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whip_lash : history   72

A Brief History of the Corporation: 1600 to 2100
Europe may have increased per capita productivity 594% in 600 years, while China and India stayed where they were, but Europe has been slowing down and Asia has been catching up. When Asia hits Peak Attention (America is already past it, I believe), absolute size, rather than big productivity differentials, will again define the game, and the center of gravity of economic activity will shift to Asia.
business  history  innovation  future  capitalism  politics  tech 
january 2020 by whip_lash
Medieval Price List
The list of medieval prices which follows is by no means complete or thoroughly researched; I merely extracted references from some of the books I have, and I thought others might like to inspect it. The sources I used are listed at the end. If an item is listed several times, it is because I had several references I wished to record.
history  economics  finance 
december 2019 by whip_lash
(1) Jasonmbro - YouTube
Boyd's Paterns of Conflict lectures.
boyd  strategy  history 
november 2019 by whip_lash
The German Tank Problem -
Probabilistic programming is a very powerful tool. It’s still a relatively young field, but is starting to become more popular especially due to recent algorithmic advances and an abundance of computational resources.
datascience  history  python  statistics 
july 2019 by whip_lash
The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre of 1902 Did Not Go as Planned - Atlas Obscura
It turned out the hunters would rather amputate a live animal’s tail than take a healthy rat, capable of breeding and creating so many more rats—with those valuable tails—out of commission. There were also reports that some Vietnamese were smuggling foreign rats into the city. And then the final straw: Health inspectors discovered, in the countryside on the outskirts of Hanoi, pop-up farming operations dedicated to breeding rats.
economics  idiocracy  vietnam  history 
may 2019 by whip_lash
Neandertals, Stone Age people may have voyaged the Mediterranean | Science | AAAS
Possible Neandertal artifacts have turned up on a number of islands, including at Stelida on the island of Naxos. Naxos sits 250 kilometers north of Crete in the Aegean Sea; even during glacial times, when sea levels were lower, it was likely accessible only by watercraft.
april 2018 by whip_lash
Three Phi Beta Kappa addresses
"Shall Cromwell Have a Statue?"

Charles Francis Adams on Robert E. Lee
january 2018 by whip_lash
More on When "United States" Shifted from Plural to Singular - Volokh Conspiracy :
There does not appear to be a sharp decrease in the use of plural version following the Civil War—usage was already slightly declining and generally that trend continued.
january 2018 by whip_lash
How a Nearly Successful Slave Revolt Was Intentionally Lost to History | Smart News | Smithsonian
“Their heads were cut off and placed on poles along the river in order to frighten and intimidate the other slaves,” writes Waters for the Zinn Project. “This display of heads placed on spikes stretched over 60 miles.”

history  usa  slavery 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Korea's Gwangmyeong Cave, a Conflicted Tourist Magnet - CityLab
If the idea of placing a Barbie display where colonized people were once forced to dig up gold and coal for another country’s gruesome imperialist goals makes you baffled or slightly queasy, you’re really not in good company. The Gwangmyeong Cave attracted 1.4 million visitors last year. In a country that’s gung-ho on protesting, there haven’t been any demonstrations against the cave.
culture  history  korea 
january 2018 by whip_lash
The 1970s Xerox Conference That Predicted the Future of Work | WIRED
Xerox would go on to try to commercialize a successor to the Alto, so it is not accurate to say that the company had no enthusiasm for the technology presented at Futures Day. But the reaction that Taylor witnessed among the assembled executives—a mix of indifference, incomprehension, and rejection—is understandable. Xerox made most of its profit selling paper. The California upstarts were insisting that work in the office of the future would be centered on screens, which would leave paper’s future uncertain.
technology  history 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Could Rome have had an industrial revolution? - Reaction
All of this suggests that a better understanding of why sustained or modern economic growth did not occur during earlier “efflorescences” can help us better understand which factors were important in the explaining the transition that did take place after 1800.
economics  history 
december 2017 by whip_lash
How Eratosthenes calculated the Earth's circumference - Business Insider
Since the difference in shadow length is 7 degrees in Alexandria and Syene, that means the two cities are 7 degrees apart on Earth's 360-degrees surface. Eratosthenes hired a man to pace the distance between the two cities and learned they were 5,000 stadia apart, which is about 800 kilometers. 

