Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 March 15

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March 15[edit]

Book list (not a reference question.)[edit]


(WARNING: the following will reveal the plot of a film and might spoil sitting through it. Do not read if you have not yet seen the 1960's film The Time Machine (1960 film).) At the end of the 1960’s film The Time Machine Filby comments that someone like George would not go back to a virgin future and start a civilization from scratch without first having come up with a plan. Looking at the library he sees that there are three books missing and asks what three books George would have taken and the film ends there. So it got me to wondering, what three books would be the best candidates to take into a virgin future to start a civilization from scratch? Diligent 00:20, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

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The Wikipedia reference desk works like a library reference desk. Users leave questions on the reference desk and Wikipedia volunteers work to help you find the information you need.
We'd be happy to help you with any reference questions you might have. If you're looking for opinions, might I suggest an Internet forum?Jfarber 02:47, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I think we can be a little more generous than that, Jfarber. We're often asked for things that are not factual, and happily oblige - such as yesterday's thread An intellectual reading list for a Christian man, which has many possible answers, none of them necessarily right or wrong. I'd be interested to hear some opinions about what the 3 books would be. JackofOz 02:58, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, fair enough. I'll start, then, as pennance:
1. The largest University-level collection of international short works of literature and poetry I could find.
2. The OED
3. Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word
I'd also have taken all back issues of the Whole Earth Catalog I could get my hands on, but I don't suppose that counts as a book...

Jfarber 03:10, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Just for clarification, do you mean books available to us now, or in 1900, where the three books were taken from? I wouldn't take a poetry book myself, but that's because I'm not a big fan of non-free-style poetry for the most part. I wouldn't take the Bible either. OED isn't a bad choice. A book besides for the Bible that teaches morals, and last I'd choose one that'd teach imagination, so probably just an entertaining book. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 05:22, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
The time period is not important but rather the limitation of only three. Diligent 08:32, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I believe that choosing books on technology would be a mistake. The reason it that a brand new civilization would undoubtedly start at a fairly primitive level. Having the specs for a jet engine would at best be useless and at worst be harmful. Besides a prospering culture could reinvent technology relatively quickly. I would instead try to pick books that would get a culture of on the right foot.

  1. Elementary Principles of Agriculture, by A M Ferguson MSc
  2. An illustrated dictionary of medicine, biology and allied sciences by George M Gould
  3. Du Contrat Social by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Of course if I regarded the whole new civilization thing as a sociological experiment, I would be tempted to mess with the people’s minds. In that case I would choose.

  1. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the World of Harry Potter by Tere Stouffer
  2. Kiss Dieting Goodbye: Embracing a Whole New Way to Lose Weight by Elliott Young
  3. Making Artisan Cheese: Fifty Fine Cheeses That You Can Make in Your Own Kitchen by Tim Smith

Best! S.dedalus 19:13, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

"technologizing" is about the way that writing formalizes language, and how that in turn changes culture drastically -- it's there on the list as both cultural theory and as a way of framing the issue of having printed books in the first place. Unless you think of writing itself as a technology (I do), the Ong book isn't about "technology" as you probably imagine it. Instead, it covers ONLY those technologies which would have been necessary to produce...the books you brought, and thus would say what was necessary about the cultural and social contracts, assumptions, and other contexts which would help any culture make sense of "what biases and mental frameworks would a book-producing culture have assumed", so that this theoretical "virgin culture" could decide whether they, too, wanted the fundamental mindset trade-off that writing brings. Most folks consider Ong the predecesor to McLuhan, and Neil Postman, and to cultural studies in general.
Rather than "get a culture off on the right foot", the point here is to let the culture know through the very presence of these texts that it is up to that they can feel free to reject books, and in doing so, be deliberate about what THEY think their foot should be, and how off on it. After all, our predecessor societies invented technologies on their own, but without knowledge of how technologies necessarily both change and fix the culture in various ways. Why assume that a virgin culture would make their own/ want their own if given the knowledge to make the choice we could not make, without the knowledge of irreversible hindsight.
All the more reason not to hand off religious texts, in other words, or texts of technologies, or of anything other than codecs and myths-of-a-distance -- it does a disservice to any culture to pretend that we can help shape them, hence my attempt to choose only those texts which would both help them best choose how to shape themselves, in part by giving them texts which are designed to be rejected once their knowledge has been understood, and thus texts which would be utterly useless as seminal texts for a future's foundation. Jfarber 21:43, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

