Latest Activity

Stephen commented on Michel's group The Daily Cosmos or Interesting Facts about the Universe
"The First Photos Of A Dwarf Planet: Dawn's Mission To Ceres 2007- 2018 (4K UHD)"
59 minutes ago
Mrs.B commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Killing themselves as well as the rest of us."
1 hour ago
Stephen commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"If Scump had any decency he would quit before the next election and if those around him had any…"
3 hours ago
Doone commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Dear Republicans, you cannot save the American PEOPLE if you don't even believe in wearing a…"
3 hours ago
Doone commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Not only is is an imbecile but he is making us sicker by the day  His base died for him, some…"
3 hours ago
Stephen commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"             4th of July, England's Independence day. When…"
4 hours ago
Doone commented on Doone's group World History before that Idiot Took Power
"Map of Denmark at its peak under Canute the Great, c. 1028  Legend: Red: Danish…"
5 hours ago
Stephen commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"      This is what it's like to live in Borass's Britain. Public not asked…"
7 hours ago
Stephen commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"During the hight of the lockdown in the UK, the government didn't require you to wear a mask,…"
10 hours ago
Doone commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Mask wearers also improve their chance of not getting sick and improve their chances of not be…"
16 hours ago
Stephen commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"GOP Strategist Dismisses COVID Masks as a “Secular Religious Symbol”"
16 hours ago
Doone commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"It looks to me (at least) that there may be some relationship between voters for Brexit and those…"
19 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Like his damn birthday suit."
20 hours ago
Stephen commented on Michel's group The Daily Cosmos or Interesting Facts about the Universe
"Oh dear, my nearest neighbour is France."
20 hours ago
Stephen commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Mrs B., It fits Scump like a Sunday suit. "
20 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Hmmmmm.....wonder if any of it fits anyone we've sorta heard of."
21 hours ago
Doone commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Antisocial personality disorder is diagnosed after rigorous psychological assessment. A…"
21 hours ago
Doone commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Antisocial personality disorder, sometimes called sociopathy, is a mental disorder in which a…"
21 hours ago
Doone commented on Michel's group The Daily Cosmos or Interesting Facts about the Universe
"Map of the UK shows which country is the nearest neighbour. Source:…"
22 hours ago
Doone commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and an Imbecile Named Scump News
"Definition of people in parts of the USA  Mississippi election commissioner:…"
22 hours ago

We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

World History before that Idiot Took Power


World History before that Idiot Took Power

A group about World History so that I do not end up spamming my USA and Non USA News Group

Location: #culture
Members: 21
Latest Activity: 5 hours ago

Discussion Forum

How the British Divided Up the Arab World

Started by Hope. Last reply by Daniel W Feb 10, 2019. 9 Replies

How the British Divided Up the Arab WorldThe development of the modern nation states throughout the Arab world is a fascinating and heartbreaking process. 100 years ago, most Arabs were part of the…Continue

Tags: Arab, World, Up, Divided, the

History Snippets

Started by Doone. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Oct 12, 2016. 3 Replies

AN AMERICAN CREATION STORYby Akim ReinhardtThere is scientific evidence indicating that Asiatic peoples migrated…Continue

Tags: Snippets, History

Old Time Religion and Buildings

Started by Doone. Last reply by Onyango Makagutu Nov 30, 2012. 1 Reply

Tatev Monastery - Tatev, ArmeniaThe Tatev monastery once played a notable role in the advancement of medieval Armenian culture when it housed the University of Tatev in the 14th and 15th…Continue

Tags: Buildings, and, Religion, Time, Old


Started by Doone. Last reply by Doone Jul 11, 2012. 2 Replies

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE RISE OF ISLAMTom Holland in The Guardian:Whenever modern civilisations…Continue


Comment Wall

Nice Comment

You need to be a member of World History before that Idiot Took Power to add comments!

Comment by Doone on November 7, 2011 at 8:05am


by Hartosh Singh Bal

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 07 09.48Two recent events, the removal of an essay on the many tellings of the Indian epic the Ramayana from the curriculum of Delhi University and the firebombing of a French newspaper for printing a cartoon of the Prophet in an edition devoted to a satirical look at the Shariat, share a surface resemblance.  They have taken place in India and Western Europe, two diverse places but both places that take pride in a tradition of tolerance. While it is possible to read into the incidents the continuing religious intolerance for any examination of faith, it seems to make more sense to me to focus on the differences between the two events and what they say about the manner in which these two societies actually practice tolerance.

