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Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?
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Interesting (although hardly perfect) correlation on this Neolithic Dispersal map between how long a place has had agriculture and how viciously fractious its politics are today: e.g., it looks like agriculture began near the upper Euphrates west of Aleppo, where ISIS was running amok a few years ago.

 
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  1. Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?

    Subtropical climate? Good for starting agriculture, bad for monogamous pair-bonded simple families.

    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
    @Trelane

    Area where bigger brains developed = area where bigger psychopaths developed.

    http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/050922/brainevolution.shtml

  2. The Bible speaks to this directly. Ishmael, the son of Abraham, and the patriarch of the Arabs and Muslims, is thusly described in the Bible: “And he will be a wild man. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:12.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    @PaceLaw

    So one race of people writes down dire predictions and slurs about an enemy race of people, and attributed their prediction (and hope) to God. Pathetic.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @PaceLaw

    , @jamie b.
    @PaceLaw

    Mystery solved!

  3. Simple. The places that have had agriculture the longest have had the longest time to think up reasons to invade their neighbors.

  4. The natural selection in states does not select for people who create internal conditions that lead to the states thriving. Selflessness might be selected in small bands with high kinship. It may be selected in small villages where everyone interacts with the same people for decades – the same families for centuries, maybe. Imperial Rome? Nope.

    [MORE]

    Even if the political class does want to find a selfless man to govern, whom can it chose? A man who was known to them? Anyone can treat members of the aristocracy well. Even if they chose one of their own for a few hundred years, they become incestuous and brittle. There are no new perspectives, but there are new challenges, and a thriving state is an expanding state. To stand still is to be eaten alive.

    If they try to choose a man unknown to them, how shall they chose the wisest man, as opposed to the one with the reputation for wisdom? Even if they chose well, the wisdom of a decision may seem so only in retrospect. A man of reputed wisdom is probably old. Old men do not readily take to new challenges. Old men cannot lead men in battle. He will have trouble directing from the rear.

    In Europe, the Romans only began to thrive when they overthrew the kings. Before that, I assume the king’s oldest or strongest son became king. Regression to the mean means…

    The martial virtues needed for the state to expand? A man who will die for his companions can save many men. But he dies. If those men were not his relatives, then his genes have become rarer. Perhaps the men he saved will help his widow and children? Those men have wives of their own, and children of their own. They favor them. The state? They had little in the way of communication. How was the king or emperor or tyrant to know who died heroically or cowardly? Perhaps that could be known to the elite in the capital about each other.

    The peasant boy who wants to see the grandeur of the world? The Roman Empire had twenty-year terms, right? Twenty years from 16 put him at 36. At best, he is behind his peers who married earlier. Quite likely, he is dead. He is resettled in the newly conquered frontier. He is expected to farm. He spent his life as a soldier. The farming he learned was in a different climate, with different soil. He farmed poorly. He had slaves? The losers of the war. They were not out to help him. The other resettled soldiers? They were not relatives. Practice reciprocity and they might not practice it back when it matters. His genes, the genes for courageous soldiering, become rarer.

    Then there is the monster of the pre-industrial world. Malthus. A smaller population lives better. The wise man limits his wife’s offspring. Frequently through infanticide, especially of girls. Where are the sons of the man and his fellows supposed to find brides? Among the conquered people of tomorrow, obv. But children inherit half their genes through the mother. The wise man’s genes grow rarer.

    Etc.

    Of course, some states managed to thrive for a long time. But a people? They seem to rise and fall and never rise again. Asabiyah, built over millennia, is spent much faster. In some cases, colonies thrived, indicating that the ethnicity’s core decayed. Italy as a war machine is the punchline of jokes. The middle east is full of poor soldiers, but excellent schemers.

    Our society? We spend asabiyah like madmen. The middle class and higher limit their children, both to consume more, and to ensure that the children do not fall down the class ladder. Minorities that had little to do with the success of the nation abound. Immigrants seek a better life but do not improve it…

    Bioprogressivism can save us…

    • Agree: SimpleSong
    • Replies: @Boswald Bollocksworth
    @Rob

    Makes a lot of sense, great examples. I would just want to push back a little and point out the obvious: "it's complicated". Certainly if you've worked in a white collar H1B-flooded industry, you'll have seen the nasty, transparently scheming creatures India and China have produced. Still I think there are signs of mitigating social technologies, namely Christianity. Maybe Christianity hasn't managed to fully undo the disgenics of the Roman empire in Italy, but I think it can/could play a role in slowing down or stabilizing drift toward antisocial behavior, by boosting selection for Christian personality traits. Still, we should probably be aggressively cloning people from the distant past to get some of those Honor and Bravery genes propagating again.

    , @Drapetomaniac
    @Rob

    "The natural selection in states does not select for people who create internal conditions that lead to the states thriving."

    So far so good.

    "Selflessness..."

    Nope. The animal world and man's world are the same in that they have the behaviors of my property and/or our property. For H. Sapiens to become civilized the concept of your property is needed. Any social organization without it will always be part of the animal world.

    Look at the world now, the thin veneer of civilization is so thin you can see through it.

  5. “Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?”

    Because, six times in twenty-four years (11/4/1980 through 11/2/2004), you voted for George Bush?!?

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    @D. K.

    Oh, did Clinton and Obama end the occupations and aggression?

  6. It’s a very convincing thesis, especially in that the area that seems to have started agriculture last — i.e. the northern part of Ireland — is well-known for its placid and amiable folk who dwell in companionable harmony.

    • Replies: @Trelane
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    For your information, Dr. Emanual Kazinski, Southern Ohio University, a sociologist and actual scientist, stated that the Irish are basically a bunch of bog-trotting potato farmers. I saw this on a late night talk show in the late 1970s.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

  7. One theory I’ve been kicking around, is that the high population density enabled by agriculture selects for hustlers and others prone to defection.

    Thus whenever a new area starts doing agriculture, it gets a couple centuries of prosperity before the people realize just how dishonest they can get away with being in an area where most people they interact with are total strangers. Then the area gets conquered by honest barbarians from the neighboring low density pastoral region who haven’t yet mastered the art of duplicity and the cycle begins again.

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    @Eugine Nier

    Honest barbarians from a region of low density pastoral culture?

    The Taliban?

    , @Almost Missouri
    @Eugine Nier

    Interesting.


    Then the area gets conquered by honest barbarians from the neighboring low density pastoral region
     
    IIRC the ancient Persians considered lying to be a capital crime:

    To ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth,
    This was the ancient law of youth.
     
    in Herodotus's description.

    That may seem like a random superstition of archaic barbarians to us "sophisticated" moderns, but in reality the ancients may have known well where their strength lay.
    , @RichardTaylor
    @Eugine Nier

    And isn't it pretty well established that the agricultural revolution brought misery to the vast majority of the population. I can't help but think it was actually dysgenic.

    , @Gabe Ruth
    @Eugine Nier

    Mena on twitter.com (PBUH) always had interesting ideas along these lines. Tied in alot of disparate modern phenomena too. A couple random samples from memory:
    - drug addicts are able to attract women because they are the only people walking around today without constantly elevated cortisol levels
    - crowding and staple grain diet also affects cortisol levels

    Somebody posts screen shots of his tweets under relevant menaquinone4

  8. Why aren’t housing prices factored into our inflation rate?

    Isn’t housing a major expense?

    If the price/income ratio increased by 1.5x over the last 2 decades, wouldn’t that imply that buying power is DECLINING in America? Isn’t the standard of living declining?

    Are we experiencing massive (and undetected) hyperinflation that has gone undetected?

    It’s truly fascinating to contemplate.

    • Agree: Travis, RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @clifford brown
    @JohnnyWalker123


    Why aren’t housing prices factored into our inflation rate?

    Isn’t housing a major expense?
     
    Housing inflation and college costs are major sources of usury income for Wall Street so generally something supported by the state. In a "free market" in interest rates, well there is no such thing, but in a semi-rational market for interest rates, they should be spiking, but the capital markets and corporate balance sheets are addicted to perpetually low rates so there is no effective way to cool the market.

    A good case can be made that the financial sector collapsed in the Fall of 2019, September 17th to be exact, and the Fed's massive money print is desperate attempt at avoiding the inevitable.

    The ponzi scheme (and the COVID Regime) will continue until morale improves.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    , @El Dato
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Don't panic the chicken coop

    Why the Fed Is So Desperate to Hide Price Inflation

    However, once people begin to lose confidence in the Fed’s willingness and ability to keep goods price inflation low, the “safety net trickery” reaches a crossroads. If the Fed then decides to keep interest rates artificially low, it will have to monetize growing amounts of debt and issue ever-larger amounts of money, which, in turn, will drive up goods price inflation and intensify the bond sell-off: a downward spiral begins, leading to a possibly severe devaluation of the currency. If the Fed prioritizes lowering inflation, it must raise interest rates and reign in money supply growth. This will most likely trigger a rather painful recession-depression, potentially the biggest of its kind in history.
     

  9. Something happened in those areas around 640 to 700 AD. I learned about it in first year high school World Civilization and Cultures class. I can’t remember exactly what, but something happened to turn a great civilization to what it’s been ever since.

    • Replies: @Francis Miville
    @Alden

    No, Islam reestablished a kind of Roman-like prosperity and a rather high rate of literacy (even though the Qur'an is a book that really sucks, it was the first book imposed to the general public as a bringer of salvation if you knew it by heart, at a time when Christianity judged that learning, even religious, was a sin when you were not of the priestly caste while Hinduism held the same opinion) with the result that the ME was far less fractious than Europe up to the arrival of the Mongols and the transformation of Islam itself into something much more obscurantist than what it had been initially.

    Replies: @MM

  10. 1) Diversity is not a strength.

    2) Fertile crescent was the easy starting point, but ag requires–selects for–higher IQ, conscientiousness, cooperation in higher latitude temperate climates.

    3) Some of these places are more “farmed out” and/or more naturally “herding” rather than “tilling” cultures. Herding cultures are more tribal, often practice cousin or clan marriage and generally do not generate “trust at scale”.

    4) Islam. Generally “does not play nice with others” and currently mired in some sectarian squabbling more akin to post-reformative Europe of 500 years ago.

    • Replies: @RichardTaylor
    @AnotherDad


    Fertile crescent was the easy starting point, but ag requires–selects for–higher IQ, conscientiousness, cooperation in higher latitude temperate climates.
     
    However, what about the Yamnaya? What used to be called the Aryans, who came out of the Russian steppes with advanced technology and higher IQ. They conquered the farmers despite being semi-nomadic themselves.

    They also gave us the sky father religions, which the religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity adopted.

    There are quite a few cases of "barbarians" who ride in and take over more settled areas.

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SGKRdtcVDBw/WUkfzpwK0kI/AAAAAAAB-rg/06YJOpErRA4_1Z-uuDsRmr_ST5ovLLafQCLcBGAs/s1600/Scythians_01b.jpg

    Replies: @S. Anonyia

    , @Old Prude
    @AnotherDad

    First, let me say commenter Rob is giving Another Dad a run for his money as far as quality comments.

    "ag requires–selects for–higher IQ," So true in the pre-industrial age, and even now, but in a different way. Pre-industrial, most folks farmed, and the smartest and hardest-working thrived. Come the industrial age, all the brains left for the cities and the easy life (farming is hard work). But, as industrial tech helped farmers become more efficient, those with smarts used the industrial tech to thrive in the depopulated and contracted farming business, driving out the last of the family farmers.

  11. Maybe because of its ethnic diversity. You didn’t have the kind of population replacements seen elsewhere and neighboring civilizations like the elamites, Sumerians, and akkadians, spoke seemingly unrelated languages.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Something along those lines. Middle Eastern peoples seem selected for staying peoples.

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Anon


    . . . neighboring civilizations like the elamites, Sumerians, and akkadians, spoke seemingly unrelated languages.

     

    Straight Outta Babel, baby . . . .

    Replies: @RadicalCenter

  12. The people of the Near East today are of a different stock from the first farmers. The arabs conquered the region, but non-arab nationalities remained distinct. The Middle East still has not recovered from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire which found a way to maintain order amongst the various ethnic factions.

    Funny to think that pan-arabism was once a thing. Although in retrospect, it seems more like a vague sentiment than a substantive ideology. Supporting sectarianism and balkanization in the Middle East is the official policy of the United States and Israel. Sure has not helped things on the peace front that the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia materially supported the ISIS insurgency of the last decade.

