Friday, December 9, 2016

Do you Recall How John Ronald Felt About Christopher Flying a War Plane?


I recall one of the letters said:

It would not be easy for me to express to you the measure of my loathing for the Third Service {The Royal Air Force which both Michael and Christopher Tolkien had joined}- which can be nonetheless, and is for me, combined with admiration, gratitude, and above all pity for the young men caught in it.But is is the aeroplane of war that is the real villain. And nothing can really amend my grief that you, my best beloved,{Christopher Tolkien} have any connexion with it.{Letter # 100}

Later, in the same letter, he refers to areoplanes as 'Nazgul-birds'.

"halfir" 11/Sep/2009 at 10:09 PM on this forum:
The "Infernal Combustion Engine' and Planes
http://www.lotrplaza.com/archives/index.php?Archive=Second%20Age&TID=235045


So, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien felt his son was riding a "Nazgûl steed" or "Nazgûl bird".

Is there a connection between Pterosaurs and Air Planes? Arguably, yes.

Fossil studies suggest that it pointed toward the body, and that the forewing was relatively narrow. Other studies suggest it was directed forward during flight, resulting in a much broader forewing.

"It is not possible to resolve the debate about pteroid function using fossil evidence alone," the researchers write.

They tackled the problem a different way. Using wind tunnel tests of scale models of pterosaurs, the researchers compared the performances of each position of the pteroid bone.

"We discovered that lift is greatly increased if the pteroid bone pointed forwards in flight, not inwards as had been previously believed. This had the effect of expanding the skin-like forewing in front of the arm," says Wilkinson.

Just like plane flaps

The high lift would have been vital in allowing the largest pterosaurs to take off and land, in a similar way that flaps work on aircraft wings.

Large pterosaurs would have been able to take off simply by spreading their wings while facing a breeze. The leading edge flap would also have slowed landings, acting as an airbrake.

From : News in Science : Pterosaurs flew like jumbo jets
Rossella Lorenzi | Monday, 17 October 2005
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1483770.htm


OK, so Christopher Tolkien, like any Royal Air Force pilot or for that matter Luftwaffe pilot was basically flying a mechanical version of a Pterosaur?

Ah, yes.

Now, if Pterosaurs were plentiful in the world before the Flood ... - CMI's article from today cites:

Unwin notes that 5,000 to 6,000 pterosaur individuals have been collected so far (p. 51). Nor are there only a handful of places on Earth where pterosaurs have been found. His tabulation of pterosaur-bearing locations (his figure 3.9, pp. 52–53) is telling. There are 38 such locations, and that on every continent except Antarctica. Moreover, 21 of these 38 locations have yielded at least 10 pterosaur specimens, and seven of these locations have yielded at least 100 pterosaur fossils.


This is from the review of David M. Unwin's book Pterosaurs From Deep Time, Pi Press, 2006.

Supposing, as we YEC do, that the 5000 to 6000 pterosaur individuals all were buried in the Flood of Noah, and so all lived just before it, pre-Flood man would have to have been fairly familiar with pterosaurs.

And, either able to tame them (supposing diapsids can be tamed) - or, even better, to make mechanical imitations of them. Perhaps for use in war. Which fits in very well with my theory that the atom bomb and nuclear contamination like references in Mahabharata accurately do reflect a pre-Flood memory. This means, what happened over Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have happened in the pre-Flood world too.

And obviously, after the Flood, pterosaurs would not be completely exterminated, but "gently" pushed away from lands were people were eager to forget some of the worst inhuman technologies of the pre-Flood world.

Hence Americas are likelier than Europe to preserve Thunderbirds into what is now living memory.

Also, I am predisposed to think the pre-Columbian thing which looks like a toy plane actually depicts a plane and actually is pre-Columbian.

The Quimbaya artifacts are several dozen golden objects, found in Colombia, made by the Quimbaya civilization culture, dated around 1000 CE, a few of which (the so-called Quimbaya airplanes) are supposed by ancient astronauts theorists to represent modern airplanes, and therefore to be out-of-place artifacts. The whole of the figurines, measuring 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) each, are described in mainstream archaeology as depicting birds, lizards, amphibians and insects common in that region and period, some of them highly stylized, as in the Gold Museum, Bogotá.

