2,912 reputation
631
bio website
location Orlando, FL; USA
age 30
visits member for 2 years, 1 months
seen Aug 4 '13 at 19:38

I'm a socialist (of the council-communist current promoted by the likes of Anton Luxemburg, Pannekoek and other Dutch German leftists, NOT state-socialism) with an avid interest in history and economics. I am currently studying computer science at the University of Central Florida and hope to graduate with my Bachelors degree by the end of the year.


Aug
4
comment Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan?
@LennartRegebro I haven't seen any info suggesting that half of the Japanese military leadership considered continuing to fight after the dropping of the two bombs. Not to say that your claim isn't true, I'm just not aware of it. Even in that case there is still significant reason to doubt that Japanese morale among the rank & file would allow continuation of the conflict even before the bombs were dropped. All of this is alt. history and open to speculation. Regardless, given a complex geopolitical situation such as this there was certainly more than one simple motivation for the bombing.
Jun
28
comment Decline of the Spanish empire?
While I still feel that the question is poorly phrased I think the answers provided are both of high quality and diverse enough to warrant re-opening. I would recommend to @Ovi that they ask more specific questions.
Jun
26
comment Decline of the Spanish empire?
This question is way too broad and as such I feel that it needs to be closed. I would recommend that anyone interested should look for books on the subject. I came across this one (goodreads.com/book/show/…) during a quick google search. I'm sure that more can be found with the aid of a librarian.
Jun
26
comment Clear picture of casaulties of Jewish people under third reich
@jwentig the comment about the Nazi's records is probably the kernel to a good answer to this question. This Spiegel article (spiegel.de/international/…) from 2006 indicates that the Germans were planning to open those records to the public. Someone may want to contact the author and ask what the status of that archive is.
Jun
26
comment How accurate is the Historical evidence use in the book Non-Zero?
At the time of this comment, it seems unclear to me as to what is being asked. If the question is simply asking for a comparison of the casualty rates between the Holocaust and the period of Prussian ascendance (and the formation of Germany) in the 19th century, then the question shouldn't include reference to the book at all. However, if the question is about specific comparisons between the two periods then those comparisons need to be listed in the question as not only is it confusing to those who haven't read the book, it is too broad without knowing what arguments being referred to are.
Jun
14
comment How high was the morale of non-Soviet Warsaw Pact states' armies and governments in the '80s?
@SamuelRussell I think the question has been properly edited to reflect the user's intended desire while conforming to our guidelines. I removed the portion regarding whether Soviet military officials were considering a "first strike" on NATO on the grounds that it is, in my opinion, a largely independent question.
May
28
comment Did the pope try to suppress the number zero?
Welcome to the site James! The wikipedia article you cite is actually sourced from "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea", by Charles Seife. This link (yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/zero.jsp) confirms your point that Fibonacci introduced zero to Europe around 1202. Good work!
May
27
comment What role did the Eastern Roman Empire play in the fall of the Western Roman Empire?
@Sally these types of "could it have happened" questions are very difficult to answer, particularly when dealing with many faceted structural issues such as the collapse of a state or an empire. In my opinion this question is far too broad, too speculative, and you would probably get better results asking more specific questions. You might want to consider formulating a more detailed question on the nature of the relationship between the Western and Eastern parts of the empire at the time.
May
22
comment Did the American Founders Debate on the Relative Size of the Government?
I apologize, but I noted that in my question that I continually referred to the U.S. "federal" government as opposed to U.S. governments in general. I edited the question because it made my purpose less clear (I'm still unclear as to why I did this in the first place). I'm more interested in whether there were debates on the size of governments (local, state, and federal) that might have been similar in character to modern American political debates on this topic at all levels. Jeffersonian Republicans seemed to favor localized governments, but did they ever worry that they could be too big?
May
21
comment What other pairs of wars have had a ~25 year interval?
First, it is difficult to say that these wars had a ~25 year interval of peace between them. Many of the countries that fought in WWI and WWII fought in wars between that time, both in their colonies and within Europe (the Spanish Civil War, for example). In general, even when isolating by country it is difficult to make such clear cut delineations.
May
18
comment Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan?
Discouraging an active insurgency is certainly a valid motivation for the US to have dropped the bomb (although I personally haven't seen it explicitly in the historical record). One interesting difference between modern US anti-insurgency campaigns and the WWII pacific campaign in regards to Japan, is the level of economic support provided to Japan. It is arguable that the advantages (see Chalmers, "Blowback") offered to Japan such as access to the American market & trade secrets, economic investment, etc. was a similarly powerful determent to a Japanese insurgency.
Feb
14
comment Why are many African nations poor?
@astabada No, both Jared Diamond and I are well aware of the African Elephant. As explained in [i]Guns, Germs, and Steel[/i] the African Elephant wasn't domesticated, it was tamed. A major distinction brought about by the problem of captive breeding. Furthermore, the whole point of the referenced material is that it points out [i]why[/i] European nations were able to occupy Africa. Africa was able to develop more quickly initially than Europe, but the natural lack of domesticated plant and animal life (not cultural or genetic differences) is what ultimately lead to European domination.
May
20
comment What was more expensive to lose in a gladiatorial fight: a gladiator or a rare animal?
Excellent first answer! Welcome to the site Alex, I'm sure you'll be a welcome addition.
May
15
comment United States Incarceration Rate
Well, 2011 is history. Very recent history, but history none the less.
May
14
comment What precipitated the rise of social safety nets in the United States?
This is largely true, although I would note that the Great Depression merely accelerated the trend towards more integration between the citizen and the government. As technology advances there is a natural trend towards specialization and thus individuals are less capable of the same level of "self-sufficiency" as say an American circa 1776 (while capable as a society of producing far more goods, knowledge, and services in higher quality). Given that modern capitalism tends not to acknowledge this, there is often a need for critical support of those who are considered surplus workers.
May
14
comment Did the Chinese Develop Steam Engines Prior to the 17th Century?
The Tiangong Kaiwu is apparently the masterwork of Song Yingxing, a Chinese scientist of the late 1587-1666 AD. The Tiangong Kaiwu is a broad technical encyclopedia and the picture listed here is related to Chinese coal mining.
May
4
comment What was the response of the general Iranian public to the modernization policies of Reza Shah?
@Anixx, I looked over my post and saw that I made a mistake in my wording. I made the edit to point out that it appeared there was obvious winners and losers (from an outside perspective). This may not have been apparent at the time of Reza Shah (and I'm guessing if this was the case it wasn't until the 60's and 70's did these concerns became apparent). Also, from what I can tell most of Reza Shah's attempts to eliminate class differences were similar to the Western techniques for doing so which only addressed trivial surface issues like dress.
May
4
comment What was done to improve the safety of jousts after the death of Henry II?
Actually it seems like it might have. Apparently the committee came to the conclusion, "mang it's really not smart to have people charge at each other with sharpened poles, we should probably not do it or something".
May
4
comment Did Johnny Appleseed actually exist?
Is there any reason to assume otherwise? The wikipedia article appears to have a good diversity of sources.
May
4
comment Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan?
@Anixx, I apparently was using the word incorrectly. It simply means "to put into a position of readiness". So yes, technically deployment makes more sense in talking about how the US stationed nuclear weapons in Japan after the war. Often it is used to describe the use of weapons, and apparently that is an incorrect use of the word.