  13. @Anon
    Maybe because of its ethnic diversity. You didn’t have the kind of population replacements seen elsewhere and neighboring civilizations like the elamites, Sumerians, and akkadians, spoke seemingly unrelated languages.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist

    Something along those lines. Middle Eastern peoples seem selected for staying peoples.

  14. Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?

    Not sure, but here’s an excerpt from the current CIA World Factbook :

    I ain’t no student (Feel those vibrations)
    Of ancient culture (I know a neat excavation)
    Before I talk I should read a book.
    But there’s one thing I do know:
    There’s a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia.

    Six or eight thousand years ago
    They laid down the law. (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa)
    Six or eight thousand years ago
    They laid down the law. (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa)

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The USAF announced that the remaining 70 or so B-52 bombers will get newly designed engines, which will keep them in service into the 2050s. What this means is that some of those airframes will have been in service for 100 years, by then.

    That's just plain amazing.

    https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/06/engine-replacement-could-keep-venerable-b-52-flying-through-its-100th-birthday/182687/

    Replies: @notbe, @International Jew, @Joe Stalin

    , @Achmed E. Newman
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    There are guys flying the same tail numbers of those planes that their Dads or Grandads flew in Vietnam!

    Thank you for the music, Generic. That Kate Pierson is something else - she always puts me in a good mood. Is that her in the red dress? Fred Schneider is weird-sounding but great. This music is so danceable even I could to it!

    , @obwandiyag
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The B-52s suck.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @El Dato, @Old Prude, @Jim Bob Lassiter

  15. @The Last Real Calvinist
    It's a very convincing thesis, especially in that the area that seems to have started agriculture last -- i.e. the northern part of Ireland -- is well-known for its placid and amiable folk who dwell in companionable harmony.

    Replies: @Trelane

    For your information, Dr. Emanual Kazinski, Southern Ohio University, a sociologist and actual scientist, stated that the Irish are basically a bunch of bog-trotting potato farmers. I saw this on a late night talk show in the late 1970s.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Trelane

    As a native of Liverpool, primary beneficiary of the Irish Diaspora, I would argue with your claim:


    the Irish are basically a bunch of bog-trotting potato farmers.
     
    I have never seen one exhibit the energy required to trot.
  16. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/charliebilello/status/1438271461316341761

    Why aren't housing prices factored into our inflation rate?

    Isn't housing a major expense?

    If the price/income ratio increased by 1.5x over the last 2 decades, wouldn't that imply that buying power is DECLINING in America? Isn't the standard of living declining?

    Are we experiencing massive (and undetected) hyperinflation that has gone undetected?

    It's truly fascinating to contemplate.

    Replies: @clifford brown, @El Dato

    Why aren’t housing prices factored into our inflation rate?

    Isn’t housing a major expense?

    Housing inflation and college costs are major sources of usury income for Wall Street so generally something supported by the state. In a “free market” in interest rates, well there is no such thing, but in a semi-rational market for interest rates, they should be spiking, but the capital markets and corporate balance sheets are addicted to perpetually low rates so there is no effective way to cool the market.

    A good case can be made that the financial sector collapsed in the Fall of 2019, September 17th to be exact, and the Fed’s massive money print is desperate attempt at avoiding the inevitable.

    The ponzi scheme (and the COVID Regime) will continue until morale improves.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @clifford brown

    Housing costs and college tuition are both examples of extreme parasitism.

    Both are surging in price, without any noticeable increase in quality. So a small number of rent-seekers are getting rich by economically preying on the masses.

    You could also make the case that the financial system collapsed in 2008.

  17. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?
     
    Not sure, but here’s an excerpt from the current CIA World Factbook :

    https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-hmlqrqdpah/images/stencil/1280x1280/products/34750/37655/ita1378__44535.1612227121.jpg

    I ain't no student (Feel those vibrations)
    Of ancient culture (I know a neat excavation)
    Before I talk I should read a book.
    But there's one thing I do know:
    There's a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia.

    Six or eight thousand years ago
    They laid down the law. (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa)
    Six or eight thousand years ago
    They laid down the law. (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa)
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FyLcHxbSRk

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Achmed E. Newman, @obwandiyag

    The USAF announced that the remaining 70 or so B-52 bombers will get newly designed engines, which will keep them in service into the 2050s. What this means is that some of those airframes will have been in service for 100 years, by then.

    That’s just plain amazing.

    https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/06/engine-replacement-could-keep-venerable-b-52-flying-through-its-100th-birthday/182687/

    • Agree: Polistra
    • Replies: @notbe
    @PiltdownMan

    yes indeed its amazing but almost all service b52 airframes date back from the sixties so a MERE 90 years of flying service for each airframe-incredible really, the design of the buff started in 1945 during the war and the prototype was flying in 1952 and it is still a frontline asset now

    , @International Jew
    @PiltdownMan

    Well, considering that the B-52 will only be effective against countries that are 100 years behind us technologically, keeping it around for 100 years sorta makes sense.

    Ditto aircraft carriers.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Joe Stalin

    , @Joe Stalin
    @PiltdownMan

    The older model B-52D "Big Belly" Vietnam era bombers:

    https://media.defense.gov/2006/Nov/27/2000532452/780/780/0/061127-F-1234S-017.JPG


    One of the “Big Belly” B-52Ds releasing its 60,000-pound bomb load of bombs on enemy targets in Vietnam. It could carry up to 84 500-pound bombs or 42 750-pound bombs internally and 24 750-pound bombs externally on racks under the wings. (U.S. Air Force photo)
     
    were more survivable against Russian SAM-2 Guideline missiles than the newer B-52G&H versions in combat.

    The B-52 G and H models differed significantly in appearance from their predecessors, having a shorter vertical fin and rudder. The G was designed especially for flight at low levels and was considered by pilots to be more difficult to fly than others in the series because the ailerons had
    been removed and lateral control was by spoilers only. Unlike all previous models, which used conventional fuel bladders, both the G and the H models had wet-wing fuel tanks, greatly increasing their internal capacity.This was a disadvantage in combat; during Linebacker II operations in 1972, nine Ds were hit by SAMs but were still able to land. More vulnerable because of the wet wing, all but one of the six B-52Gs hit by SAMs crashed.

    https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/MagazineArchive/Documents/2001/December%202001/1201buff.pdf
     
  18. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?
     
    Not sure, but here’s an excerpt from the current CIA World Factbook :

    https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-hmlqrqdpah/images/stencil/1280x1280/products/34750/37655/ita1378__44535.1612227121.jpg

    I ain't no student (Feel those vibrations)
    Of ancient culture (I know a neat excavation)
    Before I talk I should read a book.
    But there's one thing I do know:
    There's a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia.

    Six or eight thousand years ago
    They laid down the law. (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa)
    Six or eight thousand years ago
    They laid down the law. (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa)
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FyLcHxbSRk

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Achmed E. Newman, @obwandiyag

    There are guys flying the same tail numbers of those planes that their Dads or Grandads flew in Vietnam!

    Thank you for the music, Generic. That Kate Pierson is something else – she always puts me in a good mood. Is that her in the red dress? Fred Schneider is weird-sounding but great. This music is so danceable even I could to it!

  19. Anon[184] • Disclaimer says:

    Agricultural surpluses increase the survival of everybody, including sociopaths, criminals, the crazy, the stupid, the inept, and the just plain unreasonable.

    The Aztec elite were selfish jerks ruling over a stupid peasant population. Mexico is exactly the same way today. China before the modern era was filled with an arrogant elite that treated its mountains of poor people like dirt. Modern China is still the same way.

    Northern European hunting and gathering societies selected for brains and pro-social behavior. In a band-sized society, the anti-social were kicked out and they frequently starved to death.

    Food is sometimes hard to get in a hunter-gatherer society. Hunting is most successful when more than 1 guy does it, because if you don’t bag game, one of your band may succeed and share the meat with you when times are hard. You reciprocate when you’re lucky and share your bag with others of the band. This creates a pro-social society. Someone who always refuses to share meat or steals food is too much of a burden for a band-level society to endure and is just kicked out.

    In an overpopulated agricultural society, life is common and cheap, and there are too many people for the authorities to care for or care about, so they don’t care at all.

  20. @Eugine Nier
    One theory I've been kicking around, is that the high population density enabled by agriculture selects for hustlers and others prone to defection.

    Thus whenever a new area starts doing agriculture, it gets a couple centuries of prosperity before the people realize just how dishonest they can get away with being in an area where most people they interact with are total strangers. Then the area gets conquered by honest barbarians from the neighboring low density pastoral region who haven't yet mastered the art of duplicity and the cycle begins again.

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind, @Almost Missouri, @RichardTaylor, @Gabe Ruth

    Honest barbarians from a region of low density pastoral culture?

    The Taliban?

  21. @clifford brown
    @JohnnyWalker123


    Why aren’t housing prices factored into our inflation rate?

    Isn’t housing a major expense?
     
    Housing inflation and college costs are major sources of usury income for Wall Street so generally something supported by the state. In a "free market" in interest rates, well there is no such thing, but in a semi-rational market for interest rates, they should be spiking, but the capital markets and corporate balance sheets are addicted to perpetually low rates so there is no effective way to cool the market.

    A good case can be made that the financial sector collapsed in the Fall of 2019, September 17th to be exact, and the Fed's massive money print is desperate attempt at avoiding the inevitable.

    The ponzi scheme (and the COVID Regime) will continue until morale improves.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    Housing costs and college tuition are both examples of extreme parasitism.

    Both are surging in price, without any noticeable increase in quality. So a small number of rent-seekers are getting rich by economically preying on the masses.

    You could also make the case that the financial system collapsed in 2008.

  22. @Anon
    Maybe because of its ethnic diversity. You didn’t have the kind of population replacements seen elsewhere and neighboring civilizations like the elamites, Sumerians, and akkadians, spoke seemingly unrelated languages.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist

    . . . neighboring civilizations like the elamites, Sumerians, and akkadians, spoke seemingly unrelated languages.

    Straight Outta Babel, baby . . . .

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Yes, straight out of a fable about something that never happened. Helpful.

  23. They salted up from millennia of irrigation.

  24. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?
     
    Not sure, but here’s an excerpt from the current CIA World Factbook :

    https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-hmlqrqdpah/images/stencil/1280x1280/products/34750/37655/ita1378__44535.1612227121.jpg

    I ain't no student (Feel those vibrations)
    Of ancient culture (I know a neat excavation)
    Before I talk I should read a book.
    But there's one thing I do know:
    There's a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia.

    Six or eight thousand years ago
    They laid down the law. (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa)
    Six or eight thousand years ago
    They laid down the law. (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa)
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FyLcHxbSRk

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Achmed E. Newman, @obwandiyag

    The B-52s suck.

    • Disagree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @obwandiyag


    The B-52s suck.
     
    So you’re more of a Bone fan, eh? They rock well.
    , @El Dato
    @obwandiyag

    Clearly you have never watched "By Dawn's Early Light" featuring the sweetes gal ever seen as B-52 pilot.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/By_Dawn%27s_Early_Light

    , @Old Prude
    @obwandiyag

    You ever been to a B-52 concert, Obi-wang? I have and it was a rocking PARTY. Dance fodder? Sure, but holy-smokes it rocks the joint. Awesome!

    , @Jim Bob Lassiter
    @obwandiyag

    Spoken like a true Lil' Nas X fan.

  25. Novelist Tibor Fischer writing in the London Telegraph four years ago (sorry for the long post but I think it’s pretty apt):

    My fellow lecturers won’t say it in public, but students today are moaning, illiterate snowflakes

    When I tell people who have had nothing to do with universities recently that I’ve taught British undergraduates who are simply incapable of writing a correct sentence in English, most smirk in disbelief…When I raise this with fellow lecturers, however, they nod mournfully.

    There is still a mania that everyone should go to university…It’s had a very bad effect on education.

    There’s an “everyone must pass” attitude, which is compounded by the “sick note” epidemic. The student who is currently suing Oxford University because it allegedly “didn’t take her anxiety seriously enough” isn’t an unusual figure.

    Lecturers don’t like to speak out about this because life is precarious in the academic world, but in private I don’t come across anyone who disagrees with what I’m about to say. Here goes.

    Almost every fourth essay you have to mark has a cover sheet pleading extenuating circumstances: Asperger’s, autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia. In my day, extenuating circumstances meant that your family had died in a car crash a month before your finals.

    And if you don’t pass, no need to worry because you’ll almost certainly have the chance of a resit or a resubmission. Essentially, if you can be bothered to turn up, you’ll get a degree.

