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Re: [Authentic_SCA] A question about peace

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  • Andrea Hughett
    ... Um, I think some years the Truce of God actually lasted, as intended, for the whole of Great Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Bright Week - once or twice even
    Message 1 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
      --- NINacide@... wrote:

      > Can anyone find the longest period of time in which
      > there were either no
      > wars in Europe, or no significant amount of mass
      > murder? I'm interested in
      > finding out what the longest period of peace (or
      > relative peacefullness) that
      > ever exisited.

      Um, I think some years the Truce of God actually
      lasted, as intended, for the whole of Great Lent, from
      Ash Wednesday to Bright Week - once or twice even all
      the way through Pentecost.

      But I would have to verify that with the records.

      OTOH, didn't Arthur's Peace, after the Battle of
      Badon, last for a generation (although only in Britain)?

      Andrea of Anglespur
      kitscaa Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt
      So many books, so little time!

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    • Robert Van Rens
      A period of European history when there was no war? Never. Even the Pax Romana was marked by border conflicts and tribal wars outside the Roman borders...
      Message 2 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
        A period of European history when there was no war? Never.

        Even the Pax Romana was marked by border conflicts and tribal wars outside
        the Roman borders...

        Eadric the Potter

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      • NINacide@aol.com
        I m working on a theory that peace does not exist. As a concept in the dictionary, yes it does, but in practice it doesn t. Like baboon or chimp
        Message 3 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
          I'm working on a theory that peace does not exist. As a concept in the
          dictionary, yes it does, but in practice it doesn't. Like baboon or chimp
          communities, only conflict arises.

          Mikhail (the peace agnostic)


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • wodeford
          ... Not European, but might poke a hole in your theory. It helps to have relative geographic isolation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heian_period Jehanne de
          Message 4 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
            --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, NINacide@... wrote:
            >
            > I'm working on a theory that peace does not exist.

            Not European, but might poke a hole in your theory. It helps to have
            relative geographic isolation.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heian_period

            Jehanne de Wodeford, West
          • lilinah@earthlink.net
            ... There are periods of general peace in some times and places. There just isn t universal and permanent peace for those living on planet Earth. Perhaps you
            Message 5 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
              At 1:55 PM -0400 07/09/06, NINacide@... wrote:
              >I'm working on a theory that peace does not exist. As a concept in the
              >dictionary, yes it does, but in practice it doesn't. Like baboon or chimp
              >communities, only conflict arises.
              >
              >Mikhail (the peace agnostic)

              There are periods of general peace in some times and places. There
              just isn't universal and permanent peace for those living on planet
              Earth.

              Perhaps you need to define what you mean by peace.
              --
              Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
              the persona formerly known as Anahita
            • lilinah@earthlink.net
              ... Sorry. My mind is on some other things at the moment. What i meant here, but expressed perhaps a bit abruptly is that for a philosophical or even
              Message 6 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                At 11:14 AM -0700 07/09/06, lilinah@... wrote:
                >At 1:55 PM -0400 07/09/06, NINacide@... wrote:
                >>I'm working on a theory that peace does not exist. As a concept in the
                >>dictionary, yes it does, but in practice it doesn't. Like baboon or chimp
                >>communities, only conflict arises.
                >>
                > >Mikhail (the peace agnostic)
                >
                >There are periods of general peace in some times and places. There
                >just isn't universal and permanent peace for those living on planet
                >Earth.
                >
                >Perhaps you need to define what you mean by peace.

                Sorry. My mind is on some other things at the moment. What i meant
                here, but expressed perhaps a bit abruptly is that for a
                philosophical or even historical discussion of "peace", the term
                needs to be defined by the person who is instigating the "argument"
                (and i mean this in a philosophical sense).

                So what i did not say explicitly, but meant, is that since Mikhail is
                interested in discussing this issue, and since he is the one
                broaching the point, then for the sake of discussion it is necessary
                for him to define the word "peace" as he means it.

                It would be difficult for other people to address his issue without
                knowing what he means when he says "peace".

                We may say that we agree or disagree with him, but we may be using
                different definitions, and ultimately our points of agreement or
                disagreement may be different. In this sort of discussion, we cannot
                assume we all agree on what we mean by "peace".

