Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 April 6

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humanities desk
< April 5 << Mar | April | May >> April 7 >
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.

April 6[edit]

The Book of Mormon and Mormonism[edit]

Do Mormons from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints actually believe the book to be literal historical fact/account of what happened or a poetic literary way to express their cosmological beliefs about the universe by means of stories and poetry? I met a Mormon before, and the Mormon with whom I shared a conversation made me draw a conclusion that she believed that Native Americans were descendants of the Old World people. I honestly couldn't tell if she meant it literally or metaphorically. Have there been any literary criticism on the Book of Mormon? (talk) 01:32, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

They do (or at least they are supposed to) believe it. And actual scientists and academics (for want of a better word) try to prove it, see Mormonism and archaeology for example. Adam Bishop (talk) 01:35, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
They are "actual scientists" in the same sense that North Korea is a "democratic people's republic". -- (talk) 07:39, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon has an overview, and links to other pages that discuss it. Also, there is a project underway Book_of_Mormon#Textual_criticism RudolfRed (talk) 01:57, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Some of the most intellectual and history-aware somewhat literal interpretations of the book of Mormon were made by FARMS (with indifferent success). AnonMoos (talk) 03:00, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, most of them do believe this. See Book of Mormon: "Most adherents of the Latter Day Saint movement consider the Book of Mormon to generally be a historically accurate account.[38] Within the Latter Day Saint movement there are several apologetic groups that seek to reconcile the discrepancies in diverse ways [...] The LDS Church continues to declare that science can support the Book of Mormon.[107]"
Needless to say, they are all wrong.
EDIT: I just noticed that you (the OP) claimed that she believed Native Americans were descendants of Old World people. Well, they are, both according to Mormon theology and modern science. That's not the problem. The problem is that Mormons believe some of the principal ancestors of Native Americans were Israelites (which is contradicted by genetic, archeological, and historical evidence), that it mentions two literate New World empires that nobody has found any evidence for, that it mentions Old World domestic animals extensively when such animals did not exist in the Americas, that it assumes Native Americans used iron tools when they only used metal for aesthetic purposes, that it talks about chariots when no Native Americans had either the horse or the wheel...-- (talk) 07:39, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
And yet, intelligent, rational Mormons continue to believe in the book. If you'd like to know how, or why, let's talk. Kingsfold (Quack quack!) 16:05, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
They didn't have the wheel for practical transport; some of them had little toys with wheels... AnonMoos (talk) 09:00, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Psychological Affirmations[edit]

Where can I find further/more in-depth reading on the topic of "psychological affirmations" (talk) 07:09, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

We have a stub article Affirmations (New Age), and another article on Optimism which may help. --TammyMoet (talk) 10:54, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Also Affirmative prayer, Affirmations, 5 Steps to Make Affirmations Work for You, Affirmations and many other books. (talk) 02:07, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Chevron company[edit]


(1) Please don't SHOUT; (2) see Chevron Corporation (assuming that's the company you mean). AndrewWTaylor (talk) 14:11, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

double unilineal kinship system with localised patrilineages[edit]

Over at Talk:Ezhava we're trying to figure out what a source means. It claims "they had a double unilineal kinship system with localised patrilineages. But in North Kerala, as in parts of Travancore, they had a matrilineal system very similar to that of the Nayars". Now that first part has me utterly confused. What is a double unilneal kinship? How does that differ from an ambilineal kinship? What is meant by "localised" patrilineages? And how do we put this all together? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 09:55, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