In 1994, Germans Peter Belting and Conrad Lubbers created simplified radio-controlled scale models of these objects and showed that their models, which lack some convoluted features present in the real figurines, could fly.

Footnoted : Thomas, Robert Steven (2011). Intelligent Intervention. USA: Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 74–77. ISBN 978-1-4575-0778-6.


This does not mean I believe in Ancient Alien Astronauts visiting us. I only believe Nimrod was an Ancient Aspiring Astronaut who failed to build the rocket - and deserved to so fail, if, as I think, he had planned to fuel it with Uranium. But some will lump me with von Däniken or Zechariah Sitchen, just because I take the reverse take ... on same, interesting, type of questions.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterr UL
St Restitute of Carthage
9.XII.2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

However, He (WS) Got Two Particles Severely Wrong


I could subscribe to all of this post, except two particles in the first sentence:

Pen and Pension : A Pair of Famous Quacks
Posted on November 30, 2016
https://penandpension.com/2016/11/30/a-pair-of-famous-quacks/


Here is the first sentence as written (minus the red font and the small caps replacing minuscules):

Despite The Enlightenment, the eighteenth century was still an age of credulity and superstition.


And here it is once again, underlining the two particles (a preposition and a temporal adverb) which he got wrong:

Despite The Enlightenment, the eighteenth century was still an age of credulity and superstition.


It is truer to say, as I think a German cardinal said just after WW-II, that when people cease to believe in God, they don't become incredulous, they become credulous about everything and anything.

Or perhaps it was Chesterton, in a Father Brown story.

Because of the Enlightenment, the 18th Century was increasingly an age of superstition.

Paradoxical? A bit. The Englightenment set out to weed out superstitions, didn't it? Yes, but in doing so, it set out looking for it in the wrong places.

In the name of religious and scientific freedom, more leeway was created which quacks could exploit. And while it was stamped as superstitious credulity to suggest that fasting as per the Catholic Church rules or praying the Rosary could be good for your health, people were swallowing the stuff, sorry snuff, of men no better than Cagliostro and Katterfelto.

And outside medicine, a curiosity about men like these was encouraged, like scientific curiosity.

I suggest William Savage gets a bit real about his historic credentials (mine are outside the strict subject and pre-graduate and aside the Academia studies).

Hans Georg Lundahl
Mairie du III
St Andrew Apostle
30.XI.2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Distinction and a Gratitude to William Savage


1) Answering William Savage's Cleanliness and Class · 2) "If you wanted bacon you had to make it yourself—and what a lengthy, laborious job it was!" · 3) Fridge Logic · 4) Speaking of Drinking Problem for Georgians? That is Anachronistic. · 5) A Distinction and a Gratitude to William Savage

Here is his post:

Pen and Pension : Eighteenth-century ‘Packet Soup’
Posted on November 23, 2016
https://penandpension.com/2016/11/23/eighteenth-century-packet-that-would-soup/


What strikes any modern reader, I imagine, is just what hard, long drawn-out labour was needed to produce even a simple dish. We’re used to taking something off the supermarket shelf, opening a tin or a package from the fridge or freezer, and there’s the food in a matter of perhaps 15–30 minutes at most. Not so in the eighteenth century.


Providing a stock of packet soup is less laborious if you have a supermarket than if you do it yourself.

USING it, then as now, was a matter of adding hot water and perhaps seasoning to the packet soup.

Nevertheless, howeverso oafish it may be of him not to get that, we should be thankful for his providing good recipes!

