Friday, March 28, 2008

Flamenco Combat

Flamenco Combat
Andre Willers
28 March 2008

Flamenco Dancing as a Combat style .
Stochastic resonance of the rapid foot-taps , combined with the fingertip-pressure feedback of the castanets ensures a very good realization of the body image .

Note that the very rapid foot-taps are so quick that nervous impulses do not have time to travel up and down the spine . In other words , local rhythm nervous networks in the feet do all the work . Together with fingertip pressure (castanets) , this activates very old body-image networks . (As discussed before)

Evaluation of this is equally ancient . A flamenco dancer who is better than his opponent , does not have to fight . His opponent realizes immediately that he is outclassed . This is the perfect fighting style .

The style evolved in India , and was transmitted by the Gypsies . The Spanish took it up for the same reason the gypsies did : it is a method of settling disputes between insanely aggressive males without bloodshed . It became formalized , but a good flamenco dancer will still kick the bejasus out one not so good (or slice him to ribbons) . Note that fingertip knife-control is built into the dance .

A hominin who can outdance his opponent on a shaky bough obviates the costly alternative of actual combat . Hence the in-your-face aggression of flamenco dancing . It is dance of dominance and submission . And the dominance-submission is established very quickly , within the first 5 taps . The evaluation mechanisms are very old and sophisticated .

Note the dominance of movie tap-dancers like Fred Astaire until cutting-room techniques became good enough to edit out the dominance . But also why tap-dancing was (and is) still required for a stage career . The sense of the body-image on the stage is essential .

Karate , kung-fu and related methods have a watered down versions of stochastic resonance on the feet . But no correlation with hand movements .

It is ironic to note that a Flamenco Combat Dancer is the only hominin who could best a chimpanzee in unarmed combat .

Refer to my previous posts about finger- and toe tapping . Flamenco dancing does it all and should be recommended for all wanna-be combat artists , as well as old folk who do not want to fall over .

It is also ideal therapy for diabetics , especially those with peripheral neuropathic feet problems . The independent tapping of the feet would not only increase blood supply , but ladder local nerves to bypass long-nerve neuropathic damage .

The Ultimate Combat System .
A subject of long debate .
But suppose we find such a system . Like lethal diseases , it would soon evolve into milder forms , or it will die out . The devolution would be into mock-combat forms . Flamenco dancing would only be one of these subsets . And a requirement is that it must be able to beat a hominin (like a chimpanzee) .

Flamenco dancers danced with the bulls at Knossos .
Hence the tambourines . (See the frescoes)
Some remnants can still be seen in bullfights , where the toreador taps his foot .

But why women dancers ?
Male-male led to insane dominance fights . Male-female ameliorated the effect . (Ask any night-club bouncer) .

But a human male beating a hominin would be equivalent to a woman beating a man . Females kept the system alive . Note tambourines , which is a fingertapping system . Hence , in a male-female flamenco dance , the female is the dominant one , never mind what it looks like .

The Ultimate Combat System .

This can now be re-assembled , because of fire-arms . (The lethality is relatively less)
Combine flamenco dancing with kung-fu and aikido for an approximation of the original Indian system . An actual case where the ancients were really better !


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Origin of the Rule of Law

Origin of The Rule of Law
Andre Willers
22 march 2008

The Rule of Law is that there at least some Laws(Rules) which bind everybody , even the rulers and the enforcers of law .

The Law of a Third .
(As described by Caesar and Tacitus .)
When a Celtic tribe or group of tribes became overpopulated , they gathered and divided into three equal parts . This division was by individual choice .

The leaders and shamans then decided by lot (chance ) which group had to leave for fresh territories .

Once the lot had been cast , nobody was allowed to change group . The Rule was inflexible , applicable from the lowest to the highest . Everybody knew the Rule , thus could not be changed by interpretation or appeal .

Otherwise , it would not have worked . ( People emigrate into a hostile environment only if they have no choice .)

And work it did .

It has been traced back to the collapse the Bronze Age Civilization . The peoples of Central Europe (like the Unetice) , the Urnsfield cultures leading to the Hallstadt Iron age all faced the same problem . Better technology and farming practices increased their wealth and population , but they were hemmed in by population groups at near-parity as far as warfare techniques were concerned .