    When I suggested to my department head that it might be beneficial to axe one or two students to gee up the performance of the rest, he commented, without any hint of irony: “We can’t fail them, because then they’d leave.”

    I taught English literature for four years at Christ Church University in Canterbury. I taught some 120 first‑year undergrads, of whom I asked the question: “What is a sentence?”

    Only six came up with the formula: subject, verb, object (and two of them were foreign students). They hadn’t heard of this grammar stuff. Some were even shaky on what an adjective is. And these weren’t physicists or business studies students, this was the literature class.

    Lecturers don’t like to speak out about this because life is precarious in the academic world, but in private I don’t come across anyone who disagrees with what I’m about to say. Here goes.

    Almost every fourth essay you have to mark has a cover sheet pleading extenuating circumstances: Asperger’s, autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia. In my day, extenuating circumstances meant that your family had died in a car crash a month before your finals.

    And if you don’t pass, no need to worry because you’ll almost certainly have the chance of a resit or a resubmission. Essentially, if you can be bothered to turn up, you’ll get a degree.

    When I suggested to my department head that it might be beneficial to axe one or two students to gee up the performance of the rest, he commented, without any hint of irony: “We can’t fail them, because then they’d leave.”

    I taught English literature for four years at Christ Church University in Canterbury. I taught some 120 first‑year undergrads, of whom I asked the question: “What is a sentence?”

    Only six came up with the formula: subject, verb, object (and two of them were foreign students). They hadn’t heard of this grammar stuff. Some were even shaky on what an adjective is. And these weren’t physicists or business studies students, this was the literature class.

    • LOL: El Dato
    • Replies: @El Dato
    @S Johnson


    They hadn’t heard of this grammar stuff. Some were even shaky on what an adjective is. And these weren’t physicists or business studies students, this was the literature class.
     
    > The writer not even realizing that a physicist will kick ass as a matter of course in the adjective-detection domain.

    It's 2021, man.
    , @J.Ross
    @S Johnson

    Failure to proofread in a criticism of students. Tsk, tsk.

  26. Anon[150] • Disclaimer says:

    From what I understand, the environment has changed a lot in that region. It used to be much more fertile and forested. Desertification and goat and sheep herding have changed the area from very fertile agricultural land to desert areas. Less fertile land and herding lifestyles probably promoted more fractious and contentious behavior, as people fought over scarce water and grazing land.

    Goat and sheep herding is generally believed to cause overgrazing and desertification. There is a negative feedback loop as goats and sheep cause desertification and also are more adapted to desertification than other livestock as they can graze on sparse weeds and pasture.

  27. @PiltdownMan
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The USAF announced that the remaining 70 or so B-52 bombers will get newly designed engines, which will keep them in service into the 2050s. What this means is that some of those airframes will have been in service for 100 years, by then.

    That's just plain amazing.

    https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/06/engine-replacement-could-keep-venerable-b-52-flying-through-its-100th-birthday/182687/

    Replies: @notbe, @International Jew, @Joe Stalin

    yes indeed its amazing but almost all service b52 airframes date back from the sixties so a MERE 90 years of flying service for each airframe-incredible really, the design of the buff started in 1945 during the war and the prototype was flying in 1952 and it is still a frontline asset now

  28. Peter Turchin would have an interesting answer to this question.

    • Replies: @LP5
    @Cato

    In addition to Peter Turchin, also read Joe Henrich for more context and history.

    Replies: @Cato

  29. @Alden
    Something happened in those areas around 640 to 700 AD. I learned about it in first year high school World Civilization and Cultures class. I can’t remember exactly what, but something happened to turn a great civilization to what it’s been ever since.

    Replies: @Francis Miville

    No, Islam reestablished a kind of Roman-like prosperity and a rather high rate of literacy (even though the Qur’an is a book that really sucks, it was the first book imposed to the general public as a bringer of salvation if you knew it by heart, at a time when Christianity judged that learning, even religious, was a sin when you were not of the priestly caste while Hinduism held the same opinion) with the result that the ME was far less fractious than Europe up to the arrival of the Mongols and the transformation of Islam itself into something much more obscurantist than what it had been initially.

    • Replies: @MM
    @Francis Miville

    If they had more books, it was because there were larger cities (because of a better climate for cities) and access to papyrus. European books became expensive when they lost access and only became inexpensive again when paper was developed.

    They did try to make the Quran the only book allowed when they had the power to do so, but the lack of hierarchy in Islam made it less of an issue (if you didn't like what some imam said, you could go to another one and get a different opinion).

    The Middle East being less fractious than Europe? Only because they were sending their troops to conquer outside the Dar al-Islam instead of fighting amongst themselves. Christianity got the idea of Crusade from the Islamic idea of jihad.

  30. Neolithic dispersal = Disraeli ethnic slop.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @Reg Cæsar

    "Our well-documented genocides from around the Late Bronze Age Collapse have nothing to do with brutal savagery, as they have received all the required stamps of approval from priests in the temple of Solomon."

    Everyone has his stories...

    , @JMcG
    @Reg Cæsar

    Well, I know which I’d rather be.

  31. Anonymous[290] • Disclaimer says:

    Basic, basic Malthusian/Darwinian/Hamiltonian theory.

    Due to early adoption of agriculture, these nations were able to support large population densities, and high population growth even in antiquity.
    Therefore competition for food and resources inevitably became established pretty early on.
    Hamiltonian theory lends itself to the notion of genetic conservation by encouraging inbreeding and cosanguinous marriage to form strongly defined clans, tribes etc, which defend ‘their’ territory – and thus the means of supporting genetic conservation – against rival clans who are also practising the same ethnic genetic strategy.

    Hence, conflict, bloody ‘to the last man’ conflict is inevitable …..

  32. it looks like agriculture began near the upper Euphrates west of Aleppo, where ISIS was running amok a few years ago

    I don’t think CIA/Saudi/Qatar equipped gooners constructed from batshit-crazed Sunni fanatics and possibly remnants of Saddam’s deadenders and jihadis who formerly transitioned to Iraq via Syria are feeling a big link to ancient agricultural history.

    Unless the implication is that there is magic agricultural dirt emitting strife radiation.

    Of course, this has more to with the existence of various factions that are not that much into each other for various reasons of tradition that are actually quite recent (are any of the conflicts due to anything that happened before, say, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire?)

    One may consider that Europe has been a charnel house a few times for quite similar reasons (30 years war comes to mind but we didn’t have CNN/CIA and White Helmets back then).

    P.S.

    Didcha know that Krak des Chevaliers was shelled during the Syrian “Civil War” (harhar). Right out of an Ian M. Banks novel.

    P.P.S.

    Armenians shitting bricks

    Three brothers 2021: Special Forces of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Pakistan conduct joint military drills for first time ever (VIDEO)

    The militaries of Azerbaijan and Turkey, two neighboring nations, conduct joint maneuvers on a regular basis. However, Pakistan is a new addition to the pair of countries often described as “one nation, two states.”

    Speaking at a ceremony before the exercises began, Azeri Lieutenant General Hikmat Mirzayev thanked the armed forces of Turkey and Pakistan for their aid during the 44-day Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020.

    “Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Pakistan have entered the history of mankind as close friends and brothers. At the heart of these relations is the close ties between our peoples,” he said, according to the Turkish state-funded Anadolu Agency.

  33. I can’t see the map too well on my device

    But are they all centered around Israel?

    To say that the Middle East was ‘fractious’ is a bit silly…Europe has been way more ‘fractious’ for a thousand years now

  34. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/charliebilello/status/1438271461316341761

    Why aren't housing prices factored into our inflation rate?

    Isn't housing a major expense?

    If the price/income ratio increased by 1.5x over the last 2 decades, wouldn't that imply that buying power is DECLINING in America? Isn't the standard of living declining?

    Are we experiencing massive (and undetected) hyperinflation that has gone undetected?

    It's truly fascinating to contemplate.

    Replies: @clifford brown, @El Dato

    Don’t panic the chicken coop

    Why the Fed Is So Desperate to Hide Price Inflation

    However, once people begin to lose confidence in the Fed’s willingness and ability to keep goods price inflation low, the “safety net trickery” reaches a crossroads. If the Fed then decides to keep interest rates artificially low, it will have to monetize growing amounts of debt and issue ever-larger amounts of money, which, in turn, will drive up goods price inflation and intensify the bond sell-off: a downward spiral begins, leading to a possibly severe devaluation of the currency. If the Fed prioritizes lowering inflation, it must raise interest rates and reign in money supply growth. This will most likely trigger a rather painful recession-depression, potentially the biggest of its kind in history.

    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
  35. @Reg Cæsar
    Neolithic dispersal = Disraeli ethnic slop.


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EvPHYlfXUAA0fqW.jpg

    Replies: @El Dato, @JMcG

    “Our well-documented genocides from around the Late Bronze Age Collapse have nothing to do with brutal savagery, as they have received all the required stamps of approval from priests in the temple of Solomon.”

    Everyone has his stories…

  36. Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?

    If there’d been blogs back in 1945, you’d have asked the opposite question.

  37. @PiltdownMan
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The USAF announced that the remaining 70 or so B-52 bombers will get newly designed engines, which will keep them in service into the 2050s. What this means is that some of those airframes will have been in service for 100 years, by then.

    That's just plain amazing.

    https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/06/engine-replacement-could-keep-venerable-b-52-flying-through-its-100th-birthday/182687/

    Replies: @notbe, @International Jew, @Joe Stalin

    Well, considering that the B-52 will only be effective against countries that are 100 years behind us technologically, keeping it around for 100 years sorta makes sense.

    Ditto aircraft carriers.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @International Jew


    Well, considering that the B-52 will only be effective against countries that are 100 years behind us technologically, keeping it around for 100 years sorta makes sense.

    Ditto aircraft carriers.
     
    In the next war aircraft carriers will be of little use, except for F/A-18 Hornet strikes on gun club meetings in West Virginia or Bakersfield. But for the heavy lifting— i.e., carpet bombing of red areas— the B-52’s will be the go-to tool.


    https://s3.envato.com/files/70318670-e11f-4a1b-b6a7-bcb7ca804f3e/inline_image_preview.jpg

     

    , @Joe Stalin
    @International Jew

    Browning M2 .50 adopted 1918.

    https://hhshootingsports.com/shop/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/img_5f700c5d7ccbd.png

    https://youtu.be/cmLnwiJRr78

    Still in service!

    Replies: @Mike Tre

  38. how long a place has had agriculture and how viciously fractious it

    attracts freeloaders? …

  39. How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel and its understandable desire not to have any neighbours who might pose a military threat*? What was the area like under Ottoman rule, or between WWI and WW2?

    My impressions are a bit blurry, derived from Richard Burton and the adventures of Hellmuth von Mucke and his WWI crew.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellmuth_von_M%C3%BCcke#Return_to_Europe

    You get the idea that in any area outside the cities, the locals are a law unto themselves, although the aauthorities can maintain control over specific areas for specific purposes, perhaps at the cost of losing control elsewhere.

    * Egypt is no threat thanks to the Aswan Dam’s existence. What’s the story with the Saudis? Does all that expensive US/UK hardware have kill switches installed, or are the Saudi Royals kept happy by a diet of the best whores the West can provide?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @YetAnotherAnon

    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel and its understandable desire not to have any neighbours who might pose a military threat*?

    None. Arab countries have their own intramural fissures, resentments, vested interests, and dysfunctions and they're manifest no matter how far away Israel is. (See the Yemen and Algeria, both of which have had multiple episodes of insurgency since 1953). They don't fight each other because Jewish magicians trick them into doing so; Jewish magicians do not exist.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    , @Anonymous
    @YetAnotherAnon

    The most overtly fractious Israelis — in that classic M.E. sense of “fractiousness” with guns and bombs — tend not to be the immigrants from New Jersey.

    But on the plus side the echte mu-jew-hadin don’t run around w/ raised fist pretending to be Black. So there’s that

    , @Kratoklastes
    @YetAnotherAnon

    You’re on the right track: almost all of the recent ‘fractiousness’ in the Fertile Crescent (and the Cradle of Civilisation) has been generated as a matter of Western-Power policy. Bear in mind that Western ‘powers’ have been sticking their dick in that hornet’s nest since the first Crusade (which conquered Palestine in 1099), and tht this interference has continued virtually uninterrupted until the present day.

