Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 July 4

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July 4[edit]

Cephalitis in the 1890s[edit]

Were people sent to insane asylums for having cephalitis (exact words) in the 1890s? The source said cephalitis. Correct me if I am wrong but it might be Encephalitis.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 00:49, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Probably a synonym,[1] like "sick head" vs. "sick in head". Similarly, an old variant on "encyclopedia" was "cyclopedia". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:10, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
You obviously have a source, may I ask what it is and what country it refers to? --TammyMoet (talk) 12:03, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
It appears that both "cephalitis" and "phrenitis" are obsolete synonyms of "encephalitis". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:32, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Hard to know without seeing the source, but it was probably referring to syphilis, which was essentially incurable at that time, and in many victims would eventually invade the brain giving rise to neurosyphilis, a form of encephalitis that produced steadily worsening dementia. Looie496 (talk) 17:59, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

UTC)

Whoa no I don't think so. Her name was Mauli Keawepooole, a 14 year old girl who died in 1899 and lived during the beginning of the Territory of Hawaii, that is all the detail, attended by a Dr. Humphries. Here is the source [2] around the bottom of the second column. Does anyone know what was "the Insane asylum" referred to in the article like if its name and if it survives today? Also who is Dr. Humphries?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 18:04, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I see the reference to her burial but not to what she was suffering from. Where did you get that from? --TammyMoet (talk) 19:10, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
A descendant of her mother.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 19:18, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
There's a picture of the insane asylum (I assume there was just one in Honolulu) here. --jpgordon::==( o ) 22:16, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
And Dr. Humphries is almost certainly one Francis Howard Humphries. See the first page of this. --jpgordon::==( o ) 22:20, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Communism, Nazism, fascism, and Thomism — is one of these things not like the others?[edit]

One of today's "did you know" blurbs points to the bio on Conyers Read, who apparently warned in one breath against "the Thomist, the Fascist, the Nazi, the Communist". I certainly agree with his point on the last three. But does anyone know what led him to classify Thomas Aquinas with the three proponents of extreme statism?