Even outside the circle of preppers, there are people like my late granny who did quite a lot of such do it yourself stuff, quite as laborious as making solid soup. That means I know firsthand that use occasion time and preparation time are rather inversely than directly proportional.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Clement I, Pope and Martyr
23.XI.2016

Natalis sancti Clementis Primi, Papae et Martyris, qui, tertius post beatum Petrum Apostolum, Pontificatum tenuit, et, in persecutione Trajani, apud Chersonesum relegatus, ibi, alligata ad ejus collum anchora, praecipitatus in mare, martyrio coronatur. Ipsius autem corpus, Hadriano Secundo Summo Pontifice, a sanctis Cyrillo et Methodio fratribus Romam translatum, in Ecclesia quae ejus nomine antea fuerat exstructa, honorifice reconditum est.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It Seems Some Jews Wonder Why They are Less Than Popular


I don't know how many know of the debate behind the legislation of France, against negationism.

There had been a debate between Faurisson and some others. In that debate, Faurisson had cross examined* Auschwitz survivors. After that cross examination, one had said that Faurisson did not respect old people.

And then the law which outlawed his research was passed, not least with that argument. He could himself not be tied to National Socialism and is even now not very close to National Socialists. They honour him, but it is not exactly mutual. So, the main argument was, he had been disrespectful to the elderly.

How respectful are Jews themselves to the elderly?

Just recently, I read news, a man who was doctor in the camps and denies genocidal guilt, and who is very old now, was going to be dragged before court in Germany. By request from Wiesenthal Center. And now this:

mail dot com : Few Nazi crimes suspects lost pensions, review reveals
November 22, 2016
https://www.mail.com/int/business/markets/4776680-nazi-crimes-suspects-lost-pensions-review-reveals.html


BERLIN (AP) — Tens of thousands of Nazi war crimes suspects may have been able to continue receiving disability pensions despite a law passed nearly two decades ago ordering them revoked, according to an official review quietly published Tuesday that revealed that only 99 people lost their payments. ... When the law was passed in 1998, the expectation was that it would result in up to 50,000 people losing their pensions, according to the report. But the review found that only 99 people suspected of "crimes against the principles of humanity" ever lost their pensions. The research covered the years 1998-2013 but no more have been removed to date.


We are here not speaking of condemned criminals losing disability pensions, but of suspects so losing them. A suspect by definition is innocent until proven guilty.

"The results are incredibly disappointing," said Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center . "I never thought in my worst nightmares that the number would be so low." The Labor Ministry would not comment on the phone and did not immediately respond to emailed questions.


So, 99 persons have been impoverished due to his or his colleagues' efforts. It is like a nightmare to him that they are not more.

The "law" was passed in 1998. Divide that number by three, and see what you get** (it was a bad year for me too).

Those who in France voted the Gayssot Act presumably were moved by pity for the elderly Camp Survivors who had felt humiliated by Faurisson - who is himself a bit old now.

But being respectful for German elderly somewhat loosely connected to the Camps, though not condemned for any crimes so far, is not exactly on their agenda.

As long as many Jews seem to cheer this on, I don't think Jews will be very popular.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Feast of St Cecily
22.XI.2016

* In debate, not as if he was holding a trial.

** And if you get a number reminding of Apocalypse 13:18, don't be surprised. 19:3=6, remain 1 ...

Friday, November 18, 2016

Does Bergoglio Know what Triumph and Superstition Mean?


Quoting:*

Finally, said Pope Francis there is the group of Christians who " in their hearts do not believe in the Risen Lord and want to make theirs a more majestic resurrection than that of the real one . These, he said are the “triumphalist” Christians.

" They do not know the meaning of the word ' triumph ' the Pope continued, so they just say “triumphalism”, because they have such an inferiority complex and want to do this ...

When we look at these Christians , with their many triumphalist attitudes , in their lives, in their speeches and in their pastoral theology, liturgy , so many things , it is because they do not believe deep down in the Risen One . He is the Winner, the Risen One. He won.


OK, a real and genuine triumph would provoke what? Non-triumphalist attitudes? Few triumphalist attitudes, but very emphatic ones? Or even few and very discreet triumphalist attitudes?

