Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 January 13

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January 13[edit]

Zanzibar and Africa Addio[edit]

I asked about this on the Zanzibar talk page but I suppose I'll try here too.

I'm not sure if the massacres in this documentary are 100% true since there's no information on what the film calls a "genocide" of the Arab population on Wikipedia.

The killings appear in this film around the 59:54 mark. The person who posted it on google video is extremely racist and uses it as racist propaganda. The fact that it can be used in this way makes me suspicious of it so if anyone can clarify if this is true or not I think it would be important. [1]

The men in the helicopter look pretty calm while they're being shot at and discussions on imdb seem to imply some of the things in this film are staged. There's no article about the film on this site but there probably should be. Richard Cane 11:01, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Apparently there were massacres in Zanzibar in 1964, which was then united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania. Wikipedia's articles appear to be silent on this. See the "Revolutionary Government" section here: [2]. Would anyone care to take on the project of improving Wikipedia's articles with info from this and other sources ? As for the documentary being staged, it looks legit to me, although it is common practice to include recreations, in documentaries, of events which were not captured on film. StuRat 14:05, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
This site also mentions the killings (in the last two paragraphs): [3]. I haven't yet been able to quantify it, however, but the total population of Zanzibar today is less than a million, so that gives us some approximate upper limit to the number killed. The film seemed to show hundreds had been killed, perhaps thousands, so that gives us an approximate lower limit. I suspect that this wasn't on the order of the Rwanda genocide, however. StuRat 14:24, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
The film mentions that 5000 Arabs were killed. Other sources should be found since the film came out shortly after it happened and I doubt they got a completely accurate count. What I don't understand is how this is unknown when it's a mass slaughter being filmed as it happens. Is there any other footage like this showing people in open mass graves or about to be executed? Richard Cane 16:03, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
What makes you say this event is unknown? Here's a source in support of the film's 5,000:

On January 12, 1964, a violent revolution ousted the ZNP-led coalition...More than 5,000 Arabs were killed, according to reports, and thousands of others were detained and their property either confiscated or destroyed. Yeager, Rodger (1989). Tanzania: An African Experiment. p. 27.

And, this being a leftist revolution, we also do not need to look very hard to find an apology:

Although the uprising was subjected to massive hostile propaganda from the Western media and Arab kingdoms, claiming a widespread 'massacre of Arabs'—kindled, it is true, by Okello's wild claims on the local radio of thousands of casualties, in the hope of instilling fear in his listeners—the real casualty figure was minimal. There was no violence on Pemba Island. Most of the casualties in Unguja were the result of individuals settling old scores, and the perpetrators when caught received severe punishment from the revolutionary authorities. Babu, A. M. (1991). "The 1964 Revolution: Lumpen or Vanguard". Zanzibar under Colonial Rule. p. 241.

Stu, let me know if you start an article, i can add a few sources.—eric 17:51, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I've never seen it mentioned anywhere. It's not mentioned here. I haven't seen any other documentaries mention it and the news never refers to it. Live footage of a mass killing should rank up there in importance with the Zapruder film unless capturing systematic slaughter on this scale as it happens on film is a common occurence throughout history. Richard Cane 18:18, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I suppose the film itself may be notable enough for an article:

On the evening of 2 August 1966 SDS students and members of African student groups held a demonstration at the Astor cinema on the Kurfürstendamm against the film Africa Addio by the Italian director Gualtiero Jacopetti. The film had already been banned as racist in Italy and England, and the left-liberal newspaper Der Abend described Jacopetti as a wellknown ‘racist, colonialist fascist’.Thomas, Nick (2003). Protest Movements in 1960s West Germany: A Social History of Dissent and Democracy. p. 95.

