10 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2020
    1. The Ottomans held more territory in 16th-century Europe than either England or the Netherlands. More Christians lived in the Ottoman Empire than in any other European state. The city with the largest Jewish population in the 16th-century world was Ottoman Salonica. Christian Europe’s major military and political concern was the Ottomans. As Norwich helps to show, the Ottoman Empire was a European state, and we should finally bury the notion that the Ottomans were somehow set apart from Europe.

      The Ottoman Empire was a European state

      A radical proposal!

    1. today we seem to be on the cusp of a return to a more regular state of affairs, where the large states of Asia will again be the globe’s hegemons.To make this provocative argument, Sharman finds the early modern period, conventionally dated from 1500 to 1800, the most fruitful for thinking about where we are headed. In those centuries, the enormous empires of the East — the Qing, the Ottomans and the Mughals — were the most formidable states on earth. Territory equaled power, and those states held the most land.

      The Ottomans, the Mughals and the Qing.

      Well, I know a little bit about the Ottomans, the name of the Mughals and nothing at all about the Qing

    1. Once you understand the reasons a belief is attractive to someone, you can go ahead and reject it as soundly as you want. Nor is it an obligation to spend time researching every crazy belief that might come your way. Time is valuable, and the less of it you waste on intellectual wild goose chases, the better.

      Understanding reasons v Researching EVERYTHING one's opponent has to say.

    2. Charity is the ability to override that response. To assume that if you don’t understand how someone could possibly believe something as stupid as they do, that this is more likely a failure of understanding on your part than a failure of reason on theirs.

      Of course, this takes work and can feel disappointing to undermine the self satisfaction of the above

    3. Absurdity is the natural human tendency to dismiss anything you disagree with as so stupid it doesn’t even deserve consideration. In fact, you are virtuous for not considering it, maybe even heroic! You’re refusing to dignify the evil peddlers of bunkum by acknowledging them as legitimate debate partners.

      Okay, so this is me on twitter and other places.

    4. Chesterton’s Fence

      see https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Chesterton%27s_Fence on [[Less Wrong]]

      [[G.K. Chesterton]]

    1. More fundamentally, I believe the framework of “white privilege” is very unhelpful for better racial understanding. (For one, it is often misleadingly applied to situations that involve either class privilege or specifically anti-black prejudice. And besides, it seems perverse to suggest that not being mistreated or discriminated against is a privilege, rather than a basic right.)

      Useful framing from Cathy Young

    1. The decline of the Muslim civilization, a puzzle that remains elusive despite a rich variety of suggested causes from the goat to Mongols, began almost simultaneously with the rise of the modern Europe. The advent of the Reformation that transformed the intellectual landscape of Europe is dated from 1517 when Martin Luther began his campaign against the Church. By a remarkable coincidence an event that helped freeze the intellectual landscape of the Muslim world took place at about the same time. In 1515 the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, persuaded by the influential clerics of the realm, issued a decree that imposed death penalty on anyone using a printing press, invented in Germany in 1455, to print books in Turkish or Arabic. The ban remained in force for the next 270 years, till 1784, except for an attempt to circumvent the ban in 1729. Thus, it was only after 1784 that the technology of printing could filter to the rest of the Middle East. Even so it was not till 1817 (362 years after the invention of printing) that the first book was printed in Iran. In Europe, however, the printing press had come into extensive use in by the end of the 15th century and is recognized as a powerful engine of the Reformation and the making of the modern Europe

      Ah hah, one explanation of how Islam, leading the known world in literature, philosophy, science etc went into steep decline at exactly the same time that Martin Luthar made his famous statements. The Ottomans' banning of the printing press for 270 years retarded what had once been a flourishing empire.

      This ties in with the [[From Dawn to Decadence]] book.

    1. Rail Baltica will be a new high speed train service that links all three of the Baltic States with the rest of Europe. The 870 km train track will see regular daily services between Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and Warsaw where passengers can then change to connecting trains in Poland to reach other European cities.

      Well, this is an exciting prospect for 2026!

    1. The Masjid al-Nabawi ('Prophet's Mosque') built by Muhammad in 622 CE, is of exceptional importance in Islam and is the site of burial of the last Islamic prophet.


      What else happened on this day?