At a brief glance at the Thomism article, most of its main points seem to be abstract and metaphysical. There are probably some I would agree with and some I would disagree with, and some I would find not meaningful enough to say either way; I would have to give it some thought before assigning particular points to any of the three categories. But I didn't see anything that said to me that the individual should be completely at the service and mercy of the group. So what set Read off? --Trovatore (talk) 08:47, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I think Nazism is the odd one out. Nazism is a specific manifestation of Fasicsm, so it is the only one in the list that has a set-element relationship with any of the others. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 08:56, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Isn't the set-element relationship transitive? So A is an element of B, B is a set containing A, so they both have this relationship. Then Fascism is also an "odd one out". But I think I get your point.. IBE (talk) 09:53, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, you are right. My bad. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 11:23, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
No, the set-element relationship is not transitive. It's also not commutative. The subset relation (which is relevant here) is transitive (but also not commutative). See also Is-a (which is basically the same as the subset relationship, but is conceptually on the object level, not the set level). So Naziism is a form of fascism, which is a form of ideology (or, equivalently, the set of all Nazisms is a subset of the set of all fascisms, which is a subset of the set of all ideologies). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
OK, guys, I did my PhD in set theory, so thanks, but to restate, the question is: I see what Nazism, fascism, and Communism have in common, all three being extreme statist ideologies at least in practice, but I don't get why Read thought that Thomism belonged in the same list. Any insight on that? --16:32, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Hardly an expert on this but it looks very much to me like the reason he picked on Thomism is because Thomism advocates the concept that a central belief system (in this case, everything written by Thomas Aquinas) cannot and indeed must not be questioned for any reason ever, and indeed doing so must be punished. That sounds very like the ideas that held up the fascist and Communist states - the idea that one group told you what to believe, and therefore you must believe in it as if it were your very own idea. It could be that he was using Thomism as a scapegoat - a well-known philosophy not affiliated to any specific political parties of the time and therefore to be considered a "general case", perhaps he considered it a metaphor, perhaps in the 1950s it was in fact an oft-cited example and far better known to the casual listener. Either way, I'd say this is why he uses it. Falastur2 Talk 17:02, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Could be anti-Catholic. Catholic theologians hold Aquinas in high regard. Read seems to have written about politics in Tudor England so would have had strong views about the Reformation. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:06, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
If you want you can read Finnis, John, Aquinas: Moral, Political and Legal Theory (Oxford University Press, 1998). I can certainly see the relation between proponents of Thomism, Fascism, and National Socialism: They all focus on trying to align positive law with natural law. Most modern political groups don't seem to talk about natural law much if at all. I'm not sure about Communism. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 17:18, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't really see that. I imagine Italian Fascism threw some sops towards natural law because it might have resonated with native Catholicism, but Nazism seems to have been more about what the Volk could get for itself. When I think natural law, I think John Locke, whose views were virtually the opposite of fascism and communism. --Trovatore (talk) 17:23, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, Hitler was the archetypical anti-intellectual, but Marx was very much in the tradition of Locke. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:36, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Having a little trouble swallowing that last, but even if so, I very much doubt that Read meant to criticize Locke in this broadside. --Trovatore (talk) 17:39, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Likely not. Also, "communist" societies were only vaguely inspired by Marx anyways. I think Itsmejudith is on the right track. Read lived most of his life in a time when anti-Catholicism was very strong in the US. He might have included Thomism as the ideological base of Catholicism. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:48, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I said that all three are about aligning positive law with natural law, not that they are just about natural law simpliciter. Locke is not like that all. He talks about natural law a lot, true, but then sets it aside, because he determines that natural law has it that people are free in a special sense. Positive laws placed upon free people then are to be determined by consent, not by nature. That's in fact a distinctive attribute of Locke and the early modernists in the history of political science: setting aside natural law more or less in determining positive law. From the Second Treatise, 119: "Every man being, as has been shown, naturally free, and nothing being able to put him into subjection to any earthly power, but only his own consent;" That's exactly where a Thomist and a fascist and National Socialist would disagree: For them, the earthly powers are to be arranged according to natural law, whether the subjects of this earthly power consent or not.
To make the case that National Socialism was like that, I can only cite Mein Kampf and the Third Reich policies. Hitler goes on at length about laws of nature and "racial laws" in particular. One story he has is with regards to Germanic and Latin immigrants to the Americas: The Germanic immigrants, because they mixed with the aboriginals less than the Latin immigrants, rose to become masters of the continent. The general account of racial nature: Only a few or even just one race is the source of human progress and goodness, and miscegenation destroys this. The policies are then enacted in alignment with this racial law: citizenship is limited to those of "German or kindred blood". --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:26, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Let me make sure we're speculating simply based on a four-term book title? Looking at what else Read's written, I would venture a guess he meant Catholic forces aligned against Elizabethan Britain. If so, it's not a very accurate choice of words, intellectually or historically. μηδείς (talk) 17:53, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
No, we are not speculating on a book title, but on a quote by another historian about Read (which gives the impression that Read used the phrase in question himself). Check reference 14 (as of just now ;-) in Conyers Read. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:58, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Thomism allows that the acquisition of wealth, when obtained by legal means, affords no occasion for guilt, which would be heretical for Communism; the Thomist account of man as intrinsically good is generic, to be applied to all members of mankind, and hence exclusive of race, which is diametrically opposed to Fascism and Nazism; the Thomist theory of government recognizes monarchy, and aristocracy but argues that people have a right to choose their leaders, where the rulers can be elected (the conditional is problematical), and therefore is consonant with democracy. In so far as law in Thomism derives from God, there is no room for a Fuehrerprinzip, or a secular appropriation of power that usurps principles that are regarded as transcendental and eternal. One could go on. But the conflation is rather pathetic. One might as well say Aristotelianism is totalitarian or the Bible is writ for genocide. Aquinas, with that extraordinary rigour of analytical reason, would have ended up like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or Pavel Florensky, in any of the modern totalitarianisms.Nishidani (talk) 20:45, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
That was quite an impressive answer, Nishidani. μηδείς (talk) 23:58, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
The best clues seem to be that his publications were mainly on England of the period 1485-1603, including the Protestant Reformation in England, and he is categorized under "Reformation historians" (although that sounds rather like it would mean historians who lived during the reformation, doesn't it?) Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 03:03, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
A grave insult to Thomas to lump him in with those sad 20th century ideologies, and a misunderstanding of his work, but the use of his name looks to me like a shorthand term for the Catholic Church. After all, it too has been a supranational organisation under an absolute ruler that exerted indisputable control over large areas of political, social and personal life, including ruthless suppression of perceived dissenters. --Hors-la-loi 15:20, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Think of it this way: Communism, Maoism, Fascism, Thomism. Maoism is to Communism as Nazism is to Fascism: one expression of the underlying concept.DOR (HK) (talk) 08:39, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Interest and Capital gains[edit]

It seems to me that in most jusrisdictions, interest received from a bank is taxed as a normal income (usually at the same rate as a salary), whereas capital gains are taxed seperately (or not at all). Am I right? Please feel free to shoot down my assumption here if I am wrong. What about interest payments from bonds, are they considered insterest or capital gains?

