Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 May 18

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May 18[edit]

Catholic bishops and cathedrals[edit]

This is going to be a convoluted question, largely because I don't know enough to ask an intelligent question.

  1. First off, I've heard of cathedral parishes. Are the parishioners just average Catholics who hear Mass at the cathedral instead of at a non-cathedral church? Or is there something special about the parish, e.g. you somehow have to "qualify" to be a member there in a way that you don't have to "qualify" to be a member of a normal parish? Perhaps the membership is composed of the priests from across the diocese?
  2. What responsibilities does a bishop have for a cathedral and its parish? Are they basically the same as a typical priest's responsibilities for his parish? Bishop (Catholicism) doesn't mention the issue, only mentioning the bishop's responsibilities for the entire diocese. I'm also unclear how a cathedral's Rector (ecclesiastical) fits in.
  3. Do bishops typically work out of an office at the cathedral, or do they spend most of their time visiting the various parishes to keep up to date on what's going on? Or do they decide on their own schedules, making this question impossible to answer?
  4. When a diocese has two cathedrals, does the bishop have equal responsibilities for both, or will one be more important than the other, or is this question unanswerable because the situation varies from diocese to diocese? Co-cathedral doesn't specify whether a building designated "Co-Cathedral" is equal or subsidiary to a building designated "Cathedral".

Perhaps a little context will help; all this grows out of seeing a "Reserved for the Bishop" sign in a parking spot at St. Joseph's, the cathedral for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. It left me wondering what he was supposed to do there versus what he had to do at the Charleston co-cathedral and at the other parishes. Nyttend (talk) 01:31, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Cathedral comes from the Greek word kathedra which literal means "seat", and through Latin and French is the source of the English word "chair". A cathedral is essentially a church with a little more grandeur suiting a bishop, who is the head of a diocese. Bishoprics can move and new cathedrals be built; it doesn't require the old one to be destroyed. As for parish, a Catholic is supposed to attend and support his geographically closest parish church. That may end up being a cathedral. My youngest sister ended up being baptized in a Roman Catholic church due to geography, along with some other complications, even though we were Byzantine Catholic. Only later did the bishop comment he would have happily had her baptized in a Byzantine church had he known. μηδείς (talk) 02:14, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I see that you're answering my #1; thank you. I don't see answers to #2-#4; do I misunderstand you, or did you not intend to answer them? Not trying to complain; I'm still a bit confused by the situation. Nyttend (talk) 05:25, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Does Bishop (Catholicism)#Duties help any? Diocesan bishops (those appointed to head a Diocese) are expected to say Mass every week, in addition to that, they are also the chief administrator of the Diocese, and have similar duties to other administrators in any endeavor: staffing all of the parishes with pastoral priests, maintaining the finances for the diocese, etc. Bishops also preside over certain sacraments, such as Holy Orders and Confirmation. --Jayron32 05:36, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
That's the problem — I read it before asking this question. I was left wondering if they normally said Mass at the cathedral (and in the case of double dioceses like Wheeling-Charleston, both or just one?) or if they would rotate around parishes, or if both were valid options; and also I was left uncertain of how they were required (or if any requirements existed) to perform the other duties. Nyttend (talk) 05:58, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry. As for #2 and #3, The cathedral is just the church itself, the bishop will have a rectory (or its equivalent, that's what they call it for parish priests) which serves as an office and usually has a very close by or attached residence. Jayron pretty much answered #3. The bishop sets his own schedule and can communicate, often by letter, both with the priests and the parishoners in his diocese directly. When I attended church I remember there being a letter about yearly and on special occasions or about special issues from the bishop. When The Life of Brian came out, a letter from Archbishop Krol of Philadelphia was read (in the role of bishop) forbidding Catholics from viewing it. As for his duties, he could be thought of as the district manager of a corporate business (he literally is this) watching over the branch offices as he saw fit. μηδείς (talk) 06:00, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Hey, no need to apologise! Didn't realise that rectories were often offices; I know that lots of Protestant ministers (including many in my denomination) have offices at the church (and many of the exceptions are pastors of tiny congregations who need to save money everywhere possible, including by working at home), so I simply figured that the church would have rooms where priests would do their paperwork and their studying and meet with parishioners. I understand much better now; "the bishop sets his own schedule" makes the situation substantially simpler. I guess that I wasn't aware of the extent of bishops' autonomy; instead of being district managers, I imagined them as being comparable to mid-level bureaucrats who always have certain procedures to follow and lack the right to make important decisions independently. Does that answer my #4 too, i.e. the bishop can decide which of the two cathedrals is more important, or he can make them equal? Nyttend (talk) 06:12, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I won't comment on #4 since I have no familiarity with the issue. But what is important to keep in mind is that the bureaucracy is not ceremonial or sacramental. There are certain things you have to do during mass to do it right. But the administration of dioceses is organic and inherently different and follow what in the corporate world are called "local practices" (see alansplodge's comment below for difference between UK and US). As an example, in my family's local parish, there was originally a single small building called the rectory with an office, a kitchen, and rooms for the monsignor and the second parish priest. Over time the parish expanded, separate residences were built for the serving and retired priests, and the "rectory" became just an office. None of this has any religious significance, however, so it's just a matter of administrative decisions based on supply and demand. μηδείς (talk) 19:54, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

