Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2010 April 16

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April 16[edit]

Occupations and musical preferences[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Reference desk/Entertainment#Occupations and musical preferences. -- Wavelength (talk) 00:38, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

White people in Caribbean[edit]

Besides Cuba, is there any Caribbean nations that has white people as minority? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

The demographics of the Caribbean are such that whites would be a minority in most countries, I'd think. Exceptions would probably be dependent on your definition of "white" relative to "hispanic". — Lomn 03:34, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Definitely Haiti. StuRat (talk) 04:50, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
See Demographics of Bermuda, Demographics of Barbados, Demographics of Saint Lucia, etc... caknuck ° needs to be running more often 06:28, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I used to work with a white guy who came from Trinidad and Tobago (and who spoke with a caribbean accent). I have no reason to think his family didn't have a long history on the islands. Astronaut (talk) 14:21, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Right, but what does that have to do with whether he is a minority on the island ? StuRat (talk) 16:00, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I would say the Virgin Islands, as well as Santo Domingo have white people as a minority, but I haven't got the numbers. Prior to the end of slavery, most Caribbean islands had sizeable white populations such as Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Barbadoes, etc.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 16:06, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
StuRat's response made me doubt what qualifies some group as a minority in this context. According to Demographics of Trinidad and Tobago, whites form 0.6% of the population - a minority IMHO. Even if my friend's family were the only white family there, would that somehow make them not a minority?
Anyway, I very much doubt there is any country with no white residents at all. I would have thought it was self-evident that white people would be considered as a minority in any country where they were not considered a majority. Astronaut (talk) 20:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I was going with the simple "under 50%" def of minority. There is another def, though, of a group "historically treated as second class citizens". Women are sometimes considered a minority by this def, even when over 50% of the people are female. When sticking with the "under 50%" def, you can get the strange situation where every ethnic group in a country is a minority. StuRat (talk) 21:34, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Aircraft accident lists[edit]

While researching a new article (Andre Laguerre), several reliable sources, including the MacCambridge book I am using, recount in some detail a story of him surviving a plane crash at London Heathrow Airport. The story is interesting, in that he apparently walked away from the crash, hopped a fence, hailed a cab, and then went to a bar to get a drink, where he listened to the news of the crash he was just in on the radio. I have several versions of the story from several authors, including Michael MacCambridge and Frank Deford, and they all generally agree on the major points, except none of them list the date. For that reason, I have not put the story in the article yet, as I am trying to get some sort of corroroborating evidence. It appears to have been on a Paris-London trip (not sure if it was direct or had a layover). Not even an indication on when it occured; it was likely sometime before 1956, when Laguerre joined the Sports Illustrated staff. It is most likely from when he was Paris or London bureau chief for Time Magazine, so sometime between 1948-1956, when his positions would have necessitated travel between the two cities. Any help in finding canonical lists of airplane crashes at Heathrow would be most helpful. --Jayron32 05:37, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

[1] has a similar story featuring Mark Kram, one of Laguerre's colleagues at Sports Illustrated. Could it be the same incident? It gives the date as 1969 and the incident as being an emergency landing rather than a crash. FiggyBee (talk) 07:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
BOAC Flight 712 is a possible candidate, although that was in 1968 rather than 1969. Anyone got any bright ideas on how to find the passenger list? :) (edit: The accident report is here, although ordering the full report might be a bit much if you just want to know if a name is on the passenger list. Perhaps we can find someone keen near Kew who can go and look at it?) FiggyBee (talk) 08:00, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
No, that's not the Laguerre story. MacCambridge's version of the story specifically recounts ambulances and firetrucks and Laguerre hopping a fence. Also, Laguerre recounts a flight from Paris to London. The Kram flight seems to have been a flight returning back to Heathrow, thus originating there. The Kram story seems to be of a different event. Flight 712 also seems to be of a flight originating from Heathrow. A shorter version of the story appears on page 1-2 of this article by Frank Deford: [2]. The longer version is on page 75 of The Franchise: The History of Sports Illustrated Magazine by Michael MacCambridge. --Jayron32 12:50, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, I see. Not much to go on then; I guess there's no reason to think (especially pre-jet-age) that it was a scheduled flight at all, or that it was that serious a crash. I think the only way to definitively pin it down would be with some OR biographical work; find some references to the crash in Laguerre's correspondence to narrow down the date, location and/or the operator, then compare to the AAIB's investigation files (which, for a 1950s non-fatal non-scheduled accident, might mean searching a cellar full of boxes rather than a computer). FiggyBee (talk) 13:45, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, in that case, I will use "Laguerre related a story..." to match the sources; since we don't have confirmation on when and if it really happened. No reason to believe that it didn't, but no confirmation either. Oh well, thanks for looking into it. If anyone else has any insight, that'd be cool too... --Jayron32 13:48, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