So , expansion by gradual population pressure was a no-no , especially against the remnants of the old Bronze-Age Empires . So they sent forth a third of their number in a combination of invasion force and volke-wanderung . These were the waves (then also known as Gauls or Germans by the Romans) that swept over North-Western Europe to Ireland and to the East as far as Armenia . They nearly conquered the Italian peninsula as well .

Even as late as 105 BC Marius had his work cut out to massacre an invasion force of about half-million at Six Springs near Marseille . Caesar treacherously massacred another tribal group on the Rhine , also about half a million strong .

Future groups (about one every 50 years according to the climatic and historical evidence) decided that the Roman nut was too hard to crack . So they struck out eastward in search of Lebensraum .
Plus-la-change . Later they would return , as the Hun Confederacy .

Population Control .
The Romans were not sitting on their hands either .
Augustus knew that uncontrolled population growth would lead to wars of expansion , thus larger armies and rebellious generals . Civil wars and fragmentation of the state would be inevitable (as did happen) . Maybe he had some Chinese help (see previous posts) .

The Romans had a workable herbal general contraceptive (Sulphicium) which originated in North Africa . Augustus classified it as a state resource , eradicated it in the wild (to maintain control) and cultivated it on high-security state latifundia . This was then added to the state-controlled water supply . (All those fancy aqueducts) .

The low Roman birthrate has been ascribed to lead poisoning , but the poisonous effect of lead had been known since Egyptian times . Lead was usually only used in non-acidic environment (like water plumbing) , where it had no effect .

The one proof is the ripple effect on the population figures : Italy’s population remained steady at about 7 million from 1AD to 200AD . This was the heyday of the Roman Empire (Source : Atlas of World Population History by McEvedy and Jones p106 , the primary source for this type of figures.) . The population of the whole Roman empire only increased from 50 million to 55 million .

This beggars belief .
In equivalent circumstances , the English-speaking peoples doubled their population every 15-20 years .

This was during a time of peace and plentiful food . Even the Antonine plagues could not have had this effect unless another factor was present . Remember , low birth rates affected poor people too , who used ceramic utensils .

But everybody used water from the public fountains .

Another is the Roman Catholic Church’s attitude to contraception . It goes back to those days .
They inherited this dirty little secret when they took over the Roman State . They destroyed the farms and set up laws not to allow it again . These laws ossified .
But at the time they dare not let it out , as the mobs would have destroyed the water supply on which all depended .

There was one part of the Roman Empire where the population figures did not change from 1 AD to about 800 AD . The Netherlands and Belgium/Luxembourg (about 3 million each ) . There was no massive depopulation after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire , but for a further 200 years after the collapse , the population did not increase either . This suggests that they continued to cultivate Sulphicium , and probably still do . (Note their skill at bulbs) . Their population figures remain at suspiciously small slopes until 1800 AD (note : other countries’ population slopes start rising at 1700 AD)

This goes a long way to explain Roman Catholic hostility to these countries and their support of Protestantism . By this time , the Roman Catholic Meme had frozen on the center of it’s attractor basin : keep the masses poor via overpopulation , leach out the smart kernels of revolt via schools and the confessional , with an aristocracy as armed back-up . Something similar happened to Islam . In the West , though , the Black Death broke the meme .

The Dutch has to join the Old Kingdom Egyptians as a group that figured out a way to run a modern , zero-growth , sustainable civilization . So , it can be done .

Note that Egypt probably used Sulphicium as a population control , but after the eradication of the plant in North Africa (and presumably Egypt) , Egyptian population rose from 4 million in 1 AD to 5 million in 200 AD . The Egyptian peasants drank water from the Nile , not aquaducts . But the cities did .

Some other advantages to The Law of a Third .

1, It did not depend on literacy ( usually the big problem with illiterate legal systems).
2, The chosen third could not renege , as two-thirds were standing by to kick them out.
3, Nobody was exempt . The essence of the Rule of Law .

Note that the Greeks and Romans did not have a concept of Law applicable to everyone . The Emperor was a God , and thus defined Law (a-la-Nietzche) . Even the Republic had the concept of Dictator (only for emergencies , y’know) who was above the law . The Greeks had the concept of Dictatorship of the Masses (general democracy) .

