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bio website sourceforge.net/projects/…
location Paris, France
age 52
visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen Jun 16 at 19:26

Happy and avid IT professional


Jan
22
comment African Clicking Language
Also, you might mention that clicking languages are a tactical advantage in stalking based hunting techniques because they are not easily noticed by potential preys. Typically, groups of hunters would coordinate their actions (selecting a prey, encircling it, etc) through clicks inaudible among the background savanna noises.
Jun
17
comment What right/legitimacy did Normans have to a kingdom in Southern Italy?
+1 for JJ Norwich. Also see "Byzantium", "Venice" and Venetian Music. My contemporary Gibbons Also. in Italy, the Hauteville are called Altavilla.
Mar
20
comment To what can we trace the idea of “civic responsibility”?
@jwenting. Absolutely!!! "Civic responsibility" (respect of the common wealth) and "nationalism" (defense of the group) are two facets of a far more global set of instincts: social instincts. They occur in various species, especially "superior" mammals. The evolutionary advantage is obvious: these instincts benefit the society which protects the individuals. For this very same reason they are also well regarded among fellow group members which explains why these feelings are genetically dominant as they can confer leadership and therefore procreational advantages to their bearers.
Jan
22
comment First time the sail ship technology took off
@MarkC.Wallace, Hermann. Regarding the Nile, there is a particularity worth noting: the Nile stream carries ships downstream. Conversely, the dominating winds blow from North to South and thus carry the ships upstream. This is shown on many antic reliefs on site and in museums (in Mastabas for instance). So, on their way to lower Egypt, sailors would simply use the stream and would instead use the force of the wind on their way back to upper Egypt. This can be interpreted as an indication that sail ships were probably used pretty early in ancient Egypt. Later models have been found as well.
Jan
22
comment Did the Romans “copy” their political system from the Greeks?
A possibly more interesting question IMO would be to compare the place of sacredness in Early Rome to that of Greek oligarchies: I find it striking how the stability of Early Rome was guaranteed by a host of sacred rules and laws effectively preventing a comeback of tyranny: the Pomerium, the Rubicon etc. These rules managed to keep the political regime close to a democracy for a considerable amount o time. When they were broken (Sulla's entering the Pomerium or Caesar crossing the Rubicon) Rome's democratic regime was in jeopardy.
Jan
22
comment Did the Romans “copy” their political system from the Greeks?
1/ the "Greeks" had many different systems, arguably one for each city state, Sparta always stayed an oligarchy; whereas Athens, Thebes and Argos enjoyed various "democratic" periods. 2/ even for a given city such as Athens, there were many different systems: the successive regimes of Draco, Peisistratos and Pericles have little in common. There are however recurring patterns: royalty => revolt => oligarchy => revolution => democracy => empire/hegemony. But this is not limited to the Greek or Roman worlds. It's just a consequence of the spread of education; and it is still at work today.
Dec
24
comment What's the story behind Christmas?
You might be interrested by a theory linking Christmas as the 25th of December and the cult of sol invictus, Constantine's god, but even before him, Elagabalus' god. From sol invictus, you can go back to Harpocrates (Horus the younger). See especially how the date of the 25th of December was selected. More generally, you can have a look at the book "Christ in Egypt, the Horus-Jesus connection"; controversial but interresting.
Dec
15
comment How does Göbekli Tepe fit into the current picture of society development?
I can't agree more. I can't remember the source but I've read that a genetic mutation of a particular species of wheat (in which the grains stay longer on the ear once ripe) has been traced back a few kilometers away from Göbekli Tepe only. here is a wikipedia source actually. I personally believe that the spread of the megalithic civilization typical of the European Atlantic facade, from the South northwards, also maps to the spread of agriculture.
Nov
13
comment How did France worsen its relationship with Turkey?
@DVK, It's always been like this. Summary: 1/ Groups exist to compete against each other 2/ subgroups/entities/individuals compete against each other for the dominance of the parent group. 3/ apply recursively. Yet in a low-threat-collaboration-friendly environment "Nice guys finish first" ;-) and this is what our world is quickly becoming. On the other hand "preventive strike" is the best example of self fulfilling prophecy. Hence the need for Game Theory... But I do see your point - at my age one's angel wings are somewhat worn out ;-)
Nov
13
comment How did France worsen its relationship with Turkey?
