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From Time Magazine, which, so far as I know, these days might consist of 7 unpaid interns in Bushwick:

The Middle Ages Have Been Misused by the Far Right. Here’s Why It’s So Important to Get Medieval History Right

BY MATTHEW GABRIELE AND MARY RAMBARAN-OLM NOVEMBER 21, 2019

The European Middle Ages seem to be having a moment. Although it’s true that, essentially since the time they ended, the period has been used to justify the shape of an author’s contemporary world, the appropriation of the Middle Ages by white supremacists in the last few years has been particularly notable. These white nationalists have used the Middle Ages as the source of their own “Lost Cause,” referencing, for example, the medieval Crusades as a great defensive struggle in which a unified, white Europe defended itself from a hostile, non-white, Islamic invader—even though this understanding is a myth.

So too, they often rely on a narrative of the “Anglo-Saxons” as an English “race,” … But in fact, they perpetuate a 19th century myth that centers on a false idea of what it means to be “native” to Britain. … Following centuries of sporadic use after the Norman Conquest, the term “Anglo-Saxon” reappeared in the late 16th century and eventually, as the past was refashioned, became an ethno-racial identifier.

… Historical sources, especially those that are translated from other languages, aren’t transparent, can’t be picked apart “cafeteria style” for data.

The consequences of researchers looking to the Middle Ages for “data” are already clear.

Likewise, a new article in Science (which has been getting a lot of media coverage) purports to find a correlation between the length of a community’s “exposure” to the “Roman Catholic Church” in the Middle Ages and a decline in cousin marriages.

But as true scholars know, the “Roman Catholic Church” was neither “Roman” nor “Catholic” nor a “Church.”

Wait … nevermind, we were thinking of the Holy Roman Empire.

That, in turn, broke up traditional kinship patterns and led to more individualism, hence more democracy, and ultimately, the triumph of “Western Civilization.” This argument fundamentally misreads both the medieval Church and pre-modern European families, in both cases buying into the myth of the “Dark Ages” as a monolithic thousand years of decline after Rome. In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins. This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.

 
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  1. “Excessive” use of “quotes” is one of the causes of global warming. I read it on the internet.

    • Replies: @byrresheim
    internets, sir.
  2. I’m not a racist, but clearly, any such research should emphasize the non-cis-hetero-male angle to anything good.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Damn it all, man; have you read nothing? The writer makes it very clear "Angles" are a socially constructed bit of nonsense obscuring the foundations of British culture laid by Negritos and Dravidians who've made up large portions of the populace since at least A.D. 250!
    , @Hypnotoad666
    Time magazine is my go-to resource for accurately encapsulating the meaning of Western Civilization. Their interns in Bed-Stuy really get it.
  3. thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy

    Western Civilization: 3500 Years of Extremism and Hate, forthcoming 2021 by Heidi Beirich, PhD. (rumored, cannot confirm)

  4. Not sure if Steve caught this, but Emmett Till was the lead story on huffpo a few hours ago.

    https://www.huffpost.com/feature/emmett-till-memorial

    Is Steve really good at reading the minds of the current media elite, or are they intentionally doubling-down to spite him?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    This stuff is proactive, to discourage any #MeToo types from piping up.

    Is Arianna going blind? Because that type was BIG, and moved slowly.
    , @Realist

    Is Steve really good at reading the minds of the current media elite, or are they intentionally doubling-down to spite him?
     
    Steve is a intelligent guy, but it is easy to read the shitlib mind...he does it as a hobby.
  5. Mary Rambaran Hyphen Olm:

    Credibility is thy name and shedding the Hyman is thy game.

    • Replies: @Hail
    Is that the same as this image, which was published as part of celebratory Washington Post article in September 2019?

    https://english.yale.edu/sites/default/files/event-images/rambaran-olm_mary_web.jpg

    Mary Rambaran-Olm family origin, education trajectory, and life overview (comments 11 and 18):

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/washington-post-its-all-white-people/#comment-3459652
    , @PiltdownMan
    Matthew Gabriele:

    https://i.imgur.com/DAjSUcK.jpg

    https://liberalarts.vt.edu/departments-and-schools/department-of-religion-and-culture/faculty/matthew-gabriele.html

    I wonder if this pretty traditional looking medieval studies professor has made a late mid-life career move in connecting with Mary Rambaran-Olm, a freelance, uncredentialed, and unaffiliated medieval studies polemicist of color in the UK.

    He must be trying to shore up his credentials in this age of wokeness, lest he be labeled a stale, pale, male Medieval Studies professor—an archaic and therefore, discredited, type.

    https://i.imgur.com/cy2lTfZ.jpg

    , @Fighting Amish
    Is it just me, or does her skin look much lighter in this picture? Maybe a trick of the light... or is she going all Sammy Sosa?
    , @Clyde
    Dr. Rambaran-Olm has worked tirelessly for years – as an independent scholar without institutional support of her own – to dismantle the deeply entrenched and pervasive white supremacy of early English studies in her field and from within ISAS. She performed this labor despite her vulnerability as a woman of color in an organization so dominated by whiteness that it has not yet ceased referring to itself by a name that attracts and empowers white supremacists. White supremacists have threatened Dr. Rambaran-Olm with bodily harm in response to her recent talk, and we must ask how ISAS’s attachment to whiteness fueled that threat.

    At the recent Race before Race symposium in Washington, DC, Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm ended her powerful talk on periodization and early English studies with a statement that she is resigning from her position on the board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS). Medievalists of Color (MOC) wholeheartedly supports Dr. Rambaran-Olm’s courageous action.

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/11/08/02/20747130-7663127-image-m-4_1573181609042.jpg

    , @Pericles

    Rambaram-Olm

     

    Is journalism so bad these days that the, um, actors have to take porn names?
    , @PiltdownMan
    That's a person named Sierra Lomuto. She is at Macalester College.

    https://www.macalester.edu/english/facultystaff/sierra-lomuto/
    , @Bardon Kaldian
    No, this is a different woman, Sierra Lomuto.

    By the way- why do all these slightly tanned whites wage a war against us, non-tanned whites?

  6. • LOL: Old Prude, Realist
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    The accents don't match the steering wheel.
  7. From Time, December 2, 2019

    This is Matthew Gabriele, here with another column. Guess the “mainstream media” can’t handle someone who “goes outside the conventional wisdom,” who doesn’t “use complete sentences,” and who “leaves out punctuation.” The magazines that “people actually read” can’t take someone who “won’t kiss butt” and “turns in his columns written with a Number 2 pencil on three-holed, wide-ruled loose-leaf paper.” Yes, I’m “open-minded about gender” and I “pleasure myself to Hazel reruns in the employee breakroom.” But that’s because I want to “defy Eurocentrism” and “have this magazine done in hieroglyphics instead of words.”

    • LOL: Mr McKenna
  8. What learning to interrogate text in critical studies class in college does to your reading comprehension.

    “That,” “in” “turn,” “broke” “up” “traditional” “kinship” “patterns” “and” “led” “to” “more” “individualism,” “hence” “more” “democracy,” “and” “ultimately,” “the” “triumph” “of” ““Western” “Civilization.”” “This” “argument” “fundamentally” “misreads” “both” “the” “medieval” “Church” “and” “pre-modern” “European” “families,” “in” “both” “cases” “buying” “into” “the” “myth” “of” “the” ““Dark” “Ages”” “as” “a” “monolithic” “thousand” “years” “of” “decline” “after” “Rome.” “In” “addition,” “the” “analysis” “moves” “backwards” “from” “the” “present,” “using” “the” “author’s” “assumptions” “about” “the” “nature” “of” “the” “West” “(“individualistic”” “and” ““democratic”)” “in” “order” “to” “look” “for” “its” “origins.” “This” “way” “of” “thinking” “about” “an” “invented” “idea” “of” ““Western” “Civilization”” “is” “not” “neutral,” “and” “it” “is” “often” “put” “to” “use” “as” “an” “argument” “in” “support” “of” “white” “supremacy.”

    • Replies: @Hail
    Someone should create a program to assign scare-quotes at random to a text. Maybe it already exists.

    Here are Steve Sailer's first nineteen words of this post:


    From Time Magazine, which, so far as I know, these days might consist of 7 unpaid interns in Bed-Stuy
     
    Using a random number generator to pick five from 1 to 5, I got 1, 6, 14, 18, 19.

    Yield:


    "From" Time Magazine, which, so "far" as I know, these days might consist "of" 7 unpaid interns "in" "Bed-Stuy"
     
    I am glad Steve Sailer does not write ("write"?) like this!
    , @Pericles
    It's "journalism" from Time "Magazine".
  9. In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins. This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.

    Actually, I agree with this (aside from the malarkey about white supremacy.)

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Inertial wrote:

    Quoting the article:

    This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.
     
    [Inertial's comment]: Actually, I agree with this (aside from the malarkey about white supremacy.)
     
    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    However, do you actually object to the idea of "Western Civilization" and trying to trace its origins? Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.

    For all its faults and current decadence, the West certainly has its good points -- modern science, classical music, and an end to mass poverty (not to mention anesthesia, antibiotics, and flush toilets!).
  10. @PiltdownMan
    What learning to interrogate text in critical studies class in college does to your reading comprehension.

    "That," "in" "turn," "broke" "up" "traditional" "kinship" "patterns" "and" "led" "to" "more" "individualism," "hence" "more" "democracy," "and" "ultimately," "the" "triumph" "of" "“Western" "Civilization.”" "This" "argument" "fundamentally" "misreads" "both" "the" "medieval" "Church" "and" "pre-modern" "European" "families," "in" "both" "cases" "buying" "into" "the" "myth" "of" "the" "“Dark" "Ages”" "as" "a" "monolithic" "thousand" "years" "of" "decline" "after" "Rome." "In" "addition," "the" "analysis" "moves" "backwards" "from" "the" "present," "using" "the" "author’s" "assumptions" "about" "the" "nature" "of" "the" "West" "(“individualistic”" "and" "“democratic”)" "in" "order" "to" "look" "for" "its" "origins." "This" "way" "of" "thinking" "about" "an" "invented" "idea" "of" "“Western" "Civilization”" "is" "not" "neutral," "and" "it" "is" "often" "put" "to" "use" "as" "an" "argument" "in" "support" "of" "white" "supremacy."
     

    Someone should create a program to assign scare-quotes at random to a text. Maybe it already exists.

    Here are Steve Sailer’s first nineteen words of this post:

    From Time Magazine, which, so far as I know, these days might consist of 7 unpaid interns in Bed-Stuy

    Using a random number generator to pick five from 1 to 5, I got 1, 6, 14, 18, 19.

    Yield:

    “From” Time Magazine, which, so “far” as I know, these days might consist “of” 7 unpaid interns “in” “Bed-Stuy”

    I am glad Steve Sailer does not write (“write”?) like this!

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
  11. From the Time article: “Scientists need to talk to humanists”: how dare hard scientists using quantitative methods are making papers on our fields we math-impaired grievance experts don’t even understand

  12. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Mary Rambaran Hyphen Olm:

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    Credibility is thy name and shedding the Hyman is thy game.

    Is that the same as this image, which was published as part of celebratory Washington Post article in September 2019?

    Mary Rambaran-Olm family origin, education trajectory, and life overview (comments 11 and 18):

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/washington-post-its-all-white-people/#comment-3459652

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
    I believe it's the same person.
  13. @Clement Pulaski
    Not sure if Steve caught this, but Emmett Till was the lead story on huffpo a few hours ago.

    https://www.huffpost.com/feature/emmett-till-memorial

    Is Steve really good at reading the minds of the current media elite, or are they intentionally doubling-down to spite him?

    This stuff is proactive, to discourage any #MeToo types from piping up.

    Is Arianna going blind? Because that type was BIG, and moved slowly.

  14. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    The Holy Roman Empire and the Federal Reserve Bank are “none of the above” but the Roman Catholic Church is part of but not the entirety of Catholicism as defined by “being in communion with Rome”, i.e., the Pope.

    But most of Christendom claims to be orthodox, catholic, and apostolic, lower case. But if we say the Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church everyone knows what we mean pretty exactly.

    • Replies: @Lot
    In its early days the HRE included Rome, engaged in holy wars against Muslims and pagan Balts/Slavs/Magyars, and was an empire.

    Even in its later days it was still an empire in the literal sense, just one where the emperor didn’t gain all that much power from the position on top of his preexisting power.

    And even after Rome was detached from it, it was still a successor state to the Roman Empire since the Pope declared Charlemagne Emperor of Rome after hundreds of years of granting the title to the Byzantine Emperor.
  15. @PiltdownMan
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4ufcSRHr3E

    The accents don’t match the steering wheel.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Filmed via the rear-view mirror? Americans on vacation?

    (I was thinking the same thing, though.)
  16. @Hail
    Is that the same as this image, which was published as part of celebratory Washington Post article in September 2019?

    https://english.yale.edu/sites/default/files/event-images/rambaran-olm_mary_web.jpg

    Mary Rambaran-Olm family origin, education trajectory, and life overview (comments 11 and 18):

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/washington-post-its-all-white-people/#comment-3459652

    I believe it’s the same person.

  17. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Mary Rambaran Hyphen Olm:

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    Credibility is thy name and shedding the Hyman is thy game.

    Matthew Gabriele:

    https://liberalarts.vt.edu/departments-and-schools/department-of-religion-and-culture/faculty/matthew-gabriele.html

    I wonder if this pretty traditional looking medieval studies professor has made a late mid-life career move in connecting with Mary Rambaran-Olm, a freelance, uncredentialed, and unaffiliated medieval studies polemicist of color in the UK.

    He must be trying to shore up his credentials in this age of wokeness, lest he be labeled a stale, pale, male Medieval Studies professor—an archaic and therefore, discredited, type.

    • Replies: @Monsieur Propre
    Gabriele used to be someone whose work you could read with profit, but he has indeed gone off the deep end of late. Judging from the whispered criticisms about him behind his back (e.g., in the surprisingly good Milo piece about the Rachel Fulton Brown brouhaha, in which he is referred to as 'pathetic'), and the complete lack of support for him among medieval historians of any accomplishment, this gambit is not entirely working out.
  18. People had forgotten how to make cement. They were in awe of “Roman walls.”

    As Thomas Sowell said, the Dark Ages were dark.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Icy Blast
    Read "Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel" by Frances and Joseph Gies. It could be the beginning of a great mental healing and recovery for you.
  19. … the appropriation of the Middle Ages by white supremacists in the last few years has been particularly notable.

    The appropriation of American history by anti-Whites in the last few years has been particularly notable too.