tho i cannot find anything speaking to the authenticity of any of the footage.—eric 18:11, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
The footage seems entirely consistent with the other sources. 5000 people killed during a revolution just isn't all that unusual, so it's not surprising that a 43 year old event of that scale wouldn't be well known. The methodical approach (having them march to open pits where they were executed and buried), however, does qualify it as genocide, in my opinion. I suggest adding that info to the Zanzibar and Tanzania articles and creating a new article named Africa Addio with links from the English translations Goodbye Africa, Goodbye, Africa, Africa, Goodbye, and Africa Goodbye. StuRat 20:29, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I've added an article on Africa Addio with redirects from the documentary's US name Africa Blood and Guts and UK name Farewell Africa. I've also added info on the massacre to the Zanzibar article only (end of the History section). Does this seem sufficient to everyone ? StuRat 02:44, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Good work! Thanks for your effort. Even though it was an obscure event it was very important it be mentioned here. Richard Cane 10:17, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Is Literature Worth Studying[edit]

  i have an assignment on this topic

i donot wish for you to 'do the assignment' for me i just thought i could get a few refrences or pointers on the matter and if possible maybe a few lines on whether or not it is actually worth studying

so far my belief is that anything and evrything is worth studying why should literature be any different.......but since i havnt actually studyied literarture im not quite sure on how i shoulkd go about expressing myself........

To get yourself started, check out 8 January 3.4 above, Reading fiction - is there any point to it?, in which the Humanities desk tackled this same question. Wolfgangus 12:45, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I strongly recommend Harold Bloom's book How to Read, and Why. (2001). It contains the most eloquent and persuasive answers to that question I've read by a contemporary writer. I paraphrase, because I do not have it in front of me, but this bit comes to mind: "We live in an age in which information is endlessly available: but where shall wisdom be found?" Antandrus (talk) 16:05, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Surely liturature is worth "studying" for the pleasure it brings as well?(hotclaws**== 18:19, 13 January 2007 (UTC))

Literature is worth studying, if for no other reason than it exercises a skill that matures through use. Literature is democratic, in that the reader learns much about much, and literature cannot conceal, but rather, reveal a world to a reader. Few people who read have read exactly the same books. Few books that are read are read by two people exactly the same way. A group of people may be of one mind, but a group of readers may advocate their own mind. IMHO DDB 11:31, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Reading anything well-written will improve your skills at the language, and is likely to also improve your mind by providing thought-provoking ideas. Well-written literature not only does these two things, but entertains while it is doing so. So you're learning and being entertained simultaneously. What could be wrong about that? Grutness...wha? 05:46, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Humane Dictatorships[edit]

Hi everyone,

I was looking for dictatorships that relatively preserve human rights and are quite liberal. Preferably countries that also have a stable rule and a good economy. If anyone knows a country like that, or if more than one then even better, I would love to know which are they and perhaps a link to information on the government and law there.

Thanks very much, 12:38, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

This is an uphill battle. Humane Dictatorships may be as pure an Oxymoron as you can find, historically speaking, unless - and it's a stretch - you consider the Roman dictator. Ultimately you may have to redefine the adjective. That said, read the section in Authoritarianism under Economic arguments for Authoritarianism, as well as the section on Theocracy ... perhaps something will apply. Wolfgangus 13:01, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

How about Swaziland ? Except for their horrid AIDS rate, the country is in relatively good shape. StuRat 13:05, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Enlightened despotism, an eighteenth-century category, redirects at Wikipedia to Enlightened absolutism. The suggested connection to "liberal" may be a symptom that some brush-up on what that category means is in order: the humane dictator "knows" what's best for everyone and provides it, willy-nilly. All dictators present themselves as "humane". --Wetman 16:48, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Benevolent dictatorship is the general term you are looking for here. It has a list of potential candidates, all very subjective. -- 19:28, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

One thought here - there have been occasions when a coup has established a military junta (and therefore a dictatorship) with the ostensible purpose of improving the life of the people. Sometimes, these become more despotic - particularly if they are long-lasting - but sometimes they end up with actually dpoing what they intend: ridding the government of corruption and then reinstating a democratic government. A couple of possible examples of this I can think of are Ghana under Jerry Rawlings and (quite possibly) the current regime in Fiji. Grutness...wha? 05:40, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

This may not be what you're looking for, but the reigning prince of the Principality of Monaco, currently Prince Albert II, has pretty much unlimited authority and while Monaco has a fairly liberal constitution the prince can suspend it, as his father Prince Rainier III actually did. Monaco also has a notoriously sycophantic legislature that rubber-stamps whatever the prince wants. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:19, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

Concealed weapon[edit]