    To reprise the main content of a comment of mine from 2015, concerning the 20th century (and the rise of a weird, apostate form of Islam):


    There is an excerpt of a letter from Crewe (Viceroy of India) to Hardinge (Secretary of State fort India) in 1914:

    What we want is not a united Arabia, but a weak and disunited Arabia, split into little principalities as far as possible under our suzerainty — but incapable of coordinated action against us, forming a buffer against the Powers in the West.” Crewe to Hardinge, 12 November 1914, Archives of India (quoted in Busch, Britain, India and the Arabs p62

     

    Now think about life “BI” (before internet): how would you, a normal everyday person, become aware of that document? Not in school, that’s for certain. If you were a history graduate student with specific interest in the Middle East, maybe. I am prepared to bet that more people – probably a thousand times as many – have read that quote since 2004, than read it between 1914 and 2004.

    It is not really Islam that has led to the problems in the Middle East: political Islam is a straw at which the desperate clutch, but the causa causans is a deliberate “divide et impero’ plan hatched by the British – and made clear in the letter from ‘Lord’ Crewe to ‘Lord’ Hardinge in 1914, which contained the gem quoted above.

    The deliberate fomenting of political discord, violence and repression in the Arab world has been the Western plan since the turn of the 20th century, and it has worked a treat. The ‘House’ of Saud and other despotic regimes are going along with it for reasons of pure self-interest: that is also understandable – it would surprise me if there has been anybody in the history of the world who could resist the genuine prospect of becoming a billionaire by any means.

    The creation of the Zionist enclave in the middle of the Arab world, and the population of that enclave with Eastern Europeans (Belorussians, Poles, Lithuanians etc) with an alien culture overtly hostile to the indigenes, was likewise a deliberate ploy: give the Arabs something local on which to focus their collective hate… all the while each artificial country was riven with internal strife as Sunni, Shia, Kurd and others, failed to get along. ALL BY DESIGN.

    The West used exactly the same mechanisms in Africa. And the US took over the operational management of the entire scheme when the UK warred itself to financial oblivion with 2 unnecessary wars-for-banksters in the first half of the 20th century.
     

    , @International Jew
    @YetAnotherAnon


    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel
     
    Yemen, Sudan, Libya...lots of bad stuff going down there, and nothing to do with Israel. Then you've got Iran vs Saudi Arabia + gulf sheikhdoms, which could blow up spectacularly, and that's about (1) oil and (2) control of Mecca.
  40. Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?

    They banned beer.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  41. @AnotherDad
    1) Diversity is not a strength.

    2) Fertile crescent was the easy starting point, but ag requires--selects for--higher IQ, conscientiousness, cooperation in higher latitude temperate climates.

    3) Some of these places are more "farmed out" and/or more naturally "herding" rather than "tilling" cultures. Herding cultures are more tribal, often practice cousin or clan marriage and generally do not generate "trust at scale".

    4) Islam. Generally "does not play nice with others" and currently mired in some sectarian squabbling more akin to post-reformative Europe of 500 years ago.

    Replies: @RichardTaylor, @Old Prude

    Fertile crescent was the easy starting point, but ag requires–selects for–higher IQ, conscientiousness, cooperation in higher latitude temperate climates.

    However, what about the Yamnaya? What used to be called the Aryans, who came out of the Russian steppes with advanced technology and higher IQ. They conquered the farmers despite being semi-nomadic themselves.

    They also gave us the sky father religions, which the religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity adopted.

    There are quite a few cases of “barbarians” who ride in and take over more settled areas.

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
    @RichardTaylor

    Sky father deities aren't an invention of Indo-European tribes, many ethnic groups scattered all over the world developed the concept independently. I think it's fairly instinctual.

    Tengriism is a much more explicit form of sky father worship than what was found among the religions of ancient Indo-European pagans like the Celts, Germanics, Slavs, Balts etc.

    Earliest recorded sky father deity is Anu from Sumeria.

  42. Just maybe their sorry present condition might have something to do with being continually meddled with by the great world powers? Britain, France, Germany and Russia regularly challenged Ottoman sovereignty diplomatically and militarily, from the 17th century onward, advancing their national interests under the guise of protecting Christian minority populations. The Crimean War created a million Muslim refugees in the 1850s. Hundreds of thousands more were forced to flee their homes after the rebellions in Crete and Serbia, and following the Russo-Turkish War and the catastrophic Balkans War. The horrors inflicted on Muslims in the Middle East following the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire in the Great War are, or should be, well known.

    Interestingly, 850,000 Muslim refugees settled in the primarily Christian Armenian regions of Anatolia, where a series of bloody pogroms was launched against the alien newcomers. Reprisal killings followed, culminating in the organized slaughter of some 200,000 Armenians in the 1890s. To make certain the victorious WWI allies would not establish a puppet Armenian ethnostate within the Turkish heartland was the motive for the 1915 expulsions and killings. Indeed such a state was proposed in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, but by then all the Armenians were gone, so Turkey was able to go forward as a strong, unified Islamic nation.

  43. @Eugine Nier
    One theory I've been kicking around, is that the high population density enabled by agriculture selects for hustlers and others prone to defection.

    Thus whenever a new area starts doing agriculture, it gets a couple centuries of prosperity before the people realize just how dishonest they can get away with being in an area where most people they interact with are total strangers. Then the area gets conquered by honest barbarians from the neighboring low density pastoral region who haven't yet mastered the art of duplicity and the cycle begins again.

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind, @Almost Missouri, @RichardTaylor, @Gabe Ruth

    Interesting.

    Then the area gets conquered by honest barbarians from the neighboring low density pastoral region

    IIRC the ancient Persians considered lying to be a capital crime:

    To ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth,
    This was the ancient law of youth.

    in Herodotus’s description.

    That may seem like a random superstition of archaic barbarians to us “sophisticated” moderns, but in reality the ancients may have known well where their strength lay.

  44. @Eugine Nier
    One theory I've been kicking around, is that the high population density enabled by agriculture selects for hustlers and others prone to defection.

    Thus whenever a new area starts doing agriculture, it gets a couple centuries of prosperity before the people realize just how dishonest they can get away with being in an area where most people they interact with are total strangers. Then the area gets conquered by honest barbarians from the neighboring low density pastoral region who haven't yet mastered the art of duplicity and the cycle begins again.

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind, @Almost Missouri, @RichardTaylor, @Gabe Ruth

    And isn’t it pretty well established that the agricultural revolution brought misery to the vast majority of the population. I can’t help but think it was actually dysgenic.

  45. Many commenters saying “Islam” is the answer, but what if the answer lies further back? Further, but not so far back as the foundation of agriculture. About three thousand years further back than Islam, to be precise.

    If on top of this map of Neolithic Dispersal there were laid a map of Corded Ware Dispersal and Density (i.e. Aryan invasion), then the most fractious vs. least fractious gradient might suddenly have an obvious cause.

    Then there is plain old geo-determinism. The broad North European Plain gives little shelter to fractious splitter polities, but the more rugged and broken terrain of Southern Europe, the Balkans and the Near East do.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @Almost Missouri

    Possible confirmation, the Caucasus Mountains, where each valley contains its own hypertribalist culture and language, and to its northeast, the Turkic peoples on their huge flat steppe.

  46. @Trelane
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    For your information, Dr. Emanual Kazinski, Southern Ohio University, a sociologist and actual scientist, stated that the Irish are basically a bunch of bog-trotting potato farmers. I saw this on a late night talk show in the late 1970s.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    As a native of Liverpool, primary beneficiary of the Irish Diaspora, I would argue with your claim:

    the Irish are basically a bunch of bog-trotting potato farmers.

    I have never seen one exhibit the energy required to trot.

  47. Anonymous[229] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew
    @PiltdownMan

    Well, considering that the B-52 will only be effective against countries that are 100 years behind us technologically, keeping it around for 100 years sorta makes sense.

    Ditto aircraft carriers.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Joe Stalin

    Well, considering that the B-52 will only be effective against countries that are 100 years behind us technologically, keeping it around for 100 years sorta makes sense.

    Ditto aircraft carriers.

    In the next war aircraft carriers will be of little use, except for F/A-18 Hornet strikes on gun club meetings in West Virginia or Bakersfield. But for the heavy lifting— i.e., carpet bombing of red areas— the B-52’s will be the go-to tool.

  48. @Cato
    Peter Turchin would have an interesting answer to this question.

    Replies: @LP5

    In addition to Peter Turchin, also read Joe Henrich for more context and history.

    • Replies: @Cato
    @LP5

    I remember Henrich for his cross-cultural work in behavioral econ games -- he undid the view that peasants are less "rational" (self-interested) than urban westerners. Has he since done something with deep history? Or are you referring to his insights from his UBC days?

    Replies: @LP5

  49. Interesting (although hardly perfect) correlation on this Neolithic Dispersal map between how long a place has had agriculture and how viciously fractious its politics are today:

    You had viciously fractious politics in Europe between 1914 and 1945. The history of China from 1851 to about 1873 and from about 1916 to about 1976 was one sanguinary episode after another. I wouldn’t attribute recent reversals of fortune to a phenomenon so antique.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    @Art Deco

    Thanks for supplying that historical perspective. And I'll add that looking forward, there's no telling what fireworks are yet to come as Africa's population explodes into Europe.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    , @but an humble craftsman
    @Art Deco

    Make that 1948 please, to include the vicious ethnic cleansing,

    Replies: @Art Deco

  50. @YetAnotherAnon
    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel and its understandable desire not to have any neighbours who might pose a military threat*? What was the area like under Ottoman rule, or between WWI and WW2?

    My impressions are a bit blurry, derived from Richard Burton and the adventures of Hellmuth von Mucke and his WWI crew.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellmuth_von_M%C3%BCcke#Return_to_Europe

    You get the idea that in any area outside the cities, the locals are a law unto themselves, although the aauthorities can maintain control over specific areas for specific purposes, perhaps at the cost of losing control elsewhere.


    * Egypt is no threat thanks to the Aswan Dam's existence. What's the story with the Saudis? Does all that expensive US/UK hardware have kill switches installed, or are the Saudi Royals kept happy by a diet of the best whores the West can provide?

    Replies: @Art Deco, @Anonymous, @Kratoklastes, @International Jew

    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel and its understandable desire not to have any neighbours who might pose a military threat*?

    None. Arab countries have their own intramural fissures, resentments, vested interests, and dysfunctions and they’re manifest no matter how far away Israel is. (See the Yemen and Algeria, both of which have had multiple episodes of insurgency since 1953). They don’t fight each other because Jewish magicians trick them into doing so; Jewish magicians do not exist.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Art Deco

    I was really hoping that neither you nor JackD would answer, as

    1/ I could predict what your answers would be, it's like asking a cobbler what he thinks of leather as a shoe material.
    2/ it would be interesting to hear from someone with no dog in the fight.

    Replies: @Art Deco

  51. @PaceLaw
    The Bible speaks to this directly. Ishmael, the son of Abraham, and the patriarch of the Arabs and Muslims, is thusly described in the Bible: “And he will be a wild man. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:12.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter, @jamie b.

    So one race of people writes down dire predictions and slurs about an enemy race of people, and attributed their prediction (and hope) to God. Pathetic.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @RadicalCenter

    Race? You are talking about a primitive Bronze age tribe of a few thousand people describing the neighboring primitive tribe of a few thousand people who were of the exact same race (a normal custom of Bronze Age tribes I am guessing). I doubt any of them thought anyone 3000 years later would be reading their thoughts.

    , @PaceLaw
    @RadicalCenter

    “One race”??? More specifically, this refers to God’s chosen people (the Jews!!!). I am sure that you may well disagree, but that’s what the Bible says. How do you interpret God’s Word?

  52. @D. K.
    "Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?"

    Because, six times in twenty-four years (11/4/1980 through 11/2/2004), you voted for George Bush?!?

    Replies: @RadicalCenter

    Oh, did Clinton and Obama end the occupations and aggression?

  53. @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Anon


    . . . neighboring civilizations like the elamites, Sumerians, and akkadians, spoke seemingly unrelated languages.

     

    Straight Outta Babel, baby . . . .

    Replies: @RadicalCenter

    Yes, straight out of a fable about something that never happened. Helpful.

  54. Genetics likely explains the putative correlation. First the northern part of Europe has the greatest degree of Western Hunter Gatherer genes, which can be expected to have been selected for consensus politics of small groups and for cooperative hunting. Second, the Mesopotamian early city states appear to have been oppressive polities that used corvee labor to maintain the rulers and their harems See Laura Betzig’s book or article on harems of despots https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0162309582900504
    and James Scott’s description of the transition from sedentarism to agriculture by forced labor https://www.amazon.com/Against-Grain-History-Earliest-States/dp/0300182910.