    • Agree: kikz
  20. Steve Sailer holds a set of ideas that, to the best of my understanding, I generally agree with. HOWEVER, his articles are usually so sparse as to be brusque and incomplete. He rarely elucidates whatever point he’s trying to make. I can only guess that either he’s leaving it as an exercise for the reader, or else he thinks it’s so obvious that no further work on his part is required. Whatever, it’s irritating as hell.

    • Replies: @Fighting Amish
    Keep hanging around, it'll start to sink in. (Not being sarcastic.)
    , @schnellandine

    He rarely elucidates whatever point he’s trying to make.
     
    You will like this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/my-blog-voted-most-accurate-media-outlet-on-intelligence-by-experts-on-cognitive-ability/#comment-3558362

    I'd appreciate if more writers, including commenters, would avoid, or include links/descriptions for, even barely obscure terms, acronyms/initialisms, in-jokes, concepts, mémés (pronounced may-mays [see that?]), etc.

    An iSteve primer mightn't hurt. I recall several people pissed over the frequent cryptic calls of who/whom (i.e., politics sums to who is doing what to whom). With rules of female journalists, golf architecture, sabermetrics, Sailer Strategy, invade/invite, and on, casual new visitors could do with a hand.
    , @Dieter Kief
    If Mr. Steve would publish the book he in 2017 was thinking of writing (or compiling), this would be helpful and quite nice (a big joy). Except for that, commenter Fighting Amish is quite right. - Reading iSteve is not rocket science. But it's a bit like getting used to the somewhat unusual mores and manners of the Ironics-Anonymus-Club.

    A very good entrance-ticket is to read Steve Sailer's splendid Obama-biography "America's Half-Blood Prince".

    , @Jim bob Lassiter
    Reading Steve is sort of like reading Camp of The Saints (English translation). I had to read chapter one twice in order to get "in the groove" so to speak. After that, it was smooth seamless reading save for a few new vocabulary enrichment terms.
  21. @inertial

    In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins. This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.
     
    Actually, I agree with this (aside from the malarkey about white supremacy.)

    Inertial wrote:

    Quoting the article:

    This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.

    [Inertial’s comment]: Actually, I agree with this (aside from the malarkey about white supremacy.)

    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    However, do you actually object to the idea of “Western Civilization” and trying to trace its origins? Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.

    For all its faults and current decadence, the West certainly has its good points — modern science, classical music, and an end to mass poverty (not to mention anesthesia, antibiotics, and flush toilets!).

    • Replies: @inertial
    I was mostly agreeing with the sentence that you cut:

    In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins.
     
    This is absolutely true. They always take a modern concept or a relatively recent feature of the modern society and draw a direct line to some random event in the past that may look similar superficially to that modern feature or concept, but in reality has nothing to do with it. One example of this kind of thinking is the claim that English idea of "human rights" is ultimately derived from Magna Carta. It's balderdash, and yet these days it's universally accepted wisdom.

    We can see this happening in real time. What is a major foundational principle of Western Civilization (as of five minutes ago)? It's "gay rights," of course. So, even as we speak, someone, possibly the very authors of this piece, is writing a treatise tracing the origins of gay "marriage" to something or other that happened in Medieval Europe - some pederast prince, perhaps. After 50 years this too will become universally accepted wisdom.
    , @Realist

    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.
     
    Yes, but the Middles Ages time period in the West was probably much more desirable that the same time period anywhere else.
    , @dfordoom

    Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.
     
    Unfortunately what people mean by Western Civilisation varies quite a bit. And Western Civilisation is kinda complicated. There has been a series of civilisations all of which often get described as Western Civilisation. There's the Graeco-Roman classical civilisation, there's Mediaeval Civilisation and there's modern Western Civilisation. There are connections between them but they're definitely not the same civilisation. Mediaeval Civilisation and the modern West have little in common.

    Most of the things that we think of today as defining characteristics of Western Civilisation would have seemed bizarre, incomprehensible and evil to people in the Middle Ages.

    On the whole she's quite correct that it's simply not valid to try to understand the Middle Ages in terms of modern concepts like democracy and individualism. And it's not valid to see Western Civilisation as the story of the gradual and inevitable rise of ideas like democracy and individualism.

    It's also not valid to read modern understandings of concepts like race and ethnicity into the Mediaeval period. Both the ancients and the Mediaevals were certainly aware of differences between different groups of people but they did not perceive those differences in the way that 19th century Europeans and Americans did, or in the way that modern alt-righters do.

    So mostly I find myself agreeing with Rambaran-Olm.
    , @Global Citizen
    They did have toilets in the Dark Ages.

    It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that they put a hole in the top.

    Ba duh bump!
  22. Poor deconstructed Mary, I bet her wrists must be so sore at the end of a day of constant punctuating her words with “quoting” whenever she opens her mouth.

    I hope her health insurance policy covers repetitive strain injury.

  23. @Reg Cæsar
    The accents don't match the steering wheel.

    Filmed via the rear-view mirror? Americans on vacation?

    (I was thinking the same thing, though.)

  24. If you can get away with un-paid “interns”, why have only “7” of them, “Steve”?

    (You’ve got a great “theme” going there, BTW, with Newsweek and now Time, and the question of who would work at these publications we all though were defunct. I LOLed)

    • Replies: @Forbes
    Seven un-paid interns is all they can accommodate in their one bedroom apartment in Bed-Stuy...
  25. @anon
    "Excessive" use of "quotes" is one of the causes of global warming. I read it on the internet.

    internets, sir.

  26. @eric
    I'm not a racist, but clearly, any such research should emphasize the non-cis-hetero-male angle to anything good.

    Damn it all, man; have you read nothing? The writer makes it very clear “Angles” are a socially constructed bit of nonsense obscuring the foundations of British culture laid by Negritos and Dravidians who’ve made up large portions of the populace since at least A.D. 250!

  27. The new Robert Harris novel The Second Sleep entertainingly touches on this area. It’s almost impossible to say more without spoilers, and I recommend a completely cold reading from page 1, ignoring reviews and blurbs, and even ignoring the table of contents.

  28. @PhysicistDave
    Inertial wrote:

    Quoting the article:

    This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.
     
    [Inertial's comment]: Actually, I agree with this (aside from the malarkey about white supremacy.)
     
    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    However, do you actually object to the idea of "Western Civilization" and trying to trace its origins? Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.

    For all its faults and current decadence, the West certainly has its good points -- modern science, classical music, and an end to mass poverty (not to mention anesthesia, antibiotics, and flush toilets!).

    I was mostly agreeing with the sentence that you cut:

    In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins.

    This is absolutely true. They always take a modern concept or a relatively recent feature of the modern society and draw a direct line to some random event in the past that may look similar superficially to that modern feature or concept, but in reality has nothing to do with it. One example of this kind of thinking is the claim that English idea of “human rights” is ultimately derived from Magna Carta. It’s balderdash, and yet these days it’s universally accepted wisdom.

    We can see this happening in real time. What is a major foundational principle of Western Civilization (as of five minutes ago)? It’s “gay rights,” of course. So, even as we speak, someone, possibly the very authors of this piece, is writing a treatise tracing the origins of gay “marriage” to something or other that happened in Medieval Europe – some pederast prince, perhaps. After 50 years this too will become universally accepted wisdom.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    Nah, the ancient Greeks have it. All those "Greek homos" as the one Black Supremacist put it.
    , @PhysicistDave
    Inertial wrote to me:

    I was mostly agreeing with the sentence that you cut:

    In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins.
     
    This is absolutely true. They always take a modern concept or a relatively recent feature of the modern society and draw a direct line to some random event in the past that may look similar superficially to that modern feature or concept, but in reality has nothing to do with it.
     
    Okay, now I get your point.

    Isn't that inevitable though? I understand the idea that we should take the past in its own terms. But still, it is reasonable to want to know how the present came about, and the present did evolve from the past.

    And, indeed, to take your example, I think we can ask how the idea of "gay rights" evolved out of our history. The answer does have something to do with the idea of equal rights, which has roots in the early modern period, and the idea of "rights" does indeed go back to the Middle Ages. Of course, the idea of "gay rights" also arose from the Left looking for new allies to gain power, and from urbanization which made non-conformist behavior easier to pursue, and...

    But, still the past is prologue, and looking for roots is not all bad. It just has to be done critically.
    , @another fred
    I think tracing these things back is fascinating. I'm especially enamoured of the tracing back of Castilian "esses" to some queen who spoke with a lisp.

    My personal theory is that there was a Fwench king who talked like Elmer Fudd, pwobabwy named Wouwie.
  29. Anonymous[985] • Disclaimer says:

    Left wingers make satan look like a bumbling amateur. Europe was and is White and Christian. Not all the leftist hatred in the universe can change these facts. What brown supremacist hatemongers like Rambaran mean is “I don’t like the fact that Europe was White and Christain. Because I hate Whites and Christians, anything they believe must be false.”

    We must not roll our eyes at this attempt by brown supremacists to annihilate our history and culture, and to demonize us as supremacist. Her lies and hatred must be confronted and destroyed, every time it rears its head.

    • Replies: @sayless
    Haven’t any of these racial revisionists looked at medieval art? What do the people in the illuminated manuscripts and frescos and tapestries and enamels look like?
    , @Bardon Kaldian

    What brown supremacist hatemongers like Rambaran mean is “I don’t like the fact that Europe was White and Christain. Because I hate Whites and Christians, anything they believe must be false.”
     
    I think all the talk about white supremacism would evaporate if she could catch a good white man. It's not her looks, but probably not too pleasant personality. And I doubt she can cook.
    , @dfordoom

    Left wingers make satan look like a bumbling amateur. Europe was and is White and Christian. Not all the leftist hatred in the universe can change these facts.
     
    Europe is not remotely Christian and hasn't been for a long time. And it's not going to be Christian in the future.

    And Europe had ceased to be Christian in any meaningful sense long before mass immigration of non-whites started. It was white Europeans who willingly and enthusiastically rejected Christianity.

    With or without immigration the old Christian Europe is now as remote as the Middle Ages. No amount of wishful thinking can alter that fact.

    Although there is still a Christian minority (now entirely without influence) in the United States the US also cannot in any meaningful sense be described as a Christian society. And within another generation or two the Christian minority is going to be very small and insignificant.
  30. @Monotonous Languor
    Steve Sailer holds a set of ideas that, to the best of my understanding, I generally agree with. HOWEVER, his articles are usually so sparse as to be brusque and incomplete. He rarely elucidates whatever point he's trying to make. I can only guess that either he's leaving it as an exercise for the reader, or else he thinks it's so obvious that no further work on his part is required. Whatever, it's irritating as hell.

    Keep hanging around, it’ll start to sink in. (Not being sarcastic.)

  31. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Mary Rambaran Hyphen Olm:

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    Credibility is thy name and shedding the Hyman is thy game.

    Is it just me, or does her skin look much lighter in this picture? Maybe a trick of the light… or is she going all Sammy Sosa?

  32. @Anonymous
    The Holy Roman Empire and the Federal Reserve Bank are "none of the above" but the Roman Catholic Church is part of but not the entirety of Catholicism as defined by "being in communion with Rome", i.e., the Pope.

    But most of Christendom claims to be orthodox, catholic, and apostolic, lower case. But if we say the Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church everyone knows what we mean pretty exactly.

    In its early days the HRE included Rome, engaged in holy wars against Muslims and pagan Balts/Slavs/Magyars, and was an empire.

    Even in its later days it was still an empire in the literal sense, just one where the emperor didn’t gain all that much power from the position on top of his preexisting power.

    And even after Rome was detached from it, it was still a successor state to the Roman Empire since the Pope declared Charlemagne Emperor of Rome after hundreds of years of granting the title to the Byzantine Emperor.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    "Even in its later days it was still an empire in the literal sense..."

    One where the ruler of constituent state Prussia called himself a King starting about 100 years before the HREs formal dissolution. And the Austrians ruled a lot of non-HRE territory, although some non-German territory (in the Balkans) was acquired after the HRE's demise.
  33. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Mary Rambaran Hyphen Olm:

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    Credibility is thy name and shedding the Hyman is thy game.

    Dr. Rambaran-Olm has worked tirelessly for years – as an independent scholar without institutional support of her own – to dismantle the deeply entrenched and pervasive white supremacy of early English studies in her field and from within ISAS. She performed this labor despite her vulnerability as a woman of color in an organization so dominated by whiteness that it has not yet ceased referring to itself by a name that attracts and empowers white supremacists. White supremacists have threatened Dr. Rambaran-Olm with bodily harm in response to her recent talk, and we must ask how ISAS’s attachment to whiteness fueled that threat.

    At the recent Race before Race symposium in Washington, DC, Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm ended her powerful talk on periodization and early English studies with a statement that she is resigning from her position on the board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS). Medievalists of Color (MOC) wholeheartedly supports Dr. Rambaran-Olm’s courageous action.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Let's talk about MY hair."
    , @Paco Wové
    Where'd her arms go?
    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    How is it OK for her to appropriate whiteness with colored contacts?
    , @Ian Smith
    God, I hate it when Indian women get blue contact lenses; it makes them look like zombies.
    Given that India is the most skin tone conscious society on Earth, all these women who’d be considered pale in India come to the West and are now considered dark. That might be why Hindettes are such social justice harpies.
  34. @Clyde
    Dr. Rambaran-Olm has worked tirelessly for years – as an independent scholar without institutional support of her own – to dismantle the deeply entrenched and pervasive white supremacy of early English studies in her field and from within ISAS. She performed this labor despite her vulnerability as a woman of color in an organization so dominated by whiteness that it has not yet ceased referring to itself by a name that attracts and empowers white supremacists. White supremacists have threatened Dr. Rambaran-Olm with bodily harm in response to her recent talk, and we must ask how ISAS’s attachment to whiteness fueled that threat.

    At the recent Race before Race symposium in Washington, DC, Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm ended her powerful talk on periodization and early English studies with a statement that she is resigning from her position on the board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS). Medievalists of Color (MOC) wholeheartedly supports Dr. Rambaran-Olm’s courageous action.

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/11/08/02/20747130-7663127-image-m-4_1573181609042.jpg

    “Let’s talk about MY hair.”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Hair? Hell, look at those teeth.
  35. @Monotonous Languor
    Steve Sailer holds a set of ideas that, to the best of my understanding, I generally agree with. HOWEVER, his articles are usually so sparse as to be brusque and incomplete. He rarely elucidates whatever point he's trying to make. I can only guess that either he's leaving it as an exercise for the reader, or else he thinks it's so obvious that no further work on his part is required. Whatever, it's irritating as hell.

    He rarely elucidates whatever point he’s trying to make.

