Monday, February 24, 2014

Oldest String.

Oldest String. 

Andre Willers 
24 Feb 2010
Synopsis :
Actual hard physical evidence of twine circa 90 000 years ago . Where there is twine , there are ropes , nets ,weaving , etc.
Discussion :
1.See Appendix A for the actual evidence .
2. See Appendix B for Neanderthal Maritime presence .
This was driven by cheap protein from the ocean . Which requires nets and fishing lines .

3. See Appendix C about working twine into string , then ropes , then nets then cables
Something that defines humans as a tool-using species .
4. This means that Neanderthals had woven clothes . No wonder they survived extreme cold .
5. Neanderthal farms !
Not for food , but for clothing fibres .
This would involve disturbing the ground . So traces would be left even after 100 000 years .
Only , classified as something else .
The data is there near old Neanderthal sites .
Look for inverse dams (to spread waterflow: standard in low-tech societies .)  Very characteristic .
Ground –penetrating radar will pick up the density gradients even after hundreds-of-thousands of years ..

Also look for spade-equivalents . Scapula of large animals , with distinctive abrasion patterns .
6.So when Homo Saps arrived in beggarly fashion from the east , they adapted their cultivation and animal packages
to what the Neanderthals had already accomplished .
7.The two sub-species then merged in time-honoured fashion .
And here you are , you semi-neanderthal you .
The servant’s entrance is at the back .
We only speak High-Neanderthal here .


Appendix A

World's oldest string found at French Neanderthal site
·         13 November 2013 by Colin Barras
·         Magazine issue 2943Subscribe and save
CALL it prehistoric string theory. The earliest evidence of string has been found – apparently created by our Neanderthal cousins.
Perishable materials usually rot away, so the oldest string on record only dates back 30,000 years. But perforations in small stone and tooth artefacts from Neanderthal sites in France suggest the pieces were threaded on string and worn as pendants. "The wear patterns provide circumstantial evidence of early use of string, but the evidence is not definitive," says Bruce Hardy at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Similar circumstantial evidence has been found in perforated shells.
Now, Hardy and his colleagues have found slender, 0.7-millimetre-long plant fibres that are twisted together near some stone artefacts at a site in south-east France that was occupied by Neanderthals 90,000 years ago. Such fibres are not twisted together in nature, says the team, suggesting that the Neanderthals were responsible (Quaternary Science Reviews,
"If they are indeed remnants of string or cordage, then they would be the earliest direct evidence of string," says Hardy. "Albeit very fragmentary evidence."
At 90,000 years old, the material purported to be string predates the arrival ofHomo sapiens in Europe. That means the Neanderthals occupying the French site learned to make it themselves, rather than imitating modern humans, says Hardy. In fact, a growing body of evidence suggests our extinct cousins developed a number of sophisticated behaviours – and perhaps even taught some skills to our species when the two met.
Last year, stone tools created by Neanderthals were found on Mediterranean islands, hinting that the species may have made and used boats to cross the sea – although no direct evidence of boats has been found. Hardy points out that sturdy ropes would have been necessary to build and use rafts and boats. "The ability of Neanderthals to manufacture string and cordage certainly does make the idea of Neanderthal seafaring more plausible," he says.
Appendix B
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Neanderthal Harbours
Neanderthal Harbours
Andre Willers
5 Apr 2012
“A girl in every port”
Sea-going Neanderthals survived and merged into the Homo Saps , while their unsophisticated land cousins became extinct .
Discussion :
See NewScientist 3 Mar 2012 p10 “Neanderthals were ancient mariners”
Mousterian (ie Neanderthal) tools has recently been found on Greek islands (Lefkada , Kefalonia ,Zakynthos) that could only have been reached by boats in the last 300 000 years . Crete as well .
Nobody has really looked elsewhere , but Malta would be a good bet .
So would the Orkney Islands . See link below
Why go to sea ?
The Neanderthals faced two major challenges :
Overheating and short legs . (Their evolution did not include a period of cursorial raptors , but more cold-adapted , ambush hunters ) .
A dugout canoe solved both problems . Rapid transport and cooling via a quick dip over the side .
We can thus infer that Neanderthals were strong swimmers, with their cold-adaptation subcutaneous fat giving them extra buoyancy and insulation .
Don’t sneer at dugout canoes . Melanesians paddled all over the Pacific with them .
The Neanderthal build was ideal for a paddler . Strong upper body , with lots of fast-twitch muscles . And Europe abounded in trees suitable for the purpose . From big barks , to big hardwoods .
Population grew slowly and proceeded by growth at the peripheries . Living was easy by the shores , but lack of large food surpluses kept numbers down .
Still , they got around in the period 300 000 to 30 000 years before present .
They would have preferred the same sites for harbours as later civilizations . So you would have to dig deep to find traces .

