was Athens wad the work of exiled eggheads from Egypt (and Crete, why not?). And maybe it became a melting pot and safe haven for intellectual mavericks for the whole region exgending to Persia. Back to reality: isn't there good reason to look for an explanation of Athens's apparent genetic advantsge?
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  16. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader

    The Ancients were not all at the level of Socrates, they also included the dullards that killed him.
     
    Socrates was an enemy of the people who openly mocked the people's courts (and if he hadn't done so he would probably just have been exiled). He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

    He also was an avowed pedophile who corrupted the male youth of Athens:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Sodomy/greek_homos.htm

    [MORE]

    Most of the early philosophers seemed to thoroughly understand and discuss the actions pederasty and homosexuality, and Socrates, considered the first philosopher, even described himself as being “experienced in the pursuit of men.” According to the dialogues of Plato – a student of Socrates – pederasty and homosexuality were a part of everyday life, at least for aristocrats.

    Two of Plato’ s works, The Phaedrus and The Symposium, paint a brilliant picture of what the attitude toward pederasty was at the time. In the opening pages of The Phaedrus, Phaedrus and Socrates are discussing a speech that Lysias – a popular orator of the day – has written; a speech that was “…designed to win the favor of a handsome boy….” Socrates seems to understand why one would write a speech on this subject, and even states that man “cannot have a less desirable protector or companion than the man who is in love with him.” The Symposium goes into even greater detail about pederasty.

    The setting is a symposium – a type of dinner party that only included males as guests, and had entertainment, wine, and discussion of politics and philosophy – in which several men are gathered and all give speeches about why a love of boys is a good thing. Phaedrus – the first to give his speech – states, For I can’t say that there is a greater blessing right from boyhood than a good lover or a greater blessing for a lover than a darling [young boy]. What people who intend to lead their lives in a noble and beautiful manner need is not provided by family, public honors, wealth, or anything else, so well as by love. Pausanias – the second speaker – adds even more to this argument when he states Aphrodite only inspires love among men for young boys, and not women. Those inspired by Aphrodite are naturally drawn to the male because he is a stronger and more intelligent creature.

    Socrates also comments on the importance of pederasty in his own life. He says, “My love for this fellow [Agathon- another member of the party who is a beautiful young boy] is not an insignificant affair.” Yet another member of the party, Alcibiades, also loves Agathon and tries to discredit Socrates when he says, “…Socrates is lovingly fixated on beautiful young men, is always around them – in a daze….” Socrates was one of the most influential persons in ancient Greece, and was in fact put to death for what the authorities thought was leading the youth of Athens astray. They did not condemn him for his love of young boys, however, but thought he was leading them away from the gods and causing them to question authority.

    Pederasty was also condoned by the law. According to Plato, legal and social norms did not clearly condemn or prohibit homoeroticism. The court records of a case between an older gentleman and a man named Simon help one get an idea of the prevalence of pederasty. The case revolves around two men fighting over a younger boy, but never assigns any dishonor to either of the men for chasing the boy, and actually rule in favor of the old man even though he is married. Of course, each city-state was different, clearly reflected sexual norms in Greece as a whole.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ANON
    Adult men and 10 to 16 year old boys were a common arrangement in Ancient Greece. Most historians claim it was a mandatory arrangement for all boys condoned by parents and society.
    Different times, different morals.
    , @Kyle McKenna

    He also was an avowed pedophile who corrupted the male youth of Athens:

    www.jesus-is-savior.com
     

    WTAF?! Are you telling me they actually practiced homosexual behavior in ancient Greece? Incredible. You could have knocked me over with a feather, if I were any lighter on my feet that is.
    , @Santoculto
    Even in Sparta? ;)
    , @BB753
    Aristotle was the exception. He didn't believe pederasty was healthy. I wonder if Plato ever made a pass at him, lol!
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  17. VinceD says:

    “Selection is the key. When you must use your wits to survive, and restrain present urges for future gains, then the brighter multiply….”

    IE have more children than others – but is this true? Have you looked? Maybe in prehistoric times.

    Read More
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  18. utu says:
    @German_reader

    The Ancients were not all at the level of Socrates, they also included the dullards that killed him.
     
    Socrates was an enemy of the people who openly mocked the people's courts (and if he hadn't done so he would probably just have been exiled). He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

    He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

    Spoken like true German. Ordnung muss sein.

    Read More
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  19. ANON says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader

    The Ancients were not all at the level of Socrates, they also included the dullards that killed him.
     
    Socrates was an enemy of the people who openly mocked the people's courts (and if he hadn't done so he would probably just have been exiled). He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

    You’re right about Socrates. He was basically preaching revolution to his students. They of course were upper class who would be the next generation of rulers.

    He was similar to professors Marcuse, Apthoker, Lawrence Tribe, Igantious and the rest who preached hatred of America since the 1930′s and “exterminate the White race” since the 1980s.

    Shakespeare wrote “first get the lawyers” I’d like to get rid of all the professors, administrators, counselors, advisors and rabble rousers on every campus in America.
    Judging by Socrates execution, I’d say the Athenian dullards were 1,000 percent smarter than American politicians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Shakespeare has his charcater (Dick the Butcher!) suggest killing all the lawyers as the means to facilitate violent revolution and the downfall of the existing order.

    Your citation of the work suggests you misunderstand it to imply the opposite. Do you in fact want bloody revolution and anarchy? Your endorsement of the execution of Socrates suggests not.

    I suppose I shall add being bothered by people who insist upon citing Henry VI without going to the trouble of first understanding it to my list of abandoned (because Sisyphean) tasks, along with trying to inculcate an understanding that mestizo and Hispanic are not synonyms.
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  20. ANON says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    He also was an avowed pedophile who corrupted the male youth of Athens:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Sodomy/greek_homos.htm

    Most of the early philosophers seemed to thoroughly understand and discuss the actions pederasty and homosexuality, and Socrates, considered the first philosopher, even described himself as being “experienced in the pursuit of men.” According to the dialogues of Plato – a student of Socrates - pederasty and homosexuality were a part of everyday life, at least for aristocrats.

    Two of Plato’ s works, The Phaedrus and The Symposium, paint a brilliant picture of what the attitude toward pederasty was at the time. In the opening pages of The Phaedrus, Phaedrus and Socrates are discussing a speech that Lysias – a popular orator of the day - has written; a speech that was “…designed to win the favor of a handsome boy….” Socrates seems to understand why one would write a speech on this subject, and even states that man “cannot have a less desirable protector or companion than the man who is in love with him.” The Symposium goes into even greater detail about pederasty.

    The setting is a symposium – a type of dinner party that only included males as guests, and had entertainment, wine, and discussion of politics and philosophy – in which several men are gathered and all give speeches about why a love of boys is a good thing. Phaedrus - the first to give his speech - states, For I can’t say that there is a greater blessing right from boyhood than a good lover or a greater blessing for a lover than a darling [young boy]. What people who intend to lead their lives in a noble and beautiful manner need is not provided by family, public honors, wealth, or anything else, so well as by love. Pausanias - the second speaker - adds even more to this argument when he states Aphrodite only inspires love among men for young boys, and not women. Those inspired by Aphrodite are naturally drawn to the male because he is a stronger and more intelligent creature.

    Socrates also comments on the importance of pederasty in his own life. He says, “My love for this fellow [Agathon- another member of the party who is a beautiful young boy] is not an insignificant affair.” Yet another member of the party, Alcibiades, also loves Agathon and tries to discredit Socrates when he says, “…Socrates is lovingly fixated on beautiful young men, is always around them – in a daze….” Socrates was one of the most influential persons in ancient Greece, and was in fact put to death for what the authorities thought was leading the youth of Athens astray. They did not condemn him for his love of young boys, however, but thought he was leading them away from the gods and causing them to question authority.

    Pederasty was also condoned by the law. According to Plato, legal and social norms did not clearly condemn or prohibit homoeroticism. The court records of a case between an older gentleman and a man named Simon help one get an idea of the prevalence of pederasty. The case revolves around two men fighting over a younger boy, but never assigns any dishonor to either of the men for chasing the boy, and actually rule in favor of the old man even though he is married. Of course, each city-state was different, clearly reflected sexual norms in Greece as a whole.
     

    Adult men and 10 to 16 year old boys were a common arrangement in Ancient Greece. Most historians claim it was a mandatory arrangement for all boys condoned by parents and society.
    Different times, different morals.

    Read More
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  21. ANON says: • Disclaimer
    @Ron Unz

    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?
     
    But probably about half or more of the great Ancient Greek thinkers and writers from the period under discussion *were* Athenian, so the population of Argos or Thebes or Magna Graecia really don't enter into the equation.

    Take Thucydides, not only the founder of serious history, but author of one of the greatest historical works ever written. If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn't they have produced hundreds of his equals?

    Admittedly, some very prominent Greeks such as Aristotle were born elsewhere and drawn to Athens (much like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto), but most were Athenian.

    Absolutely right I think Archimedes was Sicilian, but I don’t think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .

    Read More
    • Replies: @geokat62

    ... but I don’t think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .
     
    Do the three presocratic philosophers - Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes - qualify as geniuses?

    These philosophers all hailed from the Greek city state of Miletus and are known as the first philosophers. Their philosophy is what started the Ionian Intellectual Revolution...

    The Ionian Intellectual Revolution was a set of advances in scientific thought, explanations on nature, and discovering the natural and rational causes behind observable phenomena, that took place in archaic Greece beginning in the 6th century BC. This movement began on the Ionian coast of western Anatolia by small numbers of forward-thinking Greeks (see Ionian School and Milesian School) from cities such as Miletus, Samos, and Halicarnassus. They saw the world as something ordered and intelligible, its history following an explicable course and its different parts arranged in a comprehensible system.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionian_Enlightenment
     

    , @Che Guava
    Just as a few.

    Anatolia: Marcion, Zossimus, the designers of Hagia Sophia

    Ancient Balkans, Alexandros, Belisarius

    Recent Balkans:Mileva Maric (who may have been the real developer of special relativity), Tesla

    There are many more, from all three places.

    Of course, nothing from Anatolia since the Turkish Islamic invasion, unless you are counting houris and bellydancing as major innovations.

    I would suspecting that Sultan Erdogan doesn't approve, except for private shows.

    I don't think that there is a real idea on where the Kythera mechanism originated, but probably Greek Anatolia.

    So a silly assertion.
    , @Difference Maker
    Miletus is pretty well represented.
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  22. @Anonymous
    He also was an avowed pedophile who corrupted the male youth of Athens:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Sodomy/greek_homos.htm

    Most of the early philosophers seemed to thoroughly understand and discuss the actions pederasty and homosexuality, and Socrates, considered the first philosopher, even described himself as being “experienced in the pursuit of men.” According to the dialogues of Plato – a student of Socrates - pederasty and homosexuality were a part of everyday life, at least for aristocrats.

    Two of Plato’ s works, The Phaedrus and The Symposium, paint a brilliant picture of what the attitude toward pederasty was at the time. In the opening pages of The Phaedrus, Phaedrus and Socrates are discussing a speech that Lysias – a popular orator of the day - has written; a speech that was “…designed to win the favor of a handsome boy….” Socrates seems to understand why one would write a speech on this subject, and even states that man “cannot have a less desirable protector or companion than the man who is in love with him.” The Symposium goes into even greater detail about pederasty.

    The setting is a symposium – a type of dinner party that only included males as guests, and had entertainment, wine, and discussion of politics and philosophy – in which several men are gathered and all give speeches about why a love of boys is a good thing. Phaedrus - the first to give his speech - states, For I can’t say that there is a greater blessing right from boyhood than a good lover or a greater blessing for a lover than a darling [young boy]. What people who intend to lead their lives in a noble and beautiful manner need is not provided by family, public honors, wealth, or anything else, so well as by love. Pausanias - the second speaker - adds even more to this argument when he states Aphrodite only inspires love among men for young boys, and not women. Those inspired by Aphrodite are naturally drawn to the male because he is a stronger and more intelligent creature.

    Socrates also comments on the importance of pederasty in his own life. He says, “My love for this fellow [Agathon- another member of the party who is a beautiful young boy] is not an insignificant affair.” Yet another member of the party, Alcibiades, also loves Agathon and tries to discredit Socrates when he says, “…Socrates is lovingly fixated on beautiful young men, is always around them – in a daze….” Socrates was one of the most influential persons in ancient Greece, and was in fact put to death for what the authorities thought was leading the youth of Athens astray. They did not condemn him for his love of young boys, however, but thought he was leading them away from the gods and causing them to question authority.

    Pederasty was also condoned by the law. According to Plato, legal and social norms did not clearly condemn or prohibit homoeroticism. The court records of a case between an older gentleman and a man named Simon help one get an idea of the prevalence of pederasty. The case revolves around two men fighting over a younger boy, but never assigns any dishonor to either of the men for chasing the boy, and actually rule in favor of the old man even though he is married. Of course, each city-state was different, clearly reflected sexual norms in Greece as a whole.
     

    He also was an avowed pedophile who corrupted the male youth of Athens:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com

    WTAF?! Are you telling me they actually practiced homosexual behavior in ancient Greece? Incredible. You could have knocked me over with a feather, if I were any lighter on my feet that is.

    Read More
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  23. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    The concepts of ‘Western thinkers created the most’ and ”Victorian era is a primetime” are derivatives of someone’s pride and self-worship. Being mediocre plagiarist, Shakespeare cannot stand by Homer, and Lavoisier looks bleak when we think of some Chinese inventor of gunpowder. Large parts of modern ‘Western’ philosophy have no impact on human or technological development. Scientific advance of ‘Victorian era’ was a function of White exploitation of own white kin. Without childhood slavery and dickensian workhouses there would be no ‘origins of species’ and ‘modern physics’. French pig-dwelling, always hungry peasants had paid beneficies and prebends for Descartes, Pascal and Fermat. And so one may think of slavery in Athens.

    Read More
    • Troll: Wizard of Oz
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  24. It seems likely that the average Victorian was smarter than most of his Germanic and Celtic ancestors 2000-3000 years ago. But it may also be the case that 5th century BC Athenians were particularly bright, brighter than the Victorians – if not wiser.

    BTW I agree with Unz that it takes intelligence to present concepts clearly. Muddy complex presentation is not a mark of genius.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Yes, it's quite possible that Athenians (and Greeks in general) were quite smart (maybe smarter than present-day Greeks, even if present-day Greeks are descended from ancient Greeks), and it doesn't contradict the statement that ancient Europeans in general (mostly, Northern, Central and Eastern Europeans) were much duller than present-day Europeans.
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  25. Are We Cleverer Than the Ancients?

    No. The ancients at least recognized a clear terminus to human knowledge and ability. Moderns believe everything is knowable and, through knowledge, subject to human will.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Allow me to try concrete understanding of such generalised waffle. How does modern understanding that humans cannot bend the behaviour of the quantum world or of distant galaxies to human will compare with the Ancients belief that if they could only get the gods on side they could fix anything? Rather the teverse of your pompous crap isn't it?
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  26. There is a lot of survivorship bias at play, not the least of which is the survival of the literature and art that evidences the ancient greats. If the Romans had extirpated Greece in the same way they had Carthage, there wouldn’t have been anything worthy of either culture for the Arabs and Middle-Ages monks to bring forward to us. Where is all the evidence of Mayan or ancient Indian or even Khmer civilizational accomplishment? Some survives and is only being pieced together today, so it is a somewhat apples to oranges comparison to a relatively well stewarded Western civilization and culture.

    Are we regressing from the Victorians? Almost certainly! One of the prime reasons is the society-wide emphases on safety and safety equipment as well as advances in medical technology and understanding, which have prevented a lot of the natural selection that would otherwise have helped us to continue to progress. Not to mention the corruption of morals and the replacement of common sense with emotion. We are our the cause of our own downfall in so many ways.

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    • Replies: @Malla
    As far as the fall from the Victorian days, lets not forget dysgenics with smarter people having less children, death of large number of people in high IQ Europe and high IQ East Asia due to the World Wars/communist revolutions, empire building where the smartest and toughest die in foreign lands trying to civilize some native (which was only partially successful and thus a big waste of men and genes ) and of course dumbing down effects of cultural marxism via television, movies, media, fall in education standards etc...
    , @Pericles
    Not to mention that we now love sophistry above all else.
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  27. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Ron Unz

    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?
     
    But probably about half or more of the great Ancient Greek thinkers and writers from the period under discussion *were* Athenian, so the population of Argos or Thebes or Magna Graecia really don't enter into the equation.

    Take Thucydides, not only the founder of serious history, but author of one of the greatest historical works ever written. If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn't they have produced hundreds of his equals?

    Admittedly, some very prominent Greeks such as Aristotle were born elsewhere and drawn to Athens (much like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto), but most were Athenian.

    You can only found serious history once. Later guys have to found quantum mechanics, which is way way more difficult to do. You need a bunch of giants before you on whose shoulders you could step, and well, the air gets thin that high, so you might even need to be better than those giants.

    There is also the problem of too much information in the present day, a lot of historiography talent goes into writing about certain aspects of narrow periods like the Holocaust. The ancients didn’t have the luxury of studying documents in archives, so they didn’t need to worry about the details at all. A lot of their history might actually misrepresent the facts and we wouldn’t even know it. It’s not like we have many independently verifiable accounts of the Peloponnesian War. While modern historiography will be kept re-examined and so its works won’t survive – if you want to read a Hitler biography, you’ll probably turn to Kershaw (despite its flaws) and not, say, Bullock, simply because Bullock didn’t yet know a lot of later research which Kershaw uses. I bet you at least a two or three major biographies of Hitler will appear until the end of the century, and they will overshadow Kershaw, too. As well as anyone before him. Thucydides was never overshadowed by later research, even if he omitted major aspects of the events which he described, and even if he misrepresented a lot of the facts.

    So there’s that.

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  28. @Anatoly Karlin
    I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

    I’ll accept this assertion after I read your explanation of Plato’s Parmenides.

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    • Agree: BB753
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  29. dearieme says:

    I’ve never seen anyone make a good case for the “low hanging fruits” argument: it’s merely asserted. Suppose I pretend that it’s meant to be scientific. How could I falsify it?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    If you can learn quantum mechanics but not Aristotle, then the former must be simpler. But it seems to be the other way around.

    So, all you need to show is that what the ancient Greeks discovered is just as difficult to grasp (or, better, more so) for a person of a given IQ (say, 115 IQ), than it is to grasp what modern European scientists have discovered, like quantum mechanics. I think it's easy to show that the latter is more difficult, though I'm not sure anyone has ever done anything to prove it. It'd need a few well-designed studies to do so, but I think it could be done.
    , @iffen
    I’ve never seen anyone make a good case for the “low hanging fruits” argument

    The vertical reach of taller people enable them to get the high hanging fruit as well as the low hanging fruit. Short people like me can only reach the lower hanging fruit.
    , @AaronB
    It pops up throughout history. There is a funny article from the mid 19th century asserting everything has already been invented.
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  30. JackOH says:

    “However, although we are brighter than the ancients, we are probably not as bright as the Victorians. In fact, we have probably passed our peak” [emphasis added].

    Ouch! I’ve sometimes wondered if our truly odious politics, some of which we kvetch about here, are not the result of relatively too few smart people trying to govern a too numerous dumb people. Or, alternately, I suppose, we have camps of the smarts duking it out for the chance to jerk the yokels around.

    What if, say, the Victorian era smart/dumb ratio still obtained? Where would we be? Is a smart/dumb ratio at all meaningful? (It’s too early, and I’ve had too much coffee already.)

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  31. @German_reader

    The Ancients were not all at the level of Socrates, they also included the dullards that killed him.
     
    Socrates was an enemy of the people who openly mocked the people's courts (and if he hadn't done so he would probably just have been exiled). He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

    Socrates was an enemy of the people…

    While true, I doubt that would’ve got him killed.

    He was an enemy of the state and that’s what did it.

    Consider that JC was a friend of the people, but an enemy of the “state,” i.e., the de facto ruling hierarchy such as the money changers of the time.

    More general notes.:

    Judging by the faith we generally place in centralized political systems compared to the skepticism of our predecessors, I’d say that population-wise, we’ve been pretty effectively enstupified ( thank you , Freddie) and the reasons are not hard to understand.

    Oh, and add to that the selecting of the best and brightest then sending them of to kill other bright and fit ones and die while leaving the, ahem, “others” home to breed probably hasn’t helped the gene pool mush either.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    He was an enemy of the state and that’s what did it.
     
    In classical Athens the people were the state. Most offices were filled by lot, for limited amounts of time. There was no vast permanent bureaucracy that could be subverted by special interest lobbies, no special caste of politicians set apart from normal citizens.
    Granted, the system did have flaws as well, there certainly were cases when the demos acted unwisely and let itself be seduced by demagogues into voting for dubious policies. But the whole "Socrates was put to death in a democracy, that shows how evil and irrational the masses are" myth has really been overdone. Socrates could easily have avoided his fate, but deliberately provoked it. There may also have been a political background, since some of the leaders of the oligarchic tyranny that ruled in Athens after the Peloponnesian war (30 tyrants) had been students of Socrates.
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  32. @Anonymous
    He also was an avowed pedophile who corrupted the male youth of Athens:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Sodomy/greek_homos.htm

    Most of the early philosophers seemed to thoroughly understand and discuss the actions pederasty and homosexuality, and Socrates, considered the first philosopher, even described himself as being “experienced in the pursuit of men.” According to the dialogues of Plato – a student of Socrates - pederasty and homosexuality were a part of everyday life, at least for aristocrats.

    Two of Plato’ s works, The Phaedrus and The Symposium, paint a brilliant picture of what the attitude toward pederasty was at the time. In the opening pages of The Phaedrus, Phaedrus and Socrates are discussing a speech that Lysias – a popular orator of the day - has written; a speech that was “…designed to win the favor of a handsome boy….” Socrates seems to understand why one would write a speech on this subject, and even states that man “cannot have a less desirable protector or companion than the man who is in love with him.” The Symposium goes into even greater detail about pederasty.

    The setting is a symposium – a type of dinner party that only included males as guests, and had entertainment, wine, and discussion of politics and philosophy – in which several men are gathered and all give speeches about why a love of boys is a good thing. Phaedrus - the first to give his speech - states, For I can’t say that there is a greater blessing right from boyhood than a good lover or a greater blessing for a lover than a darling [young boy]. What people who intend to lead their lives in a noble and beautiful manner need is not provided by family, public honors, wealth, or anything else, so well as by love. Pausanias - the second speaker - adds even more to this argument when he states Aphrodite only inspires love among men for young boys, and not women. Those inspired by Aphrodite are naturally drawn to the male because he is a stronger and more intelligent creature.

    Socrates also comments on the importance of pederasty in his own life. He says, “My love for this fellow [Agathon- another member of the party who is a beautiful young boy] is not an insignificant affair.” Yet another member of the party, Alcibiades, also loves Agathon and tries to discredit Socrates when he says, “…Socrates is lovingly fixated on beautiful young men, is always around them – in a daze….” Socrates was one of the most influential persons in ancient Greece, and was in fact put to death for what the authorities thought was leading the youth of Athens astray. They did not condemn him for his love of young boys, however, but thought he was leading them away from the gods and causing them to question authority.

    Pederasty was also condoned by the law. According to Plato, legal and social norms did not clearly condemn or prohibit homoeroticism. The court records of a case between an older gentleman and a man named Simon help one get an idea of the prevalence of pederasty. The case revolves around two men fighting over a younger boy, but never assigns any dishonor to either of the men for chasing the boy, and actually rule in favor of the old man even though he is married. Of course, each city-state was different, clearly reflected sexual norms in Greece as a whole.
     

    Even in Sparta? ;)

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  33. @Ron Unz

    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?
     
    But probably about half or more of the great Ancient Greek thinkers and writers from the period under discussion *were* Athenian, so the population of Argos or Thebes or Magna Graecia really don't enter into the equation.

    Take Thucydides, not only the founder of serious history, but author of one of the greatest historical works ever written. If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn't they have produced hundreds of his equals?

    Admittedly, some very prominent Greeks such as Aristotle were born elsewhere and drawn to Athens (much like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto), but most were Athenian.

    If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn’t they have produced hundreds of his equals?

    Exactly, and compare the “German” areas of today with those of 200-300 years ago.

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  34. Agriculture may have led to us being more intelligent, but also more conformist. You can’t run a successful society without both of these things. Perhaps we are more intelligent about a narrower range of things.

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  35. geokat62 says:
    @ANON
    Absolutely right I think Archimedes was Sicilian, but I don't think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .

    … but I don’t think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .

    Do the three presocratic philosophers – Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes – qualify as geniuses?

    These philosophers all hailed from the Greek city state of Miletus and are known as the first philosophers. Their philosophy is what started the Ionian Intellectual Revolution…

    The Ionian Intellectual Revolution was a set of advances in scientific thought, explanations on nature, and discovering the natural and rational causes behind observable phenomena, that took place in archaic Greece beginning in the 6th century BC. This movement began on the Ionian coast of western Anatolia by small numbers of forward-thinking Greeks (see Ionian School and Milesian School) from cities such as Miletus, Samos, and Halicarnassus. They saw the world as something ordered and intelligible, its history following an explicable course and its different parts arranged in a comprehensible system.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionian_Enlightenment

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    • Replies: @Jake
    Yes, true geniuses came from Anatolia. If Greeks were there, and they were, there was the possibility, perhaps probability. Geography does not 'make' genius. Rather, people with the right genes and cultural heritage produce geniuses.
    , @Incitatus
    Don’t forget Haraclitus (Ephesus).

    Smartest of them all.
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  36. joecbart says:

    “Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Descartes,Hegel, Shakespeare, Goethe, Dante, Virgil, Homer,Newton, Galileo, Aristotle, Kepler,Lavoisier,Euler, Newton, Euclid, Gauss, Fermat.”

    Not one farmer among the lot. How did they spend their youth? Who sponsored their education and leisure time? Who were their tutors?

    I would argue that, with the exception of severe mental retardation, all humans share the same gene. It’s the retardation of that gene that makes the list above so limited.

    I find the research in this article to be a waste of time and effort.

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  37. Jake says:

    The final two sentences are key: “When you must use your wits to survive, and restrain present urges for future gains, then the brighter multiply. When, in less taxing circumstances, there is no particular need for wit or restraint, then there is no premium for those characteristics.”

    Whites offering endless welfare and ‘affirmative action’ to blacks and other non-whites have made them even less intelligent, as well as lazy, whiney, and violently demanding.

    Bleeding Heart Liberalism always fails, always causes problems even for those receiving it.

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    • Agree: anarchyst
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Whites offering endless welfare and ‘affirmative action’ to blacks and other non-whites have made them even less intelligent, as well as lazy, whiney, and violently demanding.
     
    I'd add to the list of recipients of endless welfare ( and other special privileges) all members of the parasitic classes and there are plenty of whites among them. These would include all (yes all) government employees and employees of large corporations.

    Welfare, by my definition, includes all money stolen from a truly productive group or individual and handed to another, and that includes subsidies, bailouts, government contracts, and other special treatment. Taxes are stolen money, and anyone who receives them are parasites to one degree or another.

    By that measure, we moderns are no smarter than the ancients, since the problems they talked about and even made fun of, are still extant.

    Aristophanes, Lucian of Samosata, and Juvenal are some of my favorites. Then there are even older Egyptian writings that deal with almost the exact same problems.

    Here's one of many examples.:

    http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/precepts_of_ptahhotep.htm
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  38. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Simon in London
    It seems likely that the average Victorian was smarter than most of his Germanic and Celtic ancestors 2000-3000 years ago. But it may also be the case that 5th century BC Athenians were particularly bright, brighter than the Victorians - if not wiser.

    BTW I agree with Unz that it takes intelligence to present concepts clearly. Muddy complex presentation is not a mark of genius.

    Yes, it’s quite possible that Athenians (and Greeks in general) were quite smart (maybe smarter than present-day Greeks, even if present-day Greeks are descended from ancient Greeks), and it doesn’t contradict the statement that ancient Europeans in general (mostly, Northern, Central and Eastern Europeans) were much duller than present-day Europeans.

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    I have a fair number of Greek students on my postgrad course. It's interesting to me that their looks split 50-50 between (a) Generic east-European/Slavic and (b) Straight out of a 5th century BC Hellenic vase painting, Greek noses and all. :)
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  39. Overpopulation stifles creativity and innovation as people must increasingly focus on battling for survival. Even those with some insulation from poverty face more stress and hassle. An ancient Greek in reasonable health and willing to work need never want (absent natural disasters like plague or drought, and the occassional war). A modern American in the same situation is constantly distracted by the Malthusian death match. He cannot even just go “over there” and homestead the way enterprising antients did….

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Athens had to import grain along with many other things. It was much closer to Malthusian limits than America is.
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  40. Jake says:
    @geokat62

    ... but I don’t think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .
     
    Do the three presocratic philosophers - Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes - qualify as geniuses?

    These philosophers all hailed from the Greek city state of Miletus and are known as the first philosophers. Their philosophy is what started the Ionian Intellectual Revolution...

    The Ionian Intellectual Revolution was a set of advances in scientific thought, explanations on nature, and discovering the natural and rational causes behind observable phenomena, that took place in archaic Greece beginning in the 6th century BC. This movement began on the Ionian coast of western Anatolia by small numbers of forward-thinking Greeks (see Ionian School and Milesian School) from cities such as Miletus, Samos, and Halicarnassus. They saw the world as something ordered and intelligible, its history following an explicable course and its different parts arranged in a comprehensible system.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionian_Enlightenment
     

    Yes, true geniuses came from Anatolia. If Greeks were there, and they were, there was the possibility, perhaps probability. Geography does not ‘make’ genius. Rather, people with the right genes and cultural heritage produce geniuses.

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  41. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @dearieme
    I've never seen anyone make a good case for the "low hanging fruits" argument: it's merely asserted. Suppose I pretend that it's meant to be scientific. How could I falsify it?

    If you can learn quantum mechanics but not Aristotle, then the former must be simpler. But it seems to be the other way around.

    So, all you need to show is that what the ancient Greeks discovered is just as difficult to grasp (or, better, more so) for a person of a given IQ (say, 115 IQ), than it is to grasp what modern European scientists have discovered, like quantum mechanics. I think it’s easy to show that the latter is more difficult, though I’m not sure anyone has ever done anything to prove it. It’d need a few well-designed studies to do so, but I think it could be done.

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    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    A Greek some 300 or 400 years BCE invented an experiment that made it possible for him to calculate the circumference of the earth, he calculated 39.000 km, is is 40.000.
    How the ancients handled enormous weights we still do not know.
    I do not think we are more clever than the ancients, or the other way round.
    , @RobRich
    "quantum mechanics.... it’s easy to show that...is more difficult, though I’m not sure anyone has ever done anything to prove it."

    That's because they can't. If you can grok statistics, you get quantum mechanics. It got started in reflection on applying insurance statistics to atomic behavior, for crying out loud.
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  42. Che Guava says:
    @ANON
    Absolutely right I think Archimedes was Sicilian, but I don't think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .

    Just as a few.

    Anatolia: Marcion, Zossimus, the designers of Hagia Sophia

    Ancient Balkans, Alexandros, Belisarius

    Recent Balkans:Mileva Maric (who may have been the real developer of special relativity), Tesla

    There are many more, from all three places.

    Of course, nothing from Anatolia since the Turkish Islamic invasion, unless you are counting houris and bellydancing as major innovations.

    I would suspecting that Sultan Erdogan doesn’t approve, except for private shows.

    I don’t think that there is a real idea on where the Kythera mechanism originated, but probably Greek Anatolia.

    So a silly assertion.

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  43. Joe Hose says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

    You make a short, highly reasonable, and understandable assertion. Thanks from we readers! Also, thanks to author for non-dogmatic ability to change his mind based upon new evidence.

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  44. @reiner Tor
    Yes, it's quite possible that Athenians (and Greeks in general) were quite smart (maybe smarter than present-day Greeks, even if present-day Greeks are descended from ancient Greeks), and it doesn't contradict the statement that ancient Europeans in general (mostly, Northern, Central and Eastern Europeans) were much duller than present-day Europeans.

    I have a fair number of Greek students on my postgrad course. It’s interesting to me that their looks split 50-50 between (a) Generic east-European/Slavic and (b) Straight out of a 5th century BC Hellenic vase painting, Greek noses and all. :)

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    • Replies: @JRB
    That is not so strange. Mainland Greece was largely overrun by Slavic tribes in the 6th century. Only some major cities like Thessaloniki remained Greek. The islands were not really effected by this slavic invasion. After the big war in the early 1920's hunderds of thousands of ethnic Greeks who were still alive (that is not murdered by Turks) emigrated to Greece (mainly to the Athens area).
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  45. @reiner Tor
    If you can learn quantum mechanics but not Aristotle, then the former must be simpler. But it seems to be the other way around.

    So, all you need to show is that what the ancient Greeks discovered is just as difficult to grasp (or, better, more so) for a person of a given IQ (say, 115 IQ), than it is to grasp what modern European scientists have discovered, like quantum mechanics. I think it's easy to show that the latter is more difficult, though I'm not sure anyone has ever done anything to prove it. It'd need a few well-designed studies to do so, but I think it could be done.

    A Greek some 300 or 400 years BCE invented an experiment that made it possible for him to calculate the circumference of the earth, he calculated 39.000 km, is is 40.000.
    How the ancients handled enormous weights we still do not know.
    I do not think we are more clever than the ancients, or the other way round.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    The stones were formed in place by a yet unknown process. It was not necessary to haul them over any distances...
    , @James Thompson
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-puzzle-comes-before-solution

    particularly the last question.
    , @geokat62

    A Greek some 300 or 400 years BCE invented an experiment that made it possible for him to calculate the circumference of the earth, he calculated 39.000 km, is is 40.000.
     
    That Greek's name, Eratosthenes of Cyrene:

    He is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth, which he did by applying a measuring system using stadia, a standard unit of measure during that time period. His calculation was remarkably accurate. He was also the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth's axis (again with remarkable accuracy). Additionally, he may have accurately calculated the distance from the Earth to the Sun and invented the leap day. He created the first map of the world, incorporating parallels and meridians based on the available geographic knowledge of his era.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes
     
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  46. nickels says:

    Having studied Attic Greek I find it rather obvious that the Greeks were far more intelligent than people today.
    This is consistent both with the Russian Orthodox position on all species having been created at once before the fall, and the second law of thermodynamics, which implies that order within a repository such as DNA will degenerate over time.
    Each generation gets sicker and stupider.

    Its an alternate theory to Western science, but I’m buying more and more as I study.

    http://www.creatio.orthodoxy.ru/english/rose_genesis/chapter1.html

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  47. Agent76 says:

    This is how government’s roll all throughout history without exception.

    Mar 20, 2015 The Cycle of The State (by Daniel Sanchez)

    Daniel Sanchez combines the theories of Robert Higgs and Hans-Hermann Hoppe to form a theory of the cycle of the state.

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  48. polistra says:
    @anarchyst
    Utilization of energy has been one of the most important aspects pushing the "ascent of mankind". The ancients did not have much to work with, but understood basic and advanced concepts to a much greater degree than even our own "enlightened" geniuses.
    Witness the Roman Coliseum, utilizing a still unknown concrete mix, along without the use of "rebar".
    The Egyptian pyramids are another example of large structures, created without today's power equipment, put in place by yet unknown processes. It is clear, that even with today's equipment and technology, they could not be built or recreated.
    There is much knowledge that was lost with the collapse of the various civilizations. Yes, we are "reinventing the wheel" in many aspects...

    Interesting that you mention Roman concrete. The secret was just figured out this year, after 2000 years of mystery. Instead of plain lime, they used lime and volcanic ash, and they cured it with salt water instead of fresh. The salt reacts with parts of the ash to bring out an aluminum-based mineral that steadily hardens over centuries. In other words, Roman concrete was part metal, so it didn’t need metal rebars.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    Yes, just read that today.
    Thank you,
    , @BB753
    We also know how acient pyramids were built. They can be easily replicated today if we had the right stone masons and cheap labor.
    , @James Thompson
    Crystalline structures. Thanks for this update.
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  49. iffen says:
    @dearieme
    I've never seen anyone make a good case for the "low hanging fruits" argument: it's merely asserted. Suppose I pretend that it's meant to be scientific. How could I falsify it?

    I’ve never seen anyone make a good case for the “low hanging fruits” argument

    The vertical reach of taller people enable them to get the high hanging fruit as well as the low hanging fruit. Short people like me can only reach the lower hanging fruit.

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  50. There’s a lot of We.

    Do we mean the people of Detroit or Silicon Valley?

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  51. AaronB says:
    @dearieme
    I've never seen anyone make a good case for the "low hanging fruits" argument: it's merely asserted. Suppose I pretend that it's meant to be scientific. How could I falsify it?

    It pops up throughout history. There is a funny article from the mid 19th century asserting everything has already been invented.

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    • Replies: @ussr andy
    nothing new left to discover and we may not have what it takes to keep discovering stuff (at the same pace, too) are different claims though.

    and people at the turn of century who said things to the effect that physics was over, they weren't wrong - classical physics (aka physics) was indeed over.

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  52. @Dumbo
    Durr, thinking something for the first time is obviously harder than just reading about it.

    We are not only dumber than the ancients, we seem to have lost the basic skills to understand the most basic things about life.

    The fact that they are easily understood and make sense even after thousands of years is actually proof that they were smart.

    Heidegger is "complex" because he isn't that bright -- or useful.

    As Schopenhauer said, "And yet nothing is easier than to write so that no one can understand; just as contrarily, nothing is more difficult than to express deep things in such a way that every one must necessarily grasp them."

    And as Bugs Bunny said, "What a maroon!"

    Exactly.

    And the question on this post was very vague as usual… Cleverer about what??

    The avg Athenian was cleverer than avg American? Because seems difficult to compare achievements for example recent achievements in STEM if compared with that ancient time, because today science is more accumulative than in the Aristotle times. It’s not all achievements that seems improbable to be fairly compared. For example, how socially harmonic ancient Greece was if compared with today? How superstitious or religious they were if compared with today?

    My opinion is that great civilizations undoubtedly require at least a brighter upper classes to work.

    Philosophy require a different type of intelligence-use than science so also compare philosophers with scientists will be always arbitrary. The problem of philosophy is that great part of itself is so obvious that appear to be less important. Also because indeed is easier than science it’s appear to be less important. It’s like compare intellectual gymnastics of all wrong ideologies and religions require with “look for the quasi-obvious truth”. It’s more difficult to deceive the truth than to look for her but it’s not more important.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon

    And the question on this post was very vague as usual… Cleverer about what?
     