(after edit conflict) It's an interesting question. Myself, I would lean towards works of fiction, although there are certainly great benefits associated with the dictionary of medicine, etc. suggested by S. dedalus.

  1. Ensaio sobre a cegueira by José Saramago (perhaps in translation, although perhaps not)
  2. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
  3. The Once and Future King by T.H. White

Perhaps a little slanted to the modern era, but it would be interesting to see what kind of society would develop with those works as its foundation! Carom 21:45, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I would imagine it would depend on what you wanted to achieve. If I wanted to arrive in a completely wild world, with people who have little knowledge of medicine etc, and survive for a long time, I would probably want to take:

  1. Some sort of practical, illustrated medical guide, per dedalus
  2. Some sort of herbal, preferably up-to-date (this is assuming plantlife of the area has not greatly changed in the time)
  3. Possibly some work on basic engineering principles, maths,etc.

I would assume that between them and me, we'd know most other important things. I'd, of course, have to learn their language, teach them mine, pass on my knowledge and the ability to read, etc. And get them to accept me. If, however, I wanted to be regarded as a god, I would take:

  1. An almanac containing tables of eclipses and other details of celestial movement

in place of the book on engineering, and aim to arrive in time to predict one. In that case, I'd probably also want to take a large supply of matches, fun snaps, lighter and fuel, etc. Skittle 23:10, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

As per A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court? :-) S.dedalus 23:22, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

"New York" and "York" (Toronto)[edit]

Is there any definite connection between the names "New York" and "York" (Toronto)? Both were supposedly named for different Dukes of York, but adjacency of New York and Upper Canada, and fact that New York even had a claim on that region before the Quebec Act, makes me wonder whether the second North American "York" wasn't something of a replacement for the lost first one (which, by the way, was often just called "York" historically)?--Pharos 03:16, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm confused. The first North American "York", New York City, was so named in 1664. The second one was York, Canada, so named in the 1790s. The first "York" is still called New York. It was never "lost". Can you elucidate your question? JackofOz 03:29, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I meant "lost" to the British after the American Revolution. Clio, below, has my meaning right.--Pharos 04:01, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

(After ec) You are quite right, Pharos: the dukes in question were two quite different men. New York was named after James, Duke of York, brother of Charles II, and York is named after Frederick, Duke of York second son of George III. Since York was founded not long after the loss of the Americas your conjecture has some merit. It's doubtful, I suppose, that this particular name would have been bestowed on the new settlement if the British retained control of all of North America. There again, just how many towns are there in the world with the name York? Clio the Muse 03:33, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

How many? See York (disambiguation)! --Anon, March 15, 2007, 23:54 (UTC).
Yes, a lot; just as I had assumed! Many thanks. Clio the Muse 06:46, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Pharos' conjecture is very plausible, because many of the United Empire Loyalists who settled what became first York and later Toronto would have come from nearby New York state. Marco polo 12:58, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

When were women first allowed to serve on the jury?[edit]

This is related to history. I could not locate the answer through search. I would like to know when (exact date if possible) women were first allowed to serve on the jury in court. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:00, 15 March 2007 (UTC).