Anybody in the Celtic third lotted to go had to go , and no weaseling out either .
This discouraged dynasties and inherited wealth .This led to the Western idea of representative democracy and no fixed leadership . No big cities with arts and culture parasites formed . But technology remained an individual effort , highly prized and innovative . But small . Smiths .

Serious R&D needs above all dissemination of ideas (like an University) , supported by some general fee structure . War production of armour , weapons and professional soldiers needs a state with taxes . This is where the Romans wiped everybody . A Roman soldier’s armour cost about a years earnings of a skilled artisan . Training him took about 2 years , during which he was totally unproductive . The logistics to supply him (food , etc) could only be run by a state with a tax based on general economic activity , not on loot . Garrison troops do not even gather loot . Which is why Augustus strictly limited the number of legions . As long as the state is prosperous and can afford the taxes , then there is Pax Romana . When the money dries up , there is a silent coup and the Army takes over the State . As happened in the late Roman Empire .

A healthy system would break up into sustainable pieces ( as some emperors tried to do) , but the Army would not allow it . You then have an Army with a state . An unsustainable state .

4, Why a third?
I refer to “Infinite Probes”
The optimum reserve for any system is about a third of its value . In essence , the society is “swarming” , sending out its reserve .

The fascinating question is how does it know it is time , and how and who decides ?

This has direct relevance in today’s overpopulated world .
The quorum mechanism in bacteria springs to mind . Mind-altering bacteria and viruses abound . Bacteria uses two different biochemical signaling systems to switch on lethal genes .

Humans have an analogue system , called media . With the Celts it would be troubadours , poets etc . If they started espousing the glories of combat to the exclusion of everything else , the canny shaman would know it is time to hive off .

Unfortunately , today there is nowhere to go that is not defended . But some areas are less defended than others . The same situation as in 200 BC .

So , the solution would be to hive off a third of the planetary population (about 2 billion) to the future , and the remaining 4 billion kill themselves off in the orgy of violence they all crave . This fits in with the estimated casualties of a general conflict (see previous posts)

One way of looking at it is that bacteria are cultivating certain species to unsustainable levels , then harvesting them .

So , when population densities are low , everybody is lovey-dovey . As densities grow , conflict increases until a threshold is reached and insensate violence breaks out . Sounds familiar ? The only civilizations that last are the ones that control their numbers . This is not just ecological , but inherent in the nature of humans as composite beings .

We can interrupt this bacterial dialogue leading to the sociological lethality switch-on.
From this viewpoint , every slave-cellar in Roman latifundiae and every slave-ship from Africa to the Confederate American States pumped its load of quorum violence markers into the population .

Hence the present desperate need to get away , to have refuge away from all humans .
Get away from the genetic markers activating stress-inducing aggressive responses .
Ie hiking , holiday homes , safaris . Unluckily , humans drag others along . They do not get rid of their problems , they just select some .


Tell everybody to F*** Off and do a Greta Garbo . It is the only way to keep your sanity (literally) .

Can we mimic this technologically ?
Yes .
UVB will break down the biochemical markers . ( It is not magic , you know , or telepathy. ) A simple bare room with UV lights (commercially available) . Preferally a stone sitting place . Switch on the UV for about an hour before you go in . Needless to say , do not expose yourself to the UV . An air ionizer would be a good idea .

Remember auto-infection . You carry and generate these markers .
Initially , zap the room with UV , go in for about 10 minutes (long-term neural exponentiating period .) Go out and zap the room with UV (half-hour or less depending on the strength of the UV lamps . The markers would have evolved to resistance to sunlight UV , so the lamps would have to stronger than that .
Go back in after UV has been switched off .

Doing this a number of times should be the equivalent of a two-week holiday away from any human . The number of times would depend on your stress levels .

Air-fresheners :
These have been developed specifically to lock onto molecules like the markers we are talking about . The markers evolved from pheromones , which is a scent-type molecule . A goodly percentage of them should be inactivated by something like “Oust” .

So , if you have a panic attack , go into an enclosed loo , whip out your can of air-freshener and spray .

Note that tobacco smoke plays a similar agglutinative effect . Hence its popularity in neutralizing depression or aggression pheromone markers . And they thought nicotine was the active ingredient !

Smoke-filled caves and huts .
An open fire where the smoke veers has the same effect . One of the reasons of the popularity of open-air braais . Note that a proper barbecue chimney where the smoke cannot get in your eyes does not have the same effect .