In the period 1945-1980 there are two candidate accidents that were serious enough to be listed at a Sabena DC-3 arriving from Brussels that crashed on March 2, 1948, and a BEA Viking arriving from Paris that crashed on October 31, 1950, both accidents happening in bad weather. However, in each case it says that 20 or more people were killed and only 2 survived, so it seems likely that any survivors would have been injured and unable to just walk away from the scene.

Trying a Google News Archive Search on the 1950 crash, I found an article saying that the two survivors were "found in the wreckage". Ah, and this article gives their names and details their injuries. So for this one to be correct, you would have to believe that a third survivor walked away and that nobody had noticed that the number of bodies and known survivors didn't match the number of tickets.

For the 1948 crash, several newspaper articles report that there were three survivors, not two (maybe one died later), and some articles say they were "thrown clear". Ah! And this one gives their names, and none of them is Laguerre. So again, you'd have to believe that an additional survivor had walked away and the passenger list had not been checked.

--Anonymous, 06:50 UTC (copyedited later), April 17, 2010.

Story mentioned here (via google), he told the story about himself. I suspect it's embellished or fiction. (talk) 08:36, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

I came across the BEA crash, but discounted it as being too serious to be the subject of a throwaway personal anecdote. For those who are unaware of the realities of general aviation, even in modern times there are half a dozen or so non-fatal aircraft crashes in the USA every day; back in the 1950s they were even more common (the NTSB's online records go back to the 1960s, and show about 20 crashes a day in that era). A general aviation crash which everyone walks away from is not an unusual occurrence and rarely makes more than local news. FiggyBee (talk) 12:44, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Best thing to say to vagrants in stores[edit]

if you have like, either a well-kempt homeless person or just someone who lives in crushing poverty - to "judge" (yes) by their whole presence - come to your upscale retail store, declare that they have no money but are going to just look around for "next time", then just walk around the store touching everything, asking irrelevant questions like whether different wall fixtures that are obviously part of the store and not an item are for sale, etc, what are you supposed to tell them that fits in with my left-wing, "communist", bleeding heart liberal agenda and doesn't hurt them, to get them to stop their behavior. Oh yes, it is a repeated thing, with the same individual.