                And if Mikhail wishes to use a dictionary definition, then he needs
                to specify which dictionary, as all dictionary definitions are not
                the same.

                --
                Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
                the persona formerly known as Anahita
              • wodeford
                ... Pooh! I hit send before I was finished! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_period Jehanne de Wodeford, West
                Message 7 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                  --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "wodeford" <wodeford@...> wrote:
                  > Not European, but might poke a hole in your theory. It helps to have
                  > relative geographic isolation.
                  >
                  > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heian_period

                  Pooh! I hit send before I was finished!

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_period


                  Jehanne de Wodeford, West
                • NINacide@aol.com
                  hypotheses are allowed to have holes poked in them, it s the scientific method, not religion. Mikhail [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  Message 8 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                    hypotheses are allowed to have holes poked in them, it's the scientific
                    method, not religion.

                    Mikhail


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • NINacide@aol.com
                    In the context of the known world, excluding areas with large gaps of unknown history, what was the maximum amount of time, from all of Europe, Northern
                    Message 9 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                      In the context of the known world, excluding areas with large gaps of
                      unknown history, what was the maximum amount of time, from all of Europe, Northern
                      Africa, Middle and Far East, that had the least amount of Famous wars,
                      rampages, invasions, civil war, massacres, crimes against humanity, wars legal and
                      illegal, religious murder, and so forth. When was the time when a person was
                      most likely to spend either a significant amount of his life, or even his
                      whole life without knowing conflict or worrying about being killed. I'd like
                      to structure a micro event around this time period and place.

                      Mikhail


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • lilinah@earthlink.net
                      ... Cool. I ll see what i can turn up. One thing i know is that in some polities, the edges might be under threat while folks living in the major cities and
                      Message 10 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                        At 3:17 PM -0400 07/09/06, NINacide@... wrote:
                        >In the context of the known world, excluding areas with large gaps of
                        >unknown history, what was the maximum amount of time, from all of
                        >Europe, Northern
                        >Africa, Middle and Far East, that had the least amount of Famous wars,
                        >rampages, invasions, civil war, massacres, crimes against humanity,
                        >wars legal and
                        >illegal, religious murder, and so forth. When was the time when a person was
                        >most likely to spend either a significant amount of his life, or even his
                        >whole life without knowing conflict or worrying about being killed. I'd like
                        >to structure a micro event around this time period and place.

                        Cool. I'll see what i can turn up. One thing i know is that in some
                        polities, the edges might be under threat while folks living in the
                        major cities and surrounding countryside are living in peace and
                        bliss for several generations. Would this be sufficient to satisfy
                        your search? If so, i'll see if i can be more specific.
                        --
                        Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
                        the persona formerly known as Anahita
                      • NINacide@aol.com
                        It s a good start, but finding a broader scope would be more sufficient, to allow a variety of cultures to mingle in this era of peace . Mikhail [Non-text
                        Message 11 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                          It's a good start, but finding a broader scope would be more sufficient, to
                          allow a variety of cultures to mingle in this "era of peace".

                          Mikhail


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Robert Van Rens
                          What makes you think this was a time of peace? Internal conflict continued apace under the Tokugawa Shogunate...Japanese history is at least a bloody as
                          Message 12 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                            What makes you think this was a time of peace? Internal conflict continued
                            apace under the Tokugawa Shogunate...Japanese history is at least a bloody
                            as European, just a bit more formalized. The shoguns wiped out a huge
                            number of daimyo families, and spent the next two hundred years stamping out
                            brushfire rebellions. Those swords weren't just for show, folks...

                            And while we're at it, let's all agree never, ever to use Wikipedia as
                            source material. Doing so is the epitome of "I read it on the Internet"...
                            Since anyone with any kind of agenda can alter the information presented
                            there at will, it's very hard to accept that it ahs ANY kind of scholarly
                            rigor.

                            Eadric the Potter


                            > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heian_period
                            >
                            >
                            >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_period
                            >

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                          • lilinah@earthlink.net
                            ... Since you re not quoting from the messages you re responding to, i don t know if you re answering me or Jehanne. Would a situation where the edges might be
                            Message 13 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                              At 3:51 PM -0400 07/09/06, NINacide@... wrote:
                              >It's a good start, but finding a broader scope would be more sufficient, to
                              >allow a variety of cultures to mingle in this "era of peace".
                              >
                              >Mikhail

                              Since you're not quoting from the messages you're responding to, i
                              don't know if you're answering me or Jehanne.