Churchill’s cigars and the smoke-filled backroom are legendary . What is not realized is that they are essential .

African or Celtic huts with a smoke-filled interior was thus essential to civilization .Likewise air-pollution in moderate degree for big cities . It is ironic to note that if they put smoke-pots in London , the crime rate will drop .

South African crime rates increased dramatically when they electrified the townships and the wood-smoke haze disappeared ..


Mongols of the Serengeti

Mongols of the Serengeti
Andre Willers
27 March 2008

An Alternate History .

In our timeline:
Mongke , the last Mongol kha-khan died in 1259 . Hulagu , his brother and grandson of Chingis Khan had just conquered Baghdad and Damascus . A large portion of Hulagu’s army was withdrawn for the succession fighting . Nevertheless , Hulagu pressed on . His much reduced force was stopped ( a draw) at Ayn Jalut (Goliath’s Spring ) , near Nazareth . Names redolent with myth .

This was without a doubt one of the critical battles of recent history .

Consider what would have happened if Hulagu had won at Ayn Julat .

Alternate timeline:
The Mongols conquer Egypt .
Christians and Shi’ite muslims are not exterminated in the near-east .
Crusaders are invited in as surrogate troops .
The Ottoman Empire never arises .
Constantinople does not fall (well , not to the Muslims , but nearly certainly to the Mongols .)
Mongol exploration sorties discover the plains of Africa . A Mongol paradise . Endless grasslands , teeming with game . The only opposition has no horses or compound bows .
The Khanate of Serengeti would soon stretch from the highlands of Kenya to the Karoo of South Africa . (The central plains of Southern Africa are almost identical to the Mongolian steppes .)
Raw materials such as gold (known since biblical days ) , iron (even earlier) and diamonds were available in abundance .
And game , game , game , such as no Mongolian lord could dream of . All the adventurous young men of the Mongol Empire would flock to Africa to make their fortune .
The Mongols had no use for unskilled slave-labour and no qualms about genocide . Replacement of local blacks by eastern and middle-eastern slave labour seems unavoidable (it nearly happened under the British in our time-line)
The Khanate of Serengeti would have evolved into the Sultanate of Serengeti , as the various regions of the mongol empire degenerated (as happened)
The religion would have been Muslim . All previous Mongol dominated areas eventually became Muslim in our timeline , and there is no reason to think it would be any different in this timeline . The major difference would be that it would be more tolerant , as the majority muslims would be Shi’ites , some Christians and Mongols being the overlords .
What about Europe ? The Knights-and-Castles defence would have seen off the northern Mongols (like it did the Ottomans in our timeline) . But a Sultanate with Africa’s resources and Chinese know-how is a different proposition .
But consolidating in Africa would have taken time . Events there would have little effect on events in China except weaken them , as their best emigrates . By 1620 AD , Admiral Hu’s fleet would still be on its way . But now it will not stop , but launch an invasion of the Sultanate of Serengeti .
Western European states by this time would be hard-pressed by aggressive pressure from North-Africa . Constantinople would probably have fallen to the Serengeti Sultanate . The Mongols were much better at adopting technology than the arabs were .
Most of the East would be Chinese , as the Middle Kingdom expands the middle . Lines of warfare would be the coastal regions of the Med basin .
The Americas . Many more Amerindians would survive . Infectious diseases were the main depopulation agents in the Americas . Sad to say , while Western states might not have actively abetted this , they definitely did not do their best and only counter , even today , namely quarantine . But this would be old hat to Mongols . After all , bubonic plague originated with the eastern asian marmosets . Cortez and Pizarro would have been in competition with Mongols at the courts of the local rulers . The Americas would have been a quadrangular theatre of conflict : The Chinese from the West , the Western Europeans and Serengeti Caliphate from the East and the Amerindians in the center .
It is delicious to think that in this timeline the EU and Chinese are contesting the Serengeti Sultanate for the Texas oil-fields .
Would science be as advanced by 2008 AD ? Yes , probably even more so in technology . As long as the Western European states had some autonomy , the wellsprings of innovation would flow . Sadly , in our timeline this has nearly dried up due to the demise of the independence of universities . When they did away with tenure , they killed the goose that laid the golden eggs .
Draka’s : would the Serengeti Sultanate be analogue drakas? No , the population is too diverse , the territory too large and there are too few Mongols . The only known example where this has been attempted with some success( Japan) , ended in tears as the system could not compete with freedom-systems .
Any central command system cannot compete with local autonomy . This has been proven over and over again in history . But still humans do not learn . The moan is always : but what mix ? What portion local control , what central ? Yet this answer has always been known . The maximum you can risk are your reserves . And this is about a third . See previous arguments about “Infinite Probes” . The killer is that humans do not re-evaluate the third after a big success . They try to keep the gains , and wonder why it all crumbles . It is because they are then risking more than a third of the new dispensation .
Would this timeline be better than our own ? Yes . The continual conflict would have necessitated greater efficiency . Maximization of efficiency is not achieved by size (except in special cases like steel production , etc) . Food production is a good example . The most efficient food production was in the 18th century in Europe and Asia . Efficiency being measured by the ratio of energy in to energy out . Factors of about 30 were achieved , compared to present day factors of about 2 to 3)
In our timeline , population growth without check (ie exponential) was driven by two factors: Cheap food from the plains of Americas and Europe , driven by subsidised cheap energy (oil) and medical advice and techniques to more primitive peoples that did not include contraception . It is like giving unlimited sweets to children . And now it is stomach-ache time .
The Serengeti Sultanate timeline might have fought a number of nuclear conflicts , but at least they would have a large presence in space . The population would have been much lower and social mobility better .
Social mobility outside the upper middle classes in the west is just about nil in our timeline . And it is about to get much worse as the implications of globalization works its way through the system . The middle class is being squeezed out of existence . The present mortgage crisis in the US is but a symptom . Analogous to the Roman peasants being forced off their land while they were off fighting .
It is my considered opinion that (in our timeline) the US system is approaching a paroxysm equivalent to the French or Russian revolutions .
History does not repeat itself , but it rhymes . The concentration of capital , a legal system that allows a minor entity to be sued into oblivion and legislature that is dominated by lobby-groups has made everybody either very rich (a tiny minority) , or working for somebody else . The middle class has been destroyed , even though most people in the US will describe themselves thus . Yet , they are one or two paychecks away from being homeless . It is these homeless that will lead the revolution . Like the Romans never called any Caesar “Rex” , they will not call it Communist . But it will be . One of those ironies of history . That Russia becomes capitalist , and America Communist . If not this , then the Union will fragment into three . Sic transit Gloria .
Without the Pax Americana , small states will have to resort to nuclear weapons for survival . Then bio . It is doubtful any humans will survive . This timeline will pinch out .
Oh well .