    I've noticed a trend in Steve's writing. He no longer often writes as often to develop his own theses as he does to facilitate discussion amongst us in the peanut-gallery by providing us food for thought. (Not unlike a skilled practitioner of the Socratic method.) He has become (I suspect by design) more like the Marquise du Deffand or Ezra Pound than Voltaire or Ernest Hemingway. It's perhaps less work for him and often facilitates future observations.

    I don't think the change is necessarily a bad thing, by the way; it is quite clever and worthy.
    , @Autochthon
    If you think philosophy is easier than science you do not understand either.
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  53. Even Libby-dib parents fed up with some universities.

    http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2017/07/anything-but-not-brown.html

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  54. anarchyst says:
    @polistra
    Interesting that you mention Roman concrete. The secret was just figured out this year, after 2000 years of mystery. Instead of plain lime, they used lime and volcanic ash, and they cured it with salt water instead of fresh. The salt reacts with parts of the ash to bring out an aluminum-based mineral that steadily hardens over centuries. In other words, Roman concrete was part metal, so it didn't need metal rebars.

    Yes, just read that today.
    Thank you,

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  55. anarchyst says:
    @jilles dykstra
    A Greek some 300 or 400 years BCE invented an experiment that made it possible for him to calculate the circumference of the earth, he calculated 39.000 km, is is 40.000.
    How the ancients handled enormous weights we still do not know.
    I do not think we are more clever than the ancients, or the other way round.

    The stones were formed in place by a yet unknown process. It was not necessary to haul them over any distances…

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  56. @Jake
    The final two sentences are key: "When you must use your wits to survive, and restrain present urges for future gains, then the brighter multiply. When, in less taxing circumstances, there is no particular need for wit or restraint, then there is no premium for those characteristics."


    Whites offering endless welfare and 'affirmative action' to blacks and other non-whites have made them even less intelligent, as well as lazy, whiney, and violently demanding.

    Bleeding Heart Liberalism always fails, always causes problems even for those receiving it.

    Whites offering endless welfare and ‘affirmative action’ to blacks and other non-whites have made them even less intelligent, as well as lazy, whiney, and violently demanding.

    I’d add to the list of recipients of endless welfare ( and other special privileges) all members of the parasitic classes and there are plenty of whites among them. These would include all (yes all) government employees and employees of large corporations.

    Welfare, by my definition, includes all money stolen from a truly productive group or individual and handed to another, and that includes subsidies, bailouts, government contracts, and other special treatment. Taxes are stolen money, and anyone who receives them are parasites to one degree or another.

    By that measure, we moderns are no smarter than the ancients, since the problems they talked about and even made fun of, are still extant.

    Aristophanes, Lucian of Samosata, and Juvenal are some of my favorites. Then there are even older Egyptian writings that deal with almost the exact same problems.

    Here’s one of many examples.:

    http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/precepts_of_ptahhotep.htm

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  57. ussr andy says:
    @AaronB
    It pops up throughout history. There is a funny article from the mid 19th century asserting everything has already been invented.

    nothing new left to discover and we may not have what it takes to keep discovering stuff (at the same pace, too) are different claims though.

    and people at the turn of century who said things to the effect that physics was over, they weren’t wrong – classical physics (aka physics) was indeed over.

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  58. ussr andy says:

    the ancients, o̶u̶r̶ ̶s̶u̶p̶e̶r̶i̶o̶r̶s̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶d̶w̶e̶l̶t̶ ̶n̶e̶a̶r̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶o̶d̶s̶,̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶p̶a̶s̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶d̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶u̶s̶ were better people. they cared how to live well (eudaimonia), what promotes human flourishing, social ills were to them due to defects of character (vices) rather than problems of social engineering to be solved by behavioral psychologists in governments’ employ, they had that acute sense of what is just, noble, lowly, courageous, cowardly…

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  59. Art says:

    in Sciences: Newton, Galileo, Aristotle, Kepler and Lavoisier; in Mathematics: Euler, Newton, Euclid, Gauss, Fermat.

    May I make a small rant for Archimedes. Some think he was the most brilliant thinker ever.

    Wiki: Archimedes of Syracuse (/ˌɑːkɪˈmiːdiːz/;[2] Greek: Ἀρχιμήδης; c. 287 – c. 212 BC) was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer.[3] Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Generally considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time,[4][5] Archimedes anticipated modern calculus and analysis by applying concepts of infinitesimals and the method of exhaustion to derive and rigorously prove a range of geometrical theorems, including the area of a circle, the surface area and volume of a sphere, and the area under a parabola

    p.s. In the last 100 years, because of low childhood death rates, it is my opinion, that our average IQ is getting lower.

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    • Replies: @Art
    In Western philosophy: Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Descartes and Hegel; in Western literature: Shakespeare, Goethe, Dante, Virgil, Homer; in Sciences: Newton, Galileo, Aristotle, Kepler and Lavoisier; in Mathematics: Euler, Newton, Euclid, Gauss, Fermat.

    The fact is that most of these great minds would today be judged to be on an Asperger’s chart.

    They did not have normal minds – their genetics where off the scale of the normal – they where not examples of great genetics.

    What is exceptional is that they lived in cultures that valued their minds. The Classic Athenian culture and the British culture of the 1600’s, 1700’s and 1800’s greatly valued philosophy and science. They looked for great minds. The American culture of the 1800’s and 1900’s greatly valued inventiveness. Edison should be on that list of the greats.
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  60. Rurik says: • Website
    @Ron Unz

    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?
     
    But probably about half or more of the great Ancient Greek thinkers and writers from the period under discussion *were* Athenian, so the population of Argos or Thebes or Magna Graecia really don't enter into the equation.

    Take Thucydides, not only the founder of serious history, but author of one of the greatest historical works ever written. If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn't they have produced hundreds of his equals?

    Admittedly, some very prominent Greeks such as Aristotle were born elsewhere and drawn to Athens (much like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto), but most were Athenian.

    like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto),

    :)

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    • Replies: @Sowhat
    Your link to the World Peace Index reminds me that there is still plenty of money to provide tainted "studies" that point the finger of accusation the other way while a nation,The Light on The Hill, exports their own brand of terror elsewhere.
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  61. Rurik says: • Website
    @anarchyst
    Utilization of energy has been one of the most important aspects pushing the "ascent of mankind". The ancients did not have much to work with, but understood basic and advanced concepts to a much greater degree than even our own "enlightened" geniuses.
    Witness the Roman Coliseum, utilizing a still unknown concrete mix, along without the use of "rebar".
    The Egyptian pyramids are another example of large structures, created without today's power equipment, put in place by yet unknown processes. It is clear, that even with today's equipment and technology, they could not be built or recreated.
    There is much knowledge that was lost with the collapse of the various civilizations. Yes, we are "reinventing the wheel" in many aspects...

    There is much knowledge that was lost with the collapse of the various civilizations.

    not just lost, but often deliberately destroyed, like the Library of Alexandria

    during the entire Middle Ages, the church must have burned or otherwise destroyed all archeological artifacts or other records of ancient man’s genius and creations, unless they comported with the priest’s narrative of the day.

    they were no better than the Taliban destroying ancient statues carved into mountain sides, or their ideological brothers today destroying the Baghdad museum and re-writing ancient history to comport with their own tribal narratives.

    So much has been lost, that it’s impossible to really know just how magnificent our ancestors really were, when there’s so many with their assorted agendas trying to make hay with some trite fable to enthrall the masses with and enslave their collective minds.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways.

    that’s the easy part. The hard part is thinking up unique insights in the first place. For Copernicus to be told his entire life that the earth was the center of the universe, and that to question that was wrong and sinful, but not only did he question it, he revolutionized our understanding of the very skies and stars and our place in the universe.

    That’s the kind of genius that’s remarkable. The kind that pops up from out of nowhere and sees what’s right in front of all our faces, but we lack the courage and intelligence to see it.

    Like Darwin, who singlehandedly saw what was really quite obvious.. now that he pointed it out. But for his mind to burst free of the mental chains of the day, and soar beyond the shackles his fellow scientists could not break, is the kind of genius we seem to be lacking today.

    we can build on the work of the giants who’ve come before us, but we seem woefully unable to innovate and create out of thin air, what men like Copernicus or Newton or Darwin were able to do.

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    • Replies: @Anon

    during the entire Middle Ages, the church must have burned or otherwise destroyed all archeological artifacts or other records of ancient man’s genius and creations, unless they comported with the priest’s narrative of the day.
     
    ...Okay...
    , @geokat62

    we can build on the work of the giants who’ve come before us, but we seem woefully unable to innovate and create out of thin air, what men like Copernicus or Newton or Darwin were able to do.
     
    The air may not have been as rarified as most assume:

    What did Copernicus know about Aristarchus’s Work?
    Copernicus actually acknowledged in the draft of his own book that Aristarchus might have said the earth moved around the sun. He removed this acknowledgement before he published his work.

    In Copernicus’s defense, he was probably unaware of The Sand Reckoner by Archimedes, because, after its rediscovery in the Renaissance, The Sand Reckoner only seems to have existed as a few hand-written copies until it was finally printed in 1544. By then Copernicus had published his own book and had died. What he knew of Aristarchus probably came from the following very brief words written by Aetius:

    “Aristarchus counts the sun among the fixed stars; he has the earth moving around the ecliptic [orbiting the sun] and therefore by its inclinations he wants the sun to be shadowed.”

    Galileo knew that Aristarchus was the First Heliocentrist
    Galileo Galilei, who most certainly had read The Sand Reckoner, and understood its message, did not acknowledge Copernicus as the discoverer of the heliocentric Solar System. Instead, he described him as the ‘restorer and confirmer’ of the hypothesis.

    Clearly, Galileo reserved the word ‘discoverer’ for Aristarchus of Samos.

    https://www.famousscientists.org/aristarchus/
     
    , @LauraMR
    At least take the time to read on Darwin before bringing him up. The ideas were there before his time. He produced the scientific evidence. A great achievement but not one that serves your "argument".
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  62. hyperbola says:

    So, judging from the “concensus” of the discussion, the participants here have adjudged the “genetic” argument to be essentially irrelevant and/or untestable/unverifiable. In fact, the article cited by Thompson seems to be a blatant example of anti-science: hypotheses with little fundament (the genetic component of intelligence is highly uncertain even in moderns) coupled with wild extrapolation (are modern “skills/intelligence” even relevant to survival in ancients). Looks like more wanking.

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  63. Art says:
    @Art
    in Sciences: Newton, Galileo, Aristotle, Kepler and Lavoisier; in Mathematics: Euler, Newton, Euclid, Gauss, Fermat.

    May I make a small rant for Archimedes. Some think he was the most brilliant thinker ever.

    Wiki: Archimedes of Syracuse (/ˌɑːkɪˈmiːdiːz/;[2] Greek: Ἀρχιμήδης; c. 287 – c. 212 BC) was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer.[3] Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Generally considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time,[4][5] Archimedes anticipated modern calculus and analysis by applying concepts of infinitesimals and the method of exhaustion to derive and rigorously prove a range of geometrical theorems, including the area of a circle, the surface area and volume of a sphere, and the area under a parabola

    p.s. In the last 100 years, because of low childhood death rates, it is my opinion, that our average IQ is getting lower.

    In Western philosophy: Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Descartes and Hegel; in Western literature: Shakespeare, Goethe, Dante, Virgil, Homer; in Sciences: Newton, Galileo, Aristotle, Kepler and Lavoisier; in Mathematics: Euler, Newton, Euclid, Gauss, Fermat.

    The fact is that most of these great minds would today be judged to be on an Asperger’s chart.

    They did not have normal minds – their genetics where off the scale of the normal – they where not examples of great genetics.

    What is exceptional is that they lived in cultures that valued their minds. The Classic Athenian culture and the British culture of the 1600’s, 1700’s and 1800’s greatly valued philosophy and science. They looked for great minds. The American culture of the 1800’s and 1900’s greatly valued inventiveness. Edison should be on that list of the greats.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    I must respectfully disagree with you choice of Edison as one of the "greats". Edison was an excellent promoter, sometimes huckster, and borderline fraud who took the inventions of others as his own. His greatest achievement was NOT the incandescent lamp, but was the creation and establishment of the first modern-day research laboratory. THAT is his greatest contribution to modern society and the world.
    Look up "war of the currents" to see Edison in action...as a huckster.
    Nikola Tesla was a far greater TRUE thinker and creator, giving us our present-day polyphase electrical system. It turns out that Edison promised Tesla a large amount of money after one year of employment. When Tesla demanded his money, Edison remarked that "he was just joking". Hence, the split between Edison and Tesla started.
    Tesla understood the principles of "resonance" and the wireless transmission of energy. In fact, Tesla was the true inventor of radio...
    Tesla had many inventions "in the works". His scientific papers were confiscated by the U S government after his death...
    Edison was a "good talker" while Tesla was "a little weird". Hence, Edison got the glory, Tesla got the shaft...
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  64. BB753 says:
    @Anonymous
    He also was an avowed pedophile who corrupted the male youth of Athens:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Sodomy/greek_homos.htm

    Most of the early philosophers seemed to thoroughly understand and discuss the actions pederasty and homosexuality, and Socrates, considered the first philosopher, even described himself as being “experienced in the pursuit of men.” According to the dialogues of Plato – a student of Socrates - pederasty and homosexuality were a part of everyday life, at least for aristocrats.

    Two of Plato’ s works, The Phaedrus and The Symposium, paint a brilliant picture of what the attitude toward pederasty was at the time. In the opening pages of The Phaedrus, Phaedrus and Socrates are discussing a speech that Lysias – a popular orator of the day - has written; a speech that was “…designed to win the favor of a handsome boy….” Socrates seems to understand why one would write a speech on this subject, and even states that man “cannot have a less desirable protector or companion than the man who is in love with him.” The Symposium goes into even greater detail about pederasty.

    The setting is a symposium – a type of dinner party that only included males as guests, and had entertainment, wine, and discussion of politics and philosophy – in which several men are gathered and all give speeches about why a love of boys is a good thing. Phaedrus - the first to give his speech - states, For I can’t say that there is a greater blessing right from boyhood than a good lover or a greater blessing for a lover than a darling [young boy]. What people who intend to lead their lives in a noble and beautiful manner need is not provided by family, public honors, wealth, or anything else, so well as by love. Pausanias - the second speaker - adds even more to this argument when he states Aphrodite only inspires love among men for young boys, and not women. Those inspired by Aphrodite are naturally drawn to the male because he is a stronger and more intelligent creature.

    Socrates also comments on the importance of pederasty in his own life. He says, “My love for this fellow [Agathon- another member of the party who is a beautiful young boy] is not an insignificant affair.” Yet another member of the party, Alcibiades, also loves Agathon and tries to discredit Socrates when he says, “…Socrates is lovingly fixated on beautiful young men, is always around them – in a daze….” Socrates was one of the most influential persons in ancient Greece, and was in fact put to death for what the authorities thought was leading the youth of Athens astray. They did not condemn him for his love of young boys, however, but thought he was leading them away from the gods and causing them to question authority.

    Pederasty was also condoned by the law. According to Plato, legal and social norms did not clearly condemn or prohibit homoeroticism. The court records of a case between an older gentleman and a man named Simon help one get an idea of the prevalence of pederasty. The case revolves around two men fighting over a younger boy, but never assigns any dishonor to either of the men for chasing the boy, and actually rule in favor of the old man even though he is married. Of course, each city-state was different, clearly reflected sexual norms in Greece as a whole.
     

    Aristotle was the exception. He didn’t believe pederasty was healthy. I wonder if Plato ever made a pass at him, lol!

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  65. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    There is much knowledge that was lost with the collapse of the various civilizations.
     
    not just lost, but often deliberately destroyed, like the Library of Alexandria

    during the entire Middle Ages, the church must have burned or otherwise destroyed all archeological artifacts or other records of ancient man's genius and creations, unless they comported with the priest's narrative of the day.

    they were no better than the Taliban destroying ancient statues carved into mountain sides, or their ideological brothers today destroying the Baghdad museum and re-writing ancient history to comport with their own tribal narratives.

    So much has been lost, that it's impossible to really know just how magnificent our ancestors really were, when there's so many with their assorted agendas trying to make hay with some trite fable to enthrall the masses with and enslave their collective minds.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways.
     
    that's the easy part. The hard part is thinking up unique insights in the first place. For Copernicus to be told his entire life that the earth was the center of the universe, and that to question that was wrong and sinful, but not only did he question it, he revolutionized our understanding of the very skies and stars and our place in the universe.

    That's the kind of genius that's remarkable. The kind that pops up from out of nowhere and sees what's right in front of all our faces, but we lack the courage and intelligence to see it.

    Like Darwin, who singlehandedly saw what was really quite obvious.. now that he pointed it out. But for his mind to burst free of the mental chains of the day, and soar beyond the shackles his fellow scientists could not break, is the kind of genius we seem to be lacking today.

    we can build on the work of the giants who've come before us, but we seem woefully unable to innovate and create out of thin air, what men like Copernicus or Newton or Darwin were able to do.

    during the entire Middle Ages, the church must have burned or otherwise destroyed all archeological artifacts or other records of ancient man’s genius and creations, unless they comported with the priest’s narrative of the day.

    …Okay…

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    …Okay…
     
    finds like this date back to 500 years before Christ

    http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/celtic-prince-or-princess-researchers-have-finally-ascertained-who-owned-021417

    there must have been burial sites all over Europe with such extravagant culture

    I posit that when such things were stumbled upon, the PTB would undoubtedly have them destroyed if they were potentially inconvenient to the storyline that their earthly power emanated from - a strict interpretation of the Bible.

    how many dinosaur and Neanderthal and other bones and artifacts must have been found, puzzled over, and then summarily destroyed, if their existence might prove inconvenient to The Narrative, whereby the priestly class lorded it over all others. All based on the Holy Narrative.

    Indeed, it happens even today, as the PTB scramble to destroy evidence of inconvenient truths especially in the holy land.

    this from Wiki

    Archaeological research and preservation efforts have been exploited by both Palestinians and Israelis for partisan ends.[60] Rather than attempting to understand "the natural process of demolition, eradication, rebuilding, evasion, and ideological reinterpretation that has permitted ancient rulers and modern groups to claim exclusive possession," archaeologists have instead become active participants in the battle over partisan memory, with the result that archaeology, a seemingly objective science, has exacerbated the ongoing nationalist dispute. Silberman concludes: "The digging continues. Claims and counterclaims about exclusive historical 'ownership' weave together the random acts of violence of bifurcated collective memory." Adam and Moodley conclude their investigation into this issue by writing that, "Both sides remain prisoners of their mythologized past."[60]
     
    just as the museum of Baghdad was deliberately looted and destroyed when Dubya marched in. Such was the crime against history that several of Dubya's court archeologists quit the regime in protest.

    There's always an ongoing attempt to rewrite history to comport to the narrative of the regime in power, and few regimes were ever as jealous of their earthy power than the priestly class of the Medieval Ages of Europe.

    As with the burning of the Library of Alexandria, God only knows what sublime miracles and truths we'll never be privy to due to man's inexhaustible lust for power and domination of his fellows. Indeed, what do you suppose the whole orchestrated plunge into the cultural abyss and the 'dumbing down' epidemic in America's schools and universities is all about? Demanding ignorance and fealty to lies and dogmas are the order of the day even in the 21st century. If it is so today, after The Enlightenment, then how bad it must have been during the Dark Ages, eh?
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  66. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Randal

    Offhand, it seems to me that roughly comparable numbers of first-rate thinkers and writers came from those two sources, but let’s be generous and say that Western Europe produced 5x as many.
     
    So what would happen to Socrates if he were born into a mid-middle class family in a modern US sphere society? Would he stand out as a first rate thinker, or would he just end up a run of the mill Ivy League/Oxbridge philosophy prof, or perhaps a minor political troublemaker?

    What is a plausible guess at Socrates' IQ? Or Archimedes?

    I see Karlin at the piece he links above suggests the Greek philosophers' and Archimedes' work would require a 115 IQ to fully grasp and, he suggests, +30 IQ points above that to innovate them. On the other hand he quotes Galton as suggesting (rather implausibly imo) that: "We have no men to put by the side of Socrates and Phidias, because the millions of all Europe, breeding as they have done for the subsequent 2,000 years, have never produced their equals". If Karlin is putting Socrates and Archimedes (or their lower bound at any rate) at 145+, a quick online search produces a Wikipedia reference to a "Triple-9 society" purporting to accept members only above around 146+ with 1700 members (and presumably only a proportion of the whole population of exceptional IQ people are interested in such societies).

    What is a plausible guess at Socrates’ IQ? Or Archimedes?

    We really can’t know, IMO. Weren’t they surrounded by other bright students all the time? Maybe it was a group effort and what we’re seeing are distilled achievements of large groups of people. In a way – of course we are – none of it was created in a vacuum and that applies throughout history.

    Can anyone guess, reliably, what was the Tesla’s IQ just from his achievements? I didn’t think so. And that was the guy who really broke new ground repeatedly.

    So, when a person scores very high on an IQ test we can safely assume that he’s got the potential to excel – but we can’t go backwards and measure the IQ from the achievement. Not with any kind of accuracy. Same can be said for nations. There are too many variables so you have to go and directly test.

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  67. BB753 says:
    @polistra
    Interesting that you mention Roman concrete. The secret was just figured out this year, after 2000 years of mystery. Instead of plain lime, they used lime and volcanic ash, and they cured it with salt water instead of fresh. The salt reacts with parts of the ash to bring out an aluminum-based mineral that steadily hardens over centuries. In other words, Roman concrete was part metal, so it didn't need metal rebars.

    We also know how acient pyramids were built. They can be easily replicated today if we had the right stone masons and cheap labor.

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  68. anarchyst says:
    @Art
    In Western philosophy: Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Descartes and Hegel; in Western literature: Shakespeare, Goethe, Dante, Virgil, Homer; in Sciences: Newton, Galileo, Aristotle, Kepler and Lavoisier; in Mathematics: Euler, Newton, Euclid, Gauss, Fermat.

    The fact is that most of these great minds would today be judged to be on an Asperger’s chart.

    They did not have normal minds – their genetics where off the scale of the normal – they where not examples of great genetics.

    What is exceptional is that they lived in cultures that valued their minds. The Classic Athenian culture and the British culture of the 1600’s, 1700’s and 1800’s greatly valued philosophy and science. They looked for great minds. The American culture of the 1800’s and 1900’s greatly valued inventiveness. Edison should be on that list of the greats.

    I must respectfully disagree with you choice of Edison as one of the “greats”. Edison was an excellent promoter, sometimes huckster, and borderline fraud who took the inventions of others as his own. His greatest achievement was NOT the incandescent lamp, but was the creation and establishment of the first modern-day research laboratory. THAT is his greatest contribution to modern society and the world.
    Look up “war of the currents” to see Edison in action…as a huckster.
    Nikola Tesla was a far greater TRUE thinker and creator, giving us our present-day polyphase electrical system. It turns out that Edison promised Tesla a large amount of money after one year of employment. When Tesla demanded his money, Edison remarked that “he was just joking”. Hence, the split between Edison and Tesla started.
    Tesla understood the principles of “resonance” and the wireless transmission of energy. In fact, Tesla was the true inventor of radio…
    Tesla had many inventions “in the works”. His scientific papers were confiscated by the U S government after his death…
    Edison was a “good talker” while Tesla was “a little weird”. Hence, Edison got the glory, Tesla got the shaft…

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    • Agree: jacques sheete, Sowhat
    • Replies: @Art
    Tesla understood the principles of “resonance” and the wireless transmission of energy. In fact, Tesla was the true inventor of radio…

    I agree with you - as a human being, Tesla is my man. His A/C electric system is what the world uses to transfer electric power.

    With that said, Edison invented the recording of sound and the first moving pictures.

    Today, where would we be without those things - they dominate our lives - they made for huge advances in intellectual human living.

    I have no problem adding Tesla to the list of the greats. Why not both?

    God bless America for creating the environment that fostered their work.

    Peace --- Art
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  69. @jacques sheete

    Socrates was an enemy of the people...
     
    While true, I doubt that would've got him killed.

    He was an enemy of the state and that's what did it.

    Consider that JC was a friend of the people, but an enemy of the "state," i.e., the de facto ruling hierarchy such as the money changers of the time.

    More general notes.:

    Judging by the faith we generally place in centralized political systems compared to the skepticism of our predecessors, I'd say that population-wise, we've been pretty effectively enstupified ( thank you , Freddie) and the reasons are not hard to understand.

    Oh, and add to that the selecting of the best and brightest then sending them of to kill other bright and fit ones and die while leaving the, ahem, "others" home to breed probably hasn't helped the gene pool mush either.

    He was an enemy of the state and that’s what did it.

    In classical Athens the people were the state. Most offices were filled by lot, for limited amounts of time. There was no vast permanent bureaucracy that could be subverted by special interest lobbies, no special caste of politicians set apart from normal citizens.
    Granted, the system did have flaws as well, there certainly were cases when the demos acted unwisely and let itself be seduced by demagogues into voting for dubious policies. But the whole “Socrates was put to death in a democracy, that shows how evil and irrational the masses are” myth has really been overdone. Socrates could easily have avoided his fate, but deliberately provoked it. There may also have been a political background, since some of the leaders of the oligarchic tyranny that ruled in Athens after the Peloponnesian war (30 tyrants) had been students of Socrates.

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    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
    Yes, you are absolutely correct, it seems from the pertinent historiography. To be honest, I was quite shocked at the original passage you quoted, but luckily it is just a sidecrack and thus not material to the core of the piece. More relevant, surely, is the following passage:

    "The authors point out that selection for intelligence increases when humans move from familiar to novel environments, in which new thinking is required."

    That is a splendid point in favor of immigration, as long, I suppose, it occurs in a somewhat controlled fashion (it is perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, a point for colonialism as well). Unless, of course, one thinks that intelligence is not all that matters, and, in fact, too much of it is a factor of instability and other ugly things.

    , @jacques sheete

    In classical Athens the people were the state.
     
    Not so fast.

    "The people" did not include slaves and women, for instance, which is a huge point. The voters probably consisted of no more than 30% of the population. Athenian democracy was not exactly democratic. Even tho democracy works best the smaller the group, and Athens was small compared to the populations we have today, it didn't work too well very often either. That was partly due to the defects of any form of government, its own peculiar defects, and to external factors as well of course.

    You can bet your φασόλια that the rich had undue influence back then as well, and if it weren't for the riches gleaned from the silver mines at Laurion, I wonder if they would've even been bothered to pay lip service to "democracy."

    Anyway, all this misses the main point which is that Socrates was viewed as an enemy of the ruling interests, not necessarily the people themselves. I doubt that most of the people of that time even heard of him or knew what he thought, or had the luxury or interest of caring.
    , @Rurik

    Socrates could easily have avoided his fate, but deliberately provoked it
     
    my reading of the account of his death is that he encouraged the youth to question everything

    and once you start down that road, you become a danger to the PTB. The Greeks were not a perfect society of free men living in a democracy, if you also consider how many slaves they had, (many with minds capable of thinking as well).

    Question everything? What about the Gods? What about the social structures?

    at some point, a cynical look at life that questions all temporal (and otherwise) foundations of what we all consider the truth, can make you a very dangerous man indeed.


    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/GTohnUy2vi0/maxresdefault.jpg

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  70. FKA Max says:

    I believe we are on average more intelligent than the ancients and even the Victorians, but we are likely also more neurotic, narcissistic and less rational/realistic on average than they were. Very interesting lecture by Mr. Woodley:

    How Clever-sillies Might Thwart the Singularity – Michael Woodley [UKH+] (1/2)

    How Clever-sillies Might Thwart the Singularity – Michael Woodley [UKH+] (2/2)

    [MORE]

    Published on Feb 2, 2011

    Michael A. Woodley holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Columbia University and is currently finishing a PhD in ecology at Royal Holloway, University of London. His interests include evolutionary psychology, personality and individual differences, and behavioral ecology.

    This talk will address the issue of human rationality: do we have enough of it to make the singularity happen?

    The environments in which modern humans exist are highly evolutionarily novel, in that they contain features to which our minds are not adapted. In this talk a new class of existential risk from evolutionary novelty shall be described. This existential risk stems from the ability for evolutionarily novel circumstances to affect human behavior in such a way that has the potential to mitigate technological progress and even compromise humanities long term prospects for survival.

    Modernity will be examined as a potential source of evolutionarily novel risk. It will be argued that as Western societies have become wealthier, the focus on material concerns (e.g. wealth, security) has given way to a fundamentally different post-materialist value set characterized by self-expression, autonomy and equality. Values emphasizing equality are evolutionarily ancient and have their origins in our shared hunter gatherer past, where equality translated into inclusive fitness gains for closely related individuals, so was desirable. The expression of these values in the context of modernity is ‘reactive’ in that communications networks and the media have made inequalities exponentially more conspicuous, thus potentiating the demand for a return to more evolutionarily familiar levels of equality. This is an example of evolutionary ‘dysphoria’ — unhappiness stemming human nature being mismatched to a set of cultural conditions.

    This evolutionarily novel state of affairs has affected the way in which people go about competing over social status; for example to gain status in modern Western societies it is necessary to espouse post-materialist values. As the human brain has evolved to favor perceptions of kindness over raw manifestations of intelligence. This has meant that there is a tendency for individuals to be dishonest when it comes to dealing with things like the human sciences, where objective inquiry into subjects such as evolutionary and individual differences psychology is often attacked on the basis that the findings of these fields do not accord with post-materialist preconceptions concerning human nature.

    The existential risk from evolutionary novelty comes from the potential for these reactive values systems to compromise human rationality in such a way that leads to the enactment of policies aimed at mitigating dysphoria, but which ultimately go too strongly against the grain of human nature in such a way that massively potentiates the dysphoria — which happened in the case of Communism. It will be argued that ‘dysrationalia’ (an incapacity for rational thought despite having the necessary intelligence) is currently widespread amongst Western nations in particular and may pose a serious risk to the singularity in as much as its early stages are likely to be characterized by massive inequality between those who will be able to afford ‘upgrades’ (cognitive boosts, mind-brain interface, immortality etc) and those who cannot. The resulting dysphoria in turn is likely to invite populist legal suppression of these technologies. In the concluding part of this talk, strategies for mitigating the risk from evolutionary novelty will be discussed.

    This lecture was recorded on 29th January 2011 at the UKH+ meeting.

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    • Replies: @FKA Max
    In another recent Unz Review article/comment thread a prime example of a ``clever silly'' came up:

    Wow, that Dylan Matthews guy is definitely a “Clever Silly”
     
    - https://www.unz.com/article/trump-turns-the-corner-and-goes-on-the-attack-will-he-make-the-gop-follow/#comment-1925922

    What I like about Mr. Woodley's talk, is that he points out that ``clever sillies'' can be found on the left side of the political spectrum, as well as on the right side of the political spectrum. He points specifically to certain libertarians displaying high levels of ``clever silliness.''

    I always felt this way about the infamous, multi-billionaire, libertarian Koch Brothers, for example, who I think are highly intelligent, but whom I consider to be a menace to society (see video titled ``Bernie Sanders: “Open borders? That’s a Koch brothers proposal” '' in the comment about Dylan Matthews, I linked to above).

    This is the other comment I left in that comment thread on the probable/possible genetic origin of ``clever silliness.''

    This is some additional interesting research:

    Another, surprising, trend in the data may also warrant further investigation. While the trend seen in the atheist/agnostic/no reli- gion groups not only offers tangential support to the primary hypothesis (i.e., GFP differences are not simply an artifact of differ- ences in intelligence), it is also interesting in and of itself. The athe- ist/agnostic/no religion groups exhibited high levels of intelligence, but low GFP scores. Thus, it appears that while atheists and agnos- tics are intelligent, they are less socially effective. Is this social inef- fectiveness born out of being intellectually incongruent with others? What form does the social ineffectiveness take; abrasive- ness, passivity? The GFP and GFP-intelligence relationship in athe- ists and agnostics could be a fruitful topic for future research.

    – A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations Dunkel et al. (2015) http://midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

    This topic of racial differences in inherited personality traits is gonna be the next big frontier in LoveFacts, and it will cause even more hysteria from the equalist crowd than does the topic of IQ when it becomes common knowledge that characteristics like propensity to violence, sociopathy, conscientiousness, trustworthiness, and kindness are NOT equally and randomly distributed among the world’s races of people. [...] This gene combination appears to be stunningly effective at boosting IQ test scores and presumably the material success (and possibly sexual success, at least for the males — any reader have a study I could cite here?) of the people possessing it, but it comes at a great cost to the society in which this kind of person is numerically and socially significant.

    The personality trait combination of high anxiety with high aggression/psychopathy is rare among human groups, and really deserves its own categorization

    – https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/ashkepathy/
     
    - https://www.unz.com/article/trump-turns-the-corner-and-goes-on-the-attack-will-he-make-the-gop-follow/#comment-1927849
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  71. Moi says:

    Didn’t them Mozlems pass on Greek knowledge to the whites…Who’d have thunk!

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  72. @German_reader

    The Ancients were not all at the level of Socrates, they also included the dullards that killed him.
     
    Socrates was an enemy of the people who openly mocked the people's courts (and if he hadn't done so he would probably just have been exiled). He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

    The sentence you quoted is simply wrong, even if one does not fully agree with your response to it (I, for one, never put political matters in terms of deserving, it seems moralistic and I am not a moralist). But the fact remains that the quoted sentence reveals a profound ignorance of politics. Those who killed Socrates had understandable reasons for doing it, and therefore were not dullards. One may argue against such executions, but it would be a very complex argument, and would not make dullards out of those who disagreed with them. I wonder what exactly it is that the author of the piece admires about Socrates (or his spokesman Plato). That still would not make his assertion correct, but would make his error more understandable.

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    • Agree: German_reader
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  73. @German_reader

    He was an enemy of the state and that’s what did it.
     
    In classical Athens the people were the state. Most offices were filled by lot, for limited amounts of time. There was no vast permanent bureaucracy that could be subverted by special interest lobbies, no special caste of politicians set apart from normal citizens.
    Granted, the system did have flaws as well, there certainly were cases when the demos acted unwisely and let itself be seduced by demagogues into voting for dubious policies. But the whole "Socrates was put to death in a democracy, that shows how evil and irrational the masses are" myth has really been overdone. Socrates could easily have avoided his fate, but deliberately provoked it. There may also have been a political background, since some of the leaders of the oligarchic tyranny that ruled in Athens after the Peloponnesian war (30 tyrants) had been students of Socrates.

    Yes, you are absolutely correct, it seems from the pertinent historiography. To be honest, I was quite shocked at the original passage you quoted, but luckily it is just a sidecrack and thus not material to the core of the piece. More relevant, surely, is the following passage:

    “The authors point out that selection for intelligence increases when humans move from familiar to novel environments, in which new thinking is required.”

    That is a splendid point in favor of immigration, as long, I suppose, it occurs in a somewhat controlled fashion (it is perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, a point for colonialism as well). Unless, of course, one thinks that intelligence is not all that matters, and, in fact, too much of it is a factor of instability and other ugly things.

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  74. @German_reader

    He was an enemy of the state and that’s what did it.
     
    In classical Athens the people were the state. Most offices were filled by lot, for limited amounts of time. There was no vast permanent bureaucracy that could be subverted by special interest lobbies, no special caste of politicians set apart from normal citizens.
    Granted, the system did have flaws as well, there certainly were cases when the demos acted unwisely and let itself be seduced by demagogues into voting for dubious policies. But the whole "Socrates was put to death in a democracy, that shows how evil and irrational the masses are" myth has really been overdone. Socrates could easily have avoided his fate, but deliberately provoked it. There may also have been a political background, since some of the leaders of the oligarchic tyranny that ruled in Athens after the Peloponnesian war (30 tyrants) had been students of Socrates.

    In classical Athens the people were the state.

    Not so fast.

    “The people” did not include slaves and women, for instance, which is a huge point. The voters probably consisted of no more than 30% of the population. Athenian democracy was not exactly democratic. Even tho democracy works best the smaller the group, and Athens was small compared to the populations we have today, it didn’t work too well very often either. That was partly due to the defects of any form of government, its own peculiar defects, and to external factors as well of course.

    You can bet your φασόλια that the rich had undue influence back then as well, and if it weren’t for the riches gleaned from the silver mines at Laurion, I wonder if they would’ve even been bothered to pay lip service to “democracy.”

    Anyway, all this misses the main point which is that Socrates was viewed as an enemy of the ruling interests, not necessarily the people themselves. I doubt that most of the people of that time even heard of him or knew what he thought, or had the luxury or interest of caring.

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  75. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Autochthon
    Overpopulation stifles creativity and innovation as people must increasingly focus on battling for survival. Even those with some insulation from poverty face more stress and hassle. An ancient Greek in reasonable health and willing to work need never want (absent natural disasters like plague or drought, and the occassional war). A modern American in the same situation is constantly distracted by the Malthusian death match. He cannot even just go "over there" and homestead the way enterprising antients did....

    Athens had to import grain along with many other things. It was much closer to Malthusian limits than America is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Sure Athens imported grain; all cities that ever were import grain, by definition – a city is not a farm. Do you know of some city with an agricultural surplus, or even an equilibrium? What kind of ridiculous point are you making? Are you being facetious?

    The fundamental motivation for Greek colonies was overpopulation; as such, a Greek facing problems from overpopulation had the option to initiate or join a colony.

    Now then, do please point to the colonies I may join to escape from the pressing masses of stinking Hindoos swarming what used to be the U.S.A., since I've got so many less problems escaping overpopulation than the anyient Athenians in the days when all of the Mediterranean was bursting with humanity and nary a wilderness existed unclaimed and unsettled?

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  76. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon

    during the entire Middle Ages, the church must have burned or otherwise destroyed all archeological artifacts or other records of ancient man’s genius and creations, unless they comported with the priest’s narrative of the day.
     
    ...Okay...

