||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
The Bell Beaker Blogger is back, with a bang. Yesterday he was talking the German language-family, and its origins. His theory was that their Urheimat was Jastorf, spanning the Danish - Swedish strait and their islands... very late. As in, AD late.
Coasts are like mountain-valleys in one way: a bolthole from the average invader. So once an Indo-European speaking tribe took Denmark and southern Sweden, back in the old Centum era, they were set. They had their seafood and they had their islands for refuge. The BBBlogger is arguing that the language which became German was able to develop in near-isolation until the early Roman era. They fanned out and conquered to the Rhine, in historical times.
Based on what I have seen of old Gothic, Icelandic, and Anglo-Saxon - I have to concur with this. They all read alike to me. It really isn't far off what we see in Slavic and Romance. (Celtic by contrast must have broken apart earlier.)
There's been talk that what became proto-Germanic had taken in a non-IE substrate, but this is hard to prove. It might be that proto-Germanic's ancestor was just isolated for so long that it drifted. Also there were other languages for superstrate. For IE, we are fairly certain of at least two: some branch of old Celtic (the Wallaces) and the western Balts (the Prussians). At some point the Finns came calling as well; these are, I recall, believed to have entered the Baltic Sea around 100 AD. Perhaps there was a paraGermanic around there too, since subsumed by the Jastorf.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
İstanbul is Doric
Constantine's City is today called İstanbul, with the dot. I'd grown up taught that it derives from "in the city", which in postclassical koine Greek is eis thn polin (classical would be en thi polhi I think). The "bul" is clear enough. But it is difficult to explain the İstan given that the Arabs knew Constantinople for centuries, which they tried and failed to conquer multiple times. No Arab ever called it İstan which sounds ... Persian, anyway. Internally the ey-ta never was an ah-ta in this strain of Greek. And then I learnt how Byzantine Greek was pronounced: by then the ey-ta was already ee-ta as it is in (most of) Greece today.
To solve this, the international duo of Marek Stachowski and Robert Woodhouse have been looking at the possibilities. They agree with me - İstanbul cannot be koine. The two weigh up other possibilities, like that it might be some corruption of Constan-bul. But hey don't buy this either.
Stachowski and Woodhouse propose that the name might instead be eis tan poli[n] - just as I was taught, but by way of a nonstandard dialect. This alpha would make sense in Mycenaean and, also, in Doric. Doric survives to this day as Tsakonian. That dialect also hung out in old Macedonia for a bit - and Byzantium was in that general neighbourhood. S&W think Doric was spoken south of the Marmara, where the Turks would have picked it up.
Monday, July 16, 2018
Hat-tip to the Vox Populi blog. Mr Beale implies that additional revelations are forthcoming about Christianity:
My background in modern Judaism(s) hardly goes beyond the genetic and what bits I picked up through school and study. I can however speak to ancient Judaisms - I was physically at the site: Ashqelon doing digs, Qumran and Jerusalem and Masada on visits. Besides all that schoolin' and studyin'.
I don't know that modern syncretists had taken "The Lord is one" and made it into a divine-wedding announcement. I do recognise in it something close to the Near Eastern sex-temple cults like the Akkadians' of Ishtar. I also know that ancient syncretists had done something very close to that, between YHWH "and His Ashera". And I know that Jews in the liberal cults have done the same. Once you've already blasphemed the Spirit, you tend to lose track of your blasphemies.
About the blood-libel, and by contrast with the Ashera "Shekhina" cult, I am certain nothing like child-sacrifice of Christians was ever taught in Judaism, including the Ashera cults. However. I can surmise how some individual Jews, as we see in individual Muslims, might have undergone their own little "sudden jihad syndrome".
I do know that (some) Jews have got heavily into magic over the millennia: I was just rifling through Raphael Patai's history of "Jewish alchemy" at a used bookstore this afternoon. I also know that Jewish spinoffs like the Mandaeans were all over this stuff. And Jews (and Mandaeans, and others) saw Jesus as magic - and if they saw him as daemonic, and if they saw Christians as daemon-worshippers, they were not above summoning and binding daemons in ritual. With enough hate and fear, one can justify anything. Jews weren't and aren't immune to the same impulses that drive ISIS - that drive some Christians. (The VD comments report on a Satan-summoning coven - I cannot think of a better term - amongst a Christian community.)
The impulse toward magic seems common to religions where the people feel like God is not enough, or too distant. We need an intermediary, of which Jesus is one example. (I would say the best such, but I am biased.) If you don't feel like your guardian angel cares for you, you'll go to various lengths to bribe an angel to your service - or to force it. So: daemon-summoning and alchemy it is.
But maybe most Jews agree with me that all this tommyrot doesn't represent what was delivered to Moses on the Mountain. I wouldn't know. I'm not doctrinally Jewish. I just know the crap I see in the Judaica section of Barnes And Noble. If it didn't sell they'd dump it.