                              Would a situation where the edges might be in occasional conflict but
                              the center wasn't be sufficient? In such as case it could be that one
                              border was a bit unsettled while other borders were calm.

                              There were periods where Persian was at peace with most of its
                              neighbors to the east and the west, but not with one or two neighbors
                              in the northeast or northwest, but the only places where this was
                              noticeable was on those particular borders. The rest of the Empire
                              was at peace.

                              And, trust me, the Persian Empire was itself already a mingling of a
                              variety of cultures. While the Courts and the Learned might know a
                              couple languages (Persian and Arabic), each part of Persia spoke a
                              difference and often unrelated language.
                              --
                              Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
                              the persona formerly known as Anahita
                            • wodeford
                              ... It s not. It s a place to start, on what I thought might be an unfamiliar subject to the party who originally inquired. That s all. I posted the Edo period
                              Message 14 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Van Rens" <rvanrens@...>
                                wrote:
                                > And while we're at it, let's all agree never, ever to use Wikipedia as
                                > source material.

                                It's not. It's a place to start, on what I thought might be an
                                unfamiliar subject to the party who originally inquired. That's all.

                                I posted the Edo period link because it describes a similar period of
                                enforced isolation from the outside world as the late Heian - as you
                                might have figured out from previous posts, I've gotten interrupted
                                rather a lot this morning.

                                Besides, it's all part of my campaign to erase the popular
                                misconception that I actually know everything.

                                Jehanne de Wodeford, West Kingdom
                              • lilinah@earthlink.net
                                ... Can you see my library from where you are? OK, i m holding this book up to my monitor, can you see it now? How about if i hold it up to my modem... is that
                                Message 15 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                                  At 4:09 PM -0400 07/09/06, Robert Van Rens wrote:
                                  >And while we're at it, let's all agree never, ever to use Wikipedia as
                                  >source material. Doing so is the epitome of "I read it on the Internet"...
                                  >Since anyone with any kind of agenda can alter the information presented
                                  >there at will, it's very hard to accept that it ahs ANY kind of scholarly
                                  >rigor.

                                  Can you see my library from where you are? OK, i'm holding this book
                                  up to my monitor, can you see it now? How about if i hold it up to my
                                  modem... is that any better?

                                  Often the Wiki or some other web site is useful to refer someone to
                                  for information they are unfamiliar with. The idea is to stimulate
                                  further research. Clearly one must use informed good judgement in
                                  selecting websites.

                                  In a recent study of the Wikipedia comparing it to the Encyclopedia
                                  Brittanica, it turned out that the Wikipedia had close the same error
                                  rate as the Encyclopedia - and the researchers were quite astonished,
                                  since before doing the study they had assumed that the Wiki would be
                                  extremely flawed.

                                  Obviously anyone who *limits* there research to the internet will
                                  probably NOT get what they paid for... they will have spent a lot of
                                  time on superficial and often faulty information... and they may have
                                  wasted their time and brain cells.

                                  I'm sure Jehanne will reply, but i know she doesn't limit herself to
                                  the internet. Pointing someone to some info in the 'net is just more
                                  convenient than trying to get everyone on this list in someone's
                                  living room.

                                  --
                                  Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
                                  the persona formerly known as Anahita
                                • Robert Van Rens
                                  Ah, yes, the Britannica...another bastion of scholastic integrity. Saying that Wikipedia has roughly the same error rate isn t REALLY all that impressive...
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                                    Ah, yes, the Britannica...another bastion of scholastic integrity. Saying
                                    that Wikipedia has roughly the same error rate isn't REALLY all that
                                    impressive...

                                    My point is this; the article is an EXREMELY brief treatment of an incedibly
                                    complex topic, one that is rendered more complex by the fact that most
                                    Westerners are completely clueless when it comes to Asian history, or
                                    historical point-of-view. Japanese historiography is a field that mostly
                                    doesn't exist in the English language, but there are good, detailed,
                                    scholarly works on the subject, in English even.