Also, if I am right that they are considered to be different, is there a theoretical or economical justification for this difference in the tax rate between interest and capital gains? Any reference to any government's statement, or economists' studies are welcome.

I am not currently receiving any of these types of income, so this is not a request for legal advice, only I am very interested in how those who do get these incomes are taxed. --Lgriot (talk) 14:25, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Complicated and jurisdiction-dependent. In the United States, there's a distinction between long-term capital gains and short-term capital gains; only the former gets privileged treatment (short-term capital gains are taxed as ordinary income, but it's still necessary to distinguish them from ordinary income because there are complicated rules about how they are offset by short-term and long-term capital losses).
Bank interest is generally not considered capital gains at all (at least in the US), but some forms of dividend interest are so considered. I think this is fairly new, arising from the (George W.) Bush tax reforms, but I'm not sure of that. This one kind of makes sense to me (the idea is to avoid penalizing dividend-paying stocks in relation to stocks that don't pay dividends). But also see carried interest — that one I don't get at all.
I am not an expert on any of this and no one should rely on it for any actual financial decisions. --Trovatore (talk) 17:46, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
The OP is correct that capital gains, at least long-term capital gains, usually receive favorable tax treatment, see our articles on capital gains tax and capital gains tax in the United States. The usual rationale, briefly discussed in the latter article, is that lower taxes for capital gains results in increased investment, although factually this is questionable at best. Interest payments on bonds are ordinary income, not capital gains. Stock dividends are not capital gains, but qualified dividends also receive favorable tax treatment in the United States.
Trovatore, "carried interest" uses "interest" in the broad sense of ownership; it does not mean interest on debt. The carried interest may arise from any form of income received by the hedge fund, including interest on bonds or capital gains. John M Baker (talk) 03:34, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks guys, so the main thing is that the government people assume that capital gains is a product of long term investment, whereas interest is not, that is why they give the former a preferential treatment. Thanks to all for your help.--Lgriot (talk) 07:49, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Godfather[edit]

My brother has had a baby. He (the child) is going to be christened. I'm atheist but was brought up Catholic and was consequently christened, made my first communion and was confirmed. Would it be possible for me to act as a witness (play some of the part of the godfather) at the christening, without making any religious vows or even statements of belief?

My brother is my only brother and my sister-in-law has only one sister. It would be natural to assume that we would be the godparents. I don't want to be egotistical and be pointy about the whole scenario (the day is not about me), but I really don't think I can make vows that I don't believe in. It would be good if there was a tidy way around the situation. I've read that it's possible for a non Catholic to be a Christian witness but that situation doesn't apply to me. Can a Catholic (in the Church's eyes) be a non Christian witness?

It will be a Roman Catholic baptism.