The essay removed from the curriculum at Delhi University was written by A.K. Ramanujan, at least in the Indian way of thinking a Hindu, drawing upon a long tradition in which the diversity within the faith is itself a source of tolerance. The opposition to this essay has come from the Hindu right, which is not a conservative but a radical force. It wants to historicize a tradition that is rooted in myth and storytelling. Uncomfortable with the elasticity of myth, they prefer the certainty they think history grants them. For them the figure of Rama, central to the epic, is not subject to the vagaries of storytelling and local lore, he is a historical figure with a kingdom and a birthplace.

This historicity is central to a version of Hinduism that goes by the name of hindutva and shores up the main opposition party in Indian, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  Irrespective of its antecedents (it is a modern idea, born in the early twentieth century) it has come to command enough of a following to influence the norms that actually mediate tolerance in India.  By tolerance, I do not just mean intellectual tolerance which however important is only a part of a wider idea. By tolerance I mean the wider idea that allows diverse ways of living to coexist in a society.

Continue reading "The problems of pluralism"

Posted by Hartosh Singh Bal at 12:40 AM | Permalink |

Comment by Doone on November 7, 2011 at 8:01am


by Justin E. H. Smith

[For the first installment in this series, go here.]

The idea that there is a hierarchy or ladder of world cultures, with European culture at the top (often promoted to the status of 'civilization'), was a cornerstone of most Enlightenment philosophy. It was rejected in the era by a handful of counter-Enlightenment thinkers such as Herder, but it continued to reign in the burgeoning discipline of anthropology until the early-20th-century innovations of Franz Boas and others. It was only definitively displaced from anthropology in the decade or so after World War II. In philosophy today, by contrast, though everyone officially abjures the ladder model of human cultures, it continues to determine much of our reasoning about what counts as philosophy and what does not.

It is worth pointing out that all societies that have produced anything that we are able to easily recognize as philosophy are ladder societies. We might in fact argue, if not here, that philosophy as a discrete domain of activity in a society is itself a side-effect of inequality. The overwhelming authority of the church in medieval Europe, the caste system in ancient India, the control of intellectual life by the mandarin class in ancient China (meritocratically produced by the Confucian examination system, but still elite) present themselves are three compelling examples of the sort of social nexus that has left us with significant philosophical works. The fact that philosophy always comes from the top rungs of ladder societies could have something to do with the difficulty, in spite of our best intentions, of de-Eurocentrizing the current academic discipline of philosophy: New York, London, and the idyllic campuses that are an easy commute from these metropolises are the true locus of philosophy today, in just the same way that royal courts were in ancient India. It is as hard for us to think of the intellectual activity of, say, some village sage in postcolonial, third-worldified India as 'philosophy', as it would have been for a high-caste member of the literate elite to think of the folk beliefs of some forest-dwellingādivāsī in this way.

When philosophers try to get away from the ladder, as most agree for political reasons it is necessary to do, what they usually end up with is the museum, or perhaps, with apologies to André Malraux, the imaginary museum of philosophical multiculturalism. As the Soviets once did with the traditional costumes of their empire's ethnic minorities, those who aim to promote non-Western philosophy usually end up putting the Chinese and the Indians, and sometimes a slapped-together group they dub 'Africans' as well, in entirely separate, non-overlapping display cases, as if their philosophical traditions were just so many traditional costumes or pieces of pottery.

Continue reading "Non-Western Philosophy, Part 2: the Ladder, the M...

Posted by Justin E. H. Smith at 12:50 AM | Permalink |

Comment by Doone on November 6, 2011 at 12:10am

Published:  - By Staff

Ancient ‘Fast Food’ Window Discovered

Can you imagine life without the convenience of takeout food? According to new research, neither could the ancients. Evidence found at Godin Tepe, an archaeological site in the mountains of western Iran, suggests that its inhabitants may have used "windows" to obtain and distribute food and even weapons more than 5,000 years ago.