The Neanderthal-HomoSaps meeting . (about 50 000 years ago)
This was not a collision , or even a competition initially . The Neanderthals had the best spots (water , harbours , hunting ,etc) . Small family groups of HomoSaps drifted in and joined them . They were cousins , after all (even if the HomoSaps dogs could smell the difference). Interbreeding started .
The Neanderthal civilization was a thin coastal layer , connected by canoe networks , coastal hopping . This was still faster than walking . Living was easy .
The good news spread east . HomoSaps plus dogs were more efficient hunters than Neanderthal ambush hunters . A population pressure developed towards the west , towards easier living (remember , agriculture had not developed yet , but Humans were even then territorial.)
The Neanderthals split into two groups :
1.The inland ones could not compete with HomoSaps plus dogs and became extinct . See “Death of the Neanderthals” Sep 2009 . Repeated in Appendix I for your convenience.
2.The coastal ones (the sophisticated ones) incorporated HomoSaps into their civilization , interbred with them . Initially Lords of the Manor , figuratively speaking , their descendants’ genes became mixed in the wash according to well-known genetic principles .
Sheer HomoSaps numbers meant that the present contribution of their genes varies between 4% – 10% , with even higher percentages in certain geographical locations where gene-pools have remained isolated . For instance , there is some evidence that Neanderthals were pale-skinned and red-haired (google it) . Geographical isolation of genepools in the North-Sea islands needs some investigation .
Think of it this way : “Cousin George couldn’t make a living anymore in the old family cave , so we invited him and his family to stay here in Cosy Harbour . We have plenty of lazy HomoSaps servants and he can work on one of my canoes.”

!Click speakers
Neanderthals were definitely !click speakers . Note their propensity for caves , and large stone heritages . See previous posts on Click language.

Interesting asides:
1.Red hair and temper .
Ambush hunters are known for hair-trigger , explosive adrenalin surges . Neanderthals would then have had an explosive temper that quickly flared and then burned out . Definitely not a cursorial raptor characteristic . Good for quick , decisive combats , but a weakness against a cursorial raptor .
2.Hairy Mediterraneans :
I have seen many Levants , Italians , etc who were extremely hairy . Shaggy is the word . I could never figure out where they came from . Even HomoSaps from cold climates were not that hairy . Now you know why . They had a heavy influx of neanderthal genes . Spread out all over the Med shores .

The Neanderthal Harbours :
A pesky question . They would have preferred the same sites for settlement that later humans did , with subsequent destruction of evidence .
But , there is one difference : Flint .
What is worthwhile transporting in a canoe and can be traded ? Worked tools . This meant Flint at the time . And work it they did . England was rich in flint and was extensively mined .
(see )
This happened in fits and starts over a period of at least 1 000 000 years , including the Neanderthal period . The flint had to be dug out , worked , transported. This meant logistics .
The miners might have been supported by local hunting , but the knappers were sophisticated technicians demanding luxuries (ie imports) . The end product had to be exported . This was done by water-transport . Canoes . A currency of some sort (markers of promise , supervised by priests) would be needed .
Fashion : initially , good old-fashioned , workmanlike Mousterian tools were sold all over the place , but the fashion shifted to lighter , fancier , more specialized tools .
So , before the Bronze-age civilization there was the Neolithic civilization , encompassing about the same trade-routes and using the same the same shippers . The Neolithic civilization did not collapse , except for some ports . It segued into the Bronze-age civilization .
But Bronze-age civilizations would not need the same harbours as Neolithic civilizations . These harbours should still be reasonably pristine .

