Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2008 March 5

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March 5[edit]

How is Lani Guinier's name pronounced?[edit]

--zenohockey (talk) 06:15, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Like it was spelled "Lonnie Gwahneer" - Nunh-huh 10:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I've added IPA to her article. --Sean 15:09, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Perfect. Thanks, both. --zenohockey (talk) 21:54, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

University degrees: why year of graduation, not age at graduation?[edit]

When people say when they got some sort of degree in university, why do they say the year they did it instead of how old they were when they did it? (talk) 06:29, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Tradition, Equal opportunity, anti-discrimination, avoiding ageism? Julia Rossi (talk) 09:48, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Because when you (or an employer) need to verify their credentials, you will need to know what class they graduated with, not what age they were when they did it. - Nunh-huh 10:03, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Also, it's usually more important to the employer to know how long the person has been out of school (and therefore how many years of experience they might have) rather than whether the person was relatively young or old for their graduating class. --M@rēino 14:34, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Murder assignment[edit]

I am currently doing a forensics's assignment which needs me to write about a case where forensic evidence has been used to convict the criminal can you recommend a case for me to study? it would be of great help

Litvinenko? Not that there's been a conviction, but it's recent and complicated enough. Julia Rossi (talk) 10:07, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
You might want to look at Barry George, who was convicted for the murder of Jill Dando on the basis of a particle of gunshot residue found on his clothing. The conviction has since been overturned and George is to be retried later this year.
Does DNA evidence count as forensic? If so, you could also look at the case of Steve Wright (serial killer), who was convicted last month of the murders of five women in England. His DNA was found on all five of the victims' bodies. --Richardrj talk email 10:17, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Colin Pitchfork, the start of using blood/DNA as forensic evidence.Joseph Wambaugh wrote a book about it called "The Blooding"" hotclaws 11:35, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The recently concluded Suffolk Strangler case included a huge amount of forensic evidence. --Dweller (talk) 16:02, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

As I already pointed out above. --Richardrj talk email 06:02, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Erk. So you did. My apologies. --Dweller (talk) 07:43, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
No problem, your link was better than mine anyway. Surprisingly, the two articles weren't linked before; I've fixed that now. --Richardrj talk email 08:15, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The case of British tourist Peter Falconio missing in outback Australia in 2001, the testimony of his girlfriend Joanne Lees and DNA on her t-shirt led to the conviction of Bradley John Murdoch four years later - "Joanne Lees identified his photograph as being the man who abducted her, and the DNA from the bloodstains on Lees' clothing matched Murdoch's DNA". Julia Rossi (talk) 09:46, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Is there a reason why all the above murders are British? AllanHainey (talk) 19:54, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
There's quite a lot of us Brits at the Ref Desks. OR alert: Maybe it fits our national stereotype of being polite. (Oh, you stepped on my foot? I do apologise for putting it there) --Dweller (talk) 20:24, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
So Brits are either incredibly over-polite, or are mass murderers. Talk about a polarised society!  :) JackofOz (talk) 23:19, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Lol! --Dweller (talk) 07:17, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps in some cases they are both. "Would you mind very much if I stabbed you now? Thank you, you're a dear." --LarryMac | Talk 15:28, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
"Not at all. Any time. It's been a pleasure." Gwinva (talk) 20:20, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

mao voluntarism[edit]

in what way did Mao Zedong voluntarism harm chinese people? C C Chan (talk)

Great Leap forward, backyard furnace, Great sparrow campaign, Cultural revolution... AnonMoos (talk) 08:21, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Mao suit (ugh). Clarityfiend (talk) 06:12, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Clio the Muse?[edit]

who is Clio the Muse really and why she so brilliant? i think maybe she is a Wikipedia collective?