@DVK Sociobiology shows that tribalism plays out as an evolutionary advantages to both groups and individuals. With the advent of the Global Village more and more people feel their ultimate tribe is no less than humankind (which explains why warmongering is perceived as unhelpful). Weimar Republic crowds can be excused for having no real sense of the Global Village. We can't. Morality: Working in telecoms or the media, blogging, communicating with your kind is an efficient way of making mankind efficient and more in control of its own destiny and of that of its tiny cosmic raft: planet Earth.
Sep
13
comment Madness in the early modern era (pre-enlightenment, Habsburg monarchy)
Also cited in the book I refer to in my previous comment, and by the same authors (mother and son, both psychiatrists) the sourcebook "Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry (1535-1860)".
Sep
13
comment Madness in the early modern era (pre-enlightenment, Habsburg monarchy)
Although this book deals with a period slightly more recent than the one you're after, I can only recommend the paperback "George III and the Mad-business". Using King George's condition, it comprehensively addresses the economical, medical and political aspects of how madness was dealt with at the turn of the 19th century. I'm not too sure how easy it is to get hold of a copy 20+ years after its publication though.
Aug
9
comment How did France worsen its relationship with Turkey?
@T.E.D. Very true! But I honestly think it's also a matter of social class within each country. Xenophobia is very much a thing that goes hand in hand with poor education. The French upper class is largely Anglophile and my feeling is that the English upper class is conversely quite Francophile as well (see Edward VII for instance). As the education level rises in many countries, demagogue politicians shall hopefully need to be more thoughtful as time goes by. Thx for the edition btw.
Jul
29
comment When did European building interiors partitioned into rooms become commonplace?
@Luke, sorry was on part 1 (here on youtube). Around minute 7/15.
Jul
29
comment When did European building interiors partitioned into rooms become commonplace?
@Luke. There was a nice series about this topic and many more on the BBC a few years ago. The name of this 4 parts documentary was If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home. The video is hard to find but the book isn't. The author is Lucy Worsley. Recommended. I believe mgb's answer is part of the reasons. Adding to the fact that some privacy was appreciated once you had a second room in the house (Part 2/4).
Jul
25
comment Why is the Ping Yuen river in Hong Kong called River Ganges?
The answer is in the Chinese version of the wikipedia article. But basically you're right - although the true role of these Indian staff is not completely clear to me ("測量師" Exploring the potential of the New Territories for culture ? Opium ?). Somebody take it from here ;-)
Jul
20
comment Why is Dravidian history ignored?
-1. The article you cite and the various claims it contains should not fool an "amateur with an interest in history". S.R. Rao's claim that the Phoenician alphabet is an evol of the Harappan script is ludicrous: the filiation of the Phoenician alphabet from Egyptian hieroglyphs is well established. Plus I don't understand how "a distinguished linguist" can claim that a 4000 or even 400 signs only script "does not use vowels". That's a lot of consonants to pronounce if this is not a syllabic or ideographic script. In addition to all the args pointed out by @Anixx (which are not his "opinion").
Jul
16
comment How was life in the Iron Age different from life in the Middle Ages?
You will also find that Celts even had harvesters (Pliny book 18) + archaeological finds. Pliny's surprise shows that Romans still harvested manually. Also, have a look at Strabo Geography 4.1.2 "The whole of the Narbonnaise produces the same fruits as Italy [...] as you proceed northward, [...] entire of the remaining country produces in abundance corn, millet, acorns, and mast of all kinds. No part of it lies waste except that which is taken up in marshes and woods, and even this is inhabited."
Jul
16
comment How was life in the Iron Age different from life in the Middle Ages?
@Bryce, I'd like to mention though that Celtic agriculture was quite advanced. Celts are credited with many improvement to the plough (wheels, ploughshare). BTW: most Latin vehicle names come from Gaulish (Celt): carrus (4 wheel wagon => car, Irih carr, whence to charge carrico and to discharge dicarrico), carpentum (covered 2 wheeled cart usually for women => carpenter), cisium (cabriolet), benna (4 wheels cart => A tempting alternative etymology of companion: who sits next to you in the benna is your combenno, => "accompany"), reda (also a 4 wheel cart, a cognate of to ride).
Jul
11
comment Extent of the Roman empire after Trajan?
Hadrian abandoned today's Irak to the Parthians IIRC.