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#581
Erowind

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When I think of both Russia and the Middle east I think of both great scientists and philosophers. With both peoples I think of great strength and and adaptability. The Russians made one of the greatest revolutions in human history and took the brunt of the fascist menace in an extremely harsh climate only to go to space a few decades later. The Middle East is the birthplace of civilization and with that comes millennia of accomplishments.

 

I think more than anything I think of comrades and take pride in what other humans are doing oceans away. 



#582
PhoenixRu

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The Middle East is the birthplace of civilization and with that comes millennia of accomplishments.

 

To me, the history of Arab-Islamic world is a disturbing example of quick and great success ended with seemingly unexplained stagnation and decline. If I was an alien visited Earth sometime between 800 and 1400 AD, I'd came to conclusion that future belongs to Islamic world: huge cities, widespread literacy, trade, rational science (here is my favorite person), common spoken language and inclusive ideology. By "inclusive" I mean that neighbors of this civilization were expected to convert to Islam to be accepted as equals. Maybe this picture is a bit idealized, but the fact remains: they were for centuries ahead of Christian Europe and, as it seemed, all doors to further success were open...

 

And yet, this promising civilization failed. Why did this happen? We must know for sure, at least to not repeat the same mistake.


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#583
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The Middle East is the birthplace of civilization and with that comes millennia of accomplishments.

 

To me, the history of Arab-Islamic world is a disturbing example of quick and great success ended with seemingly unexplained stagnation and decline. If I was an alien visited Earth sometiome between 800 and 1400 AD, I'd came to conclusion that future belongs to Islamic world: huge cities, widespread literacy, trade, rational science (here is my favorite person), common spoken language and inclusive ideology. By "inclusive" I mean that neighbors of this civilization were expected to convert to Islam to be accepted as equals. Maybe this picture is a bit idealized, but the fact remains: they were for centuries ahead of Christian Europe and, as it seemed, all doors to further success were open...

 

And yet, this promising civilization failed. Why did this happen? We must know for sure, at least to not repeat the same mistake.

Except we do know exactly why this civilization failed. It was the medieval equivalent of a nuclear war: the Mongols.

 

The Mongol sacking of Baghdad was so complete, the nation didn't recover. Period. And Iran didn't recover their population until around the 1900s. Baghdad was the center of the Arab/Islamic world up until the Mongols destroyed it. Then the center became Cairo in Egypt, but Egypt hadn't been a relevant world power for almost two thousand years by that point. The Ottomans hadn't formed their empire yet; the Byzantine empire still existed at this point.

 

What's more, the Mongols destroyed Song Dynasty China. This is extremely important because the Southern Song Dynasty was very close to an industrial revolution. So close: they had joint-stock companies, they were refining steel, mining coal, and drilling for oil. They even had a printing press centuries before Gutenberg. Then the Mongols utterly destroyed them, subjugated them for about 3 centuries, and subsequently retarded their development until communism arose in 1949, seven centuries later.

Russia was an example of a country that benefited since it was the Mongol threat that united Christendom around the Muscovite, but it was still extraordinarily bloody and savage. But Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Jordan, Syria, etc.? Might as well have been nuked.

 

This allowed Europe to leapfrog the Orient. The Ottomans and Egyptians were the last remnant of "Arabic civilization" for centuries. It happened far enough away in history for it to feel like ancient history but close enough for the effects to still be relevant. 

 

Also, there's a strong argument to be made the Mongols introduce the Black Death to Europe. The Mongols killed about 10% of all humanity, and the Black Death further killed a quarter. This not including other killers like smallpox and the Little Ice Age. So between 1250 to 1400, 35% of all humans just died.

 

It's astounding we don't learn more about the Mongols in history books considering how totally they changed the course of history. Without the Mongols, the Middle East would have been par with Europe, China would have industrialized a thousand years ago, Africa would not have been exploited anywhere near as much until Chinese imperialism happens upon them, Europe would have remained balkanized (and likely would have been exploited just as much as Africa), the Americas would have been colonized by the Chinese, the world population would have reached a billion by 1700, and Christianity would not have been anywhere near as strong.  


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#584
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That's wild. I also just learned that those same drilling techniques used by the Song were rediscovered and used in 20th century china. Some of these wooden oil drilling platforms were over 100M tall! Imagine seeing this in ancient China. 

 

2004-06-chinese-drilling-fig10.jpg

 

https://csegrecorder...hinese-drilling


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#585
PhoenixRu

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What's more, the Mongols destroyed Song Dynasty China. This is extremely important because the Southern Song Dynasty was very close to an industrial revolution. So close: they had joint-stock companies, they were refining steel, mining coal, and drilling for oil. They even had a printing press centuries before Gutenberg. Then the Mongols utterly destroyed them, subjugated them for about 3 centuries, and subsequently retarded their development until communism arose in 1949, seven centuries later.

 

The problem of China was not in technologies, but in society itself:

 

1) Chinese feudal class was stronger and better organized (rigid state bureaucracy with rich experience and traditions) than their European collegues.

2) At the same time, Chinese feudal class was quasi-open, there was no concept of "blue bloods". Theoretically, any peasant could pass the exams to start a career. So, the rich merchants (the possible future capitalists) strived to rather join the already existing ruling class than overthrow it.

 

I'm not saying that native Chinese capitalism was impossible, but it was clearly harder to do than in Europe.


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#586
PhoenixRu

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Btw, that's what came to mind: medieval Italy was the reverse example. Feudal class was too weak and city-states were strong enough, and therefore capitalism arose earlier than you could expect (with purely medieval technologies and without any industrial revolution). This was rather merchant than industrial capitalism, but nevertheless...

