Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2008 October 1

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October 1[edit]

How many black African immigrants in India and China?[edit]

Does anyone know how many black african immigrants are living in India and Mainland China today? (talk) 01:46, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Demographics of India suggests that the national census in India does not recognise racial or ethnic groups, which seems to suggest that perhaps it would be hard to find out stats on this. Also look at Demographics of the People's Republic of China#Ethnic groups for China. (talk) 08:28, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Maybe these links will help: The African Diaspora of the Indian Sub-continent and African diaspora of China. Regards--Shahab (talk) 09:39, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Blacks in South America[edit]

Why are there more blacks in countries like Brazil and Venezuela than in countries like Chile, Argentina and Bolivia? Of course, the colonizers brought less black into these colonies, but why did they do that?Mr.K. (talk) 09:30, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

In the 16th century, the oceanic slave trade tended to be associated with Caribbean regions which had become depopulated due to disease and overworking the native Indian populations there. In the 17th century, the oceanic slave trade was strongly associated with sugar-cane plantations. Neither factor was very relevant for the last three countries you mentioned (which did not have tropical climates). AnonMoos (talk) 10:48, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with that answer and just would like to add some article links: History of slavery, Slavery in the Spanish New World colonies, Atlantic slave trade and History of sugar. Rmhermen (talk) 13:16, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, also because the main agriculture of Brazil and Venuzuela was the rather labor-intensive sugar cane... which is not the case for southern and western South America. Same deal for North America as well; the Southeastern U.S. had a climate that owed itself to rice and cotton farming, which was an economy that owed itself to extensive slave economy, for the simple fact that these sorts of plantation farms requires lots of cheap labor to be economical. Slavery, while legal in the North until the early 19th century, tended to be on the order of "luxury slaves" i.e. household domestics, and never represented a significant portion of the economic labor force like in the south. Basically, to boil it down, just like in North America, the economies of South and Western South America did not owe itself to huge importation of slaves as it did to Northeastern S. America... 04:08, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Economics research[edit]

I am finishing a Science honours degree majoring in mathematics, and specializing in financial maths and numerical computation. Would I be likely to be granted admission into a economics phd program at a good university without having done undergraduate economic studies? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:14, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and you could also do an MBA. Alternatively you could do both, some universities have combined programs (an MBA that can be expanded into a PhD. program). Mr.K. (talk) 10:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
We'd need more information to answer your question. For example, do you just want entry or do you want a scholarship? Do you expect to do very well into your hnours degree (will you get first class honours? A+ GPA?)? And what country are you from (your IP looks up to Australia) Nil Einne (talk) 13:07, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't know for other countries, but if you were in the UK, the important thing at this point would be to think about what topic you might want to research for a PhD and to find potential supervisors whose research interests are similar to your own. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:05, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Econometrics or financial economics would be likely areas of expertise for someone in your position. Otherwise, a M.A. in economics would be advisable. (talk) 01:45, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

5 most important dates in classical antiquity[edit]

Any takers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure there will be. See Classical antiquity for the definition. --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:08, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
You're gonna have a thousand answers before long, but for my two cents: the Ides of March, 44 BCE (Julius Ceasar assasinated) and August 1, 30 BCE (Mark Antony commits suicide, the final death-rattle of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire) (talk) 15:21, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
The Battle of Issus (332 BCE) opened Persia to Hellenization under Alexander. The Crucifixion and the de-criminalization of Christianity (Edict of Milan, 313 CE) would be in the short list too. The year of the Hegira (622) is one important endpoint. --Wetman (talk) 16:10, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I guess I'll be the first to say the Battle of Marathon. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:49, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
A very western definition for "classical," huh? Yet nothing about ab urbe condita. Anti-wolf prejudice is my guess... --- OtherDave (talk) 12:17, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
The division of ages into classical, medieval, and modern is inherently Western. It's quite proper that inquiries about "Classical antiquity" be construed as applying to European civilization. - Nunh-huh 02:03, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Technically, the most "important" date in this period is January 1, year 1 A.D. This is the reference date for the period defined as "Classical Antquity." The fact that this date is somewhat arbitrary does not lessen its importance. If you don't agree wtih this date, then we have no simple way to discuss the other dates. -Arch dude (talk) 02:22, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, that confuses me. Classical antiquity started some six centuries B.C., and we didn't set the Common/Christian Era at 1 A.D. until classical antiquity had given way to the Medieval. So I don't think you can really make a case that 1 A.D. is actually an important date in Classical antiquity. - Nunh-huh 04:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I think he was being somewhat facetious and picking on the fact that a common idiom is to use the word "date" to mean "event"; for example the event of Pearl Harbor is what is really important, not merely the date of Dec 7, 1941, however we tend to call it the "date that will live in infamy". In the same way, what the question is REALLY asking is what the 5 most important, discrete events of classical antiquity were, the dates assigned to them by the modern gregorian calender being largely arbitrary and unimportant as to their significance... 04:20, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, maybe that's what he meant, then. (Though one might argue, if one likes to argue, that two events on a single date might make that date more significant than either of the events....) - Nunh-huh 04:43, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

monks walk[edit]