Hmm, no, just one very smart woman I suspect, and if she hasn’t posted that information on her user page I suspect she doesn’t feel like making it available to anybody with an internet connection. . . --S.dedalus (talk) 07:48, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
She has a talk page where you can ask her these questions yourself. Soliciting personal information on editors is not a purpose of the Ref Desk. Rockpocket 07:59, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
(ec)The thought of a collective (probably of Oxbridge post-grad students, or unemployed PhDs) has crossed my mind. Remember that the Greek muses were a group of nine. But a cursory knowledge of forensic linguistics would suggest Clio is indeed one person, albeit without too many other pressing time commitments, for which I for one am grateful. BrainyBabe (talk) 08:02, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Unemployed PhDs? A shameful thought! -- (talk) 14:07, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Like Homer? (Allegedly) --Dweller (talk) 15:59, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Clio is certainly an individual. It would be impossible for a collective to consistently generate her wit and personality. Marco polo (talk) 16:56, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is what stylometry leads me to assume, amusing though it is to speculate on collectives. Joe Klein, the journalist who wrote Primary Colors anonymously, was outed by his ideolect. BrainyBabe (talk) 17:35, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Fixed your link. --Anon, 19:42 UTC, March 5.
And with a handy list of books for the students around us who find it impossible to choose what to read next. User:Krator (t c) 18:53, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Clio's contributions to the Humanities Desk are a treasure. She is quick to provide well researched and interesting answers to many historical questions. Edison (talk) 19:20, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I am. I am. I exist, I think, therefore I am; I am because I think that I don't want to be, I think that I … because … ugh! I flee. Perhaps my significance is merely collective! Clio the Muse (talk) 00:23, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Great, now I've got an image of a cat-suited librarian smacking me with a ruler for bending back spines and threatening to assimilate me for not thinking much of Joyce (I never said it was a bad image, but nethertheless - cold shower here I come). (talk) 01:19, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Resistance is futile! Clio the Muse (talk) 03:46, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Clio the muse has a Doctorate in political history - cambridge- (thats me damned if i got it wrong), she is currently working on a book (subject unknown) has had various articles published, has blonde hair, drives a green(?) MX5 (too fast sez her stockbroker boyfriend, who has proposed several times, but clio has not accepted yet(?)) she has had a wikistalker, he of many degrees, will not tolarate fools gladly (except perry), has enjoyed a robust education and shows no sign of ever stopping said education, has travelleed widely and has a very generous nature, is receptive, modest and a joy to read. P.S. she might be a 6 ft builder called dave from croyden, and to sum up, is one of the reasons why the humanities desk is as lively as it is, and is greatly admired and loved within (and no doubt without) wiki Perry-mankster (talk) 23:49, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
The Miata (as they call them here) is a great little car but too fast? That's downright silly. Friday (talk) 23:54, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Perry, are you writing a biography of said subject? In which case she could wish for none better! One minor amendment, though: the said chariot is silver-metallic! From your friend Dave the Builder, aka Clio the Muse (talk) 03:56, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
...and does not require any sleep, look at the above time sig! Dear lady doth thou not sleepth?Perry-mankster (talk) 09:17, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Clio is immortal, Perry. She never sleeps! Clio the Muse (talk) 00:59, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Glasgow 1915[edit]

What was Mrs Barber's army? (talk) 08:03, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

86.141, the person you are looking for is actually Mary Barbour. It was she who organised the Glasgow Rent Strike of 1915. She had a large following of women in the Govan district, which Willie Gallacher, the noted Red Clydesider, referred to as 'Mrs Barbour's Army'. Clio the Muse (talk) 00:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Churchill and Goebbels[edit]

As our article on the Iron Curtain makes clear, Joseph Goebbels used the phrase "Iron Curtain" to refer to the division between Western and Soviet-occupied Europe a year before Winston Churchill did.

Is there any evidence that Churchill was aware of Goebbels' use of the term before his Fulton speech? -- Mwalcoff (talk) 09:24, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

We would have to assume, Mwalcoff, that Churchill read Das Reich, at least the issue of February 1945, where Goebbels first used the expression! Both Churchill and Goebbels were talented publicists, with an eye for the catching phrase. It is possible, in the way these things sometimes happen, that the terms simply 'emerged' as the most effective image, capturing the obvious divisions that were falling across Europe. Churchill first used it in May 1945, almost a year before his Fulton speech, in a conversation with Harry Truman, to express his alarm over Soviet intentions-"An Iron curtain is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind. There seems little doubt that the whole region Lübeck-Trieste-Corfu will soon be in their hands." (Churchill: A Life by Marin Gilbert, 1991 p. 844) Clio the Muse (talk) 01:03, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Rodney King and the LA Riots 1992[edit]

This will sound a bit weird but plse can someone give me a good website where there are FACTS (preferably from television coverage) about the Rodney King case and the resulting riots? All I get is opinion after opinion however I search. All I need is a list of facts regarding the court case and the situation. Thanks.