    Basically, the State was an invention of sociopaths for the purpose of having harems. That phenomenon raised the frequency of alleles for sociopathy in the areas of early agriculure, i.e., the Middle East. Agriculture moved into Europe as a cottage industry not as State-sponsored forced labor, hence proportionately less reproduction there by sociopathic rulers.

    There is no reason to suppose that conquering Indo-Europeans were particularly sociopathic given that their social organization was fluid.

  55. @Francis Miville
    @Alden

    No, Islam reestablished a kind of Roman-like prosperity and a rather high rate of literacy (even though the Qur'an is a book that really sucks, it was the first book imposed to the general public as a bringer of salvation if you knew it by heart, at a time when Christianity judged that learning, even religious, was a sin when you were not of the priestly caste while Hinduism held the same opinion) with the result that the ME was far less fractious than Europe up to the arrival of the Mongols and the transformation of Islam itself into something much more obscurantist than what it had been initially.

    Replies: @MM

    If they had more books, it was because there were larger cities (because of a better climate for cities) and access to papyrus. European books became expensive when they lost access and only became inexpensive again when paper was developed.

    They did try to make the Quran the only book allowed when they had the power to do so, but the lack of hierarchy in Islam made it less of an issue (if you didn’t like what some imam said, you could go to another one and get a different opinion).

    The Middle East being less fractious than Europe? Only because they were sending their troops to conquer outside the Dar al-Islam instead of fighting amongst themselves. Christianity got the idea of Crusade from the Islamic idea of jihad.

  56. @obwandiyag
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The B-52s suck.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @El Dato, @Old Prude, @Jim Bob Lassiter

    The B-52s suck.

    So you’re more of a Bone fan, eh? They rock well.

  57. @S Johnson
    Novelist Tibor Fischer writing in the London Telegraph four years ago (sorry for the long post but I think it’s pretty apt):


    My fellow lecturers won't say it in public, but students today are moaning, illiterate snowflakes

    When I tell people who have had nothing to do with universities recently that I’ve taught British undergraduates who are simply incapable of writing a correct sentence in English, most smirk in disbelief…When I raise this with fellow lecturers, however, they nod mournfully.

    There is still a mania that everyone should go to university…It’s had a very bad effect on education.

    There’s an “everyone must pass” attitude, which is compounded by the “sick note” epidemic. The student who is currently suing Oxford University because it allegedly “didn’t take her anxiety seriously enough” isn’t an unusual figure.

    Lecturers don’t like to speak out about this because life is precarious in the academic world, but in private I don’t come across anyone who disagrees with what I’m about to say. Here goes.

    Almost every fourth essay you have to mark has a cover sheet pleading extenuating circumstances: Asperger’s, autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia. In my day, extenuating circumstances meant that your family had died in a car crash a month before your finals.

    And if you don’t pass, no need to worry because you’ll almost certainly have the chance of a resit or a resubmission. Essentially, if you can be bothered to turn up, you’ll get a degree.

    When I suggested to my department head that it might be beneficial to axe one or two students to gee up the performance of the rest, he commented, without any hint of irony: “We can’t fail them, because then they’d leave.”

    I taught English literature for four years at Christ Church University in Canterbury. I taught some 120 first‑year undergrads, of whom I asked the question: “What is a sentence?”

    Only six came up with the formula: subject, verb, object (and two of them were foreign students). They hadn’t heard of this grammar stuff. Some were even shaky on what an adjective is. And these weren’t physicists or business studies students, this was the literature class.

    Lecturers don’t like to speak out about this because life is precarious in the academic world, but in private I don’t come across anyone who disagrees with what I’m about to say. Here goes.

    Almost every fourth essay you have to mark has a cover sheet pleading extenuating circumstances: Asperger’s, autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia. In my day, extenuating circumstances meant that your family had died in a car crash a month before your finals.

    And if you don’t pass, no need to worry because you’ll almost certainly have the chance of a resit or a resubmission. Essentially, if you can be bothered to turn up, you’ll get a degree.

    When I suggested to my department head that it might be beneficial to axe one or two students to gee up the performance of the rest, he commented, without any hint of irony: “We can’t fail them, because then they’d leave.”

    I taught English literature for four years at Christ Church University in Canterbury. I taught some 120 first‑year undergrads, of whom I asked the question: “What is a sentence?”

    Only six came up with the formula: subject, verb, object (and two of them were foreign students). They hadn’t heard of this grammar stuff. Some were even shaky on what an adjective is. And these weren’t physicists or business studies students, this was the literature class.
     

    Replies: @El Dato, @J.Ross

    They hadn’t heard of this grammar stuff. Some were even shaky on what an adjective is. And these weren’t physicists or business studies students, this was the literature class.

    > The writer not even realizing that a physicist will kick ass as a matter of course in the adjective-detection domain.

    It’s 2021, man.

  58. Wouldn’t the logical answer be: “the soil became exhausted?”

    Not saying it’s the actual reason.

  59. @Almost Missouri
    Many commenters saying "Islam" is the answer, but what if the answer lies further back? Further, but not so far back as the foundation of agriculture. About three thousand years further back than Islam, to be precise.

    If on top of this map of Neolithic Dispersal there were laid a map of Corded Ware Dispersal and Density (i.e. Aryan invasion), then the most fractious vs. least fractious gradient might suddenly have an obvious cause.

    Then there is plain old geo-determinism. The broad North European Plain gives little shelter to fractious splitter polities, but the more rugged and broken terrain of Southern Europe, the Balkans and the Near East do.

    Replies: @J.Ross

    Possible confirmation, the Caucasus Mountains, where each valley contains its own hypertribalist culture and language, and to its northeast, the Turkic peoples on their huge flat steppe.

  60. @S Johnson
    Novelist Tibor Fischer writing in the London Telegraph four years ago (sorry for the long post but I think it’s pretty apt):


    My fellow lecturers won't say it in public, but students today are moaning, illiterate snowflakes

    When I tell people who have had nothing to do with universities recently that I’ve taught British undergraduates who are simply incapable of writing a correct sentence in English, most smirk in disbelief…When I raise this with fellow lecturers, however, they nod mournfully.

    There is still a mania that everyone should go to university…It’s had a very bad effect on education.

    There’s an “everyone must pass” attitude, which is compounded by the “sick note” epidemic. The student who is currently suing Oxford University because it allegedly “didn’t take her anxiety seriously enough” isn’t an unusual figure.

    Lecturers don’t like to speak out about this because life is precarious in the academic world, but in private I don’t come across anyone who disagrees with what I’m about to say. Here goes.

    Almost every fourth essay you have to mark has a cover sheet pleading extenuating circumstances: Asperger’s, autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia. In my day, extenuating circumstances meant that your family had died in a car crash a month before your finals.

    And if you don’t pass, no need to worry because you’ll almost certainly have the chance of a resit or a resubmission. Essentially, if you can be bothered to turn up, you’ll get a degree.

    When I suggested to my department head that it might be beneficial to axe one or two students to gee up the performance of the rest, he commented, without any hint of irony: “We can’t fail them, because then they’d leave.”

    I taught English literature for four years at Christ Church University in Canterbury. I taught some 120 first‑year undergrads, of whom I asked the question: “What is a sentence?”

    Only six came up with the formula: subject, verb, object (and two of them were foreign students). They hadn’t heard of this grammar stuff. Some were even shaky on what an adjective is. And these weren’t physicists or business studies students, this was the literature class.

    Lecturers don’t like to speak out about this because life is precarious in the academic world, but in private I don’t come across anyone who disagrees with what I’m about to say. Here goes.

    Almost every fourth essay you have to mark has a cover sheet pleading extenuating circumstances: Asperger’s, autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia. In my day, extenuating circumstances meant that your family had died in a car crash a month before your finals.

    And if you don’t pass, no need to worry because you’ll almost certainly have the chance of a resit or a resubmission. Essentially, if you can be bothered to turn up, you’ll get a degree.

    When I suggested to my department head that it might be beneficial to axe one or two students to gee up the performance of the rest, he commented, without any hint of irony: “We can’t fail them, because then they’d leave.”

    I taught English literature for four years at Christ Church University in Canterbury. I taught some 120 first‑year undergrads, of whom I asked the question: “What is a sentence?”

    Only six came up with the formula: subject, verb, object (and two of them were foreign students). They hadn’t heard of this grammar stuff. Some were even shaky on what an adjective is. And these weren’t physicists or business studies students, this was the literature class.
     

    Replies: @El Dato, @J.Ross

    Failure to proofread in a criticism of students. Tsk, tsk.

  61. Anonymous[202] • Disclaimer says:

    In anthro courses they distinguish between food production/food storage, the latter as basically the concentration of capital that Karl M. complained against at length. Between the Tigris & Euphrates the barley crop vastly exceeded what local pop could consume, which required building granaries which became temples which hired tons of bureaucrats. Foreigners bringing heavy materials, e.g. timber from up-river in Turkey to trade in the cities would see these, get pissed off & start thinking of flying a 747 into the edifice if only they could get their hands on one.

    • LOL: El Dato
  62. @YetAnotherAnon
    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel and its understandable desire not to have any neighbours who might pose a military threat*? What was the area like under Ottoman rule, or between WWI and WW2?

    My impressions are a bit blurry, derived from Richard Burton and the adventures of Hellmuth von Mucke and his WWI crew.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellmuth_von_M%C3%BCcke#Return_to_Europe

    You get the idea that in any area outside the cities, the locals are a law unto themselves, although the aauthorities can maintain control over specific areas for specific purposes, perhaps at the cost of losing control elsewhere.


    * Egypt is no threat thanks to the Aswan Dam's existence. What's the story with the Saudis? Does all that expensive US/UK hardware have kill switches installed, or are the Saudi Royals kept happy by a diet of the best whores the West can provide?

    Replies: @Art Deco, @Anonymous, @Kratoklastes, @International Jew

    The most overtly fractious Israelis — in that classic M.E. sense of “fractiousness” with guns and bombs — tend not to be the immigrants from New Jersey.

    But on the plus side the echte mu-jew-hadin don’t run around w/ raised fist pretending to be Black. So there’s that

  63. They are some of the most invaded places on Earth, so I’d hazard it is hyper-diversity.

  64. @Art Deco
    Interesting (although hardly perfect) correlation on this Neolithic Dispersal map between how long a place has had agriculture and how viciously fractious its politics are today:

    You had viciously fractious politics in Europe between 1914 and 1945. The history of China from 1851 to about 1873 and from about 1916 to about 1976 was one sanguinary episode after another. I wouldn't attribute recent reversals of fortune to a phenomenon so antique.

    Replies: @International Jew, @but an humble craftsman

    Thanks for supplying that historical perspective. And I’ll add that looking forward, there’s no telling what fireworks are yet to come as Africa’s population explodes into Europe.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @International Jew

    Sometimes I suspect the entire concept of the EU is an attempt by France and Germany to further diminish (by percentage) the amount of Muslims in their midst. Yes they are 20% of France (or whatever) which is terrifying but only 5% of Europe and that they can live with, if Europe holds the real governing power. The greater the power and (European) population of Europe, the less frightening the Muslim immigration becomes in any one country. It explains the constant desire to expand the EU to even poor European states but Turkey.

  65. @Art Deco
    @YetAnotherAnon

    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel and its understandable desire not to have any neighbours who might pose a military threat*?

    None. Arab countries have their own intramural fissures, resentments, vested interests, and dysfunctions and they're manifest no matter how far away Israel is. (See the Yemen and Algeria, both of which have had multiple episodes of insurgency since 1953). They don't fight each other because Jewish magicians trick them into doing so; Jewish magicians do not exist.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    I was really hoping that neither you nor JackD would answer, as

    1/ I could predict what your answers would be, it’s like asking a cobbler what he thinks of leather as a shoe material.
    2/ it would be interesting to hear from someone with no dog in the fight.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @YetAnotherAnon

    No Arabs, Jews, Persians or Turks in my pedigree and nothing on the distaff side either. FWIW.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

  66. @PiltdownMan
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The USAF announced that the remaining 70 or so B-52 bombers will get newly designed engines, which will keep them in service into the 2050s. What this means is that some of those airframes will have been in service for 100 years, by then.

    That's just plain amazing.

    https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/06/engine-replacement-could-keep-venerable-b-52-flying-through-its-100th-birthday/182687/

    Replies: @notbe, @International Jew, @Joe Stalin

    The older model B-52D “Big Belly” Vietnam era bombers:

    One of the “Big Belly” B-52Ds releasing its 60,000-pound bomb load of bombs on enemy targets in Vietnam. It could carry up to 84 500-pound bombs or 42 750-pound bombs internally and 24 750-pound bombs externally on racks under the wings. (U.S. Air Force photo)

    were more survivable against Russian SAM-2 Guideline missiles than the newer B-52G&H versions in combat.