I have been asked to do a workshop on movement and teaching the students the walking style of monks. It is a slow walk, almost heal to toe, but I cannot find anything on it. Any ideas? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Barbara46 (talkcontribs) 13:45, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

You could try the search term walking meditation; and the Wikipedia article is Kinhin. Best, WikiJedits (talk) 17:20, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I've spent a good deal of time with dozens of Catholic monks, who walk with the varied gaits, strides, and forms of the rest of humanity. They don't actually get schooled in a particular style. Even contemplatives differ as individuals, though in general they don't rush. And, amazingly, not all of them excel at Gregorian chant. --- OtherDave (talk) 12:19, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
For any hope of an answer, I think you would need to be more specific about the kind of monks you had in mind. The only kinds of monk I have any knowledge of show quite a lot of variety, though perhaps we can say that many monks have a generally rather dignified way of doing everything, not just walking. Strawless (talk) 17:39, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


Doesn't Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia, and Egypt are considered as Afro-Arab or have population of Afro-Arabs? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Afro-Arab seems to be a wide and not so easy to define label, but basically the answers would be yes & yes, in varying degrees. --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:17, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
And our Afro-Arab article is not much help. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 14:38, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
A look at the Mahgreb articel might help. (talk) 12:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Dude, I really don't understand your apparent obsession (also evinced in the Sultan of Oman question above) with micro-classifying the facial features and/or exact degrees of pigmentation of various Arab individuals, and trying to pigeonhole which alleged "race" they allegedly belong to. It would be helpful if you could clarify what the specific point or purpose of your questions might be. In modern science, the concept of "gene cline" is a whole lot more rigorously definable and solidly-established than the concept of "race", anyway... AnonMoos (talk) 15:35, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd love to see a factor analysis of correlations of alleles in a large sample of humanity. I wonder how many dimensions it would have. —Tamfang (talk) 09:12, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Cheb Khaled[edit]

Isn't Cheb Khaled an Afro-Arab because he sure does look like one? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes. I believe they call such people "Algerians" in that neck of the woods. See Khaled (musician). --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:39, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Presidential nominee[edit]

If a Presidential nominee dies while campaigning with his V.P., who becomes the new Presidential nominee?

Where can I read about this process?

Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

This nice explainer from Slate gives the answer. Basically, it's up to the parties to decide what to do. (talk) 15:17, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Not quite what you're looking for, but you should know that in the United States presidential election, 1872 the Democratic nominee Horace Greeley died after the general election, but before the electoral college vote. His electoral college votes were split among several people, including Benjamin Gratz Brown, his running-mate. In the United States presidential election, 1912, the Republican vice presidential candidate James S. Sherman died shortly before the election, and his name was kept on the ballot. Sherman's electoral college votes, however, were given to Nicholas Murray Butler, the person selected to replace him as the Republican VP nominee. Keep in mind that it is technically the United States Electoral College which determines the president, not the general election. Faithless electors are always a factor, and may become an even bigger one when a candidate dies. -- (talk) 23:49, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Ah, you clearly want her too. -- Escape Artist Swyer Talk Contributions 20:58, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

When did Indians start moving to England?[edit]

I'm currently doing some research for a novel I'm starting to write and I would like to know when people started moving from India to England. The novel is set sometimes in the 1900s and I just wanted to make sure that it would be likely that an Indian family would be living in England.

Thank you for your time —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ivyice (talkcontribs) 15:45, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Indian students attending English universities already seems to be taken for granted (without much need for comment) in "The Adventure of the Three Students"... AnonMoos (talk) 15:53, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec) I would say the 1900s is too early. Have a look at Immigration to the United Kingdom (1922-present day) (which puts immigration from the Indian subcontinent as starting in large numbers after Indian independence in 1947). Also Historical immigration to Great Britain. --Richardrj talk email 15:54, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
In large numbers yes, but there was still some immigration from the subcontinent before then. (talk) 17:20, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I realise that, but the OP was asking about the likelihood of an Indian family living in England at the turn of the century. So the answer to the question "would it be likely" is no. --Richardrj talk email 17:50, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Small numbers will have been here in the 19th century or even earlier - either wealthy people or servants; Dadabhai Naoroji was the first Indian elected to Parliament, in 1892, Abdul Karim, the Munshi, was a favourite servant of Queen Victoria in her last 15 years. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 17:18, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
More on Naoroji can be found here: Moving Here's Migration Histories: South Asian. Skimming suggests that though this site agrees with Richardrj that the bulk of the migration happened after 1950, individuals came to England as nannies, seamen, students and servants even in the 17th century. You'd have to read farther to discover if a whole family migrating together is likely. Cheers, WikiJedits (talk) 17:22, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
There are three Brahmins in England in The Moonstone, written in the 1860s, but they are considered oddities. Little Red Riding Hoodtalk 21:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
There were certainly Indian sailors on British ships making the passage to England in the 18th century. It might be surprising if there were none in the 17th century. That isn't the same as moving to England, necessarily. Strawless (talk) 17:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Sailors from the East Indies were known as lascars, a term now obsolete. Some stayed in the British ports where they landed and made their lives in the UK. Port cities such as Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, and the East End of London were places where small communities grew up, certainly by the late C19. Some married girls from back home; others married white English women and formed biracial families. See here. BrainyBabe (talk) 13:54, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