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Amphorae – Roman Containerization

Amphorae – Roman Containerization
Johan and Andre Willers
19 March 2008

Roman ships and stevedoring was standardized to use large amphorae as containers .
When the containers were cheap to manufacture , they were smashed at the destination and used as reinforcing in Roman concrete constructions (cf Roman houses . ) The rough curvilinear shape of amphorae fragments in a concrete matrix gives a better compression-strength than steel reinforcing .

It was the lack of commercially viable lifts that limited the height of Roman apartments , not the strength of materials . (Cf walk-up flats in New York circa 1800’s)

Literally millions of tones of olive oil , grain , wine , garum , cement , metals (small iron ingots ) , charcoal etc was shipped in the late Republican and Empire period . The Globalization period of Rome . Equally , millions of tons of amphorae .

Production specialized in the regions most suitable for a certain product .

Olive oil : Iberia , North Africa .
Grain : Egypt and North Africa .
Wine : Italy and France .
Garum : initially everywhere , but later on the Lowlands of Holland .
Cement from Egypt and Italy .
Metals and charcoal were strategic materials for manufacturing weapons and armour . Initially the smithies and armouries were in Italy , but later in the Empire shifted them to the northern provinces of Gaul . This was closer to the iron deposits in Germany and still available forests for charcoal . But charcoal was still imported on a large scale to the cities of the Roman Empire for fuel .
Amphorae : where the right clay and sufficient fuel (wood) was available . Like aluminium in modern times , or charcoal in any time , ceramics is condensed energy . An amphora transported from North Africa to Rome represented a certain amount of wood burnt .