What country are you interested in? --Charlene 06:09, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

This is a question difficult to answer with any exactness because it varies so widely between, and even within, countries. It should have followed with the granting of female suffrage, but this was not always the case, and it had often to be fought for as a basic civil right. Clio the Muse 06:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

In England, women were excluded from juries until 1919. Indeed, the famous legal scholar Blackstone wrote in the 18th century that women were rightfully prohibited from jury service because of what he labeled the defect of sex, which made them incapable of the intelligent decision-making required for jury duty. In 1898, Utah became the first state to allow women to sit on juries in a state court, and a few other jurisdictions followed suit. But it was not until the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote, that women's representation on juries was more than sporadic. After 1920, women's organizations such as the League of Women Voters and the National Women's Rights Party took up the jury issue. They attempted through lobbying efforts, legislative reform, and court challenges to increase women's participation on the jury. However, as late as 1966, three states—Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina—still prohibited women from jury service. By 1972, women were eligible in all federal and state courts in the United States. On the other side of the Atlantic, in England and Wales a property qualification for jurors effectively excluded most women from jury service until its repeal in 1972. Hans, Valerie P. (1986). Judging the Jury. pp. p. 52. 

eric 06:28, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I am a lawyer in NY. Many years ago when I was in law school (1970's) the last remnants of so-called protective legislation that barred women from jury duty were being held held unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Men argued that women were too delicate to serve on juries and, whether or not they had children, should be home for the children. Women who wanted to serve on juries were forbidden to so by these laws.75Janice 01:19, 17 March 2007 (UTC)75Janice 16 March 2007


Hi, I’m looking for a few lines taken from poetry, literature, or philosophy that contrast mortal love with the horrors of war. I intend to use the quote on the title page of a string quartet I just finished, so it must be public domain. Any suggestions?

By the way, awhile ago several editors were kind enough to help me find a poem to “set” for choir. I promised I would follow up on that and eventually post what I decided on. It took longer than I thought it would, but I eventually settled on Rhapsody on a Windy Night [1] by T. S. Eliot (which is in the public domain.)

Thank you for your help. S.dedalus 06:55, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello, S.dedalus. I'm not sure if this will be of much help to you but there is a letter that seems to me to unite the tragedy of war with feelings of transcendent love. It was not written by a poet, a novelist or a philosopher, but by an ordinary man, a soldier on the eve of battle. His name was Sullivan Ballou, writing in the summer of 1861 to his wife, Sarah. I was in my teens when I heard it recited on a documentary series shown by BBC Television in England about the American Civil War. It's too long to reproduce in its entirety, but here are the parts that moved me the most;
I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death--and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country and thee...
Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most grateful to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard as it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willng, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me...that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name...
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth to flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and and in the darkest night --amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours--always, always; and if there is a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.
A week after writing this letter Sullivan Ballou was killed at the Battle of Bull Run. The recital on TV chased me off to my bedroom, where I wept buckets!
Anyway, I would like to pretend that this response is being sent by a certain L. Bloom, but I am in fact Clio the Muse 09:03, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I do not believe that you need any permission for a "quote on the title page" of a "few lines," just because the source text is still protected by copyright. I don't think my opinion requires a very expansive view of fair use either (though certainly too expansive for the stingy preferences of many publishers!). Wareh 14:14, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Age of Consent on the internet[edit]

I have a question, Whats the Age of Consent on the internet (EG the Federal state statute, v. state statutes), if the AIM server is in the same state as the 2 parties ('minor', aged 16-17. and 'adult' 18-19)? Would the state law override the federal law?

--The preceding comment was added by (bot didn’t catch this?)