He could then use simple proportions to find the Earth's circumference — 7.2 degrees is 1/50 of 360 degrees, so 800 times 50 equals 40,000 kilometers. And just like that, a man 2200 years ago found the circumference of our entire planet with just a stick and his brain. 
history  geography  greece 
december 2017 by whip_lash
BBC - Travel - The real reason why Spaniards eat late
So why are Spaniards living behind their geographic time zone?
In 1940, General Francisco Franco changed Spain’s time zone, moving the clocks one hour forward in solidarity with Nazi Germany.

history  spain  geography 
december 2017 by whip_lash
BBC - Future - The ghostly radio station that no one claims to run
There’s no shortage of theories to explain what the Buzzer might be for – ranging from keeping in touch with submarines to communing with aliens. One such idea is that it’s acting as a “Dead Hand” signal; in the event Russia is hit by a nuclear attack, the drone will stop and automatically trigger a retaliation. No questions asked, just total nuclear obliteration on both sides.

espionage  radio  russia  history 
december 2017 by whip_lash
The Story Behind the Coveted Fabergé Eggs — The Fashion Law
Not all of the eggs have been located, however, and seven are currently thought to be lost. Until 2015, that number was believed to be eight. Another egg came to light after a scrap metal dealer perusing a flea market in the American Midwest came upon a gold egg on an intricately designed stand. Inside was a gold clock with diamond-encrusted hands. Thinking he could make at least a few hundred dollars profit by melting it down and selling the gold, he purchased the item for $14,000.

Despite his rather large investment, potential buyers told him the gold was jot worth what he paid. The man (who has remained anonymous) left the egg in his kitchen, thinking he had just thrown $14,000 away, until one day he got curious enough to Google the name on the back of the clock—“Vacheron Constantin.” After a bit more digging, he came upon this 2011 Telegraph article about the Third Imperial Easter Egg. That’s when he discovered this gold egg wasn’t worth $14,000; it was worth millions. 

