Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2012 December 29

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humanities desk
< December 28 << Nov | December | Jan >> December 30 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

December 29[edit]

French art[edit]

Opinion question. Shadowjams (talk) 17:55, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Why is French literature, film, etc. so depressing? -- (talk) 23:44, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Can you direct us to a reliable source that confirms that French literature, film, etc. is depressing? HiLo48 (talk) 23:54, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Must be all those bummer movies like "Amélie" and "March of the Penguins"... SFriendly.gif -- AnonMoos (talk) 02:37, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Dear OP, you might have come across works which mostly have been in the Noir genre. But French comedy or tragicomedy (from Moliere, Corneille, etc. onward, to films of Luis de Funes, Jacques Tati, and others) has been as exuberant as that. --Omidinist (talk) 15:52, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Michael Bloomberg background[edit]

Having been born in 1942, it would seem that, at the appropriate age, Michael Bloomberg would have been eligible for the military draft. Is there a reason why he did not serve in the military? (talk) 00:58, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

The article doesn't tell us that he didn't (or did). Do you have a source for your claim that he didn't? Such a source would probably tell us why? And here on Wikipedia we must have reliable sources. HiLo48 (talk) 01:22, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
No, I have no source for whether he did or he didn't, that's why I was asking. (talk) 02:19, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Hardly. You asked "Is there a reason why he did not serve in the military?" as if you are certain he didn't. Are you certain, or not? HiLo48 (talk) 03:23, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Not everyone who was eligible for the draft was called to serve. It was a lottery. Also, there were many different grounds for deferment or exemption. See Conscription in the United States. Marco polo (talk) 02:03, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
There was no lottery in 1960. (talk) 02:19, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Someone who was born in 1942 was much too young for Korea, and was already about 22-23 years old when U.S. involvement in Vietnam started seriously escalating. The lottery didn't occur until 1969, and was based on the calendar date of one's birth... AnonMoos (talk) 02:34, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

So, seems like a reasonable question, what was Bloomberg's draft status. Was he drafted, did he defer, etc. Shadowjams (talk) 08:21, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
He does have at least one autobiography out (ISBN 978-0471208884). The answer to the OP's question should be in chapter 2, if anyone has a copy handy. Zoonoses (talk) 06:23, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Did the USSR condemn the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima in 1945?[edit]

I'm aware that after the war the USSR and the international Communist movement harshly criticized both the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the firebombing of Dresden as American crimes against humanity. However I was wondering if there was any condemnation of Hiroshima, from the USSR or Western Communist Parties in 1945, when the USSR and USA were still nominally Allies?

Dresden was condemned as a warcrime by the USSR and DDR after the war. But I was wondering if Stalin criticized his fellow allies in 1945?

--Gary123 (talk) 03:12, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

  1. Dresden: There are conflicting historiography regarding Soviet role in Dresden. Some sources suggest Stalin himself ordered the bombing out of revenge, some suggest Britain bombed the city because the Soviets wanted Dresden be bombed (they feared the use of its rail network by Germans), some suggest Soviets accused the West of not doing enough in the fight against Nazism, as a result Britain bombed it to show they are against the Nazis, some suggest none of these accounts are true. It is almost impossible to find a historical document which contains the official Soviet reaction to Dresden bombing before the end of the war, and I believe the record of an official Soviet reaction does not exist.
  2. Regarding Hiroshima, the atomic bombing was more directed against the Soviets than against the Japanese. The Americans wanted to show their might and technological superiority to the Soviets to get an upper hand in the upcoming World War 3 after the end of WW2. Stalin definitely felt uncomfortable and was anxious over America's possession of Atomic bomb, and development of the atomic bomb became a priority to him. I don't think the Soviets issued any official reaction to Hiroshima before Japan's surrender. --PlanetEditor (talk) 04:23, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
The evidence for the Alperovitz thesis (that the bomb was meant to impress the Soviets, etc.) is actually fairly slim — there is almost nothing from the time period itself that supports it, only retrospective memories, assertions, and claims. Most scholars today believe that the major motivation was ending the war with Japan (the "official" one), though those charged with using the weapon saw other "positive" results as well, including, but not limited to, the postwar situation with Russia. Even this overemphasizes the importance of the bomb as it was understood in early August 1945, before it was clear that it would actually shorten the war and not just be seen as way to more efficiently conduct firebombing raids. --Mr.98 (talk) 04:42, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Your comments are very interesting! Have you read Liddell Hart's account of the decision to use atomic weapons, including the direct quotes of objections made by senior U.S. military personnel at the time, and plentiful other material? Do you consider all of it to be "retrospective memories, assertions, and claims"? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 05:07, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I am extremely familiar with the relevant scholarly literature, especially as it has evolved since these sorts of claims were in their heyday. Again, this is not to say that the Allies were not thinking about the Soviets as they made the bomb, but it is pretty clear that the reason that Truman, Stimson, and the others who were responsible for actually dropping it were motivated primarily by other concerns. There is far more evidence that they were concerned with quickly ending the war (without an invasion) than they were about impressing the USSR (that ending it quickly would mean no Soviet influence in Japan was icing on the cake, of course), and a lot of evidence that those who were on-the-ground (those making and dropping the bombs) simply did not regard it as much of a "decision" anyway — they had made it, of course they would use it.
As with many things in history, you can cherry-pick your way to any thesis; the Alperovitz thesis simply does not hold. (This is not to say that I agree that the bomb was necessary, or a good idea, or so on. This is a question of historical motivations for decisions, as they happened and not in retrospective.) --Mr.98 (talk) 00:26, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, Joseph Rotblat's shock at hearing Leslie Groves say "Of course, the real purpose in making the bomb was to subdue the Soviets" in March 1944 can hardly be criticized as retrospective memory, as it caused him to leave the Manhattan Project and ultimately found the Pugwash Conferences, long before Alperovitz was heard from.John Z (talk) 12:59, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
The Soviets never issued any kind of reaction to Hiroshima or Nagasaki in 1945. Years later it became a stock part of anti-American propaganda promulgated by the Soviets, but not in 1945. --Mr.98 (talk) 04:42, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Rich Christian Countries[edit]