                                    My PROBLEM is that this incredibly un-detailed, incomplete, factually vague
                                    article is used as support for an assertion that ISN'T TRUE.

                                    We don't cite the Britannica as an authority on anything - at least, I
                                    don't, and I hope no one else here does, either. Why Wikipedia? 'Cause
                                    it's convenient?

                                    I admit to bias. As a frequent researcher, sometime professional academic,
                                    and frequent user of the university system, I have high standards for
                                    research and documentation. That's why I'm here - I thought the whole point
                                    of this listserve was to raise the level of scholarly discourse.

                                    The problem with sources like Wikipedia, Britannica, Worlds Book, etc, is
                                    that they are so vague that they are often wrong. It's like your junior
                                    high history textbooks - you know, the ones that covered world history in
                                    300 pages, with illustrations. I defy you to show me any broad assertion in
                                    that book that cannot be disproven with a minimum of research.

                                    Yeah, we can't all come visit each other's living rooms and peruse each
                                    others libraries. That's no excuse for lack of critical faculty in
                                    evalauting the sources we DO cite.

                                    I'm just trying to do it a little more rigorous, and little more in-depth,
                                    and little better than has been done before.

                                    Rob Van Rens

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                                  • Robert Van Rens
                                    ... But what does enforced isolation have to do with peace? The samurai under the Tokugawa Shogunate were fratricidal maniacs, albiet rules-obsessed
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                                      >I posted the Edo period link because it describes a similar period of
                                      >enforced isolation from the outside world as the late Heian

                                      But what does enforced isolation have to do with peace? The samurai under
                                      the Tokugawa Shogunate were fratricidal maniacs, albiet rules-obsessed
                                      ones...and the Heian period is marked by constant civil strife.

                                      Incidentally, it was the Tokugawa shoguns who developed the first
                                      Japanese-made gunpowder weapons, to help supress restive daimyos.

                                      Eadric the Potter,

                                      who studied Japanese history and language for years, and still has barely
                                      scratched the surface.

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                                    • lilinah@earthlink.net
                                      At 5:21 PM -0400 07/09/06, Robert Van Rens wrote: SNIP ... Jehanne was making a suggestion to Mikhail who had presented a very vague topic. Given the context,
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                                        At 5:21 PM -0400 07/09/06, Robert Van Rens wrote:
                                        SNIP
                                        >My point is this; the article is an EXREMELY brief treatment of an incedibly
                                        >complex topic, one that is rendered more complex by the fact that most
                                        >Westerners are completely clueless when it comes to Asian history, or
                                        >historical point-of-view. Japanese historiography is a field that mostly
                                        >doesn't exist in the English language, but there are good, detailed,

                                        Jehanne was making a suggestion to Mikhail who had presented a very
                                        vague topic. Given the context, her citation was probably sufficient.

                                        >I admit to bias. As a frequent researcher, sometime professional academic,
                                        >and frequent user of the university system, I have high standards for
                                        >research and documentation. That's why I'm here - I thought the whole point
                                        >of this listserve was to raise the level of scholarly discourse.

                                        Well... one would hope.

                                        >The problem with sources like Wikipedia, Britannica, Worlds Book, etc, is
                                        >that they are so vague that they are often wrong. It's like your junior
                                        >high history textbooks - you know, the ones that covered world history in
                                        >300 pages, with illustrations. I defy you to show me any broad assertion in
                                        >that book that cannot be disproven with a minimum of research.

                                        Come on, now. There's a great deal more information dealt with in the
                                        Britannica than in a jr. hi. "world" history book. Encyclopediae are
                                        just meant to present general surveys of information to an educated
                                        general public - specific encyclopediae address different levels of
                                        education - the Britannica is usually at a "higher" level than the
                                        World Book. Clearly no single article pretends to present its topic
                                        in depth. But an encyclopedia or wiki article might be a decent start
                                        for someone who has no idea what terms like "viking" or "heian" or
                                        "abbasid" refer to.

                                        >Yeah, we can't all come visit each other's living rooms and peruse each
                                        >others libraries. That's no excuse for lack of critical faculty in
                                        >evalauting the sources we DO cite.

