The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer

I grew up in the UK in the sixties when history teaching and writing was very Eurocentric. This was actually progress. I think if I had been born a few years earlier it would have been very Anglocentric. Time has moved on and we now realise that the rest of the world is pretty important too. So when I tackled The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer I was treated to what purports to be literally the history of the whole Medieval World. Europe gets plenty of coverage, but so does India, China, the Arab world, Japan and even Korea. It is quite refreshing to be reminded of what is going on everywhere and very illuminating to get it all presented as a continuous narrative.

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Are My Political Opinions Stupid?

It’s easy to see the faults in other people’s political ideas. There has been a big uptick in simplistic philosophies lately. Trumpers believe in putting their state first, regardless of the international implications. Libertarians discount the benefits of the state’s activities. Brexiters think that getting rid of the influence of Brussels will make us freer. It isn’t hard to see the shortcomings of these viewpoints. They can be summed up in a few sentences and obviously are nowhere near adequate to the complexities, trade offs and downright cussedness of the real world.

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A Unique Archive of Radical Thought

You wait ages for an event of historic significance then you get two come along at once. The attempted coup in the Capitol last week will no doubt be discussed for years to come. At the moment we don’t have all the accounts we’d like to have, and no doubt more will be coming out for years to come. But there will be a lot of historical information available. While the actions and motivations of the key players, particularly Mr Trump himself, are the big part of the story we have a lot more to go on with this.

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Immigration Will Become Popular

I woke up to the news the South Korea’s population has fallen for the first time in its history. Wars and famines have been just as prevalent in the country’s history as anywhere else, but it turns out that demographics is the thing that really counts. An ageing population who choose to avoid having too many children is enough to bring down the population rate.

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Brexit Generations Life Choices As Poor As Their Political Judgement

If a recent report is to be believed, it turns out a lot of people in their fifties and sixties are turning up in accident and emergency wards after getting drunk. The BBC headline is a bit misleading while being literally true. It is worded to imply these oldies but boldies are the victims of assault and that alcohol is the cause. This is belied by the actual text. “[Researchers] suggested some older binge drinkers were still behaving as they did when younger, in the 1980s and 1990s.”

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Why Conservatives Are Wrong About Everything

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I wouldn’t be without conservatives. They are on the whole decent people, or at least they are as decent as non-conservatives. I have never noticed the slightest difference between conservatives and liberals when it comes to honesty, intelligence or general likability. You certainly can’t tell whether somebody is a conservative or not just by what they say or do at any rate.

Dan Carlin Hardcore History Addendum – Caesar At Hastings

Dan Carlin’s podcasts are not to everyone’s taste. He has a very particular way of presenting and you may or may not like it. It is very much history from his personal perspective and if you don’t share it you might not feel comfortable with it. He also has a rather dramatic speaking style which is not always what you might choose to listen to.

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