494 reputation
416
bio website taking1and1.wordpress.com
location Downtown Burbank
age 40
visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen yesterday

Stack Exchange employs me as a Community Manager. I've been known to respond to jericson@stackexchange.com. Alternatively, I maintain an office on chat. (Please ignore the meta cruft.)

You can read about what I've done over the years in my curriculum vitae.

On a personal note, I'm married and have three children. Our oldest son loves school, friends, games, and reading. (He can't wait to get on our LEGO® Answers site, but he's not quite old enough. My posts there are usually at his request.) Two of my children happen to have been born on the same day. I sometimes write about that experience.

Don't have time for a full review of something? Why not try my 5-second reviews?

Occasionally, I write a post for Eschewmenical.


Apr
14
comment Do more Britons than Americans profess Christianity?
I think your third definition is fraught with difficulties. It's very unlikely that any polls were conducted with that definition. Church attendance is probably the best proxy we have (though that's by no means perfect either considering attendance was mandatory for some periods and some places).
Mar
25
comment What involvement did Jonathan Edwards have with the Conspiracy of 1741?
I'm afraid the evidence for Edward's view of slavery is substantially more complicated than "anti-slavery". According to this article he was opposed to Trans-Atlantic slave trade, but not slavery itself. However, the defence of Benjamin Doolittle shows that he had no particular qualms about speaking opening about the issue. So there's no particular reason to assume that he'd give a sermon on the topic of slave insurgency without mentioning it explicitly.
Mar
17
comment Have American writing styles changed between the Civil War and Today?
@Razie Mah: Thank you for the edit. I'm reopening the question based on your changes. (Obviously I have a conflict of interest here, but I think the change should be enough to give the question a new hearing.)
Jan
1
comment What is the origin of the American stereotype that Polish people lack intelligence?
Note: there is a meta discussion concerning this question.
Nov
16
comment Was Christopher Colombus Polish?
@FelixGoldberg: The Oatmeal for one.
Mar
11
comment Can the new testament be a valid historical record on the real life of Jesus?
For more information on how the gospels are dated, please see: How Are The Gospels Dated? I think Luke wrote his gospel (and Acts) after the destruction of the temple and purposely left it out of his account. (I need to update my answer on Biblical Hermeneutics to explain myself, however.)
Mar
11
comment Can the new testament be a valid historical record on the real life of Jesus?
@T.E.D. and fredsbend: as it turns out, how much of the Iliad is historical is still an open question among historians. The answer certainly lies somewhere between "all" and "none". Even so, I prefer Luke (the author of Acts in the New Testament) over Homer as a historian! (And I prefer Tacitus over Suetonius as well.)
Mar
11
comment Can the new testament be a valid historical record on the real life of Jesus?
This is a much more balanced answer. I've suggested a few edits and I have some minor quibbles, but ultimately it reflects current scholarship. I would like to direct both you and @Ali to a question on Biblical Hermeneutics: Bart D. Ehrman - respected critic? The textual criticism issues of the Gospels are very real. However, this is balanced by the rather remarkable variety of manuscripts we have. The more copies you have, the more chance a scribe will make a mistake!
Mar
11
comment Can the new testament be a valid historical record on the real life of Jesus?
Were I to answer this question (it's currently closed) I would likely proceed along the lines of Easter as a historical event. The Gospels are secondary sources, but much of the New Testament consists of primary sources (mostly Paul's letters) which are far better from a historical method perspective.
Feb
4
comment Are there romance stories outside western civilization or before western influence?
@Shog9: And, apparently, porn too. Perhaps Ruth and Boaz or the story of Isaac and Rebecca or Jacob and Rachel would fit the bill better. But perhaps, the answer is tautological: Western romantic literature is a Western invention.
Dec
10
comment Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?
For future reference, the third answer was written by Guy F-W and the point 1 is: " If you don't allow for it, the recoil of a musket will tend to kick the muzzle upwards - an experienced soldier can ride the recoil and control it reasonably well, but inexperienced troops are likely to let it rise. ..."
Oct
4
comment Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?
Even so, +1 and thanks for the answer. It's always good to have multiple options. ;)
Oct
4
comment Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?
This is an interesting answer and certainly plausible. But your two factors seem to be extrapolations from other eras. Firearm technology certainly was improving in the early and mid-1800s. Both the Springfield Model 1861 and Pattern 1853 Enfield were rifled, for instance. On your second point, that might be true, but Civil War soldiers had another tactic that worked even better--not pulling the trigger. Accounts of guns found on the field after Gettysburg reveal that many were loaded with up to ten rounds, which means they were not fired between loading.
Sep
25
comment What involvement did Jonathan Edwards have with the Conspiracy of 1741?
This came up in an answer that further confuses matters by suggesting that "There was real evil afoot in America at the time, and Edwards was taking a necessary step towards ridding the country of it." It seems like this is even more speculative than the article I quoted. Should I add that to the question or is the question too tenuous as it is?
May
12
comment Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?
Welcome to History.SE and thanks for the answer. That explanation makes even more sense when you consider the order seemed to come when officers exhorted their men to wait for the enemy to close distance (even until they "see the whites of their eyes").
May
11
comment Languages spoken by Josephus?
Somewhat related: What language did Jesus commonly speak?
May
11
comment Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?
Hmmm... I see that the tendency was to aim too high, but I still don't see why. A projectile will always end up falling down from a straight line drawn from the end of the barrel, so a marksman must always account for that drop-off. It seems just as likely that a raw recruit would adjust too low as often as they would adjust too high.
May
11
comment Is there any corroborating evidence for the story of Sadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?
Two small corrections: 1) half of Daniel (chapters 2-7) is Aramaic and the rest in Hebrew, and 2) Hebrew probably was spoken through the Roman occupation of Judea. There is considerable uncertainty in the dating of the Book of Daniel. But there's doubt in my mind that this story was, well, a story told orally for some time before being recorded.