    You will like this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/my-blog-voted-most-accurate-media-outlet-on-intelligence-by-experts-on-cognitive-ability/#comment-3558362

    I’d appreciate if more writers, including commenters, would avoid, or include links/descriptions for, even barely obscure terms, acronyms/initialisms, in-jokes, concepts, mémés (pronounced may-mays [see that?]), etc.

    An iSteve primer mightn’t hurt. I recall several people pissed over the frequent cryptic calls of who/whom (i.e., politics sums to who is doing what to whom). With rules of female journalists, golf architecture, sabermetrics, Sailer Strategy, invade/invite, and on, casual new visitors could do with a hand.

    • Agree: Dissident
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief

    An iSteve primer mightn’t hurt. </blockquot

    Yep, for - - - the impatient, let's say.
     

     
    , @Forbes

    With rules of female journalists, golf architecture, sabermetrics, Sailer Strategy, invade/invite, and on, casual new visitors could do with a hand.
     
    I find iSteve's aphorisms, analogies, and etc.(especially his wit), to be natural and instinctual--a shorthand for the cognitively adroit who populate this comment section.

    Casual new visitors should patiently observe and absorb the material. There's something unique about the experience, i.e. the learning curve maybe steep at first, but it doesn't happen if you don't encounter the steep curve. Did you scale Mt. Everest by taking a helicopter to the summit??
  36. @Steve Sailer
    "Let's talk about MY hair."

    Hair? Hell, look at those teeth.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Transylvania calling......
  37. @eric
    I'm not a racist, but clearly, any such research should emphasize the non-cis-hetero-male angle to anything good.

    Time magazine is my go-to resource for accurately encapsulating the meaning of Western Civilization. Their interns in Bed-Stuy really get it.

  38. Now that Roosh has retired I can fill the vacuum left by his absence.

    To put it in purely clinical and technical terms: this woman is obviously hurtin’ for a squirtin’.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  39. @Lot
    In its early days the HRE included Rome, engaged in holy wars against Muslims and pagan Balts/Slavs/Magyars, and was an empire.

    Even in its later days it was still an empire in the literal sense, just one where the emperor didn’t gain all that much power from the position on top of his preexisting power.

    And even after Rome was detached from it, it was still a successor state to the Roman Empire since the Pope declared Charlemagne Emperor of Rome after hundreds of years of granting the title to the Byzantine Emperor.

    “Even in its later days it was still an empire in the literal sense…”

    One where the ruler of constituent state Prussia called himself a King starting about 100 years before the HREs formal dissolution. And the Austrians ruled a lot of non-HRE territory, although some non-German territory (in the Balkans) was acquired after the HRE’s demise.

  40. @Anonymous
    Left wingers make satan look like a bumbling amateur. Europe was and is White and Christian. Not all the leftist hatred in the universe can change these facts. What brown supremacist hatemongers like Rambaran mean is "I don't like the fact that Europe was White and Christain. Because I hate Whites and Christians, anything they believe must be false."

    We must not roll our eyes at this attempt by brown supremacists to annihilate our history and culture, and to demonize us as supremacist. Her lies and hatred must be confronted and destroyed, every time it rears its head.

    Haven’t any of these racial revisionists looked at medieval art? What do the people in the illuminated manuscripts and frescos and tapestries and enamels look like?

  41. @inertial
    I was mostly agreeing with the sentence that you cut:

    In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins.
     
    This is absolutely true. They always take a modern concept or a relatively recent feature of the modern society and draw a direct line to some random event in the past that may look similar superficially to that modern feature or concept, but in reality has nothing to do with it. One example of this kind of thinking is the claim that English idea of "human rights" is ultimately derived from Magna Carta. It's balderdash, and yet these days it's universally accepted wisdom.

    We can see this happening in real time. What is a major foundational principle of Western Civilization (as of five minutes ago)? It's "gay rights," of course. So, even as we speak, someone, possibly the very authors of this piece, is writing a treatise tracing the origins of gay "marriage" to something or other that happened in Medieval Europe - some pederast prince, perhaps. After 50 years this too will become universally accepted wisdom.

    Nah, the ancient Greeks have it. All those “Greek homos” as the one Black Supremacist put it.

  42. @schnellandine

    He rarely elucidates whatever point he’s trying to make.
     
    You will like this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/my-blog-voted-most-accurate-media-outlet-on-intelligence-by-experts-on-cognitive-ability/#comment-3558362

    I'd appreciate if more writers, including commenters, would avoid, or include links/descriptions for, even barely obscure terms, acronyms/initialisms, in-jokes, concepts, mémés (pronounced may-mays [see that?]), etc.

    An iSteve primer mightn't hurt. I recall several people pissed over the frequent cryptic calls of who/whom (i.e., politics sums to who is doing what to whom). With rules of female journalists, golf architecture, sabermetrics, Sailer Strategy, invade/invite, and on, casual new visitors could do with a hand.

    An iSteve primer mightn’t hurt. </blockquot

    Yep, for – – – the impatient, let's say.

    • Agree: schnellandine
  43. OMG, you are totally “triggering” me with your articles on “scare” quotes.

  44. @Monotonous Languor
    Steve Sailer holds a set of ideas that, to the best of my understanding, I generally agree with. HOWEVER, his articles are usually so sparse as to be brusque and incomplete. He rarely elucidates whatever point he's trying to make. I can only guess that either he's leaving it as an exercise for the reader, or else he thinks it's so obvious that no further work on his part is required. Whatever, it's irritating as hell.

    If Mr. Steve would publish the book he in 2017 was thinking of writing (or compiling), this would be helpful and quite nice (a big joy). Except for that, commenter Fighting Amish is quite right. – Reading iSteve is not rocket science. But it’s a bit like getting used to the somewhat unusual mores and manners of the Ironics-Anonymus-Club.

    A very good entrance-ticket is to read Steve Sailer’s splendid Obama-biography “America’s Half-Blood Prince”.

  45. @inertial
    I was mostly agreeing with the sentence that you cut:

    In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins.
     
    This is absolutely true. They always take a modern concept or a relatively recent feature of the modern society and draw a direct line to some random event in the past that may look similar superficially to that modern feature or concept, but in reality has nothing to do with it. One example of this kind of thinking is the claim that English idea of "human rights" is ultimately derived from Magna Carta. It's balderdash, and yet these days it's universally accepted wisdom.

    We can see this happening in real time. What is a major foundational principle of Western Civilization (as of five minutes ago)? It's "gay rights," of course. So, even as we speak, someone, possibly the very authors of this piece, is writing a treatise tracing the origins of gay "marriage" to something or other that happened in Medieval Europe - some pederast prince, perhaps. After 50 years this too will become universally accepted wisdom.

    Inertial wrote to me:

    I was mostly agreeing with the sentence that you cut:

    In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins.

    This is absolutely true. They always take a modern concept or a relatively recent feature of the modern society and draw a direct line to some random event in the past that may look similar superficially to that modern feature or concept, but in reality has nothing to do with it.

    Okay, now I get your point.

    Isn’t that inevitable though? I understand the idea that we should take the past in its own terms. But still, it is reasonable to want to know how the present came about, and the present did evolve from the past.

    And, indeed, to take your example, I think we can ask how the idea of “gay rights” evolved out of our history. The answer does have something to do with the idea of equal rights, which has roots in the early modern period, and the idea of “rights” does indeed go back to the Middle Ages. Of course, the idea of “gay rights” also arose from the Left looking for new allies to gain power, and from urbanization which made non-conformist behavior easier to pursue, and…

    But, still the past is prologue, and looking for roots is not all bad. It just has to be done critically.

  46. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Mary Rambaran Hyphen Olm:

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    Credibility is thy name and shedding the Hyman is thy game.

    Rambaram-Olm

    Is journalism so bad these days that the, um, actors have to take porn names?

    • Replies: @Lurker
    Wham bam thank you Rambaram.
    , @Known Fact
    Israel has a Rambam Medical Center, not sure what the "intensive care" there might entail
  47. @PiltdownMan
    What learning to interrogate text in critical studies class in college does to your reading comprehension.

    "That," "in" "turn," "broke" "up" "traditional" "kinship" "patterns" "and" "led" "to" "more" "individualism," "hence" "more" "democracy," "and" "ultimately," "the" "triumph" "of" "“Western" "Civilization.”" "This" "argument" "fundamentally" "misreads" "both" "the" "medieval" "Church" "and" "pre-modern" "European" "families," "in" "both" "cases" "buying" "into" "the" "myth" "of" "the" "“Dark" "Ages”" "as" "a" "monolithic" "thousand" "years" "of" "decline" "after" "Rome." "In" "addition," "the" "analysis" "moves" "backwards" "from" "the" "present," "using" "the" "author’s" "assumptions" "about" "the" "nature" "of" "the" "West" "(“individualistic”" "and" "“democratic”)" "in" "order" "to" "look" "for" "its" "origins." "This" "way" "of" "thinking" "about" "an" "invented" "idea" "of" "“Western" "Civilization”" "is" "not" "neutral," "and" "it" "is" "often" "put" "to" "use" "as" "an" "argument" "in" "support" "of" "white" "supremacy."
     

    It’s “journalism” from Time “Magazine”.

  48. God this article is a piece of work. It is just one solid monument of half-truths and incomplete observations extrapolating misleadingly from daft twitter threads posted by leftist lunatic academics and heaven knows what else. Almost nothing in it is true or honest or even written in minimally good faith.

    I will just take this paragraph as an example:

    The consequences of researchers looking to the Middle Ages for “data” are already clear. Notoriously, a misreading of a 13th-century Old Norse saga led to a misunderstanding that sits at the basis of quasi-scientific climate change denial. The tale, of a Viking settler in Greenland who swam over a mile to collect food, was used by an early climate scientist to argue that the climate in medieval northern Europe was marginally warmer than it was in the 20th century.

    The only citation supporting these vague assertions take us to an article in Forbes (https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewgabriele/2018/10/14/viking-sheep-climate-change/#74cb7f88dd29), also by this smiling moron Gabriele. There a further citation explains that the source of all this is an article this notoriously dumb medieval lit scholar named Bruce Holsinger published in some book of collected studies.

    Scihub is misbehaving so on a freaking Sunday I have gone into the library where garbage like this book with Holsinger are quite rightly relegated to the basement. I have unearthed this totally worthless book, which has gravely embarrassed the very trees that were sacrificed to print it.

    It is called The Middle Ages in the Modern World, edited by Bettina Bildhauer and Chris Jones, and Holsinger’s enunciations occur from pages 27 to 44. They are entitled: “Thorkel Farserk Goes for a Swim: Climate Change, the Medieval Optimum, and the Perils of Amateurism”. Of course the slur is upon the naive reading of the scholar who alighted on the swimming story as evidence for the medieval climate, but if anybody is an amateurist fool here it is Holsinger, which is why he is engaging in this stupid projection.

    Anyway, here is what I have learned: A paleoclimatologist named Hubert Lamb, in the first edition of one of his books from 1982, cited this 13th. c. legend of a Greenland settler taking a 10th c. swim to support many other observations and pieces of evidence establishing the medieval warm period. Holsinger in this article affirms that the medieval warm period was real but he thinks that this legendary story is not to be taken seriously.

    Given that, look at the brazen dishonesty of these execrable the hyphenated Olm and the smirking Gabriele. There is nothing “notorious” about Lamb’s story even though it has been cited here and there on the internet. Literally Holsinger is the only person to have brought this matter up or made a thing about it. Gabriele-Olm are implying that the medieval warm period was fake and wrongly postulated on the basis of this swimming Greendlander. In fact a great deal of evidence supports the medieval warm period and the scholar lurking at the end of Gabriele’s chain of citations affirms that the medieval warm period was real.

    Lamb may have read the legend naively, but these legendary later medieval sagas and compilations are used in this uncritical way by actual historians and literary scholars all the time. And however that may be, and once again, LAMB HAD OTHER DATA TO ESTABLISH THE MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD WHICH EVEN HOLSINGER BELIEVES IN. The story therefore did not “lead” to “a misunderstanding” that “sits at the basis of quasi-scientific climate change denial.” It hardly matters in this case that Lamb’s reading was naive as he had many other reasons to rightly suppose that “medieval northern Europe was marginally warmer than it was in the 20th century” and in fact powerful proof of the warmer temperatures persists precisely in the fact that there were high-medieval settlers in Greenland to cultivate legends like this in the first place. The late Viking-age settlements of Iceland and Greenland have long been observed as evidence for milder temperatures from the eleventh century.

  49. Methinks it is “time” for this “magazine” to be formally wound down.

    • Replies: @I Have Scinde
    But then who will tell us of the future of "Asian Dawn?"
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4GN6saiVN7w
  50. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Mary Rambaran Hyphen Olm:

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    Credibility is thy name and shedding the Hyman is thy game.

    That’s a person named Sierra Lomuto. She is at Macalester College.

    https://www.macalester.edu/english/facultystaff/sierra-lomuto/

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
    Thanks for the correction. There is a bit of a resemblance to the photo your linked in your other reply, but still, my mistake.
    , @Known Fact
    I thought Sierra Lomuto was one of those made-up little countries that need to have their tyrant overthrown on Mission Impossible. But it is indeed a person:

    "Sierra Lomuto currently holds a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, which will transition to the position of Assistant Professor in 2020." So she's in transition!
  51. @Pericles

    Rambaram-Olm

     

    Is journalism so bad these days that the, um, actors have to take porn names?

    Wham bam thank you Rambaram.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWuqWElB8Ic
    , @Mr. Anon

    This argument fundamentally misreads both the medieval Church and pre-modern European families, in both cases buying into the myth of the “Dark Ages” as a monolithic thousand years of decline after Rome.
     
    What myth (excuse me "myth") is she referring to? This is nothing but a straw-man. No serious scholar ever thought the Dark Ages lasted a thousand years. Five centuries, tops. Probably less. The Middle Ages was not a "dark age". The period from the 11th through the 15th century was a period of steady, albeit slow, economic, technological, and even social progress.
  52. the myth of the “Dark Ages” as a monolithic thousand years of decline after Rome

    That does seem to be an odd American idea. At my school the Dark Ages started from the end of useful Roman or sub-Roman records in England – ending some time after 410 AD. They finished with the return of “light” – i.e. useful amounts of records and literature under the Anglo-Saxons – say from some time in the 8th century. Call it about three centuries in all.

    That return of the “light” occurred both in Latin and in Insular West Germanic – except that scholars prefer to refer to the language of the Anglo-Saxons as Old English.

    After all, the Vikings would hardly come along later to pillage monasteries if there hadn’t been many of those centres of literacy to pillage, eh?