    The B-52 G and H models differed significantly in appearance from their predecessors, having a shorter vertical fin and rudder. The G was designed especially for flight at low levels and was considered by pilots to be more difficult to fly than others in the series because the ailerons had
    been removed and lateral control was by spoilers only. Unlike all previous models, which used conventional fuel bladders, both the G and the H models had wet-wing fuel tanks, greatly increasing their internal capacity.This was a disadvantage in combat; during Linebacker II operations in 1972, nine Ds were hit by SAMs but were still able to land. More vulnerable because of the wet wing, all but one of the six B-52Gs hit by SAMs crashed.

    https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/MagazineArchive/Documents/2001/December%202001/1201buff.pdf

  67. Anonymous[128] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew
    @Art Deco

    Thanks for supplying that historical perspective. And I'll add that looking forward, there's no telling what fireworks are yet to come as Africa's population explodes into Europe.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Sometimes I suspect the entire concept of the EU is an attempt by France and Germany to further diminish (by percentage) the amount of Muslims in their midst. Yes they are 20% of France (or whatever) which is terrifying but only 5% of Europe and that they can live with, if Europe holds the real governing power. The greater the power and (European) population of Europe, the less frightening the Muslim immigration becomes in any one country. It explains the constant desire to expand the EU to even poor European states but Turkey.

  68. @International Jew
    @PiltdownMan

    Well, considering that the B-52 will only be effective against countries that are 100 years behind us technologically, keeping it around for 100 years sorta makes sense.

    Ditto aircraft carriers.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Joe Stalin

    Browning M2 .50 adopted 1918.

    Still in service!

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Mike Tre
    @Joe Stalin

    I was an 1833 in the Marines - the AAVP7A1 RAM/RS was armed with a Mk-19 grenade launcher and the M2. The mark 19's were supposedly handed down from the Army due to their unreliability, and that was proven in my experience to be correct. It was an extremely cumbersome and touchy weapon, and mounted on the AAV it was difficult to charge (both the M2 and Mk19 required a double charge to make ready) and suicidal to reload (it had to be reloaded from the exterior of the turret).

    The M2 however, was a dream. Upon attaching or switching a barrel, proper head spacing of the barrel had to be ensured and the recoil action had to be properly timed, both with a gauge that was issued to each crew chief. If one could master the timing of the recoil spring, the weapon would fire forever without a jam. The M2 was also designed so that the ammunition belt could be fed from either side of the receiver. Standard feeding was from the left, but the M2's on the AAV's were fed from the right because of their position in the turret. When we would train at 29 Palms, we'd be in a defensive position to do massive gunshoots. We'd link 5-6 100 round belts together that would hang down out of the turret and one of the crewmen would feed it up to the weapon as the crew chirf fired away. We'd cook them off in 10-15 minutes and you could see glowing barrels down the line at night after the cease fire was called. An armorer friend of mine gave me a broken piece of an M2 shortly before I got out; it's called the barrel extension, and I still have it sitting on my bookcase. It makes a great bookend.

    The design is over 100 years old but there is no one that has been able to out engineer John Browning's design. It's one of the all time great weapons of combat history.

  69. Historically China and India has only been invaded from the north and west; Europe only from the east and south.

    Mesopotamia is in the center position of Eurasia and has been invaded from all four directions, west: Romans; north: Turks; south: Arabs; east: Mongols

    Early Abbasid Caliphate was far more advanced than Western Europe, but Hülegü Khan had no respect for the Religion of Peace, and completely destroyed it at Battle of Baghdad (1258)

    View post on imgur.com

    There can be no peace today in the region, otherwise there would a high speed rail hub in Baghdad connecting China, Russia, India and Europe. And GloboHomo is not having that.

    • Agree: Drapetomaniac
    • Replies: @Anon
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms


    Historically China and India has only been invaded from the north and west; Europe only from the east and south.
     
    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome-tier comment

    Replies: @International Jew

    , @Drapetomaniac
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    East European Slavs have been invaded from the north, south, east, and west.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

  70. because israel steve. if it weren’t for israel there’d be one peaceful caliphate over the whole arab world. all the strong men are propped up by america because america is controlled by jews. so said bob simon, himself a jew.

    duh!

  71. @Rob
    The natural selection in states does not select for people who create internal conditions that lead to the states thriving. Selflessness might be selected in small bands with high kinship. It may be selected in small villages where everyone interacts with the same people for decades - the same families for centuries, maybe. Imperial Rome? Nope.

    Even if the political class does want to find a selfless man to govern, whom can it chose? A man who was known to them? Anyone can treat members of the aristocracy well. Even if they chose one of their own for a few hundred years, they become incestuous and brittle. There are no new perspectives, but there are new challenges, and a thriving state is an expanding state. To stand still is to be eaten alive.

    If they try to choose a man unknown to them, how shall they chose the wisest man, as opposed to the one with the reputation for wisdom? Even if they chose well, the wisdom of a decision may seem so only in retrospect. A man of reputed wisdom is probably old. Old men do not readily take to new challenges. Old men cannot lead men in battle. He will have trouble directing from the rear.

    In Europe, the Romans only began to thrive when they overthrew the kings. Before that, I assume the king’s oldest or strongest son became king. Regression to the mean means...

    The martial virtues needed for the state to expand? A man who will die for his companions can save many men. But he dies. If those men were not his relatives, then his genes have become rarer. Perhaps the men he saved will help his widow and children? Those men have wives of their own, and children of their own. They favor them. The state? They had little in the way of communication. How was the king or emperor or tyrant to know who died heroically or cowardly? Perhaps that could be known to the elite in the capital about each other.

    The peasant boy who wants to see the grandeur of the world? The Roman Empire had twenty-year terms, right? Twenty years from 16 put him at 36. At best, he is behind his peers who married earlier. Quite likely, he is dead. He is resettled in the newly conquered frontier. He is expected to farm. He spent his life as a soldier. The farming he learned was in a different climate, with different soil. He farmed poorly. He had slaves? The losers of the war. They were not out to help him. The other resettled soldiers? They were not relatives. Practice reciprocity and they might not practice it back when it matters. His genes, the genes for courageous soldiering, become rarer.

    Then there is the monster of the pre-industrial world. Malthus. A smaller population lives better. The wise man limits his wife’s offspring. Frequently through infanticide, especially of girls. Where are the sons of the man and his fellows supposed to find brides? Among the conquered people of tomorrow, obv. But children inherit half their genes through the mother. The wise man’s genes grow rarer.

    Etc.

    Of course, some states managed to thrive for a long time. But a people? They seem to rise and fall and never rise again. Asabiyah, built over millennia, is spent much faster. In some cases, colonies thrived, indicating that the ethnicity's core decayed. Italy as a war machine is the punchline of jokes. The middle east is full of poor soldiers, but excellent schemers.

    Our society? We spend asabiyah like madmen. The middle class and higher limit their children, both to consume more, and to ensure that the children do not fall down the class ladder. Minorities that had little to do with the success of the nation abound. Immigrants seek a better life but do not improve it...

    Bioprogressivism can save us...

    Replies: @Boswald Bollocksworth, @Drapetomaniac

    Makes a lot of sense, great examples. I would just want to push back a little and point out the obvious: “it’s complicated”. Certainly if you’ve worked in a white collar H1B-flooded industry, you’ll have seen the nasty, transparently scheming creatures India and China have produced. Still I think there are signs of mitigating social technologies, namely Christianity. Maybe Christianity hasn’t managed to fully undo the disgenics of the Roman empire in Italy, but I think it can/could play a role in slowing down or stabilizing drift toward antisocial behavior, by boosting selection for Christian personality traits. Still, we should probably be aggressively cloning people from the distant past to get some of those Honor and Bravery genes propagating again.

  72. @obwandiyag
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The B-52s suck.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @El Dato, @Old Prude, @Jim Bob Lassiter

    Clearly you have never watched “By Dawn’s Early Light” featuring the sweetes gal ever seen as B-52 pilot.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/By_Dawn%27s_Early_Light

  73. @Trelane

    Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?
     
    Subtropical climate? Good for starting agriculture, bad for monogamous pair-bonded simple families.

    Replies: @Drapetomaniac

    Area where bigger brains developed = area where bigger psychopaths developed.

    http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/050922/brainevolution.shtml

  74. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    Historically China and India has only been invaded from the north and west; Europe only from the east and south.

    Mesopotamia is in the center position of Eurasia and has been invaded from all four directions, west: Romans; north: Turks; south: Arabs; east: Mongols

    Early Abbasid Caliphate was far more advanced than Western Europe, but Hülegü Khan had no respect for the Religion of Peace, and completely destroyed it at Battle of Baghdad (1258)
    https://imgur.com/vZcAkrt

    There can be no peace today in the region, otherwise there would a high speed rail hub in Baghdad connecting China, Russia, India and Europe. And GloboHomo is not having that.

    Replies: @Anon, @Drapetomaniac

    Historically China and India has only been invaded from the north and west; Europe only from the east and south.

    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome-tier comment

    • Replies: @International Jew
    @Anon

    It's true that Europe has never been invaded from the north or west — Eskimos or American Indians.

  75. @Reg Cæsar
    Neolithic dispersal = Disraeli ethnic slop.


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EvPHYlfXUAA0fqW.jpg

    Replies: @El Dato, @JMcG

    Well, I know which I’d rather be.

  76. Why Are Eurasian Places That First Had Agriculture the Most Fractious Today?

    Perhaps because those places were eventually cultivated to depletion. Capable agriculturalists left for greener pastures, leaving behind the dullards to squabble over scraps of arable land or plunder each others meager granaries. Eventually feuding and thieving became a way of life.

  77. @Rob
    The natural selection in states does not select for people who create internal conditions that lead to the states thriving. Selflessness might be selected in small bands with high kinship. It may be selected in small villages where everyone interacts with the same people for decades - the same families for centuries, maybe. Imperial Rome? Nope.

    Even if the political class does want to find a selfless man to govern, whom can it chose? A man who was known to them? Anyone can treat members of the aristocracy well. Even if they chose one of their own for a few hundred years, they become incestuous and brittle. There are no new perspectives, but there are new challenges, and a thriving state is an expanding state. To stand still is to be eaten alive.

    If they try to choose a man unknown to them, how shall they chose the wisest man, as opposed to the one with the reputation for wisdom? Even if they chose well, the wisdom of a decision may seem so only in retrospect. A man of reputed wisdom is probably old. Old men do not readily take to new challenges. Old men cannot lead men in battle. He will have trouble directing from the rear.

    In Europe, the Romans only began to thrive when they overthrew the kings. Before that, I assume the king’s oldest or strongest son became king. Regression to the mean means...

    The martial virtues needed for the state to expand? A man who will die for his companions can save many men. But he dies. If those men were not his relatives, then his genes have become rarer. Perhaps the men he saved will help his widow and children? Those men have wives of their own, and children of their own. They favor them. The state? They had little in the way of communication. How was the king or emperor or tyrant to know who died heroically or cowardly? Perhaps that could be known to the elite in the capital about each other.

    The peasant boy who wants to see the grandeur of the world? The Roman Empire had twenty-year terms, right? Twenty years from 16 put him at 36. At best, he is behind his peers who married earlier. Quite likely, he is dead. He is resettled in the newly conquered frontier. He is expected to farm. He spent his life as a soldier. The farming he learned was in a different climate, with different soil. He farmed poorly. He had slaves? The losers of the war. They were not out to help him. The other resettled soldiers? They were not relatives. Practice reciprocity and they might not practice it back when it matters. His genes, the genes for courageous soldiering, become rarer.

    Then there is the monster of the pre-industrial world. Malthus. A smaller population lives better. The wise man limits his wife’s offspring. Frequently through infanticide, especially of girls. Where are the sons of the man and his fellows supposed to find brides? Among the conquered people of tomorrow, obv. But children inherit half their genes through the mother. The wise man’s genes grow rarer.

    Etc.

    Of course, some states managed to thrive for a long time. But a people? They seem to rise and fall and never rise again. Asabiyah, built over millennia, is spent much faster. In some cases, colonies thrived, indicating that the ethnicity's core decayed. Italy as a war machine is the punchline of jokes. The middle east is full of poor soldiers, but excellent schemers.

