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William H McNeill, A Tribute

Posted August 25th, 2016 at 12:40 PM by Tuthmosis III

Alas! I have just learned this day that my world history hero, William Hardy McNeill passed on July 8. He was 98.

Where do I start?...

The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community (1963)
Plagues and Peoples (1976)
The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since AD 1000 (1982)
Keeping Together in Time: Dance and Drill in Human History (1995)
The Human Web: A Bird's Eye View of World History (2003, with son John R McNeill)...
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"Myth, Memory, and History"

Posted December 7th, 2015 at 02:00 PM by Tuthmosis III

The following are from "Myth, Memory, and History" (M.I. Finley, History and Theory, Vol. 4, No. 3 (1965), 281-302). Finley (1912-1986) was an excellent historian, for any who do not know. In this article he shows some of the reasons why "myth and history have important common elements".

Quote:
The past is an intractable, incomprehensible mass of uncounted and uncountable data. It can be rendered intelligible only if some selection is made, around some focus...
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To each hirs own...

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 07:28 AM by Tuthmosis III

Gender neutrality!

I'm old-fashioned enough to prefer the use of the conventional masculine article to avoid the grammatical abomination of
"to each (singular) their (plural) own"
and the accurate but awkward
"to each his or her own".

But I'm open to an elegant way to include all human beings when all human beings are being referenced. I wonder why we haven't yet made use of our usual resort when dealing with language change over...
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Politics 101

Posted July 20th, 2013 at 10:20 AM by Tuthmosis III

(I wrote these notes when I was bored in class over twenty-five years ago. Found them recently while cleaning up my desk. Sadly, but not surprisingly, nothing has changed.)

GLOSSARY OF POLITICAL TERMS

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” -- Lord Acton (1834-1902)
Therefore, in the following, power = "that which corrupts"...

General Terms -
politics - the pursuit of power
government - the regulatory...
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Thoughts on geographical determinism

Posted November 20th, 2012 at 09:54 AM by Tuthmosis III
Updated November 21st, 2012 at 01:32 PM by Tuthmosis III

“Free will” and “determinism” are polar opposites in a certain recurring philosophical debate; neither abstraction accurately reflects reality. Humans actually exercise choice in a broader or narrower range of options when faced with a given situation. Therefore, “determinism” is simply too strong a word to describe the influence of any one aspect of human existence, even one as obviously pervasive as geography. It is clear that man does not have carte blanche to develop his ways of life as if his...
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