    …Okay…

    finds like this date back to 500 years before Christ

    http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/celtic-prince-or-princess-researchers-have-finally-ascertained-who-owned-021417

    there must have been burial sites all over Europe with such extravagant culture

    I posit that when such things were stumbled upon, the PTB would undoubtedly have them destroyed if they were potentially inconvenient to the storyline that their earthly power emanated from – a strict interpretation of the Bible.

    how many dinosaur and Neanderthal and other bones and artifacts must have been found, puzzled over, and then summarily destroyed, if their existence might prove inconvenient to The Narrative, whereby the priestly class lorded it over all others. All based on the Holy Narrative.

    Indeed, it happens even today, as the PTB scramble to destroy evidence of inconvenient truths especially in the holy land.

    this from Wiki

    Archaeological research and preservation efforts have been exploited by both Palestinians and Israelis for partisan ends.[60] Rather than attempting to understand “the natural process of demolition, eradication, rebuilding, evasion, and ideological reinterpretation that has permitted ancient rulers and modern groups to claim exclusive possession,” archaeologists have instead become active participants in the battle over partisan memory, with the result that archaeology, a seemingly objective science, has exacerbated the ongoing nationalist dispute. Silberman concludes: “The digging continues. Claims and counterclaims about exclusive historical ‘ownership’ weave together the random acts of violence of bifurcated collective memory.” Adam and Moodley conclude their investigation into this issue by writing that, “Both sides remain prisoners of their mythologized past.”[60]

    just as the museum of Baghdad was deliberately looted and destroyed when Dubya marched in. Such was the crime against history that several of Dubya’s court archeologists quit the regime in protest.

    There’s always an ongoing attempt to rewrite history to comport to the narrative of the regime in power, and few regimes were ever as jealous of their earthy power than the priestly class of the Medieval Ages of Europe.

    As with the burning of the Library of Alexandria, God only knows what sublime miracles and truths we’ll never be privy to due to man’s inexhaustible lust for power and domination of his fellows. Indeed, what do you suppose the whole orchestrated plunge into the cultural abyss and the ‘dumbing down’ epidemic in America’s schools and universities is all about? Demanding ignorance and fealty to lies and dogmas are the order of the day even in the 21st century. If it is so today, after The Enlightenment, then how bad it must have been during the Dark Ages, eh?

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    • Replies: @Anon

    There’s always an ongoing attempt to rewrite history
     
    Indeed, and you're engaging in it.

    As with the burning of the Library of Alexandria
     
    Which? The attested one by Caesar, or the unattested one by Omar?

    I posit that when such things were stumbled upon, the PTB would undoubtedly have them destroyed if they were potentially inconvenient to the storyline that their earthly power emanated from – a strict interpretation of the Bible.
     
    Well, okay, but it's rather convenient this new and bizarre narrative of yours requires no evidence whatsoever.

    If it is so today, after The Enlightenment, then how bad it must have been during the Dark Ages, eh?
     
    If you want to dump on Voltaire and Gibbon, by all means do so; I won't stop you. But what's the point of making up history to make a rhetorical point you've already made well enough about your own time?
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  77. @jilles dykstra
    A Greek some 300 or 400 years BCE invented an experiment that made it possible for him to calculate the circumference of the earth, he calculated 39.000 km, is is 40.000.
    How the ancients handled enormous weights we still do not know.
    I do not think we are more clever than the ancients, or the other way round.
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    • Replies: @FKA Max

    I think that the cultural explanation for intellectual achievement is partial and limited, and that the puzzle comes before the solution. Some one has to solve the puzzle, and that the more puzzle solvers you have, the more society flourishes, usually becoming healthier and wealthier.
     
    - https://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-puzzle-comes-before-solution/#p_1_5:1-45

    I started mulling over this vivid gap between the public’s appreciation of theorists vs experimentalists on reading a post -- http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2013/05/21/american-physicists-and-the-under-rating-of-experiments/ -- by physics professor Chad Orzel who, taking a cue from my post about famous American physicists, makes the cogent point that while American theorists lagged behind their European counterparts until the post-war years, they were almost equal to the Europeans even in the 1920s. His point is that we often tend to overemphasize the role of theory over experiment.

    Now there’s no doubt that physicists themselves would be the first ones to recognize the value of experimentalists; for instance Anderson, Davis and the Kendall-Friedman-Taylor trio were all recognized by Nobel Prizes. But their recognition in the public mind ranges from vague to non-existent. This gap in perception is especially startling given the singular importance of experiment in physics and all of science, a central paradigm that has been the centerpiece of the scientific method since Galileo (apocryphally) dropped iron balls from the leaning tower of Pisa. Richard Feynman paid a sparkling tribute to the supremacy of experiment when he said:

    In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong.

    An even more pointed and roaring tribute to experiment came from the utterly self-assured king of experimental physics, Ernest Rutherford. His opinion of theoreticians was that “they play games with their symbols, but we turn out the real facts of Nature”. And he is said to have admonished the capable students working under his tutelage - nine of whom won Nobel Prizes - to not “let me catch anyone talking about the Universe”.
     
    - https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/popular-physics-is-there-an-experimentalist-in-the-house/
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  78. @polistra
    Interesting that you mention Roman concrete. The secret was just figured out this year, after 2000 years of mystery. Instead of plain lime, they used lime and volcanic ash, and they cured it with salt water instead of fresh. The salt reacts with parts of the ash to bring out an aluminum-based mineral that steadily hardens over centuries. In other words, Roman concrete was part metal, so it didn't need metal rebars.

    Crystalline structures. Thanks for this update.

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  79. Rurik says: • Website
    @German_reader

    He was an enemy of the state and that’s what did it.
     
    In classical Athens the people were the state. Most offices were filled by lot, for limited amounts of time. There was no vast permanent bureaucracy that could be subverted by special interest lobbies, no special caste of politicians set apart from normal citizens.
    Granted, the system did have flaws as well, there certainly were cases when the demos acted unwisely and let itself be seduced by demagogues into voting for dubious policies. But the whole "Socrates was put to death in a democracy, that shows how evil and irrational the masses are" myth has really been overdone. Socrates could easily have avoided his fate, but deliberately provoked it. There may also have been a political background, since some of the leaders of the oligarchic tyranny that ruled in Athens after the Peloponnesian war (30 tyrants) had been students of Socrates.

    Socrates could easily have avoided his fate, but deliberately provoked it

    my reading of the account of his death is that he encouraged the youth to question everything

    and once you start down that road, you become a danger to the PTB. The Greeks were not a perfect society of free men living in a democracy, if you also consider how many slaves they had, (many with minds capable of thinking as well).

    Question everything? What about the Gods? What about the social structures?

    at some point, a cynical look at life that questions all temporal (and otherwise) foundations of what we all consider the truth, can make you a very dangerous man indeed.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    my reading of the account of his death is that he encouraged the youth to question everything
     
    I was referring to his trial...iirc (hope I'm not wrong about this, writing this up from memory) he pretty much mocked the court system which was a central element of Athenian democracy. Under the Athenian system of justice accuser and defendant both made pleas for how the case should be judged, and the jurors (chosen randomly by lot) then had to make a choice (that is, they couldn't decide on some other form of punishment). Socrates' accuser argued for the death penalty. Socrates could have chosen exile or some other lesser punishment, or maybe even argued for acquittal in his plea...and would probably have avoided death. Instead he plead for being awarded the highest honours of the Athenian state. He dared the jurors to either sentence him to death or being ridiculed for having to grant him his outrageous demands. Highly provocative behaviour, and unsurprisingly the jurors didn't react well to that.
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  80. Sowhat says:
    @Rurik

    like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto),
     
    :)

    Your link to the World Peace Index reminds me that there is still plenty of money to provide tainted “studies” that point the finger of accusation the other way while a nation,The Light on The Hill, exports their own brand of terror elsewhere.

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  81. JRB says: • Website
    @Simon in London
    I have a fair number of Greek students on my postgrad course. It's interesting to me that their looks split 50-50 between (a) Generic east-European/Slavic and (b) Straight out of a 5th century BC Hellenic vase painting, Greek noses and all. :)

    That is not so strange. Mainland Greece was largely overrun by Slavic tribes in the 6th century. Only some major cities like Thessaloniki remained Greek. The islands were not really effected by this slavic invasion. After the big war in the early 1920′s hunderds of thousands of ethnic Greeks who were still alive (that is not murdered by Turks) emigrated to Greece (mainly to the Athens area).

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  82. FKA Max says:
    @James Thompson
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-puzzle-comes-before-solution

    particularly the last question.

    I think that the cultural explanation for intellectual achievement is partial and limited, and that the puzzle comes before the solution. Some one has to solve the puzzle, and that the more puzzle solvers you have, the more society flourishes, usually becoming healthier and wealthier.

    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-puzzle-comes-before-solution/#p_1_5:1-45

    I started mulling over this vivid gap between the public’s appreciation of theorists vs experimentalists on reading a post — http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2013/05/21/american-physicists-and-the-under-rating-of-experiments/ — by physics professor Chad Orzel who, taking a cue from my post about famous American physicists, makes the cogent point that while American theorists lagged behind their European counterparts until the post-war years, they were almost equal to the Europeans even in the 1920s. His point is that we often tend to overemphasize the role of theory over experiment.

    Now there’s no doubt that physicists themselves would be the first ones to recognize the value of experimentalists; for instance Anderson, Davis and the Kendall-Friedman-Taylor trio were all recognized by Nobel Prizes. But their recognition in the public mind ranges from vague to non-existent. This gap in perception is especially startling given the singular importance of experiment in physics and all of science, a central paradigm that has been the centerpiece of the scientific method since Galileo (apocryphally) dropped iron balls from the leaning tower of Pisa. Richard Feynman paid a sparkling tribute to the supremacy of experiment when he said:

    In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong.

    An even more pointed and roaring tribute to experiment came from the utterly self-assured king of experimental physics, Ernest Rutherford. His opinion of theoreticians was that “they play games with their symbols, but we turn out the real facts of Nature”. And he is said to have admonished the capable students working under his tutelage – nine of whom won Nobel Prizes – to not “let me catch anyone talking about the Universe”.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/popular-physics-is-there-an-experimentalist-in-the-house/

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  83. @Rurik

    Socrates could easily have avoided his fate, but deliberately provoked it
     
    my reading of the account of his death is that he encouraged the youth to question everything

    and once you start down that road, you become a danger to the PTB. The Greeks were not a perfect society of free men living in a democracy, if you also consider how many slaves they had, (many with minds capable of thinking as well).

    Question everything? What about the Gods? What about the social structures?

    at some point, a cynical look at life that questions all temporal (and otherwise) foundations of what we all consider the truth, can make you a very dangerous man indeed.


    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/GTohnUy2vi0/maxresdefault.jpg

    my reading of the account of his death is that he encouraged the youth to question everything

    I was referring to his trial…iirc (hope I’m not wrong about this, writing this up from memory) he pretty much mocked the court system which was a central element of Athenian democracy. Under the Athenian system of justice accuser and defendant both made pleas for how the case should be judged, and the jurors (chosen randomly by lot) then had to make a choice (that is, they couldn’t decide on some other form of punishment). Socrates’ accuser argued for the death penalty. Socrates could have chosen exile or some other lesser punishment, or maybe even argued for acquittal in his plea…and would probably have avoided death. Instead he plead for being awarded the highest honours of the Athenian state. He dared the jurors to either sentence him to death or being ridiculed for having to grant him his outrageous demands. Highly provocative behaviour, and unsurprisingly the jurors didn’t react well to that.

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    he pretty much mocked the court system
     
    he pretty much mocked everything, or at least gave his contender an opportunity to make their case vis-a-vis his famous debating style, and if they couldn't, well then..

    Instead he plead for being awarded the highest honours of the Athenian state.
     
    it's been many decades since I've read that stuff, but perhaps you have a point. Plato sure wasn't convinced, as I remember it. And the guy was pretty clever and really a great philosopher, nonetheless.

    The allegory of the cave stays with me even now, I as watch people today who would kill you rather than accept obvious (if inconvenient) truths.

    , @vinteuil
    Your memory is not serving you well, here.

    You can read the Apology, the Crito & the Phaedo, all the way through, in two or three hours. It's always well worth it, no matter now many times you've done it before.
    , @David
    Socrates was found guilty first, and then was given the opportunity to weight in on his sentence. He did indeed ask for a pension, which appears to have peeved the jury since more of them voted to have him put to death than had voted for the guilty verdict in the first place.
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  84. Rurik says: • Website

    Hey Sowhat,

    if you mean ‘a light unto the nations’ Israel, they are ranked very badly when it come to things like Political terror and Displaced persons, but perhaps you’re right and it’s biased.

    if so, my bad. I didn’t really research it thoroughly enough if I’m going to link to it and give it any tacit endorsement

    I changed the link to something less controversial

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  85. Rurik says: • Website
    @German_reader

    my reading of the account of his death is that he encouraged the youth to question everything
     
    I was referring to his trial...iirc (hope I'm not wrong about this, writing this up from memory) he pretty much mocked the court system which was a central element of Athenian democracy. Under the Athenian system of justice accuser and defendant both made pleas for how the case should be judged, and the jurors (chosen randomly by lot) then had to make a choice (that is, they couldn't decide on some other form of punishment). Socrates' accuser argued for the death penalty. Socrates could have chosen exile or some other lesser punishment, or maybe even argued for acquittal in his plea...and would probably have avoided death. Instead he plead for being awarded the highest honours of the Athenian state. He dared the jurors to either sentence him to death or being ridiculed for having to grant him his outrageous demands. Highly provocative behaviour, and unsurprisingly the jurors didn't react well to that.

    he pretty much mocked the court system

    he pretty much mocked everything, or at least gave his contender an opportunity to make their case vis-a-vis his famous debating style, and if they couldn’t, well then..

    Instead he plead for being awarded the highest honours of the Athenian state.

    it’s been many decades since I’ve read that stuff, but perhaps you have a point. Plato sure wasn’t convinced, as I remember it. And the guy was pretty clever and really a great philosopher, nonetheless.

    The allegory of the cave stays with me even now, I as watch people today who would kill you rather than accept obvious (if inconvenient) truths.

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    • Replies: @geokat62

    The allegory of the cave stays with me even now, I as watch people today who would kill you rather than accept obvious (if inconvenient) truths.
     
    Couldn't agree more. I liken the people who rely on the LOW (Lugenpresse of Weimerica) for their information regarding the facts of this world as troglodytes - i.e., cave dwellers who prefer to gaze at shadows all day long because the truth/sunlight hurts their eyes.
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  86. geokat62 says:
    @jilles dykstra
    A Greek some 300 or 400 years BCE invented an experiment that made it possible for him to calculate the circumference of the earth, he calculated 39.000 km, is is 40.000.
    How the ancients handled enormous weights we still do not know.
    I do not think we are more clever than the ancients, or the other way round.

    A Greek some 300 or 400 years BCE invented an experiment that made it possible for him to calculate the circumference of the earth, he calculated 39.000 km, is is 40.000.

    That Greek’s name, Eratosthenes of Cyrene:

    He is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth, which he did by applying a measuring system using stadia, a standard unit of measure during that time period. His calculation was remarkably accurate. He was also the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth’s axis (again with remarkable accuracy). Additionally, he may have accurately calculated the distance from the Earth to the Sun and invented the leap day. He created the first map of the world, incorporating parallels and meridians based on the available geographic knowledge of his era.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

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  87. geokat62 says:
    @Rurik

    There is much knowledge that was lost with the collapse of the various civilizations.
     
    not just lost, but often deliberately destroyed, like the Library of Alexandria

    during the entire Middle Ages, the church must have burned or otherwise destroyed all archeological artifacts or other records of ancient man's genius and creations, unless they comported with the priest's narrative of the day.

    they were no better than the Taliban destroying ancient statues carved into mountain sides, or their ideological brothers today destroying the Baghdad museum and re-writing ancient history to comport with their own tribal narratives.

    So much has been lost, that it's impossible to really know just how magnificent our ancestors really were, when there's so many with their assorted agendas trying to make hay with some trite fable to enthrall the masses with and enslave their collective minds.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways.
     
    that's the easy part. The hard part is thinking up unique insights in the first place. For Copernicus to be told his entire life that the earth was the center of the universe, and that to question that was wrong and sinful, but not only did he question it, he revolutionized our understanding of the very skies and stars and our place in the universe.

    That's the kind of genius that's remarkable. The kind that pops up from out of nowhere and sees what's right in front of all our faces, but we lack the courage and intelligence to see it.

    Like Darwin, who singlehandedly saw what was really quite obvious.. now that he pointed it out. But for his mind to burst free of the mental chains of the day, and soar beyond the shackles his fellow scientists could not break, is the kind of genius we seem to be lacking today.

    we can build on the work of the giants who've come before us, but we seem woefully unable to innovate and create out of thin air, what men like Copernicus or Newton or Darwin were able to do.

    we can build on the work of the giants who’ve come before us, but we seem woefully unable to innovate and create out of thin air, what men like Copernicus or Newton or Darwin were able to do.

    The air may not have been as rarified as most assume:

    What did Copernicus know about Aristarchus’s Work?
    Copernicus actually acknowledged in the draft of his own book that Aristarchus might have said the earth moved around the sun. He removed this acknowledgement before he published his work.

    In Copernicus’s defense, he was probably unaware of The Sand Reckoner by Archimedes, because, after its rediscovery in the Renaissance, The Sand Reckoner only seems to have existed as a few hand-written copies until it was finally printed in 1544. By then Copernicus had published his own book and had died. What he knew of Aristarchus probably came from the following very brief words written by Aetius:

    “Aristarchus counts the sun among the fixed stars; he has the earth moving around the ecliptic [orbiting the sun] and therefore by its inclinations he wants the sun to be shadowed.”

    Galileo knew that Aristarchus was the First Heliocentrist
    Galileo Galilei, who most certainly had read The Sand Reckoner, and understood its message, did not acknowledge Copernicus as the discoverer of the heliocentric Solar System. Instead, he described him as the ‘restorer and confirmer’ of the hypothesis.

    Clearly, Galileo reserved the word ‘discoverer’ for Aristarchus of Samos.

    https://www.famousscientists.org/aristarchus/

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    Copernicus actually acknowledged in the draft of his own book that Aristarchus might have said the earth moved around the sun
     
    well then place the honor where it belongs

    hail Aristarchus!

    he earned his place among the Gods
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  88. Incitatus says:
    @geokat62

    ... but I don’t think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .
     
    Do the three presocratic philosophers - Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes - qualify as geniuses?

    These philosophers all hailed from the Greek city state of Miletus and are known as the first philosophers. Their philosophy is what started the Ionian Intellectual Revolution...

    The Ionian Intellectual Revolution was a set of advances in scientific thought, explanations on nature, and discovering the natural and rational causes behind observable phenomena, that took place in archaic Greece beginning in the 6th century BC. This movement began on the Ionian coast of western Anatolia by small numbers of forward-thinking Greeks (see Ionian School and Milesian School) from cities such as Miletus, Samos, and Halicarnassus. They saw the world as something ordered and intelligible, its history following an explicable course and its different parts arranged in a comprehensible system.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionian_Enlightenment
     

    Don’t forget Haraclitus (Ephesus).

    Smartest of them all.

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  89. geokat62 says:
    @Rurik

    he pretty much mocked the court system
     
    he pretty much mocked everything, or at least gave his contender an opportunity to make their case vis-a-vis his famous debating style, and if they couldn't, well then..

    Instead he plead for being awarded the highest honours of the Athenian state.
     
    it's been many decades since I've read that stuff, but perhaps you have a point. Plato sure wasn't convinced, as I remember it. And the guy was pretty clever and really a great philosopher, nonetheless.

    The allegory of the cave stays with me even now, I as watch people today who would kill you rather than accept obvious (if inconvenient) truths.

    The allegory of the cave stays with me even now, I as watch people today who would kill you rather than accept obvious (if inconvenient) truths.

    Couldn’t agree more. I liken the people who rely on the LOW (Lugenpresse of Weimerica) for their information regarding the facts of this world as troglodytes – i.e., cave dwellers who prefer to gaze at shadows all day long because the truth/sunlight hurts their eyes.

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    the people who rely on the LOW (Lugenpresse
     
    it isn't just the cud-chewing, bovine-eyed morons

    some of the smartest people out there cling to their delusions with clenched minds

    there are writers here at Unz, (all far smarter than moi ; ), who would stubbornly insist that building seven fell due to fires/vibrations. The truth being far, far too uncomfortable.

    being smart is one thing, but daring to think thoughts that are verboten, is the key to elusive truths and oneness with the universe ;)

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  90. Ivan says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

    The genius is in coming up with the things that the Greeks did. To take but two examples Euclid’s proof of the infinity of primes and the sheer audacity of Eratosthenes method of measuring the circumference of the Earth. And that is just in the sciences.

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  91. Rurik says: • Website
    @geokat62

    we can build on the work of the giants who’ve come before us, but we seem woefully unable to innovate and create out of thin air, what men like Copernicus or Newton or Darwin were able to do.
     
    The air may not have been as rarified as most assume:

    What did Copernicus know about Aristarchus’s Work?
    Copernicus actually acknowledged in the draft of his own book that Aristarchus might have said the earth moved around the sun. He removed this acknowledgement before he published his work.

    In Copernicus’s defense, he was probably unaware of The Sand Reckoner by Archimedes, because, after its rediscovery in the Renaissance, The Sand Reckoner only seems to have existed as a few hand-written copies until it was finally printed in 1544. By then Copernicus had published his own book and had died. What he knew of Aristarchus probably came from the following very brief words written by Aetius:

    “Aristarchus counts the sun among the fixed stars; he has the earth moving around the ecliptic [orbiting the sun] and therefore by its inclinations he wants the sun to be shadowed.”

    Galileo knew that Aristarchus was the First Heliocentrist
    Galileo Galilei, who most certainly had read The Sand Reckoner, and understood its message, did not acknowledge Copernicus as the discoverer of the heliocentric Solar System. Instead, he described him as the ‘restorer and confirmer’ of the hypothesis.

    Clearly, Galileo reserved the word ‘discoverer’ for Aristarchus of Samos.

    https://www.famousscientists.org/aristarchus/
     

    Copernicus actually acknowledged in the draft of his own book that Aristarchus might have said the earth moved around the sun

    well then place the honor where it belongs

    hail Aristarchus!

    he earned his place among the Gods

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  92. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    …Okay…
     
    finds like this date back to 500 years before Christ

    http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/celtic-prince-or-princess-researchers-have-finally-ascertained-who-owned-021417

    there must have been burial sites all over Europe with such extravagant culture

    I posit that when such things were stumbled upon, the PTB would undoubtedly have them destroyed if they were potentially inconvenient to the storyline that their earthly power emanated from - a strict interpretation of the Bible.

    how many dinosaur and Neanderthal and other bones and artifacts must have been found, puzzled over, and then summarily destroyed, if their existence might prove inconvenient to The Narrative, whereby the priestly class lorded it over all others. All based on the Holy Narrative.

    Indeed, it happens even today, as the PTB scramble to destroy evidence of inconvenient truths especially in the holy land.

    this from Wiki

    Archaeological research and preservation efforts have been exploited by both Palestinians and Israelis for partisan ends.[60] Rather than attempting to understand "the natural process of demolition, eradication, rebuilding, evasion, and ideological reinterpretation that has permitted ancient rulers and modern groups to claim exclusive possession," archaeologists have instead become active participants in the battle over partisan memory, with the result that archaeology, a seemingly objective science, has exacerbated the ongoing nationalist dispute. Silberman concludes: "The digging continues. Claims and counterclaims about exclusive historical 'ownership' weave together the random acts of violence of bifurcated collective memory." Adam and Moodley conclude their investigation into this issue by writing that, "Both sides remain prisoners of their mythologized past."[60]
     
    just as the museum of Baghdad was deliberately looted and destroyed when Dubya marched in. Such was the crime against history that several of Dubya's court archeologists quit the regime in protest.

    There's always an ongoing attempt to rewrite history to comport to the narrative of the regime in power, and few regimes were ever as jealous of their earthy power than the priestly class of the Medieval Ages of Europe.

    As with the burning of the Library of Alexandria, God only knows what sublime miracles and truths we'll never be privy to due to man's inexhaustible lust for power and domination of his fellows. Indeed, what do you suppose the whole orchestrated plunge into the cultural abyss and the 'dumbing down' epidemic in America's schools and universities is all about? Demanding ignorance and fealty to lies and dogmas are the order of the day even in the 21st century. If it is so today, after The Enlightenment, then how bad it must have been during the Dark Ages, eh?

    There’s always an ongoing attempt to rewrite history

    Indeed, and you’re engaging in it.

    As with the burning of the Library of Alexandria

    Which? The attested one by Caesar, or the unattested one by Omar?

    I posit that when such things were stumbled upon, the PTB would undoubtedly have them destroyed if they were potentially inconvenient to the storyline that their earthly power emanated from – a strict interpretation of the Bible.

    Well, okay, but it’s rather convenient this new and bizarre narrative of yours requires no evidence whatsoever.

    If it is so today, after The Enlightenment, then how bad it must have been during the Dark Ages, eh?

    If you want to dump on Voltaire and Gibbon, by all means do so; I won’t stop you. But what’s the point of making up history to make a rhetorical point you’ve already made well enough about your own time?

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    narrative of yours requires no evidence whatsoever.
     
    yes, it is specifically the dearth of evidence that I find compelling

    do you suppose that the only skeletal remains of dinosaurs or Neanderthals or pre-Christian evidence of advanced civilizations (things potentially inconvenient to the Narrative) were only just found in Europe, and that none were discovered during the entire centuries long period of the Dark Ages?

    Is that likely to your mind? Or is it more likely that anything and everything that was found that could upset the justification for the PTB to totally dominate the people, (something that PTB are rather wont to do) were summarily destroyed?

    I always try to pepper my understanding of history and current events with a proper understanding of human nature. And everything I've read about human nature going back to the beginning of time right up until the present, leads me to believe that humans will absolutely do anything to get and maintain power. *Anything*. Including destroying evidence of truths that might conceivably be inconvenient. That burial mound from 2500 years ago is not the only one that existed in Europe. There were others, and I suspect that things like that were destroyed, utterly.

    It's what they did then, it's what they'd do today. It's human nature to want to control everything, especially other humans. And they do that most effectively with lies and false narratives. Works like a charm it does.


    But what’s the point of making up history to make a rhetorical point you’ve already made well enough about your own time?
     
    I'm not making up history. I'm just theorizing to punctuate my point

    I have my own delusions, and a favorite is that mankind will free his mind, and his societies will follow.

    I know. I know..

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  93. Rurik says: • Website
    @geokat62

    The allegory of the cave stays with me even now, I as watch people today who would kill you rather than accept obvious (if inconvenient) truths.
     
    Couldn't agree more. I liken the people who rely on the LOW (Lugenpresse of Weimerica) for their information regarding the facts of this world as troglodytes - i.e., cave dwellers who prefer to gaze at shadows all day long because the truth/sunlight hurts their eyes.

    the people who rely on the LOW (Lugenpresse

    it isn’t just the cud-chewing, bovine-eyed morons

    some of the smartest people out there cling to their delusions with clenched minds

    there are writers here at Unz, (all far smarter than moi ; ), who would stubbornly insist that building seven fell due to fires/vibrations. The truth being far, far too uncomfortable.

    being smart is one thing, but daring to think thoughts that are verboten, is the key to elusive truths and oneness with the universe ;)

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    ... stubbornly insist that building seven fell due to fires/vibrations.
     
    I thought this post was about modern vs ancient intelligence? Why not wait for the appropriate article to resume this perennial debate?
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  94. geokat62 says:
    @Rurik

    the people who rely on the LOW (Lugenpresse
     
    it isn't just the cud-chewing, bovine-eyed morons

    some of the smartest people out there cling to their delusions with clenched minds

    there are writers here at Unz, (all far smarter than moi ; ), who would stubbornly insist that building seven fell due to fires/vibrations. The truth being far, far too uncomfortable.

    being smart is one thing, but daring to think thoughts that are verboten, is the key to elusive truths and oneness with the universe ;)

    … stubbornly insist that building seven fell due to fires/vibrations.

    I thought this post was about modern vs ancient intelligence? Why not wait for the appropriate article to resume this perennial debate?

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    I thought this post was about modern vs ancient intelligence?
     
    you're right

    my bad
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  95. MarkF says:

    A naive outlook is often attributed to everyone who lived in the past. There is no simpler way of exalting oneself, and it is all the easier and more tempting because it is founded on accurate though fragmentary assessments which can be made the most of, with the help of false generalizations and arbitrary interpretations, by being related to an assumed all-embracing evolutionary progress. But the word “naïve” can be understood in more than one way, and so can other words that can be used in a more or less comparable sense. It would be better if people who use such words would first agree on what they are talking about. If to be naive is to be direct and spontaneous, to know nothing of dissimulation and subterfuge and also no doubt nothing of certain experiences, then un­- modernized peoples certainly posses—or possessed—that kind of naïvety; but if it is merely to be without intelligence or critical sense and to be open to all kinds of deception, then there is certainly no reason to suppose that our contemporaries are any less naive than their forbears.

    However that may be, there are few things that the “in­sulated” being who calls himself “modem man” endures less readily than the risk of appearing naïve; everything else can go by the board so long as the feeling of not being duped by anything is safeguarded. In reality the acme of naïvety is to believe that man can escape from naïvety on every plane, and that it is possible for him to be integrally intelligent by his own efforts; he who seeks to gain all things by cleverness ends by losing all in blindness and ineffectuality. People who reproach our ancestors for having been stupidly credulous forget in the first place that one can also be stupidly incredulous, and in the second place that the self-styled destroyers of illusion live on illusions that exemplify a credulity second to none. A simple credulity can be replaced by a complicated one, adorned with the arabesques of a studied doubt that forms part of the style, but it is still credulity; complication does not make error less false, nor stupidity less stupid.

    One must get rid of the notion of hopelessly naive Middle Ages versus a breath-takingly intelligent twentieth century; against that view must be set the fact that history does not abolish simplicity of outlook, but merely displaces it, together with the fact that the most flagrant of naiveties is to fail to see naïvety where it exists. Moreover there is nothing more simplistic than a pretension to “start again from scratch” on every plane, nor than the systematic and unbelievably insolent self-uprooting characteristic of certain tendencies in the con­temporary world. It is fashionable to regard, not only the people of the Middle Ages, but even those of fairly recent generations, as having been duped in every possible way, so that to resemble them would be a matter for shame; in this respect the nineteenth century seems almost as remote as the Merovingian age. Opinions now current prove that people think themselves incomparably more “realistic” than anyone has ever been, even in the recent past; what we call “our own times” or “the twentieth century” or “the atomic age” seems to hover, like an uprooted island or a fabulously “clear­headed” monad, above millennia of childishness and feckless­ness. The contemporary world is like a man ashamed of hav­ing had parents and wanting to create himself, and to re-create space, time and all physical laws as well, and seeking to extract from nothingness a world objectively perfect and sub­jectively comfortable, and all this by means of a creative activity independent of God or opposed to God. The unfort­unate thing is that attempts to create a new order of Being can only end in self-destruction.

    There is clearly an important distinction between a naivety that is intrinsic and one that is extrinsic. The latter exists only accidentally and in relation to a world that is the product of certain experiences, but is also full of hypocrisy, of useless cleverness and of dissimulation. How could a man who is unaware of the existence of falsehood, or who knows it only as a deadly and exceptional sin, appear as otherwise than ingenuous to a mean-spirited and artful society? To a patho­logically crafty person every normal person seems “simple”; in the eyes of a sharper it is the honest fellows who are artless. Even where a certain critical sense exists, it is far from con­stituting a superiority in itself, and is only an excrescence pro­duced by an environment in which everything is falsified; it is an example of how nature produces self-defensive reflexes and adaptations that can only be explained in terms of the environment or of prevailing circumstances; there is no diffi­culty in admitting that the physical peculiarities of an Eskimo or a Bushman do not in themselves constitute a superiority. If the men of old sometimes appear ingenuous it is often because they are considered from the distorted point of view that is inseparable from a more or less generalized corruption; to accuse them of being childish amounts to applying a law to them retrospectively in the juridical sense. Similarly, an ancient writer may give an impression of simplicity of out­look, but if he does so, it is largely because he had not got to take account of a thousand errors still unknown nor of a thousand possibilities of misinterpretation, and also because there was no need for his dialectic to be like the Scottish dance in which the performer has to avoid breaking the eggs arranged to test his skill, seeing that the writer in question could in a large measure dispense with fine shades of mean­ing; words still possessed a freshness and a fulness, or a magic, which it is difficult for us to imagine, living as we do in a climate of verbal inflation.
    —–
    “In our day everyone wants to appear intelligent, one would prefer to be accused of crime than of naiveté if the accompanying risks could be avoided. But since intelligence cannot be drawn from the void, subterfuge are resorted to, one of the most prevalent being the mania for “demystification”, which allows an air of intelligence to be conveyed at small cost, for all one need do is assert that the normal response to a particular phenomenon is “prejudiced” and that it is high time it was cleared of the “legends” surrounding it; if the ocean could be made out to be a pond or the Himalayas a hill, it would be done. Certain writers find it impossible to be content with taking note of the fact that a particular thing or person has a particular character or destiny, as everyone had done before them; they must always begin by remarking that “it has too often been said”, and go on to declare that the reality is something quite different and has at last been discovered, and that up till now all the world has been “living a lie”. This strategy is applied above all to things that are evident and universally known, it would doubtless be too naive to acknowledge in so many words that a lion is a carnivore and that he is not quite safe to meet.”
    ——-

    “Tacitus laughed at the Germanic tribes who tried to stop a torrent with their shields, but it is no less naive to believe in planetary migration or to believe in the establishment by purely human means of a society fully satisfied and perfectly inoffensive and continuing to progress indefinitely. All this proves that man ,though he has inevitably become less naive in some things, has nonetheless learned nothing as far as essentials are concerned; the only thing that man is capable of when left to himself is to “commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways,” as Shakespeare would say. And the world being what it is, one is doubtless not guilty of a truism in adding that it is better to go to Heaven naively than to go intelligently to hell.”

    ― Frithjof Schuon, Light on the Ancient Worlds

    Lack of mental cleverness does not exclude sharpness of understanding… experience proves only too cruelly that mental cleverness may not go hand in hand with intelligence, which amounts to saying that it has not in itself any relationship with true intellectuality.

    – Frithjof Schuon, Stations of Wisdom

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    a climate of verbal inflation.
     
    I enjoyed your post Mark

    a creative activity independent of God
     
    for most of human history, as indeed, much of the planet today, man has believed in many Gods, vs. the monotheistic religion of the European Middle Ages. I wonder, would you characterize the belief in polytheism as naïve?
    , @utu
    Lack of mental cleverness does not exclude sharpness of understanding… experience proves only too cruelly that mental cleverness may not go hand in hand with intelligence, which amounts to saying that it has not in itself any relationship with true intellectuality.

    Thanks for citing Fritjof Schuon.
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  96. @German_reader

    The Ancients were not all at the level of Socrates, they also included the dullards that killed him.
     
    Socrates was an enemy of the people who openly mocked the people's courts (and if he hadn't done so he would probably just have been exiled). He brought his execution upon himself and he deserved it.

    This is all true. Socrates showed very poor judgement and very little common sense in starting up controversial dialogs in the very teeth of the worst times of the Peloponnesian War. Pericles was dead, along with tens of thousands of other citizens who died during the plague. The disaster of the Syracuse expedition was weighing on everyone. And here comes Socrates looking around for “the meaning of life.” The Athenian leadership may have been dullards, but they were highly irritated and desperate dullards, and Socrates was not helping matters by stirring up young people to go off on irrelevant tangents when social cohesion was of paramount importance.

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  97. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon

    There’s always an ongoing attempt to rewrite history
     
    Indeed, and you're engaging in it.

    As with the burning of the Library of Alexandria
     
    Which? The attested one by Caesar, or the unattested one by Omar?

    I posit that when such things were stumbled upon, the PTB would undoubtedly have them destroyed if they were potentially inconvenient to the storyline that their earthly power emanated from – a strict interpretation of the Bible.
     
    Well, okay, but it's rather convenient this new and bizarre narrative of yours requires no evidence whatsoever.

    If it is so today, after The Enlightenment, then how bad it must have been during the Dark Ages, eh?
     
    If you want to dump on Voltaire and Gibbon, by all means do so; I won't stop you. But what's the point of making up history to make a rhetorical point you've already made well enough about your own time?

    narrative of yours requires no evidence whatsoever.

    yes, it is specifically the dearth of evidence that I find compelling

    do you suppose that the only skeletal remains of dinosaurs or Neanderthals or pre-Christian evidence of advanced civilizations (things potentially inconvenient to the Narrative) were only just found in Europe, and that none were discovered during the entire centuries long period of the Dark Ages?

    Is that likely to your mind? Or is it more likely that anything and everything that was found that could upset the justification for the PTB to totally dominate the people, (something that PTB are rather wont to do) were summarily destroyed?

    I always try to pepper my understanding of history and current events with a proper understanding of human nature. And everything I’ve read about human nature going back to the beginning of time right up until the present, leads me to believe that humans will absolutely do anything to get and maintain power. *Anything*. Including destroying evidence of truths that might conceivably be inconvenient. That burial mound from 2500 years ago is not the only one that existed in Europe. There were others, and I suspect that things like that were destroyed, utterly.

    It’s what they did then, it’s what they’d do today. It’s human nature to want to control everything, especially other humans. And they do that most effectively with lies and false narratives. Works like a charm it does.

    But what’s the point of making up history to make a rhetorical point you’ve already made well enough about your own time?

    I’m not making up history. I’m just theorizing to punctuate my point

    I have my own delusions, and a favorite is that mankind will free his mind, and his societies will follow.

    I know. I know..

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Good points. Way too many people refuse to consider perfectly sound reason and logic unless it's accompanied by some magic seal of approval. "Citation needed" is not always... needed.
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  98. Rurik says: • Website
    @geokat62

    ... stubbornly insist that building seven fell due to fires/vibrations.
     
    I thought this post was about modern vs ancient intelligence? Why not wait for the appropriate article to resume this perennial debate?

    I thought this post was about modern vs ancient intelligence?

    you’re right

    my bad

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  99. Rurik says: • Website
    @MarkF
    A naive outlook is often attributed to everyone who lived in the past. There is no simpler way of exalting oneself, and it is all the easier and more tempting because it is founded on accurate though fragmentary assessments which can be made the most of, with the help of false generalizations and arbitrary interpretations, by being related to an assumed all-embracing evolutionary progress. But the word “naïve” can be understood in more than one way, and so can other words that can be used in a more or less comparable sense. It would be better if people who use such words would first agree on what they are talking about. If to be naive is to be direct and spontaneous, to know nothing of dissimulation and subterfuge and also no doubt nothing of certain experiences, then un­- modernized peoples certainly posses—or possessed—that kind of naïvety; but if it is merely to be without intelligence or critical sense and to be open to all kinds of deception, then there is certainly no reason to suppose that our contemporaries are any less naive than their forbears.