My understanding is that the cathedral itself is usually managed by a team of clergy called the Cathedral chapter which is led by a Provost and supported by an administrator called the Dean. However, that last link says that in the US, there are no chapters, and cathedrals are directly managed by a Rector. The Bishop isn't involved with the day-to-day running of his cathedral, and may only lead the worship there on special occasions and major feast days. Alansplodge (talk) 17:04, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Guy Medal in silver 1915[edit]

Who got the Guy Medal in silver in 1915

Did anyone of the below got the Guy Medal. None of their wikipedia page have any mention of Guy Medal. Neither is there any clue on the internet.

Any help appreciated. Solomon7968 (talk) 09:37, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

I can't find anything explicit on Google, but this biography of Chapman the Maths says that after a spell collecting data at the Royal Observatory, he returned to lecture at Cambridge in 1914, which doesn't sound like anything you'd win a stats prize for. He was also a conscientious objector, which in 1915, would have made him the target of public vilification. Chapman the Economy was meanwhile busy putting the nation's industries onto a war footing and seems far more likely to be gathering laurels, given the patriotic fervour in the Britain of 1915. Alansplodge (talk) 09:58, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Also (circumstantial, I know), the economist definitely had a J to match the "SJ Chapman" on the Royal Society's list whereas I can't see the mathematician ever used a middle initial. What about asking at whether someone with a Times subscription can search their archive for 1915 for an announcement? (talk) 10:21, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Couldnt find anything in the Times about the medal in 1915 but a paper by Professor S. J. Chapman, MA and Mr David Kemp was read to the society in January 1915 on "The War and the Textile Industries", this would point to Sydney Chapman (economist) being the receipent. MilborneOne (talk) 14:54, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Professor J Shield Nicholson and Mr R G Hawtrey are in the RSS's list of previous silver winners, and Professor D F Hendry in the bronze list. Clarityfiend (talk) 13:26, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
  • According to Who Was Who, Sydney John Chapman (b. 1871) was a Guy Silver Medallist (no year given). He was also Vice-President of the Royal Statistical Society in 1916. The other one definitely had no middle name. Andrew Gray (talk) 23:44, 18 May 2013 (UTC)


Which countries have the highest and lowest proportions of hipsters as a percentage of the overall population? The definition is as per the linked article i.e. "associated with independent music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility, liberal or independent political views, alternative spirituality or atheism/agnosticism, and alternative lifestyles." --Viennese Waltz 10:17, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

The concept is so nebulous that it's probably impossible to say. Adam Bishop (talk) 13:10, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Idle (though infallible) speculation: The Vatican would be fairly low on the list. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 13:22, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Count the number of goatees? -- AnonMoos (talk) 14:38, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Given my experience part of the hipster m.o. is that they do not admit that the existence of other "hipsters" and certainly don't catalog their numbers, as Walter Sobchak might say if seeing that behavior "Hippsstteerr . . . very un-hipster". And if even hipsters won't count their population how are us squares supposed to? Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 15:55, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Didn't we have this question not very long ago? -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 21:26, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Before it was cool, perhaps? --Nicknack009 (talk) 11:41, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
No, about a month ago, from memory. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 13:18, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

I would hazard to guess that the country with the highest proportion of hipsters would probably be Luxembourg. It is a fairly liberal country politically... well plugged into the trends in broader European culture. However, because its total population is small, even a small number of hipsters will be a large percentage of total population. Blueboar (talk) 14:09, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

By (nebulous) definition, this is an urban, indeed principally metropolitan, subculture. Luxembourg doesn't have a city big enough to come even close to being a metropolis. (Luxembourg City has a population of between 100,000 and 160,000 depending on how you define the city limits). Valiantis (talk) 23:25, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

As the article in question refers almost exclusively to the US and indeed primarily to the New York area (there's also a reference to Vancouver) then I'd suggest the only realistic answer is the US. "Hipster" is an English term. The interwiki links all direct to "hipster" as an English loan word and the text in those that I can read refers mainly to the US - and New York specifically - as the stomping ground of such folk. (The Italian interwiki also identifies Hoxton and Shoreditch in London, Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, Belleville, Paris, and Bologna in Italy). I'm mainly familiar with the term from US TV etc. where it seems to be well-understood enough to be used in mainstream comedy shows (off the top of my head both 2 Broke Girls and Happy Endings regularly poke fun at hipsters and use the term when doing so). There does seem to be some currency for the term in the UK in print and web media, but I can't think of comparable UK TV programmes which use the term as a readily understandable type. Valiantis (talk) 23:25, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

