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seen Mar 26 '13 at 5:04

Jan
2
awarded  Quorum
Sep
16
awarded  Yearling
Feb
25
comment The history of the idea that lack of moral censure leads to decline
If you are sincere, read Emily Post's books, especially the earlier editions of Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home. ... "Manners" is a pattern of self-imposed behavior (sometimes reinforced by social pressure), whereby one is gracious, tolerant, and forgiving by default. If/When those behaviors prove to be unwarranted in a particular case, manners can also guide the practitioner unto a more measured/rational response. But, manners do not mean you must be a wimp or "PC". Decent people spend decades learning manners, it's hard to summarize them in a comment.
Feb
24
comment The history of the idea that lack of moral censure leads to decline
I meant to emphasize manners more -- which was mostly what the people I remember were writing/talking about. This does not include all "moral" censure, by a broad definition of the term. For example, excessive arbitrary dictates -- the kind often associated with "religious persecution" -- would not apply. But I would argue that they where not moral either.
Feb
24
comment Examples of censorship causing economic decline
@FelixGoldberg, go ahead, but I make no promises to attempt to answer it.
Feb
24
comment Examples of censorship causing economic decline
@FelixGoldberg, IIRC, people like Cato, Mark Twain, Heinlein, Bismark (I think), and Churchill all remarked that declining manners were a sure indicator of a society in collapse. I think Jefferson or Adams might have said this too.
Feb
24
answered Know of any historical tales in which a man kills the woman he loves as a sacrifice in the name of duty, religion, etc.?
Feb
24
comment Examples of censorship causing economic decline
PS: If amoral censorship is bad (it is), then we are in big trouble.
Feb
24
comment Examples of censorship causing economic decline
It's rather the opposite. The decline of a civilization has long been linked, anecdotally, to less moral censure and a decline in manners (manners being self, usually-moral censorship). Of course, excessive arbitrary dictates are also counterproductive. This is an interesting question, but it may be hard to pin it down with science.
Feb
22
comment Proportion of population that works in agriculture (1000 - today)
PS: The actual "science", even for modern figures is full of wishes, educated guesswork, and interpretation. For example, the 2% figure, for first world nations, is misleading. Since those ag-workers would not be productive without the transportation, chemical, energy, finance sectors, etc. Take away one of those, and the modern farm is severely crippled. Everything's interdependent in ways that no career politician can understand. So that 2% figure is ultimately meaningless. Back in time is, of course, much murkier.
Feb
22
comment Proportion of population that works in agriculture (1000 - today)
This is one of those big/vague questions that's easy to ask, but much harder to answer in a documented way. I started to put together a proper answer, with references, but it exceeded the time budget I gave it, so I commented instead. I may finish my answer later but make no promises.
Feb
21
comment Proportion of population that works in agriculture (1000 - today)
If we restrict to just Western Europe and the USA then it started out at over 80% and decreased to about 2% today in the USA and some EU countries. ... Many factors lowered the percent over the last few centuries: Better roads, secure currency, lower crime rate, several improvements in plow technology, breeding better draft animals, paved roads, crop rotation practices developed, canal development, railways and steamships, refrigeration, electricity and mechanized farming, refrigerated trucks and planes. Getting food to a viable market before it spoiled was a HUGE advance.
Sep
25
comment Which country was the first one, in which the Christian Church was separated from the state?
@Anixx, Off the top of my head, I believe this happened many times in the Holy Roman Empire, and in England. IIRC it happened in some US colonies and states/territories like Massachusetts and Utah. BUT, "declarations" matter little. Actual practice matters more, and they're not often the same.
Sep
24
revised Which mythological/historical/fictional character is cited as a symbol for constant improvement or dogged persistence in re-doing his task?
Retagging for accuracy; old tag was a little misleading
Sep
24
comment Is this true that the requirement to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged?
@MonsterTruck, it seems clear that he's using "Caesar" as a title, not a particular individual.
Sep
24
reviewed Reviewed Which mythological/historical/fictional character is cited as a symbol for constant improvement or dogged persistence in re-doing his task?
Sep
24
comment What was the first successful non violent independence movement?
Does walking away count? Seems like the first migrations out of Africa and, later, into the Americas could be the epitomes of non-violent independence seeking.
Sep
24
suggested suggested edit on What was the first successful non violent independence movement?
Sep
24
awarded  Custodian
Sep
24
reviewed Reviewed What was the first successful non violent independence movement?