    However that may be, there are few things that the “in­sulated” being who calls himself “modem man” endures less readily than the risk of appearing naïve; everything else can go by the board so long as the feeling of not being duped by anything is safeguarded. In reality the acme of naïvety is to believe that man can escape from naïvety on every plane, and that it is possible for him to be integrally intelligent by his own efforts; he who seeks to gain all things by cleverness ends by losing all in blindness and ineffectuality. People who reproach our ancestors for having been stupidly credulous forget in the first place that one can also be stupidly incredulous, and in the second place that the self-styled destroyers of illusion live on illusions that exemplify a credulity second to none. A simple credulity can be replaced by a complicated one, adorned with the arabesques of a studied doubt that forms part of the style, but it is still credulity; complication does not make error less false, nor stupidity less stupid.

    One must get rid of the notion of hopelessly naive Middle Ages versus a breath-takingly intelligent twentieth century; against that view must be set the fact that history does not abolish simplicity of outlook, but merely displaces it, together with the fact that the most flagrant of naiveties is to fail to see naïvety where it exists. Moreover there is nothing more simplistic than a pretension to “start again from scratch” on every plane, nor than the systematic and unbelievably insolent self-uprooting characteristic of certain tendencies in the con­temporary world. It is fashionable to regard, not only the people of the Middle Ages, but even those of fairly recent generations, as having been duped in every possible way, so that to resemble them would be a matter for shame; in this respect the nineteenth century seems almost as remote as the Merovingian age. Opinions now current prove that people think themselves incomparably more “realistic” than anyone has ever been, even in the recent past; what we call “our own times” or “the twentieth century” or “the atomic age” seems to hover, like an uprooted island or a fabulously “clear­headed” monad, above millennia of childishness and feckless­ness. The contemporary world is like a man ashamed of hav­ing had parents and wanting to create himself, and to re-create space, time and all physical laws as well, and seeking to extract from nothingness a world objectively perfect and sub­jectively comfortable, and all this by means of a creative activity independent of God or opposed to God. The unfort­unate thing is that attempts to create a new order of Being can only end in self-destruction.
    ...
    There is clearly an important distinction between a naivety that is intrinsic and one that is extrinsic. The latter exists only accidentally and in relation to a world that is the product of certain experiences, but is also full of hypocrisy, of useless cleverness and of dissimulation. How could a man who is unaware of the existence of falsehood, or who knows it only as a deadly and exceptional sin, appear as otherwise than ingenuous to a mean-spirited and artful society? To a patho­logically crafty person every normal person seems “simple”; in the eyes of a sharper it is the honest fellows who are artless. Even where a certain critical sense exists, it is far from con­stituting a superiority in itself, and is only an excrescence pro­duced by an environment in which everything is falsified; it is an example of how nature produces self-defensive reflexes and adaptations that can only be explained in terms of the environment or of prevailing circumstances; there is no diffi­culty in admitting that the physical peculiarities of an Eskimo or a Bushman do not in themselves constitute a superiority. If the men of old sometimes appear ingenuous it is often because they are considered from the distorted point of view that is inseparable from a more or less generalized corruption; to accuse them of being childish amounts to applying a law to them retrospectively in the juridical sense. Similarly, an ancient writer may give an impression of simplicity of out­look, but if he does so, it is largely because he had not got to take account of a thousand errors still unknown nor of a thousand possibilities of misinterpretation, and also because there was no need for his dialectic to be like the Scottish dance in which the performer has to avoid breaking the eggs arranged to test his skill, seeing that the writer in question could in a large measure dispense with fine shades of mean­ing; words still possessed a freshness and a fulness, or a magic, which it is difficult for us to imagine, living as we do in a climate of verbal inflation.
    -----
    “In our day everyone wants to appear intelligent, one would prefer to be accused of crime than of naiveté if the accompanying risks could be avoided. But since intelligence cannot be drawn from the void, subterfuge are resorted to, one of the most prevalent being the mania for "demystification", which allows an air of intelligence to be conveyed at small cost, for all one need do is assert that the normal response to a particular phenomenon is "prejudiced" and that it is high time it was cleared of the "legends" surrounding it; if the ocean could be made out to be a pond or the Himalayas a hill, it would be done. Certain writers find it impossible to be content with taking note of the fact that a particular thing or person has a particular character or destiny, as everyone had done before them; they must always begin by remarking that "it has too often been said", and go on to declare that the reality is something quite different and has at last been discovered, and that up till now all the world has been "living a lie". This strategy is applied above all to things that are evident and universally known, it would doubtless be too naive to acknowledge in so many words that a lion is a carnivore and that he is not quite safe to meet.”
    -------

    “Tacitus laughed at the Germanic tribes who tried to stop a torrent with their shields, but it is no less naive to believe in planetary migration or to believe in the establishment by purely human means of a society fully satisfied and perfectly inoffensive and continuing to progress indefinitely. All this proves that man ,though he has inevitably become less naive in some things, has nonetheless learned nothing as far as essentials are concerned; the only thing that man is capable of when left to himself is to "commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways," as Shakespeare would say. And the world being what it is, one is doubtless not guilty of a truism in adding that it is better to go to Heaven naively than to go intelligently to hell.”

    ― Frithjof Schuon, Light on the Ancient Worlds

    Lack of mental cleverness does not exclude sharpness of understanding... experience proves only too cruelly that mental cleverness may not go hand in hand with intelligence, which amounts to saying that it has not in itself any relationship with true intellectuality.

    -- Frithjof Schuon, Stations of Wisdom

    a climate of verbal inflation.

    I enjoyed your post Mark

    a creative activity independent of God

    for most of human history, as indeed, much of the planet today, man has believed in many Gods, vs. the monotheistic religion of the European Middle Ages. I wonder, would you characterize the belief in polytheism as naïve?

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  100. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    narrative of yours requires no evidence whatsoever.
     
    yes, it is specifically the dearth of evidence that I find compelling

    do you suppose that the only skeletal remains of dinosaurs or Neanderthals or pre-Christian evidence of advanced civilizations (things potentially inconvenient to the Narrative) were only just found in Europe, and that none were discovered during the entire centuries long period of the Dark Ages?

    Is that likely to your mind? Or is it more likely that anything and everything that was found that could upset the justification for the PTB to totally dominate the people, (something that PTB are rather wont to do) were summarily destroyed?

    I always try to pepper my understanding of history and current events with a proper understanding of human nature. And everything I've read about human nature going back to the beginning of time right up until the present, leads me to believe that humans will absolutely do anything to get and maintain power. *Anything*. Including destroying evidence of truths that might conceivably be inconvenient. That burial mound from 2500 years ago is not the only one that existed in Europe. There were others, and I suspect that things like that were destroyed, utterly.

    It's what they did then, it's what they'd do today. It's human nature to want to control everything, especially other humans. And they do that most effectively with lies and false narratives. Works like a charm it does.


    But what’s the point of making up history to make a rhetorical point you’ve already made well enough about your own time?
     
    I'm not making up history. I'm just theorizing to punctuate my point

    I have my own delusions, and a favorite is that mankind will free his mind, and his societies will follow.

    I know. I know..

    Good points. Way too many people refuse to consider perfectly sound reason and logic unless it’s accompanied by some magic seal of approval. “Citation needed” is not always… needed.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Agreed. The obsession with citations as such (rather than citation in the sense of providing sound evidence or argument) is no more than an appeal to authority. The problem is now beyond out of control in academia. I expect that a modern faculty of philosophy, were they to review the up and coming Assistant Professor Plato's Dialogues, would dismissively scold him for want of sufficient citations within the text....
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  101. @Anonymous
    Athens had to import grain along with many other things. It was much closer to Malthusian limits than America is.

    Sure Athens imported grain; all cities that ever were import grain, by definition – a city is not a farm. Do you know of some city with an agricultural surplus, or even an equilibrium? What kind of ridiculous point are you making? Are you being facetious?

    The fundamental motivation for Greek colonies was overpopulation; as such, a Greek facing problems from overpopulation had the option to initiate or join a colony.

    Now then, do please point to the colonies I may join to escape from the pressing masses of stinking Hindoos swarming what used to be the U.S.A., since I’ve got so many less problems escaping overpopulation than the anyient Athenians in the days when all of the Mediterranean was bursting with humanity and nary a wilderness existed unclaimed and unsettled?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The city-state of Athens had to import grain. The city-state of Athens included not just the city proper, but the rural areas surrounding it.

    You seem to be conflating a political issue with Malthusian limits. The US government claims all the territory in the USA. Thus anywhere you go in the USA, the land will be already claimed by the government. But anywhere you go in the USA, you would be much further from Malthusian limits than the Greek colonists were. The Greek colonists would go to areas unclaimed by anyone else, but they were still much closer to Malthusian limits than anywhere in the USA.

    A claim by a state on a piece of territory is independent of its Malthusian limits. The US government may claim, say, the moon, but that itself has no bearing on the Malthusian limits of the moon.
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  102. @Anonymous
    Good points. Way too many people refuse to consider perfectly sound reason and logic unless it's accompanied by some magic seal of approval. "Citation needed" is not always... needed.

    Agreed. The obsession with citations as such (rather than citation in the sense of providing sound evidence or argument) is no more than an appeal to authority. The problem is now beyond out of control in academia. I expect that a modern faculty of philosophy, were they to review the up and coming Assistant Professor Plato’s Dialogues, would dismissively scold him for want of sufficient citations within the text….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    So do you defend the historical accuracy of his account of the civilization of Atlantis and its war with Athens?
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  103. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Autochthon
    Agreed. The obsession with citations as such (rather than citation in the sense of providing sound evidence or argument) is no more than an appeal to authority. The problem is now beyond out of control in academia. I expect that a modern faculty of philosophy, were they to review the up and coming Assistant Professor Plato's Dialogues, would dismissively scold him for want of sufficient citations within the text....

    So do you defend the historical accuracy of his account of the civilization of Atlantis and its war with Athens?

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    I defend the account as a perfectly sound allegory about hubris, as he intended it to be. Plato never intended that it be historically accurate, so my defending it as such would baffle him as much as a defense of the historical accuracy of the War of Wrath or the Fall of Gondolin would Tolkien.
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  104. @Anon
    So do you defend the historical accuracy of his account of the civilization of Atlantis and its war with Athens?

    I defend the account as a perfectly sound allegory about hubris, as he intended it to be. Plato never intended that it be historically accurate, so my defending it as such would baffle him as much as a defense of the historical accuracy of the War of Wrath or the Fall of Gondolin would Tolkien.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    All right. If you take "Rurik's" disquisitions on the Middle Ages in the same manner, then I have no further problems.
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  105. vinteuil says:
    @German_reader

    my reading of the account of his death is that he encouraged the youth to question everything
     
    I was referring to his trial...iirc (hope I'm not wrong about this, writing this up from memory) he pretty much mocked the court system which was a central element of Athenian democracy. Under the Athenian system of justice accuser and defendant both made pleas for how the case should be judged, and the jurors (chosen randomly by lot) then had to make a choice (that is, they couldn't decide on some other form of punishment). Socrates' accuser argued for the death penalty. Socrates could have chosen exile or some other lesser punishment, or maybe even argued for acquittal in his plea...and would probably have avoided death. Instead he plead for being awarded the highest honours of the Athenian state. He dared the jurors to either sentence him to death or being ridiculed for having to grant him his outrageous demands. Highly provocative behaviour, and unsurprisingly the jurors didn't react well to that.

    Your memory is not serving you well, here.

    You can read the Apology, the Crito & the Phaedo, all the way through, in two or three hours. It’s always well worth it, no matter now many times you’ve done it before.

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  106. @Obstinatus Ludificator
    Are We Cleverer Than the Ancients?

    No. The ancients at least recognized a clear terminus to human knowledge and ability. Moderns believe everything is knowable and, through knowledge, subject to human will.

    Allow me to try concrete understanding of such generalised waffle. How does modern understanding that humans cannot bend the behaviour of the quantum world or of distant galaxies to human will compare with the Ancients belief that if they could only get the gods on side they could fix anything? Rather the teverse of your pompous crap isn’t it?

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  107. @Ron Unz

    Why should we take the population of the largest Greek city and compare it to all of core Western Europe?
     
    But probably about half or more of the great Ancient Greek thinkers and writers from the period under discussion *were* Athenian, so the population of Argos or Thebes or Magna Graecia really don't enter into the equation.

    Take Thucydides, not only the founder of serious history, but author of one of the greatest historical works ever written. If Victorian Britain was not only substantially smarter but also had hundreds of times the citizen population, why wouldn't they have produced hundreds of his equals?

    Admittedly, some very prominent Greeks such as Aristotle were born elsewhere and drawn to Athens (much like American thinkers may be drawn to Cambridge or Palo Alto), but most were Athenian.

    While it may have been the Spartans who specially engaged your attention during your days as a classical scholar you may recall Ron that Athens was apparently occupied by more ancient Ancient Greeks than the rest of Greece. Indeed I remember reading somewhere that they were essentially a Mediterranean people with maybe strong links to Egypt and its civilisation. Unfortunately my searches using “Achaean” have’t helped enlarge on that thought. But here’s a thought for a historical fiction writer. Maybe the glory that was Athens wad the work of exiled eggheads from Egypt (and Crete, why not?). And maybe it became a melting pot and safe haven for intellectual mavericks for the whole region exgending to Persia. Back to reality: isn’t there good reason to look for an explanation of Athens’s apparent genetic advantsge?

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    • Replies: @Difference Maker
    A search for pre Indo European substrate & Pelasgians may be fruitful. Purportedly the "nth" formulation is not of Indo European origin, and the name of Athens itself is close to this

    It is also telling that all Indo Europeans potentially straight from the homeland are lightly colored, and that Spartans & Macedonians (and the Macedonians' northern neighbors the Thracians) tended to be fairer relative to other Greeks

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  108. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Autochthon
    I defend the account as a perfectly sound allegory about hubris, as he intended it to be. Plato never intended that it be historically accurate, so my defending it as such would baffle him as much as a defense of the historical accuracy of the War of Wrath or the Fall of Gondolin would Tolkien.

    All right. If you take “Rurik’s” disquisitions on the Middle Ages in the same manner, then I have no further problems.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Your problems run deeper than that. It seem like you've locked yourself in a box where a reasonable argument can't enter unless it's attached to at at least two "official" Wikipedia articles.

    You demand to see the bones he claims were destroyed or at least a detailed, written, admission from the perpetrators. Nothing less will suffice, before you can unclench.

    , @Autochthon
    Oh, I don't know; he makes some sound points about how odd it is that no significant archaeological discoveries seem to've been made (or, at any rate, recorded) until relatively recently. It's no area of expertise to me, nor even of especial interest, but I expect there are genuine questions worth exploring. Are you an expert on the matter? So far as I have read of the debate you had with him, your refutations to his prima facie reasonable arguments seem to be "but you've not cited any written works!" I emphasise I am largely disinterested in the entire affair; I was inspired to support the point that too many people in modern scholarship and public debate improperly overemphasise citations as such, as though another person's having previously managed to have an idea published (rather than that idea's being reasonable and supported by empirical evidence) were the sine qua non of that idea's merit.
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  109. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    All right. If you take "Rurik's" disquisitions on the Middle Ages in the same manner, then I have no further problems.

    Your problems run deeper than that. It seem like you’ve locked yourself in a box where a reasonable argument can’t enter unless it’s attached to at at least two “official” Wikipedia articles.

    You demand to see the bones he claims were destroyed or at least a detailed, written, admission from the perpetrators. Nothing less will suffice, before you can unclench.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    But is it a reasonable argument? Put it in syllogistic form and get back to me, and we'll take it from there.

    Better yet, write it into two Wikipedia articles. Then I'll have to accept it, no?
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  110. Art says:
    @anarchyst
    I must respectfully disagree with you choice of Edison as one of the "greats". Edison was an excellent promoter, sometimes huckster, and borderline fraud who took the inventions of others as his own. His greatest achievement was NOT the incandescent lamp, but was the creation and establishment of the first modern-day research laboratory. THAT is his greatest contribution to modern society and the world.
    Look up "war of the currents" to see Edison in action...as a huckster.
    Nikola Tesla was a far greater TRUE thinker and creator, giving us our present-day polyphase electrical system. It turns out that Edison promised Tesla a large amount of money after one year of employment. When Tesla demanded his money, Edison remarked that "he was just joking". Hence, the split between Edison and Tesla started.
    Tesla understood the principles of "resonance" and the wireless transmission of energy. In fact, Tesla was the true inventor of radio...
    Tesla had many inventions "in the works". His scientific papers were confiscated by the U S government after his death...
    Edison was a "good talker" while Tesla was "a little weird". Hence, Edison got the glory, Tesla got the shaft...

    Tesla understood the principles of “resonance” and the wireless transmission of energy. In fact, Tesla was the true inventor of radio…

    I agree with you – as a human being, Tesla is my man. His A/C electric system is what the world uses to transfer electric power.

    With that said, Edison invented the recording of sound and the first moving pictures.

    Today, where would we be without those things – they dominate our lives – they made for huge advances in intellectual human living.

    I have no problem adding Tesla to the list of the greats. Why not both?

    God bless America for creating the environment that fostered their work.

    Peace — Art

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    Edison took the work of others and ramrodded patent enforcement in order to claim ownership. Yes, this includes motion pictures and sound recording...
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  111. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    Your problems run deeper than that. It seem like you've locked yourself in a box where a reasonable argument can't enter unless it's attached to at at least two "official" Wikipedia articles.

    You demand to see the bones he claims were destroyed or at least a detailed, written, admission from the perpetrators. Nothing less will suffice, before you can unclench.

    But is it a reasonable argument? Put it in syllogistic form and get back to me, and we’ll take it from there.

    Better yet, write it into two Wikipedia articles. Then I’ll have to accept it, no?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Of course it's a reasonable argument. The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Listen to reason first and data second. History in particular is filled with wrong or insufficient data so you should rely on reason to sort it out - to the best of your ability.
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  112. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Autochthon
    Sure Athens imported grain; all cities that ever were import grain, by definition – a city is not a farm. Do you know of some city with an agricultural surplus, or even an equilibrium? What kind of ridiculous point are you making? Are you being facetious?

    The fundamental motivation for Greek colonies was overpopulation; as such, a Greek facing problems from overpopulation had the option to initiate or join a colony.

    Now then, do please point to the colonies I may join to escape from the pressing masses of stinking Hindoos swarming what used to be the U.S.A., since I've got so many less problems escaping overpopulation than the anyient Athenians in the days when all of the Mediterranean was bursting with humanity and nary a wilderness existed unclaimed and unsettled?

    The city-state of Athens had to import grain. The city-state of Athens included not just the city proper, but the rural areas surrounding it.

    You seem to be conflating a political issue with Malthusian limits. The US government claims all the territory in the USA. Thus anywhere you go in the USA, the land will be already claimed by the government. But anywhere you go in the USA, you would be much further from Malthusian limits than the Greek colonists were. The Greek colonists would go to areas unclaimed by anyone else, but they were still much closer to Malthusian limits than anywhere in the USA.

    A claim by a state on a piece of territory is independent of its Malthusian limits. The US government may claim, say, the moon, but that itself has no bearing on the Malthusian limits of the moon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Your clarification that you were referring to not only the city of Athens, but the larger city-state, addresses the nonsense about importing grain to a city. It does not, however, change the point that any limits faced by shortages of resources in the area could be solved by relocating to any of the vast, uninhabited, and unclaimed areas – as, indeed, was in fact exactly what the constrained populations did; my point is an observation of historical fact, not an idle hypothesis of the possible. The present world presents far less opportunity to escape overtaxed lands. Shall I relocate to Yosemite and establish myself there? What shall I tell the rangers who shall doubtless come to visit me with questions and demands? Perhaps I should claim a few acres of some privately owned ranch in Wyoming? Surely the owner will disregard me entirely. There simply is no place not already controlled by some person or government that would exclude an enterprising colonist, in the way that there were vast swaths of such areas in antient times.

    A claim by a state on a piece of territory is independent of its Malthusian limits.
     
    Nonsense. Establish a homestead here and let me know how things work out for you. If you are defining "Mathusian limits" as relating only to what is purely possible from an ecological perspective, that is fair enough, but in that case the idea is useless outside the circles of debaters in smoking jackets. Resources' limitations also involve their availability from opposing and competing exploiters, such as the residents of Marin County and the thugs in uniforms they employ to enforce their interests.
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  113. anarchyst says:
    @Art
    Tesla understood the principles of “resonance” and the wireless transmission of energy. In fact, Tesla was the true inventor of radio…

    I agree with you - as a human being, Tesla is my man. His A/C electric system is what the world uses to transfer electric power.

    With that said, Edison invented the recording of sound and the first moving pictures.

    Today, where would we be without those things - they dominate our lives - they made for huge advances in intellectual human living.

    I have no problem adding Tesla to the list of the greats. Why not both?

    God bless America for creating the environment that fostered their work.

    Peace --- Art

    Edison took the work of others and ramrodded patent enforcement in order to claim ownership. Yes, this includes motion pictures and sound recording…

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  114. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    But is it a reasonable argument? Put it in syllogistic form and get back to me, and we'll take it from there.

    Better yet, write it into two Wikipedia articles. Then I'll have to accept it, no?

    Of course it’s a reasonable argument. The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Listen to reason first and data second. History in particular is filled with wrong or insufficient data so you should rely on reason to sort it out – to the best of your ability.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RSDB

    The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.
     
    Still not a syllogism, but I'll take what I can get. What is the "lots of evidence"? And what is the "gaping archaeological hole"? What archaeologists were excommunicated*? In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?

    *You'll say, perhaps, that the records were destroyed. But what of the transition period that you must posit, between when archaeological finds were destroyed on sight, and when they were treasured?
    , @Pericles
    What's so inconvenient about finding some big bones? "There were giants in the earth in those days", the remains of antediluvian monsters, etc. Seems like a comfortable position for The Authorities.
    , @Rurik

    The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Listen to reason first and data second. History in particular is filled with wrong or insufficient data so you should rely on reason to sort it out – to the best of your ability.
     

    well said

    and the Church (and the PTB) wasn't just suppressing inconvenient findings back then, but are doing it today- in earnest.

    as I've mentioned, there is a reason our culture is so dumbed down, and the universities kick out ideological zombies unable to think. Thinking is dangerous to the regime, and they would like it banned on principle. Better to have the graduates regurgitating trite platitudes than questioning the canonical mantras du jour.

    in a thinking West, would Hillary Clinton have ascended to the heights of power that she did?

    indeed, you can extrapolate Hillary to the entire political and media power structures of the Western world, and see the rot is all pervasive.

    But to the Church, all is hunky-dory!

    9/11 was the seminal event of our lifetimes. A crime of such epic import, that it has caused the subversion of our ancient and hard won rights going back to the Magna Carta, and the loss and destruction of millions of lives and entire countries bombed into smoking ashes and sent reeling back into the stone age, no doubt, for generations to come.

    But you won't find one in a thousand academics or politicians or media personalities (let alone the clergy!) with the moral courage or intellectual integrity to doubt or question one scintilla of the avalanche of patently ludicrous absurdities that masquerade as the "truth" of what happened on that fateful and potentially civilization-ending day.

    Such is the widespread moral and intellectual cowardice of our institutions, (including of course the Church)

    someone on this thread mentioned that "Rurik" is no expert, and they could not be more correct. I'm a million miles away from being an expert of any kind vis-a-vis academia or history or philosophy. I'm a student of these things, and expect to spend the rest of my life being one.

    But one thing I will say about my humble perspective on these things is that I'm not afraid to think, (however mundanely) and to see things that are right in front of my face, with the moral courage to say the emperor wears no cloths, if that's the best (if trite) analogy available.

    it isn't intelligence or, God help us, expertise that our leaders and/or society lack. Rather it's the moral courage to simply see and then say things that are inconvenient.

    if our leaders today will suppress all knowledge or questions about 9/11 to protect the status quo, (and their respective emoluments), then do I hold the leaders of the Church to a higher standard during the Medieval period?

    it isn't just individual men that are so often false, but it seems to me that entire civilizations can be also, when the spiritual rot has metastasized in a society from the top down, and the collective moral cowardice is not just ascendant, but ubiquitous, all pervasive and seemingly endemic.

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  115. RSDB says:
    @Anonymous
    Of course it's a reasonable argument. The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Listen to reason first and data second. History in particular is filled with wrong or insufficient data so you should rely on reason to sort it out - to the best of your ability.

    The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Still not a syllogism, but I’ll take what I can get. What is the “lots of evidence”? And what is the “gaping archaeological hole”? What archaeologists were excommunicated*? In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?

    *You’ll say, perhaps, that the records were destroyed. But what of the transition period that you must posit, between when archaeological finds were destroyed on sight, and when they were treasured?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Still not a syllogism, but I’ll take what I can get. What is the “lots of evidence”? And what is the “gaping archaeological hole”? What archaeologists were excommunicated*? In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?
     
    Don't be silly.

    I was trying to help you. If you're more comfortable in your box, please go on...

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  116. @Anon
    All right. If you take "Rurik's" disquisitions on the Middle Ages in the same manner, then I have no further problems.

    Oh, I don’t know; he makes some sound points about how odd it is that no significant archaeological discoveries seem to’ve been made (or, at any rate, recorded) until relatively recently. It’s no area of expertise to me, nor even of especial interest, but I expect there are genuine questions worth exploring. Are you an expert on the matter? So far as I have read of the debate you had with him, your refutations to his prima facie reasonable arguments seem to be “but you’ve not cited any written works!” I emphasise I am largely disinterested in the entire affair; I was inspired to support the point that too many people in modern scholarship and public debate improperly overemphasise citations as such, as though another person’s having previously managed to have an idea published (rather than that idea’s being reasonable and supported by empirical evidence) were the sine qua non of that idea’s merit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    I agree that archaeology as a developed discipline is a fairly recent thing; it seems to develop slowly from the late Middle Ages, as part of the general fascination of that time with antiquity. It is quite odd that it doesn't seem to have developed much earlier, despite the great interest of the medievals in written pagan work and history, and the local traditions about various sites. But when it does develop, it develops in Christian Europe-- curious, isn't it?

    I did not actually make any argument against "Rurik" as far as I know; I simply said he was making up history, which he was. It may be that he is right --"History is a set of lies agreed upon", said a famous Solar Myth-- but it doesn't square with my impressions of the medievals, from what I've read of theirs and about them. I am certainly not an expert (I can, however, claim to be more well-versed in the period than some), though no expert in the field agrees with "Rurik" either, to the extent of my knowledge. And I certainly possess enough expertise to say that "Rurik" is no expert on the matter.

    Care to source your claim about citations? ;)
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  117. @Anonymous
    The city-state of Athens had to import grain. The city-state of Athens included not just the city proper, but the rural areas surrounding it.

    You seem to be conflating a political issue with Malthusian limits. The US government claims all the territory in the USA. Thus anywhere you go in the USA, the land will be already claimed by the government. But anywhere you go in the USA, you would be much further from Malthusian limits than the Greek colonists were. The Greek colonists would go to areas unclaimed by anyone else, but they were still much closer to Malthusian limits than anywhere in the USA.

    A claim by a state on a piece of territory is independent of its Malthusian limits. The US government may claim, say, the moon, but that itself has no bearing on the Malthusian limits of the moon.

    Your clarification that you were referring to not only the city of Athens, but the larger city-state, addresses the nonsense about importing grain to a city. It does not, however, change the point that any limits faced by shortages of resources in the area could be solved by relocating to any of the vast, uninhabited, and unclaimed areas – as, indeed, was in fact exactly what the constrained populations did; my point is an observation of historical fact, not an idle hypothesis of the possible. The present world presents far less opportunity to escape overtaxed lands. Shall I relocate to Yosemite and establish myself there? What shall I tell the rangers who shall doubtless come to visit me with questions and demands? Perhaps I should claim a few acres of some privately owned ranch in Wyoming? Surely the owner will disregard me entirely. There simply is no place not already controlled by some person or government that would exclude an enterprising colonist, in the way that there were vast swaths of such areas in antient times.

    A claim by a state on a piece of territory is independent of its Malthusian limits.

    Nonsense. Establish a homestead here and let me know how things work out for you. If you are defining “Mathusian limits” as relating only to what is purely possible from an ecological perspective, that is fair enough, but in that case the idea is useless outside the circles of debaters in smoking jackets. Resources’ limitations also involve their availability from opposing and competing exploiters, such as the residents of Marin County and the thugs in uniforms they employ to enforce their interests.

    Read More
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  118. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @RSDB

    The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.
     
    Still not a syllogism, but I'll take what I can get. What is the "lots of evidence"? And what is the "gaping archaeological hole"? What archaeologists were excommunicated*? In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?

    *You'll say, perhaps, that the records were destroyed. But what of the transition period that you must posit, between when archaeological finds were destroyed on sight, and when they were treasured?

    Still not a syllogism, but I’ll take what I can get. What is the “lots of evidence”? And what is the “gaping archaeological hole”? What archaeologists were excommunicated*? In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?

    Don’t be silly.

    I was trying to help you. If you’re more comfortable in your box, please go on…

    Read More
    • Replies: @RSDB
    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
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  119. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Autochthon
    Oh, I don't know; he makes some sound points about how odd it is that no significant archaeological discoveries seem to've been made (or, at any rate, recorded) until relatively recently. It's no area of expertise to me, nor even of especial interest, but I expect there are genuine questions worth exploring. Are you an expert on the matter? So far as I have read of the debate you had with him, your refutations to his prima facie reasonable arguments seem to be "but you've not cited any written works!" I emphasise I am largely disinterested in the entire affair; I was inspired to support the point that too many people in modern scholarship and public debate improperly overemphasise citations as such, as though another person's having previously managed to have an idea published (rather than that idea's being reasonable and supported by empirical evidence) were the sine qua non of that idea's merit.

    I agree that archaeology as a developed discipline is a fairly recent thing; it seems to develop slowly from the late Middle Ages, as part of the general fascination of that time with antiquity. It is quite odd that it doesn’t seem to have developed much earlier, despite the great interest of the medievals in written pagan work and history, and the local traditions about various sites. But when it does develop, it develops in Christian Europe– curious, isn’t it?

    I did not actually make any argument against “Rurik” as far as I know; I simply said he was making up history, which he was. It may be that he is right –”History is a set of lies agreed upon”, said a famous Solar Myth– but it doesn’t square with my impressions of the medievals, from what I’ve read of theirs and about them. I am certainly not an expert (I can, however, claim to be more well-versed in the period than some), though no expert in the field agrees with “Rurik” either, to the extent of my knowledge. And I certainly possess enough expertise to say that “Rurik” is no expert on the matter.

    Care to source your claim about citations? ;)

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  120. RSDB says:
    @Anonymous

    Still not a syllogism, but I’ll take what I can get. What is the “lots of evidence”? And what is the “gaping archaeological hole”? What archaeologists were excommunicated*? In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?
     
    Don't be silly.

    I was trying to help you. If you're more comfortable in your box, please go on...

    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Oh, how quaint.

    The whole point of this conversation is that you can't move unless someone can give you a permission to do so...
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  121. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @RSDB
    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

    Oh, how quaint.

    The whole point of this conversation is that you can’t move unless someone can give you a permission to do so…

    Read More
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  122. @ANON
    You're right about Socrates. He was basically preaching revolution to his students. They of course were upper class who would be the next generation of rulers.

    He was similar to professors Marcuse, Apthoker, Lawrence Tribe, Igantious and the rest who preached hatred of America since the 1930's and "exterminate the White race" since the 1980s.

    Shakespeare wrote "first get the lawyers" I'd like to get rid of all the professors, administrators, counselors, advisors and rabble rousers on every campus in America.
    Judging by Socrates execution, I'd say the Athenian dullards were 1,000 percent smarter than American politicians.

    Shakespeare has his charcater (Dick the Butcher!) suggest killing all the lawyers as the means to facilitate violent revolution and the downfall of the existing order.

    Your citation of the work suggests you misunderstand it to imply the opposite. Do you in fact want bloody revolution and anarchy? Your endorsement of the execution of Socrates suggests not.

    I suppose I shall add being bothered by people who insist upon citing Henry VI without going to the trouble of first understanding it to my list of abandoned (because Sisyphean) tasks, along with trying to inculcate an understanding that mestizo and Hispanic are not synonyms.

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  123. @Santoculto
    Exactly.

    And the question on this post was very vague as usual... Cleverer about what??

    The avg Athenian was cleverer than avg American? Because seems difficult to compare achievements for example recent achievements in STEM if compared with that ancient time, because today science is more accumulative than in the Aristotle times. It's not all achievements that seems improbable to be fairly compared. For example, how socially harmonic ancient Greece was if compared with today? How superstitious or religious they were if compared with today?

    My opinion is that great civilizations undoubtedly require at least a brighter upper classes to work.

    Philosophy require a different type of intelligence-use than science so also compare philosophers with scientists will be always arbitrary. The problem of philosophy is that great part of itself is so obvious that appear to be less important. Also because indeed is easier than science it's appear to be less important. It's like compare intellectual gymnastics of all wrong ideologies and religions require with "look for the quasi-obvious truth". It's more difficult to deceive the truth than to look for her but it's not more important.

    And the question on this post was very vague as usual… Cleverer about what?

    I’ve noticed a trend in Steve’s writing. He no longer often writes as often to develop his own theses as he does to facilitate discussion amongst us in the peanut-gallery by providing us food for thought. (Not unlike a skilled practitioner of the Socratic method.) He has become (I suspect by design) more like the Marquise du Deffand or Ezra Pound than Voltaire or Ernest Hemingway. It’s perhaps less work for him and often facilitates future observations.

    I don’t think the change is necessarily a bad thing, by the way; it is quite clever and worthy.

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  124. @Santoculto
    Exactly.

    And the question on this post was very vague as usual... Cleverer about what??

    The avg Athenian was cleverer than avg American? Because seems difficult to compare achievements for example recent achievements in STEM if compared with that ancient time, because today science is more accumulative than in the Aristotle times. It's not all achievements that seems improbable to be fairly compared. For example, how socially harmonic ancient Greece was if compared with today? How superstitious or religious they were if compared with today?

    My opinion is that great civilizations undoubtedly require at least a brighter upper classes to work.

    Philosophy require a different type of intelligence-use than science so also compare philosophers with scientists will be always arbitrary. The problem of philosophy is that great part of itself is so obvious that appear to be less important. Also because indeed is easier than science it's appear to be less important. It's like compare intellectual gymnastics of all wrong ideologies and religions require with "look for the quasi-obvious truth". It's more difficult to deceive the truth than to look for her but it's not more important.

    If you think philosophy is easier than science you do not understand either.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    And you understand both?

    Just kidding; it depends, surely, on the scientist or philosopher involved. Academic philosophy and everyday science both require a fair degree of native intelligence, some facility for critical thinking, a modest work ethic, and some capacities of various kinds, depending on the discipline and the work.

    To excel in either science or philosophy, or mixed (as they often were) and related fields, requires both hard work and genius, the degree of each varying by the individual.
    , @Santoculto
    Good philosophy is easy and no more imprescindible than science. Difficulty value here seems excessively over scored. My main criticism here about this issue.


    What matter for philosophy is not be difficult, otherwise.
    , @TG
    Reply to Autochthon:

    But science IS philosophy! "Natural" philosophy. In other words, that aspect of philosophy that is grounded in predictive power, falsifiability, and clear logic. The 'other kind' of philosophy is indeed easier, because unlike natural philosophy, where the real universe brutally culls the valid from the invalid, in 'regular' philosophy, there is no clear wrong answer. And thus, no clear right answer. And how easy it is to pontificate, when nobody can prove that you are wrong...

    Vroomfondel and Magicthise, anyone?

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  125. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Autochthon
    If you think philosophy is easier than science you do not understand either.

    And you understand both?

    Just kidding; it depends, surely, on the scientist or philosopher involved. Academic philosophy and everyday science both require a fair degree of native intelligence, some facility for critical thinking, a modest work ethic, and some capacities of various kinds, depending on the discipline and the work.

    To excel in either science or philosophy, or mixed (as they often were) and related fields, requires both hard work and genius, the degree of each varying by the individual.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    To excel in either science or philosophy, or mixed (as they often were) and related fields, requires both hard work and genius, the degree of each varying by the individual.
     
    A fool is just a mokey for a real magus.

    Tell me what that means.
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  126. The authors point out that selection for intelligence increases when humans move from familiar to novel environments, in which new thinking is required.

    Increased population density is also a novel environment. In East Asia and Europe individuals now potentially have to deal with several orders of magnitude people than hunter gatherers and even those in sub-Saharan Africa have to deal with.

    There is a great deal of novelty that arises in those cases.

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  127. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    And you understand both?

    Just kidding; it depends, surely, on the scientist or philosopher involved. Academic philosophy and everyday science both require a fair degree of native intelligence, some facility for critical thinking, a modest work ethic, and some capacities of various kinds, depending on the discipline and the work.

    To excel in either science or philosophy, or mixed (as they often were) and related fields, requires both hard work and genius, the degree of each varying by the individual.

    To excel in either science or philosophy, or mixed (as they often were) and related fields, requires both hard work and genius, the degree of each varying by the individual.

    A fool is just a mokey for a real magus.

    Tell me what that means.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Are you Russian?
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  128. utu says:
    @MarkF
    A naive outlook is often attributed to everyone who lived in the past. There is no simpler way of exalting oneself, and it is all the easier and more tempting because it is founded on accurate though fragmentary assessments which can be made the most of, with the help of false generalizations and arbitrary interpretations, by being related to an assumed all-embracing evolutionary progress. But the word “naïve” can be understood in more than one way, and so can other words that can be used in a more or less comparable sense. It would be better if people who use such words would first agree on what they are talking about. If to be naive is to be direct and spontaneous, to know nothing of dissimulation and subterfuge and also no doubt nothing of certain experiences, then un­- modernized peoples certainly posses—or possessed—that kind of naïvety; but if it is merely to be without intelligence or critical sense and to be open to all kinds of deception, then there is certainly no reason to suppose that our contemporaries are any less naive than their forbears.