Sorry. --ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 07:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Wow, big type! I didn’t know you could do that. . . but I’m a bit new here. S.dedalus 07:41, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Surely age of consent applies to sex, and without some amazing new technology you can't actually have sex over the internet. So it's a bit of a strange question? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:01, 15 March 2007 (UTC).
Teledildonics. --Carnildo 21:39, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Is it really necessary to give a no legal advice message in such disproportionately large letters? We frequently tell new people here not to use caps. because it looks like shouting. This is not shouting; it's bawling. Clio the Muse 09:11, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it counts as statutory rape if the "minor" is only 2 years younger than the adult. --Candy-Panda 12:36, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
The laws on this vary from state to state, and if the internet is involved, federal law might be invoked because of the potential for interstate relations. But only a lawyer would know for sure. Marco polo 13:04, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
If a person violates the laws of a state, ask your legal advisor if that person subjects himself to the jurisdiction of that state. Then ask if that state may then choose to proceed against that person accordingly, even if he never set foot within its territorial boundaries. You may get answers that do not involve federal law at all. You may also find (Personal jurisdiction; United States v. Thomas, 74 F.3d 701 (6th Cir. 1996); cert. denied, 117 S. Ct. 74 (1996) ) worth consulting. dr.ef.tymac 14:28, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
A mere statement or reference to statutory law is in no way a "legal opinion". A "legal opinion" consists of a professional lawyer's "opinion" and assessment of a certain legal situation.
For example, I'm a non-practicing lawyer. I've earned both a an LLB (Common Law) and a BCL (Civil Law), yet never having applied for the bar in any jurisdiction I'm forbidden from giving "legal opinions" per se.
Nonetheless, if I were to state the fact that, for example, the age of consent (for sexual activities) in Canada is 14, or that the Income Tax Act of Canada says such and such or so and so, I'm in no way violating my restriction about giving "legal opinion". All I'm doing is stating facts. Similarly, if one were to ask if there exists some sort of "age of consent" for the internet, if I had a statute in front of me stating the answer (which I don't!) that too would in no way be an act of giving a "legal opinion". Rather, when the state of the law is raher murky as to its application to a specific, unique situation, and if I were to say "my legal opinion is that you're indeed not breaking the law in taking this or that action", now THAT is what would qualify as the giving of a "legal opinion", and so, not being a member of the bar, THAT'S the type of advice that I'd be forbidden from giving. Loomis 22:09, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Loomis, I think the main issue is that Wikipedia does not give legal advice. It's not whether any particular user, such as you, might be in breach of something by providing what some third party authority considers to be legal advice. If Wikipedia's policy did not prevent it from giving legal advice, and you answered a question with a legal opinion, you might still end up in hot water with the Canadian bar (or whomever) due to your never having applied for the bar. JackofOz 02:02, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Wikipedia's policy is "Do not request medical or legal advice". But there's a difference between the giving of legal advice and the stating of legal fact. The OP doesn't seem to be asking for any sort of legal advice at all. Rather, s/he's simply asking a question about the state of the law. Though I'm not qualified to answer this particular question as to the state of the law (not for fear of breaching the law in any way, but simply because I don't know the answer!), if I were to answer "according to the ABC act, the age of consent for usng the internet is X", that would in no sense be considered "giving legal advice".
If the asking for mere legal facts, such as is what the OP is doing, were indeed captured by the guideline: "Do not request medical or legal advice", then by implication, it would be against wiki policy to ask the question: "Is there a universal voting age in the US? If so what is it?" Further, it would be inappropriate for me to respond: "Indeed, the 26th Amendment guarantees the right to vote to all US citizens who are eighteen years of age or older". Yet these questions are asked routinely here on the RefDesk, and, at least in my opinion, cannot possibly be deemed "requests for legal advice". Loomis 17:04, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the idea that the Wikipedia can institute and define whatever policies it chooses since it is paying the bill (albeit from user donations) of the web space but let me make this clear anyone can give any advice they want so long as they do not charge money for it. This is in fact where the old saw "Its worth exactly what you paid for it." This included advice with an attached disclaimer that the advice may be no good. So long as you don't charge you are free to say what you please in the United States of America at least if no where else. I told um dear. Now can I go back to sleep? 07:07, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe you may have confused legal rights with the right of a community to determine acceptable behavior. The former is what allows you to give all the darn advice you wish; the latter is what allows Wikipedia to decide that a) we do not give or support the giving of advice of certain types, and b) egregious dismissal of our community parameters, or inappropriateness after being informed of those rights, will have consequences within that community, up to and including banning. In short: you have the right to advise in the culture at large, but we do not have to allow you to exercise that right here in this context; a given group or community has the right to say that, if you insist on doing so, you will no longer be welcome. Jfarber 18:27, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
There is no "right of the [Wikipedia] community." Instead there is the “left of the administrators.” which often do not include anyone's point of view other than their own much less the consensus of all users. Banning has merely had the effect of instilling this knowledge in the culture at large, which now believes the Wikipedia to be a one sided, self serving and opinionated IRC boys club that is pointless to edit. Many are dam tired of getting a hit on a Wikipedia article whenever they do a search and have blocked the Wikipedia no different than any other web site that sells porn. Banning for expressing opinions in Wikipedia discussion groups which disagree with administrator's own opinions is school boy stuff and is a practice frowned upon by the culture at large. The hidden common denominator of certain Wikipedia administrators has by such actions been slowly, but nevertheless, revealed. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:05, 17 March 2007 (UTC).
All communities require administrators, even in real life. It is the job of those administrators to administer, manage, and evoke the will of the community. If we are to ensure that a community has standards at all -- indeed, if we are to make a community out of chaos -- flagrant disgregard of or denial of community policies (in this case, an erroneous belief that Wikipedia spaces which are not intended for discourse are discussion groups), and insistence that there is some sort of culture at large whose policies somehow protect you from behavior which is not acceptable within this or any voluntary community, will not, not and should not protect you from the consequences of flagrant anti-community behavior, and, further, does not somehow offer evidence that there is a cabal. Sorry to disappoint. Jfarber 13:10, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Just because a host holds an open house does not give him the right to rape and pillage his guests after they arrive, sell off any possessions they may leave behind or confiscate their brains before they come in. Replace the word "editor" with the word "administrator" in the text of there is a cabal and you may be getting closer to the truth. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:33, 19 March 2007 (UTC).