Have a look at Franco's triumph in 1939. Not his attitude, but those of the ones believing (for the following years it would seem rightly) that Franco had won:

Source British Pathé, Deutsche Monatsschau, Franco's Forces enter Madrid (pics 130, 133, 137) (click on pictures to view larger, if needed).
[update : I belatedly noticed a copyright notice on pictures as given and have sent British Pathe a request.]
 
130, at 2:10 - Triumphalist salutes, not very discreet.
 
133 - a wall print from chablon, with triumphalist celebrating the face of the winner.
 
137 - soldiers of Franco entering on cars, with triumphalist gesture only matted by physical fatigue, it would seem.


And if you see pictures of his own attitude - chosen somewhat otherwise, with presentation by La Pasionaria ...

Francisco Franco triumphantly enters Madrid. Dolores Ibárruri ("La Pasionaria") ...HD Stock Footage
CriticalPast
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4-RjHikqsg


I had heard video sound off and misunderstood the title. La pasionaria was fortunately not presenting it, she was on stage the last scene. Too bad most of the English presenter's voice is not heard.


... she seems [see above on misunderstanding] of course to have focussed on those losing a position, considering them identic to proletarian class, but that position being one of revolution and not a little of collaboration with the bullies of Paracuellos or Cárcel Modelo (who remind of what has been described as per death camps under Nazis, not only to ordinary privation stories as those of Jo Wajsblat or Maurice Kling), but she does also show, for instance 0:56, Franco in a triumphalist gesture.

A bit too severe to shadow completely the triumph of Christ over death, Franco was a bit more severe** - but perhaps Christ will be severe too when coming to judge people like the False Prophet or Antichrist and their fellows. But certainly triumphalist. And the one and the other are not perfectly same thing, so triumphalism is not out of place with Christ risen either.

If Bergoglio prefers, take the triumph of Che Guevara. Or of ... I was nearly going to give a triumphalist picture of Patton, but he overdid it. He urinated in the Rhine river in full sight and a photograph was taken just before - as a ceremony of humiliation on Germany. Bergoglio might agree this is overdoing triumphalism a bit too much.***

But saying these guys did not in the ordinary sense believe in their victory, well, that is a bit far fetched.

It reminds me of a superstition called "psychology". Reading your neighbour's mind, pretending that is not your sixth sense, but only normal expertise and experience, and yet coming up with backward results like this, which defy the NORMAL rules of limited empathetic mindreading knowing its limits.

I answer that, As stated above (Article 1; Q92,94), superstition denotes undue divine worship. Now a thing pertains to the worship of God in two ways: in one way, it is something offered to God; as a sacrifice, an oblation, or something of the kind: in another way, it is something divine that is assumed, as stated above with regard to an oath (II-II:89:4 ad 2). Wherefore superstition includes not only idolatrous sacrifices offered to demons, but also recourse to the help of the demons for the purpose of doing or knowing something. But all divination results from the demons' operation, either because the demons are expressly invoked that the future may be made known, or because the demons thrust themselves into futile searchings of the future, in order to entangle men's minds with vain conceits. Of this kind of vanity it is written (Psalm 39:5): "Who hath not regard to vanities and lying follies." Now it is vain to seek knowledge of the future, when one tries to get it from a source whence it cannot be foreknown. Therefore it is manifest that divination is a species of superstition.


II-II Question 95. Superstition in divinations, Article 2 Is it a species of superstition? Corpus of article. And a little earlier:

Accordingly the species of superstition are differentiated, first on the part of the mode, secondly on the part of the object. For the divine worship may be given either to whom it ought to be given, namely, to the true God, but "in an undue mode," and this is the first species of superstition; or to whom it ought not to be given, namely, to any creature whatsoever, and this is another genus of superstition, divided into many species in respect of the various ends of divine worship. For the end of divine worship is in the first place to give reverence to God, and in this respect the first species of this genus is "idolatry," which unduly gives divine honor to a creature. The second end of religion is that man may be taught by God Whom he worships; and to this must be referred "divinatory" superstition, which consults the demons through compacts made with them, whether tacit or explicit. Thirdly, the end of divine worship is a certain direction of human acts according to the precepts of God the object of that worship: and to this must be referred the superstition of certain "observances."