    However that may be, there are few things that the “in­sulated” being who calls himself “modem man” endures less readily than the risk of appearing naïve; everything else can go by the board so long as the feeling of not being duped by anything is safeguarded. In reality the acme of naïvety is to believe that man can escape from naïvety on every plane, and that it is possible for him to be integrally intelligent by his own efforts; he who seeks to gain all things by cleverness ends by losing all in blindness and ineffectuality. People who reproach our ancestors for having been stupidly credulous forget in the first place that one can also be stupidly incredulous, and in the second place that the self-styled destroyers of illusion live on illusions that exemplify a credulity second to none. A simple credulity can be replaced by a complicated one, adorned with the arabesques of a studied doubt that forms part of the style, but it is still credulity; complication does not make error less false, nor stupidity less stupid.

    One must get rid of the notion of hopelessly naive Middle Ages versus a breath-takingly intelligent twentieth century; against that view must be set the fact that history does not abolish simplicity of outlook, but merely displaces it, together with the fact that the most flagrant of naiveties is to fail to see naïvety where it exists. Moreover there is nothing more simplistic than a pretension to “start again from scratch” on every plane, nor than the systematic and unbelievably insolent self-uprooting characteristic of certain tendencies in the con­temporary world. It is fashionable to regard, not only the people of the Middle Ages, but even those of fairly recent generations, as having been duped in every possible way, so that to resemble them would be a matter for shame; in this respect the nineteenth century seems almost as remote as the Merovingian age. Opinions now current prove that people think themselves incomparably more “realistic” than anyone has ever been, even in the recent past; what we call “our own times” or “the twentieth century” or “the atomic age” seems to hover, like an uprooted island or a fabulously “clear­headed” monad, above millennia of childishness and feckless­ness. The contemporary world is like a man ashamed of hav­ing had parents and wanting to create himself, and to re-create space, time and all physical laws as well, and seeking to extract from nothingness a world objectively perfect and sub­jectively comfortable, and all this by means of a creative activity independent of God or opposed to God. The unfort­unate thing is that attempts to create a new order of Being can only end in self-destruction.
    ...
    There is clearly an important distinction between a naivety that is intrinsic and one that is extrinsic. The latter exists only accidentally and in relation to a world that is the product of certain experiences, but is also full of hypocrisy, of useless cleverness and of dissimulation. How could a man who is unaware of the existence of falsehood, or who knows it only as a deadly and exceptional sin, appear as otherwise than ingenuous to a mean-spirited and artful society? To a patho­logically crafty person every normal person seems “simple”; in the eyes of a sharper it is the honest fellows who are artless. Even where a certain critical sense exists, it is far from con­stituting a superiority in itself, and is only an excrescence pro­duced by an environment in which everything is falsified; it is an example of how nature produces self-defensive reflexes and adaptations that can only be explained in terms of the environment or of prevailing circumstances; there is no diffi­culty in admitting that the physical peculiarities of an Eskimo or a Bushman do not in themselves constitute a superiority. If the men of old sometimes appear ingenuous it is often because they are considered from the distorted point of view that is inseparable from a more or less generalized corruption; to accuse them of being childish amounts to applying a law to them retrospectively in the juridical sense. Similarly, an ancient writer may give an impression of simplicity of out­look, but if he does so, it is largely because he had not got to take account of a thousand errors still unknown nor of a thousand possibilities of misinterpretation, and also because there was no need for his dialectic to be like the Scottish dance in which the performer has to avoid breaking the eggs arranged to test his skill, seeing that the writer in question could in a large measure dispense with fine shades of mean­ing; words still possessed a freshness and a fulness, or a magic, which it is difficult for us to imagine, living as we do in a climate of verbal inflation.
    -----
    “In our day everyone wants to appear intelligent, one would prefer to be accused of crime than of naiveté if the accompanying risks could be avoided. But since intelligence cannot be drawn from the void, subterfuge are resorted to, one of the most prevalent being the mania for "demystification", which allows an air of intelligence to be conveyed at small cost, for all one need do is assert that the normal response to a particular phenomenon is "prejudiced" and that it is high time it was cleared of the "legends" surrounding it; if the ocean could be made out to be a pond or the Himalayas a hill, it would be done. Certain writers find it impossible to be content with taking note of the fact that a particular thing or person has a particular character or destiny, as everyone had done before them; they must always begin by remarking that "it has too often been said", and go on to declare that the reality is something quite different and has at last been discovered, and that up till now all the world has been "living a lie". This strategy is applied above all to things that are evident and universally known, it would doubtless be too naive to acknowledge in so many words that a lion is a carnivore and that he is not quite safe to meet.”
    -------

    “Tacitus laughed at the Germanic tribes who tried to stop a torrent with their shields, but it is no less naive to believe in planetary migration or to believe in the establishment by purely human means of a society fully satisfied and perfectly inoffensive and continuing to progress indefinitely. All this proves that man ,though he has inevitably become less naive in some things, has nonetheless learned nothing as far as essentials are concerned; the only thing that man is capable of when left to himself is to "commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways," as Shakespeare would say. And the world being what it is, one is doubtless not guilty of a truism in adding that it is better to go to Heaven naively than to go intelligently to hell.”

    ― Frithjof Schuon, Light on the Ancient Worlds

    Lack of mental cleverness does not exclude sharpness of understanding... experience proves only too cruelly that mental cleverness may not go hand in hand with intelligence, which amounts to saying that it has not in itself any relationship with true intellectuality.

    -- Frithjof Schuon, Stations of Wisdom

    Lack of mental cleverness does not exclude sharpness of understanding… experience proves only too cruelly that mental cleverness may not go hand in hand with intelligence, which amounts to saying that it has not in itself any relationship with true intellectuality.

    Thanks for citing Fritjof Schuon.

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  129. @Autochthon
    If you think philosophy is easier than science you do not understand either.

    Good philosophy is easy and no more imprescindible than science. Difficulty value here seems excessively over scored. My main criticism here about this issue.

    What matter for philosophy is not be difficult, otherwise.

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  130. MarkinLA says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

    So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    And the tools we have for discovery keep allowing us to see things the ancients never could have dreamed of. So are we just smarter or are we just dealing with the ability to see things for the first time in history?

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  131. Sophocles and Sappho are better, word for word, than Shakespeare except when he is at his best (well that is what I think with my years of reading Greek, at a rather humble level). Plato is the most interesting European prose writer between the beginning of time and Cervantes. But the Greeks in general? The ancients in general? They had every opportunity to do what even a rather drudge-like scientist like Linnaeus did, and not a single one of them did. Read a good dictionary of the classical languages and you will realize that not a single one of them is recorded as having bothered to clearly distinguish a swallowtail from an anglewing or a warbler from a catbird or even a gorilla from a monkey. That is fairly easy stuff – most people reading this website could do it. It is too much to expect of a Plato to write what he wrote and also to be an elite naturalist – but where were the other Greeks who had time to be elite naturalists? The question answers itself. So: while the Platos of that day would have no problem conversing with profit with the Godels and Machs and Einsteins of our day, there is an ascertainable limit to the number of recorded Plato-level talents in that ancient world. The ancients lived in a world where real estate was exponentially more available than it is today but they did not profit sufficiently from that marginal advantage to establish any level of recognizable overall intellectual superiority. So they were probably pretty much, overall, like us, whether we live in Milwaukee or West Virginia.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Read a good dictionary of the classical languages and you will realize that not a single one of them is recorded as having bothered to clearly distinguish a swallowtail from an anglewing or a warbler from a catbird or even a gorilla from a monkey. That is fairly easy stuff – most people reading this website could do it.

    Is there a reason to do this in the ancient world? What purpose would it serve? They did pretty well with architecture given the limitations of their materials. They did pretty well with mathematics given the limitations of their numbering systems.

    One of the problems was there was no intellectual property laws and advances tended to die along with the families that developed them. There was little in the way of carrying these advances forward.

    Archimedes was calculating areas with infinitesimals and may well have developed Calculus a full 2000 years before Newton and Leibniz if he hadn't been murdered by some stupid Roman? How big was that loss to the world?
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  132. TG says:

    Interesting as always. Some random thoughts.

    1. Even if our hardware (brains) are the same as 10,000 years ago, we have better ‘software.’ A simple example, the development of arabic numerals will give someone a significant advantage over a person of the same native intelligence using roman (or other ancient) numbering systems. I suspect that this sort of thing, though often subtle, may have a larger impact than popularly imagined: possibly embedded in our modern grammars and concepts.

    2. Natural selection is not dead. In India alone half a billion people are chronically malnourished, their fertility rate greatly restricted by lack of calories, while more prosperous – and, possibly, more intelligent – people can have more children. Witness the culling of populations in Syria, and Yemen, etc.etc., and yes Virginia, natural selection is still working. And as the flood of third world refugees into the West continues to accelerate, get ready for natural selection for the smartest and most ruthless to survive to come back with a vengeance. Coming soon to a country near you!

    3. We have more advantages and tools than the ancients had. But don’t forget that it was the ancients that developed these advantages and tools! Not us. We didn’t invent the wheel. Our ancestors that didn’t have any idea of what a wheel was, they INVENTED the wheel. So give credit where credit is due.

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  133. TG says:
    @Autochthon
    If you think philosophy is easier than science you do not understand either.

    Reply to Autochthon:

    But science IS philosophy! “Natural” philosophy. In other words, that aspect of philosophy that is grounded in predictive power, falsifiability, and clear logic. The ‘other kind’ of philosophy is indeed easier, because unlike natural philosophy, where the real universe brutally culls the valid from the invalid, in ‘regular’ philosophy, there is no clear wrong answer. And thus, no clear right answer. And how easy it is to pontificate, when nobody can prove that you are wrong…

    Vroomfondel and Magicthise, anyone?

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    • Replies: @Santoculto
    As I like to say. It's easier to learn human than other sciences. But it's very difficult to accept them namely ethical philosophy. Because people over-emphasize in wrong way the subjective value of human sciences (basically a instinctive self projection) to agree that human races exist OR "animal" rights matter is much more difficult in this aspect. It's easy accept non-ethical issues of natural sciences because it's not direct nor indirectly personal. I little care about a rock but no doubt I care about myself and in direct or indirect ways human sciences is fundamentally about us. Its intrinsic polemical nature make human sciences difficult to accept. But observing STEM-smarter types, many here in UNZ platform, it's easy to perceive they tend to despise completely this ethical/affective/moral side. Completely or at least in significant way. Many them don't understand this issues, why talk about racial differences in intelligence is intrinsically polemical. Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind. The empathetic mind associate people's expression and experiences and start to take it into account. A emotional/ typical empathetic mind interact with a black person who are very kind and sympathetic. So it start to think about this black person before to spread some informations that can hurt that person. I believe kind people tend to attract in higher proportion other kind people and namely from other groups. This reinforce "leftist" beliefs about supposedly congenital kindness of all humanity.
    , @annamaria
    "But science IS philosophy! “Natural” philosophy."
    Agree.
    A great scientist is always a great philosopher by definition, whereas those modern philosophers that are not trained in the fundamentals of science (whether physics or biology or cognitives sciences) are, as a rule, just vibrating devices producing the volumes of sophisticated words carrying a meager meaning (if any).
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  134. MarkinLA says:
    @middle aged vet . . .
    Sophocles and Sappho are better, word for word, than Shakespeare except when he is at his best (well that is what I think with my years of reading Greek, at a rather humble level). Plato is the most interesting European prose writer between the beginning of time and Cervantes. But the Greeks in general? The ancients in general? They had every opportunity to do what even a rather drudge-like scientist like Linnaeus did, and not a single one of them did. Read a good dictionary of the classical languages and you will realize that not a single one of them is recorded as having bothered to clearly distinguish a swallowtail from an anglewing or a warbler from a catbird or even a gorilla from a monkey. That is fairly easy stuff - most people reading this website could do it. It is too much to expect of a Plato to write what he wrote and also to be an elite naturalist - but where were the other Greeks who had time to be elite naturalists? The question answers itself. So: while the Platos of that day would have no problem conversing with profit with the Godels and Machs and Einsteins of our day, there is an ascertainable limit to the number of recorded Plato-level talents in that ancient world. The ancients lived in a world where real estate was exponentially more available than it is today but they did not profit sufficiently from that marginal advantage to establish any level of recognizable overall intellectual superiority. So they were probably pretty much, overall, like us, whether we live in Milwaukee or West Virginia.

    Read a good dictionary of the classical languages and you will realize that not a single one of them is recorded as having bothered to clearly distinguish a swallowtail from an anglewing or a warbler from a catbird or even a gorilla from a monkey. That is fairly easy stuff – most people reading this website could do it.

    Is there a reason to do this in the ancient world? What purpose would it serve? They did pretty well with architecture given the limitations of their materials. They did pretty well with mathematics given the limitations of their numbering systems.

    One of the problems was there was no intellectual property laws and advances tended to die along with the families that developed them. There was little in the way of carrying these advances forward.

    Archimedes was calculating areas with infinitesimals and may well have developed Calculus a full 2000 years before Newton and Leibniz if he hadn’t been murdered by some stupid Roman? How big was that loss to the world?

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    • Replies: @middle aged vet . . .
    Good points, particularly about all the disappeared knowledge that had been inherited in (local) families. I should also add that I did not mean to treat dictionaries of any ancient language as authoritative; even the dictionaries compiled by the best scholars are by necessity, due to the lack of source material, very imperfect. I think the entire surviving corpus of classical Greek and Latin, up to say the Hellenistic age, contains fewer words that ten or so long Victorian novels. There is no way of knowing for sure whether, using rare words, some ancient writer meant to say "the shed's fritillated woodwork" or the "anglewing on the shed's roof" - if the first is apparently corroborated by another text in its context, the second, though potentially correct, will not make it into the dictionary absent some other independent evidence. So we may have lost the names of more than a thousand insects and birds and animals that way, and maybe the ancients were much more interested in being disinterested naturalists than at first appears. Not to mention all those nymphs and minor gods and goddesses whose names could mean some very specific creature which we are unable to recapture.
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  135. Xerxes says:

    Had Mr Thompson taken off his Eurocentric blinkers he would have read the below and wept.

    https://www.unz.com/article/bestselling-revisionist-historian-germany-was-just-a-patsy/

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    • Replies: @Malcer
    Europe has been ahead of the rest the world since at least the Renaissance. Your pathetic Anti-Western revisionism (while speaking English and using European technology) doesn't change that. Neither does your delusions of grandeur where Russia and China (squalor filled with a far lower GDP per capita) defeat the foul West. It's even sillier that your linking an article by a Creationist who's an apologist for the Axis.

    By the way, all the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. As noted by one Richard Dawkins.
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  136. Malla says:
    @The Alarmist
    There is a lot of survivorship bias at play, not the least of which is the survival of the literature and art that evidences the ancient greats. If the Romans had extirpated Greece in the same way they had Carthage, there wouldn't have been anything worthy of either culture for the Arabs and Middle-Ages monks to bring forward to us. Where is all the evidence of Mayan or ancient Indian or even Khmer civilizational accomplishment? Some survives and is only being pieced together today, so it is a somewhat apples to oranges comparison to a relatively well stewarded Western civilization and culture.

    Are we regressing from the Victorians? Almost certainly! One of the prime reasons is the society-wide emphases on safety and safety equipment as well as advances in medical technology and understanding, which have prevented a lot of the natural selection that would otherwise have helped us to continue to progress. Not to mention the corruption of morals and the replacement of common sense with emotion. We are our the cause of our own downfall in so many ways.

    As far as the fall from the Victorian days, lets not forget dysgenics with smarter people having less children, death of large number of people in high IQ Europe and high IQ East Asia due to the World Wars/communist revolutions, empire building where the smartest and toughest die in foreign lands trying to civilize some native (which was only partially successful and thus a big waste of men and genes ) and of course dumbing down effects of cultural marxism via television, movies, media, fall in education standards etc…

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  137. @TG
    Reply to Autochthon:

    But science IS philosophy! "Natural" philosophy. In other words, that aspect of philosophy that is grounded in predictive power, falsifiability, and clear logic. The 'other kind' of philosophy is indeed easier, because unlike natural philosophy, where the real universe brutally culls the valid from the invalid, in 'regular' philosophy, there is no clear wrong answer. And thus, no clear right answer. And how easy it is to pontificate, when nobody can prove that you are wrong...

    Vroomfondel and Magicthise, anyone?

    As I like to say. It’s easier to learn human than other sciences. But it’s very difficult to accept them namely ethical philosophy. Because people over-emphasize in wrong way the subjective value of human sciences (basically a instinctive self projection) to agree that human races exist OR “animal” rights matter is much more difficult in this aspect. It’s easy accept non-ethical issues of natural sciences because it’s not direct nor indirectly personal. I little care about a rock but no doubt I care about myself and in direct or indirect ways human sciences is fundamentally about us. Its intrinsic polemical nature make human sciences difficult to accept. But observing STEM-smarter types, many here in UNZ platform, it’s easy to perceive they tend to despise completely this ethical/affective/moral side. Completely or at least in significant way. Many them don’t understand this issues, why talk about racial differences in intelligence is intrinsically polemical. Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind. The empathetic mind associate people’s expression and experiences and start to take it into account. A emotional/ typical empathetic mind interact with a black person who are very kind and sympathetic. So it start to think about this black person before to spread some informations that can hurt that person. I believe kind people tend to attract in higher proportion other kind people and namely from other groups. This reinforce “leftist” beliefs about supposedly congenital kindness of all humanity.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    "Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind."

    As a widow of academician Sakharov (a famous Russian dissident and prominent physicist) explained, "you make breakfast for your own children, not for the whole humanity."

    It is politically correct to be silent about sub-Saharan overpopulation and about the lack of discipline among black kids in the US inner city schools. Is it unethical to suggest some simple ideas like obligatory boot camps for unruly black teens and the enforced use of contraceptives in the famine-suffering African states (for example, food delivery is contingent on the use of contraceptives)?

    "The empathetic mind associate people’s expression and experiences and start to take it into account." -- Sure. This is what is taught to children by good, loving parents in the stable, hard working families.

    "It’s easy accept non-ethical issues of natural sciences because it’s not direct nor indirectly personal." - Because natural sciences are dealing with facts and these facts -- like the knowledge of human physiology by a surgeon or the knowledge of physics by a designer of a gear for construction workers -- are not personal. But they do serve mightily to the ethical issues of human society.

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  138. annamaria says:
    @TG
    Reply to Autochthon:

    But science IS philosophy! "Natural" philosophy. In other words, that aspect of philosophy that is grounded in predictive power, falsifiability, and clear logic. The 'other kind' of philosophy is indeed easier, because unlike natural philosophy, where the real universe brutally culls the valid from the invalid, in 'regular' philosophy, there is no clear wrong answer. And thus, no clear right answer. And how easy it is to pontificate, when nobody can prove that you are wrong...

    Vroomfondel and Magicthise, anyone?

    “But science IS philosophy! “Natural” philosophy.”
    Agree.
    A great scientist is always a great philosopher by definition, whereas those modern philosophers that are not trained in the fundamentals of science (whether physics or biology or cognitives sciences) are, as a rule, just vibrating devices producing the volumes of sophisticated words carrying a meager meaning (if any).

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  139. annamaria says:
    @Santoculto
    As I like to say. It's easier to learn human than other sciences. But it's very difficult to accept them namely ethical philosophy. Because people over-emphasize in wrong way the subjective value of human sciences (basically a instinctive self projection) to agree that human races exist OR "animal" rights matter is much more difficult in this aspect. It's easy accept non-ethical issues of natural sciences because it's not direct nor indirectly personal. I little care about a rock but no doubt I care about myself and in direct or indirect ways human sciences is fundamentally about us. Its intrinsic polemical nature make human sciences difficult to accept. But observing STEM-smarter types, many here in UNZ platform, it's easy to perceive they tend to despise completely this ethical/affective/moral side. Completely or at least in significant way. Many them don't understand this issues, why talk about racial differences in intelligence is intrinsically polemical. Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind. The empathetic mind associate people's expression and experiences and start to take it into account. A emotional/ typical empathetic mind interact with a black person who are very kind and sympathetic. So it start to think about this black person before to spread some informations that can hurt that person. I believe kind people tend to attract in higher proportion other kind people and namely from other groups. This reinforce "leftist" beliefs about supposedly congenital kindness of all humanity.

    “Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind.”

    As a widow of academician Sakharov (a famous Russian dissident and prominent physicist) explained, “you make breakfast for your own children, not for the whole humanity.”

    It is politically correct to be silent about sub-Saharan overpopulation and about the lack of discipline among black kids in the US inner city schools. Is it unethical to suggest some simple ideas like obligatory boot camps for unruly black teens and the enforced use of contraceptives in the famine-suffering African states (for example, food delivery is contingent on the use of contraceptives)?

    “The empathetic mind associate people’s expression and experiences and start to take it into account.” — Sure. This is what is taught to children by good, loving parents in the stable, hard working families.

    “It’s easy accept non-ethical issues of natural sciences because it’s not direct nor indirectly personal.” – Because natural sciences are dealing with facts and these facts — like the knowledge of human physiology by a surgeon or the knowledge of physics by a designer of a gear for construction workers — are not personal. But they do serve mightily to the ethical issues of human society.

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    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Facts are not impersonal. I'm a fact. My feelings are facts, autobiographical facts. Sorry, facts are not ONLY impersonal. The first and fundamental bias of mechanicist minds.

    Yes always have feedbacks between both styles and their respective products, to the good and to the bad.

    Empathetic people tend to approach in first person in their social interactions and have their autobiographical facts as primary reference. So the question is not just "the fact over populations in Africa is very bad because...Africans" but "what my black friends will think about myself if I say for them that Africans are on avg undesirable".

    , @Santoculto
    Rewinding...

    “Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind.”

    As a widow of academician Sakharov (a famous Russian dissident and prominent physicist) explained, “you make breakfast for your own children, not for the whole humanity.”


    Your answer here no make sense, to my quote, or you're was sarcastic and i don't understood your sarcasm, or you got the wrong quote.

    It is politically correct to be silent about sub-Saharan overpopulation and about the lack of discipline among black kids in the US inner city schools. Is it unethical to suggest some simple ideas like obligatory boot camps for unruly black teens and the enforced use of contraceptives in the famine-suffering African states (for example, food delivery is contingent on the use of contraceptives)?

    A question, evidently not, you're right here, but, you're thinking i'm a ''mentalistic/emotional person'' that in fact i tried to describe.

    Yes, your last sentence here i refuted and i hope you have understood.
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  140. @annamaria
    "Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind."

    As a widow of academician Sakharov (a famous Russian dissident and prominent physicist) explained, "you make breakfast for your own children, not for the whole humanity."

    It is politically correct to be silent about sub-Saharan overpopulation and about the lack of discipline among black kids in the US inner city schools. Is it unethical to suggest some simple ideas like obligatory boot camps for unruly black teens and the enforced use of contraceptives in the famine-suffering African states (for example, food delivery is contingent on the use of contraceptives)?

    "The empathetic mind associate people’s expression and experiences and start to take it into account." -- Sure. This is what is taught to children by good, loving parents in the stable, hard working families.

    "It’s easy accept non-ethical issues of natural sciences because it’s not direct nor indirectly personal." - Because natural sciences are dealing with facts and these facts -- like the knowledge of human physiology by a surgeon or the knowledge of physics by a designer of a gear for construction workers -- are not personal. But they do serve mightily to the ethical issues of human society.

    Facts are not impersonal. I’m a fact. My feelings are facts, autobiographical facts. Sorry, facts are not ONLY impersonal. The first and fundamental bias of mechanicist minds.

    Yes always have feedbacks between both styles and their respective products, to the good and to the bad.

    Empathetic people tend to approach in first person in their social interactions and have their autobiographical facts as primary reference. So the question is not just “the fact over populations in Africa is very bad because…Africans” but “what my black friends will think about myself if I say for them that Africans are on avg undesirable”.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    You have avoided the uncomfortable statements and instead focused on a beauty of your feelings.

    It was your statement that sciences are impersonal; I only added that the impersonal facts of sciences are able to produce certain highly personal/ethical results.

    Madame Bonner' words that "we make breakfast for our children, not for a whole world" are crystal-clear for all decent parents (however altruistic they are), but perhaps not for the theorizing philosophers in their personal ivory towers.
    We have the hierarchy of responsibilities.

    Nobody thinks that your cordial relationships with all black people are bad; but some sane people believe that the overpopulation of the badly underdeveloped sub-Saharan Africa - and the inevitable spilling of huge masses of uneducated and aggressive young black men to Europe - could be detrimental to the lives of local population accustomed to certain norms of behavior. The appearance of no-go zones in important European cities is not a good sign. Would you like to have your hypothetical family with young children to live in one of these zones? If not, are you going to be looked upon as, on average, unfriendly to the Africans living in the no-go zones?

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  141. @Anatoly Karlin
    I have long expected the ancients to have been duller than us.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways. So the threshold for discovery keeps going up and up, as does the threshold for understanding those discoveries.

    Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.

    Ergo for math, the sciences, and pretty much all other spheres of human accomplishment.

    “Any of the ancient Greek philosophers can be fully understood by a committed 110-115 IQ college student. I would not say the same of Heidegger or Wittgenstein.”

    Yeah, but Heidegger and Wittgenstein were Krauts (German, Austrian). When reading German Philosophers you come to the conclusion that they ranked each other by how much their books weighed. Talk about soporific! Just open any book by a “German” Philosopher. You will be sawing logs very shortly.

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  142. @MarkinLA
    Read a good dictionary of the classical languages and you will realize that not a single one of them is recorded as having bothered to clearly distinguish a swallowtail from an anglewing or a warbler from a catbird or even a gorilla from a monkey. That is fairly easy stuff – most people reading this website could do it.

    Is there a reason to do this in the ancient world? What purpose would it serve? They did pretty well with architecture given the limitations of their materials. They did pretty well with mathematics given the limitations of their numbering systems.

    One of the problems was there was no intellectual property laws and advances tended to die along with the families that developed them. There was little in the way of carrying these advances forward.

    Archimedes was calculating areas with infinitesimals and may well have developed Calculus a full 2000 years before Newton and Leibniz if he hadn't been murdered by some stupid Roman? How big was that loss to the world?

    Good points, particularly about all the disappeared knowledge that had been inherited in (local) families. I should also add that I did not mean to treat dictionaries of any ancient language as authoritative; even the dictionaries compiled by the best scholars are by necessity, due to the lack of source material, very imperfect. I think the entire surviving corpus of classical Greek and Latin, up to say the Hellenistic age, contains fewer words that ten or so long Victorian novels. There is no way of knowing for sure whether, using rare words, some ancient writer meant to say “the shed’s fritillated woodwork” or the “anglewing on the shed’s roof” – if the first is apparently corroborated by another text in its context, the second, though potentially correct, will not make it into the dictionary absent some other independent evidence. So we may have lost the names of more than a thousand insects and birds and animals that way, and maybe the ancients were much more interested in being disinterested naturalists than at first appears. Not to mention all those nymphs and minor gods and goddesses whose names could mean some very specific creature which we are unable to recapture.

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  143. annamaria says:
    @Santoculto
    Facts are not impersonal. I'm a fact. My feelings are facts, autobiographical facts. Sorry, facts are not ONLY impersonal. The first and fundamental bias of mechanicist minds.

    Yes always have feedbacks between both styles and their respective products, to the good and to the bad.

    Empathetic people tend to approach in first person in their social interactions and have their autobiographical facts as primary reference. So the question is not just "the fact over populations in Africa is very bad because...Africans" but "what my black friends will think about myself if I say for them that Africans are on avg undesirable".

    You have avoided the uncomfortable statements and instead focused on a beauty of your feelings.

    It was your statement that sciences are impersonal; I only added that the impersonal facts of sciences are able to produce certain highly personal/ethical results.

    Madame Bonner’ words that “we make breakfast for our children, not for a whole world” are crystal-clear for all decent parents (however altruistic they are), but perhaps not for the theorizing philosophers in their personal ivory towers.
    We have the hierarchy of responsibilities.

    Nobody thinks that your cordial relationships with all black people are bad; but some sane people believe that the overpopulation of the badly underdeveloped sub-Saharan Africa – and the inevitable spilling of huge masses of uneducated and aggressive young black men to Europe – could be detrimental to the lives of local population accustomed to certain norms of behavior. The appearance of no-go zones in important European cities is not a good sign. Would you like to have your hypothetical family with young children to live in one of these zones? If not, are you going to be looked upon as, on average, unfriendly to the Africans living in the no-go zones?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Wait
    I don't understand your replies. Maybe you are not understand me.

    First sentence. Where you saw I wrote this?

    Science is predominantly impersonal, where is wrong? Yes and I agreed with you. Feedbacks between mechanicist and mentalist modes. (second sentence)

    Third sentence: Please next time quote my "statements" to know from where you are replying or refuting.

    Fourth sentence: ALL black people??

    Look I'm trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works. I don't think exactly like that. One of my sentences was bad-constructed.

    "I believe I'm good to understand a mentalist people than a mechanicist mind-people because I'm in the 'half-path'... I can translate one each other or believe I can".

    They are not TOTALLY wrong as you are thinking and indeed, in some aspects they are DEADLY right. You are talking about uncomfortable statements... Well.... White guilt is a example of many of this uncomfortable statements you dislike to hear.

    , @Anonymous

    the inevitable spilling of huge masses of uneducated and aggressive young black men to Europe
     
    That's not inevitable - at all. Borders still exist and Japan, for instance, couldn't care less about the number of African dreamers. European traitors are pretending that this kind of national/racial suicide is normal despite the fact that it's completely unprecedented historically and still ignored by 90% of the World. People are not buying it anymore. The pendulum is swinging now and when the dust settles they'll be either dead or imprisoned. Jews in particular will be in trouble when this project fails.
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  144. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max
    I believe we are on average more intelligent than the ancients and even the Victorians, but we are likely also more neurotic, narcissistic and less rational/realistic on average than they were. Very interesting lecture by Mr. Woodley:

    How Clever-sillies Might Thwart the Singularity - Michael Woodley [UKH+] (1/2)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQboYg1B2jI

    How Clever-sillies Might Thwart the Singularity - Michael Woodley [UKH+] (2/2)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uxMeaREGNQ&spfreload=10

    Published on Feb 2, 2011

    Michael A. Woodley holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Columbia University and is currently finishing a PhD in ecology at Royal Holloway, University of London. His interests include evolutionary psychology, personality and individual differences, and behavioral ecology.

    This talk will address the issue of human rationality: do we have enough of it to make the singularity happen?

    The environments in which modern humans exist are highly evolutionarily novel, in that they contain features to which our minds are not adapted. In this talk a new class of existential risk from evolutionary novelty shall be described. This existential risk stems from the ability for evolutionarily novel circumstances to affect human behavior in such a way that has the potential to mitigate technological progress and even compromise humanities long term prospects for survival.

    Modernity will be examined as a potential source of evolutionarily novel risk. It will be argued that as Western societies have become wealthier, the focus on material concerns (e.g. wealth, security) has given way to a fundamentally different post-materialist value set characterized by self-expression, autonomy and equality. Values emphasizing equality are evolutionarily ancient and have their origins in our shared hunter gatherer past, where equality translated into inclusive fitness gains for closely related individuals, so was desirable. The expression of these values in the context of modernity is 'reactive' in that communications networks and the media have made inequalities exponentially more conspicuous, thus potentiating the demand for a return to more evolutionarily familiar levels of equality. This is an example of evolutionary 'dysphoria' -- unhappiness stemming human nature being mismatched to a set of cultural conditions.

    This evolutionarily novel state of affairs has affected the way in which people go about competing over social status; for example to gain status in modern Western societies it is necessary to espouse post-materialist values. As the human brain has evolved to favor perceptions of kindness over raw manifestations of intelligence. This has meant that there is a tendency for individuals to be dishonest when it comes to dealing with things like the human sciences, where objective inquiry into subjects such as evolutionary and individual differences psychology is often attacked on the basis that the findings of these fields do not accord with post-materialist preconceptions concerning human nature.

    The existential risk from evolutionary novelty comes from the potential for these reactive values systems to compromise human rationality in such a way that leads to the enactment of policies aimed at mitigating dysphoria, but which ultimately go too strongly against the grain of human nature in such a way that massively potentiates the dysphoria -- which happened in the case of Communism. It will be argued that 'dysrationalia' (an incapacity for rational thought despite having the necessary intelligence) is currently widespread amongst Western nations in particular and may pose a serious risk to the singularity in as much as its early stages are likely to be characterized by massive inequality between those who will be able to afford 'upgrades' (cognitive boosts, mind-brain interface, immortality etc) and those who cannot. The resulting dysphoria in turn is likely to invite populist legal suppression of these technologies. In the concluding part of this talk, strategies for mitigating the risk from evolutionary novelty will be discussed.

    This lecture was recorded on 29th January 2011 at the UKH+ meeting.
     

    In another recent Unz Review article/comment thread a prime example of a “clever silly” came up:

    Wow, that Dylan Matthews guy is definitely a “Clever Silly”

    https://www.unz.com/article/trump-turns-the-corner-and-goes-on-the-attack-will-he-make-the-gop-follow/#comment-1925922

    What I like about Mr. Woodley’s talk, is that he points out that “clever sillies” can be found on the left side of the political spectrum, as well as on the right side of the political spectrum. He points specifically to certain libertarians displaying high levels of “clever silliness.”

    I always felt this way about the infamous, multi-billionaire, libertarian Koch Brothers, for example, who I think are highly intelligent, but whom I consider to be a menace to society (see video titled “Bernie Sanders: “Open borders? That’s a Koch brothers proposal” ” in the comment about Dylan Matthews, I linked to above).

    This is the other comment I left in that comment thread on the probable/possible genetic origin of “clever silliness.”

    This is some additional interesting research:

    Another, surprising, trend in the data may also warrant further investigation. While the trend seen in the atheist/agnostic/no reli- gion groups not only offers tangential support to the primary hypothesis (i.e., GFP differences are not simply an artifact of differ- ences in intelligence), it is also interesting in and of itself. The athe- ist/agnostic/no religion groups exhibited high levels of intelligence, but low GFP scores. Thus, it appears that while atheists and agnos- tics are intelligent, they are less socially effective. Is this social inef- fectiveness born out of being intellectually incongruent with others? What form does the social ineffectiveness take; abrasive- ness, passivity? The GFP and GFP-intelligence relationship in athe- ists and agnostics could be a fruitful topic for future research.

    – A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations Dunkel et al. (2015) http://midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

    This topic of racial differences in inherited personality traits is gonna be the next big frontier in LoveFacts, and it will cause even more hysteria from the equalist crowd than does the topic of IQ when it becomes common knowledge that characteristics like propensity to violence, sociopathy, conscientiousness, trustworthiness, and kindness are NOT equally and randomly distributed among the world’s races of people. [...] This gene combination appears to be stunningly effective at boosting IQ test scores and presumably the material success (and possibly sexual success, at least for the males — any reader have a study I could cite here?) of the people possessing it, but it comes at a great cost to the society in which this kind of person is numerically and socially significant.

    The personality trait combination of high anxiety with high aggression/psychopathy is rare among human groups, and really deserves its own categorization

    https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/ashkepathy/

    https://www.unz.com/article/trump-turns-the-corner-and-goes-on-the-attack-will-he-make-the-gop-follow/#comment-1927849

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Do you believe you are a clever silly at least in some things??

    Remember: eat fish increase IQ.

    Everyone is more or less

    Clever silly

    Useful idiot

    Conscious or not, intentionally or not, voluntarily or not.

    Bruce Charlton is one of those who coined this term...but he's a fanatical religious...maybe he's like silly too isn't?

    Charlton believe religion and ideology or tradition or culture are completely different things. Little silly to believe or to think like that isn't? ;)

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  145. @annamaria
    You have avoided the uncomfortable statements and instead focused on a beauty of your feelings.

    It was your statement that sciences are impersonal; I only added that the impersonal facts of sciences are able to produce certain highly personal/ethical results.

    Madame Bonner' words that "we make breakfast for our children, not for a whole world" are crystal-clear for all decent parents (however altruistic they are), but perhaps not for the theorizing philosophers in their personal ivory towers.
    We have the hierarchy of responsibilities.

    Nobody thinks that your cordial relationships with all black people are bad; but some sane people believe that the overpopulation of the badly underdeveloped sub-Saharan Africa - and the inevitable spilling of huge masses of uneducated and aggressive young black men to Europe - could be detrimental to the lives of local population accustomed to certain norms of behavior. The appearance of no-go zones in important European cities is not a good sign. Would you like to have your hypothetical family with young children to live in one of these zones? If not, are you going to be looked upon as, on average, unfriendly to the Africans living in the no-go zones?

    Wait
    I don’t understand your replies. Maybe you are not understand me.

    First sentence. Where you saw I wrote this?

    Science is predominantly impersonal, where is wrong? Yes and I agreed with you. Feedbacks between mechanicist and mentalist modes. (second sentence)

    Third sentence: Please next time quote my “statements” to know from where you are replying or refuting.

    Fourth sentence: ALL black people??

    Look I’m trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works. I don’t think exactly like that. One of my sentences was bad-constructed.

    “I believe I’m good to understand a mentalist people than a mechanicist mind-people because I’m in the ‘half-path’… I can translate one each other or believe I can”.

    They are not TOTALLY wrong as you are thinking and indeed, in some aspects they are DEADLY right. You are talking about uncomfortable statements… Well…. White guilt is a example of many of this uncomfortable statements you dislike to hear.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    "White guilt is a example of many of this uncomfortable statements you dislike to hear."

    Finally we came down to your main point. And why should I feel "white guilt?" Does this "white quilt extend" to Condi Rice, for example?
    How about the hierarchy of responsibilities? And the no-go zones? And the sub-Saharan overpopulation?
    Here is a difference: I am giving you concrete examples and you prefer to shield yourself with generalities like "I’m trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works."
    By the way, do you really believe in non-instinctive brains? (when neurologically intact brains). And how do you square predominant mentalism with predominant instinctive behavior? - see your above statement that equates them.
    1. "In psychology, mentalism is an umbrella term that refers to those branches of study that concentrate on perception and thought processes"
    2. "Instinctive: relating to or prompted by instinct; apparently unconscious or automatic"

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  146. @FKA Max
    In another recent Unz Review article/comment thread a prime example of a ``clever silly'' came up:

    Wow, that Dylan Matthews guy is definitely a “Clever Silly”
     
    - https://www.unz.com/article/trump-turns-the-corner-and-goes-on-the-attack-will-he-make-the-gop-follow/#comment-1925922

    What I like about Mr. Woodley's talk, is that he points out that ``clever sillies'' can be found on the left side of the political spectrum, as well as on the right side of the political spectrum. He points specifically to certain libertarians displaying high levels of ``clever silliness.''