Did you google "Rodney King trial transcripts" ? Stuff comes up. Example[1] Julia Rossi (talk) 09:43, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I find it puzzling that you are looking for "facts" from television covereage. ៛ Bielle (talk) 19:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

After Flodden[edit]

I would like to call on the expertise of you good people once more. I'm looking to set a task for my history group on Scotland in the immediate years following the Battle of Flodden in 1513. What I really need to know is why the English did not follow up on their victory when Scotland was prostrate? What were the immediate political effects in Scotland after the battle? Was their extensive raiding? Did the English make any indirect attempt to impose their will? I've had a look around the encyclopedia, but I can't really find what I am looking for. Unfortunately your pages on John Stewart, Duke of Albany and James V are somewhat cursory. Any additional help would be greatly appreciated, for the educator seeks to be educated! Thanks. Hamish MacLean (talk) 10:20, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Hello again, Hamish. Once again you pose some interesting questions and, once again, the answers are not simple. Despite what Walter Scott, Shakespeare and Mel Gibson (et al) would have us believe, medieval politics were not comprised of rousing speeches, and battles were not merely fields where combatants could go around hitting each other across the head until one side gave up. In other words, life was as complicated then as it is now. Seeing as you're trying to get behind these popular cliches, you might enjoy researching the big picture yourself. A recent and extremely accessible book I recently added to my shelf is Border Fury: England and Scotland at War 1296-1568, by John Sadler, 2006 (Pearson/Longman), which you would probably find helpful in your quest; you don't mention the age of your students, but Nigel Tranter's The Story of Scotland offers short chapters which give a fairly good overview of most major events from misty beginnings to late 20th C, which you might find useful.
But turning to your specific questions on this occasion, you must remember that all this is playing out against the backdrop of the War of the League of Cambrai, and was little more than a sideshow for England. Henry VIII is newish to the throne, and making his own way in the world, and James IV was an intelligent and competent ruler, who had overhauled the government and left the kingdom -administratively- in fairly good nick. After Flodden, the wheels of state kept grinding on, despite the fact the new king was only 17 months old. James IV had invaded England as a response to French encouragement, under the Auld Alliance; prior to this the two kingdoms had had a truce (of sorts): James IV's wife was Henry's sister. So, an English invasion of Scotland was never a political motive, and James's actions were planned as a diversionary tactic, really. As it was, England responded by sending Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey and a sizable force to deal with the Scots' invasion (no sights on Scotland herself). Surrey was on the defensive at Flodden, and he lost a good number of men, also, and was in no position to press on, even had he wished. They were tired, ill-provisioned and now laden down with booty: all James IV's prized artillery. So the whole thing reduced to raids: the English raided Scotland afterwards, certainly, but the Scots raided England in turn, and thus the cycle continued with raid and counter-raid in typical border fashion. Most of the Common Riding traditions stem from this time: and celebrate a fair share of Scottish 'victories' along with the tales of woe. Politically, Henry VIII is still caught up with his aspirations on the continent, and is more intersted in patching up some kind of peace with Scotland than pursuing hostilities. His sister is now married into the Douglases, and the new regent, the Francophile Albany, can stir up little support for his anti-English campaigns amongst the families who had lost so much at Flodden. Politically Scotland was still strong (although, it goes without saying, there was in-fighting amongst some factions), and England could certainly not impose their will on the country without a full invasion, for which they had no motive. Scotland was effectively out of the war, and England were content to leave a now-harmless kingdom at their backs. But that, too, is a simple answer. Political shenanigans and jostling for position continued, James V grows up, Henry VIII goes through a number of wives, and 30 years later the two kingdom meet again at the Battle of Solway Moss... -Gwinva (talk) 00:52, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Hamish, you should also have a look at the page on Margaret Tudor, which is better than the others you mention.

Surrey's losses at Flodden were not actually that significant, at least in contrast with those of the Scots; but the weather was bad and provisions were short, which ruled out any immediate offensive action. The Scots themselves, in anticipation of a possible invasion, held 'wappenschaws' (military musters) throughout the realm, and strengthened Dunbar and Edinburgh castles. In addition, all those in the French service were ordered to return home. Politically the country was torn between those who favoured Queen Margaret and a strong party calling for the return of John, Duke of Albany from France. Although the military power of Scotland was broken, Flodden did little to change attitudes. It left Scotland, in the words of Charles Oman;

...just where Scotland had always been since the origin of the quarrel two hundred years before, angry, proud and restive, and utterly impatient of English claims to interfere with their concerns.

The most important effect of the battle from the English perspective was that it created the mistaken impression in the mind of Henry VIII that he could ignore native resentments, and dominate the country indirectly through whatever pro-English faction happened to be available. And, patriotism notwithstanding, there were always Scots, even the very highest, who were prepared to be bought! It would have been well within Henry's means to conquer Scotland outright, as Oliver Cromwell was to do a century and a half later. Fortunately for the Scots Henry's ambitions remained firmly fixed on France until the end of his life. As it was, he exercised considerable indirect pressure, making it known that he considered himself to be the 'natural guardian' of his nephew, James V. He also wrote to Pope Leo X, saying that it was his intention to renew the war as quickly as possible.

In this difficult situation the Scots continued to hope that they could call on France, their old ally. But, as so often in the past, the French were mindful of their own interests before all other considerations. In the summer of 1514 Louis XII made peace with Henry, showing little concern for his northern ally. In August of that same year Margaret married Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, which marks the beginning of the pro-English party in Scotland that Henry was looking for, though it took some time to achieve its full influence.