To add to the confusion, most of the images are of Chicago. Sindonwe (talk) 00:40, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Is there even any evidence that hipsters/hipsterism exists outside the US as a defined subculture/concept? Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 00:49, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

World War I is missing: which one should it go in, and why?[edit]

World War I is missing from both of the above articles. Which one does it belong in, and why? The Transhumanist 19:00, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

A good question. Early modern warfare says that "the late 18th to early 19th centuries... mark the end of this era", while Modern warfare on the other hand states that "Modern warfare, although present in every historical period of military history, is generally used to refer to the concepts, methods and technologies that have come into use during and after the Second World War and the Korean War.[citation needed]". I think that we can assume that whatever else is wrong, the suggestion that "modern warfare" was "present in every historical period of military history" is either entirely nuts, or meaningless. On the other hand, there isn't actually a requirement that Wikipedia articles be logically consistent with each other. I suspect that this may be a question for military historians to answer: is there an agreed definition of when 'early modern warfare' began, and what period followed it? Perhaps there is a 'mid-modern warfare' period? Or maybe historians don't have any agreed common definition (which wouldn't be that surprising). Whatever the answer is, we should beware of redefining the scope of one article or the other without proper sourcing. It needs proper research. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:25, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't have a source, but American history commentary usually describes the Civil War 1861-1865 as the turning point, which began with soldiers marching in formation and ended with ironclad armored hulls, machine guns and submarines (and concentration camps and the "total war" of Sherman's March). WWI had a similar trajectory, with soldiers in formation and bright uniforms giving way to gas, guns, trenches and tanks. μηδείς (talk) 19:36, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Sherman's March to the Sea is an example of the "scorched earth" military strategy. "Total war" means commitment of an entire economy to a war. The Transhumanist 19:46, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, transhumanist. μηδείς (talk) 19:57, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Our "history of war" template (inserted above on the right) classifies WWI as part of the Industrial warfare era, which lies between the Early Modern (aka "gunpowder") and Modern eras. Looie496 (talk) 19:41, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. This solves my problem. I've treated it (in Wikipedia:WikiProject Outlines/Drafts/Outline of World War I#Nature of World War I) as follows:
There is no doubt that World War I is not "early modern warfare." But as Looie points out there are finer grades that you can classify it as opposed to just calling it "modern." (In general, "early modern" usually means 16th-early 19th centuries, though in some contexts it can go earlier or later.) --Mr.98 (talk) 20:01, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
The guys at WP:MILHIST might be able to help out here. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 20:03, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I've left them a note to invite them over. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 20:14, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I think the confusion is a result of the differences between how historians use the word "modern" and how its used in the vernacular. Generally speaking, the terms line up with the early modern and modern periods in European history. A common delineator between the two is the Revolutionary/Napoleonic period (so the 1797-1815). The periodization is especially coincidental, owing to the major changes in warfare (for instance, the levee en masse - mass conscription, the advent of total war, etc.) the marked a significant break from the Frederickian style limited war of the early modern period, and led directly to the industrialized warfare of the 20th century.
So to answer the original question, World War I is firmly in the "modern" era. I hope that helps. Parsecboy (talk) 21:23, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree - World War I is often referred to as the first truly modern war in that all particpants were industrialized, and the fighting took place on land, sea and air and involved complex strategies, logistical arrangements and communications. Wars such as the American Civil War are seen as being precursors to WW1. That all said, there wasn't a clear delineation. Nick-D (talk) 23:29, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Do we have an article on how stupid the word modern is as an adjective for a historical period, one that will obviously eventually not be all that modern. What's the next period in warfare? Post-modern? And then...? — Preceding unsigned comment added by HiLo48 (talkcontribs)
I could just imagine a teenager in 1,000 years buying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and sitting down in front of his virtual console and thinking, "Hang on....this is ancient warfare......" KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 09:09, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Generally the "modern period" is the 20th century to the present. Yes, over time that becomes increasingly long, but people of the future will just rename stuff. Nobody called themselves "early modern", or even "medieval," either. This are terms always applied retrospectively. That they shift over time does not preclude their usefulness. --Mr.98 (talk) 17:29, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
No, what you're referring to is the contemporary period (and it again highlights the difference between how "modern" is used by historians and by the general public). The modern period (as historians define it) goes back to the 16th century (including the early modern period). Parsecboy (talk) 22:45, 19 May 2013 (UTC)


Do the majority of Japanese people actually eat Pocky on a regular basis? I personally suspect that it's not as often as Japanophiles in the west think that they do and that it's mostly a stereotype/misunderstanding, but does anyone know for sure? -- (talk) 19:55, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

I lived in Japan for ten years, and I can say they are very common at parties, or as snacks when going on a journey somewhere. However, they are not commonly eaten at home or in the office (at least not in my house or in my workplaces), but they may be given as a snack for visitors to a house. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 09:00, 19 May 2013 (UTC)