History - what interests you?
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19-06-2011, 10:37 AM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2011 11:59 AM by Thammuz.)
RE: History - what interests you?
I know this getting a little off topic, but @Lilith, I don't really agree with your view on warfare. Seems you romanticize the view of fighting knights. And I wasn't really serious with the boxing between world leaders. If my perception of your post is wrong, please ignore the remainder of the post.


About how war should be done; I hate war and conflicts, even though I'm a serviceman, but sometimes they are inevitable. I don't know why it should be restricted to physical fighting alone, whatever the style. It's not even realistic. Come on, men beating the crap out of each other when there are much better ways?

First of all, you have to consider the goal of the conflict: remove a dangerous leader from office, cripple nuclear capacities of an unstable nation, obtain valuable resources etc. Then you have to find a way to reach that goal with minimum casualties (especially on the civilian side), acceptable costs and a realistic timeframe.
Using that basis, you can work out a strategy. Sometimes it can be as easy as cutting off GPS or communications to isolate the enemy staff and then send a strike team, sometimes it requires precision bombardments to get Taliban hiding in mountain caves. Very few nations would commit atrocities unless it would be deemed necessary to achieve a goal.

Fighting games between nations wouldn't be realistic in this age. Do you think the US would accept their loss if their champion was beaten in the ring/cage by a Taliban fighter? We live in a postmodern world with loads of technology and we have to be realistic when approaching conflicts. The conflict isn't about the beauty of the fight, but about reaching a specific goal.


There is no beauty in war or death, none whatsoever. But the pain of war is seldom experienced by the ones in charge. No, those trauma's are reserved for the cannon fodder sent to fight out a conflict they often don't even understand. That's why I used the example of the boxing match.

I got a few medals for being sent out. I'd gladly turn them in them for a better world. They're nothing to be proud of; just a reminder of the occasional bestial nature of man.


*edit: typo

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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19-06-2011, 12:15 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
I put the idea of war as an art form and I feel modern war is messy, it's a horrible view to discuss lives being lost. I'm very against war, but when looking at the history I prefer the older styles which were much more human on human than mass destruction. In warfare I do a lot of Japanese research swordplay is messy and ugly as well, but not to the same extent to me. I prefer the idea of someone needing excessive skill to actually survive a skirmish it makes war seem less attainable. Modern wars create death tolls too easily, and while wholesale slaughtering has always been the case I feel it happens too fast.

I feel that unless we can eliminate needs there is no way to avoid the inevitability of war. I'm not a fan of it at all. So while you may not agree with my ideas there we do both seem to dislike war.

I agree that some newer weapons like flashbangs and EMP along with the more recent ones I have no names for like the magnets and other electrical tools are wonderful. I'm discussing the differences of historical warfare not the practice of warfare. You can romanticize history because it doesn't change anything to do it.

And if a representative showing off their personal skills would be an acceptable alternative to war why wouldn't you agree? That would remove the risk of civilian casualties. It may not always work as desired but it would be the safest option if agreed upon.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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19-06-2011, 12:32 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
I'm not saying it's a bad idea to have selected fights, I just don't think it's realistic in today's world. If we'd vote an international law that prohibited war alltogether, the problem would be solved too, wouldn't it? Problem is, that won't happen. People would never go into conflicts if their chances were like a red/black bet on a roulette table. They go to war when they believe they can actually destroy the opposition. And for that, they need technological advantages; a cat and mouse game, if you will.

Modern warfare is also very structured, but slightly more complicated. To most people however, it looks chaotic, but it isn't. Medieval war wasn't simple banging either. The romans had very complex fighting styles and tactics, but I'm sure you know that.

I get your point, though. I heard the same ideas before, it's just too bad our world isn't the nice place we'd like it to be. Now, back to history. Big Grin

Gonna look for something nice to post. I was just reading about samurai, so I'm glad you brought it up. Just gotta find an interesting aspect...

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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19-06-2011, 07:37 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
I do understand your views there. We agree more than you would think. I know all of the excessive structure. I've researched and learned a lot about the eras. But yes, we are discussing this subject a little long since in essence we are in agreement except for a favored era of battle history.