    I always felt this way about the infamous, multi-billionaire, libertarian Koch Brothers, for example, who I think are highly intelligent, but whom I consider to be a menace to society (see video titled ``Bernie Sanders: “Open borders? That’s a Koch brothers proposal” '' in the comment about Dylan Matthews, I linked to above).

    This is the other comment I left in that comment thread on the probable/possible genetic origin of ``clever silliness.''

    This is some additional interesting research:

    Another, surprising, trend in the data may also warrant further investigation. While the trend seen in the atheist/agnostic/no reli- gion groups not only offers tangential support to the primary hypothesis (i.e., GFP differences are not simply an artifact of differ- ences in intelligence), it is also interesting in and of itself. The athe- ist/agnostic/no religion groups exhibited high levels of intelligence, but low GFP scores. Thus, it appears that while atheists and agnos- tics are intelligent, they are less socially effective. Is this social inef- fectiveness born out of being intellectually incongruent with others? What form does the social ineffectiveness take; abrasive- ness, passivity? The GFP and GFP-intelligence relationship in athe- ists and agnostics could be a fruitful topic for future research.

    – A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations Dunkel et al. (2015) http://midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

    This topic of racial differences in inherited personality traits is gonna be the next big frontier in LoveFacts, and it will cause even more hysteria from the equalist crowd than does the topic of IQ when it becomes common knowledge that characteristics like propensity to violence, sociopathy, conscientiousness, trustworthiness, and kindness are NOT equally and randomly distributed among the world’s races of people. [...] This gene combination appears to be stunningly effective at boosting IQ test scores and presumably the material success (and possibly sexual success, at least for the males — any reader have a study I could cite here?) of the people possessing it, but it comes at a great cost to the society in which this kind of person is numerically and socially significant.

    The personality trait combination of high anxiety with high aggression/psychopathy is rare among human groups, and really deserves its own categorization

    – https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/ashkepathy/
     
    - https://www.unz.com/article/trump-turns-the-corner-and-goes-on-the-attack-will-he-make-the-gop-follow/#comment-1927849

    Do you believe you are a clever silly at least in some things??

    Remember: eat fish increase IQ.

    Everyone is more or less

    Clever silly

    Useful idiot

    Conscious or not, intentionally or not, voluntarily or not.

    Bruce Charlton is one of those who coined this term…but he’s a fanatical religious…maybe he’s like silly too isn’t?

    Charlton believe religion and ideology or tradition or culture are completely different things. Little silly to believe or to think like that isn’t? ;)

    Read More
    • Replies: @FKA Max
    This paper by Dutton and van der Linden (2014) might be interesting to you:

    Who are the “Clever Sillies”? The intelligence, personality, and motives of clever silly originators and those who follow them https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Edward_Dutton/publication/263968814_Solving_the_puzzle_of_why_Finns_have_the_highest_IQ_but_one_of_the_lowest_number_of_Nobel_prizes_in_Europe/links/55f7149908aeba1d9ef0449a/Solving-the-puzzle-of-why-Finns-have-the-highest-IQ-but-one-of-the-lowest-number-of-Nobel-prizes-in-Europe.pdf

    Charlton's (2009) Clever Sillies model argues that high IQ people lack common sense and advocate foolish ideas due to the personality disposition that is associated with high IQ. We argue that the “Clever Silly”model proposed by Charlton has several shortcomings and needs to be nuanced. We suggest that it is useful to distinguish between scholars who advocate clever silly ideas in a context in which they are popular (followers) and those who originate them. The originators are close to the artistic genius type while the followers are the more average academics, especially in non-science subjects. The former has highly original and controversial ideas and take considerable risk for the potential high socioeconomic status pay off involved. The latter is less inclined to take risks and thus strikes the optimum balance, in terms of conformity and non-conformity, in order to showcase their intelligence but gain the benefits of conforming.
     

    Moreover, it may be argued that, even if the clever silly originators do not directly gain material wealth or children, in some cases, they may be acting at the level of evolutionary group selection, something congruous with evidence that true geniuses often do not breed (Simonton, 1988). Boas may be a possible illustration of this. Some scholars (e.g.
    MacDonald, 1998 ) have argued that in his case, his non-conformism could be understood least controversially in terms of group selection. The effect of cultural relativism in anthropology was the marginalizing of scientific racism and thus an improvement in the status of ethnic minorities, including Jews, in the USA. Boas was a Jew in the USA and, as such, his ideology makes sense at the level of group selection. Marx was ethnically Jewish (though his family were Lutheran) and his philosophy, which was anti-nationalistic, would also have made sense in terms of Jewish group selection as European Romantic nationalism could be seen as problematic from a Jewish perspective. Both thinkers may have been motivated by the good of their group.
     
    You might remember this excerpt from a reply of mine to a comment by you, from a while back. I think the same motivation applies to these two following thinkers:

    One of the most destructive Jewish manipulations/seductions of the last century for Western civilization, in my opinion, was probably the promotion of neo-liberal “Chicago School”-style economics, also known as “Freshwater” economics, promoted by Milton Friedman (5 feet short; his fellow Eastern Ashkenazi Jewish Western mind seducer and manipulator, “Objectivist” Ayn Rand, was actually taller than him at 5 feet and 2 inches), which attacked and to a large degree replaced Keynesian economics aka “Saltwater” economics, promoted/founded by John Maynard Keynes (6 feet 6 inches tall)
     
    - https://www.unz.com/jthompson/womens-brains/#comment-1852886


    The Refutation of Libertarianism
    [...]
    But the competition for global domination is rarely honest. Thus when Western individualist societies conquered and absorbed collectivist ones, it was only a matter of time before the more intelligent tribes learned how to cheat.
    [...]
    – http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/10/the-refutation-of-libertarianism/
     
    - https://www.unz.com/isteve/reforming-stuyvesant-hs-admissions-should-blacks-whites-team-up-against-asian-grinds/#comment-1812643

    Capitalism, Socialism, and the Jews
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulqBb4JePuQ
    Why have the Jewish people, who seem to have benefited greatly from capitalism, contributed disproportionately to socialist literature? Although the question remains unanswered, Dr. Milton Friedman, a secular Jew himself, offers some fascinating observations.
     
    - http://www.unz.com/mhudson/bloombergs-hit-job-on-venezuela-and-me/#comment-1824152
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  147. annamaria says:
    @Santoculto
    Wait
    I don't understand your replies. Maybe you are not understand me.

    First sentence. Where you saw I wrote this?

    Science is predominantly impersonal, where is wrong? Yes and I agreed with you. Feedbacks between mechanicist and mentalist modes. (second sentence)

    Third sentence: Please next time quote my "statements" to know from where you are replying or refuting.

    Fourth sentence: ALL black people??

    Look I'm trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works. I don't think exactly like that. One of my sentences was bad-constructed.

    "I believe I'm good to understand a mentalist people than a mechanicist mind-people because I'm in the 'half-path'... I can translate one each other or believe I can".

    They are not TOTALLY wrong as you are thinking and indeed, in some aspects they are DEADLY right. You are talking about uncomfortable statements... Well.... White guilt is a example of many of this uncomfortable statements you dislike to hear.

    “White guilt is a example of many of this uncomfortable statements you dislike to hear.”

    Finally we came down to your main point. And why should I feel “white guilt?” Does this “white quilt extend” to Condi Rice, for example?
    How about the hierarchy of responsibilities? And the no-go zones? And the sub-Saharan overpopulation?
    Here is a difference: I am giving you concrete examples and you prefer to shield yourself with generalities like “I’m trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works.”
    By the way, do you really believe in non-instinctive brains? (when neurologically intact brains). And how do you square predominant mentalism with predominant instinctive behavior? – see your above statement that equates them.
    1. “In psychology, mentalism is an umbrella term that refers to those branches of study that concentrate on perception and thought processes
    2. “Instinctive: relating to or prompted by instinct; apparently unconscious or automatic

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto

    Finally we came down to your main point. And why should I feel “white guilt?” Does this “white quilt extend” to Condi Rice, for example?
     
    aaan, no*

    You're a individual who is not directly nor indirectly responsible for, for example, black slave trade. But the group and civilization you're belonging, collectively speaking, were responsible for that, NAMELY your historical ELITES.

    How about the hierarchy of responsibilities? And the no-go zones? And the sub-Saharan overpopulation?
     
    I'm not understanding your points probably because you don't understood my own, firstly.

    This micro-debate is not make sense at least to me.

    Here is a difference: I am giving you concrete examples and you prefer to shield yourself with generalities like “I’m trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works.”
     
    Do you REALLY understood my argumentative intentionalities* I thought you don't understood.

    By the way, do you really believe in non-instinctive brains? (when neurologically intact brains). And how do you square predominant mentalism with predominant instinctive behavior? – see your above statement that equates them.
     
    Absolutely not, because everything that IS behavior have its origin on instinct, when it's not instinct itself expressing.

    How relevant or pertinent your question is to explain or whatever this subject*

    If you also don't believe in ''non-instinctive brains'' why you are saying ''predominant mentalism'' versus ''predominant INSTINCTIVE behavior'', if empathy is also instinctive or instinct-derived*

    1. “In psychology, mentalism is an umbrella term that refers to those branches of study that concentrate on perception and thought processes”
    2. “Instinctive: relating to or prompted by instinct; apparently unconscious or automatic“
     
    aarr, yes, i know what mentalism and instinct are.

    Mentalism, at least based on this dichotomous perspective, mean basically ''intrapersonal and interpersonal thought processes'' while mechanicism mean ''impersonal thought processes''.
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  148. @annamaria
    "White guilt is a example of many of this uncomfortable statements you dislike to hear."

    Finally we came down to your main point. And why should I feel "white guilt?" Does this "white quilt extend" to Condi Rice, for example?
    How about the hierarchy of responsibilities? And the no-go zones? And the sub-Saharan overpopulation?
    Here is a difference: I am giving you concrete examples and you prefer to shield yourself with generalities like "I’m trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works."
    By the way, do you really believe in non-instinctive brains? (when neurologically intact brains). And how do you square predominant mentalism with predominant instinctive behavior? - see your above statement that equates them.
    1. "In psychology, mentalism is an umbrella term that refers to those branches of study that concentrate on perception and thought processes"
    2. "Instinctive: relating to or prompted by instinct; apparently unconscious or automatic"

    Finally we came down to your main point. And why should I feel “white guilt?” Does this “white quilt extend” to Condi Rice, for example?

    aaan, no*

    You’re a individual who is not directly nor indirectly responsible for, for example, black slave trade. But the group and civilization you’re belonging, collectively speaking, were responsible for that, NAMELY your historical ELITES.

    How about the hierarchy of responsibilities? And the no-go zones? And the sub-Saharan overpopulation?

    I’m not understanding your points probably because you don’t understood my own, firstly.

    This micro-debate is not make sense at least to me.

    Here is a difference: I am giving you concrete examples and you prefer to shield yourself with generalities like “I’m trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works.”

    Do you REALLY understood my argumentative intentionalities* I thought you don’t understood.

    By the way, do you really believe in non-instinctive brains? (when neurologically intact brains). And how do you square predominant mentalism with predominant instinctive behavior? – see your above statement that equates them.

    Absolutely not, because everything that IS behavior have its origin on instinct, when it’s not instinct itself expressing.

    How relevant or pertinent your question is to explain or whatever this subject*

    If you also don’t believe in ”non-instinctive brains” why you are saying ”predominant mentalism” versus ”predominant INSTINCTIVE behavior”, if empathy is also instinctive or instinct-derived*

    1. “In psychology, mentalism is an umbrella term that refers to those branches of study that concentrate on perception and thought processes”
    2. “Instinctive: relating to or prompted by instinct; apparently unconscious or automatic“

    aarr, yes, i know what mentalism and instinct are.

    Mentalism, at least based on this dichotomous perspective, mean basically ”intrapersonal and interpersonal thought processes” while mechanicism mean ”impersonal thought processes”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    "But the group and civilization you’re belonging, collectively speaking, were responsible for that, NAMELY your historical ELITES."

    Does it bother you that you use the language of the "civilization of historical ELITES" and the technology of the "civilization of historical ELITES" (right now) and even attempt to exhibit (not quite successfully) the knowledge accumulated by the "civilization of historical ELITES?"
    Would not it be honest of you to join your brothers & sisters who are not spoiled by the "civilization of historical ELITES" and create your own spotless civilization of historical non-ELITES. Look, there are millions sub-Saharan natives who want to join the civilization of the white people. Why don't the sub-Saharans develop their own shiny civilization that would be an envy of the whole world? China, Iran, Greece each created a great civilization, and some of their achievements have become the foundation for our western civilization. Where have you been?

    By the way, this limp sophistry does not strike as particularly intelligent: "Mentalism, at least based on this dichotomous perspective, mean basically ”intrapersonal and interpersonal thought processes” while mechanicism mean ”impersonal thought processes.”

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  149. @annamaria
    "Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind."

    As a widow of academician Sakharov (a famous Russian dissident and prominent physicist) explained, "you make breakfast for your own children, not for the whole humanity."

    It is politically correct to be silent about sub-Saharan overpopulation and about the lack of discipline among black kids in the US inner city schools. Is it unethical to suggest some simple ideas like obligatory boot camps for unruly black teens and the enforced use of contraceptives in the famine-suffering African states (for example, food delivery is contingent on the use of contraceptives)?

    "The empathetic mind associate people’s expression and experiences and start to take it into account." -- Sure. This is what is taught to children by good, loving parents in the stable, hard working families.

    "It’s easy accept non-ethical issues of natural sciences because it’s not direct nor indirectly personal." - Because natural sciences are dealing with facts and these facts -- like the knowledge of human physiology by a surgeon or the knowledge of physics by a designer of a gear for construction workers -- are not personal. But they do serve mightily to the ethical issues of human society.

    Rewinding…

    “Because I believe I have both styles more developed/and more challenged for me, so seems I can understand better a empathetic/emotional mind than a mechanicistic mind.”

    As a widow of academician Sakharov (a famous Russian dissident and prominent physicist) explained, “you make breakfast for your own children, not for the whole humanity.”

    Your answer here no make sense, to my quote, or you’re was sarcastic and i don’t understood your sarcasm, or you got the wrong quote.

    It is politically correct to be silent about sub-Saharan overpopulation and about the lack of discipline among black kids in the US inner city schools. Is it unethical to suggest some simple ideas like obligatory boot camps for unruly black teens and the enforced use of contraceptives in the famine-suffering African states (for example, food delivery is contingent on the use of contraceptives)?

    A question, evidently not, you’re right here, but, you’re thinking i’m a ”mentalistic/emotional person” that in fact i tried to describe.

    Yes, your last sentence here i refuted and i hope you have understood.

    Read More
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  150. FKA Max says:
    @Santoculto
    Do you believe you are a clever silly at least in some things??

    Remember: eat fish increase IQ.

    Everyone is more or less

    Clever silly

    Useful idiot

    Conscious or not, intentionally or not, voluntarily or not.

    Bruce Charlton is one of those who coined this term...but he's a fanatical religious...maybe he's like silly too isn't?

    Charlton believe religion and ideology or tradition or culture are completely different things. Little silly to believe or to think like that isn't? ;)

    This paper by Dutton and van der Linden (2014) might be interesting to you:

    Who are the “Clever Sillies”? The intelligence, personality, and motives of clever silly originators and those who follow them https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Edward_Dutton/publication/263968814_Solving_the_puzzle_of_why_Finns_have_the_highest_IQ_but_one_of_the_lowest_number_of_Nobel_prizes_in_Europe/links/55f7149908aeba1d9ef0449a/Solving-the-puzzle-of-why-Finns-have-the-highest-IQ-but-one-of-the-lowest-number-of-Nobel-prizes-in-Europe.pdf

    Charlton’s (2009) Clever Sillies model argues that high IQ people lack common sense and advocate foolish ideas due to the personality disposition that is associated with high IQ. We argue that the “Clever Silly”model proposed by Charlton has several shortcomings and needs to be nuanced. We suggest that it is useful to distinguish between scholars who advocate clever silly ideas in a context in which they are popular (followers) and those who originate them. The originators are close to the artistic genius type while the followers are the more average academics, especially in non-science subjects. The former has highly original and controversial ideas and take considerable risk for the potential high socioeconomic status pay off involved. The latter is less inclined to take risks and thus strikes the optimum balance, in terms of conformity and non-conformity, in order to showcase their intelligence but gain the benefits of conforming.

    Moreover, it may be argued that, even if the clever silly originators do not directly gain material wealth or children, in some cases, they may be acting at the level of evolutionary group selection, something congruous with evidence that true geniuses often do not breed (Simonton, 1988). Boas may be a possible illustration of this. Some scholars (e.g.
    MacDonald, 1998 ) have argued that in his case, his non-conformism could be understood least controversially in terms of group selection. The effect of cultural relativism in anthropology was the marginalizing of scientific racism and thus an improvement in the status of ethnic minorities, including Jews, in the USA. Boas was a Jew in the USA and, as such, his ideology makes sense at the level of group selection. Marx was ethnically Jewish (though his family were Lutheran) and his philosophy, which was anti-nationalistic, would also have made sense in terms of Jewish group selection as European Romantic nationalism could be seen as problematic from a Jewish perspective. Both thinkers may have been motivated by the good of their group.

    You might remember this excerpt from a reply of mine to a comment by you, from a while back. I think the same motivation applies to these two following thinkers:

    One of the most destructive Jewish manipulations/seductions of the last century for Western civilization, in my opinion, was probably the promotion of neo-liberal “Chicago School”-style economics, also known as “Freshwater” economics, promoted by Milton Friedman (5 feet short; his fellow Eastern Ashkenazi Jewish Western mind seducer and manipulator, “Objectivist” Ayn Rand, was actually taller than him at 5 feet and 2 inches), which attacked and to a large degree replaced Keynesian economics aka “Saltwater” economics, promoted/founded by John Maynard Keynes (6 feet 6 inches tall)

    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/womens-brains/#comment-1852886

    The Refutation of Libertarianism
    [...]
    But the competition for global domination is rarely honest. Thus when Western individualist societies conquered and absorbed collectivist ones, it was only a matter of time before the more intelligent tribes learned how to cheat.
    [...]
    http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/10/the-refutation-of-libertarianism/

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/reforming-stuyvesant-hs-admissions-should-blacks-whites-team-up-against-asian-grinds/#comment-1812643

    Capitalism, Socialism, and the Jews

    Why have the Jewish people, who seem to have benefited greatly from capitalism, contributed disproportionately to socialist literature? Although the question remains unanswered, Dr. Milton Friedman, a secular Jew himself, offers some fascinating observations.

    http://www.unz.com/mhudson/bloombergs-hit-job-on-venezuela-and-me/#comment-1824152

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Thank you, I already read this paper. I think when someone create a category it must need self-analyze to see if it can be classified in that way. When someone talk about rationality for example it must self-analyze to see if it know how to apply rational approach and even if it is or really try to be what it is describing or analyzing.

    This intrapersonal analysis seems rare among scientists AND philosophers.
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  151. annamaria says:
    @Santoculto

    Finally we came down to your main point. And why should I feel “white guilt?” Does this “white quilt extend” to Condi Rice, for example?
     
    aaan, no*

    You're a individual who is not directly nor indirectly responsible for, for example, black slave trade. But the group and civilization you're belonging, collectively speaking, were responsible for that, NAMELY your historical ELITES.

    How about the hierarchy of responsibilities? And the no-go zones? And the sub-Saharan overpopulation?
     
    I'm not understanding your points probably because you don't understood my own, firstly.

    This micro-debate is not make sense at least to me.

    Here is a difference: I am giving you concrete examples and you prefer to shield yourself with generalities like “I’m trying to describe how a predominantly mentalist (and instinctive) mind works.”
     
    Do you REALLY understood my argumentative intentionalities* I thought you don't understood.

    By the way, do you really believe in non-instinctive brains? (when neurologically intact brains). And how do you square predominant mentalism with predominant instinctive behavior? – see your above statement that equates them.
     
    Absolutely not, because everything that IS behavior have its origin on instinct, when it's not instinct itself expressing.

    How relevant or pertinent your question is to explain or whatever this subject*

    If you also don't believe in ''non-instinctive brains'' why you are saying ''predominant mentalism'' versus ''predominant INSTINCTIVE behavior'', if empathy is also instinctive or instinct-derived*

    1. “In psychology, mentalism is an umbrella term that refers to those branches of study that concentrate on perception and thought processes”
    2. “Instinctive: relating to or prompted by instinct; apparently unconscious or automatic“
     
    aarr, yes, i know what mentalism and instinct are.

    Mentalism, at least based on this dichotomous perspective, mean basically ''intrapersonal and interpersonal thought processes'' while mechanicism mean ''impersonal thought processes''.

    “But the group and civilization you’re belonging, collectively speaking, were responsible for that, NAMELY your historical ELITES.”

    Does it bother you that you use the language of the “civilization of historical ELITES” and the technology of the “civilization of historical ELITES” (right now) and even attempt to exhibit (not quite successfully) the knowledge accumulated by the “civilization of historical ELITES?”
    Would not it be honest of you to join your brothers & sisters who are not spoiled by the “civilization of historical ELITES” and create your own spotless civilization of historical non-ELITES. Look, there are millions sub-Saharan natives who want to join the civilization of the white people. Why don’t the sub-Saharans develop their own shiny civilization that would be an envy of the whole world? China, Iran, Greece each created a great civilization, and some of their achievements have become the foundation for our western civilization. Where have you been?

    By the way, this limp sophistry does not strike as particularly intelligent: “Mentalism, at least based on this dichotomous perspective, mean basically ”intrapersonal and interpersonal thought processes” while mechanicism mean ”impersonal thought processes.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Jeez...

    I'm trying to debate with a anger beast, isn't??

    I will try... God is seeing.

    Great
    A conservie who suck their elite/read oppressors- balls. Well well well

    Or you're personally interested... No escape for you.

    First thing. If I'm using poorly I know, """elite language""", or """elite technology""", this doesn't mean I'm wrong about elite historical oppression, doesn't mean WHITE (and jewy) historical elites DID IT: enslave by futile or retarded reason other people's; enslave your own people, aka, industrial revolution and English/european/American working classes; destroy and right now continue to destroy natural environment and fauna; still oppressing white regular people, isn't?? Or do you think only "leftists" who are inducing entire western world to white genocide?? Celebrities & royalties & entrepreneurs & billionaires & political and academic elites????

    Every conservie retard who over-rate "achievement$" AND despise totally NEGATIVE achievements of "their" own "civilization" JUST deserve what is happening now because their revolting condescendence.

    Yup leftists over-rate negative western achievements but rightists do wrong to but in other type of illiterate extremism.

    It's not to be "intelligent", just easy to catch. So give me a better description... I'm expecting...
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  152. @FKA Max
    This paper by Dutton and van der Linden (2014) might be interesting to you:

    Who are the “Clever Sillies”? The intelligence, personality, and motives of clever silly originators and those who follow them https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Edward_Dutton/publication/263968814_Solving_the_puzzle_of_why_Finns_have_the_highest_IQ_but_one_of_the_lowest_number_of_Nobel_prizes_in_Europe/links/55f7149908aeba1d9ef0449a/Solving-the-puzzle-of-why-Finns-have-the-highest-IQ-but-one-of-the-lowest-number-of-Nobel-prizes-in-Europe.pdf

    Charlton's (2009) Clever Sillies model argues that high IQ people lack common sense and advocate foolish ideas due to the personality disposition that is associated with high IQ. We argue that the “Clever Silly”model proposed by Charlton has several shortcomings and needs to be nuanced. We suggest that it is useful to distinguish between scholars who advocate clever silly ideas in a context in which they are popular (followers) and those who originate them. The originators are close to the artistic genius type while the followers are the more average academics, especially in non-science subjects. The former has highly original and controversial ideas and take considerable risk for the potential high socioeconomic status pay off involved. The latter is less inclined to take risks and thus strikes the optimum balance, in terms of conformity and non-conformity, in order to showcase their intelligence but gain the benefits of conforming.
     

    Moreover, it may be argued that, even if the clever silly originators do not directly gain material wealth or children, in some cases, they may be acting at the level of evolutionary group selection, something congruous with evidence that true geniuses often do not breed (Simonton, 1988). Boas may be a possible illustration of this. Some scholars (e.g.
    MacDonald, 1998 ) have argued that in his case, his non-conformism could be understood least controversially in terms of group selection. The effect of cultural relativism in anthropology was the marginalizing of scientific racism and thus an improvement in the status of ethnic minorities, including Jews, in the USA. Boas was a Jew in the USA and, as such, his ideology makes sense at the level of group selection. Marx was ethnically Jewish (though his family were Lutheran) and his philosophy, which was anti-nationalistic, would also have made sense in terms of Jewish group selection as European Romantic nationalism could be seen as problematic from a Jewish perspective. Both thinkers may have been motivated by the good of their group.
     
    You might remember this excerpt from a reply of mine to a comment by you, from a while back. I think the same motivation applies to these two following thinkers:

    One of the most destructive Jewish manipulations/seductions of the last century for Western civilization, in my opinion, was probably the promotion of neo-liberal “Chicago School”-style economics, also known as “Freshwater” economics, promoted by Milton Friedman (5 feet short; his fellow Eastern Ashkenazi Jewish Western mind seducer and manipulator, “Objectivist” Ayn Rand, was actually taller than him at 5 feet and 2 inches), which attacked and to a large degree replaced Keynesian economics aka “Saltwater” economics, promoted/founded by John Maynard Keynes (6 feet 6 inches tall)
     
    - https://www.unz.com/jthompson/womens-brains/#comment-1852886


    The Refutation of Libertarianism
    [...]
    But the competition for global domination is rarely honest. Thus when Western individualist societies conquered and absorbed collectivist ones, it was only a matter of time before the more intelligent tribes learned how to cheat.
    [...]
    – http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/10/the-refutation-of-libertarianism/
     
    - https://www.unz.com/isteve/reforming-stuyvesant-hs-admissions-should-blacks-whites-team-up-against-asian-grinds/#comment-1812643

    Capitalism, Socialism, and the Jews
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulqBb4JePuQ
    Why have the Jewish people, who seem to have benefited greatly from capitalism, contributed disproportionately to socialist literature? Although the question remains unanswered, Dr. Milton Friedman, a secular Jew himself, offers some fascinating observations.
     
    - http://www.unz.com/mhudson/bloombergs-hit-job-on-venezuela-and-me/#comment-1824152

    Thank you, I already read this paper. I think when someone create a category it must need self-analyze to see if it can be classified in that way. When someone talk about rationality for example it must self-analyze to see if it know how to apply rational approach and even if it is or really try to be what it is describing or analyzing.

    This intrapersonal analysis seems rare among scientists AND philosophers.

    Read More
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  153. @annamaria
    "But the group and civilization you’re belonging, collectively speaking, were responsible for that, NAMELY your historical ELITES."

    Does it bother you that you use the language of the "civilization of historical ELITES" and the technology of the "civilization of historical ELITES" (right now) and even attempt to exhibit (not quite successfully) the knowledge accumulated by the "civilization of historical ELITES?"
    Would not it be honest of you to join your brothers & sisters who are not spoiled by the "civilization of historical ELITES" and create your own spotless civilization of historical non-ELITES. Look, there are millions sub-Saharan natives who want to join the civilization of the white people. Why don't the sub-Saharans develop their own shiny civilization that would be an envy of the whole world? China, Iran, Greece each created a great civilization, and some of their achievements have become the foundation for our western civilization. Where have you been?

    By the way, this limp sophistry does not strike as particularly intelligent: "Mentalism, at least based on this dichotomous perspective, mean basically ”intrapersonal and interpersonal thought processes” while mechanicism mean ”impersonal thought processes.”

    Jeez…

    I’m trying to debate with a anger beast, isn’t??

    I will try… God is seeing.

    Great
    A conservie who suck their elite/read oppressors- balls. Well well well

    Or you’re personally interested… No escape for you.

    First thing. If I’m using poorly I know, “””elite language”””, or “””elite technology”””, this doesn’t mean I’m wrong about elite historical oppression, doesn’t mean WHITE (and jewy) historical elites DID IT: enslave by futile or retarded reason other people’s; enslave your own people, aka, industrial revolution and English/european/American working classes; destroy and right now continue to destroy natural environment and fauna; still oppressing white regular people, isn’t?? Or do you think only “leftists” who are inducing entire western world to white genocide?? Celebrities & royalties & entrepreneurs & billionaires & political and academic elites????

    Every conservie retard who over-rate “achievement$” AND despise totally NEGATIVE achievements of “their” own “civilization” JUST deserve what is happening now because their revolting condescendence.

    Yup leftists over-rate negative western achievements but rightists do wrong to but in other type of illiterate extremism.

    It’s not to be “intelligent”, just easy to catch. So give me a better description… I’m expecting…

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    "...with a anger beast..."
    " ...natural environment and fauna..."
    "...Yup leftists over-rate negative western achievements but rightists do wrong to but in other type of illiterate extremism."

    Very clear. At least explains the strange flavor of the attempted philosophizing.

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  154. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @annamaria
    You have avoided the uncomfortable statements and instead focused on a beauty of your feelings.

    It was your statement that sciences are impersonal; I only added that the impersonal facts of sciences are able to produce certain highly personal/ethical results.

    Madame Bonner' words that "we make breakfast for our children, not for a whole world" are crystal-clear for all decent parents (however altruistic they are), but perhaps not for the theorizing philosophers in their personal ivory towers.
    We have the hierarchy of responsibilities.

    Nobody thinks that your cordial relationships with all black people are bad; but some sane people believe that the overpopulation of the badly underdeveloped sub-Saharan Africa - and the inevitable spilling of huge masses of uneducated and aggressive young black men to Europe - could be detrimental to the lives of local population accustomed to certain norms of behavior. The appearance of no-go zones in important European cities is not a good sign. Would you like to have your hypothetical family with young children to live in one of these zones? If not, are you going to be looked upon as, on average, unfriendly to the Africans living in the no-go zones?

    the inevitable spilling of huge masses of uneducated and aggressive young black men to Europe

    That’s not inevitable – at all. Borders still exist and Japan, for instance, couldn’t care less about the number of African dreamers. European traitors are pretending that this kind of national/racial suicide is normal despite the fact that it’s completely unprecedented historically and still ignored by 90% of the World. People are not buying it anymore. The pendulum is swinging now and when the dust settles they’ll be either dead or imprisoned. Jews in particular will be in trouble when this project fails.

    Read More
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  155. annamaria says:
    @Santoculto
    Jeez...

    I'm trying to debate with a anger beast, isn't??

    I will try... God is seeing.

    Great
    A conservie who suck their elite/read oppressors- balls. Well well well

    Or you're personally interested... No escape for you.

    First thing. If I'm using poorly I know, """elite language""", or """elite technology""", this doesn't mean I'm wrong about elite historical oppression, doesn't mean WHITE (and jewy) historical elites DID IT: enslave by futile or retarded reason other people's; enslave your own people, aka, industrial revolution and English/european/American working classes; destroy and right now continue to destroy natural environment and fauna; still oppressing white regular people, isn't?? Or do you think only "leftists" who are inducing entire western world to white genocide?? Celebrities & royalties & entrepreneurs & billionaires & political and academic elites????

    Every conservie retard who over-rate "achievement$" AND despise totally NEGATIVE achievements of "their" own "civilization" JUST deserve what is happening now because their revolting condescendence.

    Yup leftists over-rate negative western achievements but rightists do wrong to but in other type of illiterate extremism.

    It's not to be "intelligent", just easy to catch. So give me a better description... I'm expecting...

    “…with a anger beast…”
    ” …natural environment and fauna…”
    “…Yup leftists over-rate negative western achievements but rightists do wrong to but in other type of illiterate extremism.”

    Very clear. At least explains the strange flavor of the attempted philosophizing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    You're a extremely dumb self-troll, cheers!!
    , @Anonymous
    I started ignoring Santoculto's posts a day or two after finding this site. Life is short.
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  156. @annamaria
    "...with a anger beast..."
    " ...natural environment and fauna..."
    "...Yup leftists over-rate negative western achievements but rightists do wrong to but in other type of illiterate extremism."

    Very clear. At least explains the strange flavor of the attempted philosophizing.

    You’re a extremely dumb self-troll, cheers!!

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Waiting for expression of white guilt towards your villainous manners and ridiculous pretenses? No-go zone, Santoculto.
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  157. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @annamaria
    "...with a anger beast..."
    " ...natural environment and fauna..."
    "...Yup leftists over-rate negative western achievements but rightists do wrong to but in other type of illiterate extremism."

    Very clear. At least explains the strange flavor of the attempted philosophizing.

    I started ignoring Santoculto’s posts a day or two after finding this site. Life is short.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Anonymous or abonymous?? The same idiot I have the "pleasure" to waste my time??

    "Hanna Maria" misunderstood my entire post. Now "anonymous" or "abomynous" have solidarity with a brother or sister who is a self-troll too. So cute!! Yes life is short, I thought if no have any destination to Mars for two retarded here.

    Because incapacity of "Hanna Montana" here to simply understand my intention on my comments, originally not directed to her or to hxx, this post become a freak show.

    Abomynous, without ANY or minimal DECENT argumentation about anything or directed to me, I carefully advice you to don't waste your very precious time with me, I hope I'm being very clear, wash your ears and eyebrows because I dislike to be repetitive. Maybe you and your partner in stupidity department will learn already in the first lesson.

    Obrigado, ciao!
    , @annamaria
    Judging from Santoculto pretentious verbosity (filled with grammatical errors and often illegible) and the gimme ideology, he/she belongs to African migrants dizzy with gov' handouts (something for nothing). Curiously how the "victimized" Santoculto converges with "victimized" Sherman, up to easiness with spewing the pedestrian insults.
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  158. annamaria says:
    @Santoculto
    You're a extremely dumb self-troll, cheers!!

    Waiting for expression of white guilt towards your villainous manners and ridiculous pretenses? No-go zone, Santoculto.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Jeez...

    this explain why whitey look so hopeless...

    this are the white knights [vikings] who will defend ''white race''**

    Poor white race
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  159. @ANON
    Absolutely right I think Archimedes was Sicilian, but I don't think any geniuses came out of Anatolia or the Balkans .

    Miletus is pretty well represented.

    Read More
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  160. @Wizard of Oz
    While it may have been the Spartans who specially engaged your attention during your days as a classical scholar you may recall Ron that Athens was apparently occupied by more ancient Ancient Greeks than the rest of Greece. Indeed I remember reading somewhere that they were essentially a Mediterranean people with maybe strong links to Egypt and its civilisation. Unfortunately my searches using "Achaean" have't helped enlarge on that thought. But here's a thought for a historical fiction writer. Maybe the glory that was Athens wad the work of exiled eggheads from Egypt (and Crete, why not?). And maybe it became a melting pot and safe haven for intellectual mavericks for the whole region exgending to Persia. Back to reality: isn't there good reason to look for an explanation of Athens's apparent genetic advantsge?

    A search for pre Indo European substrate & Pelasgians may be fruitful. Purportedly the “nth” formulation is not of Indo European origin, and the name of Athens itself is close to this

    It is also telling that all Indo Europeans potentially straight from the homeland are lightly colored, and that Spartans & Macedonians (and the Macedonians’ northern neighbors the Thracians) tended to be fairer relative to other Greeks

    Read More
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  161. @Anonymous
    I started ignoring Santoculto's posts a day or two after finding this site. Life is short.

    Anonymous or abonymous?? The same idiot I have the “pleasure” to waste my time??

    “Hanna Maria” misunderstood my entire post. Now “anonymous” or “abomynous” have solidarity with a brother or sister who is a self-troll too. So cute!! Yes life is short, I thought if no have any destination to Mars for two retarded here.

    Because incapacity of “Hanna Montana” here to simply understand my intention on my comments, originally not directed to her or to hxx, this post become a freak show.

    Abomynous, without ANY or minimal DECENT argumentation about anything or directed to me, I carefully advice you to don’t waste your very precious time with me, I hope I’m being very clear, wash your ears and eyebrows because I dislike to be repetitive. Maybe you and your partner in stupidity department will learn already in the first lesson.

    Obrigado, ciao!

    Read More
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  162. J says:

    Did Athenian businessmen walking from the port of Piraeus to the city spend the time discussing complex, abstract arguments? Did Athenians remember word-by-word what had been said an hour and half ago and formulate on the spot, while walking, complicated counter-arguments? As for me, I had to read three or four times Plato’s short essays to get his points, always writing down notes to remember and organize the ideas. If Ancient Athenians did it casually al-fresco, they certainly possessed better heads than the bald ball on my neck.

    Read More
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  163. annamaria says:
    @Anonymous
    I started ignoring Santoculto's posts a day or two after finding this site. Life is short.

    Judging from Santoculto pretentious verbosity (filled with grammatical errors and often illegible) and the gimme ideology, he/she belongs to African migrants dizzy with gov’ handouts (something for nothing). Curiously how the “victimized” Santoculto converges with “victimized” Sherman, up to easiness with spewing the pedestrian insults.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Get out retard...

    I'm ''slightly' lower than your verbal ''IQ''... and it's your ''mother-tongue''.

    Please, shut up

    I thought Thompson must avoid this type of USELESS ''debate'' and prefferencially certain types of ''commenters'' as Hannah Montana here.

    inbred white trash,

    sad!

    There is some moderator here or it's only the computer*

    One of the MOST irritating feature of completely retard ''people'' as Hannah Montana and her boyfriend is THAT stubborness above the shit she don't understood and never will.

    We already lost Hannah CRACKER Montana, now it's just its perfid instinct that is talking,

    We need a exorcist

    http://static.spin.com/files/2017/05/Screen-Shot-2017-05-04-at-1.58.17-PM-1493920761-640x372.png

    HELP
    HELP

    Interestingly Hannah and her boyfriend don't argued....