 

There was even the real "proletarian revolution", happened in 1378 AD!

 

1096_il_tumulto_dei_ciompi.jpg

 

=== === ===

 

PS maybe you should move few last posts to some "alternate history" thread.


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#587
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I took the pottermore quiz out of curiosity, and I got sorted into Slytherin god damn it.


Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#588
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I'm Ravenclaw if I remember right. /\
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#589
Outlook

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I got a new phone! Its the Xiaomi Pocofone f1. For certain the Chinese are spying on me but I mean with Google, NSA, and CSIS doing the deed domestically already, it really makes it meaningless.
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Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#590
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I've got a one plus one and my attitude has been that I'd rather a foreign country spy on me than any domestic force. Because if China hypothetically thinks I'm the spawn of Satan they can't do anything about it. If domestic forces do they can do something about it.
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#591
Outlook

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Going to a habitat for humanity build tomorrow. With my political campaigning and my job, I feel like that's the only thing that has any significant virtuous value. If I die, at least I can say that I helped build affordable homes for the poor.
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Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#592
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Going to a habitat for humanity build tomorrow. With my political campaigning and my job, I feel like that's the only thing that has any significant virtuous value. If I die, at least I can say that I helped build affordable homes for the poor.


I didn't do much except assist and move things/hold things up for people. My arms are pretty weak and shakey. I got to go up on a scaffold though for the first time in my life, and the view up there was nice. I left early though because I was getting drowzy. Making this an excuse to fix my sleep schedule since they start work early.
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Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#593
PhoenixRu

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Since 2014, I have a weird habit to collect the yearly editions of standard "World and Russia" map:

 

i209116.jpg

 

This map is a kind of photo of the world in each given year: changing state borders (happened only once), renamed countries (happened twice) and cities (many times). So, two days ago I bought the 2019 edition... and this map is already outdated! Who would have thought!


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#594
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I read "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" by Ellison, and I took some things out of it. I've returned back to writing with the interest of making lots of money and being good at the craft, so I'm reading these stories as 'lessons'. Anyways, what I realized was that in order for someone to become a political extremist, they must first accept violence as a right act. Not in the sense of self-defense, but in the sense that violence is justified for the attainment of another goal.

Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#595
PhoenixRu

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Look what I found:

 

https://vk.com/wsnws

 

Here you can download the fresh (or old, if you want) newspapers and magazines in English, German, French, or Spanish. Everything in PDF format and for free.

 

Not sure how long will this place exist though.



#596
wjfox

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I was incredibly busy in the office lately, and tired, which limited my ability to post blogs/predictions. But now I finally have a week's holiday – plenty of time to do FT updates!


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#597
PhoenixRu

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I must admit, most of Russian sci-fi is a sad trash. Such a trash that, sometimes, you feel embarrassed reading this.

 

But there are rare diamonds and here is one of them: "Rose and worm" by Robert Ibatullin. The events happening in the world of XXV century and divided into three layers: Earth (few semi-barbarian societies on the territory of former Russia), colonies in Solar System, long independent from Earth and divided into two hostile powers: Pleroma and Dual alliance. And, finally, the unfriendly aliens, who were attracted by human progress and whose goals remain unknown. Technology, society, politics, culture, even changes in spoken language - everything is well-thought (afaik, author is professional historian).

 

In short, if it will ever be translated to English, I highly recommend it to read.


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#598
Erowind

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I read "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" by Ellison, and I took some things out of it. I've returned back to writing with the interest of making lots of money and being good at the craft, so I'm reading these stories as 'lessons'. Anyways, what I realized was that in order for someone to become a political extremist, they must first accept violence as a right act. Not in the sense of self-defense, but in the sense that violence is justified for the attainment of another goal.


Out of curiosity would define direct action as extremism? Where I define direct action as ignoring the state and just doing what one thinks is right. An example here would be when Ghandi and his followers marches on the salt mines. He believed salt was a human right. They didn't plead to officials by say blocking a road and asking for salt (civil disobedience) the message was, "we are taking the salt you try to stop us."

Now Ghandi was nonviolent so his group didn't fight the 60,000+ arrests that came their way. Me being an anarchist would advocate violently resisting the police in that circumstance had I a group that large. Would my hypothetical resistance be self defense or extremism by your definition? Remember, all the hypothetical protest is doing is making salt at the ocean and reacting to the police.

Not saying you're wrong Outlook I just want your opinion.

#599
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Of course, I think it's sort of a fundamental acceptance. I don't think one who accepts violence as a tool has to be politically extreme. People can use violence for non-political purposes, for example a BDSM fetishist is not politically extreme. I guess I used the wrong word as well, as radicalism would be better fitting than extremism. Or radical extremism, better yet.


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Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#600
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Radical extremism is totally the way to go with this imo. Just being radical in its own right doesn't imply crossing ethical lines. Radicalism just means advocating fundamental and substantive change to a given thing. Where the root word of radical, radix, means to take things to their roots. This is the reason that radicalism appealed to me so much politically. When applied responsibly and ethically radicalism has the potential to be very scientific in nature due to its roots based approach. We aim to start at the bottom and gain understanding by following the roots of systems up through their bodies and into their branches. In order to truly change the branch it makes sense to start with the root. There's a saying among anarcho-transhumanists. Every good anarchist is at least a social scientist.

In an attempt to demystify I hope others reading this will understand that radical =/= bad.




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