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16h
comment Does what Macaulay said or not said matter?
What little parts of this question that aren't subjective (and thus off-topic) are almost certainly covered by this question.
1d
comment Why didn't Nixon erase the smoking gun?
To authoritatively credit that gap to Rosemary Woods is to accept as unvarnished truth at least part of the story that came out of the White House immediately after that gap was discovered. I'm not sure why we should do that, but then disbelieve her story that it accidental. If we think she might have been lying about that, why would we think it impossible that she's lying that it was her at all?
Jul
24
comment What was the largest empire in terms of time of communication between its two ends?
@Semaphore - Typical method of travel in those parts probably would have been horseback, not foot, but I still think you have the right of it.
Jul
24
comment How common is “decades ahead of his time” in real history?
@Oldcat - Touche.
Jul
23
comment How common is “decades ahead of his time” in real history?
As an example of loss, there was this dirt poor half-educated kid in Africa around the year 2000 who managed to build his family, and then his village, a working electricity-generating windmill from some pictures he saw in library books and his own tinkering-based knowledge of electronics. That's a huge advance for his village where he's (probably quite rightly) seen as a genius. But what could this kid have been capable of if he'd had the education and resources of a first world country? And how many others do we lose to poverty?
Jul
21
comment Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?
Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
Jul
21
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
It is with a heavy heart that I moved those comments. Many of them were fascinating and informative. I'd encourage checking out the chat they got moved to.
Jul
21
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
Jul
21
comment What regions worldwide have not been conquered or colonized by nations recursively located in land once ruled by someone born in Belgium?
Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
Jul
20
comment Why did John Ganson vote contradictorily on the 13th Amendment?
@ohspite - Interesting. That would explain it. I know that's roughly how things work in the Senate, except that the official head of the Senate in the US is the Vice President, not a Senator. The VP almost never votes, unless there is a tie.
Jul
20
comment Why did John Ganson vote contradictorily on the 13th Amendment?
@twosheds - That's a very good point.
Jul
20
comment Why did John Ganson vote contradictorily on the 13th Amendment?
@ohspite He was present for the second vote, but possibly not for the first according to your roll call. There could be lots of reasons for that. Perhaps he just had to go to the bathroom, perhaps he overslept, perhaps they convened early to get a quorum without some of the no votes present, etc.
Jul
17
comment Why was the spread of Christianity scattered compared to other major religions?
Its tough for me to vote or comment on this answer, as the second sentence may have grammatical issues of a nature that leaves me uncertain what its intended meaning was. Could you reread that and make sure its saying what you intended it to say?
Jul
16
comment Why didn't America finish Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War?
@PieterGeerkens - That's my memory of it. I heard one story of an Iraqi-American who had the bad luck of being there to visit his cousins when the war started. He got thrown on the front against his will, and happily "surrendered" with his whole unit to the first Americans they came across (explaining the situation to them in perfect American English). I have a vague memory of another unit surrendering to a couple of cooks.
Jul
15
comment Were any Egyptian pyramids designed to be half an octahedron?
Even the Bent Pyramid was built half a millennium before the first Egyptian writings on Geometry. Considering that fact that the first two writings happened to be on calculating the area of pyramids, I think the evidence is as conclusive as a person could reasonably hope for that that is the shape they had in mind while building the pyramids.
Jul
15
comment Are some developed countries really on the brink of disintegration?
@BROY - They might ask, in what way are they Spanish? Their language is not Spanish (depending on who you ask), and if identity isn't language based, why not take pride in being European instead? That would be a closer equivalent to being "Indian", where people speak oodles of different languages in a continental-sized area that was historically many different squabbling countries.
Jul
14
comment Are some developed countries really on the brink of disintegration?
@BROY - Not sure what you mean by "Business". The EU has a currency union. Greece shows some drawbacks to this, but the benefit is that your currency is effectively that of a "nation" of $18 trillion GDP, and a population of about half a billion, with free movement of people and goods within this area. Catalonia leaving Spain would not affect either's access to this in the slightest.
Jul
12
comment Was the US close to running out of volunteer manpower during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars?
IIRC, they also raised the age limit up into the 40's.
Jul
11
comment Was smoking allowed aboard hydrogen-filled zeppelins?
I'm not sure how to check, but one would imagine so. It wasn't the passenger compartment that was full of hydrogen.
Jul
10
comment What is the story of war that started with “if”?
Got it. Thanks.