    • Replies: @dfordoom


    the myth of the “Dark Ages” as a monolithic thousand years of decline after Rome
     
    That does seem to be an odd American idea.
     
    It's an idea that seemed to become popular in the early 20th century as part of the modernist hatred for tradition. It suited modernists to portray the Middle Ages as an age of barbarism. In the early 20th century it became fashionable for instance to dismiss the architectural glories of the Middle Ages as tacky nasty and hopeless old-fashioned monstrosities that needed to be replaced by virtuous completely functional modernist buildings of steel and concrete.

    I don't think it's entirely an American thing. It's a modernist thing.
  53. I’d say precisely the opposite – the way that the Middle Ages is promoted as the “Dark Ages”, with various concomitant myths, like people dumping their chamberpots from second story windows, very revealingly shows an ethnocentric hand.

  54. @Monotonous Languor
    Steve Sailer holds a set of ideas that, to the best of my understanding, I generally agree with. HOWEVER, his articles are usually so sparse as to be brusque and incomplete. He rarely elucidates whatever point he's trying to make. I can only guess that either he's leaving it as an exercise for the reader, or else he thinks it's so obvious that no further work on his part is required. Whatever, it's irritating as hell.

    Reading Steve is sort of like reading Camp of The Saints (English translation). I had to read chapter one twice in order to get “in the groove” so to speak. After that, it was smooth seamless reading save for a few new vocabulary enrichment terms.

  55. @Anonymous
    Left wingers make satan look like a bumbling amateur. Europe was and is White and Christian. Not all the leftist hatred in the universe can change these facts. What brown supremacist hatemongers like Rambaran mean is "I don't like the fact that Europe was White and Christain. Because I hate Whites and Christians, anything they believe must be false."

    We must not roll our eyes at this attempt by brown supremacists to annihilate our history and culture, and to demonize us as supremacist. Her lies and hatred must be confronted and destroyed, every time it rears its head.

    What brown supremacist hatemongers like Rambaran mean is “I don’t like the fact that Europe was White and Christain. Because I hate Whites and Christians, anything they believe must be false.”

    I think all the talk about white supremacism would evaporate if she could catch a good white man. It’s not her looks, but probably not too pleasant personality. And I doubt she can cook.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Sarah Jeong went much further into her anti-white tirades while dating a white alt-right guy.

    Many of the woke WOC are in relationships with white guys; if anything it increases their anti-white screeds to compensate.

    This is not to say that all feminists of color who are in relationships with white guys are anti-white. I briefly knew Earl Kingston, the husband of Maxine Hong Kingston. She was very pro Chinese but not at all anti-white, which angered the “activist” Chinese-American men. Worse for them was Amy Tam, who was married to a white guy while exposing some of the Chinese misogyny.
  56. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Mary Rambaran Hyphen Olm:

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    Credibility is thy name and shedding the Hyman is thy game.

    No, this is a different woman, Sierra Lomuto.

    By the way- why do all these slightly tanned whites wage a war against us, non-tanned whites?

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
    I conceded the correction Mr. Piltdown.

    To answer your question: For the same reason lighter skinned blacks seem to represent the more vile anti-white hostility within the Black Power movement, which is they are aware of their lighter hue and thus feel obligated to make up for that sin for shouting even louder. It's a pathological inferiority complex.
  57. The real Anglo Saxons all moved to America a few centuries ago. Modern Americans are the true heirs of the intractable, irascible wild men from Bronze Age Schleswig-Holstein. The ones who stayed on that rainy island were descendants of boring Normans.

    So really instead of the English race it has become the American race.

    Or maybe not.

  58. @inertial
    I was mostly agreeing with the sentence that you cut:

    In addition, the analysis moves backwards from the present, using the author’s assumptions about the nature of the West (“individualistic” and “democratic”) in order to look for its origins.
     
    This is absolutely true. They always take a modern concept or a relatively recent feature of the modern society and draw a direct line to some random event in the past that may look similar superficially to that modern feature or concept, but in reality has nothing to do with it. One example of this kind of thinking is the claim that English idea of "human rights" is ultimately derived from Magna Carta. It's balderdash, and yet these days it's universally accepted wisdom.

    We can see this happening in real time. What is a major foundational principle of Western Civilization (as of five minutes ago)? It's "gay rights," of course. So, even as we speak, someone, possibly the very authors of this piece, is writing a treatise tracing the origins of gay "marriage" to something or other that happened in Medieval Europe - some pederast prince, perhaps. After 50 years this too will become universally accepted wisdom.

    I think tracing these things back is fascinating. I’m especially enamoured of the tracing back of Castilian “esses” to some queen who spoke with a lisp.

    My personal theory is that there was a Fwench king who talked like Elmer Fudd, pwobabwy named Wouwie.

  59. @PiltdownMan
    That's a person named Sierra Lomuto. She is at Macalester College.

    https://www.macalester.edu/english/facultystaff/sierra-lomuto/

    Thanks for the correction. There is a bit of a resemblance to the photo your linked in your other reply, but still, my mistake.

  60. @Reg Cæsar
    Hair? Hell, look at those teeth.

    Transylvania calling……

  61. @Pericles

    Rambaram-Olm

     

    Is journalism so bad these days that the, um, actors have to take porn names?

    Israel has a Rambam Medical Center, not sure what the “intensive care” there might entail

  62. @PiltdownMan
    That's a person named Sierra Lomuto. She is at Macalester College.

    https://www.macalester.edu/english/facultystaff/sierra-lomuto/

    I thought Sierra Lomuto was one of those made-up little countries that need to have their tyrant overthrown on Mission Impossible. But it is indeed a person:

    “Sierra Lomuto currently holds a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, which will transition to the position of Assistant Professor in 2020.” So she’s in transition!

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Hmmmm....

    http://www.inthemedievalmiddle.com/2016/12/white-nationalism-and-ethics-of.html

    White Nationalism and the Ethics of Medieval Studies


    A guest post by Sierra Lomuto

    ................................

    The speaker had already triggered my racism-odometer when she made a joke during her talk: while explaining that Hawaiian tattoo artists don't like to connect the bands in tribal tattoos because of their belief system, she joked that it was more likely that they were too high to keep the needle straight. While the joke made me cringe, the eruption of laughter with which it was met alarmed me more than the joke itself, and I perked up to a much deeper problem: the utter lack of racial consciousness in our field of Medieval Studies. As a mixed-race Asian woman working on histories of racial structures in medieval European-Mongol relations, this lacuna in Medieval Studies is not news to me. I regularly read adjectives like “uncultured” and “barbaric” to describe Mongols in books published within the last decade. I still see "Oriental" used uncritically to refer to Asian peoples. And in scholarship on cross-cultural relations, I still see the case being made that curiosity for and openness toward difference—i.e., an ethos of multiculturalism—undermines the presence of racial hierarchies.

    Despite my awareness of the race problem in our field, this particular moment struck me with a new urgency for change. Still reeling from the election and constant news of hate harassment and crimes around the country, including at my own institution, I was unable to brush this moment and this panel under the rug. In the return to white nationalist centrality in our mainstream political and cultural spheres, we as medievalists need to be extra diligent about increasing our racial consciousness—in our classrooms, in our scholarship, at our conferences, in any place where we create or share knowledge about the Middle Ages.
    ......................
  63. …the appropriation of the Middle Ages by white supremacists in the last few years has been particularly notable. These white nationalists have used the Middle Ages…

    As usual the dumbass shitlibs try to conflate white supremacists with white nationalists. Of course there is a distinct difference, but shitlibs use this trick on many issues to blur distinctions…and of course low IQ people fall for it

  64. @Clement Pulaski
    Not sure if Steve caught this, but Emmett Till was the lead story on huffpo a few hours ago.

    https://www.huffpost.com/feature/emmett-till-memorial

    Is Steve really good at reading the minds of the current media elite, or are they intentionally doubling-down to spite him?

    Is Steve really good at reading the minds of the current media elite, or are they intentionally doubling-down to spite him?

    Steve is a intelligent guy, but it is easy to read the shitlib mind…he does it as a hobby.

  65. Anonymous[150] • Disclaimer says:

    …Here’s Why It’s So Important to Get Medieval History Right

    Their headline reeks of childishness. They talk down to their audience as teenagers talk to toddlers.

    The “here’s why” and “here’s what you need to know” is constantly used at places like Vice and Politico and Slate etc.

    It’s “journalism” BY young adults FOR babies.

  66. @PhysicistDave
    Inertial wrote:

    Quoting the article:

    This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.
     
    [Inertial's comment]: Actually, I agree with this (aside from the malarkey about white supremacy.)
     
    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    However, do you actually object to the idea of "Western Civilization" and trying to trace its origins? Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.

    For all its faults and current decadence, the West certainly has its good points -- modern science, classical music, and an end to mass poverty (not to mention anesthesia, antibiotics, and flush toilets!).

    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    Yes, but the Middles Ages time period in the West was probably much more desirable that the same time period anywhere else.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Hardly. Especially during the Dark Ages, China, Byzantium, and the Islamic World were all far ahead of Western Europe. Europe only really recovered from the collapse of civilization that accompanied the fall of Rome many centuries later when they began reconnecting with the mostly forgotten traditions and spirit of classical antiquity: the genesis of Western rebirth, and eventually, global domination. But Europe was very lucky that external predators during those intervening centuries were either blocked by Fortress Constantinople or were small and disorganized enough to be bought off into settling and assimilating like the Vikings.

    And very, very, very lucky that Ogedei Khan died before the Mongols reached Vienna. The Russians did not have that luck: it took them multiple centuries to throw off foreign occupation and even more to fully recover from the degree of depopulation, enslavement, slaughter, and mayhem the Mongols brought. The Islamic World, similarly, was deeply jacked up by the Mongols: it is estimated that Iraq's population and development levels did not recover until the 20th Century.

  67. @Bardon Kaldian
    No, this is a different woman, Sierra Lomuto.

    By the way- why do all these slightly tanned whites wage a war against us, non-tanned whites?

    I conceded the correction Mr. Piltdown.

    To answer your question: For the same reason lighter skinned blacks seem to represent the more vile anti-white hostility within the Black Power movement, which is they are aware of their lighter hue and thus feel obligated to make up for that sin for shouting even louder. It’s a pathological inferiority complex.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    No concession necessary, Mike!

    Google image search is far from infallible. That lady looked very different in most ways (although, as you say, there are some points of similarity), so I looked around a bit more.

  68. @Known Fact
    I thought Sierra Lomuto was one of those made-up little countries that need to have their tyrant overthrown on Mission Impossible. But it is indeed a person:

    "Sierra Lomuto currently holds a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, which will transition to the position of Assistant Professor in 2020." So she's in transition!

    Hmmmm….

    http://www.inthemedievalmiddle.com/2016/12/white-nationalism-and-ethics-of.html

    White Nationalism and the Ethics of Medieval Studies

    A guest post by Sierra Lomuto

    …………………………..

    The speaker had already triggered my racism-odometer when she made a joke during her talk: while explaining that Hawaiian tattoo artists don’t like to connect the bands in tribal tattoos because of their belief system, she joked that it was more likely that they were too high to keep the needle straight. While the joke made me cringe, the eruption of laughter with which it was met alarmed me more than the joke itself, and I perked up to a much deeper problem: the utter lack of racial consciousness in our field of Medieval Studies. As a mixed-race Asian woman working on histories of racial structures in medieval European-Mongol relations, this lacuna in Medieval Studies is not news to me. I regularly read adjectives like “uncultured” and “barbaric” to describe Mongols in books published within the last decade. I still see “Oriental” used uncritically to refer to Asian peoples. And in scholarship on cross-cultural relations, I still see the case being made that curiosity for and openness toward difference—i.e., an ethos of multiculturalism—undermines the presence of racial hierarchies.

    Despite my awareness of the race problem in our field, this particular moment struck me with a new urgency for change. Still reeling from the election and constant news of hate harassment and crimes around the country, including at my own institution, I was unable to brush this moment and this panel under the rug. In the return to white nationalist centrality in our mainstream political and cultural spheres, we as medievalists need to be extra diligent about increasing our racial consciousness—in our classrooms, in our scholarship, at our conferences, in any place where we create or share knowledge about the Middle Ages.
    ………………….

  69. @PhysicistDave
    Inertial wrote:

    Quoting the article:

    This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.
     
    [Inertial's comment]: Actually, I agree with this (aside from the malarkey about white supremacy.)
     
    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    However, do you actually object to the idea of "Western Civilization" and trying to trace its origins? Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.

    For all its faults and current decadence, the West certainly has its good points -- modern science, classical music, and an end to mass poverty (not to mention anesthesia, antibiotics, and flush toilets!).

    Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.

    Unfortunately what people mean by Western Civilisation varies quite a bit. And Western Civilisation is kinda complicated. There has been a series of civilisations all of which often get described as Western Civilisation. There’s the Graeco-Roman classical civilisation, there’s Mediaeval Civilisation and there’s modern Western Civilisation. There are connections between them but they’re definitely not the same civilisation. Mediaeval Civilisation and the modern West have little in common.

    Most of the things that we think of today as defining characteristics of Western Civilisation would have seemed bizarre, incomprehensible and evil to people in the Middle Ages.

    On the whole she’s quite correct that it’s simply not valid to try to understand the Middle Ages in terms of modern concepts like democracy and individualism. And it’s not valid to see Western Civilisation as the story of the gradual and inevitable rise of ideas like democracy and individualism.

    It’s also not valid to read modern understandings of concepts like race and ethnicity into the Mediaeval period. Both the ancients and the Mediaevals were certainly aware of differences between different groups of people but they did not perceive those differences in the way that 19th century Europeans and Americans did, or in the way that modern alt-righters do.

    So mostly I find myself agreeing with Rambaran-Olm.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    dfordoom wrote to me:

    Unfortunately what people mean by Western Civilisation varies quite a bit. And Western Civilisation is kinda complicated. There has been a series of civilisations all of which often get described as Western Civilisation. There’s the Graeco-Roman classical civilisation, there’s Mediaeval Civilisation and there’s modern Western Civilisation.
     
    There actually is a discipline of comparative civilizations, and I think those guys are pretty clear that Classical Civilization is distinct from Western Civilization: indeed, it is common (correctly in my opinion) to consider Classical Civilization to be the "mother" civilization to Western Civ.

    The beginning point in time of Western Civ is necessarily going to be blurry. On the other hand, we pretty clearly demarcate the modern West as being those societies in which most of the current inhabitants are descended from people who lived in Roman Catholic societies in 1500 AD. That makes Czechia, Ireland, and Australia all part of the West, but not Russia or Serbia. And, it correctly makes Latin America borderline.