Meaning of the word "Publius"[edit]

Noticed in many Roman names (especially someone of rank) (i.e. Scipio Africanus) that they use first the name "Publius" which I noticed sometimes when the Latin name is shown as just a "P." for the word "Publius" (like in Scipio's example). Is it a similar meaning as the English word "public". In the case of Scipio, it then becomes "P. Cornelius Scipio", where Cornelius (family name) is before the given name (Scipio). Can I get a better explanation on this, thanks.--Doug talk 14:08, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

My latin dictionary says that it is just another first name (note that Romans used funny first names like "secunda"). It looks like publicus (public), but the two are not the same. C mon 14:23, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
(written during edit conflict)"Publius" is actually Scipio's given, or personal, name. It was a common given name among Romans in the ruling class. Given names often do not really have a meaning, even if they once did. What, for example, would you say is the meaning of "John" or ";Fred"? Even if an etymological dictionary provides a meaning for these names, for most people they are just names. As for "Publius", it does seem to come from the same root as "public", though what this meant to Romans, if anything, I'm not sure. Perhaps it originally meant something like "of the people", "popular", or "destined for public life". "Scipio", by the way, is this person's cognomen. (See Roman naming conventions.) Marco polo 14:25, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
And "Africanus" is his agnomen. This is why Julius isn't Julius Caesar's first name. (Had to get him in here somewhere, given the date). --Charlene 03:23, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello again, Doug. Roman names came in three basic parts: the praenomen, or personal name; the nomen, or family name; and the cognomen, used to dfferentiate people within a particular family still further. The name Publius was one of a very limited number of praenomen, and would have been used only by the immediate family. It does indeed mean 'public' in Latin. The eldest son usually took his father's name. Praenomen were commonly abbreviated in inscriptions. Clio the Muse 14:38, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Great answers, thanks! --Doug talk 15:29, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Are the Junius and Julius nomens related, or are they just superficially similar? Corvus cornix 19:07, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

They are only superficially similar, Corvus, belonging to quite different nomen. Clio the Muse 23:16, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Clio. Corvus cornix 01:33, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Relationship of Jerome to Eusebius[edit]