Where to look in England :
There is a whole clutch of flint mines near the South Coast of England (Cissbury) . The coastline kept changing , so look for least-effort routes from Cissbury to the sea .
The harbour would probably be no more than an inlet that would allow a large canoes to ground safely . But there would be an associated warehouse and guardpost .
Pirates : a high-value shipment like worked arms and tools would attract pirates . The shipments would then pulse in well-armed convoys . The detritus from these land and sea-convoys would be fertile fields for archaeologists , especially since they would be untouched by later non-neolithic civilizations . So look for detritus middens at strategic points near a old harbour . While the coastline would have changed extensively , strategic lookouts and defensive points changes much slower . So , you could probably use Google-Earth to rule out indefensible positions (most of them) . The remainder can be done in detail .

This is an important question .
Were Neanderthals more fertile with HomoSaps than with other Neanderthals ?
This is a distinct possibility . Epigenetic factors that evolved to limit fertility were inoperative in the crossbreeds . If they had children , they had lots of them , with no built-in limitation .

Pandemic of Fertility :
Was the worldwide population explosion from 1700 AD onward related ?
The answer seems to be yes. The act of Union of Scotland and England in 1704 exposed the rest of the world to prions evolved on some Scottish Island . These prions (folded proteins) inactivated epigenetic controls on fertility . They were very infectious . The pandemic of Fertility followed the well-known principles . It should be possible to find Person(0) , where it all started . Some mixture of Neanderthal and HomoSaps genes required for any immune response . HomoSaps without Neanderthal genes will just remain switched-on into high-fertility .
The cure: now that you know what to look for , engineer a prion that locks it .

And the Denisovans?
The third type of humans . The same principle seems to hold . They spread over the Pacific Islands . Fertility controls were deactivated and some nasty things ensued . But there should be clues on how to re-activate the epigenetic controls , or at least de-activate the prions responsible for de-activating the epigenetic controls . Compare with Scottish example .

Come , ladies and gentlemen .
You have enough clues now to solve this problem .
But I will give you a further clue :
Look at the Plant-Herbivore Wars . Some Plants want more humans without limit . Look at the husks of the seeds , not the contents . Especially after boiling .
Malthus was wrong .
Overpopulation is an epidemical disease , not a natural condition .
The overpopulation is caused by a disease , usually plant-induced .
Plant Power , anyone ?

Appendix I
Death of the Neanderthals .
Andre Willers.
5 Sep 2009

The Neanderthals died out because their legs were too short .

Discussion :
See Scientific American Aug 2009 p34 " Twilight of Neanderthals"
Start quote p 39 :
"the energetic cost of locomotion was 32 percent higher in Neanderthals than anatomically modern humans."
End quote .

What does this mean ?
They ran slower . With a heavier body . Heavy infantry vs light infantry .

The multiplier :
Rapidly varying climatic effects pushed Neanderthal communities into 3 subgroups (p37) , Western Europe , Southern Europe and Western Asia . These types of communities survived the genetic isolation in previous episodes by the occasional migration of males . It only takes a few males to revitalize genetic diversity .
Males' role in the scheme of things . Cf equivalent occurrences in Pacific islands
circa 17th and 18th centuries .

But humans were cursorial raptors .
Adapted to long-distance chases .
They inderdicted enough Neanderthal males trying to reach other enclaves to ensure a genetic diversity collapse .