Yes, you are right: in the immediate aftermath of Flodden there was extensive English raiding across southern Scotland, organised by Lord Dacre, the warden of the northern marches. However, this did not always achieve the desired effect, and by the summer of 1514 the Scots had recovered sufficiently to mount their own raids into northern England. Following the accession to the French throne of Francis I in early 1515 Albany was finally allowed to return home. Those who thought he would head a 'war party', in counter to Margaret's 'peace party', were disappointed when, in accordance with the wishes of the French crown, he concluded his own peace with the English.

That's it; that's enough! But if you need suggested readings just let me know. Clio the Muse (talk) 01:56, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you once again for such comprehensive answers. Is there anything that you do not have expertise in, Clio? Hamish MacLean (talk) 12:41, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Lots! Clio the Muse (talk) 23:42, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Jung and the Nazis[edit]

There is an interesting section in the Wikipedia article about C G Jung about accusations of Nazi sympthies. Is there anything in his published work that would give support to this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:30, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The text you need to look for, 86.147, is Ueber das Unbewusste-The Role of the Unconscious-published in 1918. The message it contained had limited significance at the time, but by 1930 it had acquired a new reading in the light of events. Germany, according to Jung, was the 'blonde beast' and Christianity was responsible for splitting "the Germanic barbarian into an upper and a lower half." The Jews lack what Jung calls 'chthonic quality', because they had no homeland of their own. This meant that people like Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler had created "specifically Jewish doctrines...thoroughly unsatisfying to the German mentality." No, it is not Nazism in any direct sense; but these are words upon which new, and dangerous, layers of meaning could be placed. Clio the Muse (talk) 02:28, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

managing figures in a Company[edit]

I'm a student in economics; I was reading the article about the main managing figures o f a Company; now i would like to ask if does exists the possibility that in a company, ruled 100% by another company, exists the figure of a Chief Strategy Officer that belongs to that main company.

Thank's —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:31, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Titles are not very useful except within an organization. First, it would be helpful to know what you mean by a "Chief Strategy Officer"? Does the role have something to do with long-term, corporate planning? Is it related to competitive strategies? Why is it necessary to have the role be within a wholly-owned subsidiary? ៛ Bielle (talk) 19:25, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Chinese discovery of America[edit]

Were the pre-1492 Chinese ships capable of sailing to America? Jacob Lundberg (talk) 12:50, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Are you aware of the book and TV series discussed at 1421: The Year China Discovered the World? BrainyBabe (talk) 13:13, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but the article doesn't answer the question if the could have sailed to America. It is quite clear that they didn't. Jacob Lundberg (talk) 13:38, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh, the ships most certainly could have, if the sailors had a reason to venture that far away from home, if they had enough provisions, and if they could find a way around the massive navigation problems that existed during the early age of exploration. Consider, for example, our article on Norse colonization of the Americas. The Norse had much more primitive ships, but the idea that they explored eastern Canada is completely plausible (if not completely proven). If you want to ponder even more, check out what I consider to be one of the best articles on Wikipedia: Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. There are plenty of civilizations with less imposing vessels than the 1400s Chinese who could have plausibly reached the Americas. The problems, always, were motivation, provisions, and navigation. But the ships definitely were up to the task. --M@rēino 14:43, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The Chinese certainly could have sailed across the Pacific, but the more important question to my mind is, why would they? The great voyage of Zheng He was not one of looking for undiscovered lands but rather one of a massive show of force within an ancient and well-established maritime trading system (the Indian Ocean mostly). People who sail off into unknown seas usually have some pressing reason why they would take such a costly risk, which the Chinese didn't seem to have (everyone was trying to sail to China already!). Additionally, only the most foolhardy or desperate navigators sail with the wind at their back far into unknown seas without knowing there are other winds that will take them home. It took something like 150 years for the Spanish to figure out how to cross the Pacific from west to east, after Magellan's first east to west crossing. And the Spanish had good reasons to try and had already unlocked the wind patterns of the Atlantic Ocean. What I find more interesting than a possible Chinese voyage to America is the Polynesian exploration and colonization of the Pacific islands (note that they did almost all of it by sailing into the prevailing winds). A recent issue of National Geographic stated without reservation that the Polynesians managed to reach South America, which was something I had thought was controversial. Pfly (talk) 17:19, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Also there are many stylistic similarities between some central/south american civilisation's art and the taotie mask designs of very early chinese dynasties. So it looks possibe that they did. Whether they got there in boats, or an alternative method is another question. (talk) 18:09, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Anthropologists and linguists have found evidence of prehistoric contacts between Polynesians and the Chumash people of coastal California. See the references at the bottom of our article. Marco polo (talk) 21:03, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The current Chumash people article itself does not refer to this in the text, but this earlier version does. I have no idea why this as well as other information has been deleted.  --Lambiam 22:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
A Polynesian-Chumash contact seems hard to believe. From either South or Central America, or from Hawaii, the winds are against you reaching California. I'd be curious to see what strength such a theory has. Pfly (talk) 16:32, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh I see, a possible Polynesian journey from Hawaii to California. That at least sounds more plausible, wind-wise. Curious. Pfly (talk) 18:29, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Sartre and 68[edit]