Jerome attacks Eusebius as "prince of Arians" in a letter to a friend. (Could I get a better explanation on this). In Jerome's De Viris Illustribus of Chapter 135 where Jerome gives a short autobiography, he says he is the son of Eusebius; however this article does not seem to represent this. Are we talking about two different "Eusebius" or is the meaning of the word "son" here something different (perhaps 'student' instead)? --Doug talk 14:27, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

If we are referring specifically to Eusebius of Caesarea, the historian of the early Christian church, then, yes, in doctrinal terms he had been heavily influenced by Arius and Origen, stressing the subordination of the Son to the Father. Jerome is grossly overstressing his significance, though, because Eusebius made no original contribution to Arian theology. Although he was nearly excommunicated for heresy he finally submitted to the Nicene Creed after the Council of Nicaea. Clio the Muse 14:53, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for these great answers. So then to just clarify to make sure I have it correct; Jerome was not physically a son (family decendent) of Eusebius being his physical father (blood relation). In the Jerome article it even says that Jerome was from Christian parents, not actually giving their names. His blood relation father then was not Eusebius then, but then more on the order of a "teacher". It looks like to me then that it is closer to a "teacher" to "student" relationship between Eusebius and Jerome then an actual physical blood relationship as in genealogy. --Doug talk 16:06, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Jerome was called Eusebius himself, and it is quite possible his father also had the name Eusebius. Both men were not Eusebius "Pamphili", the bishop of Cæsarea, who died a couple of years before Jerome was born.  --LambiamTalk 22:56, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Great, that clears it up. Thanks for this additional answer. That helped alot. --Doug talk 23:33, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Arabian Mythology[edit]

Hello. My name is Birgitte Thomsen. Im from Denmark and my email adress is <removed to protect poster from spambots> I have read in an artikle on the Internet, that the arabs used to worship the jinns, before they became muslims. Does anyone know, what kind of jinns, they worshipped, what their names where and how they worshipped them?

With regards Birgitte Thomsen

Denmark —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:20, 15 March 2007 (UTC).

Before Islam, some Arabs were Christian or Jewish. Others worshipped more than one god, such as Hubal, or other gods listed in the article Arabian mythology. They also believed in genies, or jinn, although they did not generally worship them. Marco polo 15:33, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Pre-Islamic Arabic deities included Allat, a goddess. I know that's not the point of the question but I thought I'd add it here anyhow . 17:21, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Brigitte, Jinns exist in both the Islamic and pre-Islamic Arab tradition, but it is not, I think, correct to suggest that they were ever worshipped as such in pagan times. Rather they were perceived more as spirits of vanished races, as spirits of negation and sometimes as outright demons. The page on Genie will give you some further information, but you should also read the wonderful Tales of the Arabian Nights. Pagan Arabs worshipped the astral dieties in the main, especially the sun god, the moon god and the god associated with the planet Venus. You will find some more information here [2]. Clio the Muse 15:48, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

This page [3] points out that pre-Islamic religion was a combination of Bedouin polytheism, Judaism, and Christianity. --Charlene 03:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Patriot Act[edit]

How many terrorist acts have been prevented due to the Patriot Act?