Dogs .
Dogs (wolves) were fellow travelers with humans . Not domesticated then (and some think never really domesticated . Dogs can still interbreed with wolves . There has been no fundamental genome change . Genetically , dogs are still undomesticated . Notice how fast they go feral .) .

Humans could run with them and the chase enforced a pack-leadership type of social organization .
Wolves were (and are)smart enough to change their behaviour to ensure their survival. Both humans and wolves ate better if they shared prey according to pack protocols .

Humans-Dogs (wolves).
This partnership proved fatal to Neanderthals .
1.Genetic diversity was fatally impaired by interdiction of groups of males trying to travel to another enclave . While a bunch of Neanderthals could see off a bunch of humans , they still had to eat . And the faster dogs and humans chased all game away .

Or , more likely , let the Neanderthals make the kill (usually whooly rhinocerous) , then chase them away from the carcase . They could do this because they could run faster and for longer and had projectile weapons (spears) . The really classical advantage of mobility .

These would have been small groups of adventurous humans . Juveniles . the equivalent of soccer yobbos.

2.The Human-dog system enveloped the Neanderthal enclaves and simply removed their food supply .

3. MHC and dogs .
Dogs (or semi-wild wolves) would have learned to recognize the scent of Neanderthals . These would have been exterminated as enemies of the Pack .
The only surviving Neanderthal genomic material would be in those with MHC tolerable to dogs .

For some reason , Anatolian Sheepdogs keep on popping up in my mind . These were and are actually the only surviving , working wolf-killers , but they might have learned to tolerate Neanderthal MHC . (On the principle of the enemy of my enemy is my friend .)

So , if you were looking for some Neanderthal genes , the wilds of Anatolia would be a good place to look . Especially if there are lot of Anatolian sheep-dogs around . The Neanderthal anatomical features would have been very diluted .
Ie , it would not have been genetic incompatibility that prevented miscegenation , but the dogs not tolerating an alien .

These would long predate Bronze age , Aryan , Celtic , Persian , Greek , Roman or Turkic populations .
Old , old .

4.Neanderthals could not compete
Because wolves would not adopt them into the pack . They were not cursorial raptors. Their legs were too short .

5. Now do you see why humans run ?
Running releases aromatic compounds (pheromones , MHC's , etc) that defines a person as human . Your dog requires walkies not just for exercise , but to reassure himself that you are still a member of the pack . Humans are now so washed , deodorized and scented that a poor dog can only recognize his fuehrer if he sweats a bit .

The same is true for inter-human reactions .
Huddling together in gymnasiums .

Or even intra-human reactions .
The parts of a human interacting with each other , defining boundaries .
But all your organs still need chemical communication to tell each other they are part of the same pack .

6. The loneliness of the long-distance runner .
Actually , he is not lonely at all . He is enveloped in a cloud of sweat and aromatic chemicals that tells his identity and position in the pack . His ancestors are all with him . His footfalls entrain him .

Hence the effects of even slight breezes . Washing away the effluvium . A top athlete will perform better with a slight breeze from behind (reinforcing) , while the others will perform better with a breeze to the side or from front . (Reducing self-limitation.)

A heavier breeze from behind will actually reduce performance of the top athlete . These boundaries can be calculated exactly .

See Tim Noakes on fatigue and other self-limiting mechanisms . Olfactory and aural mechanisms are major pack governing systems .

7. School curricula
Can you see why running fast or long is so important to humans ? It defines them .
Thousands of years later , and children are still measured by these skills . Major planet-wide competitions are held .

8. Click , Chi and running and breathing .
Pronounce Chi the correct , old way :
!xi : A tongue click on exhalation.
!xo : A tongue click on inhalation.

In long distance , endurance running this measures the amount of oxygen inhaled or CO2 exhaled , depending on the patterns of clicks and tongue conformations .

And all those Eastern Mystical Ways ?
The force of Chi ?
Just another click .

