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comment Were Shakespeare's plays written for “high culture” or “entertain the bawdy masses” during his time?
Indeed, I've heard that Shakespeare's plays are full of vulgarity and references to sex, which would back up this idea. Heard? Have you actually read/performed in/attended any of them? That stuff's right out there for everyone to see, and some of it's even in language that we can still understand today, such as the infamous interlude in Macbeth about alcohol and its effects on male sexuality.
comment Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?
@Epiphany: And those "preventative measures" are a form of handling disease, on a societal scale if not a personal one.
comment Why didn't Native (North) Americans ever advance their civilization?
The odd thing is, the land bridge migration origin violates everything we know about migratory population dynamics. Large population centers and high culture exist most strongly at the point of origin, and gets lower the further you travel into the frontier. (Think of the European colonization of North America, back when there was still a frontier. The further east you went, the more civilized things became.) That's always been the way of things... but that would place the proto-Native American immigrants' point of origin in Central America, not Alaska. What gives?
comment Why were rockets not popular as part of artillery until 20th century?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. -- Francis Scott Key, 1814
comment How were nobles 'promoted' in aristocracies?
Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor...
comment How common are major cities not built by abundant water?
Sure, the largest cities in the US aren't on the largest rivers, but most of them are either coastal or on the Great Lakes. And even if you can't drink seawater, living on the coast generally brings abundant rainfall and a high water table, meaning you can get all the water your civilization needs from wells. Good points about trade being a significant motivating factor, though.