Question 92. Superstition Article 2. Whether there are various species of superstition? Mid portion of corpus of article.

Now, the interior of your neighbour is sth which you can know naturally - by knowing men or by hearing them confess it - or by prophecy, taught by God, as Padre Pio was.

This kind of general qualification about people who are triumphalist, namely that they do not really believe Christ has risen, at the best, Bergoglio could be speaking of a triumphalism which really doesn't believe that Christ has won because they worship power, but that will not account for all triumphalism, and so he overgeneralises, at worst (and it will be taken badly, as a general principle, about triumphalism in general) he is enouncing a principle of understanding your fellow men which is a superstitious one.

To refute this, it is not necessary for you to agree with me that Franco's triumph was a good one. You might even take a look at Patton's if you prefer, all I ask is that you agree it was in the normal sense of the word a triumph. And that people in that hour, whether bitterly as some shown by La Pasionaria, or hopefully, as I hope it was the case with more, believed he had won. Therefore, if those believing that and finding (earthly) hope in that exhibited triumphalism, it is false to say that those who believe in a triumph are not triumphalist about it.

That kind of superstition, that kind of reverse psychology in understanding your neigbour, can have been taken over by Bergoglio from some left wing Anglicans.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Deidication of Basilicas
of Sts Peter and Paul in Rome
18.XI.2016

* Vatican Radio : Pope: No to triumphalism in the Church, proclaim Jesus without fear and embarrassment
10/09/2013
http://en.radiovaticana.va/storico/2013/09/10/pope_no_to_triumphalism_in_the_church%2C_proclaim_jesus_without_fear/en1-727225


H/T Rorate Caeli

** Somewhat too severe at times, but that was a fault some other qualities outweigh with me.

*** Theologians may debate whether he expressed distaste in advance for the Rhine league of bishops at Vatican II, or whether that thing was coming from his bad influence. The former would kind of make him a good guy anyway. Note, I am NOT the least triumphalist about either Patton's gesture at the Rhine or Vatican II with its outcome. So, if you take this as an example of a triumphalist not believing in victory, you are wrong. There I know I have part in defeat, since in the former case, Germany was too much beaten along the National Socialist régime. I am against that régime on quite a few issues, but not against Germany as such. I grew up there in part of my childhood.

Citando Sandro Magister
http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/6893


"Jorge Mario Bergoglio è nato a Buenos Aires il 17 dicembre 1936."


[17 de diciembre: Guerra Civil Española: llegada de los primeros voluntarios fascistas italianos a España.
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/1936#Diciembre
]

"Ha studiato da chimico, prima di farsi gesuita. È divenuto prete a 33 anni. Ha fatto studi di filosofia, letteratura, psicologia e teologia in diverse università dell´Argentina, del Cile, della Spagna e della Germania."


Di psicologia? Questo è la falta! Questo è il errore!

Did Norse Pagans Regard Odin's Kingship in Uppsala Region, and his Stepson Frey's as Historically Real?


CMI* made an excellent argument about the Flood account in Sumerian and Akkadian sources.

Did the Mesopotamians regard the Flood as historically real? This can be answered affirmatively. First, the Sumerian King List (SKL) attests this, when at the end of a list of eight antediluvian kings reigning for a total of 241,200 years (!) there comes a note: “The Flood then swept over the land. After the Flood had swept over (the land) and kingship had descended from heaven (a second time) Kish became (the seat) of kingship.”19 This occurs in what for the Sumerians and Akkadians was a sober list of historical kings. Indeed, many of the post-Diluvian kings are now known to be figures of history and not mere legend, including Gilgamesh of Uruk himself.20

Then there is the Dynastic Chronicle, another Sumerian text, which, although fragmentary, is similar to the SKL, but which included an excursus describing the Flood. This excursus of at least eleven lines is unfortunately not preserved, but the first word or two began this description.21


Two King lists which parallel each other both say that Flood was real, therefore it is so?