All are equal before the law, which is symbolized by blindfolded Lady Justice. Money can't buy happiness. Greed is a sin. Punishment is just. You cannot serve God and Mammon.

But then how come this? The world is divided into rich developed countries and poor developing countries. All the rich countries are Christian. All the Christian countries are rich. Rich Christian countries include America, European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They are Western, Northern, and First World countries. Britain began and invented the Industrial Revolution and had the world's largest colonial empire. America is the world's only superpower, has the world's largest economy, and is a very capitalist and anti-communist country.

Republicanism (talk) 03:18, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Christian is nothing more than a lable these days. Moreover, it is not necessarily Christians who control the flow of capital. Plasmic Physics (talk) 03:24, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Do you mean ladle? As in soup kitchen? Republicanism, first, remember what Jesus said to the fig tree. Second, yes, some of us have been aware of this discrepancy for quite some time. Why not send all your wealth to a poor country? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 04:24, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Rich Christian Countries (cont.)[edit]

The world is divided into rich developed countries and poor developing countries. All the rich countries are Christian. All the Christian countries are rich. Rich Christian countries include America, European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They are Western, Northern, and First World countries. Britain began and invented the Industrial Revolution and had the world's largest colonial empire. America is the world's only superpower, has the world's largest economy, and is a very capitalist and anti-communist country.

What does God think about that? What does Jesus think about that? What do Christians think about that? What do Christian critics of greed think about that? What does the Christian left think about that? What do Christians who help the poor and needy think about that? What do Christian socialists think about that?

Republicanism (talk) 03:24, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

I can tell you what God thinks about that and what Jesus thinks, but only if you PROVE YOURSELF WORTHY. That means you gave to stop asking asinine questions on this board for a MONTH - minimum. Paul B (talk) 03:28, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
No, he has to stop asking asinine questions here ever again. Other questions are welcome. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 03:41, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Doh! Double-doh! Doh to the power of unmpteen! List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita, which is as good a value as any for 'rich countries', or at least 'countries where the people are rich' (i.e. not a lot of use, but arguably marginally better than nothing) suggests that by most measures, the citizens of Qatar, are the wealthiest on average, while the citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the poorest. Guess which one has the most Christians? Anyway, 'Republicanism' before you post another demonstration of your ignorance, at least make a token attempt to rectify it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:07, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Maybe some religious offshoots who claimed a connection with the teachings made by a guy speaking Aramaic, which were later written down in Greek, also ended up implementing some versions of his teachings about poverty and/or giving to the poor, and chastity and/or not fornicating with everyone in sight, and helping one's fellow man without expectation or desire for recompense. This would tend to make them more frugal, less likely to have huge numbers of offspring (yes I know there were problems with this later in other places), more likely to be mutually supporting, and more likely to understand what hard work is. That's my random positive interpretation of Christianity for this hour, and that's all you're getting. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 04:19, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Meanwhile per "The reference desk does not answer requests for opinions..." is this the first time that God himself has been asked to reply to a question on a Wikipedia reference desk? And if it isn't, did The Almighty/His Noodlieness respond? AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:34, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Republic: I'm willing to partake in private dialogue on my talk page. Plasmic Physics (talk) 04:50, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Don't forget those other wealthy Christian-dominated nations, India and China. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:16, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Are India and China wealthy? Not regarding GDP.
Anyway. I don't think this question is more than trolling. Starting with the wrong assumption that countries like Kuwait are poor, maybe? And even asking for the opinion of God and Jesus. OsmanRF34 (talk) 10:42, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Aged notable siblings[edit]