For their obvious questions I tell them that it is obvious, which could already be construed as quite demeaning. I'd like them to realize what they're doing though. Can I say kindly that "most people who come here don't touch so many different items", or is that too much? What is something that is less presumptive and classist and so forth than the sentence just quoted? Dos my agenda not allow me to comment or meet the behavior with anything more than a forced smile? Thank you. (talk) 12:26, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Wait, you're a communist, and yet work in a retail store? How ironic... --Jayron32 13:50, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Why is someone with a left-wing, "communist", bleeding heart liberal agenda running an upscale retail store? Hold a charity auction and get rid of all your stock, then turn the store into a soup kitchen. FiggyBee (talk) 13:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
First, the guy said he was a "communist" in quotation marks, he was obviously exaggerating, humorously. Second, Engels was a capitalist, too. Your arguments are like saying that anyone who believes his local water supply system needs to be changed ought to stop using that local water supply system for drinking and cooking in order to live up to his beliefs. Or that if a sportsman advocates changing the rules of the sport he plays, he should also give up playing and trying to win according to the current rules. -- (talk) 00:35, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Was the person Howard Hughes? Are you sure their frugal dress-sense means they are poor? You dont accumulate money by frittering it away. Be honest with the person - either tolerate them and extend the same courtesy as to other customers (at least its a training exercise in being polite to people you do not like) or tell them that you would prefer them not to come in the store unless they actually buy something. Yes, I do already know that Howard Hughes is dead. (talk) 14:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
(EC) You haven't told us why this behaviour bothers you (or even if indeed it does bother you). If it's because you think it's a waste of your time, then tell him. If you've got another reason, then tell him. If you're busy, tell him. If you just don't want your 'upmarket retail business' sullied by those beneath you, then tell him. If he takes offence, that's his problem - or yours, if you want it to let it affect your bizarre mix of conscience and upmarket lifestyle. --KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 14:08, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Bizarre? I liked your post until that part. Perhaps you really mean illegitimate? Vranak (talk) 18:06, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I didn't want to hurt the OP's feelings. --KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 02:12, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
The street person may be just presenting nuisance behavior so you will give him a couple of bucks to leave. From a communist perspective, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." If he "needs" $2 and you have the ability to give him $2, then what is the issue, except for word getting around you are a soft touch? Do local laws allow you to say "If you are not here to buy something, then please leave?"Edison (talk) 14:14, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
The 'person' (assuming that you're description is psychologically accurate, about which I have some doubts), is probably cold/bored/lonely, and looking for someplace to be and someone to talk to. S/he's using the pretense of window shopping to be around people in whatever capacity. If you want to be nice (and can deal with the issues that might arise), joke around with him/her, make some small talk, slip him/her a ten to go get you both some coffee and doughnuts from down the street; basically make him/her feel like s/he is part of a community in some small way. just be sure to set boundaries (e.g. "ok, I need to get back to work now" kind of thing). If you don't want to be nice, point to the "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" sign and ask him/her politely and apologetically to leave.
That being said, you don't talk like a social progressive in the least. You talk like a born-and-bred rightist who (out of guilt, or rebellion, or etc) is trying to adopt some leftist warm-fuzzies to ease your conscience. Your description of the person and the situation is classist, your attitude screams that you see yourself as superior, your primary worry is that he's touching the 'product' without buying... Don't adopt some agenda because you think you should adopt it; adopt an agenda when you think it's the right agenda to adopt. You will never manage to be true to your beliefs if you're not true to yourself. --Ludwigs2 14:35, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
That's ridiculous. I believe the city should take away my trash once a week, but I don't want to drive a garbage truck. I pay taxes so that other people will do it. That doesn't make me a hypocrite. I believe that society should help provide for the homeless; it doesn't mean I want to have a homeless guy living in my basement. It is not hypocritical to not want to actually perform the social services yourself. I don't have anything against the homeless as a group, but if a homeless guy was harassing me, or driving business away, or using my store or house as a place to crash, I wouldn't be very happy with that. Just because you don't want to do everything yourself doesn't make you a hypocrite. --Mr.98 (talk) 18:17, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
It sounds to me like this person has mental problems, so don't upset him, or he could turn violent. He might also be looking for an opportunity to shoplift, so keep an eye on him. I'd just politely answer his Qs, but don't do anything to encourage him, or he may become even more of a pest. Hopefully he will eventually find someone else's store to "patronize" and you will be off the hook. (The most upscale stores have locked doors and only let in "legitimate customers", which they probably judge by attire.) StuRat (talk) 15:55, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Wow, you are making enormous speculative assumptions on the basis of almost no facts - "has mental problems", "could turn violent", looking for an opportunity to shoplift". (talk) 18:31, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
It pays to be cautious. But, if you want to give him the day's receipts, your bank card, and car keys, and ask him to make a deposit at the bank, go right ahead, be my guest. StuRat (talk) 21:17, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Only the paranoid survive? (talk) 22:22, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Loitering is illegal in many areas. If arrested, the homeless person will likely have a home and a meal for the night. -- kainaw 16:55, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't say this is loitering, since loitering applies to public spaces, which could exclude a shop. ProteanEd (talk) 17:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
It depends on where you live, but I have very rarely encountered any store where one is obliged to buy if you enter, and the only stores I have seen with locked doors and letting in "legitimate customers" have been very specialised jewellery stores. Only once have I ever been asked to leave a store for "touching too many things" and I felt thoroughly insulted that the store detective implied I was looking to steal something (I was about 13 at the time and wanted to buy a new watch with the money I had got for Christmas; I decided to buy elsewhere after that incident).
Why not treat this person like any other potential customer (ie. ignore them until they ask for assistance). Of course, if they start damaging stock or become hostile towards staff or other customers, the police should be called. Astronaut (talk) 11:55, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
There is a tendency for some people to distrust people who seem to be different or unfamiliar. Such mistrust may or may not turn out to be well-founded. There is an analogous situation with anonymous people contributing to Wikipedia. One Wikipedian has said "A word of advice; it makes no sense, but you will get more respect if you create your user page". (permanent link here) [I am revising the heading of this section, according to WP:TPOC, "Section headings".] -- Wavelength (talk) 16:32, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Protestant Crusaders[edit]

Were there any? (Restrain predictable jocular mention of certain U.S. presidents. Serious reply preferred.) If there weren't any, why not? Is it because they viewed Catholicism as their enemy, so that Islam was off the radar screen? Or were there other reasons? What about Eastern Orthodox crusaders? Thanks. (talk) 21:06, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