A running song would automatically evolve in click-language in optimal configurations . A fast chasing song , or a slowlong-chase song or a rushing song . All automatically balancing O2/CO2 with slow-twitch/fast twitch muscle requirements .

You can see how songs evolved . Nobody is going to sit around saying !xi - !xo at every inhalation-exhalation . (Except the demented priesthood) . The rest simply made up songs (working ditties ) . The origins of mantras .

"Om mane padme sum" a well known mantra .
"!xm !xm!xn !xp!xd(left twist of tongue) !xme(right twist of tongue) !xsm(a fat click with a left twist to the tongue,recovering from the previous right twist of the tongue )

Combat : They were formidable heavy infantry . See Etruscans below .

As you can see , not a language for faint-tongued .

9.Click-poetry .
From the Lescaux caves : a free translation :
"!xp-!xp-!xop joined the thunder of the hooves . But I still see her shy backward look and hear her in the hesitant patter of the wind in the trees ."

10. Etruscans .
The indications are that Etruscans were remnants of Neanderthal genetic mixtures that fled from Anatolia circa 1200 BC .

Markers :
1.Big noses .
Neanderthals were cold-adapted . Over at least 500 000 years of climatic vicissitudes . This is a very strong positive adaptation to dry climates , whether cold or hot . Genes for this would have spread rapidly .
Greek noses were straight . Roman noses were , well , Roman .
So the Etruscans came in before the Greek irruption .
Roman noses came from the Etruscans (like most else Roman) .

2. Click language
Note the puzzling lack of recognizable inscriptions on their many tombs .
The inscriptions are there , but just not recognized .
Try Click-resonances as described above and in previous posts .

3. Suffixes in Latin .
A typical result of a click ur-language . The vowels are the opening and closing of the jaw after click , with some twisting and guttural effects .

4. Combat styles .
Heavy infantry .Most telling . Most people assume that the Roman Heavy Infantry style comes from the Greek Hoplites . Actually, it comes from the Etruscan , and there is some evidence that the Greeks learned a lot about this from the Etruscans .

Why else trade with them ? Greeks were Yankee or Viking traders : they only traded if they could not take .

So , if you want Neanderthal genes , go to Tuscany .

PS. Tuscan hounds (ie Anatolian dogs) were renowned in Roman days .Still is .

Nice doggie .


  Appendix C
Why do things happen ?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Andre Willers
24 April 2008

The oldest profession .
Hair Dressing and Grooming .

The time-traveller with hairdressing and grooming skills can get a job anytime back to hominid days . Beats plumbing any day .

This partially explains the queer gene : Faux-queer . A cunning stratagem to get close to females without the usual male chest-beating .


Grooming is built-in to the hair of mammals .

Hairs get tangled and knotted ( see Theory of Knots) . Your personal experience is that after day’s activity and a night’s sleep , your hair gets tangled and knotted . The theory shows that it is nearly certain that this will occur in any system with three degrees of freedom .

Tangled hair is a bit of no-no to our homonin . It shows that it cannot get a grooming partner . Parasites also have access to unprotected skin .

Chaos first did the weaving with knots and tangles .

Un-weaving was then invented .

Initially fingernails , then a sharp , hard pointed stick ( a one-toothed comb) to tease the knots apart ..
When a favourite stick was kept , it became a tool .

A one-toothed comb .

Found all over in old sites , but usually called something else .

Plaiting of hair followed . Then some unsung woman genius inverted it and plaited grasses and other fibrous growths . Ropes and nets were invented .
Physical strength became unnecessary .
Mk I humans followed .

MkII humans followed after Toba , when weaving was invented as insulation (clothes) . So was fashion , and the world was never the same .

From the evidence , fashion seems to be a more powerful driver than anything . I would like to put an “except” here , but from the Greenland evidence where people starved to death because eating abundant fish around them was “out of fashion” with some old bishop I cannot .

What is of interest is that un-weaving was invented first , then weaving .
Note the correlation of Peace being invented before War .

