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Medieval Reading List

1 min read

For my friends in the Medievalist forums, a list of 100 books about the diversity of the Middle Ages:

https://bookriot.com/2018/01/04/100-must-read-middle-ages/

From the blurb:

The ideas we tend to have about the Middle Ages are mostly based on how the time period has been interpreted through fantasy fiction and games, and the romanticizing of the era by intellectuals, scholars, politicians, and artists in the nineteenth century.

These interpretations have given rise to a view of the Middle Ages as an entirely Christian society in western Europe, populated only by white people, and with few influences coming from outside.

...

This view is inaccurate.

Yes, the Middle Ages was a time period of repression, oppression, persecution, warfare, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, and misogyny. But so is our time period.

Therefore, it bears repeating that:The Middle Ages was an age of diversity.

Pan-religious, pan-ethnic, pan-global. Yes, Western Europe went provincial, puritanical, and dark. But there was plenty of the rest of the world to go around. I'm particularly fond of the descriptions of the European world by a travelling Islamic ambassador in #13; I'm interested to read #16; #23 is already on my reading list; I'm curious about #40 and #66.

 
 

I have a theory

2 min read

Bear me out... I think I've figured something out, and it had everything to do with license plates.

On the way back from lunch, I saw someone with one of my states "Patriot" vanity plates, and a bumper sticker supporting a Republican candidate.  And I mused to myself... why don't I ever see patriot plates with Bernie stickers?  And I struck on a dichotomy which I hadn't noticed before: your average 'patriot' supports the IDEA of America where your vocal leftish people the IDEAL of America.  

The right envisions Mayberry where the government is well meaning but buffoonish, and they go home at night.

The left envisions the government doing what the constitution says it ought and takes care of their neighbors.

The right wants an idyllic world, where we're the best and outsiders don't get it, but that's fine because we're the best.

The left wants the ideals which are enshrined in the constitution applied to everyone equally, and we are still the land of the immigrant and those yearning masses can be free.

And then I realised: I don't think that Mayberry ever had to worry about the Cold War going hot, despite being a show from the late fifties and early sixties.  You know, when the world was feeling exetensial dread at the possiblity of total annhiliation when Kruschev felt that Nixon was looking at him funny(or vice versa), and decided to end it all.  According to twenty minutes on Wikipedia (everyone's favourite reliable source of knowledge), there was only one episode which has anything to do with the Soviets, and they intentionally made the show feel like it was in the 30s (you know, when America First was last popular).

And because Mayberry didn't live in the existential-horror world of the 60s spy thriller, (Len Deighton, John le Carre, et al) where the reader knew that if the good guy screwed up, the world was really in peril from unknowable horrors.  They never had to worry about consequences: it was all a minor misunderstanding, or the baddies would get shipped out of town never to be heard from again.

Mayberry intentionally ignores the outside world, and that's what's wrong with the world today.

Or that's my thoughts.

 

Old Treasurer when the New One is Elected

Yep.

[Source Running a Hackerspace]

 

The Revolution...

3 min read

The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

You will not be able to stay at home, chummer
You will not be able to jack in, crash IC, and make cred
You will not be able to loose yourself in sims
or burn your brain on BTLs
Because the Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun
The revolution will not be brought to you by Weapons World
with two full clips thrown in
The revolution will not star Holly Brighton
panzer-blastin' into Denver to challenge
Ghostwalker for the right to nuke Atzlan
tossing powerballs and lightning bolts into ravenous blood spirits
The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

The Revolution will not be brought to you by Tir Tangire
starring Rinelle ke'Tesrae and Ehran the Scribe
nor Ryan "Drake" Mercury and Kid bloody Stealth
The Revolution will not give trolls smaller horns and
the Revolution will not make mil-spec gear easy to get
The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

There will not be Matrix Overwatch when the corps collapse
as the SINless use their 'purchasing power'
to get their fix quicker
KSAF will not break the story 2.3 minutes later or report live from the scene
The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

