"

I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.

As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?

Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison. The first white settlers in Ohio found forests as open as English parks—they could drive carriages through the woods. Along the Hudson River the annual fall burning lit up the banks for miles on end; so flashy was the show that the Dutch in New Amsterdam boated upriver to goggle at the blaze like children at fireworks. In North America, Indian torches had their biggest impact on the Midwestern prairie, much or most of which was created and maintained by fire. Millennia of exuberant burning shaped the plains into vast buffalo farms. When Indian societies disintegrated, forest invaded savannah in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Texas Hill Country. Is it possible that the Indians changed the Americas more than the invading Europeans did? “The answer is probably yes for most regions for the next 250 years or so” after Columbus, William Denevan wrote, “and for some regions right up to the present time.”

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Quoted from the essay "1941" written by Charles C. Mann, about the major impact that Native Americans had on the Americas (ecologically and culturally) before white people invaded, bringing their diseases and shoving Christianity down the Indians’ throats and murdering them and banning their cultures.

Check out the whole piece (which is rather long). (P.S thanks to @cazalis for sending me this great link)

another excerpt:

Human history, in Crosby’s interpretation, is marked by two world-altering centers of invention: the Middle East and central Mexico, where Indian groups independently created nearly all of the Neolithic innovations, writing included. The Neolithic Revolution began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. In the next few millennia humankind invented the wheel, the metal tool, and agriculture. The Sumerians eventually put these inventions together, added writing, and became the world’s first civilization. Afterward Sumeria’s heirs in Europe and Asia frantically copied one another’s happiest discoveries; innovations ricocheted from one corner of Eurasia to another, stimulating technological progress. Native Americans, who had crossed to Alaska before Sumeria, missed out on the bounty. “They had to do everything on their own,” Crosby says. Remarkably, they succeeded.

When Columbus appeared in the Caribbean, the descendants of the world’s two Neolithic civilizations collided, with overwhelming consequences for both. American Neolithic development occurred later than that of the Middle East, possibly because the Indians needed more time to build up the requisite population density. Without beasts of burden they could not capitalize on the wheel (for individual workers on uneven terrain skids are nearly as effective as carts for hauling), and they never developed steel. But in agriculture they handily outstripped the children of Sumeria. Every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland, and every hot pepper in Thailand came from this hemisphere. Worldwide, more than half the crops grown today were initially developed in the Americas.

Maize, as corn is called in the rest of the world, was a triumph with global implications. Indians developed an extraordinary number of maize varieties for different growing conditions, which meant that the crop could and did spread throughout the planet. Central and Southern Europeans became particularly dependent on it; maize was the staple of Serbia, Romania, and Moldavia by the nineteenth century. Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger, Crosby says, which led to an Old World population boom.

Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. “The probability is that the population of Africa was greatly increased because of maize and other American Indian crops,” Crosby says. “Those extra people helped make the slave trade possible.” Maize conquered Africa at the time when introduced diseases were leveling Indian societies. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the British were alarmed by the death rate among Indians, because they wanted to exploit them as workers. Faced with a labor shortage, the Europeans turned their eyes to Africa. The continent’s quarrelsome societies helped slave traders to siphon off millions of people. The maize-fed population boom, Crosby believes, let the awful trade continue without pumping the well dry.

Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world’s largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe’s greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away. They had never before seen a city with botanical gardens, for the excellent reason that none existed in Europe. The same novelty attended the force of a thousand men that kept the crowded streets immaculate. (Streets that weren’t ankle-deep in sewage! The conquistadors had never heard of such a thing.) Central America was not the only locus of prosperity. Thousands of miles north, John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, visited Massachusetts in 1614, before it was emptied by disease, and declared that the land was “so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people … [that] I would rather live here than any where.”

and another excerpt:

In as yet unpublished research the archaeologists Eduardo Neves, of the University of São Paulo; Michael Heckenberger, of the University of Florida; and their colleagues examined terra preta in the upper Xingu, a huge southern tributary of the Amazon. Not all Xingu cultures left behind this living earth, they discovered. But the ones that did generated it rapidly—suggesting to Woods that terra preta was created deliberately. In a process reminiscent of dropping microorganism-rich starter into plain dough to create sourdough bread, Amazonian peoples, he believes, inoculated bad soil with a transforming bacterial charge. Not every group of Indians there did this, but quite a few did, and over an extended period of time.