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  164. Malcer says:
    @Xerxes
    Had Mr Thompson taken off his Eurocentric blinkers he would have read the below and wept.

    https://www.unz.com/article/bestselling-revisionist-historian-germany-was-just-a-patsy/

    Europe has been ahead of the rest the world since at least the Renaissance. Your pathetic Anti-Western revisionism (while speaking English and using European technology) doesn’t change that. Neither does your delusions of grandeur where Russia and China (squalor filled with a far lower GDP per capita) defeat the foul West. It’s even sillier that your linking an article by a Creationist who’s an apologist for the Axis.

    By the way, all the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. As noted by one Richard Dawkins.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Malcer
    Bonus:

    https://archive.org/details/WestVSRest

    https://archive.org/details/Debunking

    http://mpcdot.com/forums/topic/9576-an-anti-sjw-history-the-of-world/page__st__20
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  165. @annamaria
    Judging from Santoculto pretentious verbosity (filled with grammatical errors and often illegible) and the gimme ideology, he/she belongs to African migrants dizzy with gov' handouts (something for nothing). Curiously how the "victimized" Santoculto converges with "victimized" Sherman, up to easiness with spewing the pedestrian insults.

    Get out retard…

    I’m ”slightly’ lower than your verbal ”IQ”… and it’s your ”mother-tongue”.

    Please, shut up

    I thought Thompson must avoid this type of USELESS ”debate” and prefferencially certain types of ”commenters” as Hannah Montana here.

    inbred white trash,

    sad!

    There is some moderator here or it’s only the computer*

    One of the MOST irritating feature of completely retard ”people” as Hannah Montana and her boyfriend is THAT stubborness above the shit she don’t understood and never will.

    We already lost Hannah CRACKER Montana, now it’s just its perfid instinct that is talking,

    We need a exorcist

    HELP
    HELP

    Interestingly Hannah and her boyfriend don’t argued….

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Oversensitive Sanculto has hysterics. Relax and breath deeply.
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  166. @annamaria
    Waiting for expression of white guilt towards your villainous manners and ridiculous pretenses? No-go zone, Santoculto.

    Jeez…

    this explain why whitey look so hopeless…

    this are the white knights [vikings] who will defend ”white race”**

    Poor white race

    Read More
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  167. annamaria says:
    @Santoculto
    Get out retard...

    I'm ''slightly' lower than your verbal ''IQ''... and it's your ''mother-tongue''.

    Please, shut up

    I thought Thompson must avoid this type of USELESS ''debate'' and prefferencially certain types of ''commenters'' as Hannah Montana here.

    inbred white trash,

    sad!

    There is some moderator here or it's only the computer*

    One of the MOST irritating feature of completely retard ''people'' as Hannah Montana and her boyfriend is THAT stubborness above the shit she don't understood and never will.

    We already lost Hannah CRACKER Montana, now it's just its perfid instinct that is talking,

    We need a exorcist

    http://static.spin.com/files/2017/05/Screen-Shot-2017-05-04-at-1.58.17-PM-1493920761-640x372.png

    HELP
    HELP

    Interestingly Hannah and her boyfriend don't argued....

    Oversensitive Sanculto has hysterics. Relax and breath deeply.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Rationality

    Adult debates with focus on the matter of post or at least on pertinent subjects;

    Behave in erratic and misunderstood ways (don't understand nothing what other person say and start to attack it based on its own misunderstood) = is not good

    There are moments for jokes and kidding

    Revolt against stupid

    = hypersensitivity; hysteria

    Poor white race.
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  168. David says:
    @German_reader

    my reading of the account of his death is that he encouraged the youth to question everything
     
    I was referring to his trial...iirc (hope I'm not wrong about this, writing this up from memory) he pretty much mocked the court system which was a central element of Athenian democracy. Under the Athenian system of justice accuser and defendant both made pleas for how the case should be judged, and the jurors (chosen randomly by lot) then had to make a choice (that is, they couldn't decide on some other form of punishment). Socrates' accuser argued for the death penalty. Socrates could have chosen exile or some other lesser punishment, or maybe even argued for acquittal in his plea...and would probably have avoided death. Instead he plead for being awarded the highest honours of the Athenian state. He dared the jurors to either sentence him to death or being ridiculed for having to grant him his outrageous demands. Highly provocative behaviour, and unsurprisingly the jurors didn't react well to that.

    Socrates was found guilty first, and then was given the opportunity to weight in on his sentence. He did indeed ask for a pension, which appears to have peeved the jury since more of them voted to have him put to death than had voted for the guilty verdict in the first place.

    Read More
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  169. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous

    To excel in either science or philosophy, or mixed (as they often were) and related fields, requires both hard work and genius, the degree of each varying by the individual.
     
    A fool is just a mokey for a real magus.

    Tell me what that means.

    Are you Russian?

    Read More
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  170. ChrisD says:

    Lol no. Ancient Greek philosophers make Heidegger or Wittgenstein look like child’s play. People who are dilettantes think they can understand Plato or Aristotle after reading a few summaries. Don’t even get me started on the Pre Socratics. University professors have spent their career trying to decode their thought properly.

    Read More
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  171. Malcer says:
    @Malcer
    Europe has been ahead of the rest the world since at least the Renaissance. Your pathetic Anti-Western revisionism (while speaking English and using European technology) doesn't change that. Neither does your delusions of grandeur where Russia and China (squalor filled with a far lower GDP per capita) defeat the foul West. It's even sillier that your linking an article by a Creationist who's an apologist for the Axis.

    By the way, all the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. As noted by one Richard Dawkins.
    Read More
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  172. Pericles says:
    @The Alarmist
    There is a lot of survivorship bias at play, not the least of which is the survival of the literature and art that evidences the ancient greats. If the Romans had extirpated Greece in the same way they had Carthage, there wouldn't have been anything worthy of either culture for the Arabs and Middle-Ages monks to bring forward to us. Where is all the evidence of Mayan or ancient Indian or even Khmer civilizational accomplishment? Some survives and is only being pieced together today, so it is a somewhat apples to oranges comparison to a relatively well stewarded Western civilization and culture.

    Are we regressing from the Victorians? Almost certainly! One of the prime reasons is the society-wide emphases on safety and safety equipment as well as advances in medical technology and understanding, which have prevented a lot of the natural selection that would otherwise have helped us to continue to progress. Not to mention the corruption of morals and the replacement of common sense with emotion. We are our the cause of our own downfall in so many ways.

    Not to mention that we now love sophistry above all else.

    Read More
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  173. @annamaria
    Oversensitive Sanculto has hysterics. Relax and breath deeply.

    Rationality

    Adult debates with focus on the matter of post or at least on pertinent subjects;

    Behave in erratic and misunderstood ways (don’t understand nothing what other person say and start to attack it based on its own misunderstood) = is not good

    There are moments for jokes and kidding

    Revolt against stupid

    = hypersensitivity; hysteria

    Poor white race.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Try to do without white race. Nobody forces you to cling to everything white-made. You are welcome.
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  174. Pericles says:
    @Anonymous
    Of course it's a reasonable argument. The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Listen to reason first and data second. History in particular is filled with wrong or insufficient data so you should rely on reason to sort it out - to the best of your ability.

    What’s so inconvenient about finding some big bones? “There were giants in the earth in those days”, the remains of antediluvian monsters, etc. Seems like a comfortable position for The Authorities.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Actually we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them, following the Arabs in positing some kind of "petrifying fluid" that caused fossilization.
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  175. annamaria says:
    @Santoculto
    Rationality

    Adult debates with focus on the matter of post or at least on pertinent subjects;

    Behave in erratic and misunderstood ways (don't understand nothing what other person say and start to attack it based on its own misunderstood) = is not good

    There are moments for jokes and kidding

    Revolt against stupid

    = hypersensitivity; hysteria

    Poor white race.

    Try to do without white race. Nobody forces you to cling to everything white-made. You are welcome.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Ok,

    so you believe you are superior 'cause white race... i mean...

    Beethoven was a german/white genius, me white, me genius too*

    isn't*

    Well, based on africanization of Americas white race did, i thought it's preferable to do things without jewish-mental slaves*

    Merci...

    So you have

    facebook or gmail*

    Do you use google*

    Do you like rock*


    If a politician ''do good things'' but he is corrupt, so he is excusable*
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  176. @annamaria
    Try to do without white race. Nobody forces you to cling to everything white-made. You are welcome.

    Ok,

    so you believe you are superior ’cause white race… i mean…

    Beethoven was a german/white genius, me white, me genius too*

    isn’t*

    Well, based on africanization of Americas white race did, i thought it’s preferable to do things without jewish-mental slaves*

    Merci…

    So you have

    facebook or gmail*

    Do you use google*

    Do you like rock*

    If a politician ”do good things” but he is corrupt, so he is excusable*

    Read More
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  177. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Pericles
    What's so inconvenient about finding some big bones? "There were giants in the earth in those days", the remains of antediluvian monsters, etc. Seems like a comfortable position for The Authorities.

    Actually we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them, following the Arabs in positing some kind of “petrifying fluid” that caused fossilization.

    Read More
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  178. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    Of course it's a reasonable argument. The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Listen to reason first and data second. History in particular is filled with wrong or insufficient data so you should rely on reason to sort it out - to the best of your ability.

    The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Listen to reason first and data second. History in particular is filled with wrong or insufficient data so you should rely on reason to sort it out – to the best of your ability.

    well said

    and the Church (and the PTB) wasn’t just suppressing inconvenient findings back then, but are doing it today- in earnest.

    as I’ve mentioned, there is a reason our culture is so dumbed down, and the universities kick out ideological zombies unable to think. Thinking is dangerous to the regime, and they would like it banned on principle. Better to have the graduates regurgitating trite platitudes than questioning the canonical mantras du jour.

    in a thinking West, would Hillary Clinton have ascended to the heights of power that she did?

    indeed, you can extrapolate Hillary to the entire political and media power structures of the Western world, and see the rot is all pervasive.

    But to the Church, all is hunky-dory!

    9/11 was the seminal event of our lifetimes. A crime of such epic import, that it has caused the subversion of our ancient and hard won rights going back to the Magna Carta, and the loss and destruction of millions of lives and entire countries bombed into smoking ashes and sent reeling back into the stone age, no doubt, for generations to come.

    But you won’t find one in a thousand academics or politicians or media personalities (let alone the clergy!) with the moral courage or intellectual integrity to doubt or question one scintilla of the avalanche of patently ludicrous absurdities that masquerade as the “truth” of what happened on that fateful and potentially civilization-ending day.

    Such is the widespread moral and intellectual cowardice of our institutions, (including of course the Church)

    someone on this thread mentioned that “Rurik” is no expert, and they could not be more correct. I’m a million miles away from being an expert of any kind vis-a-vis academia or history or philosophy. I’m a student of these things, and expect to spend the rest of my life being one.

    But one thing I will say about my humble perspective on these things is that I’m not afraid to think, (however mundanely) and to see things that are right in front of my face, with the moral courage to say the emperor wears no cloths, if that’s the best (if trite) analogy available.

    it isn’t intelligence or, God help us, expertise that our leaders and/or society lack. Rather it’s the moral courage to simply see and then say things that are inconvenient.

    if our leaders today will suppress all knowledge or questions about 9/11 to protect the status quo, (and their respective emoluments), then do I hold the leaders of the Church to a higher standard during the Medieval period?

    it isn’t just individual men that are so often false, but it seems to me that entire civilizations can be also, when the spiritual rot has metastasized in a society from the top down, and the collective moral cowardice is not just ascendant, but ubiquitous, all pervasive and seemingly endemic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Well, since I'm the one who said you weren't an expert on the medieval period, let me qualify that by saying I never suggested you were afraid or otherwise unable to think. It's just that this particular story of yours (and the allegation that medieval rulers- who, by the way, weren't really the Church in most places-- were particularly more power-hungry than people in other places and times) is quite far-fetched. I think the points I raised in my previous reply are at least worth considering.

    May I point out in what era our "rights going back to the Magna Carta" --and a thousand other charters-- were established?
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  179. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    The Church was suppressing inconvenient findings (lots of evidence of that) and we do have a gaping archaeological hole in the European Middle Ages.

    Listen to reason first and data second. History in particular is filled with wrong or insufficient data so you should rely on reason to sort it out – to the best of your ability.
     

    well said

    and the Church (and the PTB) wasn't just suppressing inconvenient findings back then, but are doing it today- in earnest.

    as I've mentioned, there is a reason our culture is so dumbed down, and the universities kick out ideological zombies unable to think. Thinking is dangerous to the regime, and they would like it banned on principle. Better to have the graduates regurgitating trite platitudes than questioning the canonical mantras du jour.

    in a thinking West, would Hillary Clinton have ascended to the heights of power that she did?

    indeed, you can extrapolate Hillary to the entire political and media power structures of the Western world, and see the rot is all pervasive.

    But to the Church, all is hunky-dory!

    9/11 was the seminal event of our lifetimes. A crime of such epic import, that it has caused the subversion of our ancient and hard won rights going back to the Magna Carta, and the loss and destruction of millions of lives and entire countries bombed into smoking ashes and sent reeling back into the stone age, no doubt, for generations to come.

    But you won't find one in a thousand academics or politicians or media personalities (let alone the clergy!) with the moral courage or intellectual integrity to doubt or question one scintilla of the avalanche of patently ludicrous absurdities that masquerade as the "truth" of what happened on that fateful and potentially civilization-ending day.

    Such is the widespread moral and intellectual cowardice of our institutions, (including of course the Church)

    someone on this thread mentioned that "Rurik" is no expert, and they could not be more correct. I'm a million miles away from being an expert of any kind vis-a-vis academia or history or philosophy. I'm a student of these things, and expect to spend the rest of my life being one.

    But one thing I will say about my humble perspective on these things is that I'm not afraid to think, (however mundanely) and to see things that are right in front of my face, with the moral courage to say the emperor wears no cloths, if that's the best (if trite) analogy available.

    it isn't intelligence or, God help us, expertise that our leaders and/or society lack. Rather it's the moral courage to simply see and then say things that are inconvenient.

    if our leaders today will suppress all knowledge or questions about 9/11 to protect the status quo, (and their respective emoluments), then do I hold the leaders of the Church to a higher standard during the Medieval period?

    it isn't just individual men that are so often false, but it seems to me that entire civilizations can be also, when the spiritual rot has metastasized in a society from the top down, and the collective moral cowardice is not just ascendant, but ubiquitous, all pervasive and seemingly endemic.

    Well, since I’m the one who said you weren’t an expert on the medieval period, let me qualify that by saying I never suggested you were afraid or otherwise unable to think. It’s just that this particular story of yours (and the allegation that medieval rulers- who, by the way, weren’t really the Church in most places– were particularly more power-hungry than people in other places and times) is quite far-fetched. I think the points I raised in my previous reply are at least worth considering.

    May I point out in what era our “rights going back to the Magna Carta” –and a thousand other charters– were established?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    were particularly more power-hungry than people in other places and times
     
    well, that wasn't my main point, although I do suspect that such a statement is true if you subject it to the crucible of comparisons between some places and times; like post-revolution America, where there certainly was less power-hungry rulers than what existed during the Middle Ages, no? When anointed monarchies were entrenched and the Church in Europe was unassailable.

    is quite far-fetched.
     
    I think what you're suggesting that was far-fetched was my theory that there have been many, untold archeological findings that were discovered during the Middle Ages (and undoubtedly many other eras), that were considered inconvenient to the narrative of the day, and subsequently destroyed as a danger to the PTB, whose power was dependent in some part upon that narrative.

    I watch even today as the devout and pious struggle to explain hundreds of millions of years old dinosaur bones in a world that is only a few thousand years old, according to scripture.

    It isn't my agenda to belittle the scriptures or the people of good faith who hold them sacred, except insofar as those beliefs are anathema to greater truths about our ancestors and our understanding of our collective history.

    It's no different than the efforts to suppress the truth about the existence of the Kennewick Man, and what his presence on this continent so long ago means.

    I just wonder how many archeological findings over the eons have been destroyed or otherwise suppressed to comport to a sanctioned version of the narrative of the day.

    the points I raised in my previous reply
     
    why don't you select a user name so that the continuity of the conversations can be followed more easily?

    It's not like it's hard to do. You just type something in and use it.

    I don't understand why people use Anon unless they're just writing a one-off to make some point without ever engaging in a conversation.

    Oh well.

    Thanks anyways for the reply.
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  180. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon
    Well, since I'm the one who said you weren't an expert on the medieval period, let me qualify that by saying I never suggested you were afraid or otherwise unable to think. It's just that this particular story of yours (and the allegation that medieval rulers- who, by the way, weren't really the Church in most places-- were particularly more power-hungry than people in other places and times) is quite far-fetched. I think the points I raised in my previous reply are at least worth considering.

    May I point out in what era our "rights going back to the Magna Carta" --and a thousand other charters-- were established?

    were particularly more power-hungry than people in other places and times

    well, that wasn’t my main point, although I do suspect that such a statement is true if you subject it to the crucible of comparisons between some places and times; like post-revolution America, where there certainly was less power-hungry rulers than what existed during the Middle Ages, no? When anointed monarchies were entrenched and the Church in Europe was unassailable.

    is quite far-fetched.

    I think what you’re suggesting that was far-fetched was my theory that there have been many, untold archeological findings that were discovered during the Middle Ages (and undoubtedly many other eras), that were considered inconvenient to the narrative of the day, and subsequently destroyed as a danger to the PTB, whose power was dependent in some part upon that narrative.

    I watch even today as the devout and pious struggle to explain hundreds of millions of years old dinosaur bones in a world that is only a few thousand years old, according to scripture.

    It isn’t my agenda to belittle the scriptures or the people of good faith who hold them sacred, except insofar as those beliefs are anathema to greater truths about our ancestors and our understanding of our collective history.

    It’s no different than the efforts to suppress the truth about the existence of the Kennewick Man, and what his presence on this continent so long ago means.

    I just wonder how many archeological findings over the eons have been destroyed or otherwise suppressed to comport to a sanctioned version of the narrative of the day.

    the points I raised in my previous reply

    why don’t you select a user name so that the continuity of the conversations can be followed more easily?

    It’s not like it’s hard to do. You just type something in and use it.

    I don’t understand why people use Anon unless they’re just writing a one-off to make some point without ever engaging in a conversation.

    Oh well.

    Thanks anyways for the reply.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Well, you evidently read the previous reply (#119), because you mentioned it, so I saw no need to clarify. See also #115.

    And since you've moved on to fossils, #177.

    You're welcome, and thanks for engaging in a reasonable manner.

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  181. Moving from the Greeks to the biology, the answer is likely to be “No”.

    Since agriculture our brains have become smaller, a characteristic of domestication.

    Amongst Homo Sapiens Sapiens, Cro Magnons had the largest brains (& eye sockets). Neanderthals had even larger brains and eye sockets. So in terms of sheer processing power, we are unlikely to be more intelligent. Wild carnivores have to be sharper than their prey. We don’t. But there is no Neanderthal philosophy available to us. We think with language, which Neanderthals didn’t have. OK – I’m an engineer, I also do a lot of visio-spatial thinking but only in idling or problem solving modes. My stream of consciousness is largely verbal.

    So, I suspect that we are a lot dumber visio-spatially than our ancestors. They would have a intuitive grasp of physics beyond ours. However, we have the vocabulary to describe things and share things. So, we have Babylonian maths and the Bible stretching back to the beginning of agriculture on which we have built and built. (I defend the Bible. In the Beginning was the Word is about as good as modern Astro-Physics as a piece of philosophy explaining origin. The first parts of Genesis are a very reasonable description of evolution, stripped of the figurative language of “creation”. It is not obvious that we have moved all that far).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    We think with language, which Neanderthals didn’t have
     
    this long-held belief has recently been challenged by some "ground-breaking research" which suggests otherwise.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140302185241.htm


    The first parts of Genesis are a very reasonable description of evolution
     
    I agree. The parts about humans having eaten from the tree of the fruit of knowledge, and therefor expelled from the garden of Eden, is as poetically true as anything I've read.

    we humans are simultaneously animals and, also removed from the animal kingdom. We are a paradox, and are doomed to the perpetual struggle between both the earthly and mortal world, and the divine world of our dreams (and nightmares) and aspirations.

    otherwise, I very much agree with the gist of your thoughtful post

    we've lost a lot as we've become civilized (domesticated)

    , @Santoculto

    So, I suspect that we are a lot dumber visio-spatially than our ancestors.
     
    But increased analytical skills*
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  182. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    were particularly more power-hungry than people in other places and times
     
    well, that wasn't my main point, although I do suspect that such a statement is true if you subject it to the crucible of comparisons between some places and times; like post-revolution America, where there certainly was less power-hungry rulers than what existed during the Middle Ages, no? When anointed monarchies were entrenched and the Church in Europe was unassailable.

    is quite far-fetched.
     
    I think what you're suggesting that was far-fetched was my theory that there have been many, untold archeological findings that were discovered during the Middle Ages (and undoubtedly many other eras), that were considered inconvenient to the narrative of the day, and subsequently destroyed as a danger to the PTB, whose power was dependent in some part upon that narrative.

    I watch even today as the devout and pious struggle to explain hundreds of millions of years old dinosaur bones in a world that is only a few thousand years old, according to scripture.

    It isn't my agenda to belittle the scriptures or the people of good faith who hold them sacred, except insofar as those beliefs are anathema to greater truths about our ancestors and our understanding of our collective history.

    It's no different than the efforts to suppress the truth about the existence of the Kennewick Man, and what his presence on this continent so long ago means.

    I just wonder how many archeological findings over the eons have been destroyed or otherwise suppressed to comport to a sanctioned version of the narrative of the day.

    the points I raised in my previous reply
     
    why don't you select a user name so that the continuity of the conversations can be followed more easily?

    It's not like it's hard to do. You just type something in and use it.

    I don't understand why people use Anon unless they're just writing a one-off to make some point without ever engaging in a conversation.

    Oh well.

    Thanks anyways for the reply.

    Well, you evidently read the previous reply (#119), because you mentioned it, so I saw no need to clarify. See also #115.

    And since you’ve moved on to fossils, #177.

    You’re welcome, and thanks for engaging in a reasonable manner.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them,
     

    In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?
     
    for the same reason a hundred million year old dinosaur bone is. It doesn't fit into the narrative.

    For a Medieval theologian, all things great and small were explained by the scripture. Man's beginnings, and his earthy dramas and foibles and the meaning of his life. His origins were laid out from Adam right on down the line to Abraham and all the rest. If you read the Bible, it seems like half of the OT is documenting the lineages of the first humans created. 'And Terah lived 70 years, and bore Abram, Nahor and Haran..'., etc..

    Now if it turned out there were magnificent civilizations and living wonders that all predated the humans from the Bible (indeed, that preceded the very existence of the creation itself), then you don't see how that might prove inconvenient to the biblical narrative, and therefor to the power of the priests, who were the exalted earthly intermediaries between hell and salvation for all living humans..

    why do you suppose Copernicus' book was banned by the Church?

    Even today there are many schools that favor the creation version of how humans arrived on earth over the Darwinian version. They want to keep the narrative going in the face of all evidence to the contrary, even today.

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  183. Rurik says: • Website
    @Philip Owen
    Moving from the Greeks to the biology, the answer is likely to be "No".

    Since agriculture our brains have become smaller, a characteristic of domestication.

    Amongst Homo Sapiens Sapiens, Cro Magnons had the largest brains (& eye sockets). Neanderthals had even larger brains and eye sockets. So in terms of sheer processing power, we are unlikely to be more intelligent. Wild carnivores have to be sharper than their prey. We don't. But there is no Neanderthal philosophy available to us. We think with language, which Neanderthals didn't have. OK - I'm an engineer, I also do a lot of visio-spatial thinking but only in idling or problem solving modes. My stream of consciousness is largely verbal.

    So, I suspect that we are a lot dumber visio-spatially than our ancestors. They would have a intuitive grasp of physics beyond ours. However, we have the vocabulary to describe things and share things. So, we have Babylonian maths and the Bible stretching back to the beginning of agriculture on which we have built and built. (I defend the Bible. In the Beginning was the Word is about as good as modern Astro-Physics as a piece of philosophy explaining origin. The first parts of Genesis are a very reasonable description of evolution, stripped of the figurative language of "creation". It is not obvious that we have moved all that far).

    We think with language, which Neanderthals didn’t have

    this long-held belief has recently been challenged by some “ground-breaking research” which suggests otherwise.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140302185241.htm

    The first parts of Genesis are a very reasonable description of evolution

    I agree. The parts about humans having eaten from the tree of the fruit of knowledge, and therefor expelled from the garden of Eden, is as poetically true as anything I’ve read.

    we humans are simultaneously animals and, also removed from the animal kingdom. We are a paradox, and are doomed to the perpetual struggle between both the earthly and mortal world, and the divine world of our dreams (and nightmares) and aspirations.

    otherwise, I very much agree with the gist of your thoughtful post

    we’ve lost a lot as we’ve become civilized (domesticated)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    As I understand it, Neanderthals might have been able to say "That is a young female" but not "my daughter is like a rose". Symbolic thinking was the Homo S S speciality. But on a one to one problem solving level I wouldn't rule out the Neanderthals as I understand it. They invented things like barbed spears but did not diffuse them to other groups.
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  184. @Philip Owen
    Moving from the Greeks to the biology, the answer is likely to be "No".

    Since agriculture our brains have become smaller, a characteristic of domestication.

    Amongst Homo Sapiens Sapiens, Cro Magnons had the largest brains (& eye sockets). Neanderthals had even larger brains and eye sockets. So in terms of sheer processing power, we are unlikely to be more intelligent. Wild carnivores have to be sharper than their prey. We don't. But there is no Neanderthal philosophy available to us. We think with language, which Neanderthals didn't have. OK - I'm an engineer, I also do a lot of visio-spatial thinking but only in idling or problem solving modes. My stream of consciousness is largely verbal.

    So, I suspect that we are a lot dumber visio-spatially than our ancestors. They would have a intuitive grasp of physics beyond ours. However, we have the vocabulary to describe things and share things. So, we have Babylonian maths and the Bible stretching back to the beginning of agriculture on which we have built and built. (I defend the Bible. In the Beginning was the Word is about as good as modern Astro-Physics as a piece of philosophy explaining origin. The first parts of Genesis are a very reasonable description of evolution, stripped of the figurative language of "creation". It is not obvious that we have moved all that far).

    So, I suspect that we are a lot dumber visio-spatially than our ancestors.

    But increased analytical skills*

    Read More
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  185. LauraMR says:
    @Rurik

    There is much knowledge that was lost with the collapse of the various civilizations.
     
    not just lost, but often deliberately destroyed, like the Library of Alexandria

    during the entire Middle Ages, the church must have burned or otherwise destroyed all archeological artifacts or other records of ancient man's genius and creations, unless they comported with the priest's narrative of the day.

    they were no better than the Taliban destroying ancient statues carved into mountain sides, or their ideological brothers today destroying the Baghdad museum and re-writing ancient history to comport with their own tribal narratives.

    So much has been lost, that it's impossible to really know just how magnificent our ancestors really were, when there's so many with their assorted agendas trying to make hay with some trite fable to enthrall the masses with and enslave their collective minds.

    The key issue is that progress gets harder over time, concepts build on each other, you need to tie more and more things together in increasingly complex ways.
     
    that's the easy part. The hard part is thinking up unique insights in the first place. For Copernicus to be told his entire life that the earth was the center of the universe, and that to question that was wrong and sinful, but not only did he question it, he revolutionized our understanding of the very skies and stars and our place in the universe.

    That's the kind of genius that's remarkable. The kind that pops up from out of nowhere and sees what's right in front of all our faces, but we lack the courage and intelligence to see it.

    Like Darwin, who singlehandedly saw what was really quite obvious.. now that he pointed it out. But for his mind to burst free of the mental chains of the day, and soar beyond the shackles his fellow scientists could not break, is the kind of genius we seem to be lacking today.

    we can build on the work of the giants who've come before us, but we seem woefully unable to innovate and create out of thin air, what men like Copernicus or Newton or Darwin were able to do.

    At least take the time to read on Darwin before bringing him up. The ideas were there before his time. He produced the scientific evidence. A great achievement but not one that serves your “argument”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    The ideas were there before his time.
     
    please provide some links...
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  186. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon
    Well, you evidently read the previous reply (#119), because you mentioned it, so I saw no need to clarify. See also #115.

    And since you've moved on to fossils, #177.

    You're welcome, and thanks for engaging in a reasonable manner.

    we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them,

    In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?

    for the same reason a hundred million year old dinosaur bone is. It doesn’t fit into the narrative.

    For a Medieval theologian, all things great and small were explained by the scripture. Man’s beginnings, and his earthy dramas and foibles and the meaning of his life. His origins were laid out from Adam right on down the line to Abraham and all the rest. If you read the Bible, it seems like half of the OT is documenting the lineages of the first humans created. ‘And Terah lived 70 years, and bore Abram, Nahor and Haran..’., etc..

    Now if it turned out there were magnificent civilizations and living wonders that all predated the humans from the Bible (indeed, that preceded the very existence of the creation itself), then you don’t see how that might prove inconvenient to the biblical narrative, and therefor to the power of the priests, who were the exalted earthly intermediaries between hell and salvation for all living humans..

    why do you suppose Copernicus’ book was banned by the Church?

    Even today there are many schools that favor the creation version of how humans arrived on earth over the Darwinian version. They want to keep the narrative going in the face of all evidence to the contrary, even today.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon

    Now if it turned out there were magnificent civilizations and living wonders that all predated the humans from the Bible
     
    No, because there are magnificent civilizations in the Bible. Persia, anyone? Assyria?
    , @Anon
    Please don't go into Canon Copernicus.

    Here is a good if somewhat irreverent treatment of the whole issue of heliocentrism.

    , @Anon

    we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them,
     
    Why do you bother to quote me if you are not going either to argue or rebut the quote?
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  187. Rurik says: • Website
    @LauraMR
    At least take the time to read on Darwin before bringing him up. The ideas were there before his time. He produced the scientific evidence. A great achievement but not one that serves your "argument".

    The ideas were there before his time.

    please provide some links…

    Read More
    • Replies: @LauraMR
    Links? Absurd beyond belief. Have you ever read a book?

    Anyway. Google it if that's the best you can do. You can start with Alfred Russel Wallace or just use Wikipedia. Even they know better.
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  188. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them,
     

    In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?
     
    for the same reason a hundred million year old dinosaur bone is. It doesn't fit into the narrative.

    For a Medieval theologian, all things great and small were explained by the scripture. Man's beginnings, and his earthy dramas and foibles and the meaning of his life. His origins were laid out from Adam right on down the line to Abraham and all the rest. If you read the Bible, it seems like half of the OT is documenting the lineages of the first humans created. 'And Terah lived 70 years, and bore Abram, Nahor and Haran..'., etc..

    Now if it turned out there were magnificent civilizations and living wonders that all predated the humans from the Bible (indeed, that preceded the very existence of the creation itself), then you don't see how that might prove inconvenient to the biblical narrative, and therefor to the power of the priests, who were the exalted earthly intermediaries between hell and salvation for all living humans..

    why do you suppose Copernicus' book was banned by the Church?

    Even today there are many schools that favor the creation version of how humans arrived on earth over the Darwinian version. They want to keep the narrative going in the face of all evidence to the contrary, even today.

    Now if it turned out there were magnificent civilizations and living wonders that all predated the humans from the Bible

    No, because there are magnificent civilizations in the Bible. Persia, anyone? Assyria?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    No, because there are magnificent civilizations in the Bible. Persia, anyone? Assyria?
     
    so the Church has always been open to all knowledge and evidence of all truths reaching back to millions of years before even the beginning of creation itself?

    their dogmas would never lead them to suppress knowledge or destroy artifacts that contradict the scriptures?

    they were open minded and sought naught but the truth, even to the detriment of their faith?

    when they did things like condemn Joan of Arc to burn at the stake..

    were they interested in the biddings of scripture and the search for truth, *or* earthly power?

    if earthly power, and they were willing to burn a devout teenage girl alive to augment their respective reign over others, then how less willing do you suppose they'd be to burn archeological artifacts if they considered them inconvenient?
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  189. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them,
     

    In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?
     
    for the same reason a hundred million year old dinosaur bone is. It doesn't fit into the narrative.

    For a Medieval theologian, all things great and small were explained by the scripture. Man's beginnings, and his earthy dramas and foibles and the meaning of his life. His origins were laid out from Adam right on down the line to Abraham and all the rest. If you read the Bible, it seems like half of the OT is documenting the lineages of the first humans created. 'And Terah lived 70 years, and bore Abram, Nahor and Haran..'., etc..

    Now if it turned out there were magnificent civilizations and living wonders that all predated the humans from the Bible (indeed, that preceded the very existence of the creation itself), then you don't see how that might prove inconvenient to the biblical narrative, and therefor to the power of the priests, who were the exalted earthly intermediaries between hell and salvation for all living humans..

    why do you suppose Copernicus' book was banned by the Church?

    Even today there are many schools that favor the creation version of how humans arrived on earth over the Darwinian version. They want to keep the narrative going in the face of all evidence to the contrary, even today.

    Please don’t go into Canon Copernicus.

    Here is a good if somewhat irreverent treatment of the whole issue of heliocentrism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    Here is a good if somewhat irreverent treatment of the whole issue of heliocentrism.
     
    it's too irreverent (I never thought I'd ever say such a thing ; ), for me to delve into.

    what's the point, that the earth is still the center of the universe?
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  190. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon

    Now if it turned out there were magnificent civilizations and living wonders that all predated the humans from the Bible
     
    No, because there are magnificent civilizations in the Bible. Persia, anyone? Assyria?

    No, because there are magnificent civilizations in the Bible. Persia, anyone? Assyria?

    so the Church has always been open to all knowledge and evidence of all truths reaching back to millions of years before even the beginning of creation itself?

    their dogmas would never lead them to suppress knowledge or destroy artifacts that contradict the scriptures?

    they were open minded and sought naught but the truth, even to the detriment of their faith?

    when they did things like condemn Joan of Arc to burn at the stake..

    were they interested in the biddings of scripture and the search for truth, *or* earthly power?

    if earthly power, and they were willing to burn a devout teenage girl alive to augment their respective reign over others, then how less willing do you suppose they’d be to burn archeological artifacts if they considered them inconvenient?

    Read More
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  191. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon
    Please don't go into Canon Copernicus.

    Here is a good if somewhat irreverent treatment of the whole issue of heliocentrism.

    Here is a good if somewhat irreverent treatment of the whole issue of heliocentrism.

    it’s too irreverent (I never thought I’d ever say such a thing ; ), for me to delve into.

    what’s the point, that the earth is still the center of the universe?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    what’s the point, that the earth is still the center of the universe?
    No. If you can't read him, read his sources. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm not in the business of providing a college education over the internet.

    Yes, you finally got me. Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, no saints nor scholars, were really vicious emperors keeping hordes of slaves, much like our Founding Fathers. The same is true of medieval Islamic clerics. I'm going to say it three times:
    "Medieval Islam was evil!"
    "Medieval Islam was evil!"
    "Medieval Islam was evil!" in the hope that this mystical formula will summon Talha to complete the debate for me.

    I'm truly sorry for the foregoing, but one does get tired. If you will permit me to recommend you a course of reading, try Regine Pernoud. All of her books are excellent; my personal favourite is the one about the Crusades, which actually consists entirely of period sources, with brief introductions.

    I'll just tackle one of your points: wrt millions of years, how would this even be known without the dating of strata, etc.?
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  192. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    Here is a good if somewhat irreverent treatment of the whole issue of heliocentrism.
     
    it's too irreverent (I never thought I'd ever say such a thing ; ), for me to delve into.

    what's the point, that the earth is still the center of the universe?

    what’s the point, that the earth is still the center of the universe?
    No. If you can’t read him, read his sources. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m not in the business of providing a college education over the internet.

    Yes, you finally got me. Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, no saints nor scholars, were really vicious emperors keeping hordes of slaves, much like our Founding Fathers. The same is true of medieval Islamic clerics. I’m going to say it three times:
    “Medieval Islam was evil!”
    “Medieval Islam was evil!”
    “Medieval Islam was evil!” in the hope that this mystical formula will summon Talha to complete the debate for me.

    I’m truly sorry for the foregoing, but one does get tired. If you will permit me to recommend you a course of reading, try Regine Pernoud. All of her books are excellent; my personal favourite is the one about the Crusades, which actually consists entirely of period sources, with brief introductions.

    I’ll just tackle one of your points: wrt millions of years, how would this even be known without the dating of strata, etc.?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    but I’m not in the business of providing a college education over the internet.

     

    OK, this is from your source

    The great dishonesty of Galileo’s Dialogue was to present a contest between the Copernican and Ptolemaic models. By that time, both had been smacked down and the real contest was between the Tychonic/Ursine models and Kepler’s model, with the Ursine model being “ahead on points.” Galileo did not mention either one. He regarded the Tychonic/Ursine models as unaesthetic and klunky. He seems to have regarded Kepler's model, which came annexed to a physics in which the Sun put out a mysterious force that chivvied the planets about, as occultism. Besides, he was committed to perfect Platonic circles, and Kepler had ellipticated them. Boo.
     
    this reads like sheer idiocy

    Patient Reader will blink in astonishment at some of the objections and a little thought-balloon reading WTF? will form over his or her noggin. For example, heavy bodies will in the common course of nature fall toward the center of the world. If the Sun were in the center of the world, cannon balls dropped from the tower of Pisa would fly off toward the Sun; but we see that they do not, therefore etc.
     
    if that's what they're teaching in the colleges these days, then I thank my Gods I never wasted the money.

    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/10/9-great-ptolemaic-smackdown-from.html


    Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, no saints nor scholars, were really vicious emperors keeping hordes of slaves, much like our Founding Fathers.
     
    you even write in the style that website. Snarky, smarmy, sanctimonious and supercilious smug.

    But since you mentioned Aquinas, and because he's always been one of my personal heroes, I'll happily grant that not all Christians from that era were power-crazed assholes. And that most were men and women of honor and character and noble piety.

    Indeed, I suspect that it's much the same today as it was then, with the flocks of everyday Christians being as good and as decent and intelligent and honorable as any people you'll find anywhere. Perhaps even more so, in many cases.

    But the leadership. That's something different! Just take the leadership of the Catholic Church for example, to numb your soul at the sheer evil of a group of men who would coddle some of the most sinister monsters on God's green earth.