Thanks Stanstaple (talk) 18:42, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I recommend you read Godparent, and also talk to the priest in their church. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:52, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
It depends very much on the church and the priest. I wasn't asked if I was a Christian or required to provide Christian upbringing when I became a godfather (in a protestant church), only to help and support the child in question. But that may be quite atypical. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:55, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
According to the article, that is often the purpose of a godparent, and in fact I (a protestant) was always under the impression that that was the whole point of that role. And I wouldn't think a promise to support a child if it loses its parents would require religious faith. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:59, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I had exactly this issue. The RC ceremony in question (I don't know to what extent it varies) asked the Godparents to affirm that they believed in Jesus (and in the theological significance of Jesus) and to agree to help raise the child in the Roman Catholic faith. My cousin, who is a practising Roman Catholic, was actually questioned by the priest as to the theological underpinnings of his faith. On consultation with the parents, I agreed instead to be the "Science Father" (a role I invented for myself), which mostly entails buying the little tyke books about dinosaurs and minibeasts and stuff. 87.112.233.132 (talk) 19:01, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
It's only an issue if you've got some lurking concern that lying to a priest might be a sin punishable by God. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:24, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your responses thus far. I have read the Godparent article and searched a bit around the web, unfortunately I haven't found my answer. My understanding is that, as godfather, you do have to make vows at an RC baptism that I can't in good faith make. I know that for many it's okay just to go along with it and tell pseudo white lies. But, I think it would be better for all concerned if I could stand at the alter with my brother, sister-in-law & nephew, without lying, yet still affirm my guardianship of the little fella.
I've a feeling that there is an answer out there - but I don't know how to find it.
If anyone can search better than I, and find a method which maintains every ones integrity I'd very much appreciate it. I don't expect anyone to ask anyone on my behalf; if I could be pointed in the direction of a forum or wherever that I could get an answer, I'd be very grateful Stanstaple (talk) 19:38, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Hold on thar, Baba Looey. Is it really about "integrity" or is it about imposing your view on someone else? Is your brother OK with you making such a promise, knowing that it's bogus? If so, then just do it. Why should you give a Hoot in Hades what some priest that you'll never see again thinks about it? Your role will be to support the child if something happens to the parents. That's what you're committing to, and it's all that really matters. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Presumably because not all atheists are the dishonest, amoral, and selfish people you think they are, and some atheists may actually believe in doing the right thing (i.e. being honest) for the sake of doing the right thing? It is intriguing that you think being honest is the equivalent of imposing one's view on someone else. --50.47.81.232 (talk) 07:22, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
It all depends on where you live, and the wisdom of the priest. My atheist-communist friend and his formally converted wife asked me to be godfather of his child in a Catholic baptism in Italy. The priest, living in a communist township, posed no objections. Both the father and I undertook to have the child raised institutionally as a Catholic. In another district, the priest disallowed my playing a similar role for doctrinal reasons, and knowing I was a pagan.Nishidani (talk) 20:10, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I live in a Dublin. It's not so much a matter of what I can get away with or nudge a priest into. I'm not tring to pull a stroke or be cute.
I think what I'm trying to avoid is me imposing my beliefs on others by being conspicuosuly absent. I don't think it's okay to proclaim things which are fundamentally important but which I don't believe at, an occasion like this. That's why I can't stand up and speak words that I believe to be lies. I'm hoping for a solution, similar to their wedding, where I could be involved but not blatantly lie. Words do count. Especially at times like this.
And good on you for having the integrity to care about this issue. Best I can say is, as others have said, talk it over with the parents and/or the priest. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these types of questions. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 21:07, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
The highest "integrity" would be to do what's best for the child and its parents, as opposed to tryng to impose one's (non-)religious views on a situation. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:30, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Wow, that seems somewhat overstated. Seems to me the OP has been invited to participate in this ceremony, and feels a degree of social/family obligation, but also has moral scruples about doing something he does not believe in. There's no imposition of non-religious views going on. The role of a godparent in a Catholic baptism is not about assuming the role of the parent if the real parents fall under a bus, except to the extent of the child's religious upbringing. There is no assumption that the godparent will adopt the child, for example (which would be a tough call if the godparents were married to different spouses, which is usually the case). This is more about setting an example of not acting contrary to one's conscience, at least until the matter can be sorted out in discussions with the appropriate parties. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 22:22, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Neither my friend nor I were 'nudging' the priest. He knew both of us, and trusted that, since the father wanted the child baptised, and was notoriously a man of his word, and, extremely choosy about his friends, he inferred that the baptism was sponsored by people who did not take their contracted obligations - a godfather assumes a moral responsibility for a child's welfare, ethical and existential- lightly. He never asked me to say anything. Perhaps it was enough that my wife, the godmother, was devout. He was, if you like, a Graham Greenish priest, not a pettifogger. Nishidani (talk) 22:08, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry Nishindani - I didn't mean to imply that you were. I just wanted to make clear that I don't want to pretend to be a Catholic for the sake of the ceremony. Stanstaple (talk) 17:38, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
My family is Roman Catholic, from Liverpool, of Irish immigrant stock. I think the godfather vow is just ceremonial. Like a mother marrying for the second time, yet wearing a white dress. It's just part of the tradition. I don't even know who my godfather is. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 00:33, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

What did people in the GDR think of the Stasi[edit]