For instance , Italian hills were deforested to plant vines as the most profitable cash-crop (on the latifundiae). This wine was exported at a huge mark-up . Charcoal was then imported . Hence the deforestation of North Africa , Levant , Turkey and France .
Note the effect on history : with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire circa 500 – 600 AD , wine-trading routes to the West collapsed , mainly due to piracy . Byzantium kept the eastern trade routes relatively pirate-free . Desperate wine-producers in Italy dumped their wine in the Middle East , especially Arabia . This flood of cheap wine caused a wave of drunkenness in the Middle-East , resulting in Mohammed’s stricture against “the fruit of the vine” . Beer and kumiss were not affected , as the low alcohol concentration was essential as sterilization agent of water.

Alcohol Concentrations .
Wine can be made to about 14% alcohol per volume . Strong beer is about 5% . Medieval beer and wine was about 2%-3% . A modern spirit with a mixer (25 ml spirit with 175 ml mixer) is about 6% alcohol .A wine drinker imbibes a drink that is 2 to 3 times as potent as that of a spirit drinker .

Hence the Symposium Master that controlled the mixing of wine and water in a krater in ancient Greece . Only barbarians drank wine neat .

Humans can drink 2% alcohol solutions indefinitely .Indeed , present stress-management techniques recommend some alcohol .
Over 1 500 years of rigorous selection in the West might have made alcohol de-rigeur on a neuronal level .

Forget Prozac ! Drink 1% – 2% watered wine .

Dosage :
Very little . 1% of 200 ml (a glass) is 2 ml . At 50% alcohol concentration , this means that about a teaspoonful(5 ml or 10 drops) of vodka per glass will give about 1.25 % alcohol concentration . This will get metabolized almost immediately , but not before tripping some neurochemical switches . Serotonin and dopamine springs to mind . Remember the evolutionary background . Western genetic neuronal systems have evolved to get antsy if there are no alcohol switches being activated . The amount of alcohol does not matter , but the transient concentration does .

Now do you see why so many patent medicines in alcohol solutions have been so effective for anxiety .

In medieval times , western Europeans who did not drink mild beer died of water-borne diseases . Note the uneven distribution of alcohol-tolerance genes between East and West . The East had tea for thousands of years . This required boiling of water , giving a measure of protection against water-borne diseases .
One would expect this from evolutionary grounds , since there is no reason for homonins to develop a tolerance of alcohol ( a systemic poison) in the wild state .

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Some commentators have advanced the theory that the caffeine stimulation of coffee and tea led to the advances of the industrial revolution in the west . It seems more likely that reduction in alcohol intake plus the better nutrition from grain previously used for brewing would have a bigger effect . This last effect is not negligible . To produce a 2% alcohol beer , about 15% – 20 % of the grain/barley crop would be needed . This would have had significant effect on child nutrition and subsequent brain development .

Not to mention the civilization-wide withdrawal effect !

The Hubbert effect.
Hubbert was an American oil-man who used his technique to predict the peak of US oil production . He did his prediction in the early 1950’s . He predicted a peak in 1972.
This happened . The methodology has been extrapolated to any non-renewable resource .

Essentially , you graph annual production (y-axis) against sum of production-to-date (x-axis) .
For oil and coal this has given a straight-line graph over periods of about 150 years . In other words , a fair degree of confidence in the extrapolation of the straight line .

It means that easily exploitable deposits are used first , then more difficult and costly and so forth until it becomes too difficult and costly to continue . It seems to be insensitive to any technological advances .

The essential point is that any finite resource in the ancient world had to follow this pattern . The clay to make amphorae was one such resource .

The Romans used this resource as if there was no tomorrow .Eventually , the easy resources were exhausted and only a few places manufactured increasingly expensive amphorae . Eventually they ran out . When the trading routes broke down , charcoal could not be imported anymore to fire the amphora kilns . The workers dispersed and the skills were lost and never re-established .

Barrels replaced amphorae , but they could never replace amphorae , since they were expensive , difficult to make and of limited storage .

The Garum Catastrophe .
Garum was a fermented fish sauce that contained essential fats and amino-acids normally found in meat . Normal Romans ate very little meat . But with the disappearance of amphorae , garum disappeared . (Oak barrels gave a funny taste and let in oxygen ) . Only the Dutch persevered , (eg “garing”) , eventually evolving into the herring trade . But that took a whopping 600 years .

The effect was deficiency diseases on top of all the other disasters .
Note the Roman Catholic fishy Friday attempt to compensate .