If you're talking about the medieval Crusades in the middle east, then no protestants were involved since protestantism did not yet exist. Eastern christians were involved on both sides. Algebraist 21:16, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
To be precise, the era of the Crusades ended around 1300. The Protestant Reformation started in 1517. FiggyBee (talk) 21:19, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
The organizations which had led the so-called Baltic Crusades had Protestant leadership at a certain point, but the "crusades" there were over by that time. In general, Protestants with significant military force at their command didn't really have the pan-Protestant outlook (i.e. that would put international concerns above national interests) which would allow for crusades of the medieval type. However, many Protestants in Elizabethan England viewed English support for the Dutch revolt against Spain as somewhat essential to the survival of Protestantism as a whole, since the Low Countries were the strong economic center of northern Europe at that time. AnonMoos (talk) 21:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
The Danes and especially the Swedes also justified their participation in the Thirty Years War as defence of Protestantism. All in all, there did exist an idea of pan-Protestant solidarity against Catholicism, even if it didn't always affect the realpolitik.-- (talk) 00:23, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
The broadest definition of "Crusade" that I know of extends, at least for Catholicism, up to the end of the Hospitaller presence in Malta in the eighteenth century. I don't think Protestants are ever referred to as "crusaders" in that period though. Actually, one of Luther's biggest problems was the sale of indulgences, which was rooted in the crusades. Sometimes medieval crusaders were considered heroes in Protestant states (Richard the Lionheart in England, Frederick Barbarossa in Germany), and in the late nineteenth century Kaiser Wilhelm II was particularly fond of Saladin, even though he was a Muslim (Wilhelm went to Damascus and built Saladin a bigger tomb, because the original wasn't glorious enough). There were Catholic-Protestant conflicts that were seen as crusades, at least by the Catholic side, like the war between Spain and England in the sixteenth century. For that you might want to look at "England and the Crusades" by Christopher Tyerman, which goes up to the Spanish Armada in 1588. Otherwise, Protestant countries were sometimes happy to ally with Muslim states against Catholics. Sixteenth-century England was friendly with the Ottoman Empire for that reason. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:49, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
There were also crusades waged against sects which the Catholic church deemed heretical such as the Cathars and Albigenses. Had Protestantism as we know it today existed during the time of the Crusades, they would have been targeted as enemies by the Crusaders.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 08:35, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
That's true, and the Hussite Wars are often considered part of the crusades. Adam Bishop (talk) 14:14, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Das Kapital Translation[edit]

Is there an English translation of Marx's Kapital that is considered the best? I'm not looking for something that is overly simplistic. I have a background in political theory so I want something that's true to his original. Any suggestions? Thanks, GreatManTheory (talk) 22:36, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

ugh. half my books are in storage at the moment, but the standard text they use in every college level political theory course I've seen is the Big Red Book - check with your local university bookstore. Looking at, I think it's "Karl Marx: Selected Writings" (Hackett Publishing Company, 1994, Lawrence H. Simon, ed.). I don't remember if it has all of Kapital, but it has the important sections, and you get a great selection of the rest of his body of work as well. I wouldn't worry too much about the translation, though - Marx is relatively recent, he had a clear and straight-forward writing style, and because he was such a prominent figure a lot of care will have gone into any translation you're likely to find. --Ludwigs2 04:40, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the information, Ludwigs. I do happen to have the Marx-Engels Reader, which is a red book (although not exactly big). This isn't the one you're talking about, is it? GreatManTheory (talk) 04:56, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
There are two very good translations of all 3 volumes: that published by Penguin; and that in Marx and Engels, Collected Works vols 35-37 (London, Lawrence & Wishart; New York, International Publishers; Moscow, Progress Publishers) and apparently available for free download from various sources that can be found in Google. Wikiain 21:52, 18 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiain (talkcontribs)
The Lawrence & Wishart translation - of Vol. 1 of Capital at least - is not without problems. The story of this edition is told in Yvonne Kapp's biography of Eleanor Marx (vol 2). First, Edward Aveling began the translation, but he didn't deliver his copy on time, so Engels asked Sam Moore to complete it. So it is quite an old translation and sometimes a rather loose one. The chapters are in a different order from the original German. You might want to compare it with the Penguin translation in crucial passages. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:00, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the original translations published by Lawrence & Wishart are problematical (versions of them are available free online at <>). My reference was to the translations in the Collected Works, published by Lawrence & Wishart etc from 1975 <>, which I had supposed were not the same. I can't technically access the other online versions, e.g. <>, but for copyright reasons I am beginning to suspect that they are dodgy old translations. I'll have a look at hard copies of the Collected Works when I can get to my nearest big library next week. If in doubt, Itsmejudith is right - the Penguin translation, which I have to hand (and I can read German), is very good. If your interest is in discussions of ideology, then I would query some of its renderings with regard to 'fetishism' - they're not wrong, but I think they could at least be done differently. And you might note the discussion of 'fetishism' in vol 3 as well as that, which is more often discussed, in vol 1. --Wikiain 02:51, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
I have now looked at the Collected Works translations of the 3 volumes. Other works in the Marx & Engels Collected Works are new translations. But, to my surprise, as to Capital vol 1 is still the Moore & Aveling translation, though with corrections and further notes on errors (the CW editors seem to have paid excessive deference to the Moore & Aveling translation having been 'approved' by Engels); while vols 2 and 3 are, though again with corrections, translations published by Progress Publishers in the 1950s and based on translations done in 1909. Overall, the Penguin translations are much to be preferred. --Wikiain 06:16, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Looking for books on employee empowerment in software development companies[edit]