I have made a page on Stiff Leadbetter an architect (great name) but don't know where online other than ODNB I can find more information about his life. Anyone got any ideas? Stronach (talk) 16:14, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I would try the library of a school of architecture, perhaps in the country where he worked. He is at least mentioned with favorable comments in many books [1]. One book calls him a "minor provincial carpenter and builder" as well as "one of the busiest of the new generation of architects."[2] "Macmillan encyclopedia of architects" (1982)- Page 625 (snippet view) [3] has info on him. "A biographical dictionary of British architects, 1600-1840" Colvin calls him "the master carpenter employed to carry out Robert Adam's designs" (at a particular place)[4], but he does not get his own entry. "Rural rides" calls him a "little-known architect." "English hospitals 1660-1948" calls him "competent but rather dull." [5] "Glass Houses: A History of Greenhouses, Orangeries and Conservatories" calls him a "thorough but uninspired architect of the Palladian school." His work gets some mentions in news articles about the buildings, such as [6] , [7] and [8]. The present article should incorporate the criticisms. Several of the books such as "The Classical Orders of Architecture"[9] mention an architect named John Hawks who worked in America on such projects as the North Carolina Governor's palace, who learned his art working for Leadbetter. Edison (talk) 16:51, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks, you went to a lot of trouble. I will try to incorporate all of this. Point taken about the criticisms, will do. Stronach (talk) 17:48, 1 October 2008 (UTC).

I like his name. He would have made a great undertaker, or even a resurrection man. Edison (talk) 20:34, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Yok. I'm trying to keep my thoughts out of the gutter *snicker*. I think I've put all your suggestions in--care to have a look and see if it passes muster?. Stronach (talk) 11:41, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Don't worry, Stronach, "we are all in the gutter, but some of us are writing good articles for Wikipedia". Nah, I like the original better.  :) -- JackofOz (talk) 00:03, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Plato and Aristotle on Knowledge[edit]

Plato shows in the "Meno" that he believes that all knowledge is not learned, but recollected from a previous life. Does Aristotle believe the same as Plato? I know they differ on many aspects, but I am not sure if they differ on this or not. (please don't lecture me on doing my own homework, I am writing an essay, and do not know the answer to this. I just don't want to put wrong information in my essay. Yes I know what plagiarism is, and I don't participate in it.) Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

No, Aristotle lists some ways in which knowledge is obtained during people's lifetimes: episteme, nous, techne, sophia and phronesis. Don't know if that's the whole list. Aristotle's views on knowledge were influential for many centuries. You might be able to find out more by looking for works on epistemology, the theory of knowledge. Glad you have realised that plagiarism is not one of the routes to knowledge. Some people take a while to work that one out. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:35, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Keep in mind Bernard Baruch's observation that Aristotle, though twice married, believed women had fewer teeth than men do. Apparently observation was not high on his list... or he never let his wives open their mouths. --- OtherDave (talk) 12:21, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

teosophy and root races[edit]

Hi guys, I've always been interested in learning about occult traditions, whether they are true or not, I don't know, but I was reading about the root races, and we are in the aryan one suposedly, and well, there is a lot to it, but I read the wiki articles already and they seem to be writen only by proponents, and there are no detractors that give scientific arguments disproving teosophy's claims...about humanitys evolution, atlantis, lemuria and all that.

so my wuestion is...this subject is really complicated, vast and interesting...but are there scientific arguments in it's favour? or to disprove its claims?

thank u! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

The usual spelling in English is Theosophy. I think that I read about that in Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science; what I remember is that there were seven races, each having seven sub-races -- and that the alleged sequence and progression between them did not ascertainably correspond to any scientific discoveries about human evolution... AnonMoos (talk) 21:08, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
What do you know, Wikipedia actually has an article Root race; my impression is that if you read it in the original, the whole thing sounds even sillier than it comes across in that article. The majority of modern scientists think that it's highly dubious whether modern "racial" divisions date back any farther than ca. 60,000-75,000 years ago at most... AnonMoos (talk) 21:32, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

that is cause all the modern races are nothing but sub races...that's why it seems so recent to science. maybe... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Keep in mind in any event that this theory has nothing in common with even mid-20th century scientific thinking on racial or human development, much less modern, genomically-informed thinking on the subject. It's just 19th-century junk. -- (talk) 02:50, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Bridges by Aart Jurrianse is a book that builds bridges between theosophy and science, it is rather an easy read, compared to, a tretise on cosmic fire. it might help —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:34, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
The article Cline (biology) offers some more modern ideas than "race".--Wetman (talk) 15:18, 2 October 2008 (UTC)