Godin Tepe

The main building at Godin Tepe, where researchers have found two windows they believe might have been used for “takeout.” (Credit: Royal Ontario Museum)

Nestled in the Zagros Mountains near the modern city of Kangavar, Godin Tepe was first excavated in the 1960s and 1970s by a research team led by T. Cuyler Young Jr., a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. After Young’s death in 2006, other researchers continued his work, and they recently published much of their findings in “On the High Road: The History of Godin Tepe” (Hilary Gopnik and Mitchell Rothman, Mazda Publishers, 2011).  
According to their research, Godin Tepe apparently began as a simple rural agricultural village settled by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia as early as the mid-fifth millennium B.C. It remained that way for some 1,000 years. Around 3200 B.C., the village’s small houses were razed to make way for a main building of mud-brick built around an oval enclosed area, like a courtyard. One of the surrounding walls facing into the courtyard had two windows, which were very unusual for architecture of the time in the Middle East.
When they looked inside the building with the windows, researchers found beveled rimmed bowls of a common type used in the region, along with a fireplace and food remains ranging from dried lentils to goat and sheep bones. But that’s not all—they also discovered more than 1,700 clay sling bullets, of the type commonly used in hunting and warfare. Hilary Gopnik of Emory University, who discussed the findings at a recent symposium at the Royal Ontario Museum, argues that the evidence suggests that Godin Tepe served as a sort of ancient takeout joint. On the other hand, Victoria Badler, a doctoral student of Dr. Young’s, suggests it may have had a military purpose, and that the windows may have been used to pass out provisions to soldiers.

More than 1,700 clay sling bullets have also been discovered at Godin Tepe. (Credit: Royal Ontario Museum)

This is not the first time that Godin Tepe has given us a “window” into its ancient civilization. In the early 1990s, according to findings published in the journal Nature, archaeologists found chemical evidence that people at Godin Tepe were making and drinking beer as early as 3500 B.C. Beer was thought to be a favorite beverage of the Sumerian civilization, which produced works of art depicting people drinking collectively out of a large vessel. Researchers had also discovered the earliest known chemical evidence of wine at the same site.
Thanks to its strategic position along the major east-west trade route known as the High Road, or Silk Road, which would eventually link the Mediterranean with China, Godin Tepe served as an important Sumerian trading post. The settlement was mysteriously abandoned during the second or third millennium B.C., and it’s unknown whether the inhabitants left under peaceful or violent circumstances.


Posted in Ancient HistoryFood


Comment by Marianne on November 2, 2011 at 7:55pm

Concerning "the barter myth", as was presented and referenced by Doone.

It appears to me unreasonable to argue that barter didn't exist because of family and likes and dislikes of other people in the same village.  This would be because I can't imagine a family with only their friend "manufacturing" or producing all the necessities to survive, adapt and evolve without bartering with other members of, say, the village... ?

Comment by Doone on November 1, 2011 at 11:04am

How Did The West Win?

Pankaj Mishra doesn't go easy on Niall Ferguson's Civilisation: The West and the Rest:

To ask, as Ferguson does, why the West broke through to capitalist modernity and became the originator of globalisation is to assume that this was inevitable, and that it resulted basically from the wonderfulness of the West, not to mention the hopelessness of the East. Needless to say, most contemporary scholars of global history do not hold the West and the Rest in separate compartments. Far from developing endogenous advantages in splendid isolation from the Rest, Western Europe’s ‘industrious revolution’, which preceded the Industrial Revolution, depended, as Jan de Vries and other historians have shown, on artisanal industries in South and East Asia.

Comment by Doone on October 30, 2011 at 3:12pm
Comment by Doone on October 29, 2011 at 8:23pm

The Queen Of Beers

Her name was Ninkasi:

What’s believed to be the world’s oldest written recipe is for beer, and it celebrates a female brewmaster. Four-thousand-year-old Mesopotamian clay tablets describe the brewing process in a hymn to Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer. From ancient Sumeria through medieval Europe, women ruled the kettles. Beer can be described as liquid bread, so there was nothing unusual about women using their baking ingredients to brew in home kitchens. It wasn’t until entrepreneurial women began to sell their beer that men really moved in, restricting the creation and sale of beer to powerful male-only guilds.