Multiple-tooth combs .
An invention so ubiquitous that every human on the planet today has one and uses it at least once a day .

It enables an individual to self-groom . You can comb out the tangles in your hair or pelt by your own , without help .

This had an enormous effect on the development of civilization . The very concept of individualism is predicated on the existence of combs .

It frees the individual from the tyranny of the group .

An unkempt individual is excluded . No ifs or buts . Look around you at the homeless people . Once grooming is lost , so is social acceptance and survival . Hence the large number of spaza-hairdressers . It is not an affectation , but sheer survival .

See “Super Refugee”

Note the insistence of disciplined groups like the military or police to hair grooming . Or the inverse , the trust civilians have for anybody with a taut haircut .

See “Old Age Markers”
Note the hairstyles of the Mandarin class in China : shaven in front , denoting wisdom from survival , and extravagant hair (plaits) at the back , denoting humanity .
Hence , a monk will shave his head denoting a divorce from human concerns .

If someone obviously not in a religious order shaves his head (like bouncers , etc) they signal an indifference to the grooming order . They are essentially doomed . An extremely interesting feedback cycle is initiated that ends in the marginalization of such individual . They tend not to have children .

It must be noted that these are universal hominin markers , operating at well below conscious perception .


Sunday, February 23, 2014

How Hot are you ?

Andre Willers.
23 Feb 2014 .

Synopsis :
Attractive people get about 2/3  advantage  . But what makes them attractive from image alone ?

Discussion :
Try this at your own peril. Do you really want to know ?
Caucasian female . Lush or faded . Mature men prefer the right hand version .

Caucasian male normal attractive . Graded from left to right . All women prefer the left hand version .

Real life :
Older men like mature women better than bimbos , but all women like boy toys .

2. Theory :
There is no comprehensive theory, only pointers .
From :
Look below :
More attractive on the left photo , less attractive on the right .  Purely from statistical analysis .
This what is routinely done on the Web and magazines .
There is no “You” . Only an image . The irony is that these manipulators would not pass the first stage .
Like an author or method actor . Caught up in other people’s lives , instead of living their own .
Interesting aside :
The idealized photos of both men and women on the attractive left shows slightly smaller left eyes than the
left eyes on the on the unattractive side photo’s .
This is averaged over a large number of individuals .
So this seems to be a real effect .
Generally , an eye size disparity is indicative of some pathology , usually neuroticism.
The pictures indicates a tendency to neuroticism in the more attractive versions .
 Ask yourself why .
I don’t know why .
Is a neurotic person fitter in the Darwinnian sense than a well-adjusted person ?
It  seems so in the Brave New World.

If you have to be crazy to get a reproductive partner , I strongly suggest you get off-planet .

Replay of 1914

Replay of 1914 

Andre Willers
23 Feb 2014

“Losing one child is a misfortune . Losing two is sheer carelessness”  a-la Oscar Wilde
Some argue that a replay of 1914 WW I on the centenary is indicated , with a double whammy of a 1929 style financial crash Maybe the two problems will solve each other ? Payable in your blood .
Discussion :
1.Argument for replay of 1914 :
See Appendix A for the present view .
  Not likely , barring chaotic happenstance .
See Appendix B for a similar situation in the not-so-distant past .
  Much more likely  from a strategic viewpoint .
2. Threats and allies .
As Germany in 1914 felt threatened by France and Russia industrializing , (see Appendix B)
So they went to war , knowing that they would lose . Stupid .
China now feels threatened by Japan , Vietnam , Russia , Filipines , etc .
Ringed by potential enemies , the military mind sees only threats , not allies .
“Alliance is the subtlest form of warfare” Sun-Tsu .
Why fight when everybody has already won ?
Unless you want your good citizens and taxpayers form a part of the mushroom clouds over your largest collections of voters .
3. Limited war .
Both sides (China . Japan) are gearing up for a short , sharp war  in the Eastern China Sea .
This is definitely shades of WW I . It didn’t work in 1914 , and won’t work in 2014 .
4.The limited war will at least reduce population pressure and fertilize the oceans .