    Israel? Interesting question.

    It works surprisingly well: no one is really surprised that, after the collapse of Communism, Poland, Czechia, and Hungary are becoming "normal" Western countries in a way no one really expects of Albania or Romania.

    dfordoom also wrote:


    On the whole she’s quite correct that it’s simply not valid to try to understand the Middle Ages in terms of modern concepts like democracy and individualism. And it’s not valid to see Western Civilisation as the story of the gradual and inevitable rise of ideas like democracy and individualism.
     
    Indeed. The Medieval West was not the modern West, and we should not pretend that they were simply striving to become us but not quite succeeding.

    On the other hand, when I read the Arthurian legends or the Canterbury Tales, yeah, these are "my people" in a way that I cannot identify with the culture from the same time period from China or India or even the Islamic world. I may not much like Aquinas or Richard the Lionheart, but I am quite clear that, in some sense, they are part of my extended family.

  70. Sorry. But a lot of people, like you bozos for instance, use a lot of bullshit words that cry out to be called into question. Just sayin’.

  71. @Anonymous
    Left wingers make satan look like a bumbling amateur. Europe was and is White and Christian. Not all the leftist hatred in the universe can change these facts. What brown supremacist hatemongers like Rambaran mean is "I don't like the fact that Europe was White and Christain. Because I hate Whites and Christians, anything they believe must be false."

    We must not roll our eyes at this attempt by brown supremacists to annihilate our history and culture, and to demonize us as supremacist. Her lies and hatred must be confronted and destroyed, every time it rears its head.

    Left wingers make satan look like a bumbling amateur. Europe was and is White and Christian. Not all the leftist hatred in the universe can change these facts.

    Europe is not remotely Christian and hasn’t been for a long time. And it’s not going to be Christian in the future.

    And Europe had ceased to be Christian in any meaningful sense long before mass immigration of non-whites started. It was white Europeans who willingly and enthusiastically rejected Christianity.

    With or without immigration the old Christian Europe is now as remote as the Middle Ages. No amount of wishful thinking can alter that fact.

    Although there is still a Christian minority (now entirely without influence) in the United States the US also cannot in any meaningful sense be described as a Christian society. And within another generation or two the Christian minority is going to be very small and insignificant.

  72. @Clyde
    Dr. Rambaran-Olm has worked tirelessly for years – as an independent scholar without institutional support of her own – to dismantle the deeply entrenched and pervasive white supremacy of early English studies in her field and from within ISAS. She performed this labor despite her vulnerability as a woman of color in an organization so dominated by whiteness that it has not yet ceased referring to itself by a name that attracts and empowers white supremacists. White supremacists have threatened Dr. Rambaran-Olm with bodily harm in response to her recent talk, and we must ask how ISAS’s attachment to whiteness fueled that threat.

    At the recent Race before Race symposium in Washington, DC, Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm ended her powerful talk on periodization and early English studies with a statement that she is resigning from her position on the board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS). Medievalists of Color (MOC) wholeheartedly supports Dr. Rambaran-Olm’s courageous action.

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/11/08/02/20747130-7663127-image-m-4_1573181609042.jpg

    Where’d her arms go?

  73. @dearieme
    the myth of the “Dark Ages” as a monolithic thousand years of decline after Rome

    That does seem to be an odd American idea. At my school the Dark Ages started from the end of useful Roman or sub-Roman records in England - ending some time after 410 AD. They finished with the return of "light" - i.e. useful amounts of records and literature under the Anglo-Saxons - say from some time in the 8th century. Call it about three centuries in all.

    That return of the "light" occurred both in Latin and in Insular West Germanic - except that scholars prefer to refer to the language of the Anglo-Saxons as Old English.

    After all, the Vikings would hardly come along later to pillage monasteries if there hadn't been many of those centres of literacy to pillage, eh?

    the myth of the “Dark Ages” as a monolithic thousand years of decline after Rome

    That does seem to be an odd American idea.

    It’s an idea that seemed to become popular in the early 20th century as part of the modernist hatred for tradition. It suited modernists to portray the Middle Ages as an age of barbarism. In the early 20th century it became fashionable for instance to dismiss the architectural glories of the Middle Ages as tacky nasty and hopeless old-fashioned monstrosities that needed to be replaced by virtuous completely functional modernist buildings of steel and concrete.

    I don’t think it’s entirely an American thing. It’s a modernist thing.

  74. @Lurker
    Wham bam thank you Rambaram.

    This argument fundamentally misreads both the medieval Church and pre-modern European families, in both cases buying into the myth of the “Dark Ages” as a monolithic thousand years of decline after Rome.

    What myth (excuse me “myth”) is she referring to? This is nothing but a straw-man. No serious scholar ever thought the Dark Ages lasted a thousand years. Five centuries, tops. Probably less. The Middle Ages was not a “dark age”. The period from the 11th through the 15th century was a period of steady, albeit slow, economic, technological, and even social progress.

  75. @Clyde
    Dr. Rambaran-Olm has worked tirelessly for years – as an independent scholar without institutional support of her own – to dismantle the deeply entrenched and pervasive white supremacy of early English studies in her field and from within ISAS. She performed this labor despite her vulnerability as a woman of color in an organization so dominated by whiteness that it has not yet ceased referring to itself by a name that attracts and empowers white supremacists. White supremacists have threatened Dr. Rambaran-Olm with bodily harm in response to her recent talk, and we must ask how ISAS’s attachment to whiteness fueled that threat.

    At the recent Race before Race symposium in Washington, DC, Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm ended her powerful talk on periodization and early English studies with a statement that she is resigning from her position on the board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS). Medievalists of Color (MOC) wholeheartedly supports Dr. Rambaran-Olm’s courageous action.

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/11/08/02/20747130-7663127-image-m-4_1573181609042.jpg

    How is it OK for her to appropriate whiteness with colored contacts?

  76. @Clyde
    Dr. Rambaran-Olm has worked tirelessly for years – as an independent scholar without institutional support of her own – to dismantle the deeply entrenched and pervasive white supremacy of early English studies in her field and from within ISAS. She performed this labor despite her vulnerability as a woman of color in an organization so dominated by whiteness that it has not yet ceased referring to itself by a name that attracts and empowers white supremacists. White supremacists have threatened Dr. Rambaran-Olm with bodily harm in response to her recent talk, and we must ask how ISAS’s attachment to whiteness fueled that threat.

    At the recent Race before Race symposium in Washington, DC, Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm ended her powerful talk on periodization and early English studies with a statement that she is resigning from her position on the board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS). Medievalists of Color (MOC) wholeheartedly supports Dr. Rambaran-Olm’s courageous action.

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iwg-7ZPSTyg/XKZNuRJ32uI/AAAAAAAAJz4/tv-99EC92lQBhuLgLX9GArQNaxUaVSiQgCLcBGAs/s320/Lomuto_Headshot.jpeg

    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/11/08/02/20747130-7663127-image-m-4_1573181609042.jpg

    God, I hate it when Indian women get blue contact lenses; it makes them look like zombies.
    Given that India is the most skin tone conscious society on Earth, all these women who’d be considered pale in India come to the West and are now considered dark. That might be why Hindettes are such social justice harpies.

  77. @Achmed E. Newman
    If you can get away with un-paid "interns", why have only "7" of them, "Steve"?

    (You've got a great "theme" going there, BTW, with Newsweek and now Time, and the question of who would work at these publications we all though were defunct. I LOLed)

    Seven un-paid interns is all they can accommodate in their one bedroom apartment in Bed-Stuy…

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Stands to reason, then.
  78. @Bardon Kaldian

    What brown supremacist hatemongers like Rambaran mean is “I don’t like the fact that Europe was White and Christain. Because I hate Whites and Christians, anything they believe must be false.”
     
    I think all the talk about white supremacism would evaporate if she could catch a good white man. It's not her looks, but probably not too pleasant personality. And I doubt she can cook.

    Sarah Jeong went much further into her anti-white tirades while dating a white alt-right guy.

    Many of the woke WOC are in relationships with white guys; if anything it increases their anti-white screeds to compensate.

    This is not to say that all feminists of color who are in relationships with white guys are anti-white. I briefly knew Earl Kingston, the husband of Maxine Hong Kingston. She was very pro Chinese but not at all anti-white, which angered the “activist” Chinese-American men. Worse for them was Amy Tam, who was married to a white guy while exposing some of the Chinese misogyny.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    I mean serious stuff like marriage, children....
  79. @schnellandine

    He rarely elucidates whatever point he’s trying to make.
     
    You will like this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/my-blog-voted-most-accurate-media-outlet-on-intelligence-by-experts-on-cognitive-ability/#comment-3558362

    I'd appreciate if more writers, including commenters, would avoid, or include links/descriptions for, even barely obscure terms, acronyms/initialisms, in-jokes, concepts, mémés (pronounced may-mays [see that?]), etc.

    An iSteve primer mightn't hurt. I recall several people pissed over the frequent cryptic calls of who/whom (i.e., politics sums to who is doing what to whom). With rules of female journalists, golf architecture, sabermetrics, Sailer Strategy, invade/invite, and on, casual new visitors could do with a hand.

    With rules of female journalists, golf architecture, sabermetrics, Sailer Strategy, invade/invite, and on, casual new visitors could do with a hand.

    I find iSteve’s aphorisms, analogies, and etc.(especially his wit), to be natural and instinctual–a shorthand for the cognitively adroit who populate this comment section.

    Casual new visitors should patiently observe and absorb the material. There’s something unique about the experience, i.e. the learning curve maybe steep at first, but it doesn’t happen if you don’t encounter the steep curve. Did you scale Mt. Everest by taking a helicopter to the summit??

    • Replies: @Global Citizen

    Did you scale Mt. Everest by taking a helicopter to the summit??
     
    No, actually I didn’t. I’ve always wanted to play golf there though.
  80. @Paleo Liberal
    Sarah Jeong went much further into her anti-white tirades while dating a white alt-right guy.

    Many of the woke WOC are in relationships with white guys; if anything it increases their anti-white screeds to compensate.

    This is not to say that all feminists of color who are in relationships with white guys are anti-white. I briefly knew Earl Kingston, the husband of Maxine Hong Kingston. She was very pro Chinese but not at all anti-white, which angered the “activist” Chinese-American men. Worse for them was Amy Tam, who was married to a white guy while exposing some of the Chinese misogyny.

    I mean serious stuff like marriage, children….

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    That is a different matter.

    The WOC feminists I have known, or know of, who have had children with a white father with a happy marriage have not been anti-white. Still, there are exceptions to everything.
  81. Here’s my recent piece for Quillette about the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists deciding that the term “Anglo-Saxon” was too racist for it:

    https://quillette.com/2019/10/22/higher-educations-medievalist-moral-panic/

    Mary Ramboran-Olm plays a leading role.

    And here’s a piece of mine that ran in May in First Things about the rest of the woke medieval crowd (same cast of characters):

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2019/06/in-the-academic-sandbox

    It’s basically a highly aggressive rump group of poorly educated Ph.D.’s in English lit intimidating the guilty liberals who form the rest of the medievalist academy. Helped on of course by journalists.

    • Replies: @Monsieur Propre
    I'm an academic medievalist who can't possibly reveal his identity, and this is exactly right. The journalistic malpractice in covering the effusions of this group is entirely to be expected, but revolting nonetheless.
  82. @Bardon Kaldian
    I mean serious stuff like marriage, children....

    That is a different matter.

    The WOC feminists I have known, or know of, who have had children with a white father with a happy marriage have not been anti-white. Still, there are exceptions to everything.

  83. @PiltdownMan
    Matthew Gabriele:

    https://i.imgur.com/DAjSUcK.jpg

    https://liberalarts.vt.edu/departments-and-schools/department-of-religion-and-culture/faculty/matthew-gabriele.html

    I wonder if this pretty traditional looking medieval studies professor has made a late mid-life career move in connecting with Mary Rambaran-Olm, a freelance, uncredentialed, and unaffiliated medieval studies polemicist of color in the UK.

    He must be trying to shore up his credentials in this age of wokeness, lest he be labeled a stale, pale, male Medieval Studies professor—an archaic and therefore, discredited, type.

    https://i.imgur.com/cy2lTfZ.jpg

    Gabriele used to be someone whose work you could read with profit, but he has indeed gone off the deep end of late. Judging from the whispered criticisms about him behind his back (e.g., in the surprisingly good Milo piece about the Rachel Fulton Brown brouhaha, in which he is referred to as ‘pathetic’), and the complete lack of support for him among medieval historians of any accomplishment, this gambit is not entirely working out.

  84. @Charlotte Allen
    Here's my recent piece for Quillette about the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists deciding that the term "Anglo-Saxon" was too racist for it:

    https://quillette.com/2019/10/22/higher-educations-medievalist-moral-panic/

    Mary Ramboran-Olm plays a leading role.

    And here's a piece of mine that ran in May in First Things about the rest of the woke medieval crowd (same cast of characters):

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2019/06/in-the-academic-sandbox

    It's basically a highly aggressive rump group of poorly educated Ph.D.'s in English lit intimidating the guilty liberals who form the rest of the medievalist academy. Helped on of course by journalists.

    I’m an academic medievalist who can’t possibly reveal his identity, and this is exactly right. The journalistic malpractice in covering the effusions of this group is entirely to be expected, but revolting nonetheless.

  85. @Realist

    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.
     
    Yes, but the Middles Ages time period in the West was probably much more desirable that the same time period anywhere else.

    Hardly. Especially during the Dark Ages, China, Byzantium, and the Islamic World were all far ahead of Western Europe. Europe only really recovered from the collapse of civilization that accompanied the fall of Rome many centuries later when they began reconnecting with the mostly forgotten traditions and spirit of classical antiquity: the genesis of Western rebirth, and eventually, global domination. But Europe was very lucky that external predators during those intervening centuries were either blocked by Fortress Constantinople or were small and disorganized enough to be bought off into settling and assimilating like the Vikings.

    And very, very, very lucky that Ogedei Khan died before the Mongols reached Vienna. The Russians did not have that luck: it took them multiple centuries to throw off foreign occupation and even more to fully recover from the degree of depopulation, enslavement, slaughter, and mayhem the Mongols brought. The Islamic World, similarly, was deeply jacked up by the Mongols: it is estimated that Iraq’s population and development levels did not recover until the 20th Century.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    None of this is historically accurate. Esp. China stuff.
    , @Charlotte Allen
    Actually, Western Europe began to "recover" from the Dark Ages as early as the year 1000. Before then, its problem was the same problem that it had had in classical times: a lack of the resources that made civilizations wealthy then: gold, gems, silk, spices, even wine and olive oil (except way in Southern Europe). That was why Constantinople, which had plenty of access to the above, glittered during the Dark Ages while Western European towns languished as backwaters--even in Roman times. Western Europe's economy was almost entirely agriculture-based, going back to Roman times. Another problem was its relatively small population, further depleted by Viking raids and Muslim aggression (the Muslims cut off most Mediterranean trade with the East).