Comment by Doone on October 24, 2011 at 8:44am

The Myth of the Chinese Discovery of America

[ 42 ]October 23, 2011 | Erik Loomis

Last weekend, while I was in Oakland, I wandered over to Occupy Oakland for a bit. They had an interesting sort of public history exhibit. Someone had strung up a wire between two poles where people could attach notes about Oakland’s radical history. There were 12-15 pieces of paper attached. Some were fairly obvious such as the Black Panthers. Others had nothing to do per se with Oakland, such as Troy Davis’ execution. Others showed some real understanding of Oakland’s radical past, such as the 1946 general strike.

What really grabbed my attention was a piece of paper discussing how the Chinese had discovered America hundreds of years before Columbus and had lived peacefully here since then. I assumed this idea originated with the rather small but locally significant Yellow Power movement of the Bay Area in the 60s and 70s, but I haven’t found anything in my brief search on the internet showing the roots of this idea. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything on me to take notes about the specific details.

I am curious why this idea that the Chinese reached America before Columbus has such legs. Of course, no one has done more to popularize this myth as Gavin Menzies through his awful book 1421: The Year China Discovered America. In the years since this book came out, I have heard way too many otherwise smart people (inevitably politically progressive) assert that the Chinese arrived in America before Columbus as fact, using Menzies book as evidence. Menzies essentially argues that the Chinese fleet which left China in 1421 discovered the entire world, using extraordinarily flimsy standards of evidence. I discussed how bad this book was years ago.

In 2006, I was in Malacca, the Malaysian port city where the fleet set out. Menzies’ supporters had set up a very elaborate and well-funded exhibit in the city promoting this myth. Menzies had taken a good bit of flack for his absurd assumptions and responded very angrily. A British naval officer and amateur historian, he didn’t like professionals picking apart his methodology. He responded by making ever more outlandish claims. In this Malacca exhibit, he actually claimed, and I swear to whatever higher power you wish that this is true, that the Chinese had not only discovered Antarctica, but that the irrefutable evidence is some wood washed up on the shore that means that a comet had hit the southern Indian ocean and the resulting tsunami wrecked that part of the Chinese fleet, washing it up on the Antarctic shore.

The thing about this myth, whether produced by Menzies or my Asian power advocates, is that it is at least theoretically possible that it’s true. Menzies book, bad as it is, does realistically convince of the possibility that the Chinese did reach the west coast in the 1420s, even as he provides no actual evidence.

But even if they did, who cares. What real difference does it make? What are these people trying to prove? The only way it works from a leftist perspective is that these Chinese settlers lived peacefully with the Indians which the Europeans did not want to do, but I am extremely skeptical of this possibility even if the Chinese did reach here. After all, what people has dealt more tolerably with minority groups in history than the Han Chinese!


Comment by Adriana on October 22, 2011 at 9:08am

I love potatoes and the story of the potato!

Comment by Doone on October 22, 2011 at 9:05am


From Smithsonian:

Potatoes-International-Potato-Center-Peru-631When potato plants bloom, they send up five-lobed flowers that spangle fields like fat purple stars. By some accounts, Marie Antoinette liked the blossoms so much that she put them in her hair. Her husband, Louis XVI, put one in his buttonhole, inspiring a brief vogue in which the French aristocracy swanned around with potato plants on their clothes. The flowers were part of an attempt to persuade French farmers to plant and French diners to eat this strange new species. Today the potato is the fifth most important crop worldwide, after wheat, corn, rice and sugar cane. But in the 18th century the tuber was a startling novelty, frightening to some, bewildering to others—part of a global ecological convulsion set off by Christopher Columbus.

About 250 million years ago, the world consisted of a single giant landmass now known as Pangaea. Geological forces broke Pangaea apart, creating the continents and hemispheres familiar today. Over the eons, the separate corners of the earth developed wildly different suites of plants and animals. Columbus’ voyages reknit the seams of Pangaea, to borrow a phrase from Alfred W. Crosby, the historian who first described this process. In what Crosby called the Columbian Exchange, the world’s long-separate ecosystems abruptly collided and mixed in a biological bedlam that underlies much of the history we learn in school. The potato flower in Louis XVI’s buttonhole, a species that had crossed the Atlantic from Peru, was both an emblem of the Columbian Exchange and one of its most important aspects.

More here.

Posted by Azra Raza at 08:26 AM | Permalink 



Members (19)


© 2020   Created by Atheist Universe.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service