Speaking of people getting on a bit, I note that the sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine are still with us, aged 96 and 95 respectively. I can't think of any other pair of siblings who individually achieved fame, or even notability, in their chosen professions and who both lived so long. Is this some sort of record? -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 03:21, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

The Gabors deserve a mention. Zsa Zsa Gabor is 95, and, while her sisters died younger (Eva Gabor was 76 and Magda Gabor was 81), we could also include their mother, Jolie Gabor, who made it to 100. StuRat (talk) 03:54, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, StuRat. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 18:41, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Annie Elizabeth and Sarah Louise Delany didn't really become famous "individually" and not until they both had passed 100, but their lives and achievements are individually remarkable all the same, so I'm posting it... (see also Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years) ---Sluzzelin talk 02:49, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Sluzzelin. How appropriate that Annie, being a dentist, should be involved in an oral history. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 18:41, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Richard Attenborough and David Attenborough (and less well-known brother John) are not quite into their 90s, but no spring chickens either. Matt Deres (talk) 15:09, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

International recognition of Israel[edit]

I've read the articles International recognition of the State of Palestine and International recognition of Israel. I've noticed that most of the countries which do not recognize Israel are Islamic countries (which is not surprising, since much of the land which Israel now controls was for many centuries controlled by Muslims, although there is also a large number of Islamic countries that recognize Israel, notably Egypt). I've also noticed that, with the notable exception of North America and most of Europe, many Christian countries (but not all) recognize Palestine. The question is, why does it seem that there are more Christian countries that recognize Palestine than Muslim countries which recognize Israel? Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 04:22, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, various Christian countries ruled Palestine for centuries or bits of centuries here and there, and thus noticed that there were lots of Palestinians living there. Only a very few still-existing Muslim countries ruled the same areas in the last five hundred years or so, and they may not have noticed significant numbers of Israelis living there at the time. Do you think that this might contribute to how countries perceive different nations that now claim different parts of the same pieces of land?
Oh, silly me. Just to add, Christian countries lost interest in most of the things to be found within the country of Israel, about two hundred years ago. Some people in Muslim countries might see everything within the country of Israel as being something that was promised by some agreement made during the First World War, and also naturally part of Islamic territory anyway. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 04:32, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Hmm.. "various Christian countries ruled Palestine for centuries...". Really? The UK governed Palestine for 28 years after displacing the Ottoman Empire. There was the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1099 to 1187, otherwise the area seems to have been under Muslim governance from 638 to 1918. Alansplodge (talk) 23:39, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Before the Islamic conquests, Palestine was part of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its official religion in 380 under Theodosius, and Christianity remained the dominant, if not official religion of the Byzantine Empire as well, which lost Palestine in the early 600s to the Sassanids. So that's over two additional centuries of Christian occupation. - Lindert (talk) 00:04, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Yep, "centuries or bits of centuries" still looks like a good summary to me. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:22, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Ok, but I don't think the foreign policies of many European countries are influenced by the doings of the Roman Empire. Alansplodge (talk) 02:51, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I can add two points:
  • The countries mentioned by the OP as "Christian" are not theocracies, hence there are other prevailing factors in their motives and actions beside what may be their primary religious heritage.
  • The Islamic world is anti-Zionist and doesn't accept the Jews' right to a homeland in Israel. Hence the votes.
N.B.I previously posted, then removed, a list of objections to the rationales proposed by User:Demiurge1000 above, before I realized that I should reply only to the query and not that straw-man argument. Anyone interested is welcome to read this page's Edit History. -- Deborahjay (talk) 10:07, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Countries recognizing Israel or Palestine do not necessarily do that due to some ideological motivation. It is not to be taken as support. There are plenty of other reasons to recognize them. The simply desire for peace in the region, agreed upon some specific borders, some middle point where both sides would let lose, is one of them. OsmanRF34 (talk) 11:28, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
That premise would work only for those who recognize both Israel and Palestine. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:27, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but there are plenty of countries that recognize both Palestine and Israel (according to [[1]]). Mostly Arab countries (no surprise) won't recognize Israel, and the US and some European countries like Germany won't recognize Palestine. Other European countries like Spain would recognize Palestine on the borders of 1967, but didn't formalize it. Some not directly related to the issue like India or Brazil don't have any trouble recognizing both (which seems to be the most sensitive position, if someone wants peace). OsmanRF34 (talk) 20:46, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