If I may speak sociologically, a subculture of qabbalistic shamans in perpetual opposition to the human race is not healthy.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
It is well-known in Protestant history that the more Martin Luther learnt about Judaism, the better he understood Christianity - and the more he disliked the Jews. Walid Saleh (having read Cohen's Under Crescent and Cross) detects similar in late-mediaeval Europe.
There was a time when Christians who wanted to understand their own scripture had to converse with Jews even to learn Hebrew. From the Vulgate to the Peshitta, many Christians consulted with Jewish translators to produce - basically - Masoretic Texts. During the Enlightenment the knowledge of Hebrew moved to the Christian Semitists, who had other Christian Semitic languages to draw from - Ge'ez, Syriac, even Arabic. And nowadays we have retrieved Ugaritic and Akkadian. Christians today understand late-stage Hebrew as well as Jews do.
You'd think that intercommunal knowledge would breed interpersonal understanding. To put it delicately, this hasn't much helped those Jews in Christendom.
If I am reading Saleh right, he suspects that Christians were always more familiar with Jews than Muslims were - especially in Syria and the Latin West where their Bibles were faithfully-translated. Saleh goes into an extensive personal note where he started reading Biqai, one of the (very) few Muslims who knew Hebrew, and has come to realise that this need not mean that Biqai loved his contemporary Jews. Saleh proposes that the thoroughgoing ignorance in Islam of Jewish doctrine might be what had saved Jewry, under Islam, from the pogroms north of the Pyrenees.
Sometimes ignorance allows for humility in dealing with others.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
My little dark age
The key ingredients of modern racism are: a scientific or pseudoscientific theory of fixed differences between human “species”; an emphasis on group or collective identity; a stress on national culture and ephemeral spiritual differences rather than institutions to explain differences in societal outcomes. All of these were products of the 19th century and in many cases emerged in diametrical opposition to Enlightenment ideas of individualism and egalitarianism. ... a Foucauldian attempt to trace back the sins of the modern world to the Enlightenment is hardly the path towards a better understanding of the past.
I agree with the premise, on what basis 'racism' claims its intellectual foundation. So that much doesn't interest me. What interests me is the thesis / antithesis / synthesis.
The Left proposed the thesis that All Men Are Created Equal, and that mens' arguments - as a result - must be weighed by their own merits without care for which men made them. The philosophers on all sides evaluated these proposals - and spun them around. The latter claim was found to be self-evident; the former claim was not, and was subsequently put to the test. When the Left didn't like what was found, they devolved to namecalling: 'Racist!'. But the antithesis was still found to be valid, by the rules of the Enlightenment - by the rules of the Left.
The call for the return of mediaeval innocence was inevitable. This too does not interest me. In this case, that modern people have chosen to heed literal savages, with no care for science, does interest me. And worries me.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Remember Eugene Gu that obnoxious MD who dressed up in his own hospital's scrubs - stole their good name - to do the #BLM salute? Over the last few days he's Broken The Internet again. For reasons that should surprise nobody paying attention.
And once again, an "Alt Right Provocateur" - meaning, someone who thinks for himself - called it weeks ahead of time. Now, I haven't been reading Jack Posobeic. In fact I hadn't even seen the name, except that it sounds Croatian and so as a Brit I have to hate him for a few months. But I think there's a point where we stop calling people (basically) trolls and start recognising them as prophets.
There was a time when media types loved them some Subversive! Controversial! thinkers. Now when they talk about Provocateurs like it is a bad thing. Nobody called Dr Gu a Provocateur.
People who tell the truth are subversives; liars are praised - liars like Eugene Gu. We are ruled by the Lie.
Trusting your career to your boss
I wasted most of my formative years working for Sysco Foods headquartered in Houston, 2000-2007. If you were in the tech side you could forget about an improvement in your position. I am considering ways a cynical corporation could pretend it was equal-opportunity whilst not providing real opportunity.
The way Sysco handled any hint of ambition in its staff was much like how the Catholic Church handles a troubled parishioner's worry about demon-possession: stifling it through bureaucracy. Sysco's Process was to set up a bunch of metrics, which would then be imposed upon us the workers. One meme that they came up with was the Coaching And Mentoring Program. This didn't mean you were getting mentored. It was more like the dreaded Performance Plan (the short slide out of there): it meant the boss chewing you out and putting that down in writing.
Sysco was also big on Professional Development. Every year we had the S.M.A.R.T. program where we'd have to come up with measurable goals. Again, this didn't mean what an outsider would think it meant. One would hope it would mean, hey, we're getting trained on new tech and/or project management. Nah. It meant, here are your projects for the next few months which were pretty much the same sort of bug fixes we'd all worked on the last few months.
I got out of there when, in 2007, I boned up on .NET 2.0 (and design-patterns) and talked my way into a better job elsewhere. (Well, by way of another loser; but fortunately that gig at least got me breathing-space to learn more over there.)