When Woods told me this, I was so amazed that I almost dropped the phone. I ceased to be articulate for a moment and said things like “wow” and “gosh.” Woods chuckled at my reaction, probably because he understood what was passing through my mind. Faced with an ecological problem, I was thinking, the Indians fixed it. They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything.

(via badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

(via batgirls)

bookshop:

solongasitswords:

nullbula:

thesylverlining:

what happened in roughly 1870 though
why was there temporary internet
with a few people searching for pokemon?

It’s a search of Google books, but the question still stands, what the Fuck happened in 1870

I CAN ANSWER THIS!!
In the Cornish dialect of English, Pokemon meant ‘clumsy’ (pure coincidence).
In the mid 1800s there was a surge of writing about the Cornish language and dialect in an attempt to preserve them with glossaries and dictionaries being written. I wrote about it HERE.


I just love that this post happened to find the ONE HUMAN ON THE INTERNET who had the answer to this question

bookshop:

solongasitswords:

nullbula:

thesylverlining:

what happened in roughly 1870 though

why was there temporary internet

with a few people searching for pokemon?

It’s a search of Google books, but the question still stands, what the Fuck happened in 1870

I CAN ANSWER THIS!!

In the Cornish dialect of English, Pokemon meant ‘clumsy’ (pure coincidence).

In the mid 1800s there was a surge of writing about the Cornish language and dialect in an attempt to preserve them with glossaries and dictionaries being written. I wrote about it HERE.

I just love that this post happened to find the ONE HUMAN ON THE INTERNET who had the answer to this question

(Source: neilcicierega, via stickmarionette)

argonauticae:

the secret history - donna tartt

argonauticae:

the secret history - donna tartt

(via elucipher)

mylifeaskriz:

ruineshumaines:

Liz Climo on Tumblr.

this really cheered me up

(via notomys)

hot-potato-cold-bazooka:

hot-potato-cold-bazooka:

So I’m moving into a new apartment, and I was told that the room had been damaged, but nothing could have prepared me for the fact that someone had carved Li Shang’s head out of the bathroom door and written “We must defeat the Huns!” on it.

image

(via thoughtsnotunveiled)

Book meme

Tagged by seasquared.

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag [ten] friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.

  1. Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  2. Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel
  3. Matt Fraction, David Aja, Annie Wu - Hawkeye 
  4. Samuel R. Delany - Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand
  5. Joan Didion - The Year of Magical Thinking
  6. Marguerite Duras - The Lover
  7. JRR Tolkien - The Lord of the RIngs
  8. Sophocles - Antigone
  9. William Gibson - Virtual Light
  10. Lawrence Durrell - The Alexandria Quartet

Notes:

Hard to do this quickly — mind just goes blank with these questions. XD; Saw the other day in the bookstore that The Scarlet Pimpernel had come out as a Penguin Classic haha, pretty tempted actually? Hawkeye is multiple trades and only approaching a complete run but in the auteur/narrative sense it’s one “book” clearly. Every time I see a Tumblr post abt the scourge of capitalism I end up thinking about Delany’s very sensible job1-job2 concept.

Tagging:

sputnikhearts, alovelyburn, dtownsteez, notesonleaves, anavolena, smallmonday, tomewing, stopmoving, katherinestasaph, ajora

A regular sort of get to know you meme

Tagged by king-in-yellow:

Name: Sabina

Nickname: nope, unless you count my social media handles

Birthday: February 24

Gender: female

Sexuality: two honest possible options here are “bi” and “not asexual just kinda bored”

Height: 166 cm

Time zone: Eastern Standard

What time and date it is currently there: August 28, 2014, 3:58pm (this being a queued post)

Average hours of sleep I get each night: 6-7, but regularly so.

The last thing I googled was: a Le Monde article on Mads Mikkelsen I was unable to read anyway because I blew my free Le Monde articles on French political scandals and Ebola horror and am not gonna pony up a Euro.

My most used phrase(s): I don’t think there’s one at the moment? ppl feel free to nominate.

First word that comes to mind: dream

What I last said to a family member: “No problem, bye~”

One place that makes me happy and why: the Parc des Rapides migratory bird sanctuary, which I discovered this summer — it’s about 30 minutes away from my place by bike. I saw fireflies there for the first time in my life (I lead a very urban existence).