Well, two king lists from Norse sources (Icelander Snorre and Dane Saxo) say that the reign of the Æsir in Upsala region was real too!

Note, I say "in Upsala region", for two reasons.

  • Today's Upsala, which was a Catholic and is a Lutheran Cathedral (vs "Cathedral", same building though) is further West and was originally called Östra Aros.** The place where Æsir came is known as Gamla Upsala (Old Upsala or Elder Upsala).
  • Odin didn't even come to Elder Upsala as a city already there, it was his stepson Frey who actually founded it.


Snorre tells the story of their coming twice. In the Prologue of the Edda, it is easy to overlook. The rest of the Edda (properly so called, since Poetic Edda didn't bear that name) deals with creation mythologies of divinites (including a Flood before creation of Earth and of mankind!) and of heroics legends which would have taken place at latest during Völkerwanderung, when Old Norse no more existed than Shakespear's English did in King Alfred's time***

But he tells of their story another time too. Here the context is NOT mythological. Odin, Thor and Frey are not cited as sources of Gylfi, like the nine Muses for Hesiod, but they are cited as starting a series of kings.

This series of kings is also cited as including the son of Frey, Fjölner, a man clearly human, since he drowned in a vat of hydromel. In other words, the first man of that family not to be divinised by Swedes°. This hydromel drowning episode was at the court of a Danish King, Frode°°, qualified both as Fred-Frode (Peace Froda) and as Frode Haddingson, and qualifed as contemporary of Caesar Augustus.

Saxo too in his Danish king list has two diverse Frode, namely Frode I who was Frode Haddingson, the host of Fjölner, and Frode II who was Fred-Frode, contempporary of Caesar Augustus.

Saxo does not agree the only king before Odin's arrival (a generation before Fjölner and Frode) known in Sweden was Gylfe. I think (but would have to check) he does not even agree the Yngling descendants of Odin remained in Upsala after Odin and Frey, or not unchallenged. He recounts a war with, I think a rival Swedish dynasty, in which Odin's son Balder is killed in battle - and the mourning of Balder is, on the other hand, of proportions like the mythological ones.

But, in both narrators, differing as they are otherwise, Odin and Frey start a series of Kings which includes Frey's son Fjölner, and, in both narrators, too, this is in the region of Upsala - which one of them, I think Saxo was the one I checked latest, considers to have been founded by Frey.

And in both narrators the Danish kings are NOT supposed to come from a line starting with Odin ruling in Denmark. Funny that Danish Pagans agreed on that one before becoming Christians, if that was just fiction? Sure, Odin is said to be father of Sköld, grandfather of Hadding (or was there a Halfdan in between?), and ancestor of Frode. But he is not said to have reigned there, and Frey is totally not said to be even directly connected in earthly terms with the Danish kings.

That is why I believe the Asar (Swedish version of Æsir) coming to that region is a historic event. The late Thor Heyerdahl, most famous for the Kon-Tiki expedition, alas a neo-Pagan after an apostasy in the teens, after what I read, thought so too. He looked for their ancestors or origin at the Black Sea.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Dedication of Sts Peter and Paul
Basilicas in Rome
18.XI.2016

Romae Dedicatio Basilicarum sanctorum Petri et Pauli Apostolorum. Earum primam, restitutam in ampliorem formam, Summus Pontifex Urbanus Octavus consecravit hac ipsa recurrente die; alteram vero, miserando incendio penitus consumptam, ac magnificentius reaedificatam, Pius, Nonus die decima Decembris solemni ritu consecravit, ejusque annuam commemorationem hodierna die agendam indixit.

* CMI : Gilgamesh and the biblical Flood—part 2
by Murray R. Adamthwaite
http://creation.com/gilgamesh-and-noahs-flood-part-2


With its footnotes for the paragraph:

19 Kramer, S.N., The Sumerians, University of Chicago, p. 328, 1963.

20 See discussion in Kramer, ref. 19, pp. 45–49.

21 Grayson, A.K., Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, Eisenbrauns, pp. 41 and 139, 2000.

** If fans of George R. R. Martin thinks it rings a bell, Östra Aros is east of a lake and Westra Aros, now Westerås (but you could spell it Westeros!) is west of same lake.