After being robbed at gun point twice I got a concealed weapons permit. I don't like to keep the weapon on my person so I carry it in a backpack. Some stores will not allow kids to come into the store unless they leave there book bags with the store's front desk. Somehow this policy extended to backpacks carried by adults. The police have already told me never turn over responsibility for my weapon to anyone, NEVER!. However, if I am to both go into the store and to keep my backpack with me then I have to explain the reason for my wanting to do so. My question is: if I confide in the store personnel and tell them that I have a concealed weapon in my backpack and show them the permit is the weapon no longer concealed? 12:59, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I would guess it's still "concealed", as that means not visible, so as not to panic people. However, I must point out that carrying a gun in your backpack is more likely to get you, or somebody else, killed than to protect you. I can't possibly see how you could get a gun out of your backpack in time to defend yourself from an armed robber. On the other hand, the armed robber (who may have only had a knife) will now have your backpack with the gun, and might kill somebody with it or sell or give it to somebody else who will. Your backpack could also be stolen by a grab and run thief who then will have your gun. If you insist on keeping a gun with you, at least keep it in a hidden holster so you have some hope of getting at it when needed. If not, please keep it locked up and hidden at home, somewhere where it won't be found by kids or a thief. I'd also buy a trigger lock for it, and keep the key with you, so if any kids do find it, they won't shoot each other. StuRat 13:26, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
The entry on concealed weapons shows that, in the US, laws vary pretty widely from state to state. I would start there - and in the meantime, take StuRat's advice to heart. Wolfgangus 13:40, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

In some states a weapon does not have to be seen to justify use of deadly force but only the belief on the part of the user that such force was justified and necessary. This is the sense in which I am asking. 15:11, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe all that means is that your decision to use deadly force can be justified even if you don't see the other person's weapon, as long as you believe the force was necessary. I don't really see how that fits into your question, however. Best to follow StuRat's advice. GreatManTheory 18:42, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
You are trying to address another issue on the assumption that the question is not hypothetical. However, the question does not refer to my use of deadly force but to the use of deadly force by others soley on the basis of being told that I did not want to surrender the enclosure of my possessions to another's care for the reason that one of the possessions was (or even might be) a lawfully possessed, concealed and secured lethal weapon. I agree with Stu Rat's advice BTW but this is another issue entirely best resolved by requiring anger management and crisis resolution training be included as a prerequisite for anyone including the President of the United States (or Vice President) to carry a lethal weapon along with grave penalties for doing so while even slightly intoxicated. 20:59, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I would be very surprised if any penal code justified the use of deadly force against you merely for stating you legally carried a concealed weapon. GreatManTheory 02:36, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
History is rift with provisions in the law being used by fleet footed lawyers to circumvent it. 07:16, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you mean "rife." GreatManTheory 14:09, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Greeting Japanese Diplomats[edit]

I have little pre-diddly-dicament. My host Rotary Club will be having 4 or 5 visitors from Japan coming in February, and I wish to make a proper greeting. Would it be acceptable to say "Domo arigato, president-san" to the president of the visiting Rotary Club with a handshake? I don't want to take the risk of having to learn the proper bowing techniques in a months time. Also, after greeting the President of the visiting club, what would I use for the other 4 or 5 members of the delegation? Last question, is it better when speaking to the members of the delegation to use -san after the given name or family name (like would it be Miko-san or Yammamoto-san were a member named Miko Yammamoto)? Crisco 1492 13:31, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

This article offers some fundamental tips. Wolfgangus 13:43, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
The trick is always not to overact, suggesting unintended overtones of parody, nor to press any physical intimacy. Keep your hands out of your pockets and be ready to return an offered handshake, but never initiate it. --Wetman 16:41, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Don't be too paranoid about etiquette, they're Japanese, not Martians! Also, since they're visiting your country (USA, I assume), and not vice versa, they will expect to have to adapt to your culture. Bowing is tricky, but a nod of the head works well as a natural compromise. In my experience, most Japanese enjoy shaking hands with foreigners, it's quite exciting and exotic to them and not at all threatening. Use family name, not given name. A few words in Japanese will of course go down well. --Auximines 17:49, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi, I think "Domo arigato" sounds a bit informal; if I were in your shoes I'd probably say "Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu." --Kjoonlee 11:52, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm currently in Indonesia, but as we all shake hands anyways, not a big dif. K, I'll use domo arigato gozaimasu (only reason I suggested domo arigato is my japanese is rather limited). However, If I don't want to risk names (I'm terrible with remembering them), would president-san or Rotarian-san work? Crisco 1492 05:29, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Boccaccio name[edit]