                                        Web sites are starting places. If someone wants a quick idea what
                                        something looks like or a quick read on some history, pretty much
                                        everyone with e-mail access has web access. It's much quicker and
                                        easier to point someone to a web site than to suggest they find their
                                        nearest university library and see if they can get access to the
                                        stacks to find some specialized texts.

                                        Here where i live, the UC-Berkeley does NOT let people in who are not
                                        students or paid up alumnae/alumni. If you are a member of the
                                        "general public", in order to get access you must present yourself
                                        and some ID to the Research Librarian, tell him/her what you want to
                                        do, and get a pass... and the RL is not there evenings or weekends,
                                        when most of us will have the time to drop by. And you can't take any
                                        books out - and the photocopy machines in the library are dreadfully
                                        expensive and not very good. As a resident of the area, i could pay
                                        in the vicinity of $150 annually for a library card to the
                                        UC-Berkeley, but i can't really afford that right now.

                                        The local public library has rather limited resources, and a rather
                                        surprising number of books are permanently missing.

                                        I figure that if someone finds the brief glimpse they got of
                                        something on a web site is interesting enough, they can do more
                                        research. But until one begins doing research, one cannot have a good
                                        idea which are the best sources. When one comes to a topic fresh, one
                                        can use what critical facilities one has, but one will at that point
                                        be lacking in actual details - which are not only historical details
                                        of the subject, but knowledge of historiography (the history of the
                                        study of the subject, for those unfamiliar with such terms), and what
                                        agendae have motivated researchers, leading to lacunae in the
                                        information or biases in the presentation of the information.

                                        Often people end up using not very good print sources because they
                                        don't understand the historiography and/or their local libraries
                                        don't have good sources, and no one is helping them to understand the
                                        flaws and failings in the books they are reading.

                                        And i know that quite a few people in the SCA are not interested in
                                        doing graduate level research on every single topic that may come
                                        through this list, but they may be curious what the discussion is
                                        about. A web site can give them an idea, and they may, or may not,
                                        choose to pursue further research.

                                        >I'm just trying to do it a little more rigorous, and little more in-depth,
                                        >and little better than has been done before.

                                        Since the instigating post on this thread was rather vague - just
                                        what *did* Mikhail mean by "peace" - and the entire world between the
                                        Fall of Rome and the end of 1600 covers a rather large area and a
                                        rather long time, it is difficult to be rigorous in the circumstances.

                                        This is, after all, an e-mail list, and we don't all have access to
                                        the same books on all the possible topics there are. But we do all
                                        have access to the 'net. I don't think it's bad to start someone off
                                        with a website for some general ideas.

                                        Now, if this were a very specifically focused thread, it would make
                                        much more sense to provide resources for deeper information.

                                        If Japanese history is your focus, perhaps you could make some
                                        specific suggestions to books in English (or other Western European
                                        languages).
                                        --
                                        Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
                                        the persona formerly known as Anahita
                                      • wodeford
                                        ... That is up to Mikhail to decide. He hasn t provided a definition of what he is considering peace yet. However, both these periods are often represented
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                                          --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Van Rens" <rvanrens@...>
                                          wrote:
                                          > But what does enforced isolation have to do with peace?

                                          That is up to Mikhail to decide. He hasn't provided a definition of
                                          what he is considering "peace" yet. However, both these periods are
                                          often represented as "peaceful," perhaps stereotypically and falsely.
                                          Again, up to him to investigate, it's his theory he wants to prove or
                                          disprove.

                                          Geographic isolation doesn't guarantee peace, but tends to reduce the
                                          risk of invasion from the outside. Which is not to say that the
                                          Japanese were not perfectly capable of fighting amongst themselves -
                                          and did.

                                          YMMV. I'm still learning this stuff myself.

                                          Jehanne de Wodeford, West
                                        • Robert Van Rens
                                          ... Granted, it was a vague topic. ... So, let s begin with the basics, shall we? ... Only because it has more pages. Of course, the number of additional
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Sep 7, 2006
                                            >
                                            >Jehanne was making a suggestion to Mikhail who had presented a very
                                            >vague topic. Given the context, her citation was probably sufficient.

                                            Granted, it was a vague topic.

                                            > > I thought the whole point
                                            > >of this listserve was to raise the level of scholarly discourse.
                                            >
                                            >Well... one would hope.