You - or at least someone like me - cannot trust an employer to take charge of employee personal career development. Where they ask for "career goals" there is the distinct scent of Pointy Haired Management behind it.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
SMBE is ongoing and some abstracts are up. Eurogenes is giving us the outside scoop. So here's the outside-outside poop on Metspalu et al., "Demographic processes in Estonia from Bronze Age through Iron Age to Medieval times"
... Christianization (13 cc AD) established a new elite of West European origin, which presumably had an impact on the genetic structure of the local population. To investigate this we extracted DNA from teeth of 35 individuals, who have been uncovered from both rural (considered local Estonian population) and town (likely of West European origin) cemeteries of Estonia. We compared the low coverage genomes with each other and with relevant modern and ancient Estonian and other European populations. We find that there is a clear discontinuity between the elite and common people, where the former group genetically with modern German samples and the latter with modern Estonians. We do find three individuals of mixed genetic ancestry. But importantly we do not see a steady shift of either local population strata, which suggests limited contact between the elite and the common people.
Eesti be Eesti and I am not significantly of Finno Ugric descent. So this isn't my patch of reindeer-field. It remains of interest, as a general rule, that some noble families do Prima Nocte, and that others don't. The Teutonic Knights (I'm assuming) didn't seem to have left the mark in Estonia that the Finno Ugrics (N3) did - nor even that the Aryo-Slavs (R1a) did.
England rather is my field. William The Bastard brought over some Normans but mostly he brought over a lot of Miscellaneous adventurers from further afield - starting with [north] French and Bretons (the Stuarts were Breton). As a result the "Anglo-Normans" were not as Norman as you'd think. And those toffs seem not to have screwed around with the locals much. So their lines died out except for the most successful families.
As a result when you sample DNA from some reasonably-middle-class West Midlander like, oh, my dad, he'll yield up Insular Celtic. Not Norse; not French. I understand the northeast of England and Scotland are more Norse.
Sunday, July 08, 2018
It is one thing for a stronger nation to demand that weaker nations submit to our will for the direct sake of geopolitics. I am not a damned sap. I supported Trump and (most) Republicans because I want them to support my interests as (now) an American.
This is the shit that breeds Ortegas. At some point angry Ecuadorean mothers are going to cast about for other nations to provide that
Saturday, July 07, 2018
The one statement that deserves criminal prosecution:
We are not mind-readers here so we cannot take a side on the intent toward violence which clarifies an accidental bump from a deliberate shove. We are also not deciding here if verbal and physical action are the same. All we have is the statements of those involved in this debate - or this war, for at least one side.
If you say that speech is violence, then you believe that statement itself is violence. You have told us that you are in a war and have intended an assault. By contrast, the (true) liberal who asserts the opposite has not intended violence - anyway, he denies it. We must take both sides at their word; and you, social-justice warrior, are the admitted aggressor.
Every single SJW on Twitter with their windy defences of violence against "hate speech" deserves to be arrested and prosecuted for physical assault. According to their own book of rules.
Thursday, July 05, 2018
The long western Old World convergence
The big news on GNXP this week (besides butt stuff with the King Of Elfland's daughter) is that maybe we Euros didn't select out our Neander DNA.
By the "luck" of the draw, the geneticists started out deficient on coverage of the Neander genome; compared with their coverage of the Denisovan. Also they seem lacking in early European DNA. What they know is enough to show that the European genome started out relatively (6%) high in Neander, and has been tracking toward parity with pure African and 'basal eurasian' (probably Ethiopian / Yemeni). They also noted that some of the moribund Neander genes have been the focus of Selection, meaning that some of those genes are harmful - think, Sickle-Cell in our days - so aren't carried forward.
There are two hypotheses to explain the (apparent) progress of the European genome. Selection was one. Another was ongoing influx of modern-human DNA from the Africans and the "Basal-Eurasians". But now the geneticists have more coverage of the relevant populations. Now they are reconsidering their assumptions.
The Selection hypothesis - it turns out - works for the REALLY BAD mutations, like the aforementioned Sickle Cell, which in our continent is already being bred out of African Americans. Especially if we don't give sufficient medical treatment to the population (for whatever reason), a gene as bad as Sickle-Cell doesn't fall off in a gradual curve; it gets strained away in a couple centuries. For us the other Neander genes, which is most of them, seem to have held steady. So Selection is out as a long-term trend.
That leaves the Influx hypothesis. Here the gene nerds expected to see African (or B-E) genes coming our way. They didn't. Instead they realised that the same western old-world convergence could occur if the direction went THE OTHER WAY. And there they found a better fit.
This accords with earlier work that wondered how late-Pleistocene populations weathered the last glacial-maximum. Some of the mitochondrial - maternal - DNA of old Europe has ended up with the Berbers.
It seems that lots of Europeans and Near-Easterners flooded back into North Africa, and also perhaps Northeast Africa, when it was cold in Europe. The Sahara would have been horrible too, so these people didn't cross further into Africa... but later, in the Holocene, there was a moist-sahara episode. That allowed now-more-Neander Africans to flow to the rest of the continent.
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