The European Economy, 1500-1650

I. Framework

  • climate: warm to 1600; Little Ice Age, 1600-1850
  • population: 1500: 80 million; 1600: 115 million, then stagnation

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karahunj1Karahunj (Zorats Karer) is an ancient site in southern Armenia that contains more than 230 large stones, some 37 still standing, arranged in a fashion that has suggested to many observers that it was used for archaeoastronomy.  But defining how it was used has remained elusive.  Complicating the situation, Karahunj is located near a complex of ancient graves; we do not know who built it; it is difficult to ascertain exactly when the stones were set up; and some 85 of them have holes drilled through them that researchers have suggested might be used for sighting celestial objects, but other researchers think this unlikely because they would have been too imprecise.1

Nonetheless, there is a rather simple explanation of the stones of Karahunj.  But to grasp it, one must become aware of the compelling new evidence for and reinterpretation of Continue reading »

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[For a fuller discussion of Biophotonic Therapy and the underlying science, including citations to the medical literature, see Healing Photons: The Science and Art of Blood Irradiation Therapy.   For a brief discussion, see 10 Key Points about Biophotonic Therapy.  See also the video Rethinking Biophotonic Therapy.]

Overview
Biophotonic Therapy uses light in an extracorporeal or intravenous mode to activate the red blood cells, a form of immunity inherited from humankind’s distant oligocellular ancestors. BT has an instructive 80-year history (see below); a range of modalities; well-characterized mechanisms of action; a wide array of indications; several counterindications; well-understood, limited side-effects in certain cases; and a scientific literature that now includes some 400 articles as well as a dozen books. No drug resistance to BT has ever been reported.
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[December, 2008]  No matter how deeply he or she gazes into a crystal ball, the world’s most far-sighted economic guru would not find it easy to predict the long-term outcome of the current Global Financial Crisis (GFC). So it might seem a bit premature to start drawing inferences from the collapse of renowned financial firms, market gyrations, and massive government interventions, especially if these inferences relate to the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Nonetheless, there is a compelling reason to endeavor to do so: correctly assessing the impact of the GFC and its economic consequences on how the War can or should be fought may save us from making serious errors. Considering how many serious errors have already been committed in both the GWOT and the GFC, this seems highly desirable. Continue reading »

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Many Germans have earnestly sought to overcome the Nazi past by publicizing its depredations, by acknowledging wrongdoing, by seeking restitution of stolen property,  and by maintaining a respectful, responsive stance toward Jews in general and Israel in particular.  Still, such is the burden of the Holocaust that another approach may also prove attractive to certain Germans.  It involves Yiddish.

While Yiddish contains elements of Hebrew and Slavic languages, it is mainly an old dialect of German.  A German speaker can understand most of it, and in fact Yiddish forms part of the study of German linguistics and literature, correctly understood.  This means that a simple initiative could help bring Germans and Jews closer. Continue reading »

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hammurabishamash2Atop the famous stele containing Hammurabi’s Code is a depiction of Hammurabi and Shamash, the Sun god, who was also the Babylonian god of justice.  The swirling headdress of Shamash in this image might seem merely decorative, but in fact it possesses a dynamic meaning.

At the back of Shamash’s neck is an oval object that has no obvious purpose.  It appears to be attached to the coiled shape of the headdress, as if it were the head of a serpent.  But why would Shamash be wearing a serpent on his head?

To answer this question, one must become aware of the compelling new evidence for and reinterpretation of Continue reading »

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Decades of meticulous investigation have revealed many features of the 1st Century BC Antikythera Mechanism, a portable planetarium that demonstrated the motion of celestial objects.  But we must question researchers’ conclusion that the Mechanism incorrectly represented the orbit of Mars, in particular, by roughly 30 degrees during retrograde motion1.

This discrepancy seems anomalous in a sophisticated device that otherwise exhibited a much smaller range of error.  So maybe there is some other explanation. Continue reading »

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readersKnowing how to read documents in a sensitive and analytical manner is a skill that has wide application in career and personal situations. Techniques for evaluating documents can also be used to interpret objects of material culture and art. Here are 20 questions that can help us analyze documents.  While they can be applied systematically, asking them randomly in brainstorming fashion may lead to even more rewarding outcomes.

  1. What kind of document is this?
  2. When and where was it written?  What were the circumstances?
  3. Who is the author,  or what can we infer about an anonymous author? Continue reading »
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kennedyUnfinished business in a nation’s history can undermine citizens’ trust in government and sense of participating in a meaningful collective life.

In the case of fatal moments such as assassinations and terrorist attacks, the damage adds to the impact of the attacks and helps the attackers achieve their goals of demoralizing the people and fraying the social fabric. Compounding the problem, government agencies and the media often show reluctance to reveal what they learn because they lack 100% assurance of its validity, because they fear the public reaction, or because they are covering up their own mistakes. As a result, people often believe that certain crimes remain unsolved or are even unsolvable when in fact they have already been solved but the information is being denied to the public. Continue reading »

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jdeyIt is a curious fact that, after extensive investigations accompanied by intensive media coverage, the United States Government has failed to get to the bottom of any of the three major attacks launched against it by al Qaeda in the autumn of 2001.

Three attacks?

Yes, and therein lies part of the problem.

When we speak of intelligence failures, we ordinarily refer to the mistakes made by intelligence agencies in the time leading up to an event. But there is another kind of intelligence failure: Retrospective Intelligence Failure (RIF). Continue reading »

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bush

Anomalous Mistake-driven Opportunity Creation (AMOC) occurs when a government official charged with a certain problem commits an extraordinary errorone so inconceivable that no one can imagine that he/she has perpetrated it. And therefore the official gets away with it. Continue reading »

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jdey[In a 2004 leak of a top secret Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, an al Qaeda detainee said that Abderraouf Jdey, a Canadian citizen of Tunisian origin, used a shoe bomb to cause the November 12, 2001 crash of American Airlines #587 from Kennedy Airport. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Jdey was also the mailer of the anthrax letters. See the analysis at the article Was Abderraouf Jdey The Anthrax Mailer?. The arguments below regarding the use of a Stinger-like missile and a northern New Jersey location of the Mailer are incorrect, but they are not being changed so that readers may follow the logic that led to the identification of Jdey as the likely Mailer. Information from October 2006 that the water used to prepare the anthrax was from the northeastern United States rules out a UK origin, as incorrectly argued below.] Continue reading »

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