What was Sartre's attitude towards the uphevals of 1968 in France? Did he support the student protests? F Hebert (talk) 12:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

He not only supported them but took part in them and was arrested as a result. See our article Jean-Paul Sartre. Marco polo (talk) 21:07, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
He was actually in the middle of writing his treatise on Gustav Flaubert at the time, and generally more preoccupied with the events of 1848 than those of 1968! In the words of one of his best biographers "Fully absorbed by Restoration France, the riots of 1831, and the revolutions of 1848, Sartre was at once present and quiet absent from the events of 1968" (Sartre: a Life by Annie Cohen-Solal, 1985, p. 471) There he was, coming in his most frightening form: the slightly worn-out fellow traveller and, worst of all, an old bourgeois humanist! "As for me, nearly two years after May 1968, he later explained, "I was still trying to work out what had happened. I could not quite work out what they wanted and what role old fogeys like me were expected to play." I can still hear the laughter of the Gods! Clio the Muse (talk) 02:51, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I had hoped Mrs Premise and Mrs conclusion would have pitched in here. AllenHansen (talk) 02:55, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
We always seek to please! Clio the Muse (talk) 03:57, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
For Mr Hansen, Mrs Premise and Mrs Conclusion visit Jean-Paul Sartre. SaundersW (talk) 10:14, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Byzantium and the Crusades[edit]

Although the crusades began as a consequence of Byzantine appeals for aid against the Turks they ended being as much if not more of a danger to the eastern empire than the muslim enemy. The fourth crusade showed how much of a danger the latin west was to the east. I assume that there must have been a recognition amongst the Byzantines of the danger to their security of unruly western armies. They asked for the first crusade but how did they perceive the second, the first they did not ask for? P D Bee (talk) 15:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

They didn't really ask for the First Crusade either - Alexius I Comnenus expected some mercenaries, not tens of thousands of knights, some of whom attacked Constantinople on their way, and almost all of whom needed food and money from him. They definitely recognized the danger of large groups of western knights wandering around their territory and even around their capital city, especially since one group was led by Alexius' bitter enemy Bohemond of Taranto, who had attacked the Empire in the past and would do so again in the future. An excellent perspective on this is Alexius' daughter Anna Comnena, who wrote much about the crusade; one anecdote talks about a French knight who even dared to sit on Alexius' throne. It was all Alexius could do to hurry the crusaders into Anatolia as quickly as possible. In 1101 another crusade passed through Constantinople and he sent them all off to Anatolia too - mostly to certain death, now that the Turks knew what to expect! The Second Crusade was somewhat better organized. The crusader states in the east were a legitimate diplomatic entity and had a respectful relationship with the Empire; Byzantine princesses and crusader princes were beginning to intermarry. Byzantium saw itself as the protector of the crusader states, although this did not always work out in reality. As for the west, well this was the first crusade to be led by kings, so, to the Byzantines, it had more of a legitimate air than the rabble that showed up in 1096. But the Second Crusade didn't start off very well either; the Byzantines had learned from the First Crusade and had more troops ready to defend their territory. The Germans under Conrad III fought with those troops, and Manuel I Comnenus, just like his grandfather, sent them off as quickly as possible - mostly to defeat and death, and very few of them ever reached the Holy Land. Conrad and Manuel seem to have been friendly though, and after Conrad was wounded in Anatolia he recuperated with Manuel in Constantinople. Then the French under Louis VII arrived, and they were similarly troublesome. It also did not help that Manuel had made a peace treaty with the Seljuks in Anatolia, in order to concentrate on defending himself from crusaders. The crusaders assumed he was a Muslim ally and worthy of attack himself! They were sent away just as quickly, and just as quickly ran into the Turks. By the time the French reached the Holy Land they were too small a force to be beneficial. I do not know, off the top of my head, what source would give the Byzantine perspective on the Second Crusade; possibly John Cinnamus. Forty years later, it was almost the same story for the Third Crusade. Isaac II Angelus made treaties with the Muslims in order to defend himself, and tried to get Frederick I Barbarossa out of his hair as fast as he could. Frederick must have expected this, as he was a participant in the Second Crusade, as the young Duke of Swabia. Frederick was more successful in Anatolia, but he ended up drowning in a river. The other leaders, Richard I of England and Philip II of France, perhaps recognizing what a hard time they would have marching through Constantinople, avoided the whole problem and travelled by sea. And ten years after that, there was the disastrous Fourth Crusade, which all but destroyed Byzantium.
There are many books about the Empire and the Crusaders; aside from Anna Comnena and Cinnamus, another contemporary is Nicetas Choniates, who witnessed the Fourth Crusade but wrote about the earlier ones as well. The best modern book on the subject is probably "Byzantium and the Crusades" by Jonathan Harris. Adam Bishop (talk) 17:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I would just like to second Adam's recommendation of Harris' book. John Cinnamus, or Kinnamos, is indeed the best contemporary Byzantine source on the subject. At the outset of his Chronicle he makes plain the feeling that the advance on Jerusalem was only a pretext for a possible attack on Constantinople, anticipating the nightmare of the Fourth Crusade. It was an understandable fear, considering the all too obvious ambitions of Roger II of Sicily, who was to use the passage of the Crusaders to launch his own attack on Byzantine Greece. In his dealings with the Crusader army as it made its way through Byzantine territory, the Emperor Manuel I was praised by his countrymen for taking sensible precautions to protect Constantinople from, in the words of one, "the wild beast from the west." Clio the Muse (talk) 03:14, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Mongol invasions of Japan[edit]