history  russia  gold 
december 2017 by whip_lash
George Orwell: Shooting an Elephant
I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the ‘natives’, and so in every crisis he has got to do what the ‘natives’ expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.
history  imperialism  literature  politics 
november 2017 by whip_lash
How History Can Be Used in Fiction: The Borgias vs. Borgia: Faith and Fear |
Orsini grabs the iron fire poker and hits his wife over the head, full force, wham, wham, dead. He drops the fire poker on her corpse and walks briskly out of the room, leaving it for the servants to clean up. Yes. That is the right thing, because this is the Renaissance, and these people are terrible.
television  history 
march 2014 by whip_lash
Aurora Shooting: How did people commit mass murder before automatic weapons? - Slate Magazine
Guns aren’t even the most lethal mass murder weapon. According to data compiled by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, guns killed an average of 4.92 victims per mass murder in the United States during the 20th century, just edging out knives, blunt objects, and bare hands, which killed 4.52 people per incident. Fire killed 6.82 people per mass murder, while explosives far outpaced the other options at 20.82. Of the 25 deadliest mass murders in the 20th century, only 52 percent involved guns.
crime  guns  history 
august 2012 by whip_lash
If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It: Ancient Computers in Use Today | PCWorld
Sparkler’s 402 is a such a significant computing relic that the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, sent a delegation to the company last year to try and convince its executives to move to a more modern accounting system and donate the 402 to the museum. That will someday be an appropriate resting place for the 402, but as long as it still does its duty, the Texas company has no problem keeping its digital dinosaur living a little while longer.
computers  history  tech 
february 2012 by whip_lash
Nuclear weapons: How Cold War major Harold Hering asked a forbidden question that cost him his career. - By Ron Rosenbaum - Slate Magazine
But I went ahead and dedicated my new book, How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III, to Maj. Harold Hering because Maj. Hering sacrificed his military career to ask a Forbidden Question about launching nuclear missiles. A question that exposed the comforting illusions of the so called fail-safe system designed to prevent "unauthorized" nuclear missile launches.
war  ethics  history 
march 2011 by whip_lash
CABINET // Islands and the Law: An Interview with Christina Duffy Burnett
You know, you say that, and I have to admit that when all of this first started going down—reports of secret prisons, extraordinary renditions, etc.—the first thing that occurred to me was that someone should be checking to see what was up on the seven guano islands that the US still holds. They were, in a way, the original law-free zones, and they are still out there. I think one or two might even have an airstrip.
history  law  politics 
november 2010 by whip_lash
Thomas Friedman's Latest Entry In The Long History Of American “declinism.” | The New Republic
Twenty-two years ago, in a refreshingly clear-sighted article for Foreign Affairs, Harvard’s Samuel P. Huntington noted that the theme of “America’s decline” had in fact been a constant in American culture and politics since at least the late 1950s. It had come, he wrote, in several distinct waves: in reaction to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik; to the Vietnam war; to the oil shock of 1973; to Soviet aggression in the late 1970s; and to the general unease that accompanied the end of the Cold War. Since Huntington wrote, we can add at least two more waves: in reaction to 9/11, and to the current “Great Recession.”
history  politics 
october 2010 by whip_lash
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty - Magazine - The Atlantic
Romer is peddling a radical vision: that dysfunctional nations can kick-start their own development by creating new cities with new rules—Lübeck-style centers of progress that Romer calls “charter cities.” By building urban oases of technocratic sanity, struggling nations could attract investment and jobs; private capital would flood in and foreign aid would not be needed. And since Henry the Lion is not on hand to establish these new cities, Romer looks to the chief source of legitimate coercion that exists today—the governments that preside over the world’s more successful countries. To launch new charter cities, he says, poor countries should lease chunks of territory to enlightened foreign powers, which would take charge as though presiding over some imperial protectorate. Romer’s prescription is not merely neo-medieval, in other words. It is also neo-colonial.
cities  economics  globalization  history 
august 2010 by whip_lash
What Social Science Does--and Doesn't--Know by Jim Manzi, City Journal Summer 2010
The missing ingredient is controlled experimentation, which is what allows science positively to settle certain kinds of debates. How do we know that our physical theories concerning the wing are true? In the end, not because of equations on blackboards or compelling speeches by famous physicists but because airplanes stay up. Social scientists may make claims as fascinating and counterintuitive as the proposition that a heavy piece of machinery can fly, but these claims are frequently untested by experiment, which means that debates like the one in 2009 will never be settled. For decades to come, we will continue to be lectured by what are, in effect, Keynesian and non-Keynesian economists.
economics  history 
august 2010 by whip_lash
It's Not the Graveyard of Empires - By Christian Caryl | Foreign Policy
Barfield contends that the Afghans have long understood the tendency of foreigners to view them as untamable savages and have been happy to leverage the stereotype to their advantage. "The Afghans use hyperbole of history to exaggerate [their] strengths in order to deter invaders," he says. "In this case, a poor knowledge of their history goes a long way to convincing others to stay away, but it can be a dangerous illusion." Back in 2001, Barfield says, Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden recycled the myth to themselves -- only to watch Taliban rule, and al Qaeda's safe haven, collapse under U.S. bombing.
afghanistan  history  war 
august 2010 by whip_lash
Laver's Law of Fashion - (37signals)
James Laver was a museum curator for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from the ‘30s through the ‘50s. He was also a fashion theorist and historian who conceived Laver’s Law — an attempt to make sense of the fashion trend lifecycle.
art  design  fashion  history 
july 2010 by whip_lash
Jonathan Last: Boys, Men and the War-Strategy Game: From Before Axis & Allies to Making History II -
Last week, Muzzy Lane Software released the sequel to its groundbreaking strategy game, Making History. Like its predecessor, Making History II is a World War II simulation, where players choose a country and, beginning in 1933, guide it—diplomatically, economically and militarily—through the great conflagration. The new version boasts many intriguing features, not the least interesting of which is the involvement of historian Niall Ferguson.
education  history  military 
july 2010 by whip_lash
Flash map of the history of conquest in SW Asia.
history  israel  politics  war  religion 
june 2010 by whip_lash
EconoSpeak: Has BP Been Too Careless Due To Its Imperial Past?
There has been much speculation about why British Petroleum has been reportedly slopppier and more careless about safety and the environment than other oil companies. This may not be it, but the company has a past that is probably more tied up with classic imperialism than any other, or at least as much as the top ones.
oil  britain  history 
june 2010 by whip_lash
Dissent Magazine
But Zinn's big book is quite unworthy of such fame and influence. A People's History is bad history, albeit gilded with virtuous intentions. Zinn reduces the past to a Manichean fable and makes no serious attempt to address the biggest question a leftist can ask about U.S. history: why have most Americans accepted the legitimacy of the capitalist republic in which they live?
history  politics  books  socialism  anti-americanism 
april 2010 by whip_lash
The Five Varieties of Bad Political Thinking - Reason Magazine
The rise of the Internet has democratized what was once the purview of the professional opinion journalist, policy analyst, or historian and thus made certain tendencies in the debate over domestic and international politics into full-blown categories of bad thinking. By my count, there are five main varieties of these without which there would be far fewer cable news channels, blogs, documentary filmmakers, and entries on The New York Times bestsellers list for non-fiction.
politics  history 
april 2010 by whip_lash / The Golden Touch
In 1878 the market price of silver was indeed close to the 16-to-1 ratio. But as silver output continued to swell, it dropped to about 20 to 1 by 1890. In that year Congress passed the Sherman Silver Act, requiring the government to buy even more bullion, 4.5 million ounces a month, and coin it, still at 16 to 1. This policy guaranteed inflation, favored by the poorer areas of the country, such as the South and, of course, the silver-rich West.
history  economics 
march 2010 by whip_lash
Scott and Scurvy
Now, I had been taught in school that scurvy had been conquered in 1747, when the Scottish physician James Lind proved in one of the first controlled medical experiments that citrus fruits were an effective cure for the disease. From that point on, we were told, the Royal Navy had required a daily dose of lime juice to be mixed in with sailors’ grog, and scurvy ceased to be a problem on long ocean voyages.