Estimates would be speculative, and, more importantly, the relevant facts are mostly classified. ---Sluzzelin talk 18:15, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
That's an utterly impossible question to answer. Perhaps a thousand, and perhaps none. It's like asking how many murders have been prevented due to any particular jurisdiction's prohibition of murder in it's Criminal Code. For example, if some individual was arrested and detained as per the Patriot Act and then cleared and released due to lack of any concrete evidence, who's to say that that individual was indeed innocent, or whether he was a part of some terrorist cell whose terrorist plot was forced to be scrubbed due to the fact that the arrest and detention of that individual ruined their plans? In short, no one will ever know.
What we do know, however, is that similar security measures defitely were key in stopping the shoe bomber Richard Reid, from blowing up the the plane he was on, or whatever terrorist mischief he had planned, as well as the fact that once again, similar security measures prevented that other foiled terrorist attack on that plane that I believe was headed from London to New York. Though as I said, there's no way to prove it one way or the other, these two foiled terrorist attacks would seem to indicate to me that at the very least, some terrorist attacks have been prevented by the Patriot Act. Loomis 21:43, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Um, nothing like the Patriot Act prevented Richard Reid. He was allowed to get on a plane and was thwarted because they happened to catch him trying to set his bomb off. I don't see anything like the "similar security measures" in the Wikipedia article on it — the "security measures" seem to have been a flight attendant who found him trying to light his shoe on fire and told him that it was illegal to smoke on the plane!! And the London arrests seem to have been a British deal — again nothing like the PATRIOT Act and all of its ridiculous provisions. -- 01:04, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Whilst a poor measure you could compare terrorist attacks in the 4 years prior to the act and the years since. This is unfair as the act was a response to attacks (so the pre automatically has some prominent attacks), but at a high-level that is one of your best comparatives. As others have noted it is almost impossible to say with any degree of accuracy because there are 1000s of factors at play. This act is but 1 policy in the continued attempt to minimize terrorism. People are perhaps more vigilant, it is more high-profile than before, we have more stringent security (in many countries anyway), changes in culture for and against the country (which alter the chances of being attacked), technological advancements. Pretty much everything could be attributed to have any effect. Still there will be instances where they have reprimanded somebody using the act who could 'plausibly' have been 'expected' to have gone on to committ a terrorist attack, and thus they could be 'counted' as things saved by the act. ny156uk 22:00, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

How were the measures used to stop the shoe bomber,Richard Reid, similar to the Patriot Act? 01:06, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Tamalegirl55

They weren't. Loomis is mistaken. -- 01:48, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
You're right about the Reid incident. Apparently it was indeed mere luck that led to the foiling of his plot. However the foiling of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot was indeed attributed to enacted UK law very similar and apparently just as controversial as the Patriot Act. For example, according to the article, "Lieutenant-Colonel (ret.) Nigel Wylde, a former senior British Army Intelligence Officer with decades of anti-terror and explosives experience...suggested that the plot was an invention of the UK security services in order to justify wide-ranging new security measures that threaten to permanently curtail civil liberties and to suspend sections of the United Kingdom's Human Rights Act of 1998".
Sound familiar? In any case, if you have indeed read the text of the Patriot Act and aren't basing your judgment of it solely on rumour and left-wing hype, please tell me just which provisions of it you consider to be ridiculous. Keep in mind, though, that just as any other Act of Congress, the Patriot Act is subject to judicial review if and whenever it's deemed to violate constitutional rights. Apparently ss. 505 and 805 have been struck down by US courts as being unconstitutional. So you can't include those. Which remaining provisions do you consider ridiculous and/or a violation of Constitutional rights, provisions that the ACLU with their considerable legal resources haven't deemed to be unconstitutional enough to be successfully challenged in court? Loomis 00:33, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Cases dealing with the constitutionality of the Patriot Act are still winding their way to the Supreme Court. I am a New Yorker, who lived, worked, dated and played one and one half blocks from the World Trade Center. Half of my neighborhood fire department members never returned. Until I die, nothing will surpass the horror of that day. When you live in NY, it is sometimes difficult to separate Hollywood-style hype from real life, real life happened. I am also a lawyer dedicated to retaining U.S. civil rights and civil liberties. If we give up one right in response to the terrorists, the terrorists win and we lose. I am proud to be a member of the ACLU. People active within the ACLU don't agree with all the ACLU does. I know, however, that a potent fearless force for civil rights and civil liberties is essential if we are to retain those rights. I don't see George Bush pondering the constitutionality of his acts. Perhaps it is the nature of the process and the wisdom of our Founding Fathers that the executive must be decisive and the judiciary reflective. I treasure my rights more than ever- now that I've flinched at every plane going over my head, managed major anxiety attacks in Crusader office buildings and other fun stuff. The balance between security and liberty must be maneuvered forever.