Would this essentially equate to China invading Japan, or Mongolia invading Japan? I'm not too familar which country really represented the Mongol Empire. (talk) 16:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, neither really, the Mongol Empire was its own entity. Adam Bishop (talk) 16:41, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

What about the soldiers who invaded Japan. Where did they mostly come from? (talk) 16:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Much like any empire the troops were not entirely mongolian - but the leaders were
mongolia, and chinese recruits as well - see and read for more info: Mongol_invasion_of_Japan - some koreans too. (talk) 17:42, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Texas primary, Texas caucus[edit]

I heard Clinton won the Texas primary, but the Texas caucus was still open. I thought primaries and cacuses were the same thing? (talk) 18:38, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

A primary is where you have a ballot and select your choice from several people on the ballot. A caucus is when groups of people get together in a room and those who support a particular candidate stand in one part of the room together, and heads are counted. Caucuses are not secret, unlike ballots. Texas does both. The primary selected 2/3 of Texas's delegates to the Democratic convention, the caucuses selected 1/3 of the delegates. Anybody who voted in the primary was eligible to vote in the caucus, which began as soon as the primary voting closed. Apparently you got some sort of proof that you had voted in the primary, though what this is, I don't know. Corvus cornixtalk 18:51, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
So even though Clinton won the Texas primary, Obama can still win the Texas caucus? (talk) 18:54, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes. In addition, the Democratic Party of Texas weights delegates per state Senatorial district by how many Democrats turned out to vote in that distrct in the last general election, so those disctricts with high Democratic turnout get more delegates than those with low Democratic turnout, so even though Clinton might have won more districts, Obama might wind up with more delegates, if he won districts with more allotted delegates. Corvus cornixtalk 19:10, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
My head is spinning (moderately to the left). Clarityfiend (talk) 19:38, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Join the club. This is the first time in 16 years that either party has had a heated contest in the primaries, and for many states, the first time ever that their peculiarities have been exposed to widespread attention. In many ways, the GOP has an even bigger mess of ugly vote-allocation rules that got swept under the rug by McCain's victory, but that's another topic ... --M@rēino 14:39, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Difficulty or impossibility of proving the absence of an item[edit]

There is a common saying that it is impossible to prove the absence of something. To prove the presence of some kind of item, you just show an example, but how do prove an absence?

I suppose this common saying originates from one of the Greek antique philosophers. But which one and where?

(Note: I'm not interested in mathematical explanations of how one can prove a negated existential - I know proof theory. I'm also not interested in mathematical statements paralleling the above informal statement, such as interpretations in intuitionistic type theory or the definition of NP-complete problems and the NP!=Co-NP conjecture. I'm interested in "classical" philosophical understandings of this statement.)