But here was a Royal Navy surgeon in 1911 apparently ignorant of what caused the disease, or how to cure it. Somehow a highly-trained group of scientists at the start of the 20th century knew less about scurvy than the average sea captain in Napoleonic times.
history  science 
march 2010 by whip_lash
At Last, A Graph That Explains Scifi TV After Star Trek - Chart porn - io9
We looked at over 300 science fiction and fantasy television shows from 1970, the year after the original Star Trek series ended, to the present. In this chart, we list a few of the most iconic shows, but those are just a sampling of the hundreds we surveyed.

Then we looked at which shows on the air in any given year featured any one of the most common science-fiction themes: aliens, space travel, robots, time travel, and magic.
scifi  tv  history 
september 2009 by whip_lash
Vampires suck. - By Grady Hendrix - Slate Magazine
Just as America's young men are being given deeply erroneous ideas about sex by what they watch on the Web, so, too, are America's young women receiving troubling misinformation about the male of the species from Twilight. These women are going to be shocked when the sensitive, emotionally available, poetry-writing boys of their dreams expect a bit more from a sleepover than dew-eyed gazes and chaste hugs. The young man, having been schooled in love online, will be expecting extreme bondage and a lesbian three-way.
culture  history  literature  sex 
july 2009 by whip_lash
BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia acts against 'false' history
This is what appears to anger today's Russian historical establishment: accounts of Red Army crimes on the march to Berlin; assertions by the Baltic countries and others in Eastern Europe that Soviet forces came as occupiers as much as liberators; any suggestion that Stalin's Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were anything but complete opposites and bitter enemies.
russia  politics  history 
july 2009 by whip_lash
Who goes Nazi?—By Dorothy Thompson (Harper's Magazine)
It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times–in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis.
history  politics  psychology  culture  sociology 
july 2009 by whip_lash
This mixing of Crusades-like messaging with war imagery, which until now has not been revealed, had become routine. On March 31, a U.S. tank roared through the desert beneath a quote from Ephesians: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” On April 7, Saddam Hussein struck a dictatorial pose, under this passage from the First Epistle of Peter: “It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”
history  politics  iraq 
may 2009 by whip_lash
US Debt To GDP
This is why economists like Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, and others think Tim Geithner's whole view of the crisis is nuts. We aren't dealing a "temporary mispricing" of debt. We're dealing with the collapse of asset prices that will force the restructuring of trillions of dollars of debt that was loaned against value that no longer exists.
economics  finance  history 
april 2009 by whip_lash
Deep Inside the Dow | The Big Picture
Now, the rather stark conclusion. As Rob noted to me in the
email he sent with the data, “If Dow Jones hadn’t tinkered with the index, the
30 companies would have merged or failed their way down to just 9
survivors. Of the 21 companies in the original 30 that are now gone, 20
disappeared through M&A, some were replaced by successor firms and others
not, and only one (Bethlehem Steel) failed outright. But this no-fiddling
index would have topped out at just over 30,000 in October 2007 and would have
finished 2008 at 14,600. Ugly decline, but not as ugly as a level of 8776
[now down to 7300 as I type this]. This compounds out to a 0.7% per year greater
return than the actual Dow 30 results. The difference comes from dropping
companies when they’re out of favor, and trading at deep discounts, only to
replace them with popular large-cap, high-multiple newcomers.”
history  stock 
april 2009 by whip_lash
Ghosts of a faded gilded age haunt a 19th-century Chinese banking hub - International Herald Tribune
It was a time of new wealth, a gilded age in which entire families came into fortunes overnight.

To move the money, businessmen here in this city in northern China opened banks, the first in the nation's history. Soon branches sprang up across the country, and they began making loans. Money flowed this way and that.

Then, as quickly as it started, the entire system crumbled. The banks shut down and the city fell into ruin.