    But the Vikings ceased being a problem around the year 1000, and around that time Western Europeans discovered they had a resource that could make them rich: wool. They could use their brains to build the great cloth-making centers of Northern Europe. Advances in agricultural technology (the water mill, the horse-harness for plowing), coupled with the advent of the Medieval Warm Period, greatly increased agricultural productivity and, hence, populations. The Westerners built wealth with their brains in other ways: inventing banking, the limited-liability corporation, the university, a legal system that ensured the enforceability of contracts, rapidly expanding literacy, independent town governments, and parliaments that were forms of representative democracy. All encouraged the development of markets and trade and made towns and their citizens prosperous enough to subsidize impressive cathedral-building and, of course, art. The printing press was essentially a medieval development, spurred by a growing demand for books. Hence what we call the "Renaissance"--which was really an efflorescence of late-medieval civilization in the West.

    By the way, deadly contagious diseases that decimated populations were as much a feature of Roman times as they were of the Middle Ages. Only during the 19th century, when we learned something about sanitation and the actual ways in which diseases spread, could we do much of anything about them except try to nurse the sick.
  86. Hardly. Especially during the Dark Ages, China, Byzantium, and the Islamic World were all far ahead of Western Europe

    .

    In some ways that is true, but not in human health, disease and pestilence were prevalent the world over.

    My comment was to PhysicistDave who stated:

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    This was also the situation the world over. And treatment of their fellow man was abysmal everywhere.

    It is popular to glorify China, Byzantium, and the Islamic World in this time period. Perhaps you could elucidate?

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    >In some ways that is true, but not in human health, disease and pestilence were prevalent the world over.

    That was also true in classical antiquity... and the Renaissance period... and really, the overwhelming majority of human history. There were still outbreaks of plague during the time of Isaac Newton in London. From Kangxi to George Washington, smallpox was a depressing reality: and outside the West, this is even more apparent. In Indonesia in 1960, people were still worried about smallpox.

    The point is: Dark Ages Europe had a nearly total civilizational collapse in everything from literacy to infrastructure to cultural contact with other civilizations in a way that simply was not paralleled elsewhere. In Byzantium, you did have a similar process of ruralization, declining literacy, and the like after the Arabs knocked them down from superpower status (and this was after the catastrophic effect of the plague and the wars with the Sassanids), but it was never to the same degree as Western Europe.

  87. Global Citizen [AKA "Globalist Citizen"] says:
    @Forbes

    With rules of female journalists, golf architecture, sabermetrics, Sailer Strategy, invade/invite, and on, casual new visitors could do with a hand.
     
    I find iSteve's aphorisms, analogies, and etc.(especially his wit), to be natural and instinctual--a shorthand for the cognitively adroit who populate this comment section.

    Casual new visitors should patiently observe and absorb the material. There's something unique about the experience, i.e. the learning curve maybe steep at first, but it doesn't happen if you don't encounter the steep curve. Did you scale Mt. Everest by taking a helicopter to the summit??

    Did you scale Mt. Everest by taking a helicopter to the summit??

    No, actually I didn’t. I’ve always wanted to play golf there though.

  88. @nebulafox
    Hardly. Especially during the Dark Ages, China, Byzantium, and the Islamic World were all far ahead of Western Europe. Europe only really recovered from the collapse of civilization that accompanied the fall of Rome many centuries later when they began reconnecting with the mostly forgotten traditions and spirit of classical antiquity: the genesis of Western rebirth, and eventually, global domination. But Europe was very lucky that external predators during those intervening centuries were either blocked by Fortress Constantinople or were small and disorganized enough to be bought off into settling and assimilating like the Vikings.

    And very, very, very lucky that Ogedei Khan died before the Mongols reached Vienna. The Russians did not have that luck: it took them multiple centuries to throw off foreign occupation and even more to fully recover from the degree of depopulation, enslavement, slaughter, and mayhem the Mongols brought. The Islamic World, similarly, was deeply jacked up by the Mongols: it is estimated that Iraq's population and development levels did not recover until the 20th Century.

    None of this is historically accurate. Esp. China stuff.

  89. Global Citizen [AKA "Globalist Citizen"] says:
    @PhysicistDave
    Inertial wrote:

    Quoting the article:

    This way of thinking about an invented idea of “Western Civilization” is not neutral, and it is often put to use as an argument in support of white supremacy.
     
    [Inertial's comment]: Actually, I agree with this (aside from the malarkey about white supremacy.)
     
    I have noticed a rather strange tendency on the alt-Right to glorify the Middle Ages.

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    However, do you actually object to the idea of "Western Civilization" and trying to trace its origins? Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.

    For all its faults and current decadence, the West certainly has its good points -- modern science, classical music, and an end to mass poverty (not to mention anesthesia, antibiotics, and flush toilets!).

    They did have toilets in the Dark Ages.

    It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that they put a hole in the top.

    Ba duh bump!

  90. @Escher
    Methinks it is “time” for this “magazine” to be formally wound down.

    But then who will tell us of the future of “Asian Dawn?”

  91. @Forbes
    Seven un-paid interns is all they can accommodate in their one bedroom apartment in Bed-Stuy...

    Stands to reason, then.

  92. Anglo-Saxon identity and capability are fundamental to American hegemony which is why Woke Academia attempts deprecation. Expect more of the same: the Anglo-Saxon character of the United States’ Founders and historical population is undeniable. As for Rambaram-Olm, the crow is forever telling the eagle that he is really a sparrow.

  93. @MikeatMikedotMike
    I conceded the correction Mr. Piltdown.

    To answer your question: For the same reason lighter skinned blacks seem to represent the more vile anti-white hostility within the Black Power movement, which is they are aware of their lighter hue and thus feel obligated to make up for that sin for shouting even louder. It's a pathological inferiority complex.

    No concession necessary, Mike!

    Google image search is far from infallible. That lady looked very different in most ways (although, as you say, there are some points of similarity), so I looked around a bit more.

  94. @thinklikea1l
    People had forgotten how to make cement. They were in awe of "Roman walls."

    As Thomas Sowell said, the Dark Ages were dark.

    Read “Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel” by Frances and Joseph Gies. It could be the beginning of a great mental healing and recovery for you.

  95. @dfordoom

    Seems to me that Western Civilization is as clear an idea as Chinese Civilization.
     
    Unfortunately what people mean by Western Civilisation varies quite a bit. And Western Civilisation is kinda complicated. There has been a series of civilisations all of which often get described as Western Civilisation. There's the Graeco-Roman classical civilisation, there's Mediaeval Civilisation and there's modern Western Civilisation. There are connections between them but they're definitely not the same civilisation. Mediaeval Civilisation and the modern West have little in common.

    Most of the things that we think of today as defining characteristics of Western Civilisation would have seemed bizarre, incomprehensible and evil to people in the Middle Ages.

    On the whole she's quite correct that it's simply not valid to try to understand the Middle Ages in terms of modern concepts like democracy and individualism. And it's not valid to see Western Civilisation as the story of the gradual and inevitable rise of ideas like democracy and individualism.

    It's also not valid to read modern understandings of concepts like race and ethnicity into the Mediaeval period. Both the ancients and the Mediaevals were certainly aware of differences between different groups of people but they did not perceive those differences in the way that 19th century Europeans and Americans did, or in the way that modern alt-righters do.

    So mostly I find myself agreeing with Rambaran-Olm.

    dfordoom wrote to me:

    Unfortunately what people mean by Western Civilisation varies quite a bit. And Western Civilisation is kinda complicated. There has been a series of civilisations all of which often get described as Western Civilisation. There’s the Graeco-Roman classical civilisation, there’s Mediaeval Civilisation and there’s modern Western Civilisation.

    There actually is a discipline of comparative civilizations, and I think those guys are pretty clear that Classical Civilization is distinct from Western Civilization: indeed, it is common (correctly in my opinion) to consider Classical Civilization to be the “mother” civilization to Western Civ.

    The beginning point in time of Western Civ is necessarily going to be blurry. On the other hand, we pretty clearly demarcate the modern West as being those societies in which most of the current inhabitants are descended from people who lived in Roman Catholic societies in 1500 AD. That makes Czechia, Ireland, and Australia all part of the West, but not Russia or Serbia. And, it correctly makes Latin America borderline.

    Israel? Interesting question.

    It works surprisingly well: no one is really surprised that, after the collapse of Communism, Poland, Czechia, and Hungary are becoming “normal” Western countries in a way no one really expects of Albania or Romania.

    dfordoom also wrote:

    On the whole she’s quite correct that it’s simply not valid to try to understand the Middle Ages in terms of modern concepts like democracy and individualism. And it’s not valid to see Western Civilisation as the story of the gradual and inevitable rise of ideas like democracy and individualism.

    Indeed. The Medieval West was not the modern West, and we should not pretend that they were simply striving to become us but not quite succeeding.

    On the other hand, when I read the Arthurian legends or the Canterbury Tales, yeah, these are “my people” in a way that I cannot identify with the culture from the same time period from China or India or even the Islamic world. I may not much like Aquinas or Richard the Lionheart, but I am quite clear that, in some sense, they are part of my extended family.

    • Replies: @Nico

    That makes Czechia, Ireland, and Australia all part of the West, but not Russia or Serbia.
     
    At the same time, the Slavic Orthodox countries claim descendance from the Byzantine Greeks. But are we prepared to say modern Greece is not a part of the West? Cutting off the birthplace of classical civilization seems rather iffy. Intuitively we (including myself) would tend to exclude Russia and Serbia from our definition of the West but include Greece. But this seems to lack coherence from any number of parameters (cultural, geographical, biological and historical). Russia moreover was clearly part of the European order and its royal court intermixed with those of other European states (something that cannot be said for the Ottoman Empire).

    One demarcation could be to view Western Civ as a subset of Christendom, and yet this also feels a bit unsatisfactory, insofar as Russia “feels” more compatible than does much of Latin America. It seems the racial component while not exclusively important is inevitable to account for in defining the “West” and related concepts.

    The interesting thing is Westerners seem to be the only ones who have any angst about this racial component with respect to identifying themselves. The Han and the Zimbabweans, no way.
    , @nebulafox
    My understanding basically goes:

    Poland, Czechia, Hungary: Mitteleuropean, Catholicism, Western script.

    Ukraine, Belarus, Russia: Eastern Europe, Orthodoxy, Cyrillic.

    So, the dividing line is the river Bug. To the west, "Western", to the east, not. Religion makes for a convenient dividing line, but beyond that, the general trend of pre-Warsaw Pact history for the former is embedded within Europe. The only exception to the rule was the Tsarist part of post-Partition Poland, and judging from the number of violent uprisings that would take place there, we can safely say that there was not really a sense of pan-Slavic union going on with the Russians and Poles.

    The Baltics are a bit interesting because they are split between different civilizational constructs: Estonia has more in common with Finland than anybody else, and Lithuania used to be part of the Polish commonwealth, with Vilnius once being Wilno. Riga and Tallinn were built by German migrants like Kuala Lumpur was built by the Chinese. In any case, they are definitely not part of the "Russian" civilizational construct. Southeastern Europe, too, can be considered to be split between different cultural spheres.

    >Israel? Interesting question.

    I'd say no. The majority of modern Israelis are either descended from those who fled the Middle East in 1967 or from more recent immigrants from the former USSR, to the point where Israel has more Russian speakers than any nation outside what used to be the Soviet Union. Or they are haredim. They view Israel as a Jewish nation-state, in the same sense that Egypt or Saudi Arabia are Arab nation states, and tend to have harder line views on the Palestinians than the Ashkenazi minority that prints their views in places like Haaretz and holds legacy cultural value in the West.

    I've noticed this tends to not be understood among older generations of politicians on Capitol Hill, particularly among older holdover Democrats like Schumer who are still heavily pro-Israel but based off ethnic solidarity and/or "liberal values", as opposed to the outright Old Testament fetishizing Dominionism in the GOP. They still think Israel is a Western nation operating under a Western MO.

    >Indeed. The Medieval West was not the modern West, and we should not pretend that they were simply striving to become us but not quite succeeding.

    As I've stated above: things got back on track for the West when they got back in touch with their classical Roman legacy. The legacy of classical Greece, meanwhile, was damaged but still alive in Constantinople for centuries. Renaissance Italy was the beneficiary of all the Greek scholars who fled the final fall of the city.

  96. I never got where these allegations of white supremacy in medieval studies come from. The religious and political views of most medieval scholars are so far to the left you wonder they don’t spend their days trying to build a time machine to go back and 86 Western Civ at the source.

  97. @PhysicistDave
    dfordoom wrote to me:

    Unfortunately what people mean by Western Civilisation varies quite a bit. And Western Civilisation is kinda complicated. There has been a series of civilisations all of which often get described as Western Civilisation. There’s the Graeco-Roman classical civilisation, there’s Mediaeval Civilisation and there’s modern Western Civilisation.
     
    There actually is a discipline of comparative civilizations, and I think those guys are pretty clear that Classical Civilization is distinct from Western Civilization: indeed, it is common (correctly in my opinion) to consider Classical Civilization to be the "mother" civilization to Western Civ.

    The beginning point in time of Western Civ is necessarily going to be blurry. On the other hand, we pretty clearly demarcate the modern West as being those societies in which most of the current inhabitants are descended from people who lived in Roman Catholic societies in 1500 AD. That makes Czechia, Ireland, and Australia all part of the West, but not Russia or Serbia. And, it correctly makes Latin America borderline.

    Israel? Interesting question.

    It works surprisingly well: no one is really surprised that, after the collapse of Communism, Poland, Czechia, and Hungary are becoming "normal" Western countries in a way no one really expects of Albania or Romania.

    dfordoom also wrote:


    On the whole she’s quite correct that it’s simply not valid to try to understand the Middle Ages in terms of modern concepts like democracy and individualism. And it’s not valid to see Western Civilisation as the story of the gradual and inevitable rise of ideas like democracy and individualism.
     
    Indeed. The Medieval West was not the modern West, and we should not pretend that they were simply striving to become us but not quite succeeding.

    On the other hand, when I read the Arthurian legends or the Canterbury Tales, yeah, these are "my people" in a way that I cannot identify with the culture from the same time period from China or India or even the Islamic world. I may not much like Aquinas or Richard the Lionheart, but I am quite clear that, in some sense, they are part of my extended family.