Very well said. I often find myself playing "devil's advocate" to what I consider to be those arrogants who feel so strongly about subjects they hardly understand. YOU obviously understand. YOU'VE been there. YOU know the tightrope your government is walking in on the one hand, trying to protect its citizens' civil rights, while on the other, trying to protect their lives. Certainly I'm uncomfortable with those "rights" being sacrificed for the safety of your people. I'm by no means "totally OK" with something like the Patriot Act, any more than I'd be "totally OK" with the forceful shipping of promising young men to Normandy only to shot down like fish in a barrel en masse by Nazi machine guns. Of course it's a really, really tough call, and I'm by no means "happy" about the Patriot Act. I actually think it's a very unfortunate measure to be forced to take. But to refer to it as "ridiculous" and "useless", the way I see it at least, is both ignorant and disrespectful to those who were lost that day. I remember 9/11 too. My brother is an American and lived in the East Village. I realize the East Village isn't quite as close to ground zero as where you were, nonetheless, when I simply heard that "the towers have collapsed"...hey, I'm no architect, I assumed they fell like dominoes. I truly wasn't sure if my brother was alive or dead. Luckily he was out of town that day, safe and sound. I really have no point to make here I guess, except that I'm rather irritated by those who don't realize that we're all walking a tightrope here, and who simply ridicule the Patriot Act as being "silly". It may be right, it may be wrong, it may be too much, it may be too little, but it certainly isn't one thing. It certainly isn't "silly". Loomis 01:57, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Propaganda in elections[edit]

Can anyone tell me about the propaganda used between the years of 1946-1952. I already am aware of the proganda used in the election of 1948, but I'm having difficulty finding other examples.

For which country/ies? USA? 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 19:54, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

yes the united states

Do you mean propaganda in the literal sense (information meant to influence people) or the pejorative sense (information meant to mislead people)? How do you want to differentiate between the two? If you are not careful with your definition then every election campaign becomes an exercise in propaganda. -- 21:00, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

propaganda that was meant to mislead the people

Not necessarily used in an election campaign, but I'm sure some of this helped some politicians gain power:
Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 22:30, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
OK but who decides whether it misleads and how? None of the Civil Defense posters are incorrect from any technical point of view (whether they "mislead" is a purely political argument), for example, and ditto with the anti-Communist literature. I'm not defending this stuff, I'm just point out that what is "propaganda" and what is just "getting the truth out" is often in the eye (and the political beliefs) of the beholder in many of these cases. It is pretty rare to have outright deception involved, though if I do say so the present administration appears to have done a bit of that (and been willing to do quite a bit more if necessary). -- 01:01, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Here are 10 TV ads from the 1952 presidential campaign: You can judge for yourself whether they are "propaganda." There's also Richard Nixon's infamous 1950 campaign for Congress against Helen Gahagan Douglas. -- Mwalcoff 03:00, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

You might try the book The Making of the Cold War Enemy by Ron Robin. It's more about the propaganda designed by Americans for use in Korea, but it does touch on some things that might be relevant for you; it doesn't have what you want, its bibliography probably does.--ragesoss 03:39, 16 March 2007 (UTC)



What was the fashion in Sydney ,Australia in 1999? Also what would be a cd that came out in 1999 in Sydney, Australia?

Please hurry I need this by 5:30 at the latest.

From Haley

Perhaps, Category:1999 in Australia and Category:1999 albums would help you. It's 5:06 here though, so I don't know if you'll be able to find what you need in the next 24 minutes. You did assume that we're in the same time zone, you and everyone else, right? Dismas|(talk) 21:07, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
A record called 180 degrees LP (Patsy/Radio One, 1999) by the band Ninetynine probably was released in Sydney during the year 1999. I’ll keep looking for something on the fashion.S.dedalus 21:20, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Are you in Sydney? 13:00, 16 March 2007 (UTC)