Thanks David.Monniaux (talk) 18:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Don't know who said it first. Non-existence (of whatever) is usually associated with pain. Maybe then you could make the leap and assume that pain associated with thing A means thing A does not exist.. (talk) 19:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, Wikiquote attributes "absence of proof is not proof of absence" to William Cowper (though without a source). Is that the phrase you are looking for? Locke claimed to have invented the term argumentum ad ignorantiam. (Walton, Douglas. (1996). Arguments from Ignorance. p. 11.)—eric 20:27, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
also: Ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat; cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit.—eric 22:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, how does one disprove the existence of Russell's teapot? Even if we were to meticulously examine all space between Earth and Mars and do not find it, that does not prove it wasn't there in 1952. Nevertheless, such a search might show convincingly that no such object exists now. In some cases an exhaustive search procedure is possible that should exhibit the existence of something fitting a description of it exists; for example, we can be sure – barring our senses being deluded – that there is no roller coaster of appreciable size on the lawn of the White House. In other cases nonexistence may be argued from impossibility, although it may be hard to have a truly conclusive argument, depending on the standard of proof required. But in most cases, no hard proof is possible, and it is futile to attempt to give one.  --Lambiam 23:23, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
that there is no roller coaster of appreciable size on the lawn of the White House. Unless you are talking metaphorically about the economy ;-) -- Q Chris (talk) 11:24, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Dickens and Utilitarianism[edit]

Would it be accurate to say that Charles Dickens, the English novelist, was hostile to the utilitarian beliefs of his day? Mrs 'Arris (talk) 21:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

According to Google, yes. In Hard Times, Dickens wished to satirize radical Utilitarians whom he described in a letter to Charles Knight as "see[ing] figures and averages, and nothing else.", according to our article. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:16, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, Dickens was. A Christmas Carol is actually a fine satirical work on the popular utilitarian belief of the day. bibliomaniac15 I see no changes 01:15, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

There was so much in Utilitarianism that was bound to conflict with Charles Dickens' old-fashioned Tory humanism. A good bit of his work, from Oliver Twist to Our Mutual Friend, is concerned with an attack on the Poor Law Amendment Act, arguably the centerpiece of Victorian Utilitarian legislation. But perhaps the greatest offence of Benthamism in the eyes of Dickens was its denial of the imagination; a system that preferred statistics to souls, and heads to hearts. It's the world of Gradgrind; a world without poetry or art. Clio the Muse (talk) 03:30, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Nazis and gays[edit]

Could I please have some information on the Nazi campaign against homosexuals. Yours sincerely, John Simon —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

See History of gay men in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. -- (talk) 21:53, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
There are aspects of that article that I find a little perplexing, not least the contention that Ernst Röhm was a 'moderating influence’, presumably on Nazi attitudes towards gay men. Well, this is the first I have heard of such a claim. Röhm, so far as I am aware, played no part in the formulation of Party policy in this area; and, regardless of what was happening elsewhere in Germany, he and many of the other senior ranks in the SA continued to be practicing homosexuals, right up to the Purge of 1934. For as long as he was needed Röhm's sexuality was never a matter of any great concern to Hitler. Clio the Muse (talk) 03:43, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Stamps: turning stamps into blind dogs[edit]

How do the Royal National Institute for the Blind turn stamps into blind dogs? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:27, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I do not know, but suspect it may be by packaging small collections of them up for sale by stamp collection dealers ... but that market, if it was served by charities such as RNIB, must surely be shrinking. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:43, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
What is the question about, Tagishmon? What is the background to this? I may not be only one who cannot work this out. I have scanned the linked article and pondered the matter. (It was a waste of time, I'm afraid.)
– Noetica♬♩Talk 01:23, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Charity collects used stamps. Charity disposes of used stamps for money. Charity uses money to train guide dogs. Charity has turned stamps into Guide dogs. In a nutshell. --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:29, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Recycle used stamps for RNIB explains it some more. --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:34, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that, T. Now we're all in on the conversation.
: )
– Noetica♬♩Talk 01:37, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
It's an odd one; the RNIB say they get about 90p to £1 per pound weight of stamps. But it will have cost the person who donated that pound weight of stamps from about 83p to £1.52 (assuming they sent them in by post, as advised). So RNIB might be better off saying "collect stamps, throw them away, and send us the postage you'd otherwise have spent on sending the stamps to us". I guess that wouldn't have the cachet. --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:41, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

But they get the stamp off the envelope as well.I send my stamps when I renew membership of a charity so I was going to send something anyway.hotclaws 12:03, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