    That makes Czechia, Ireland, and Australia all part of the West, but not Russia or Serbia.

    At the same time, the Slavic Orthodox countries claim descendance from the Byzantine Greeks. But are we prepared to say modern Greece is not a part of the West? Cutting off the birthplace of classical civilization seems rather iffy. Intuitively we (including myself) would tend to exclude Russia and Serbia from our definition of the West but include Greece. But this seems to lack coherence from any number of parameters (cultural, geographical, biological and historical). Russia moreover was clearly part of the European order and its royal court intermixed with those of other European states (something that cannot be said for the Ottoman Empire).

    One demarcation could be to view Western Civ as a subset of Christendom, and yet this also feels a bit unsatisfactory, insofar as Russia “feels” more compatible than does much of Latin America. It seems the racial component while not exclusively important is inevitable to account for in defining the “West” and related concepts.

    The interesting thing is Westerners seem to be the only ones who have any angst about this racial component with respect to identifying themselves. The Han and the Zimbabweans, no way.

  98. @PhysicistDave
    dfordoom wrote to me:

    Unfortunately what people mean by Western Civilisation varies quite a bit. And Western Civilisation is kinda complicated. There has been a series of civilisations all of which often get described as Western Civilisation. There’s the Graeco-Roman classical civilisation, there’s Mediaeval Civilisation and there’s modern Western Civilisation.
     
    There actually is a discipline of comparative civilizations, and I think those guys are pretty clear that Classical Civilization is distinct from Western Civilization: indeed, it is common (correctly in my opinion) to consider Classical Civilization to be the "mother" civilization to Western Civ.

    The beginning point in time of Western Civ is necessarily going to be blurry. On the other hand, we pretty clearly demarcate the modern West as being those societies in which most of the current inhabitants are descended from people who lived in Roman Catholic societies in 1500 AD. That makes Czechia, Ireland, and Australia all part of the West, but not Russia or Serbia. And, it correctly makes Latin America borderline.

    Israel? Interesting question.

    It works surprisingly well: no one is really surprised that, after the collapse of Communism, Poland, Czechia, and Hungary are becoming "normal" Western countries in a way no one really expects of Albania or Romania.

    dfordoom also wrote:


    On the whole she’s quite correct that it’s simply not valid to try to understand the Middle Ages in terms of modern concepts like democracy and individualism. And it’s not valid to see Western Civilisation as the story of the gradual and inevitable rise of ideas like democracy and individualism.
     
    Indeed. The Medieval West was not the modern West, and we should not pretend that they were simply striving to become us but not quite succeeding.

    On the other hand, when I read the Arthurian legends or the Canterbury Tales, yeah, these are "my people" in a way that I cannot identify with the culture from the same time period from China or India or even the Islamic world. I may not much like Aquinas or Richard the Lionheart, but I am quite clear that, in some sense, they are part of my extended family.

    My understanding basically goes:

    Poland, Czechia, Hungary: Mitteleuropean, Catholicism, Western script.

    Ukraine, Belarus, Russia: Eastern Europe, Orthodoxy, Cyrillic.

    So, the dividing line is the river Bug. To the west, “Western”, to the east, not. Religion makes for a convenient dividing line, but beyond that, the general trend of pre-Warsaw Pact history for the former is embedded within Europe. The only exception to the rule was the Tsarist part of post-Partition Poland, and judging from the number of violent uprisings that would take place there, we can safely say that there was not really a sense of pan-Slavic union going on with the Russians and Poles.

    The Baltics are a bit interesting because they are split between different civilizational constructs: Estonia has more in common with Finland than anybody else, and Lithuania used to be part of the Polish commonwealth, with Vilnius once being Wilno. Riga and Tallinn were built by German migrants like Kuala Lumpur was built by the Chinese. In any case, they are definitely not part of the “Russian” civilizational construct. Southeastern Europe, too, can be considered to be split between different cultural spheres.

    >Israel? Interesting question.

    I’d say no. The majority of modern Israelis are either descended from those who fled the Middle East in 1967 or from more recent immigrants from the former USSR, to the point where Israel has more Russian speakers than any nation outside what used to be the Soviet Union. Or they are haredim. They view Israel as a Jewish nation-state, in the same sense that Egypt or Saudi Arabia are Arab nation states, and tend to have harder line views on the Palestinians than the Ashkenazi minority that prints their views in places like Haaretz and holds legacy cultural value in the West.

    I’ve noticed this tends to not be understood among older generations of politicians on Capitol Hill, particularly among older holdover Democrats like Schumer who are still heavily pro-Israel but based off ethnic solidarity and/or “liberal values”, as opposed to the outright Old Testament fetishizing Dominionism in the GOP. They still think Israel is a Western nation operating under a Western MO.

    >Indeed. The Medieval West was not the modern West, and we should not pretend that they were simply striving to become us but not quite succeeding.

    As I’ve stated above: things got back on track for the West when they got back in touch with their classical Roman legacy. The legacy of classical Greece, meanwhile, was damaged but still alive in Constantinople for centuries. Renaissance Italy was the beneficiary of all the Greek scholars who fled the final fall of the city.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    As I’ve stated above: things got back on track for the West when they got back in touch with their classical Roman legacy.
     
    An alternative view would be that it was the beginning of the end for the West. The classical legacy was the legacy of a failed civilisation.

    The Renaissance and the Reformation destroyed Mediaeval Civilisation but they gave us a new civilisation with built-in self-destructive mechanisms. They gave us a new civilisation based on scepticism and that scepticism led inevitably to nihilism.

    We may have taken a disastrously wrong turning when we trashed Mediaeval Civilisation.

    Just putting a contrarian view here.
  99. @Realist

    Hardly. Especially during the Dark Ages, China, Byzantium, and the Islamic World were all far ahead of Western Europe
     
    .

    In some ways that is true, but not in human health, disease and pestilence were prevalent the world over.

    My comment was to PhysicistDave who stated:

    Personally, my attitude is: no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no flush toilets, they were pretty nasty to heretics, and I would probably have been a peasant.

    Thanks, but no thanks.
     
    This was also the situation the world over. And treatment of their fellow man was abysmal everywhere.

    It is popular to glorify China, Byzantium, and the Islamic World in this time period. Perhaps you could elucidate?

    >In some ways that is true, but not in human health, disease and pestilence were prevalent the world over.

    That was also true in classical antiquity… and the Renaissance period… and really, the overwhelming majority of human history. There were still outbreaks of plague during the time of Isaac Newton in London. From Kangxi to George Washington, smallpox was a depressing reality: and outside the West, this is even more apparent. In Indonesia in 1960, people were still worried about smallpox.

    The point is: Dark Ages Europe had a nearly total civilizational collapse in everything from literacy to infrastructure to cultural contact with other civilizations in a way that simply was not paralleled elsewhere. In Byzantium, you did have a similar process of ruralization, declining literacy, and the like after the Arabs knocked them down from superpower status (and this was after the catastrophic effect of the plague and the wars with the Sassanids), but it was never to the same degree as Western Europe.

    • Replies: @Realist
    The Middle age was a rough time for Western Civilization. But in the last four hundred years Western Civilization has taken the lead in a big way and so far is out front, but there are idiots about that may end that.
    , @dfordoom

    Dark Ages Europe had a nearly total civilizational collapse in everything from literacy to infrastructure to cultural contact with other civilizations in a way that simply was not paralleled elsewhere.
     
    That's true, but the impressive thing is that Dark Ages Europe survived. The Mediaeval period was a period of recovery and progress. During the Dark Ages Europeans were pretty much living in wooden huts. By the 12th century the Mediaevals were building cathedrals which are among the greatest achievements of our species.

    The recovery of western Europe was not brought about by the rediscovery of classical learning, the so-called Renaissance. The recovery was brought about by Christian Medieval Civilisation.

    And progress in science did not begin with the Renaissance. It was the mediaeval alchemists who laid the foundation for the scientific method, a concept the classical civilisation was not only entirely unfamiliar with but was actively hostile to. The alchemists were crazy and misguided but their wacky experiments marked the beginnings of modern science.

    We owe more to the Mediaevals than we do to the classical world.
  100. @nebulafox
    >In some ways that is true, but not in human health, disease and pestilence were prevalent the world over.

    That was also true in classical antiquity... and the Renaissance period... and really, the overwhelming majority of human history. There were still outbreaks of plague during the time of Isaac Newton in London. From Kangxi to George Washington, smallpox was a depressing reality: and outside the West, this is even more apparent. In Indonesia in 1960, people were still worried about smallpox.

    The point is: Dark Ages Europe had a nearly total civilizational collapse in everything from literacy to infrastructure to cultural contact with other civilizations in a way that simply was not paralleled elsewhere. In Byzantium, you did have a similar process of ruralization, declining literacy, and the like after the Arabs knocked them down from superpower status (and this was after the catastrophic effect of the plague and the wars with the Sassanids), but it was never to the same degree as Western Europe.

    The Middle age was a rough time for Western Civilization. But in the last four hundred years Western Civilization has taken the lead in a big way and so far is out front, but there are idiots about that may end that.

  101. @nebulafox
    Hardly. Especially during the Dark Ages, China, Byzantium, and the Islamic World were all far ahead of Western Europe. Europe only really recovered from the collapse of civilization that accompanied the fall of Rome many centuries later when they began reconnecting with the mostly forgotten traditions and spirit of classical antiquity: the genesis of Western rebirth, and eventually, global domination. But Europe was very lucky that external predators during those intervening centuries were either blocked by Fortress Constantinople or were small and disorganized enough to be bought off into settling and assimilating like the Vikings.

    And very, very, very lucky that Ogedei Khan died before the Mongols reached Vienna. The Russians did not have that luck: it took them multiple centuries to throw off foreign occupation and even more to fully recover from the degree of depopulation, enslavement, slaughter, and mayhem the Mongols brought. The Islamic World, similarly, was deeply jacked up by the Mongols: it is estimated that Iraq's population and development levels did not recover until the 20th Century.

    Actually, Western Europe began to “recover” from the Dark Ages as early as the year 1000. Before then, its problem was the same problem that it had had in classical times: a lack of the resources that made civilizations wealthy then: gold, gems, silk, spices, even wine and olive oil (except way in Southern Europe). That was why Constantinople, which had plenty of access to the above, glittered during the Dark Ages while Western European towns languished as backwaters–even in Roman times. Western Europe’s economy was almost entirely agriculture-based, going back to Roman times. Another problem was its relatively small population, further depleted by Viking raids and Muslim aggression (the Muslims cut off most Mediterranean trade with the East).

    But the Vikings ceased being a problem around the year 1000, and around that time Western Europeans discovered they had a resource that could make them rich: wool. They could use their brains to build the great cloth-making centers of Northern Europe. Advances in agricultural technology (the water mill, the horse-harness for plowing), coupled with the advent of the Medieval Warm Period, greatly increased agricultural productivity and, hence, populations. The Westerners built wealth with their brains in other ways: inventing banking, the limited-liability corporation, the university, a legal system that ensured the enforceability of contracts, rapidly expanding literacy, independent town governments, and parliaments that were forms of representative democracy. All encouraged the development of markets and trade and made towns and their citizens prosperous enough to subsidize impressive cathedral-building and, of course, art. The printing press was essentially a medieval development, spurred by a growing demand for books. Hence what we call the “Renaissance”–which was really an efflorescence of late-medieval civilization in the West.

    By the way, deadly contagious diseases that decimated populations were as much a feature of Roman times as they were of the Middle Ages. Only during the 19th century, when we learned something about sanitation and the actual ways in which diseases spread, could we do much of anything about them except try to nurse the sick.

  102. @nebulafox
    My understanding basically goes:

    Poland, Czechia, Hungary: Mitteleuropean, Catholicism, Western script.

    Ukraine, Belarus, Russia: Eastern Europe, Orthodoxy, Cyrillic.

    So, the dividing line is the river Bug. To the west, "Western", to the east, not. Religion makes for a convenient dividing line, but beyond that, the general trend of pre-Warsaw Pact history for the former is embedded within Europe. The only exception to the rule was the Tsarist part of post-Partition Poland, and judging from the number of violent uprisings that would take place there, we can safely say that there was not really a sense of pan-Slavic union going on with the Russians and Poles.

    The Baltics are a bit interesting because they are split between different civilizational constructs: Estonia has more in common with Finland than anybody else, and Lithuania used to be part of the Polish commonwealth, with Vilnius once being Wilno. Riga and Tallinn were built by German migrants like Kuala Lumpur was built by the Chinese. In any case, they are definitely not part of the "Russian" civilizational construct. Southeastern Europe, too, can be considered to be split between different cultural spheres.

    >Israel? Interesting question.

    I'd say no. The majority of modern Israelis are either descended from those who fled the Middle East in 1967 or from more recent immigrants from the former USSR, to the point where Israel has more Russian speakers than any nation outside what used to be the Soviet Union. Or they are haredim. They view Israel as a Jewish nation-state, in the same sense that Egypt or Saudi Arabia are Arab nation states, and tend to have harder line views on the Palestinians than the Ashkenazi minority that prints their views in places like Haaretz and holds legacy cultural value in the West.

    I've noticed this tends to not be understood among older generations of politicians on Capitol Hill, particularly among older holdover Democrats like Schumer who are still heavily pro-Israel but based off ethnic solidarity and/or "liberal values", as opposed to the outright Old Testament fetishizing Dominionism in the GOP. They still think Israel is a Western nation operating under a Western MO.

    >Indeed. The Medieval West was not the modern West, and we should not pretend that they were simply striving to become us but not quite succeeding.

    As I've stated above: things got back on track for the West when they got back in touch with their classical Roman legacy. The legacy of classical Greece, meanwhile, was damaged but still alive in Constantinople for centuries. Renaissance Italy was the beneficiary of all the Greek scholars who fled the final fall of the city.

    As I’ve stated above: things got back on track for the West when they got back in touch with their classical Roman legacy.

    An alternative view would be that it was the beginning of the end for the West. The classical legacy was the legacy of a failed civilisation.

    The Renaissance and the Reformation destroyed Mediaeval Civilisation but they gave us a new civilisation with built-in self-destructive mechanisms. They gave us a new civilisation based on scepticism and that scepticism led inevitably to nihilism.

    We may have taken a disastrously wrong turning when we trashed Mediaeval Civilisation.

    Just putting a contrarian view here.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    dfordoom wrote to nebulafox:

    The classical [Greco-Roman] legacy was the legacy of a failed civilisation.
     