    Or the Evangelicals, that would watch every single living relative of Jesus Christ be genocided in the holy land to make way for Christ-hating murderers and war pig$

    There doesn't seem to be one outrage against reason or truth or simple human decency that the Christian leadership today doesn't preach from the pulpits as consecrated and venerable.

    when's the last time you heard a Christian leader excoriate the eternal wars based on lies as evil, wrong and immoral, not to mention anti-Christian?

    When's the last time you heard a Christian leader condemn the genocide in the holy land?

    From the Vatican to the TV preachers, it's all Israel all day long, even as that regime is as demonic and Satanic as a regime can be.

    But not to worry! As long as those shekels keep flowing into the coffers, their craven abasement to Zionism and politically correct pop culture spiritual sewage will all be quite sanctified.

    Looking at the nature of today's Christian church, I don't know who'd be vomiting more, Thomas Aquinas or Jesus Christ Himself.

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  193. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon
    what’s the point, that the earth is still the center of the universe?
    No. If you can't read him, read his sources. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm not in the business of providing a college education over the internet.

    Yes, you finally got me. Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, no saints nor scholars, were really vicious emperors keeping hordes of slaves, much like our Founding Fathers. The same is true of medieval Islamic clerics. I'm going to say it three times:
    "Medieval Islam was evil!"
    "Medieval Islam was evil!"
    "Medieval Islam was evil!" in the hope that this mystical formula will summon Talha to complete the debate for me.

    I'm truly sorry for the foregoing, but one does get tired. If you will permit me to recommend you a course of reading, try Regine Pernoud. All of her books are excellent; my personal favourite is the one about the Crusades, which actually consists entirely of period sources, with brief introductions.

    I'll just tackle one of your points: wrt millions of years, how would this even be known without the dating of strata, etc.?

    but I’m not in the business of providing a college education over the internet.

    OK, this is from your source

    The great dishonesty of Galileo’s Dialogue was to present a contest between the Copernican and Ptolemaic models. By that time, both had been smacked down and the real contest was between the Tychonic/Ursine models and Kepler’s model, with the Ursine model being “ahead on points.” Galileo did not mention either one. He regarded the Tychonic/Ursine models as unaesthetic and klunky. He seems to have regarded Kepler’s model, which came annexed to a physics in which the Sun put out a mysterious force that chivvied the planets about, as occultism. Besides, he was committed to perfect Platonic circles, and Kepler had ellipticated them. Boo.

    this reads like sheer idiocy

    Patient Reader will blink in astonishment at some of the objections and a little thought-balloon reading WTF? will form over his or her noggin. For example, heavy bodies will in the common course of nature fall toward the center of the world. If the Sun were in the center of the world, cannon balls dropped from the tower of Pisa would fly off toward the Sun; but we see that they do not, therefore etc.

    if that’s what they’re teaching in the colleges these days, then I thank my Gods I never wasted the money.

    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/10/9-great-ptolemaic-smackdown-from.html

    Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, no saints nor scholars, were really vicious emperors keeping hordes of slaves, much like our Founding Fathers.

    you even write in the style that website. Snarky, smarmy, sanctimonious and supercilious smug.

    But since you mentioned Aquinas, and because he’s always been one of my personal heroes, I’ll happily grant that not all Christians from that era were power-crazed assholes. And that most were men and women of honor and character and noble piety.

    Indeed, I suspect that it’s much the same today as it was then, with the flocks of everyday Christians being as good and as decent and intelligent and honorable as any people you’ll find anywhere. Perhaps even more so, in many cases.

    But the leadership. That’s something different! Just take the leadership of the Catholic Church for example, to numb your soul at the sheer evil of a group of men who would coddle some of the most sinister monsters on God’s green earth.

    Or the Evangelicals, that would watch every single living relative of Jesus Christ be genocided in the holy land to make way for Christ-hating murderers and war pig$

    There doesn’t seem to be one outrage against reason or truth or simple human decency that the Christian leadership today doesn’t preach from the pulpits as consecrated and venerable.

    when’s the last time you heard a Christian leader excoriate the eternal wars based on lies as evil, wrong and immoral, not to mention anti-Christian?

    When’s the last time you heard a Christian leader condemn the genocide in the holy land?

    From the Vatican to the TV preachers, it’s all Israel all day long, even as that regime is as demonic and Satanic as a regime can be.

    But not to worry! As long as those shekels keep flowing into the coffers, their craven abasement to Zionism and politically correct pop culture spiritual sewage will all be quite sanctified.

    Looking at the nature of today’s Christian church, I don’t know who’d be vomiting more, Thomas Aquinas or Jesus Christ Himself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon

    The article has appeared on-line as part of the reading for a course in science education, taught by Leonard Bliss at Florida International University in Miami. This non-commercial use was with permission.
     
    Anyway... You seem to be in the habit of cherry-picking for passages you find objectionable, which does not speak particularly well of your devotion to St. Thomas.

    Now, in case you’re keeping tabs, there were by this time no less than seven models in play in the early 1600s:

    Heraclidean. Geo-heliocentric. Mercury and Venus circle the Sun; everything else circles the Earth.
    Ptolemaic. Geocentric, stationary Earth.
    Copernican. Heliocentric, pure circles with lots of epicycles.
    Gilbertian. Geocentric, rotating Earth. (proposed by William Gilbert in De magnete)
    Tychonic. Geo-heliocentric. Sun and Moon circle the Earth; everything else circles the Sun.
    Ursine. Tychonic, with rotating Earth.
    Keplerian. Heliocentric, with elliptical orbits.

    Physics deals with the abstracted properties
    of physical bodies; mathematics, with the
    abstracted properties of ideal bodies.
    (Moderns treat Kepler like a minor amendment to Copernicus. But the astronomers of the time regarded Kepler’s elliptical astronomy as separate from and a competitor to Copernicus’ model.)

    Standing against all of these was Aristotelian physics, which saw no justification for the epicycles and other foo-foo in Ptolemaic and Copernican astronomy, for the spinning Earth of the Gilbertian and Ursine models, the sun-centeredness of the Copernican and Keplerian models, or for the gimcrackery of the Heraclidean, Tychonic, or Ursine models. Lofty physicists, who were, you know, scientists, looked down on mere astronomers, who were simply mathematicians.

    At this point in our story, Ptolemy is still ahead. Tycho has few adherents. Copernicus has even fewer adherents (mainly humanists, not astronomers) and most of those who adopt it, do so on instrumentalist grounds. No one can make sense out of Kepler's math. Ursus and Gilbert seem stuck in the starting gate, since their spinning earths are a major stumbling block.
     
    Yup. Pure snark. No substance there.

    I admit I was somewhat excessive, and will probably continue to be, as I am constitutionally impatient, but if you don't call your own posts excessive you must be crazier than I am, and that is saying a lot.

    Again, if you find Mr. Flynn's style objectionable, you should do as I suggested and read his references, which are all given. Here's some more: http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/teaching/copernicus.html .

    The rest of your post is about the Vatican and Israel (???), so I don't really have anything to say to it.

    I'll repeat my invocation, as it doesn't seem to be working:
    "Medieval Muslims were evil!"
    "Medieval Muslims were evil!"
    "Medieval Muslims were evil!"

    Seriously, all joking aside, if you think medieval Muslims were less or more power-hungry than their Christian neighbors, I'd like to hear about it.
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  194. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    but I’m not in the business of providing a college education over the internet.

     

    OK, this is from your source

    The great dishonesty of Galileo’s Dialogue was to present a contest between the Copernican and Ptolemaic models. By that time, both had been smacked down and the real contest was between the Tychonic/Ursine models and Kepler’s model, with the Ursine model being “ahead on points.” Galileo did not mention either one. He regarded the Tychonic/Ursine models as unaesthetic and klunky. He seems to have regarded Kepler's model, which came annexed to a physics in which the Sun put out a mysterious force that chivvied the planets about, as occultism. Besides, he was committed to perfect Platonic circles, and Kepler had ellipticated them. Boo.
     
    this reads like sheer idiocy

    Patient Reader will blink in astonishment at some of the objections and a little thought-balloon reading WTF? will form over his or her noggin. For example, heavy bodies will in the common course of nature fall toward the center of the world. If the Sun were in the center of the world, cannon balls dropped from the tower of Pisa would fly off toward the Sun; but we see that they do not, therefore etc.
     
    if that's what they're teaching in the colleges these days, then I thank my Gods I never wasted the money.

    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/10/9-great-ptolemaic-smackdown-from.html


    Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, no saints nor scholars, were really vicious emperors keeping hordes of slaves, much like our Founding Fathers.
     
    you even write in the style that website. Snarky, smarmy, sanctimonious and supercilious smug.

    But since you mentioned Aquinas, and because he's always been one of my personal heroes, I'll happily grant that not all Christians from that era were power-crazed assholes. And that most were men and women of honor and character and noble piety.

    Indeed, I suspect that it's much the same today as it was then, with the flocks of everyday Christians being as good and as decent and intelligent and honorable as any people you'll find anywhere. Perhaps even more so, in many cases.

    But the leadership. That's something different! Just take the leadership of the Catholic Church for example, to numb your soul at the sheer evil of a group of men who would coddle some of the most sinister monsters on God's green earth.

    Or the Evangelicals, that would watch every single living relative of Jesus Christ be genocided in the holy land to make way for Christ-hating murderers and war pig$

    There doesn't seem to be one outrage against reason or truth or simple human decency that the Christian leadership today doesn't preach from the pulpits as consecrated and venerable.

    when's the last time you heard a Christian leader excoriate the eternal wars based on lies as evil, wrong and immoral, not to mention anti-Christian?

    When's the last time you heard a Christian leader condemn the genocide in the holy land?

    From the Vatican to the TV preachers, it's all Israel all day long, even as that regime is as demonic and Satanic as a regime can be.

    But not to worry! As long as those shekels keep flowing into the coffers, their craven abasement to Zionism and politically correct pop culture spiritual sewage will all be quite sanctified.

    Looking at the nature of today's Christian church, I don't know who'd be vomiting more, Thomas Aquinas or Jesus Christ Himself.

    The article has appeared on-line as part of the reading for a course in science education, taught by Leonard Bliss at Florida International University in Miami. This non-commercial use was with permission.

    Anyway… You seem to be in the habit of cherry-picking for passages you find objectionable, which does not speak particularly well of your devotion to St. Thomas.

    Now, in case you’re keeping tabs, there were by this time no less than seven models in play in the early 1600s:

    Heraclidean. Geo-heliocentric. Mercury and Venus circle the Sun; everything else circles the Earth.
    Ptolemaic. Geocentric, stationary Earth.
    Copernican. Heliocentric, pure circles with lots of epicycles.
    Gilbertian. Geocentric, rotating Earth. (proposed by William Gilbert in De magnete)
    Tychonic. Geo-heliocentric. Sun and Moon circle the Earth; everything else circles the Sun.
    Ursine. Tychonic, with rotating Earth.
    Keplerian. Heliocentric, with elliptical orbits.

    Physics deals with the abstracted properties
    of physical bodies; mathematics, with the
    abstracted properties of ideal bodies.
    (Moderns treat Kepler like a minor amendment to Copernicus. But the astronomers of the time regarded Kepler’s elliptical astronomy as separate from and a competitor to Copernicus’ model.)

    Standing against all of these was Aristotelian physics, which saw no justification for the epicycles and other foo-foo in Ptolemaic and Copernican astronomy, for the spinning Earth of the Gilbertian and Ursine models, the sun-centeredness of the Copernican and Keplerian models, or for the gimcrackery of the Heraclidean, Tychonic, or Ursine models. Lofty physicists, who were, you know, scientists, looked down on mere astronomers, who were simply mathematicians.

    At this point in our story, Ptolemy is still ahead. Tycho has few adherents. Copernicus has even fewer adherents (mainly humanists, not astronomers) and most of those who adopt it, do so on instrumentalist grounds. No one can make sense out of Kepler’s math. Ursus and Gilbert seem stuck in the starting gate, since their spinning earths are a major stumbling block.

    Yup. Pure snark. No substance there.

    I admit I was somewhat excessive, and will probably continue to be, as I am constitutionally impatient, but if you don’t call your own posts excessive you must be crazier than I am, and that is saying a lot.

    Again, if you find Mr. Flynn’s style objectionable, you should do as I suggested and read his references, which are all given. Here’s some more: http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/teaching/copernicus.html .

    The rest of your post is about the Vatican and Israel (???), so I don’t really have anything to say to it.

    I’ll repeat my invocation, as it doesn’t seem to be working:
    “Medieval Muslims were evil!”
    “Medieval Muslims were evil!”
    “Medieval Muslims were evil!”

    Seriously, all joking aside, if you think medieval Muslims were less or more power-hungry than their Christian neighbors, I’d like to hear about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    Ptolemaic. Geocentric, stationary Earth.
    ...
    At this point in our story, Ptolemy is still ahead.
     
    I feel somehow sullied for having participated in this farce

    The rest of your post is about the Vatican and Israel (???),
     
    the point is that if the leaders of the Christian church are today as venal and rotten as can be, and willing to coddle Satanic child rapists and war pigs to maintain their exalted positions in (earthly) society, then why (other than the few giants among the Christian community like Aquinas), should we believe that Dark Age Christian leaders were any better?

    Like I said, if they were willing to burn the young Joan of Arc alive at the stake for reasons of raw earthly power, then what reason do we have for supposing they didn't also burn or destroy all archeological evidence found during those centuries that didn't comport to the very strict narrative upon which all their perks and wealth and power emanated from?

    Based on the character of the Christian leadership today, I don't see one iniquity or sin that they don't condone or even sanctify so long as it will augment their position with the (murderous, war mongering, Western civilization destroying) PTB.

    Trust me, I wish I was wrong about that.

    medieval Muslims were less or more power-hungry than their Christian neighbors,
     
    more

    I was raised to believe that the Crusades and Saint Isabella's strident means of removing Spain's enemies, were stains upon the fabric of Christendom / Western civilization. But I've since learned that- as with everything else I've been told that all turned out to be agenda-driven lies; so too were those blood libels heaped upon our ancestors, for simply defending their lands and their culture and their iconic spiritual sacred places from Jewish/Muslim treachery and aggression [respectively]

    indeed, most of what we read about vis-a-vis the folly of the leaders and religions of the Middle Ages, are glaringly true of their modern day posers right now. Deceit, treachery, wars, insatiable self-interest are all there. Along with the flocks of working and middle class believers too busy trying to survive or raise families to unravel the snake behind the masquerade.

    Rurik ~ the irreverent
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  195. LauraMR says:
    @Rurik

    The ideas were there before his time.
     
    please provide some links...

    Links? Absurd beyond belief. Have you ever read a book?

    Anyway. Google it if that’s the best you can do. You can start with Alfred Russel Wallace or just use Wikipedia. Even they know better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    Have you ever read a book?
     
    have you always been an ugly cow?

    of course I don't mean physically, but personality-wise, have you always been an ugly, insufferable hag?

    with all due respect
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  196. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them,
     

    In what way would, say, a Bronze-Age tomb pose any problem to medieval theologians?
     
    for the same reason a hundred million year old dinosaur bone is. It doesn't fit into the narrative.

    For a Medieval theologian, all things great and small were explained by the scripture. Man's beginnings, and his earthy dramas and foibles and the meaning of his life. His origins were laid out from Adam right on down the line to Abraham and all the rest. If you read the Bible, it seems like half of the OT is documenting the lineages of the first humans created. 'And Terah lived 70 years, and bore Abram, Nahor and Haran..'., etc..

    Now if it turned out there were magnificent civilizations and living wonders that all predated the humans from the Bible (indeed, that preceded the very existence of the creation itself), then you don't see how that might prove inconvenient to the biblical narrative, and therefor to the power of the priests, who were the exalted earthly intermediaries between hell and salvation for all living humans..

    why do you suppose Copernicus' book was banned by the Church?

    Even today there are many schools that favor the creation version of how humans arrived on earth over the Darwinian version. They want to keep the narrative going in the face of all evidence to the contrary, even today.

    we know the medievals found fossils because they discussed them,

    Why do you bother to quote me if you are not going either to argue or rebut the quote?

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  197. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon

    The article has appeared on-line as part of the reading for a course in science education, taught by Leonard Bliss at Florida International University in Miami. This non-commercial use was with permission.
     
    Anyway... You seem to be in the habit of cherry-picking for passages you find objectionable, which does not speak particularly well of your devotion to St. Thomas.

    Now, in case you’re keeping tabs, there were by this time no less than seven models in play in the early 1600s:

    Heraclidean. Geo-heliocentric. Mercury and Venus circle the Sun; everything else circles the Earth.
    Ptolemaic. Geocentric, stationary Earth.
    Copernican. Heliocentric, pure circles with lots of epicycles.
    Gilbertian. Geocentric, rotating Earth. (proposed by William Gilbert in De magnete)
    Tychonic. Geo-heliocentric. Sun and Moon circle the Earth; everything else circles the Sun.
    Ursine. Tychonic, with rotating Earth.
    Keplerian. Heliocentric, with elliptical orbits.

    Physics deals with the abstracted properties
    of physical bodies; mathematics, with the
    abstracted properties of ideal bodies.
    (Moderns treat Kepler like a minor amendment to Copernicus. But the astronomers of the time regarded Kepler’s elliptical astronomy as separate from and a competitor to Copernicus’ model.)

    Standing against all of these was Aristotelian physics, which saw no justification for the epicycles and other foo-foo in Ptolemaic and Copernican astronomy, for the spinning Earth of the Gilbertian and Ursine models, the sun-centeredness of the Copernican and Keplerian models, or for the gimcrackery of the Heraclidean, Tychonic, or Ursine models. Lofty physicists, who were, you know, scientists, looked down on mere astronomers, who were simply mathematicians.

    At this point in our story, Ptolemy is still ahead. Tycho has few adherents. Copernicus has even fewer adherents (mainly humanists, not astronomers) and most of those who adopt it, do so on instrumentalist grounds. No one can make sense out of Kepler's math. Ursus and Gilbert seem stuck in the starting gate, since their spinning earths are a major stumbling block.
     
    Yup. Pure snark. No substance there.

    I admit I was somewhat excessive, and will probably continue to be, as I am constitutionally impatient, but if you don't call your own posts excessive you must be crazier than I am, and that is saying a lot.

    Again, if you find Mr. Flynn's style objectionable, you should do as I suggested and read his references, which are all given. Here's some more: http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/teaching/copernicus.html .

    The rest of your post is about the Vatican and Israel (???), so I don't really have anything to say to it.

    I'll repeat my invocation, as it doesn't seem to be working:
    "Medieval Muslims were evil!"
    "Medieval Muslims were evil!"
    "Medieval Muslims were evil!"

    Seriously, all joking aside, if you think medieval Muslims were less or more power-hungry than their Christian neighbors, I'd like to hear about it.

    Ptolemaic. Geocentric, stationary Earth.

    At this point in our story, Ptolemy is still ahead.

    I feel somehow sullied for having participated in this farce

    The rest of your post is about the Vatican and Israel (???),

    the point is that if the leaders of the Christian church are today as venal and rotten as can be, and willing to coddle Satanic child rapists and war pigs to maintain their exalted positions in (earthly) society, then why (other than the few giants among the Christian community like Aquinas), should we believe that Dark Age Christian leaders were any better?

    Like I said, if they were willing to burn the young Joan of Arc alive at the stake for reasons of raw earthly power, then what reason do we have for supposing they didn’t also burn or destroy all archeological evidence found during those centuries that didn’t comport to the very strict narrative upon which all their perks and wealth and power emanated from?

    Based on the character of the Christian leadership today, I don’t see one iniquity or sin that they don’t condone or even sanctify so long as it will augment their position with the (murderous, war mongering, Western civilization destroying) PTB.

    Trust me, I wish I was wrong about that.

    medieval Muslims were less or more power-hungry than their Christian neighbors,

    more

    I was raised to believe that the Crusades and Saint Isabella’s strident means of removing Spain’s enemies, were stains upon the fabric of Christendom / Western civilization. But I’ve since learned that- as with everything else I’ve been told that all turned out to be agenda-driven lies; so too were those blood libels heaped upon our ancestors, for simply defending their lands and their culture and their iconic spiritual sacred places from Jewish/Muslim treachery and aggression [respectively]

    indeed, most of what we read about vis-a-vis the folly of the leaders and religions of the Middle Ages, are glaringly true of their modern day posers right now. Deceit, treachery, wars, insatiable self-interest are all there. Along with the flocks of working and middle class believers too busy trying to survive or raise families to unravel the snake behind the masquerade.

    Rurik ~ the irreverent

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Ignoring the relative truth or untruth of your description of Israel, which this is not the place to argue, your argument basically comes down to something like: "President Trump is a spineless SOB and President Lincoln was willing to accept the death of millions; therefore President Washington was both, as was Sun Yat-sen". I advise you to carefully read through your own posts and apply them to a careful logical scrutiny, so as to make your mentor St. Thomas proud of them, which at present I can assure you he is not.

    Unlike "LauraMR", I am sure you have read a fair number of books over your lifetime and are fairly intelligent, but I can see how one could get the impression from your broken and rambling style of writing that this was not the case, and I advise you when criticizing the style (or irreverence!) of others to keep in mind an old maxim about glass houses.

    Here, yet again, is my argument:

    1. It is posited that some group of people throughout the length of the Middle Ages would destroy any fossils when these were found.

    I deny this assertion, because we have plain evidence that fossils were found and not destroyed.

    2. It is posited that Bronze-Age or previous prehistoric artifacts were destroyed by the same group of people over the same length of time, for the reason that the knowledge of the existence of these artifacts would be prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    I do not categorically deny this as I did the last, as it is not prima facie impossible. However, I regard it as extremely implausible, for the reasons given in posts #115 and #119, to which I will add that nobody, not even the fundamentalists of the past two centuries who objected to the fossil record, has ever regarded the existence of Bronze-Age artifacts or megaliths of any age --which have of course survived the Middle Ages quite unharmed, unlike the Pyramids which were quarried for stone-- as prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    Thanks for reasonably and (comparatively) briefly answering my question about medieval Islam, which I'll admit was something of a digression on my part.
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  198. Rurik says: • Website
    @LauraMR
    Links? Absurd beyond belief. Have you ever read a book?

    Anyway. Google it if that's the best you can do. You can start with Alfred Russel Wallace or just use Wikipedia. Even they know better.

    Have you ever read a book?

    have you always been an ugly cow?

    of course I don’t mean physically, but personality-wise, have you always been an ugly, insufferable hag?

    with all due respect

    Read More
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  199. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rurik

    Ptolemaic. Geocentric, stationary Earth.
    ...
    At this point in our story, Ptolemy is still ahead.
     
    I feel somehow sullied for having participated in this farce

    The rest of your post is about the Vatican and Israel (???),
     
    the point is that if the leaders of the Christian church are today as venal and rotten as can be, and willing to coddle Satanic child rapists and war pigs to maintain their exalted positions in (earthly) society, then why (other than the few giants among the Christian community like Aquinas), should we believe that Dark Age Christian leaders were any better?

    Like I said, if they were willing to burn the young Joan of Arc alive at the stake for reasons of raw earthly power, then what reason do we have for supposing they didn't also burn or destroy all archeological evidence found during those centuries that didn't comport to the very strict narrative upon which all their perks and wealth and power emanated from?

    Based on the character of the Christian leadership today, I don't see one iniquity or sin that they don't condone or even sanctify so long as it will augment their position with the (murderous, war mongering, Western civilization destroying) PTB.

    Trust me, I wish I was wrong about that.

    medieval Muslims were less or more power-hungry than their Christian neighbors,
     
    more

    I was raised to believe that the Crusades and Saint Isabella's strident means of removing Spain's enemies, were stains upon the fabric of Christendom / Western civilization. But I've since learned that- as with everything else I've been told that all turned out to be agenda-driven lies; so too were those blood libels heaped upon our ancestors, for simply defending their lands and their culture and their iconic spiritual sacred places from Jewish/Muslim treachery and aggression [respectively]

    indeed, most of what we read about vis-a-vis the folly of the leaders and religions of the Middle Ages, are glaringly true of their modern day posers right now. Deceit, treachery, wars, insatiable self-interest are all there. Along with the flocks of working and middle class believers too busy trying to survive or raise families to unravel the snake behind the masquerade.

    Rurik ~ the irreverent

    Ignoring the relative truth or untruth of your description of Israel, which this is not the place to argue, your argument basically comes down to something like: “President Trump is a spineless SOB and President Lincoln was willing to accept the death of millions; therefore President Washington was both, as was Sun Yat-sen”. I advise you to carefully read through your own posts and apply them to a careful logical scrutiny, so as to make your mentor St. Thomas proud of them, which at present I can assure you he is not.

    Unlike “LauraMR”, I am sure you have read a fair number of books over your lifetime and are fairly intelligent, but I can see how one could get the impression from your broken and rambling style of writing that this was not the case, and I advise you when criticizing the style (or irreverence!) of others to keep in mind an old maxim about glass houses.

    Here, yet again, is my argument:

    1. It is posited that some group of people throughout the length of the Middle Ages would destroy any fossils when these were found.

    I deny this assertion, because we have plain evidence that fossils were found and not destroyed.

    2. It is posited that Bronze-Age or previous prehistoric artifacts were destroyed by the same group of people over the same length of time, for the reason that the knowledge of the existence of these artifacts would be prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    I do not categorically deny this as I did the last, as it is not prima facie impossible. However, I regard it as extremely implausible, for the reasons given in posts #115 and #119, to which I will add that nobody, not even the fundamentalists of the past two centuries who objected to the fossil record, has ever regarded the existence of Bronze-Age artifacts or megaliths of any age –which have of course survived the Middle Ages quite unharmed, unlike the Pyramids which were quarried for stone– as prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    Thanks for reasonably and (comparatively) briefly answering my question about medieval Islam, which I’ll admit was something of a digression on my part.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    your argument basically comes down to something like: “President Trump is a spineless SOB and President Lincoln was willing to accept the death of millions; therefore President Washington was both, as was Sun Yat-sen”.
     
    I tend to use an apostrophe when "quoting" someone, especially when it's outrageous and preposterous hyperbole.

    *for the record*, my arguments basically come down to ~ Many people (especially those who seek power over others) will lie and cheat and murder and commit unspeakable atrocities (and, well- do any evil imaginable) - to get and retain that power.

    That's what I consider to be the record of history, it's what I consider to be an honest assessment of human nature, and more to the point, it's what I see all over the planet unfolding today right in front of my (and your) eyes. But there are none so blind...


    I advise you to carefully read through your own posts and apply them to a careful logical scrutiny, so as to make your mentor St. Thomas proud of them, which at present I can assure you he is not.
     
    I stand by every word I have written on Unz Review since I started posting here a year or two ago. Every ~ single ~ word.

    and I can promise you that St. Thomas would be more than proud of my consistency, honesty, and most of all integrity. Aquinas valued integrity, and even if we wouldn't agree on many other issues, the issue of integrity is one I'm certain we could share a nice goblet of wine over.


    your broken and rambling style of writing
     
    mea maxima culpa

    glass houses.

     

    I have infinite patience for stupidity, (well, lots anyways). What I don't have patience for is crass rudeness towards one's betters.

    1. It is posited that some group of people throughout the length of the Middle Ages would destroy any fossils when these were found.

    I deny this assertion, because we have plain evidence that fossils were found and not destroyed.
     

    as for point number 1. please see my 'for the record' statement. I believe it covers this issue fulsomely.

    some fossils were found and not destroyed. But how many were found and summarily destroyed, we'll never know. But I posit to you sir/or ma'am/madam, that if we think logically, and consider the length and breath of the centuries long Medieval Ages, with people no doubt going into caves all over Europe and finding Neanderthal and dinosaurs and other bones and fossils, and no doubt glorious archeological burials of advanced civilizations and other artifacts, that there seems to me a dearth of these things that were puzzled over and survived those days. No?

    Where are the canons of the Church that dealt with these things? Where are the ecclesiastical edicts pointing out that there were many of the Lord's working in heaven and earth that there are no biblical explanations for?

    Or, would it simply have suited the PTB to destroy all evidence of the Lord's mysterious ways that didn't comport to their narrow world view?

    that is for the reader to decide, since we can't prove a negative, or show evidence or records that were specifically destroyed so that they could not be shown.


    2. It is posited that Bronze-Age or previous prehistoric artifacts were destroyed by the same group of people over the same length of time, for the reason that the knowledge of the existence of these artifacts would be prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    I do not categorically deny this ...
     

    we're getting somewhere!

    not even the fundamentalists of the past two centuries who objected to the fossil record, has ever regarded the existence of Bronze-Age artifacts or megaliths of any age –which have of course survived the Middle Ages quite unharmed, unlike the Pyramids which were quarried for stone– as prejudicial to the Christian faith.
     
    when George Bush (and his deepstate henchmen) specifically allowed the Museum of Baghdad to be looted and destroyed, (even as the oil wells were all easily defended), do you suppose that the motivations in destroying that history were all benign, vis-a-vis modern Judeo/Christianity?

    That's just what popped into my mind when I think of modern power-crazed assholes destroying ancient, potentially inconvenient artifacts to bolster their own mendacious and tyrannical narrative.


    prejudicial to the Christian faith.
     
    or consider the treatment of Galileo, or more recently, the 'Scopes Monkey Trial', and the modern day adherents of William Jennings Bryan who would teach only creationism in the local schools.

    Are they so different than a 12th century hypothetical Pope, who would order a magnificent buried city- with evidence of far advanced civilizations- utterly destroyed, as a threat to his earthy power?

    (somehow I just thought of that scene from the Planet of the Apes where the science ape orders the cave in the 'forbidden lands' destroyed.)

    to end this, I'm going to quote my own words about earthy power:


    *for the record*, my arguments basically come down to ~ many people (especially those who seek power over others) will lie and cheat and murder and commit unspeakable atrocities (and, well- do any evil imaginable) - to get and retain that power.
     
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  200. @Rurik

    We think with language, which Neanderthals didn’t have
     
    this long-held belief has recently been challenged by some "ground-breaking research" which suggests otherwise.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140302185241.htm


    The first parts of Genesis are a very reasonable description of evolution
     
    I agree. The parts about humans having eaten from the tree of the fruit of knowledge, and therefor expelled from the garden of Eden, is as poetically true as anything I've read.

    we humans are simultaneously animals and, also removed from the animal kingdom. We are a paradox, and are doomed to the perpetual struggle between both the earthly and mortal world, and the divine world of our dreams (and nightmares) and aspirations.

    otherwise, I very much agree with the gist of your thoughtful post

    we've lost a lot as we've become civilized (domesticated)

    As I understand it, Neanderthals might have been able to say “That is a young female” but not “my daughter is like a rose”. Symbolic thinking was the Homo S S speciality. But on a one to one problem solving level I wouldn’t rule out the Neanderthals as I understand it. They invented things like barbed spears but did not diffuse them to other groups.

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  201. RobRich says: • Website
    @reiner Tor
    If you can learn quantum mechanics but not Aristotle, then the former must be simpler. But it seems to be the other way around.

    So, all you need to show is that what the ancient Greeks discovered is just as difficult to grasp (or, better, more so) for a person of a given IQ (say, 115 IQ), than it is to grasp what modern European scientists have discovered, like quantum mechanics. I think it's easy to show that the latter is more difficult, though I'm not sure anyone has ever done anything to prove it. It'd need a few well-designed studies to do so, but I think it could be done.

    “quantum mechanics…. it’s easy to show that…is more difficult, though I’m not sure anyone has ever done anything to prove it.”

    That’s because they can’t. If you can grok statistics, you get quantum mechanics. It got started in reflection on applying insurance statistics to atomic behavior, for crying out loud.

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  202. Igwe says:

    Personally I think we are dumber based on the population size of great civilizations. How many people were in Ancient Egypt or Greece or Maya or China. How many were in the Italian city states during the renaissance. You always get numbers less than a million for most of these great civilizations. And yet today we have 320 million Americans, most of them building nothing, creating nothing, achieving nothing. The percentage of creators is far less. It’s the same with almost every other country on earth no matter how advanced. Really disturbing

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  203. Rurik says: • Website
    @Anon
    Ignoring the relative truth or untruth of your description of Israel, which this is not the place to argue, your argument basically comes down to something like: "President Trump is a spineless SOB and President Lincoln was willing to accept the death of millions; therefore President Washington was both, as was Sun Yat-sen". I advise you to carefully read through your own posts and apply them to a careful logical scrutiny, so as to make your mentor St. Thomas proud of them, which at present I can assure you he is not.

    Unlike "LauraMR", I am sure you have read a fair number of books over your lifetime and are fairly intelligent, but I can see how one could get the impression from your broken and rambling style of writing that this was not the case, and I advise you when criticizing the style (or irreverence!) of others to keep in mind an old maxim about glass houses.

    Here, yet again, is my argument:

    1. It is posited that some group of people throughout the length of the Middle Ages would destroy any fossils when these were found.

    I deny this assertion, because we have plain evidence that fossils were found and not destroyed.

    2. It is posited that Bronze-Age or previous prehistoric artifacts were destroyed by the same group of people over the same length of time, for the reason that the knowledge of the existence of these artifacts would be prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    I do not categorically deny this as I did the last, as it is not prima facie impossible. However, I regard it as extremely implausible, for the reasons given in posts #115 and #119, to which I will add that nobody, not even the fundamentalists of the past two centuries who objected to the fossil record, has ever regarded the existence of Bronze-Age artifacts or megaliths of any age --which have of course survived the Middle Ages quite unharmed, unlike the Pyramids which were quarried for stone-- as prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    Thanks for reasonably and (comparatively) briefly answering my question about medieval Islam, which I'll admit was something of a digression on my part.

    your argument basically comes down to something like: “President Trump is a spineless SOB and President Lincoln was willing to accept the death of millions; therefore President Washington was both, as was Sun Yat-sen”.

    I tend to use an apostrophe when “quoting” someone, especially when it’s outrageous and preposterous hyperbole.

    *for the record*, my arguments basically come down to ~ Many people (especially those who seek power over others) will lie and cheat and murder and commit unspeakable atrocities (and, well- do any evil imaginable) – to get and retain that power.

    That’s what I consider to be the record of history, it’s what I consider to be an honest assessment of human nature, and more to the point, it’s what I see all over the planet unfolding today right in front of my (and your) eyes. But there are none so blind…

    I advise you to carefully read through your own posts and apply them to a careful logical scrutiny, so as to make your mentor St. Thomas proud of them, which at present I can assure you he is not.

    I stand by every word I have written on Unz Review since I started posting here a year or two ago. Every ~ single ~ word.

    and I can promise you that St. Thomas would be more than proud of my consistency, honesty, and most of all integrity. Aquinas valued integrity, and even if we wouldn’t agree on many other issues, the issue of integrity is one I’m certain we could share a nice goblet of wine over.

    your broken and rambling style of writing

    mea maxima culpa

    glass houses.

    I have infinite patience for stupidity, (well, lots anyways). What I don’t have patience for is crass rudeness towards one’s betters.

    1. It is posited that some group of people throughout the length of the Middle Ages would destroy any fossils when these were found.

    I deny this assertion, because we have plain evidence that fossils were found and not destroyed.

    as for point number 1. please see my ‘for the record’ statement. I believe it covers this issue fulsomely.

    some fossils were found and not destroyed. But how many were found and summarily destroyed, we’ll never know. But I posit to you sir/or ma’am/madam, that if we think logically, and consider the length and breath of the centuries long Medieval Ages, with people no doubt going into caves all over Europe and finding Neanderthal and dinosaurs and other bones and fossils, and no doubt glorious archeological burials of advanced civilizations and other artifacts, that there seems to me a dearth of these things that were puzzled over and survived those days. No?

    Where are the canons of the Church that dealt with these things? Where are the ecclesiastical edicts pointing out that there were many of the Lord’s working in heaven and earth that there are no biblical explanations for?

    Or, would it simply have suited the PTB to destroy all evidence of the Lord’s mysterious ways that didn’t comport to their narrow world view?

    that is for the reader to decide, since we can’t prove a negative, or show evidence or records that were specifically destroyed so that they could not be shown.

    2. It is posited that Bronze-Age or previous prehistoric artifacts were destroyed by the same group of people over the same length of time, for the reason that the knowledge of the existence of these artifacts would be prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    I do not categorically deny this …

    we’re getting somewhere!

    not even the fundamentalists of the past two centuries who objected to the fossil record, has ever regarded the existence of Bronze-Age artifacts or megaliths of any age –which have of course survived the Middle Ages quite unharmed, unlike the Pyramids which were quarried for stone– as prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    when George Bush (and his deepstate henchmen) specifically allowed the Museum of Baghdad to be looted and destroyed, (even as the oil wells were all easily defended), do you suppose that the motivations in destroying that history were all benign, vis-a-vis modern Judeo/Christianity?

    That’s just what popped into my mind when I think of modern power-crazed assholes destroying ancient, potentially inconvenient artifacts to bolster their own mendacious and tyrannical narrative.

    prejudicial to the Christian faith.

    or consider the treatment of Galileo, or more recently, the ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’, and the modern day adherents of William Jennings Bryan who would teach only creationism in the local schools.

    Are they so different than a 12th century hypothetical Pope, who would order a magnificent buried city- with evidence of far advanced civilizations- utterly destroyed, as a threat to his earthy power?

    (somehow I just thought of that scene from the Planet of the Apes where the science ape orders the cave in the ‘forbidden lands’ destroyed.)

    to end this, I’m going to quote my own words about earthy power:

    *for the record*, my arguments basically come down to ~ many people (especially those who seek power over others) will lie and cheat and murder and commit unspeakable atrocities (and, well- do any evil imaginable) – to get and retain that power.

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  204. It should be noted that that Cro-Magnon fellow had a brain which was 20% larger than modern Caucasians, so maybe the first thing agriculture did was shrink it down.

    On a different note, Archimedes may have been Newtons equal or superior. His Method, recently reclaimed from an ancient restored copy, shows a man who was phenomenally creative and the first to demonstrate calculus.

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  205. J says:

    I always wondered how the Ancients managed to teach and learn in Plato’s academy without books or written notes. Everything was based on the spoken word and phenomenal memories. Presumably there are contemporaries who can repeat a lecture word by word, although I never met any, but reading the Greeks one gets the impression that the skill was common among them and they rejected those unable to follow and remember their long arguments. They must have been very intelligent, but not super-human.

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