So went the history of China's first banking capital, which bloomed here in dusty Shanxi Province in the mid-19th century, during the Qing dynasty. With the global economy now reeling from the banking crisis that began in the United States, and as the explosive economic growth of China begins to slow, the rise and fall of Pingyao could be read by some as a cautionary tale.
banking  history  china 
march 2009 by whip_lash
Do these mysterious stones mark the site of the Garden of Eden? | Mail Online
'To build such a place as this, the hunters must have joined together in numbers. After they finished building, they probably congregated for worship. But then they found that they couldn't feed so many people with regular hunting and gathering.

'So I think they began cultivating the wild grasses on the hills. Religion motivated people to take up farming.'
history  religion  archaeology 
march 2009 by whip_lash - Financial Life Cycle Planning
Over the 108 years since the beginning of the 20th century, what percentage of the time has the United States been in recession?

A) 5%
B) 10%
C) 20%
D) 25%

The sad reality is that "D" gets you an "A" on this exam. In fact, if you measure from 1871, the date of earliest S&P Composite data featured on this website, the number jumps to 30% (the last three decades of the 19th century were rather grim).
finance  economics  history 
february 2009 by whip_lash
Trade Lessons Unheeded (Cato @ Liberty)
For all practical purposes there is no difference between the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill of 1930 and the “Buy American” provisions in the $819 billion spending bill that passed the House Wednesday.
economics  history  globalization  protectionism 
january 2009 by whip_lash
Our Depression index—and the parallels | 1929 and all that | The Economist
In strange territory almost any map will do, no matter how incomplete or out of date. In trying to pick a way through today’s financial crisis, there are plenty to pore over. Among them is one drawn in Sweden in the early 1990s, another from Japan in the same decade and an American one from a few years before that. By far the scariest, though, is that sketched in the years beginning in 1929. Frequent reference is made to it (see chart).
finance  depression  history 
october 2008 by whip_lash
History Of Bailouts: What Kinds Work...And Why Ours Won't
Analyst John Mauldin's Outside The Box email this week features a summary of the Luc Laevan and Fabian Valencia study of 42 recent bailouts. John excerpts the work of Philippa Dunne and Doug Henwood of The Liscio Report, who analyze the study in detail. Here are the key points:
history  finance  banking 
october 2008 by whip_lash
Where AIG Went Wrong
But AIG says its financial woes stem from actions taken in 2005 and earlier, when Greenberg was still in charge. "He took a lot of risk," says David Shiff, editor of Shiff's Insurance Observer and a longtime AIG critic.
insurance  history  business  finance 
september 2008 by whip_lash
The Big Picture | The Costanza Energy Policy: 25 Ways to Drive Oil to $150
It turns out that for the past 3 decades, we've had a George Costanza Energy policy -- every decision we have made as a country has worked to drive energy prices higher.
energy  history  oil  economics 
may 2008 by whip_lash
Here are some of his wittiest and most profound teachings.
history  philosophy 
july 2007 by whip_lash
Education Quote of the Day « Organizations and Markets
In economics especially but also in sociology, political science, psychology, and other social sciences we have trained many generations of such “technical specialists.” Is this wise?
education  history 
july 2007 by whip_lash
Slim's Chance -
In 1982 Mexico was in the midst of economic collapse amid runaway inflation, interest rates and debt defaults. Even the boldest investors were bailing out. But Slim kept buying, grabbing assets at panic prices.
business  history  mexico 
july 2007 by whip_lash
Mitterrand's role revealed in Rwandan genocide warning - Independent Online Edition > Europe
The former French president François Mitterrand supported the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide despite clear warnings that mass killings of the Tutsi population were being orchestrated
history  france  rwanda  genocide 
july 2007 by whip_lash
John V.C. Nye, The Myth of Free-Trade Britain: Library of Economics and Liberty
In the fable that is now conventional wisdom, nineteenth century Britain turned its back on protection and chose to open its markets to the world.
history  trade  economics 
july 2007 by whip_lash
Economic Principals
For even though the ideals of the WSJ under the Bancroft family may be doomed, the hunger for fair and balanced refereeing of the news remains strong. Before long, the Impartial Spectator will make its headquarters somewhere else.
economics  history  journalism 
june 2007 by whip_lash
The New York Observer
Mr. Roth, a group-three clerk for The Times, is the keeper of the paper’s morgue, the files of millions of clippings that served as the institutional memory for a century.
history  journalism  newspaper 
june 2007 by whip_lash
How Alexander the Great Laid Waste to an Island Fortress: Scientific American
Would-be warlords, take note. Researchers say they have figured out how the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great was able to build a nearly kilometer-long road over the sea to strike at the island of Tyre in 332 B.C
may 2007 by whip_lash
Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates by Christopher Hitchens, City Journal Spring 2007
America’s first confrontation with the Islamic world helped forge a new nation’s character.
april 2007 by whip_lash

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