Let's discuss one of the legends of the samurai world Musashi then. His battle with Sasaki Kojirou confuses me greatly. It was indeed a wonderful tactic to arrive late to the duel and kill someone who had exhausted themselves waiting. My hangup is that it's one of Musashi's legendary tales though to the Japanese I see this idea as so offensive. I find it really weird that while the code of the Bushido was still in tact they gave such fame to a very cowardly act. Musashi was a very skilled swordsman and he survived many excessively trying skirmishes. his keen mind was a large part of his skill, but in this instance he was being quite cowardly calling a man to a duel only to make him wait. I just find it so weird when a Japanese friend excitedly tells this story.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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20-06-2011, 10:00 AM
Music RE: History - what interests you?
I just finished 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee', which covers the American Indians and the conquest of the West. Heartbreaking stuff and really fascinating to realize what took place.
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21-06-2011, 04:55 AM
RE: History - what interests you?
I'll be looking into the author Will Rosco, who did many studies on Firstborns (Native Americans). He's an LGBT historian, so there is bound to be an interesting parallel in his books.

Here's a book for the forum Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love

In case anyone is interested. I love Anthropological writers.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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22-06-2011, 02:34 AM
RE: History - what interests you?
Thanks to everyone for commenting on your favorite types of history.

(17-06-2011 10:41 PM)DeepThought Wrote:  I never liked history at school. I found it one of the most boring subjects ever! That aside I found your breakdown of historical events following the Jews in China interesting.
[...]
No problem. I actually learned about them in a roundabout way. I had written a short story with western fantasy elements. I later decided to pepper in some Asian mythology, which ended up becoming the most prominent feature. I kept on changing things until the story was vastly different than the original idea. It was now set in ancient China. I was interested in making the main character a Chinese Muslim because they are said to have been fierce warriors. The only problem was I couldn't find very much info on the Muslim communities during that time. I later read about Pirooz, a Persian prince who fled to China from Arab invaders and became a Chinese general in the 7th century. I liked the idea of a foreigner coming to China, so I did more research on the people of the Middle East. This is when I became interested in the Hashishin assassin cult and their struggles against the Crusaders. More research into this lead me to the Crusader siege of Jerusalem and the massacre of the city's Muslim and Jewish inhabitants. I started to wonder if there were any Jews in China. I quick internet search verified this.

The current version of my story involves an Egyptian Jew who survives the siege of Jerusalem to become a seafaring merchant active in trade in India. He later travels to China and stays there for some years. He eventually returns to Egypt with his family. All of this is historically plausible. I based the main character on a Jew held ransom by the Crusaders, and Jewish merchants were active in India during this time.
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22-06-2011, 06:50 AM
RE: History - what interests you?
You definitely found yourself in an interesting position. History is like that though, as you start to see what you're looking for it leads to more and more information as everything seems to have a broad spectrum when laid out after the fact.

I study Japanese culture more than Chinese, but the foreigner is a common Asian story as many times someone would come who was not of their race and lead great changes. The story isn't really overdone because it is often one of the most important changes possible. The unfortunate thing is when a foreigner comes and attempts to alter the lives of the villagers in an effort to mirror his past life. great insights are found by those who learn about their new home and then combine their outside knowledge with their understanding of the culture at hand.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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22-06-2011, 08:44 AM
RE: History - what interests you?
I'm getting my first degree in history with a focus on ancient near eastern history.

I love Ancient History and all kinds of religious history personally.

"Do what though wilt shall be the whole of the Law." - The Book of the Law
"There is no God but man" - Liber OZ

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26-06-2011, 05:43 PM
 
RE: History - what interests you?
Im very interested in ancient history, especially the roman republic & empire, plus the later byzantine empire and the subsequent conquest and relationship between the turkish and greek people. I'm also naturally interested in the pre-roman, roman, sub-roman and dark age periods of the british isles, and the viking age. I also have a fairly strong interest in medieval europe and the age of exploration and colonisation.

I've never really thought about religious history on it's own, as I tend to focus on people or states, but I always research the religious aspects of any historical topic that I'm looking into.
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