416 reputation
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bio website sourceforge.net/projects/…
location Paris, France
age 53
visits member for 3 years, 2 months
seen yesterday

Happy and avid IT professional


Mar
31
comment Why are many African nations poor?
+1 for bringing up Jared Diamond. One thing though that I did not find reflected in your answer is that JD also argues that Eurasia being an "horizontal" continent, agricultural innovations made in one of its parts can easily be imported in another one. This is not true for Africa with a clear distinction between sub-Saharan and North Africa for instance. IIRC he cites (in this book or may be in another, I read that a long time ago) the Bantu expansion as being more localised than say the European neolithic revolution.
Mar
10
comment What incentives are in place for American soldiers to go fight in Iraq?
-1. Patriotism is not the main reason for joining the US Army. Otherwise you would find more young people coming from the political elite (e.g. lawmakers) whereas there are virtually none (add to this some well known cases of dodging conscription). Another supporting evidence is the well known proportion of recruit from non WASP background (i.e. who have rather less reason to be "patriotic"). The hard truth is that if you put yourself in the firing line, there has to be some incentive. If the incentive is less than appealing for middle class, then only under-privileged youth will go for it.
Jan
31
comment Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost?
>"if you could crash at his house for a couple of weeks while you copied it out by hand". Very true!! The fact is that large works have seldom come down to us complete. Take Polybius for instance: only the first five of the original 40 books in his "Histories" are complete, the rest is only known through fragments. And they nearly didn't make it: they are all known to come from one single source (same spelling mistakes) - a manuscript from Constantinople Imperial Library. The same holds true for Livy: his "History of Rome" counted 142 books of which we don't have even half.
Nov
16
awarded  Teacher
Nov
15
answered Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost?
Oct
25
comment Who were the pre-Celtic inhabitants of Western Europe?
@Noldorin, to which you can add the linguistic theories of Theo Vennemann (cf "Europa Vasconica") and the genetic evidence from mitochondrial DNA haplogroups ("V" Toroni 1996, 1998, 2001, "H" Alessandro Achilli 2004). However the Cro-Magnon culture (Haplogroup N) seems to be only a remote ancestor of haplogroups V,H...
Oct
16
comment What was “Greek fire”?
+1 for excellent book reference.
Oct
13
comment Language of Franks vs later French
@Noldorin, Of course it is OK. I'm afraid this book has not been translated. I own 4 books of this author, only one of which in English: "French Inside Out. The French Language Past and Present" (see my email in my elu profile). Yes I've read most of it. Very informative and incredibly dense. Highly Recommended, for both English Francophiles and French Anglophiles.
Oct
12
comment Language of Franks vs later French
@squark, This source cites the figure of 5% - for a total of 5 millions (p 52). Also see here. I'm interested if you have additional sources.
Oct
12
awarded  Critic
Oct
11
awarded  Supporter
Oct
11
awarded  Autobiographer