It is odd, along the lines of people baking cakes and donating goods to raise money for hospitals, schools and clubs instead of straight out cash donations. Maybe the hidden factor in that economy is fun as well as profit. Julia Rossi (talk) 07:19, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
A combination of fun and the raising of awareness, I think. You could just send the money to charity XYZ, of you could bake a cake, sell it and then send the money raised. Now the person who bought the cake has also heard of charity XYZ and may think of donating to them in future. SaundersW (talk) 10:07, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The cake example is not exactly the same. If you don't count the time taken to make the cake as a cost it is possible that money gained by selling the cakes is more than the cost of the ingredients, power, etc. used. Cakes use cheap ingredients but are seem as a luxury item.
Also, whct do RNIB mean by "getting" 90p to £1. If this is the amount after their organisational overheads then it could be more than the £1.52 quoted as the higher postage rate above. On the other hand, if you send them £1.52 they will be able to claim back the lower rate tax that you pay. If you are a higher rate tax payer then you will be able to claim the difference between the lower rate and the rate you pay, and therefore send them more than £1.52 at the same cost to you. If you send them used stamps then nobody can claim back tax. It is not easy to make a straight-forward comparison. -- Q Chris (talk) 11:20, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
It's not even necessarily fun. Many of the amateur dramatic and musical groups around here regularly hold raffles at every performance and concert - some of them at every rehearsal. I loathe raffles and will not take part (I'm quite ready to make a contribution, which is actually what it is all about, but one of the Hidden Rules of Englishness says that you mustn't ask people for money without giving something in return. But what is intriguing is that if you look round the room when the raffle is being drawn, you will often see not one single person enjoying it) - there's no fun, just duty. --ColinFine (talk) 22:44, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

WHY Bill Clinton got 80% of the Jewish vote in '92????[edit]

Can someone explain? Thank yous--Goon Noot (talk) 23:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Did they get 80%? Neo-con papers such as the The New York Sun think they have an explanation, but I would beware bias (though not be surprised at dirty tricks) in such a context. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
There is actually a split between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jewry in America: While both lean Democratic, Jews in the Conservative and Reform strains are more politically liberal than their Orthodox co-religionists ([2]). A 2004 poll actually found a majority of Orthodox Jews supporting Bush over Kerry ([3]). So we're really only talking about the Conservative and Reform strains that are overwhelmingly liberal. And that should be no surprise, considering that they are religiously liberal denominations. Reform Judaism could be considered one of the most liberal religious strains in the country, along with the Unitarians and the United Church of Christ. All strains of Judaism put a big emphasis on helping the poor and the stranger and everything included in the term "social justice," both at a community and an individual level. In addition, more religiously liberal synagogues and Jewish organizations are also liberal socially on issues like abortion and gay rights.
Of course, Jews have particular reason to appreciate separation of church and state. Many Jews fear the Christian right, which is widely seen as influential in the Republican Party. Not to say that they are any less patriotic, but a lot of Jews also continue to see themselves as outsiders, as urban cosmopolitans rather than flag-waving Middle Americans. So they identify with the melting-pot, contemporary image of America associated with the Democrats over the retro, white-bread image of America associated the GOP. This may change -- in Canada and the UK, I know many Jews have shifted from left-of-center to conservative parties now that wide-scale Muslim immigration has turned them into worried defenders of the status quo. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:41, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Goon Noot, you may be interested in this table showing how Jews have voted in presidential elections since 1916. Jews have generally voted Democratic and have voted especially heavily Democratic since 1928, well predating the rise of the Christian right in American politics. Clinton's 80% support in 1992 (and 78% support in 1996) is simply in line with that. I consider the reasoning in the Sun's piece, linked above, to be spurious for that reason and because it references an attack on an opponent in the primaries but then tries to use that explain general election support.
So the question is, perhaps, why do Jews vote Democratic in general? Probably because most American Jews are Reform, Conservative (or secular but from Reform or Conservative families) and because the teachings of that branch have always strongly emphasized social justice. It's tempting to say that because Jews also voted in heavy numbers for the Socialist candidate (Eugene Debs) in 1920 and the Progressive candidate (Robert LaFollette) in 1924 that Jews have simply always voted for left-of-center candidates. Before 1924, however, they did give stronger support (~40%) to Republicans than they did in the 1928 election and later. (I'm avoiding 1924 because LaFollette was a former Republican, but a Progressive, so it makes it difficult to say whether his voters would have otherwise voted Republican or Democrat.) It also does not explain their anemic support for Woodrow Wilson, who had progressive domestic policies and a very idealistic foreign policy (but more about him below).
There's also an interesting correlation in the table between anti-discrimination and the Jewish vote. In the 1928 election, Al Smith's Catholicism was an issue. Also, beginning with the candidacy of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, the Democratic presidential candidate was always a stronger supporter of civil rights than the Republican. Also, they gave relatively low support to Wilson, who in spite of his Fourteen Points and support for national self-determination in Europe, was a native of Virginia and advocated segregation in the United States. ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 19:32, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
It may be worth noting, though, that in pre-war Central Europe and the former states of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Jews were known for supporting liberal rather than socialist or conservative candidates at the polls, although many Jews were active in socialist movements. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 04:31, 7 March 2008 (UTC)