Hello. Can you please me tell me if there are any books or literature on employee empowerment specifically in the context of software development companies? I have a nice book on empowerment in the service sector but it is about nearly-pure service offerings involving high face-to-face interaction of workers with customers, such as restaurants. But I haven't been able to find anything else on Amazon or through Google scholar etc. Are there any books (most preferable) or case studies or articles or anything at all that discusses empowerment in the context of software or similar industries? Thanks a lot. ReluctantPhilosopher (talk) 23:37, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, do not know any specifically for software development companies. But you may be able to generalise from other fields. What's Worth Fighting For In Headship? by Michael Fullan is a very slim 62-page book that gives short and succinct details about empowerment and although I'm not involved in schooling I found it very informative and interesting and applicable to other organisations such as business ones. It led me to buy The Empowered Manager by Peter Block, which I found verbose and have not read. Coincidently I found that Block's content was given in a much more concentrated form with another book I just skimmed through this morning, Putting Management Back Into Performance by James Webb, and although it never mentions the word "empowerment" it does include and cover the same ground as far as I can see, with the added great advantage of actually telling you how to implement things and what you should do. I'd be interested to know what the book was that you mentioned? (talk) 10:29, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the answer. The book I am reading is "Empowerment - HR strategies for service excellence" by Conrad Lashley (2002 print). The book is good, and useful for me, and contains a thorough review of literature about empowerment in general, but it is mainly presented in the context of the hospitality industry, and most of the examples are from there. At this point I will actually be glad to have a comprehensive book on empowerment in general - not necessarily in the context of the software industry. It's just that I want at least one more "complete" book. I am actually doing a project in employee empowerment for a software development company, and review of background literature is very important. Thank you for the books you suggested. I'll try to get hold of them, and I'm sure they will be very helpful in the implementation part. I am also looking at case studies from the software industry, and recent articles. Once again, thank you very much for answering :) (talk) 13:27, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
It looks like the idea of empowerment may be becoming rather dated, to judge from the publication dates of the books, and it may have been subsumed into current management and HR dogma and lost its distinct identity. It looks similar to me to Theory X and theory Y, where empowerment would be somewhat like trying to get people to behave in a Theory Y way and not in a Theory X way. See also Theory Z. (talk) 11:20, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for the answer. I agree that the idea of employee empowerment has been in vogue for a considerable time, and that it has been subsumed into the general management rhetoric. I won't call it dogma though, since it is very real and unignorable, and its integration into the rest of the management practice shows its all encompassing nature. You are also right that it is basically about getting people to behave in Theory Y ways. However, some amount of demarcation to separate it from the rest of the management practice is necessary, and making that distinction is part of my brief. I wanted to read a recent academic treatment of the subject (even if by another name). That there is NO such book on empowerment after 2002 is perpelxing, so if you have any information about the same it would be tremendously helpful. Once again, many thanks for taking the time to answer. --ReluctantPhilosopher (talk) 10:10, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Typing "empowerment "software development"" into Google Scholar produces 151 results since 2010, and 623 results in Google Books since 2000, 12 since 2010. You could try typing in the titles of older books to find newer papers which cite them, similarly with Google Books. I wonder if the company you are working for are in particular interested in improving feedback and input from employees, so that the company runs better. Feedback seems to be the unspoken sub-text in the empowerment books I've read. (talk) 20:10, 21 April 2010 (UTC)