What to do with old textbooks

keep for reference   0 votes - 0 %
sell to survivalists   1 vote - 20 %
donate to thrift store   1 vote - 20 %
sell on Amazon for pennies   0 votes - 0 %
Use for TP   1 vote - 20 %
recycle   1 vote - 20 %
WIPO   1 vote - 20 %
5 Total Votes
Pesky things... by belldandi (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:10:16 AM EST
I know what you mean, they should at least factor in a margin of error and assume that one would get lost... 

What? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:19:08 AM EST
What pesky things?

[ Parent ]
Fourth Graders by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #13 Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 07:07:02 PM EST
I assume.

[ Parent ]
In a world without Islam by lm (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:15:20 AM EST
It could be that the Eastern Roman Empire would not have been weakened and have had the strength to take Rome back from the Franks.

OTOH, it is also possible that without the pressure of Arab tribes united under Islam, the Persians would have grown in strength and the foil to eastern and western Christian empires would have been either Pagan or Zoroastrian.

On the other, other hand, perhaps the various Arab tribes would have united without Islam and history would have played out more or less the same.

. . .

The field study sounds like quite the experience.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
WIPO: burn them on a nice, hot fire by lm (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:16:39 AM EST

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
(Comment Deleted) by aggressive cyclist (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 11:00:30 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by aggressive cyclist

I don't think that's as clear as you're making it by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:40:00 PM EST
Justinian wasn't able to retake the west, just parts of it. The underlying causes of that had to do with the economic weakness of the eastern state and the lack of a feeling of community or loyalty among those in the west.

Neither of those goes away in a world without Islam.

I do think that in a world without Islam, you don't get the post-1080 collapse of the Byzantines, because the Turks don't run over the Persians and squish the Byzantines. But I'm unconvinced that allows the Byzantines to go reconquering the west, which had already drifted culturally and politically out of their orbit before the Arab explosion.

(I'm not even sure they hold on to Egypt, to be honest - Imperial declarations on questions of religious doctrine had alienated the Coptic Church, which is one of the primary reasons the Copts welcomed the Arabs when they came.)
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by aggressive cyclist (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 07:06:32 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by aggressive cyclist

[ Parent ]
The Byzantines by lm (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 10:24:49 AM EST
The eleventh and twelfth centuries were a time of growth and expansion for the Byzantines, driven by the economics of  renewed world trade.

It was the sixth to eighth centuries where Byzantium had a near collapse. It is true that the collapse started with wars against non-Muslim nations (Slavs, Avars, Persians), it was the Arab conquest  beginning in the seventh century that really set back the Byzantines.

There were problemsin the eleventh century, but the Byzantines controlled most of Bulgaria, southern Italy, Boetia, etc. Granted,  in the late eleventh century, they lost the Anatolian plateau to the Seljuks. But the real problems started with the thirteenth century which began with the Latin sack of Constantiople in 1204. Much of the Byzantine sphere of influence (city states in Greece, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria) began to assert independence and organize into city-states, and there was newed military pressure from the Tatars and the Turks.

So, I'm hypothesizing that an eastern Roman empire, albeit weakened by an attempt to recapture the western provinces, that had not experienced the so-called "Arab conquest"  would have been able to recover and keep control of the western provinces and, perhaps, expand upon them.

And the "Copts welcomed the Arabs" meme is generally overstated for a number reasons. Firstly, imperial declarations on religious matters went many ways. There were "monophysite" emperors just as there where "Orthodox" emperors. While there was imperial involvement, religious quarrels between east and further east were far more the province of bishops and monks than emperors or the average citizen. Secondly, that imperial imposition explanation doesn't do justice to the complexity of the relations between Constantinople and the eastern provinces that, at the time, were engaged in almost constant warfare and, during periods of peace, were not well patrolled by imperial forces. And, as you mention was a large consideration in the west, there were linguistic and cultural problems.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
the impression i got from the alexiad by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #14 Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 03:34:59 PM EST
was of an empire recovering from a great disaster constantly on guard against the next one. that may have overly influenced my view of the 11th century.

i think there's a chance that the Romans could have held on to Egypt, but also a chance that they might not have; given that they weren't being patrolled well in times of non-war, they were really only bound to the empire by (a) the imperial forces in wartime and (b) a feeling of cultural cohesion ... which might well have been undermined by continuing conflict over religion.

Then again, it's possible that the (relatively) uniform culture of Byzantium might never have developed absent the invasion, which would have made it less a question of orthodox anatolia vs. non-orthodox syria & egypt, and more a question of intermingling between orthodox and unorthodox throughout.

Still: it's hard for me to imagine the trends (economic and social) which caused the disintegration of the west weakening, which makes it hard for me to imagine a post-Persian-war Byzantine renaissance that could have retaken the west.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I think your last paragraph is most interesting by lm (2.00 / 0) #15 Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 05:03:00 PM EST
Southern Italy was the easiest for Constantinople to keep in its sphere precisely because of the economic and social ties.

But it is also unclear how much of central and northern Italy had social and economic ties to the various Germanic tribes that invaded. If the eastern Roman empire had not been further weakened by the Arab conquest and if the pope of Rome had put his weight behind an eastern Roman re-conquest, then I'm not certain that the "west" would significant social and economic differences with the "east."

Gaul certainly would have been a different story. With the Arian form of Christianity being so popular and the lack of longstanding economic ties (although I should consult my sources before claiming that Gaul didn't have many economic ties to the "east"), it isn't clear that Byzantium could have retaken France and Spain. But it is quite possible that the Roman Empire may have allied with the Arians against the Pagan eastern empires.

The same question, of sorts, applies to the Eastern provinces. It's one thing for an Islamic empire to arise that gives some amount of autonomy to eastern forms of Christianity that are "people of The Book" and another thing for Pagan eastern empires to have control over Christian heterodox regions. I suspect that the same forces that gave rise to The Crusades against Islam would have been even more gung-ho against Pagan regimes and that the various Christian states would have far more common ground against Pagans than against Muslims.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Religion, bleah by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 11:09:34 AM EST
Given what is going on in Uganda right now it's hard not to agree with Mao that religion is poison.  However, without religion, I'm sure we would come up with some other reason to hate people "over there".

Of course by jayhawk88 (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 11:19:28 AM EST
See the South Park atheism/Wii episode. "Your science is false, our's is the true science!"

[ Parent ]
Yeah by duxup (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:16:37 PM EST
We're pretty good at finding reasons to be pissed at each other, or in some cases folk find it handy to try to whip that stuff up for their own personal benefit.

[ Parent ]
a world without islam by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:34:31 PM EST
interesting thought experiment.

in the non-islam world, we have:

  • Visigoths retain control of Spain, leaving the tremendously influencial Visigothic church intact. It's not clear to me what would have happened - would Visigothic Spain have followed the collapse pattern of Merovingian France? Would it have split off into multiple sub-kingdoms (as it had threatened to do in the 7th century)? Or would it have remained a strong power?
  • Persian empire isn't destroyed in the 7th century; likely remains a strong centralized state until the Mongol invasion.
  • Byzantines recover from the Persian war - but they also retake Egypt and Syria, meaning they continue to be divided over religion and never achieve the social/cultural cohesion they develop during the (real) 9th century.
So what happens at roughly the time of the crusades is hard to predict, because it depends on:
  • is western European culture dominated by the Franks or the Visigoths?
  • how strong is Persia?
  • how strong is the Byzantine Empire?

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.