How many blankets I sleep under: in summer, a folded bedsheet. In autumn, one blanket. In winter, a quilt. In POLAR VORTEX, a quilt and an extra blanket.

Favorite beverages: sparkling water, honey lemon tea, milky coffee (any kind, though best hot coffee is a flat white and best cold coffee is a cold brew with almond milk), wine. On a typical day I drink all four in a loosely Capote-ish order.

The last movie I watched in the cinema: The Midnight Swim, by Sarah Adina Smith. I liked the uneasy, slow-burn reveal of the dynamics between the sisters and the absent mother, but felt like the movie stopped playing by its own rules by the third act.

Three things I can’t live without: sunlight, sparkling water, a minimal daily caffeine dose (well, I can live without it, but I’ll be asleep).

Something I plan on learning: well, I’ve got Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature, and the first seven classes are on Anglo-Saxon lit because Reasons. Also doing some Idiot’s Guide to Forensics -type reading.

A piece of advice for all my followers: Leonard Cohen’s Buddhist teacher was right about how your need for love becomes greater as you grow older. Though I’d phrase it such that your need for love becomes more complex.

You all have to listen to this song: A Tribe Called Red - Sisters (I really love the video mostly; it’s positive and fun and respectful and real)

My blog(s): this one, genufa (fanstuff — 1% useful meta, 99% superfluous comments on Marvel/Hannibal/X-Files/etc. comedy gifsets), petronia on Livejournal and Dreamwidth mirror.

Tagging: whitachi, voelliglosgeloest, unicornmagic, three-edged-sword, strongright, reifferschizzle, prancy, occupiedterritories notesonleaves midnightsphenomenon lisechen err I am just going backward in the alphabet, only do it if you want to!

‘Sisters’ by A Tribe Called Red
ATCR’s Pop Mtl off-festival outdoors gig last night was a massive party — it didn’t occur to me that there would be a huge crowd (though it probably should have). Turned up at 6pm, parc Emilie-Gamelin was mostly empty and threatening drizzle; went home for dinner, came back at 9:30 to meet Maddie and Anthony, park was brim-packed. Nice cross-section of tie-dye anarcho-hippie types, hip hop kids, regular EDM party kids; just a really smart show in general.
(I’m very pro-VJ since the harder I dance the more the analytical part of my brain is freed up to cycle, so the rise of complex mixed media projections over the past 7-8 years has been a godsend haha. My ideal is probably something along the lines of an outdoor art exhibition one can dance to (…Burning Man?). Bear Witness is a video artist properly speaking; as Anthony noted, one feels like the show ought to end with a bibliographical citation endroll.)

‘Sisters’ by A Tribe Called Red

ATCR’s Pop Mtl off-festival outdoors gig last night was a massive party — it didn’t occur to me that there would be a huge crowd (though it probably should have). Turned up at 6pm, parc Emilie-Gamelin was mostly empty and threatening drizzle; went home for dinner, came back at 9:30 to meet Maddie and Anthony, park was brim-packed. Nice cross-section of tie-dye anarcho-hippie types, hip hop kids, regular EDM party kids; just a really smart show in general.

(I’m very pro-VJ since the harder I dance the more the analytical part of my brain is freed up to cycle, so the rise of complex mixed media projections over the past 7-8 years has been a godsend haha. My ideal is probably something along the lines of an outdoor art exhibition one can dance to (…Burning Man?). Bear Witness is a video artist properly speaking; as Anthony noted, one feels like the show ought to end with a bibliographical citation endroll.)

imathers said: I always figured it was just a line break, because "I love you; you pay my rent" and "I love you: you pay my rent" both seem to not quite capture everything that's going on in Tennant's voice.

I was confident (not having an actual memory thereof, merely very sure that I had read this somewhere) that someone from a PSB fan site had actually asked Neil Tennant in like ‘98 and he said it was a semicolon? But Absolutely Pet Shop Boys shows it as a comma so who knows eh. For the record we were listening to Liza Minelli’s cover but I don’t think she delivers that line very differently.

flowright:

tonightinatlanticcity:

yoncehaunted:

*SHOUTING TO THE HEAVENS*

OKAY THAT WAS KIND OF A FUCKING TWIST.

I thought it was going to be a feminist post XD

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Themed by: Hunson