    Our society? We spend asabiyah like madmen. The middle class and higher limit their children, both to consume more, and to ensure that the children do not fall down the class ladder. Minorities that had little to do with the success of the nation abound. Immigrants seek a better life but do not improve it...

    Bioprogressivism can save us...

    Replies: @Boswald Bollocksworth, @Drapetomaniac

    “The natural selection in states does not select for people who create internal conditions that lead to the states thriving.”

    So far so good.

    “Selflessness…”

    Nope. The animal world and man’s world are the same in that they have the behaviors of my property and/or our property. For H. Sapiens to become civilized the concept of your property is needed. Any social organization without it will always be part of the animal world.

    Look at the world now, the thin veneer of civilization is so thin you can see through it.

  78. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    Historically China and India has only been invaded from the north and west; Europe only from the east and south.

    Mesopotamia is in the center position of Eurasia and has been invaded from all four directions, west: Romans; north: Turks; south: Arabs; east: Mongols

    Early Abbasid Caliphate was far more advanced than Western Europe, but Hülegü Khan had no respect for the Religion of Peace, and completely destroyed it at Battle of Baghdad (1258)
    https://imgur.com/vZcAkrt

    There can be no peace today in the region, otherwise there would a high speed rail hub in Baghdad connecting China, Russia, India and Europe. And GloboHomo is not having that.

    Replies: @Anon, @Drapetomaniac

    East European Slavs have been invaded from the north, south, east, and west.

    • Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Drapetomaniac

    From the north, by Vikings and Swedish Empire, but those are other white Indo-Europeans. The most dangerous and prolific conquerors historically are the Altaic speaking nomads on the Eurasian Steppe.

    But the point is the same if you include intra-white conflicts, Germany has been invaded from all sides, so you can easily see why they've historically more fractious than Britain and France.

    Replies: @Anon

  79. @Eugine Nier
    One theory I've been kicking around, is that the high population density enabled by agriculture selects for hustlers and others prone to defection.

    Thus whenever a new area starts doing agriculture, it gets a couple centuries of prosperity before the people realize just how dishonest they can get away with being in an area where most people they interact with are total strangers. Then the area gets conquered by honest barbarians from the neighboring low density pastoral region who haven't yet mastered the art of duplicity and the cycle begins again.

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind, @Almost Missouri, @RichardTaylor, @Gabe Ruth

    Mena on twitter.com (PBUH) always had interesting ideas along these lines. Tied in alot of disparate modern phenomena too. A couple random samples from memory:
    – drug addicts are able to attract women because they are the only people walking around today without constantly elevated cortisol levels
    – crowding and staple grain diet also affects cortisol levels

    Somebody posts screen shots of his tweets under relevant menaquinone4

  80. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Art Deco

    I was really hoping that neither you nor JackD would answer, as

    1/ I could predict what your answers would be, it's like asking a cobbler what he thinks of leather as a shoe material.
    2/ it would be interesting to hear from someone with no dog in the fight.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    No Arabs, Jews, Persians or Turks in my pedigree and nothing on the distaff side either. FWIW.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Art Deco

    "No Arabs, Jews, Persians or Turks in my pedigree and nothing on the distaff side either. FWIW."


    Nonetheless your comment history indicates that no new information will be forthcoming on the modern history of the Middle East, though I value your contributions on other topics, as I do those of JackD.

    Nothing personal, but I wouldn't ask Whiskey (or Heartiste) why Linda Riss married the man who had her blinded, either, because I'm pretty sure I'd know his answer ("women hate hate hate beta males", or "chicks dig pyschopathic jerks").

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2007/aug/05/familyandrelationships3

  81. @AnotherDad
    1) Diversity is not a strength.

    2) Fertile crescent was the easy starting point, but ag requires--selects for--higher IQ, conscientiousness, cooperation in higher latitude temperate climates.

    3) Some of these places are more "farmed out" and/or more naturally "herding" rather than "tilling" cultures. Herding cultures are more tribal, often practice cousin or clan marriage and generally do not generate "trust at scale".

    4) Islam. Generally "does not play nice with others" and currently mired in some sectarian squabbling more akin to post-reformative Europe of 500 years ago.

    Replies: @RichardTaylor, @Old Prude

    First, let me say commenter Rob is giving Another Dad a run for his money as far as quality comments.

    “ag requires–selects for–higher IQ,” So true in the pre-industrial age, and even now, but in a different way. Pre-industrial, most folks farmed, and the smartest and hardest-working thrived. Come the industrial age, all the brains left for the cities and the easy life (farming is hard work). But, as industrial tech helped farmers become more efficient, those with smarts used the industrial tech to thrive in the depopulated and contracted farming business, driving out the last of the family farmers.

  82. @obwandiyag
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The B-52s suck.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @El Dato, @Old Prude, @Jim Bob Lassiter

    You ever been to a B-52 concert, Obi-wang? I have and it was a rocking PARTY. Dance fodder? Sure, but holy-smokes it rocks the joint. Awesome!

  83. @YetAnotherAnon
    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel and its understandable desire not to have any neighbours who might pose a military threat*? What was the area like under Ottoman rule, or between WWI and WW2?

    My impressions are a bit blurry, derived from Richard Burton and the adventures of Hellmuth von Mucke and his WWI crew.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellmuth_von_M%C3%BCcke#Return_to_Europe

    You get the idea that in any area outside the cities, the locals are a law unto themselves, although the aauthorities can maintain control over specific areas for specific purposes, perhaps at the cost of losing control elsewhere.


    * Egypt is no threat thanks to the Aswan Dam's existence. What's the story with the Saudis? Does all that expensive US/UK hardware have kill switches installed, or are the Saudi Royals kept happy by a diet of the best whores the West can provide?

    Replies: @Art Deco, @Anonymous, @Kratoklastes, @International Jew

    You’re on the right track: almost all of the recent ‘fractiousness’ in the Fertile Crescent (and the Cradle of Civilisation) has been generated as a matter of Western-Power policy. Bear in mind that Western ‘powers’ have been sticking their dick in that hornet’s nest since the first Crusade (which conquered Palestine in 1099), and tht this interference has continued virtually uninterrupted until the present day.

    To reprise the main content of a comment of mine from 2015, concerning the 20th century (and the rise of a weird, apostate form of Islam):

    There is an excerpt of a letter from Crewe (Viceroy of India) to Hardinge (Secretary of State fort India) in 1914:

    What we want is not a united Arabia, but a weak and disunited Arabia, split into little principalities as far as possible under our suzerainty — but incapable of coordinated action against us, forming a buffer against the Powers in the West.” Crewe to Hardinge, 12 November 1914, Archives of India (quoted in Busch, Britain, India and the Arabs p62

    Now think about life “BI” (before internet): how would you, a normal everyday person, become aware of that document? Not in school, that’s for certain. If you were a history graduate student with specific interest in the Middle East, maybe. I am prepared to bet that more people – probably a thousand times as many – have read that quote since 2004, than read it between 1914 and 2004.

    It is not really Islam that has led to the problems in the Middle East: political Islam is a straw at which the desperate clutch, but the causa causans is a deliberate “divide et impero’ plan hatched by the British – and made clear in the letter from ‘Lord’ Crewe to ‘Lord’ Hardinge in 1914, which contained the gem quoted above.

    The deliberate fomenting of political discord, violence and repression in the Arab world has been the Western plan since the turn of the 20th century, and it has worked a treat. The ‘House’ of Saud and other despotic regimes are going along with it for reasons of pure self-interest: that is also understandable – it would surprise me if there has been anybody in the history of the world who could resist the genuine prospect of becoming a billionaire by any means.

    The creation of the Zionist enclave in the middle of the Arab world, and the population of that enclave with Eastern Europeans (Belorussians, Poles, Lithuanians etc) with an alien culture overtly hostile to the indigenes, was likewise a deliberate ploy: give the Arabs something local on which to focus their collective hate… all the while each artificial country was riven with internal strife as Sunni, Shia, Kurd and others, failed to get along. ALL BY DESIGN.

    The West used exactly the same mechanisms in Africa. And the US took over the operational management of the entire scheme when the UK warred itself to financial oblivion with 2 unnecessary wars-for-banksters in the first half of the 20th century.

    • Agree: JMcG
  84. @PaceLaw
    The Bible speaks to this directly. Ishmael, the son of Abraham, and the patriarch of the Arabs and Muslims, is thusly described in the Bible: “And he will be a wild man. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:12.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter, @jamie b.

    Mystery solved!

  85. @Drapetomaniac
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    East European Slavs have been invaded from the north, south, east, and west.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    From the north, by Vikings and Swedish Empire, but those are other white Indo-Europeans. The most dangerous and prolific conquerors historically are the Altaic speaking nomads on the Eurasian Steppe.

    But the point is the same if you include intra-white conflicts, Germany has been invaded from all sides, so you can easily see why they’ve historically more fractious than Britain and France.

    • Agree: Drapetomaniac
    • Replies: @Anon
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    "Altaic" doesn't mean non-white. Many of the early Türks (Yenisei Kyrgyz, Kiochaks, etc) were described as blond or red haired, blue eyed, long nosed, white, etc.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

  86. @Joe Stalin
    @International Jew

    Browning M2 .50 adopted 1918.

    https://hhshootingsports.com/shop/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/img_5f700c5d7ccbd.png

    https://youtu.be/cmLnwiJRr78

    Still in service!

    Replies: @Mike Tre

    I was an 1833 in the Marines – the AAVP7A1 RAM/RS was armed with a Mk-19 grenade launcher and the M2. The mark 19’s were supposedly handed down from the Army due to their unreliability, and that was proven in my experience to be correct. It was an extremely cumbersome and touchy weapon, and mounted on the AAV it was difficult to charge (both the M2 and Mk19 required a double charge to make ready) and suicidal to reload (it had to be reloaded from the exterior of the turret).

    The M2 however, was a dream. Upon attaching or switching a barrel, proper head spacing of the barrel had to be ensured and the recoil action had to be properly timed, both with a gauge that was issued to each crew chief. If one could master the timing of the recoil spring, the weapon would fire forever without a jam. The M2 was also designed so that the ammunition belt could be fed from either side of the receiver. Standard feeding was from the left, but the M2’s on the AAV’s were fed from the right because of their position in the turret. When we would train at 29 Palms, we’d be in a defensive position to do massive gunshoots. We’d link 5-6 100 round belts together that would hang down out of the turret and one of the crewmen would feed it up to the weapon as the crew chirf fired away. We’d cook them off in 10-15 minutes and you could see glowing barrels down the line at night after the cease fire was called. An armorer friend of mine gave me a broken piece of an M2 shortly before I got out; it’s called the barrel extension, and I still have it sitting on my bookcase. It makes a great bookend.

    The design is over 100 years old but there is no one that has been able to out engineer John Browning’s design. It’s one of the all time great weapons of combat history.

  87. @RichardTaylor
    @AnotherDad


    Fertile crescent was the easy starting point, but ag requires–selects for–higher IQ, conscientiousness, cooperation in higher latitude temperate climates.
     
    However, what about the Yamnaya? What used to be called the Aryans, who came out of the Russian steppes with advanced technology and higher IQ. They conquered the farmers despite being semi-nomadic themselves.

    They also gave us the sky father religions, which the religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity adopted.

    There are quite a few cases of "barbarians" who ride in and take over more settled areas.

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SGKRdtcVDBw/WUkfzpwK0kI/AAAAAAAB-rg/06YJOpErRA4_1Z-uuDsRmr_ST5ovLLafQCLcBGAs/s1600/Scythians_01b.jpg

    Replies: @S. Anonyia

    Sky father deities aren’t an invention of Indo-European tribes, many ethnic groups scattered all over the world developed the concept independently. I think it’s fairly instinctual.

    Tengriism is a much more explicit form of sky father worship than what was found among the religions of ancient Indo-European pagans like the Celts, Germanics, Slavs, Balts etc.

    Earliest recorded sky father deity is Anu from Sumeria.

    • Thanks: RichardTaylor
  88. China is very stable, despite civilization along the Yellow River being one of the earliest in the world. Egypt also seems quite stable. On the other hand the Indus region like Mesopotamia is unstable.

    It could just be that the region where agriculture was first practiced became cosmopolitan the earliest and attracted lots of invasions, making them very fractious. Mesopotamia is also centrally located, between Europe, Africa, the Caucasus and South West Asia.