Would the Son of Heaven approve ?

Appendix A
Submitted by Robert Dujarric via The Diplomat,

Current events are frequently viewed through the prism of analogies. Words become shorthand for a particular type of situation. “Munich” equals the danger of appeasing bloodthirsty dictators, “Vietnam,” and now “Iraq/Afghanistan” means the folly of getting involved in (or, in the case of Iraq, starting) civil wars in countries whose societies the outsiders neither understand nor can effectively influence. In some cases, acting on these parallels turns out to be wise. The fear of repeating “Munich” helps explain the forceful and successful American response to Soviet expansionism at the start of the Cold War (Berlin, Korea, etc.). In other cases, they are misguided, as was the case in the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt, where Nasser was no Hitler and giving up the Suez canal would not have equated to throwing Czechoslovakia to the wolves.

The analogy that is currently in vogue in Asia is “1914.” This is a particularly complex one, as there are two distinct narratives of that fateful year. The one that was prevalent in the U.K. and the U.S. for many decades after the conflict that ensued perceived the war through the “Sarajevo” lens as a giant cataclysm in which all the players bore a share of the blame for the destruction of Western civilization. Another interpretation, which is more dominant today, is best illustrated by the late German historian Fritz Fischer’s Germany’s Aims in the First World War (1961), which assigns most of the responsibility to Berlin.

The “2014 as 1914” discussion covers both theses. Those who dread that a minor maritime collision could escalate into Armageddon subscribe to the “Sarajevo” theory, where an assassin’s bullet set off a chain reaction which even men and women of good intention could not stop. Others think that Beijing is bent on regional, if not world, domination. They see China’s hypertrophied ambitions as an early 21st century of the German Empire’s quest for power described in Fischer’s works. Many officials and analysts who refer to “1914” fall in between. They often know little about European history but see an ominous danger of war that reminds them of what they think “1914” was.

The one common threat in the “1914” warnings is that the People’s Republic is perceived as the Asian counterpart of Wilhelmine Germany. A rising continental autocracy with territorial ambitions on land and dreams of overseas expansion confronting a potential coalition of onshore (India, Vietnam, ROK, maybe even Russia) and offshore (Japan, Taiwan, parts of ASEAN, U.S.) powers. For some, Beijing’s expansionist aims are obvious; others see them as moderate and blame Washington and its allies for not accepting China’s rise, reflecting the same differences of interpretation that existed in Europe before (and after) World War 1 regarding German goals.

The critical error in this comparison is that China today bears little resemblance to Germany a century ago.

First, their domestic situation is vastly different. The Hohenzollern dynasty did face discontent at home, in particular a powerful Social-Democratic movement. But the socio-political fabric of Germany was vastly stronger than that of the People’s Republic. In comparative perspective, Prussia-Germany had enjoyed a stable and productive century prior to 1914, something that does not apply to China in 2014. Prussia-Germany was autocratic but had developed a more effective system to partially include citizens in the political process than China has. Frequent violent protests, and the massive export of capital by rich Communist Party members to overseas accounts, illustrate this point about China’s fragility. It is interesting to note German society, as in existed prior to World War I, was so solidly anchored that much of its establishment survived relatively unscathed four years of total war, defeat and revolution.

Second, we know that Germany in 1914 had an outstanding army. Estimating the worth of the PLA is harder since it has not fought a major campaign since Vietnam defeated China 35 years ago. As a military historian noted “A day’s trial by battle often reveals more of the essential nature of an army than a generation of peace.” (in Russell F. Weigley, Eisenhower’s Lieutenants, 1990) so discussions of the abilities of the PLA are hard to validate. But one thing is clear. In Imperial Germany, especially in its Prussian core, the ruling classes took military service very seriously. Young men of privilege served in the officer corps, one’s rank in the reserves of prestigious units was a source of great pride and social standing. From what we know about the sons (and daughters) of China’s elite, we are more likely to see them studying in Ivy League campuses, eating in Wall Street cafés, and living in Hong Kong flats than leading platoons and companies of soldiers in the frozen hills of Manchuria or the scorching deserts of Xinjiang.