*** A time falling about midway between Sigurd and Snorre writing of him, or, if Sigurd after all was a fiction, of his near contemporaries Gunnar (Gunthari) and Tjodrik (Theoderik) and Snorre writing of them.

° The Norwegian dynasty of which Snorre is writing, started with Odin in Sweden and ended with the halfbrother of Saint Olaf in Norway. Between that, the last of the direct line to rule in Sweden was Ingjald "Illråda" (the ill counselled, the ill-counselling, the deceitful), his son knew he couldn't stay there after what his father had done, so Olof "Trätelgja" (wood crafter) settled in Wermland (as yet not part of Sweden) and his descendants in Norway, up to Saint Olaf and his half brother.

°° ON Fróði, AS Froda, Lat Frotho, borrowed by Tolkien as Frodo for quite another person, and a fictive one at that ...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Is the Copyright Craze Medieval?


Is the modern desire to shut down digital libraries by lawsuit comparable to the Medieval one of protecting the copies you made or owned?

Read first what two articles by Sarah Laskow have to say, then I'll be back in a moment:

Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses
Medieval scribes protected their work by threatening death, or worse.
by Sarah Laskow November 09, 2016
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/protect-your-library-the-medieval-way-with-horrifying-book-curses


Given the extreme effort that went into creating books, scribes and book owners had a real incentive to protect their work. They used the only power they had: words. At the beginning or the end of books, scribes and book owners would write dramatic curses threatening thieves with pain and suffering if they were to steal or damage these treasures.

They did not hesitate to use the worst punishments they knew—excommunication from the church and horrible, painful death. Steal a book, and you might be cleft by a demon sword, forced to sacrifice your hands, have your eyes gouged out, or end in the “fires of hell and brimstone.”


The Rise of Pirate Libraries
Shadowy digital libraries want to hold all the world's knowledge and give it away for free.
by Sarah Laskow April 21, 2016
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-rise-of-illegal-pirate-libraries


All around the world, shadow libraries keep growing, filled with banned materials. But no actual papers trade hands: everything is digital, and the internet-accessible content is not banned for shocking content so much as that modern crime, copyright infringement.


The Medieval curses in books were not there to protect knowledge from being freely shared, but material books from being destroyed or stolen and therefore no longer consultable.

Anyone wanting access to the text, as meta-object, could ask for a copy or for the right of making one. If it cost, it was either for the sake if the effort of those producing an asked for copy, or for the sake of protecting a valuable copy from over exposure.

Knowledge as such was not secret. I have seen people comparing monasteries to secret societies, that is balderdash. Comparing Jesuit's to secret secieties is partly somewhat real, as Jesuits had to protect identities of people who could face, especially Protestant, persecution. But knowledge as such was for the asking.

Christendom thought of knowledge as collective property and of material copies as a perhaps clumsy and roundabout, but still way of protecting that.

That bishop in Germany whom Bergoglio deposed, he wanted a library of theology. If he wasn't very much into this modern craze of "you can't give away knowledge for free", he was going to share it somehow, albeit not in the form of a public library. He wasn't donating to a library already existing and run by librarians, which is fair enough, since such librarians don't really have the theological competence to realise you have to have, for instance, Controversies by St Robert Bellarmine in a Theological library. But probably he was in some fashion going to share it. That investment was certainly not Bling Bling.

But some people really seem to believe the catchword "you can't give away knowledge for free".

Wrong. Material objects can be sold, services like lessons or tutoring can be sold, but knowledge as such is for free.

A bookseller does not live by selling knowledge, he lives by selling material objects containing knowledge. Or, more properly, containing signs of a discourse expressing knowledge.

A bad bookseller does not live by selling pseudo-knowledge, he lives by selling material objects containing pseudo-knowledge. And so on.