In the light of recent events, what did the people that actually lived in the GDR think of the Stasi? First of all, did they know to what extent they were watched, how many people were involved, etc? Would they have thought "this phone call might be listened to" on a daily basis, or was it the suspicious neighbour that would frighten them more, or was it something most people didn't really care about except for the few politically active? How many had a "nothing to hide" attitude? How many would say that that it would be no problem for them to have someone listening in on their sex life, as long as they wouldn't know about it? How many would actually have felt secure not because there would be less crimes against the state but just liked the idea that someone was watching them and could prevent mistakes, similar to God or parents? And would that differ between religious and non-religious people? Did the opinion change during the GDR regime? How many people wanted to know what was recorded after the Wall fell? Any research about this? Joepnl (talk) 19:18, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Comparing the NSA with the GDR is highly offensive. The core premise of a state like the GDR is simply this: No dissension is allowed. The mere fact that the NSA stuff is a topic of discussion in the US (and now in France, apparently, as they're doing the same thing - and probably everyone else is too) makes the comparison bogus. As to whether they liked it, check how quickly they got rid of their dictator when they had the chance, and tore down the wall, and that should give you a hint of how well they liked it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:31, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Who mentioned the National Security Agency? -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 20:00, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I suspect this is a case of If the shoe fits. And on a totally unrelated note, today I saw Chain of Command (part 2). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:08, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I didn't even specifically mean the NSA, nor do I want to stir a discussion. There are more reasons people must have disliked the GDR like being poor compared to West Germany. Joepnl (talk) 21:15, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Then what "recent events" are you talking about? Maybe the willingness of Facebook, Google, etc., to sell your personal info to anyone they feel like? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:28, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
NSA is one of the events, the Post Office another, bugging embassies yet another, and so are France's "NSA", Dutch internet providers, and then some more. It's quite hard to keep track these last weeks, really. I already said I didn't want a discussion, but since you ask. I don't have an account for Facebook, or Google, and they are not nearly as invasive. Also, fallacy.Joepnl (talk) 21:41, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I disagree that those entities are less invasive. The US government is collecting massive phone call lists because the phone companies won't retain the data for them. Those internet companies (and countless others) are actively invading your privacy. I fail to see how trying to carpet-bomb you with spam and identity theft is somehow more appropriate than trying to protect you from terrorists. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:46, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
This is becoming a forum, isn't it. In the EU phone companies do have to retain that data, which is and was publicly known. I'm not carpet-bombed with spam or identity theft because I didn't opt-in with those companies. I'm not a member of Oprah's Book Club either, and she never sent me any spam but if she would, I'd be able to go to a public court and make it stop. IMHO, I need as much protection from terrorists as the people in the GDR needed a Wall to protect them from Western Imperialism. Joepnl (talk) 21:55, 4 July 2013 (UTC) (That last sentence is a bit overstated. I mean terrorism should be considered like any murder, instead of a special kind) Joepnl (talk) 22:01, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
No. They are not the same. Terrorism is not "just" murder, it is an act of war against a nation. As regards the phone records, who cares where they are? Whether the government has them or the phone company has them, it still requires a warrant to investigate it. Internet hackers are a far greater danger to us, individually, than is a ginormous database of phone calls. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:48, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I asked these questions because of sincere interest in the psychological issues regarding spying on people, for which the GDR seemed like a nice example. Obviously, I wouldn't have asked if this subject (which is definitely not confined to the NSA or even the US) hadn't been in the news for weeks. If I wanted to have an in-depth discussion, however, I wouldn't have chosen the reference desk. As you rightly stated, that discussion is taking place already, so you'll probably agree with me that we don't need to re-enact the same discussion on the reference desk. Joepnl (talk) 02:07, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh really? You're offended by an implied comparison to a non-existent state, but not offended at a government that spies on you without a warrant and can murder you without trial? Please, tell me more about how everyone should respect your distorted sensitivities. --50.47.81.232 (talk) 05:55, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
The US government is not "spying on me without a warrant". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:48, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if a pointer to Daniel Patrick Moynihan will help, but I'll try... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:23, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
You might like to see The Lives Of Others. It was by someone who never saw life under the Stasi, but I read a review, and the people from East Germany said, "Yes, that was what we lived through". The film portrays the fear of bugging (for a writer and activist, not an ordinary citizen) and the interest in seeing the file that the government kept. The bit about seeing the surveillance files was presumably based on knowledge, since von Donnersmarck lived in the united Germany, and would have been able to research that kind of stuff. I also read about Romania after the fall of the Ceausescu regime, and the people used to tell jokes to keep themselves sane. One joke ran: "Two people are standing on a bus, and one of them is standing on the other guy's foot. So the second guy says 'Are you a government minister?' 'No' 'Are you working for the secret police?' 'No' 'Oh - are you some kind of government official of some sort?' 'No' 'So you mean to tell me you are not working for the government in any way.' 'That's right' 'Then get the hell off my foot'." Others were along similar lines. I would say human psychology is similar enough anywhere, and a political system such as that in East Germany essentially pits people against their own kind. It would never create a harmonious society based around the idea that surveillance is a cultural norm. I don't know anything about the psychology of the people who conform, and rat on their neighbours, however. This has always amazed me. IBE (talk) 03:16, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Regarding the OP's final question: after reunification, there was a big controversy over access to Stasi files--our article has the details. Obviously most people wanted to see their own files, but ex-Stasi (most of whom had only marginal positions within the organization) were understandably concerned that open access would lead to a era of retribution and make it impossible for East Germany to leave the past behind. In the end, people were allowed to see their own files, while media and researchers had limited rights to viewing the files of others (including, in some cases, ex-Stasi). --50.47.81.232 (talk) 07:13, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

