Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy Holidays!!!

All the best and a happy New Year to you all!!

Pierre Cloutier

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lutherean Silliness

Martin Luther
Martin Luther is without a doubt one of the most important persons in the history of the Western Civilization and would rightly belong in any top ten list of the most important Religious figures in history however this doesn't mean he is not one of the silliest men in History.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Embattled Journey

One of the most interesting phenomena in the last couple of decades is the rise of Japanese Manga in the West. In fact now you can easily find shelves and shelves of translated Japanese Manga in book stores throughout Europe and North America north of the Rio Grande.

Now Manga are Japanese comics but they come from a quite different tradition of publishing going back to a long history of printing wood cut prints to illustrate the books that the Japanese read. also in Japan Manga are used not just entertain and titillate, (Erotic and Pornographic Manga are common.), but also to educate and teach, such things as calculus, and even engineering. Further unlike much of the West, Manga's main audience has in fact been adults. In fact in much of the West comics are usually considered entertainment for children and teens, and only in the last 30 years has that begun to change in the West.1

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Diffusion Part VIII
The Mystery of Disease

Picture of Disease ravaged Natives from
the Florentine Codex

In the past I have examined the usual arguments for contact between the Old and New World pre- Columbus. What I have concluded is that at best with the exception of the Norse (c. 1000 C.E.), the evidence is both very poor and at best indicates sporadic and intermittent contact between the Old and New World and further such contact had minimal influence on the development of New World civilization.1

Here I will discuss briefly one of the seminal problems about arguing for sustained contact between the Old and New World pre-Columbus. The lack of similar diseases.2

Monday, May 16, 2016

Right Policy
Bad Execution
Part I

Capture of Jean II at the Battle of Poitiers 1358 during the
Hundred Years War

In past history there is little that is more frustrating than politicians pursuing correct and / or sensible policy by inept and sometimes disastrous methods.

In previous postings I discussed various aspects of the Hundred Years war including the foolish and counterproductive efforts at political influence of Humphrey the Duke of  Gloucester.1 Now Humphrey was adamantly opposed to the peace policy of the government of Henry VI. However his opposition had little constructive in it and all Humphrey proposed was a redoubling of the war effort in order to get all of England's "rights" in France. That Humphrey's views were totally unrealistic and fantasy laden was obvious at the time and even more obvious now. Sadly the greater realism of Humphrey's opponents did not also translate into greater skill or realism in executing this more realistic policy.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Epstein's Folly

I have in the past discussed the woo writer and all round fringe thinker Graham Hancock1. Here I will discuss a review of Hancock’s latest woo-fest Magicians of the Gods2. The review by a Prof. Jon Epstein is a wonderful example of a Professional academic latching on to a woo claim in order to feel bold, daring and cutting edge.3

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fantasy and Scholarship
A Case Study

19th Century Tin Cans

In two previous posts I talked about the infamous Franklin Expedition1 Here I would like to review a book about the Franklin Expedition. The book is called IceBlink2

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

De Man
Avoiding Responsibility

Paul de Man

The late Paul de Man was one of the most influential Postmodernists.1 Paul de Man was born in and lived his early life in Belgium after World War II he moved to the USA where he taught at Yale University. Paul de Man's writing were rather turgid and difficult but beneath the verbiage we sometimes find stuff that is unintentionally revealing, such has this passage:
Yet without this moment, never allowed to exist as such, no such thing as a text is conceivable. We know this to be the case from empirical experience as well: it is always possible to face up to any experience (to excuse any guilt), because the experience always exists simultaneously as fictional discourse and as empirical event and it is never possible to decide which one of the two possibilities is the right one. The indecision makes it possible to excuse the bleakest of crimes because, as a fiction, it escapes from the constraints of guilt and innocence. On the other hand, it makes it equally possible to accuse fiction-making which, in Holderlin's words, is "the most innocent of all activities," of being the most cruel. The knowledge of radical innocence also performs the harshest mutilations. Excuses not only accuse but they carry out the verdict implicit in their accusation.2

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Causes of the
American Civil War
A Brief Note

Image of Battle From the American Civil War

Debates about the causes of the American Civil War have been going on since it was over and have not died down since it was over because sadly the causes of the American Civil War are not just past history they are also contemporary history and concerns.

In the USA the past in terms of the Civil War resonates even now with the whole witches brew of contemporary issues; most especially those related to the issue of race.1

The result is that the causes of the American Civil War cannot be discussed without impinging on contemporary reality. However in many respects this is very much a post Civil War creation because before and at the time the Civil War was being fought there was little debate about the causes of the conflict.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Battle Miss-Remembered
Poltava 1709

Battle of Poltava

In a previous post I mentioned and reviewed a rather unpleasant example of the bias of the Military Historian J. F. C. Fuller,1. Here I will discuss one of Fuller's less than stellar feats in the description of a decisive battle.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Atlas Bored
to Tears

Book Cover

In My last post I made fun of a character in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Surely one of the worst written novels ever excreted by an author. Here I will just make a few points about the philosophical centre of the novel. John Galt’s truly horribly written speech.1

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lady Heather's Complaint

Lady Heather
(Melinda Clarke)

Lady Heather  was a character in the long running show CSI. She started out has a Dominatrix running a (legal) brothel in Nevada and ended up becoming a therapist. In the show she had various run ins with the regulars especially  head honcho Grissom.
John Galt is a character, Messiah, in that door stop of a novel Atlas Shrugged, written by Ayn Rand. The character is one of the ultimate Mary Sue creations aside from being one dimensional.
I thought it might be fun to have the two characters meet.1

Monday, January 04, 2016

False Testimony?
Debates about the existence of Jesus go back many centuries and one of the most commonly used pieces of evidence concerning the historical existence of Jesus is the so-called Testimonia of Josephus. It has been used repeatedly over the centuries to establish that Jesus was a real historical figure. The Testimonia occurs in two places in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, (18, 3, 3, and 20, 9, 1.)1.