Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lace .


Andre Willers
17 Jun 2014
Synopsis :
Lace hides the maximum of wealth in the minimum of space . The Refugee’s friend .
Discussion :
1.Times of Troubles .
Portable , light , disguisable wealth becomes important .
Hence , lace made of precious metals like gold or silver .
See Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 .
States try to limit this outflow .
See Appendix 3 and Appendix 4 .
Usually called Sumptuary Laws .
2. An easy place for women to hide valuable gold lace was in their hair .
Hair styles evolved to match .
See Appendix 5 (Roman) and Appendix 6 (Breton) .
Notice how similar they are .
The Breton women are descended from Romano-British refugees after the Saxon ethnic cleansings circa 500 AD .
Though Fashion ran amuck in some of the vertical coiffe’s .

3. Troubles in the 1500’s led to surfacing of old technologies .
Widespread famine in Europe due to flood of Spanish gold from the America’s .
“The period 1677-1686 was the lowest point, with famine, plague, etc”
See Appendix 7 “Babylonian IT” on how technologies go dormant  , then get rediscovered .
In this case , the causal line of programmed weaving  is Babylon to Alexandria to North Africa to Ireland to Roman Britain to Brittany (Breton) to France to Belgium to UK to USA .
Over about 5 000 years .
It is based on earlier inventions by the Frenchmen Basile Bouchon (1725), Jean Baptiste Falcon (1728) and Jacques Vaucanson (1740) .
But , Bouchon comes from Brittany .
“10 Records - Basile Bouchon1815-1894 · Barbe Urania Thouvenin1814-1897 ... Marriages, 1568-1913 Julienne Victoire Bouchon found in Upper Brittany, France ...”
4.Ordinary Lace .
The value is in the woman-hours .
Still valuable , with a ready market value .

The maths has not been worked out , but the old doyly pattern seems to be close to optimal in wealth distribution (it evolved as optimization for temperature distribution of hot tea pots . Same thing .)
Pension networks look like this .
Note the density on the edges .
The edges dissipate the most heat (or wealth , if this represents your pension plan)
Why there were so many spinsters . They could have a savings vehicle through their own effort .
5.Gold Crochet Lace
You see what I mean ?

6.Who would have thought ?
Granny crocheting in the corner is trying to create portable wealth and survival for her family in a tradition stretching back at least 5 000 years .
7. Parkinson’s
Well , crocheting is not possible is you have Parkinsons . Regardless of vision .
Thus , we suspect that crocheting  counters this condition for human females aged 75 or males aged 65 .
This should be more effective than juggling . But combine the two .
Use platinum , gold and silver threads to crochet the three-dimensional circuit chip of your next PC .

Appendix 1.
Egyptian times
The first steps of lace-making were taken in the lands Pharaohs of Egypt, where hair nets and fine flax clothes, decorated with colored threads, precious stones and gold,  were found in many tombs of the royalty in the Thebes, somedatinghttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png to about 2500 BC.

Appendix 2
Roman and later Times

The romans later on caught the trend, and adorned the edges of their robes with golden lace threadshttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png. Gradually, the craft of lace-making was developed into numerous types, by several cultures, each customizing its own design trends and methods.

17th century Venetian Rose Pointhttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png
finehttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png example of antique gold lace was discovered in St Cuthbert’s coffin, who died in 685 A.D. But not until the fifteenth century did this beautiful fabric, now called ‘point lace,’ became widely spread in Europe. It was first mastered by the nuns in Venice in order to add to the income of their convents. Another early traces in Europe go back to Flanders, Belgium.
France, as alwayshttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png, lead the train of fashion in the sixteenth century. Under the name of ‘Lacis,’ it became known during the reign of Catherine de Medici(1519-1589), who summoned the most famous lace maker and designer in Venice, Federico di Vinciolo, to livehttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png, teach and work in France. But it was during the age of the Grande Monarque, Louis XIV that the French lace matched the perfection of that made in Venice.

Appendix 3
State attempts at control .
Sumptuary Laws :
A handy excuse to prevent portable wealth for wanna-be refugees .

Appendix 4
Control breaks down .

In the late 16th century there was a rapid development in the field of lace. There was an openwork fabric where combinations of open spaces and dense textures formed designs. These forms of lace were dominant in both fashion and home décor during the late 1500s. 

Appendix 5

Roman women hairstyles

Appendix 6

Breton Women  hairstyles
Bigouden .

Appendix 7
Data orientation holes in ancient Babylonian IT .

Saturday, March 21, 2009
Ancient Babylonian Information Technology .
Ancient Babylonian Information Technology .
Andre Willers
21 Mar 2009

Synopsis :
Largehttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png Middle-Eastern empires were made possible by a simple data-sorting and analysis technology . This greatly facilitated fair taxation , fair Law and large Armies.

Discussion :
From about 1600 BCE , baked clay tablets from royal libraries have a curious feature : holes in them at the same locations on different tablets . This lasted well into the Assyrian period . (See a photo of a tablet from the royal library of King Ashurbanipal (668 – 627 BCE) of Nineveh on p25 of "Cuneiform" by CBF Walker ISBN 0-520-06115-2)
Or Google "cuneiform firing holes" . (They were first called "firing holes" ).