field of psychology about the misconceptions of individual experience[edit]

I think there is a field of psychology about this but I'm not getting anywhere with searching. The idea is that we believe our individual experience is unique to us, but that most of our experience is really not different from one person to another. Like we know that we all have similar experiences of adolescence (feeling outcast and angry for example) that seem to be unique until we grow older and find that everyone feels that way.

So this field takes that idea about adolescent experience and generalizes it to all human experience. My question is: what is the name of that field? With that information, I can carry on searching but I seem to be unable to progress without it. thanks, Tim (talk) 19:26, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Weekly and monthly magazines[edit]

What are the 5 best selling weekly and monthly magazines in the UK? I've done google search but found nothing. Pass a Method talk 21:00, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

This site seems to have a reasonably comprehensive list. A quick collation of the data gives the top five weeklies as TV Choice, What's On TV, Take a Break, the Radio Times and New!, and the top five monthlies as Slimming World Magazine, Glamour, Moshi Monsters Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Woman & Home (on which we don't have an article!). Tevildo (talk) 21:39, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
(Incidentally, I'm assuming Moshi Monsters is monthly. If it's weekly, it doesn't make the top 10, and #5 on the monthly list goes to Yours - another magazine without an article.) Tevildo (talk) 22:36, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

The "Rough House" Case[edit]

In this 1904 newspaper story about the so-called "Rough House" case, I am having some trouble making out what rough house means. Is the story basically speaking about Mary Morris being abused by her husband and then taking out her anger on three pedestrians after she left the house? Is "rough house" a common euphemism during that period?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 23:00, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I searched Google Newspaper Archive holdings for 1890 to 1910, and found "rough house" used only to describe physical struggle, fighting, or disorderly conduct. maybe "rough house" was local slang for a low-class saloon in Hawaii in 1904. Edison (talk) 23:25, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I would assume from the context that the phrase is the equivalent of the English legal term disorderly house (99% of the time a brothel, but occasionally a gambling den). Etymonline doesn't list this as a meaning of "rough-house", but does include "barrel house" ("cheap saloon, often with an associated brothel") in its search results for the term. Tevildo (talk) 23:29, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I can't access the newspaper clipping, but a possible alternative spelling of Roughhouse? 64.201.173.145 (talk) 20:18, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
It seems that way at first saying "Morris...had been in a rough house, and she assaulted three innocent persons, the account made it appear that they were all harbitues of such a 'rough house', which is an unfair and an unjust slur upon those whom the woman...assaulted" but then when describing the event it says "she came out from the 'rough house' and picked a quarrel". If it is meaning rough house as in roughhousing, I don't understand the use of quotations for this phrase and why the journalist would call it a slur or say the woman would come out from the 'rough house'. Here is another link.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 22:57, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I think it's probably a brothel, as Tevildo has said above. I remember my mother using it in such a context 50 years ago. --TammyMoet (talk) 09:38, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Your mother used a brothel, Tammy? Saucy lady. :) -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 21:29, 9 July 2013 (UTC)