There will not be Trideo of Red Sams
gunning you down in the streets
There will not be trideo of Lone Star 
gunning you down in the streets
There will not be trideo of Big-D
liberating the SINners
There will not be stills or flatvid of
Dodger walking through the matrix with Megara on his arm
in matching ebon and silver icons that they have been saving
for just the proper occasion

NERPS, Better-Than-Life and Full-X sims
will no longer be so damnned relevant,
and no will care if Deus compiles the Network
because the world will be saying that the Night of Rage was kinder,
The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

There will be no highlights on Shadowland, posted by
Captain Chaos, The Chromed Accountant, or Fastjack,
and no stills of Nadja Davidar giving a slot.
The theme song will not be popular in Club Penumbra,
no matter how jazzed the patrons are.
It won't be performed by a troll thrash band, or
heard at Dante's Inferno; it won't be cached at the Nexus.
The revolution will not be a Shadowrun

The revolution will not be right back after a 
message from Mitsuhama, the Universal Brotherhood, 
or anything corporate.  You won't have to worry
about devil rats in your bedroom, a Shedim on the street,
or a Bug in your toilet bowl
The Revolution will not go better with Rolling Rock
The Revolution will not save you from Gaia
The Revolution will put you in captain's chair mode.

The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun, will not be a Shadowrun
will not be a Shadowrun, will not be a Shadowrun.
The Revolution will be no chip-dream, chummer.
The Revolution will still be live.

This is an homage to both Gil Scott-Heron's The Revolution will not be Televised", and inspired by "The Revolution will not be an AOL Keyword". The content inside comes from Shadowrun, a cyberpunk-like game set in 2060, with elves, dwarves, trolls, magic and high-tech. Originally published 12 Jun 2004

 

Musings on an Electoral Hangover

1 min read

Lost another one. I forget I don't have versioning

 

Ah. Just as I was writing a new post here, one of my sources updated to include current events. Woot!

 

Heh. Just got to use the phrase "Go Bursar" in an financial capacity.

 

@technoclave MeowWolf was quite fun. There's more of a write-up coming soon.

 

Decided to start Foodstagramming, and probably also document my gazebo sightings. Of course, the first post wasn't even a gazebo, or anything edible.

 

Misdummers' Day has arrived. Time to pay the servants and set a bonfire for the weekend.

 
 

We Want Your Soul

1 min read

Just been thinking about this a bit more in the past few days. Enjoy.

 

#thenew20: Preserve Hamilton

1 min read

Well, there's an interesting intersection of pop-culture, history, and numismatics.

The creator of the Broadway musical "Hamilton" (a hip-hop biographic of Alexander Hamilton; catchy!) has retweeted a petition about the plan to remove Hamilton from the ten, instead of getting rid of Jackson on the twenty.

As of this writing, it only has 800-odd signatures, and it needs ten thousand by the end of the month.  This is probably a bad season for this sort of campaign, but I'll do my part to spread the news.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/keep-alexander-hamilton-only-face-10-note

Oh, and about that musical: The lyrics are pretty well analized over on Genius, and even annotated by the author, Lin-Manuel Mranda.  Check 'em out!

http://genius.com/albums/Lin-manuel-miranda/Hamilton-original-broadway-cast-recording

 

No: Oops, spoke too soon!

 

Silverleaf Nighshade is a weed. Huh; good to know. And that one is apparently very pernicious. Might go to jail for having it in the yard.

 

@sergeantdutch I've always found that ignoring Facebook works pretty well ;)

 

Have a Nice Day

1 min read

There's far too much hate going around the internet this week. 13 November will be for a while the source of a lot of angst, where in my household that's my annual celebration date.  Complaints about xenophobia, religious priviledge and the like are poisoning the debate, and the echo-chamber that is social media reinforces the lack of empathy and the rigidity of doctrinal purity that has sent political thought in this country back to the stone age... no that would be dismissive of the flexibility of stones.

So I think that everyone should take a load off, enjoy a favourite beverage, and have a nice day.

 

No: Many Congratulations!

 

Yes: This will be certainly less exhausting as the first one, since there's no goddamned hill.