John Ena[edit]

Is there any connection between the ship John Ena (1892) [2] and the Chinese-Hawaiian John Liwaikalaniopuu Ena or his father John Ena (Zane Shang Hsien)?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 09:16, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

The term "talent"[edit]

When was the first usage of the term "talent" with the meaning of skill. --Doug Coldwell (talk) 12:36, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

The earliest instance given by the Oxford English Dictionary is from a poem by John Lydgate (c. 1430): "Who shal me save Fro feendys daunger, t'acounte for my talent?" - Lindert (talk) 12:53, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Great! Can you put this into modern English. Thanks.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 13:41, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't feel qualified to translate it into modern English, as I have very little experience with Middle English, and I'm not even a native speaker. However the rest of the poem can be found here. - Lindert (talk) 13:59, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for poem! I'll ask the Language Desk. --Doug Coldwell (talk) 14:09, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps "Who shall me save from fiend's (or fiends') danger, to account for my talent"? (talk) 00:44, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Graphic novel about modern day slavery in Florida tomato fields[edit]

What is title/author of a recent novel addressing slavery in Florida tomato fields? This novel also addresses alcoholism on Native American reservations. It mixes traditional novel format with graphic novel content. Although there is graphic novel content, this book is not a casual examination of these topics. (talk) 13:29, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Try using "Immokalee" as a search keyword along with other relevant terms... AnonMoos (talk) 22:22, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Does moral philosophy accept the metaphysical assertions of theology?[edit]

Like for example,original sin. Does moral philosophy agree with its existence to promote a certain faith? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joshua Atienza (talkcontribs) 19:21, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Moral philosophy (or Ethics) is a field of speculation, not a specific school of thought. Theology also is a field of speculation and not a monolithic school. Theologians are usually also moral philosophers, and the ethics and theology of each theologian generally work together. The moral philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, for example, would probably accept, assume, or attempt to prove the existence of original sin; while the moral philosophy of Al-Ghazali and Maimonides would not, despite their influence on Aquinas and their shared revival of Aristotle. Confucius remained silent on the matter of whether humanity was inherently good or evil, while of his students Mencius affirmed the goodness of humanity and Han Fei argued that humanity was inherently evil. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:03, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
    • Are you sure you mean Al-Ghazali? He was an anti-Aritotelian mystic. μηδείς (talk) 18:30, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Homeless kids in NYC and USA[edit]

There are about three times as many homeless children today in New York City as there were in 1983, a new record high this year: Is the same true for the entire US? JS Uralia (talk) 21:12, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

It would appear so-- Futurist110 (talk) 00:07, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
However, note that "homeless", in the case of US children, usually means in a motel or shelter, not sleeping in the street, as it unfortunately does in many other countries. StuRat (talk) 00:22, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Lieutenant Oku in 1917[edit]

In 1917 a Lieutenant Oku of the Imperial Japanese Navy came to Hawaii to attend the funeral of Queen Liliuokalani as a representative of the Emperor of Japan. Who was this Lieutenant Oku? Was he a famous individual? -- 21:38, 29 December 2012‎ User:KAVEBEAR

If it was Oku Nobukazu (1889-1943), who was indeed a Lieutenant in 1917, then he went on to be a Vice-Admiral in 1942. He was the commander of Special Base Force 10 at Singapore before becoming a member of the Naval General Staff; he died of disease in 1943. I suspect that he may have been selected to go to Hawaii for having a knowledge of the English language, because in 1928, he went on an official tour of the US and Europe. There was a leading figure in the Meiji Restoration and a famous general from the Russo-Japanese War called Count Oku Yasukata; I'm not sure if they are related, but if so, that might also explain the young Lieutenant's selection. Alansplodge (talk) 16:17, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict!) There's an Oku Nobukazu listed in the Pacific War Online Encyclopedia, but nothing to indicate it's the same person, beyond the age matching. Bear in mind that both Japan and the US were allies in WWI in late 1917, and it may be that Oku was simply a Japanese liaison officer stationed at Honolulu rather than a diplomatic attache of some form. Andrew Gray (talk) 16:27, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
That source says that Oku was between a Gunnery School Advanced Course and an appointment on the battleship Fusō, which commenced on 01 December 1917. Alansplodge (talk) 16:59, 30 December 2012 (UTC)