                                            So, let's begin with the basics, shall we?

                                            >
                                            >Come on, now. There's a great deal more information dealt with in the
                                            >Britannica than in a jr. hi. "world" history book.

                                            Only because it has more pages. Of course, the number of additional topics
                                            it deals with are, well, innumerable.

                                            >Encyclopediae are
                                            >just meant to present general surveys of information to an educated
                                            >general public - specific encyclopediae address different levels of
                                            >education - the Britannica is usually at a "higher" level than the
                                            >World Book.

                                            The both have same basic weakness; the articles are such superficial
                                            treatments of the topics that they are often WRONG by vitrue of ommission.
                                            The Wiki article at hand is just such a case.

                                            >Clearly no single article pretends to present its topic
                                            >in depth. But an encyclopedia or wiki article might be a decent start
                                            >for someone who has no idea what terms like "viking" or "heian" or
                                            >"abbasid" refer to.

                                            Yes, this is a very good use for encyclopedias. Less so for Wiki, since,
                                            as I pointed out the information CAN be changed by anyone, and therefore
                                            cannot be relied to be factual.

                                            >It's much quicker and
                                            >easier to point someone to a web site than to suggest they find their
                                            >nearest university library and see if they can get access to the
                                            >stacks to find some specialized texts.

                                            Yes, that is true. But even on the web, there are better sources availible.
                                            They don't have to be specialized texts.

                                            >Here where i live, the UC-Berkeley does NOT let people in who are not
                                            >students or paid up alumnae/alumni. If you are a member of the
                                            >"general public", in order to get access you must present yourself
                                            >and some ID to the Research Librarian, tell him/her what you want to
                                            >do, and get a pass.......... As a resident of the area, i could pay
                                            >in the vicinity of $150 annually for a library card to the
                                            >UC-Berkeley, but i can't really afford that right now.

                                            Similar policies are in effect at most university libraries, in my
                                            experience. I live a LONG way from any decent reearch libraries; I use
                                            inter-library loan a lot. Even the tiny, understocked local library is able
                                            to get things via ILL.

                                            >But until one begins doing research, one cannot have a good
                                            >idea which are the best sources.

                                            YES! YES! YES! Something we agree on!

                                            >When one comes to a topic fresh, one
                                            >can use what critical facilities one has, but one will at that point
                                            >be lacking in actual details - which are not only historical details
                                            >of the subject, but knowledge of historiography (the history of the
                                            >study of the subject, for those unfamiliar with such terms), and what
                                            >agendae have motivated researchers, leading to lacunae in the
                                            >information or biases in the presentation of the information.
                                            >
                                            >Often people end up using not very good print sources because they
                                            >don't understand the historiography and/or their local libraries
                                            >don't have good sources, and no one is helping them to understand the
                                            >flaws and failings in the books they are reading.

                                            WE AGREE HERE TOO!


                                            >
                                            >This is, after all, an e-mail list, and we don't all have access to
                                            >the same books on all the possible topics there are. But we do all
                                            >have access to the 'net. I don't think it's bad to start someone off
                                            >with a website for some general ideas.

                                            You've kinda missed my whole point; SPECIFICALLY Wikipedia is open-source
                                            material, able to be modified by ANYONE, regardless of their knowledge of
                                            the topic. My assertion is that it therefore has limited validity, since
                                            there's no way to restrict posting and rewriting by anyone for any reason.
                                            For instance, the Templar conspiracy theorists ahve a field day with
                                            Wikipedia; periodically, someone goes in and prunes out all the trash, and
                                            it grows back again, and it gets pruned back, and it gorws again, etc etc
                                            etc.

                                            There ARE very good sources online. I'm not attacking web-based research in
                                            general; I just have a problem with anyone relying on Wikipedia.

                                            >
                                            >If Japanese history is your focus, perhaps you could make some
                                            >specific suggestions to books in English (or other Western European
                                            >languages).

                                            Actually, it's not - sort of a past hobby. But I'll look through my
                                            personal library and see what I can suggest.