It probably means that both patriclans and matriclans existed, but patrilocal residence was practiced. Ambilineal kinship means that you can be affiliated to either your mother's group or your father's group depending on particular circumstances or individual choices; it's quite different from having both strict patrilineal groups and strict matrilineal groups in a society... AnonMoos (talk) 11:47, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I think it means that some things are inherited matrilineally and other things patrilineally. For example a web search produces the sentence, "The Mbembe have a double unilineal kinship system, land being inherited patrilineally and other goods matrilineally". That should probably get the idea across. A "localized patrilineage" is apparently a group of descendants of one father who all live next to each other. Looie496 (talk) 15:04, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
For anyone who wants to see this in context and whose GBooks view matches mine, the quote comes from p. 405 of this source. - Sitush (talk) 15:20, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Just about the simplest possible system of double-unilineal kinship is when there are crosscutting patrilineal moieties and matrilineal moieties. So in the chart below, a man in the upper-left quadrant ("1A") would have to marry a woman in the lower-right quadrant ("2B"), and their children would be in the upper-right quadrant ("1B") and have to marry people in the lower-left quadrant ("2A"). Under this system, "cross-cousins" (one's father's sister's children and one's mother's brother's children) are allowed marriage partners (as is very often the case in societies with unilineal descent). AnonMoos (talk) 17:31, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Matrilineal moiety A Matrilineal moiety B
Patrilineal moiety 1 1A 1B
Patrilineal moiety 2 2A 2B

has a company ever ended up owning itself?[edit]

Has a company ever ended up owning itself, even de facto or in a way that had to later be rectified? For example, a company might wholly own some overseas subsidiary that it does not do very constant record-keeping on, or whatever, that subsidiary belongs to them 100%. What if that subsidiary then somehow actually ends up in ownership of the parent company? Now nobody owns it. the parent bought itself, through its subsidiary.

what would happen if a company had no outstanding owners except for itself and its wholly owned subsidiaries?? Surely something like this MUST have come up in a de facto sense through the millions of companies and complex ownership arrangements...any examples? What happened? (talk) 19:46, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

That situation is known as circular ownership. It's an extreme case of cross ownership (don't bother with our article, it's useless). US law prohibits investment firms from buying shares in a company where cross investment is known to exist, so that wouldn't come about very often here -- but presumably, as you say, it could happen accidentally where multiple levels of holding companies are involved. In other countries, such as Sweden, cross ownership is legal, or at least has been. The effect of circular ownership would be that the management of the company owns it for all practical purposes, because there are no shareholders to oversee them. Looie496 (talk) 20:11, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
It's very common, in many jurisdictions, for charities, foundations, and other non-profit groups to be un-owned (or self-owned) - see this for example. They're operated by trustees, but the trustees can't wind the organisation up and pocket the proceeds themselves. This is different from a membership organisation like a trade union or a cooperative association, where ownership is vested widely across all the members. It's perfectly possible for a privately owned for-profit corporation to become a charity (in the UK that's called a charitable company) or for a new charity to be formed into which the owners donate their stock of the for-profit (that's how things like the Wellcome Trust came to be). The laws regarding what is a charity will vary a bit, but the UK's broad definition, that "it is set up to benefit the public" and "its aims are all charitable" (ref); Charities Act 2006 lists some broad categories. Naturally the migration to being a charity can't happen accidentally. With all that said, who owns IKEA? Stichting INGKA Foundation, apparently. So is IKEA self-owned? Kinda sorta. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 11:14, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
When cross ownership is discovered, the natural solution is to exchange shares. That is the companies simply exchange the shares that they own of each other at a fair price. The remaining shareholders of each company actually continue to own their companies. If that is not the intention of the shareholders (they actually want to create a dependency between the companies), then the solution is a merger, or the creation of a Holding company which owns one company fully and the other fully or partially. --Lgriot (talk) 09:47, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
In a simple case of cross ownership, yes. In a case of full circular ownership, there are no other shareholders. I think if that situation did occur, whatever transaction led to it happening would be deemed null and void. --Tango (talk) 11:11, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
In the UK, charities do have legal owners (either the trustees themselves in an unincorporated charity or the members or shareholders in a charitable company), although they aren't entitled to a share of the profits (since the charity is non-profit) so they don't really "own" anything of value. They have the same voting rights as the shareholders of for-profit companies, though. --Tango (talk) 11:11, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Under any normal set of circumstances, a transaction that completely disenfranchised shareholders would not be sustained, and the corporation's directors would be at risk of personal liability for attempting that kind of self-dealing to sustain themselves in office. (However, I'm not familiar with any US law that prohibits investment firms from buying shares in a company where cross investment is known to exist, contrary to Looie496's suggestion above.) You may, however, be interested in the Pac-Man defense, in which a company attempts to buy a company that is attempting to buy the first company. John M Baker (talk) 15:17, 8 April 2013 (UTC)