Third, Germany was not the world’s largest economy on the eve of World War I, the United States was. But in many fields, Germany was the most advanced country on the planet. A German doctorate was the gold standard of academia until Adolf Hitler destroyed the universities. Germans led in countless disciplines, be it physics, archeology, or medicine. Germany was ahead in many industrial technologies as well. China has progressed, but its relative position lags well behind that of Germany a century ago.

Fourth, the geopolitics are different. Germany had two continental associates, the Habsburg and Ottoman empires. It took several years before the United States joined the Allies. Today, China is essentially bereft of allies and is confronting what is a de facto U.S.-Japan-Australia coalition, potentially augmented by several Asian states and under certain circumstances most of NATO Europe and Canada.

Fifth, Germany in 1914 was a demographically dynamic country. China, due to the twin consequences of the one-child policy and economic development, is aging at a rapid rate. This is not unique in Asia, but compared to its major global competitor, the United States, China is in demographic decline.

What are the implications of these facts? For China’s foes, namely the United States, Japan, and others, they mean that the situation is not as dire as it was in 1914 for Germany’s opponents (whom we should remember came close to being dealt a terminal blow in the opening stages of World War I). For the Chinese Communist Party, they imply that it would be even riskier for it to initiate a conflict than it was for the Central Powers in 1914.

Appendix B
Excerpt from
Shadows of War .
France and the British Empire nearly went to war in 1903 . Peace was brokered by Grey . The famous Entente Cordiale . 

But neither side intended to honour it . The French was 
investing heavily in Russian industrial expansion , hoping to do what the British did in the America's . The British hoped to do their usual divide-and-keep-separate strategy in Europe (which they had been successfully doing since they lost France in the time of Joan d'Arc) . So they supported and needled Germany , which felt squeezed between France and Russia . 

Indeed , from 
documents from the German General Staff in 1914 , the Germans despaired of winning , but saw war as the only alternative to vengeful French penalties for the humiliation of the 1870's campaigns .

The nature of the coming war was also widely known . In 1907 a Swedish diplomat wrote a three-volume treatise that was required reading for all general staffs , setting out the probable course of the war . (See "The pity of war") . This was fairly accurate . They just did not know what to do about it . So , all prepared contingency plans for a long-drawn out conflict . 

The UK knew it could not feed it's population without easy imports from the continent . So the contingency plans included immediate requisitioning of all maritime transport for grain and armaments . They also notified the 
insurance companies (mainly Loyds) that HM navy would not protect ships any except those involved in the war effort .

This leaked . The smart 
money moved out of risky positions .
The moment war was declared , the credit 
markets shut down like a camel's sphincters in fly season . The entire globalized British trading empire came to a shuddering halt .
(Sounds familiar?)

FeatherFall .
The news was 
spread by radio-telegraph . Overnight , (literally) , prized packages of feathers became worthless . They could not get transport , and the end-market was iffy. Property prices collapsed , ostriches could not be given away . Men who counted themselves rich , suddenly owed huge amounts . The banks (especially Standard) called in loans . The whole credit system collapsed .
The entire region was impoverished for generations .


Saturday, February 22, 2014

To die of Love

To die of Love .

Andre Willers
23 Feb 2014
 Pushkin died of love .
Discussion :
He died in 1837
Notoriously touchy about his honour, Pushkin fought as many as twenty-nine duels, and was fatally wounded in such an encounter with Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès. D'Anthès, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment, had been attempting to seduce the poet's wife,Natalya Pushkina.
She died in 1863

Look at the photos to see them as real persons .