The fact that someone can acquire same knowledge without paying and some will do so, is not an argument to sue those doing so or making it possible for "lost profits."

A material object like a book is more handy and trustworthy than any devise for reading digital texts. If a book is good, it will be bought even if content can be had online for free. Not bought as much, but the right to property does not mean a right to maximise profits at any cost.

The argument from "lost profits" is specious.

The argument objected to Elsevier is pretty good.

Comparing Elsevier to the monks is specious. Not that Sarah Laskow is doing so, but others are. Contrary to what is often claimed, learning Latin was not an esoteric privilege for clergy only.

When Latin became a literary language so Roman schoolchildren (all over the Empire, from Spain and Morocco to Syria) had sth more literary than Law of Twelve Tablets to learn Latin from, like Horace or especially Virgil, schools acquired a perfection of Latin teaching. This was kept up by city schools, later by schools run by monks in the country and by bishops in the cities. From Augustus to Charlemagne, school attendance was voluntary, a carreer option : a farmer or a farm serf was not likely to bother sending his children, unless they were going to be monks, but if he did and they behaved and he could give the monastery some for the service of lecturing (likelier with a farmer than with a farm serf) or if they were in a charitable mood (which happened), he was not sent away. And the lord who was served on many farms had either option too.

This means that Latin was not meant as an absolute barrier against outsiders. Especially as Latin, up to Charlemagne's reform of pronunciation, was basically pronoiunced in similar ways in Church and in society outside, while the ratio of "obsolete" words (which really became so in Romance languages) to "vulgar words" (not yet there in the older books, the Classics) would have varied exactly as they do vary now. There were recently critics who objected to Tolkien writing a sentence like "Helms, too, they chose", but that is how he nevertheless has been understood by hundreds and thousand of readers in English. Myself, not English, had some trouble with the word "fallow" - describing the colour of elf-cloaks - but that didn't strike me or stop me from reading, nor did I notice it up to seeing a paragraph detailing how the word is ambiguous. I imagined them as green, and if I had been able to read in Irish, I think the word "glas" would have given same impression, if as ambigious, nearly, as "fallow".

No, knowledge is not the privilege of the guys who earn lots of money. It is sometimes the privilege - due to other factors in acquisition, like dogged patience and absorbing interest - of people taking the time NOT to earn money, at least not in ways unrelated to their pursuit.

What Elsevier is really doing is shutting up a kind of competitor - if they succeed (or if they succeeded, the article being now a few months old).

And suing libraries can also shut up works that have been banned, but not by the Index congregation of the Catholic Church.

In other words, copyright is used as a way of censoring - often indirectly, when this or that government trying to censor has an interest coinciding with Elsevier, sometimes directly, if someone who has spoken in public were to try to censor a public criticism of his views by appeals to copyright, complaining about copyright infringement. This I think some of my opponents (yes, I have such*) have tried in so clumsy ways, that even extant copyright laws have not been applicable to my detriment, but have rather been my shield. But they can instead use their secrecy to detract me in private, over network after network and nothing said in public against me, so I can't sue for calumny.

I actually think abusing copyright for shutting down sites was predicted in the Bible.

Or not. I had confused the flying scroll in first verses of Zachariah 5 with the woman in the vessel in the second part. It is in the second part that you find "this is wickedness". About the vessel, not the scroll (in DR, volume). And forgotten that the scroll was destroying the houses of thieves on the order of God the Lord. Unless one is to say, that in working this, God makes use of human wickedness. Also, the measure mentioned in Zachariah, if converted from cubit to meters, is perhaps too big for a normal satellite and too small for its solar arrays : 4,572 m * 9,144 m. So, sorry, my memory deceived me.

Either way, it would be wickedness to "burn up" a home page or profile "from the inside" on internet just due to copyright infringement. Especially in the above context. But I was wrong to see this predicted in Zachariah 5.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Gregory of NeoCaesaraea
called the Thaumaturg
17.XI.2016

* Try to figure out how many opponents I get for just these two:

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