  • Does the name of Giovanni Boccaccio have anything in common with the name Matthew?
  • Does the name Boccaccio mean the same (or similar) to Matthew in Latin or Italian?
  • Did Giovanni Boccaccio have a nickname of Matthew (or similar)? --Doug talk 15:30, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Nope. Matthew is Matteo. No secret connections there. --Wetman 16:35, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Great, didn't really think there was a connection this way. Just wanted to make sure however. The only "connection" I can see at this point is that Matthew has 7 letters. Not counting the double letters, so does "Bocacio". It so happens his mother's name is Margheria del Mardoli. Her vowels just happen to be the same vowels as Matthew + Boccaccio. In neither case is the vowels "u" or "y" used. Her names start with the letter "M", just like Matthew and "Mardoli" also has 7 letters. Thanks for confirmation. --Doug talk 20:56, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Predominant language in 16th century Scotland[edit]

What language did they speak during the Mary Queen of Scots reign - English or Scottish?

Scottish English in Edinburgh and the south, and Scottish Gaelic in the highlands and northwestern islands.. AnonMoos 18:46, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
AnonMoos is correct, but Scots, or Scots English, was also the prevailing language along the eastern coast north of Edinburgh in places such as Dundee and Aberdeen. Meanwhile, the Scottish Gaelic language may have survived in Galloway at that time, and the Norn language survived in Orkney and Shetland. Marco polo 20:29, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Humans as Dæmons[edit]

I have been chatting with people on a site about Dæmons. However I am unsure of one thing.

Why can't someone have a human as a Dæmon? They keep telling me that humans can't be a Dæmon because there not an animal, however humans are animals so can someone please explain this to me.

Daemon explains the pagan and early Christian belief in the "lesser gods" that could be brought to inhabit a statue or "possess" a human being. The "magic" that controlled daemons and which brought pagans to instantaneous conversion to Christianity did not control people. No educated person today believes in daemons or demons, in spite of official "exorcists", whatever you might be told. --Wetman 20:43, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Well then how would you like to argue with some people on this subject. Its basically me and someone else arguing Deamons don't excist and about 5 other people who do think they are real. If you are interested just Edit this and I'll edit the site in.

Is the original poster talking about daemons in the context of the His Dark Materials trilogy of fantasy novels? If so, there is probably scholarly analysis or information from the author Phillip Pullman about why they're never humans, but I'm going out so I can't take the time to look right now. Anchoress 20:59, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Da Vinci's Education[edit]

My question is:

Who provided Leonardo Da Vinci's early education before he was apprenticed to work for Andrea di Verrocchio?

I'm finding different answers on different websites including -Leo's fathers mother taught him in his home -Leo's father hired someone to teach him

Please and Thanks!

22:51, 13 January 2007 (UTC)22:51, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

The story I heard was that an unemployed friend or relative of the family taught Leonardo everything he knew about (in Leonardo's young age), because he had plenty of time available... 惑乱 分からん 23:17, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Any informed anecdote is likely to derive at first from a remark in Giorgio Vasari's "Life" of Leonardo. Read this English translation of Vasari's remarks on Leonardo. --Wetman 10:48, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
My information is some edutainment live-action documentary about Leonardo I saw once in Italian language class. I have no idea about their sources... =S 惑乱 分からん 12:13, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Very little is known about Leonardo's early life and education, before he started his apprenticeship to Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence at the age of 13 or 14. Leonardo was the illegitimate son of a Florentine notary (lawyer) and a peasant girl. He was brought up by his father's parents and his father's brother Francesco on a farm in the village of Vinci. The consensus of opinion of most historians is that his education took place at the village school and at home with his grandparents and uncle. It is unlikely that he received any better education than this because a more formal education in, say, Florence, would have probably "corrected" his left-handness at an early age. (source: White, Michael (2000). Leornado: The First Scientist. UK: Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 0-316-64846-9.) Gandalf61 14:38, 14 January 2007 (UTC)