    In the final analysis, all civilizations are failed civilizations: where now is Sumerian or Egyptian or Minoan Civilization?

    dfordoom also wrote:

    The Renaissance and the Reformation destroyed Mediaeval Civilisation but they gave us a new civilisation with built-in self-destructive mechanisms. They gave us a new civilisation based on scepticism and that scepticism led inevitably to nihilism.

    We may have taken a disastrously wrong turning when we trashed Mediaeval Civilisation.
     
    We are, of course, the continuation (and the bodily descendants) of medieval civilization. But when our ancestors over the last few centuries decided to abandon certian aspects of medieval civilization, they had some good reasons: execution of heretics, mass poverty, incredible infant mortality, not to mention the Bubonic Plague.
  103. @nebulafox
    >In some ways that is true, but not in human health, disease and pestilence were prevalent the world over.

    That was also true in classical antiquity... and the Renaissance period... and really, the overwhelming majority of human history. There were still outbreaks of plague during the time of Isaac Newton in London. From Kangxi to George Washington, smallpox was a depressing reality: and outside the West, this is even more apparent. In Indonesia in 1960, people were still worried about smallpox.

    The point is: Dark Ages Europe had a nearly total civilizational collapse in everything from literacy to infrastructure to cultural contact with other civilizations in a way that simply was not paralleled elsewhere. In Byzantium, you did have a similar process of ruralization, declining literacy, and the like after the Arabs knocked them down from superpower status (and this was after the catastrophic effect of the plague and the wars with the Sassanids), but it was never to the same degree as Western Europe.

    Dark Ages Europe had a nearly total civilizational collapse in everything from literacy to infrastructure to cultural contact with other civilizations in a way that simply was not paralleled elsewhere.

    That’s true, but the impressive thing is that Dark Ages Europe survived. The Mediaeval period was a period of recovery and progress. During the Dark Ages Europeans were pretty much living in wooden huts. By the 12th century the Mediaevals were building cathedrals which are among the greatest achievements of our species.

    The recovery of western Europe was not brought about by the rediscovery of classical learning, the so-called Renaissance. The recovery was brought about by Christian Medieval Civilisation.

    And progress in science did not begin with the Renaissance. It was the mediaeval alchemists who laid the foundation for the scientific method, a concept the classical civilisation was not only entirely unfamiliar with but was actively hostile to. The alchemists were crazy and misguided but their wacky experiments marked the beginnings of modern science.

    We owe more to the Mediaevals than we do to the classical world.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    dfordoom wrote:

    And progress in science did not begin with the Renaissance. It was the mediaeval alchemists who laid the foundation for the scientific method, a concept the classical civilisation was not only entirely unfamiliar with but was actively hostile to. The alchemists were crazy and misguided but their wacky experiments marked the beginnings of modern science.
     
    Not so much. Arguably, modern science owes more to the Arabs than to the Middle Ages.

    But, in truth, there was almost nothing to modern science until the sixteenth century: Copernicus, of course, then Brahe and Vesalius and Gilbert, etc.

    From time to time, I've asked guys on the Web who extol the supposed medieval achievements in science to please name some of those achievements. I never get much response. A bit of real progress in technology. A small amount in math. Almost none in science. The Middle Ages really were rather barren.

    (Anyone who disagrees: if I'm wrong, you should be able to just bury me with examples to the contrary. I'm waiting. Please: don't just tell me there are books. Just overwhelm me with actual real examples.)
  104. @dfordoom

    As I’ve stated above: things got back on track for the West when they got back in touch with their classical Roman legacy.
     
    An alternative view would be that it was the beginning of the end for the West. The classical legacy was the legacy of a failed civilisation.

    The Renaissance and the Reformation destroyed Mediaeval Civilisation but they gave us a new civilisation with built-in self-destructive mechanisms. They gave us a new civilisation based on scepticism and that scepticism led inevitably to nihilism.

    We may have taken a disastrously wrong turning when we trashed Mediaeval Civilisation.

    Just putting a contrarian view here.

    dfordoom wrote to nebulafox:

    The classical [Greco-Roman] legacy was the legacy of a failed civilisation.

    In the final analysis, all civilizations are failed civilizations: where now is Sumerian or Egyptian or Minoan Civilization?

    dfordoom also wrote:

    The Renaissance and the Reformation destroyed Mediaeval Civilisation but they gave us a new civilisation with built-in self-destructive mechanisms. They gave us a new civilisation based on scepticism and that scepticism led inevitably to nihilism.

    We may have taken a disastrously wrong turning when we trashed Mediaeval Civilisation.

    We are, of course, the continuation (and the bodily descendants) of medieval civilization. But when our ancestors over the last few centuries decided to abandon certian aspects of medieval civilization, they had some good reasons: execution of heretics, mass poverty, incredible infant mortality, not to mention the Bubonic Plague.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    But when our ancestors over the last few centuries decided to abandon certian aspects of medieval civilization, they had some good reasons: execution of heretics, mass poverty, incredible infant mortality, not to mention the Bubonic Plague.
     
    The difficulty is that there's no way of knowing how Mediaeval Civilisation might have developed had it not been destroyed. It was mostly the Reformation that destroyed it and the Reformation was an avoidable disaster.

    There was throughout the Middle Ages slow but steady scientific and technological progress. Mediaeval agriculture was far in advance of agriculture in the classical world. The Mediaevals invented things that don't seem glamorous today but were in fact quite revolutionary - things like reliable clocks and eyeglasses. Proper harnesses for draught animals that revolutionised both transportation and agriculture. The foundations for future technological and scientific progress had been laid. Take a look at a Mediaeval cathedrals and tell me that the Medievals were not capable of astonishing technological innovation.

    Without the Reformation it's certain that this slow steady progress would have continued. Mediaeval Civilisation was not static. Problems of sanitation and disease would most likely have been alleviated.

    As for execution of heretics, take a look at things like the Thirty Years War or the ghastly parade of horrors that was 20th century history (the mass slaughters carried out by the Nazis, fire-bombing of cities, the nuking of civilian targets in Japan) and then tell me how barbaric Mediaeval Civilisation was.

    There are always different ways of looking at things. Most people today get their ideas of the Middle Ages from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  105. @dfordoom

    Dark Ages Europe had a nearly total civilizational collapse in everything from literacy to infrastructure to cultural contact with other civilizations in a way that simply was not paralleled elsewhere.
     
    That's true, but the impressive thing is that Dark Ages Europe survived. The Mediaeval period was a period of recovery and progress. During the Dark Ages Europeans were pretty much living in wooden huts. By the 12th century the Mediaevals were building cathedrals which are among the greatest achievements of our species.

    The recovery of western Europe was not brought about by the rediscovery of classical learning, the so-called Renaissance. The recovery was brought about by Christian Medieval Civilisation.

    And progress in science did not begin with the Renaissance. It was the mediaeval alchemists who laid the foundation for the scientific method, a concept the classical civilisation was not only entirely unfamiliar with but was actively hostile to. The alchemists were crazy and misguided but their wacky experiments marked the beginnings of modern science.

    We owe more to the Mediaevals than we do to the classical world.

    dfordoom wrote:

    And progress in science did not begin with the Renaissance. It was the mediaeval alchemists who laid the foundation for the scientific method, a concept the classical civilisation was not only entirely unfamiliar with but was actively hostile to. The alchemists were crazy and misguided but their wacky experiments marked the beginnings of modern science.

    Not so much. Arguably, modern science owes more to the Arabs than to the Middle Ages.

    But, in truth, there was almost nothing to modern science until the sixteenth century: Copernicus, of course, then Brahe and Vesalius and Gilbert, etc.

    From time to time, I’ve asked guys on the Web who extol the supposed medieval achievements in science to please name some of those achievements. I never get much response. A bit of real progress in technology. A small amount in math. Almost none in science. The Middle Ages really were rather barren.

    (Anyone who disagrees: if I’m wrong, you should be able to just bury me with examples to the contrary. I’m waiting. Please: don’t just tell me there are books. Just overwhelm me with actual real examples.)

  106. I am not systematically familiar enough with the history of science to judge that, so I’ll take your word for it.

    On a broader level of cultural output, I would make a distinction between the periods before and after the year 1000. The latter wasn’t completely barren: Petrarch, Roger Bacon, Robert Grosseteste, Albertus Magnus, Nicholas of Cusa (Copernicus could have used him!), John Peckham, Dante Aligheri, (interestingly for a poet, he’d cite an optics experiment in Paradiso), and Nietzsche’s favorite pan-European, Frederick II Hohenstaufen, roll off the top of my head. No, it was not the Renaissance yet, but neither was it the Dark Ages anymore. But of course, by that point, Europe had over half a millennium to recover from civilizational collapse. If they hadn’t started producing anything by then, you know, good gravy…

    That said, it is distinctly worth noting that the prominent figures of the Middle Ages *themselves* compared their current time period negatively to classical antiquity (Petrarch coined the term “Dark Ages”), much like Homer compared his own Dark Ages negatively to a dimly remembered shiny Bronze Age. Dante, in particular, was absolutely scathing about the petty princelings of his divided Italy and how they weren’t fit to wipe the boots of the Caesars.

    They, of course, couldn’t see the future, but I’d like to think that they’d be pleased to see the West blossoming from a backwater into something that’d lift itself up and seize the world rather than fetishizing the time period they lived in.

    >not to mention the Bubonic Plague.

    Well, careful: the Black Death might have paradoxically helped those who survived. Because the labor market was tightened, the power of the nobility and feudalism in general was dealt a severe blow. It isn’t hard to draw a connection between that and the progress you’d begin to see in the coming centuries, similar to how the Thirty Year’s War was a catastrophe, but led to the Westphalian system that curbed the power of petty elites.

    This is also a classical, elemental historical example that one can cite whenever the Washington Post tries to argue that supply and demand don’t exist within American borders and that, you know, all those hicks just be so racist they can’t tell that mass unskilled immigration is good for them…

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
  107. @PhysicistDave
    dfordoom wrote to nebulafox:

    The classical [Greco-Roman] legacy was the legacy of a failed civilisation.
     
    In the final analysis, all civilizations are failed civilizations: where now is Sumerian or Egyptian or Minoan Civilization?

    dfordoom also wrote:

    The Renaissance and the Reformation destroyed Mediaeval Civilisation but they gave us a new civilisation with built-in self-destructive mechanisms. They gave us a new civilisation based on scepticism and that scepticism led inevitably to nihilism.

    We may have taken a disastrously wrong turning when we trashed Mediaeval Civilisation.
     
    We are, of course, the continuation (and the bodily descendants) of medieval civilization. But when our ancestors over the last few centuries decided to abandon certian aspects of medieval civilization, they had some good reasons: execution of heretics, mass poverty, incredible infant mortality, not to mention the Bubonic Plague.

    But when our ancestors over the last few centuries decided to abandon certian aspects of medieval civilization, they had some good reasons: execution of heretics, mass poverty, incredible infant mortality, not to mention the Bubonic Plague.

    The difficulty is that there’s no way of knowing how Mediaeval Civilisation might have developed had it not been destroyed. It was mostly the Reformation that destroyed it and the Reformation was an avoidable disaster.

    There was throughout the Middle Ages slow but steady scientific and technological progress. Mediaeval agriculture was far in advance of agriculture in the classical world. The Mediaevals invented things that don’t seem glamorous today but were in fact quite revolutionary – things like reliable clocks and eyeglasses. Proper harnesses for draught animals that revolutionised both transportation and agriculture. The foundations for future technological and scientific progress had been laid. Take a look at a Mediaeval cathedrals and tell me that the Medievals were not capable of astonishing technological innovation.

    Without the Reformation it’s certain that this slow steady progress would have continued. Mediaeval Civilisation was not static. Problems of sanitation and disease would most likely have been alleviated.

    As for execution of heretics, take a look at things like the Thirty Years War or the ghastly parade of horrors that was 20th century history (the mass slaughters carried out by the Nazis, fire-bombing of cities, the nuking of civilian targets in Japan) and then tell me how barbaric Mediaeval Civilisation was.

    There are always different ways of looking at things. Most people today get their ideas of the Middle Ages from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    dfordoom wrote to me:

    Take a look at a Mediaeval cathedrals and tell me that the Medievals were not capable of astonishing technological innovation.
     
    Technological innovation -- yes; science -- no.

    It is cool to build cool things. But it is not science.

    Science is about achieving a systematic knowledge of non-obvious truths about nature. Not just building cool things.

    And understanding such non-obvious truths about nature tends to offend religious authorities -- as Galileo discovered.

    The unified Christian Church had to be destroyed before science could flourish. Happily, it was.

    You make my point: as I expected you gave me exactly zero examples of medieval science (you could have found a few, but not many). Medieval science was in fact almost non-existent.
  108. ctrl-f “Avignon”

    No results

  109. @dfordoom

    But when our ancestors over the last few centuries decided to abandon certian aspects of medieval civilization, they had some good reasons: execution of heretics, mass poverty, incredible infant mortality, not to mention the Bubonic Plague.
     
    The difficulty is that there's no way of knowing how Mediaeval Civilisation might have developed had it not been destroyed. It was mostly the Reformation that destroyed it and the Reformation was an avoidable disaster.

    There was throughout the Middle Ages slow but steady scientific and technological progress. Mediaeval agriculture was far in advance of agriculture in the classical world. The Mediaevals invented things that don't seem glamorous today but were in fact quite revolutionary - things like reliable clocks and eyeglasses. Proper harnesses for draught animals that revolutionised both transportation and agriculture. The foundations for future technological and scientific progress had been laid. Take a look at a Mediaeval cathedrals and tell me that the Medievals were not capable of astonishing technological innovation.

    Without the Reformation it's certain that this slow steady progress would have continued. Mediaeval Civilisation was not static. Problems of sanitation and disease would most likely have been alleviated.

    As for execution of heretics, take a look at things like the Thirty Years War or the ghastly parade of horrors that was 20th century history (the mass slaughters carried out by the Nazis, fire-bombing of cities, the nuking of civilian targets in Japan) and then tell me how barbaric Mediaeval Civilisation was.

    There are always different ways of looking at things. Most people today get their ideas of the Middle Ages from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    dfordoom wrote to me:

    Take a look at a Mediaeval cathedrals and tell me that the Medievals were not capable of astonishing technological innovation.

    Technological innovation — yes; science — no.

    It is cool to build cool things. But it is not science.

    Science is about achieving a systematic knowledge of non-obvious truths about nature. Not just building cool things.

    And understanding such non-obvious truths about nature tends to offend religious authorities — as Galileo discovered.

    The unified Christian Church had to be destroyed before science could flourish. Happily, it was.

    You make my point: as I expected you gave me exactly zero examples of medieval science (you could have found a few, but not many). Medieval science was in fact almost non-existent.

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