    • Replies: @epebble
    @greysquirrell

    China is not very stable. e.g. Some wars with large death tolls:

    War Death Range Date Combatants Location

    Three Kingdoms War 36,000,000–40,000,000 184–280 Wei vs. Shu vs. Wu China

    Yellow Turban Rebellion 3,000,000–7,000,000 184–205 Peasants vs. Eastern Han China China

    Mongol conquests 30,000,000–40,000,000 1206–1368 Mongol Empire vs. Several Eurasian states Eurasia

    An Lushan Rebellion 13,000,000–36,000,000 755–763 Tang Dynasty China and Islamic Empire vs. Yan state China

    Taiping Rebellion 20,000,000–70,000,000 1850–1864 Qing China vs. Taiping Heavenly Kingdom China

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

    , @Art Deco
    @greysquirrell

    China is very stable, despite civilization along the Yellow River being one of the earliest in the world.

    1. Within the last six generations, it has had decades-long periods of bloodshed with seven and eight digit death tolls.

    2. The very earliest urban network in the Yellow river valley does not pre-date civilization in the Fertile Crescent, or in Egypt, or in the Indus Valley, or in the Minoan-era Aegean. It pre-dates Mycenean Greech by < 200 years. Urban centers during the Shang and Chou dynasties did not extend south of the Yangtze. The Shang did not predate the Ganges civilizaiton in India, btw.

  89. @RadicalCenter
    @PaceLaw

    So one race of people writes down dire predictions and slurs about an enemy race of people, and attributed their prediction (and hope) to God. Pathetic.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @PaceLaw

    Race? You are talking about a primitive Bronze age tribe of a few thousand people describing the neighboring primitive tribe of a few thousand people who were of the exact same race (a normal custom of Bronze Age tribes I am guessing). I doubt any of them thought anyone 3000 years later would be reading their thoughts.

  90. @LP5
    @Cato

    In addition to Peter Turchin, also read Joe Henrich for more context and history.

    Replies: @Cato

    I remember Henrich for his cross-cultural work in behavioral econ games — he undid the view that peasants are less “rational” (self-interested) than urban westerners. Has he since done something with deep history? Or are you referring to his insights from his UBC days?

    • Replies: @LP5
    @Cato

    I enjoyed reading his books, and he mentioned his current work and prior activities at UBC, too.

    https://weirdpeople.fas.harvard.edu/
    https://secretofoursuccess.fas.harvard.edu/


    From the Harvard website
    https://henrich.fas.harvard.edu/

    What drove human evolution? How did our species go from being a relatively unremarkable primate a few million years ago to the most successful species on the globe?

    How has culture shaped our species genetic evolution, including our physiology, anatomy and psychology?

    How can we use evolutionary theory to understand how people learn and transmit culture, and how does this lay a foundation for building a theory of cultural evolution?

    How can we understand human social status? What’s the nature of prestige?

    How can we explain the breadth, intensity and peculiar character of human sociality and cooperation?

    What role has war and other forms of intergroup conflict played in human evolution, particularly in the evolution of cooperation and sociality?

    In only about 12,000 years, how did human societies expand from relatively small-scale hunter-gatherer bands to vast and complex nation states?

    What drives innovation and the process of cumulative cultural evolution?

    How does cultural evolution shape our psychology, brains, motivations, hormonal responses, intuitive reactions, beliefs, worldviews and preferences? How can we account for the immense psychological variation we observe across the globe?

    How can we explain the peculiar psychological and behavioral patterns observed in societies that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD societies)?

  91. @greysquirrell
    China is very stable, despite civilization along the Yellow River being one of the earliest in the world. Egypt also seems quite stable. On the other hand the Indus region like Mesopotamia is unstable.

    It could just be that the region where agriculture was first practiced became cosmopolitan the earliest and attracted lots of invasions, making them very fractious. Mesopotamia is also centrally located, between Europe, Africa, the Caucasus and South West Asia.

    Replies: @epebble, @Art Deco

    China is not very stable. e.g. Some wars with large death tolls:

    War Death Range Date Combatants Location

    Three Kingdoms War 36,000,000–40,000,000 184–280 Wei vs. Shu vs. Wu China

    Yellow Turban Rebellion 3,000,000–7,000,000 184–205 Peasants vs. Eastern Han China China

    Mongol conquests 30,000,000–40,000,000 1206–1368 Mongol Empire vs. Several Eurasian states Eurasia

    An Lushan Rebellion 13,000,000–36,000,000 755–763 Tang Dynasty China and Islamic Empire vs. Yan state China

    Taiping Rebellion 20,000,000–70,000,000 1850–1864 Qing China vs. Taiping Heavenly Kingdom China

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

  92. @RadicalCenter
    @PaceLaw

    So one race of people writes down dire predictions and slurs about an enemy race of people, and attributed their prediction (and hope) to God. Pathetic.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @PaceLaw

    “One race”??? More specifically, this refers to God’s chosen people (the Jews!!!). I am sure that you may well disagree, but that’s what the Bible says. How do you interpret God’s Word?

  93. @Anon
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms


    Historically China and India has only been invaded from the north and west; Europe only from the east and south.
     
    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome-tier comment

    Replies: @International Jew

    It’s true that Europe has never been invaded from the north or west — Eskimos or American Indians.

  94. @YetAnotherAnon
    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel and its understandable desire not to have any neighbours who might pose a military threat*? What was the area like under Ottoman rule, or between WWI and WW2?

    My impressions are a bit blurry, derived from Richard Burton and the adventures of Hellmuth von Mucke and his WWI crew.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellmuth_von_M%C3%BCcke#Return_to_Europe

    You get the idea that in any area outside the cities, the locals are a law unto themselves, although the aauthorities can maintain control over specific areas for specific purposes, perhaps at the cost of losing control elsewhere.


    * Egypt is no threat thanks to the Aswan Dam's existence. What's the story with the Saudis? Does all that expensive US/UK hardware have kill switches installed, or are the Saudi Royals kept happy by a diet of the best whores the West can provide?

    Replies: @Art Deco, @Anonymous, @Kratoklastes, @International Jew

    How much does current ME dysfunction have to do with Israel

    Yemen, Sudan, Libya…lots of bad stuff going down there, and nothing to do with Israel. Then you’ve got Iran vs Saudi Arabia + gulf sheikhdoms, which could blow up spectacularly, and that’s about (1) oil and (2) control of Mecca.

  95. @greysquirrell
    China is very stable, despite civilization along the Yellow River being one of the earliest in the world. Egypt also seems quite stable. On the other hand the Indus region like Mesopotamia is unstable.

    It could just be that the region where agriculture was first practiced became cosmopolitan the earliest and attracted lots of invasions, making them very fractious. Mesopotamia is also centrally located, between Europe, Africa, the Caucasus and South West Asia.

    Replies: @epebble, @Art Deco

    China is very stable, despite civilization along the Yellow River being one of the earliest in the world.

    1. Within the last six generations, it has had decades-long periods of bloodshed with seven and eight digit death tolls.

    2. The very earliest urban network in the Yellow river valley does not pre-date civilization in the Fertile Crescent, or in Egypt, or in the Indus Valley, or in the Minoan-era Aegean. It pre-dates Mycenean Greech by < 200 years. Urban centers during the Shang and Chou dynasties did not extend south of the Yangtze. The Shang did not predate the Ganges civilizaiton in India, btw.

  96. @obwandiyag
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The B-52s suck.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @El Dato, @Old Prude, @Jim Bob Lassiter

    Spoken like a true Lil’ Nas X fan.

  97. @Cato
    @LP5

    I remember Henrich for his cross-cultural work in behavioral econ games -- he undid the view that peasants are less "rational" (self-interested) than urban westerners. Has he since done something with deep history? Or are you referring to his insights from his UBC days?

    Replies: @LP5

    I enjoyed reading his books, and he mentioned his current work and prior activities at UBC, too.

    https://weirdpeople.fas.harvard.edu/
    https://secretofoursuccess.fas.harvard.edu/

    [MORE]

    From the Harvard website
    https://henrich.fas.harvard.edu/

    What drove human evolution? How did our species go from being a relatively unremarkable primate a few million years ago to the most successful species on the globe?

    How has culture shaped our species genetic evolution, including our physiology, anatomy and psychology?

    How can we use evolutionary theory to understand how people learn and transmit culture, and how does this lay a foundation for building a theory of cultural evolution?

    How can we understand human social status? What’s the nature of prestige?

    How can we explain the breadth, intensity and peculiar character of human sociality and cooperation?

    What role has war and other forms of intergroup conflict played in human evolution, particularly in the evolution of cooperation and sociality?

    In only about 12,000 years, how did human societies expand from relatively small-scale hunter-gatherer bands to vast and complex nation states?

    What drives innovation and the process of cumulative cultural evolution?

    How does cultural evolution shape our psychology, brains, motivations, hormonal responses, intuitive reactions, beliefs, worldviews and preferences? How can we account for the immense psychological variation we observe across the globe?

    How can we explain the peculiar psychological and behavioral patterns observed in societies that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD societies)?

    • Thanks: Cato
  98. @Art Deco
    @YetAnotherAnon

    No Arabs, Jews, Persians or Turks in my pedigree and nothing on the distaff side either. FWIW.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    “No Arabs, Jews, Persians or Turks in my pedigree and nothing on the distaff side either. FWIW.”

    Nonetheless your comment history indicates that no new information will be forthcoming on the modern history of the Middle East, though I value your contributions on other topics, as I do those of JackD.

    Nothing personal, but I wouldn’t ask Whiskey (or Heartiste) why Linda Riss married the man who had her blinded, either, because I’m pretty sure I’d know his answer (“women hate hate hate beta males”, or “chicks dig pyschopathic jerks”).

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2007/aug/05/familyandrelationships3

  99. “An army marches on its stomach.”
    -Napoleon Bonaparte

  100. @Art Deco
    Interesting (although hardly perfect) correlation on this Neolithic Dispersal map between how long a place has had agriculture and how viciously fractious its politics are today:

    You had viciously fractious politics in Europe between 1914 and 1945. The history of China from 1851 to about 1873 and from about 1916 to about 1976 was one sanguinary episode after another. I wouldn't attribute recent reversals of fortune to a phenomenon so antique.

    Replies: @International Jew, @but an humble craftsman

    Make that 1948 please, to include the vicious ethnic cleansing,

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @but an humble craftsman

    It never happened.

  101. Some new research in archeology of Middle-East:

    A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-97778-3

    Could this be why the Abrahamic faiths are big on linear (Apocalyptic) worldview (birth – death – Heaven/hell for eternity) rather than the circular worldview (birth – death – rebirth) of the Dharmic Religions?

  102. @but an humble craftsman
    @Art Deco

    Make that 1948 please, to include the vicious ethnic cleansing,

    Replies: @Art Deco

    It never happened.

  103. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Drapetomaniac

    From the north, by Vikings and Swedish Empire, but those are other white Indo-Europeans. The most dangerous and prolific conquerors historically are the Altaic speaking nomads on the Eurasian Steppe.

    But the point is the same if you include intra-white conflicts, Germany has been invaded from all sides, so you can easily see why they've historically more fractious than Britain and France.

    Replies: @Anon

    “Altaic” doesn’t mean non-white. Many of the early Türks (Yenisei Kyrgyz, Kiochaks, etc) were described as blond or red haired, blue eyed, long nosed, white, etc.

    • Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Anon

    The Huns maybe partly Caucasoid, and Arabs/Ottomans can look almost white, but they are certainly not "civilizationally" European. If either had actually overran Europe you wouldn't have what we think of today as Christian West.

    China was invaded by Mongols, Jürchens, Tanguts, East Asian looking people, but they are certainly not civilizationally Oriental, Confucianism, Hanzi and all.

    *The gene for light hair and eyes itself came from Siberia. But that's a far earlier migration and isn't to say light hair and eyes isn't native to Europe.
    https://imgur.com/nBmoSfc

  104. @Anon
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    "Altaic" doesn't mean non-white. Many of the early Türks (Yenisei Kyrgyz, Kiochaks, etc) were described as blond or red haired, blue eyed, long nosed, white, etc.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    The Huns maybe partly Caucasoid, and Arabs/Ottomans can look almost white, but they are certainly not “civilizationally” European. If either had actually overran Europe you wouldn’t have what we think of today as Christian West.

    China was invaded by Mongols, Jürchens, Tanguts, East Asian looking people, but they are certainly not civilizationally Oriental, Confucianism, Hanzi and all.

    *The gene for light hair and eyes itself came from Siberia. But that’s a far earlier migration and isn’t to say light hair and eyes isn’t native to Europe.

    View post on imgur.com

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