                                            Eadric the Potter

                                            _________________________________________________________________
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                                          • Andrea Hughett
                                            ... Oh, that makes it much easier! Malory s version of the Pax Arthuriana gets my vote. Andrea of Anglespur kitscaa Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt So many
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Sep 8, 2006
                                              --- NINacide@... wrote:

                                              > When was
                                              > the time when a person was
                                              > most likely to spend either a significant amount of
                                              > his life, or even his
                                              > whole life without knowing conflict or worrying
                                              > about being killed. I'd like
                                              > to structure a micro event around this time period
                                              > and place.
                                              >

                                              Oh, that makes it much easier! Malory's version of the
                                              Pax Arthuriana gets my vote.

                                              Andrea of Anglespur
                                              kitscaa Gwervyl verch Hywel Gwyddwyllt
                                              So many books, so little time!

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                                            • Chris Laning
                                              ... Not quite true. Wikipedia does have rules and limits, though as one might expect with such a large body of information, enforcement is sporadic. In many --
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Sep 9, 2006
                                                At 9:35 PM -0400 9/7/06, Robert Van Rens wrote:
                                                >You've kinda missed my whole point; SPECIFICALLY Wikipedia is open-source
                                                >material, able to be modified by ANYONE, regardless of their knowledge of
                                                >the topic. My assertion is that it therefore has limited validity, since
                                                >there's no way to restrict posting and rewriting by anyone for any reason.

                                                Not quite true.

                                                Wikipedia does have rules and limits, though as one might expect with
                                                such a large body of information, enforcement is sporadic. In many --
                                                but of course not all -- areas there are people who do keep an eye on
                                                articles in their field of interest, and who jump in when
                                                misinformation is posted and promptly correct it. There are also
                                                rules about what sorts of information may and may not be added to
                                                Wikipedia articles -- for one thing, they would prefer only to have
                                                previously published information with the source cited -- and in the
                                                areas I look at, the monitors have been fairly prompt to flag, if not
                                                remove, things that don't meet those standards. Another big no-no is
                                                violation of the "neutral point of view," i.e. slanting the
                                                information to advance one view over others. These violations, being
                                                more apt to draw complaints, tend to be jumped on even more promptly.
                                                In some cases, an article may be "frozen" and future edits
                                                prohibited, either permanently or until disputes are resolved. Repeat
                                                offenders can also be banned.

                                                So it's true that if you only look at a Wikipedia article this
                                                Thursday at 4:00pm, it may be outrageously wrong in some aspect. But
                                                if you check back next Sunday, it may well have been corrected. This
                                                does not make Wikipedia "reliable" but it explains why its accuracy
                                                overall is able to be rather higher than is sometimes assumed.
                                                --
                                                ____________________________________________________________

                                                O (Lady) Christian de Holacombe , Shire of Windy Meads
                                                + Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...>
                                                http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
                                                ____________________________________________________________
                                              • NINacide@aol.com
                                                A person only has to look as far as the definition of the SCA on wiki to know how inaccurate it is. Mikhail [Non-text portions of this message have been
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Sep 9, 2006
                                                  A person only has to look as far as the definition of the SCA on wiki to
                                                  know how inaccurate it is.

                                                  Mikhail


                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • kittencat3@aol.com
                                                  Some Wikipedia articles are accurate, some are not. Regardless, it s not considered a valid source academically. I wouldn t use it as documentation unless
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Sep 10, 2006
                                                    Some Wikipedia articles are accurate, some are not. Regardless, it's not
                                                    considered a valid source academically. I wouldn't use it as documentation
                                                    unless the article was confirmed by print sources, and I say that as someone who's
                                                    seriously considering writing an article on medieval quilts.

                                                    Sarah Davies, OL


                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • annikki@comcast.net
                                                    ... From: NINacide@aol.com ... I m confused. How is that oh-so-terribly-inaccurate? Heck, the article as a whole seems fantastic. Adele Defsontaines
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Sep 10, 2006
                                                      -------------- Original message ----------------------
                                                      From: NINacide@...
                                                      > A person only has to look as far as the definition of the SCA on wiki to
                                                      > know how inaccurate it is.
                                                      >
                                                      > Mikhail

                                                      I'm confused. How is that oh-so-terribly-inaccurate? Heck, the article as a whole seems fantastic.

                                                      Adele Defsontaines



                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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