The layout of the holes are immediately reminiscent of Hollerith punch-cards .
Lends new meaning to the old "Do not bend , fold , spindle or mutilate."

A hole would be a "Yes" .

How it worked .
1.A mask (the format) is prepared at data-entry stage .
Eg . lists of cities that have paid their taxes .
2.Multiple duplicate clay tablets are prepared and the holes punched through according to the format .
3.Data is entered by stopping up the hole .(Eg a town that has not met its tax obligations)
4.The tablets are baked . You now have a nearly imperishable record .

5.Data Retrieval .
The above procedures are time consuming and expensive .
The data-retrieval is the crux of relative and absolute advantage .

Just line up the tablets behind the format-mask and stick a long , thin reeds through the selected holes . This is a "AND" gate .

Take out the tablets where at least one reed is blocked .
Eg , towns that have not paid their taxes .

Repeat analyses on these tablets to get deeper analysis of temporal or other patterns .
This can be done in hours to days , for centuries of data .

Quite sophisticated analyses can be performed in this manner . It was the main governmental decision system before electronic computers in the 20th century AD .

Advantages :

1.Fairness of tax .
Everybodyhttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png tries to avoid tax . The rich and powerful are so successful at it that without proper record retrieval systems , the state's tax burden shifts to the poor . This is perceived as unfair (a hardwired neural behaviour that nearly all mammals have) . Over a certain threshold this leads to unrest and revolt . The state has to spend its revenue on internal suppression . It has turned an asset into a liability . This limited the size of empires .

2.Fairness of Law .
The concept of immutable law above the control of rulers is linked to the durability of baked clay and easy retrieval .
In water-based empires like the Middle-East , nobody can remember thousands of years of judgments handed down . Only the royal libraries have full copies , and access is restricted . But the king has to know what the previous rulings were to remain fair .
It is no accident that the reign of Hammurabi dates to just before the appearance of the first "firing holes" .

The Army .
Large , standing armies that enabled the empires to grow are constrained by logistics .
Fast information retrieval and analysis is essential .

The Assyrians were masters at this . They simply massed larger forces than their opponents and supplied them adequately , paid for by a workable tax-system .

Why were they eradicated ? The very efficiency of the tax system was their undoing . The general rate of tax on everybody went over 38%
(See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Optimal Tax") . This happened to quite a number of other civilizations (Late Roman Empire , Mayan , some Chinese dynasties , etc)

Why did this technology disappear ?
Well , it didn't . It went back to its roots , namely weaving .Weaving is known to be at least 30 000 years old , and probably much older . Looms using card-type controls have been known throughout history , culminating in the well-known Jacquerie looms in France during the start of the industrial revolution . Then Hollerith cards and computers .

The Babylonian system initially had a big relative advantage . But it had a major weakness : the format-templates . If these were lost or destroyed , all the other records were worthless . ( A major problem today . Huge volumes of electronic data are in formats that cannot be read anymore.)

Combine this with a dynastic system of conquerors , who deliberately destroyed the competitive advantage of their predecessors . The value of the system fell below survival level .

The technology led to centralized record-keeping and ahttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png small literate class (a plus as far as kings are concerned.) The tablets are big and bulky , expensive to store .
But , in competition with a phonetic scripts with millions of easily made and durable copies (see why paper is important ?) , where taxes and laws were writtenhttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png down , the error-rate of the cuneiform-system was much higher .
(A single copy is much more prone to destruction or corruption .)
It simply faded away .

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs .
The technology of record-keeping played a big role .
Moses handed down tablets , but Jews , Christians and Muslims are people of the Book .
Traders need to keep weight down . Lugging around 20 pounds of clay tablets on your little donkey instead of trade goods is a bit of a no-no .

Papyrus was a jealously guarded Pharaonic monopoly .

So how did the Romans do it ?
They did use clay tablets and slates for temporary work , tree-bark for throw-away letters , papyrus for more serious work , vellum for longer-lasting work , stone for serious ultra-long work .

This is what first drew the attention of Rome . They needed a cheap , plentiful supply of papyrus . In the Roman Republic days , they did not need Egyptian wheat , and had no means to transport it in bulk . So , they solved the problem by conquering Egypt .

When they looked around to see what else was worth looting , they saw the huge agricultural surpluses , a perennial source of danger (armies) .
It was Augustus who formed the neat little solution : give the Romans a peace dividend in free corn from Egypt , paid for by taxes on the provinces . This reduced the wealth in Egypt and the provinces for military or rebellious adventurism , while sucking in Italian peasants from non-viable little plots of ground . Their young men then become fodder for the legions. The rich landowners (latifundia) expand . A further plus was the huge stimulation to the shipping industry , which led to greatly increased trade and the Augustan economic miracle .

A really neat solution that lasted about two centuries .

All built on papyrus and multiple records .

Can you see why baked clay-tablets could not compete ?
The multiple records and large literate class performed the same function as the Babylonian IT system , but more error-resistant .

What about the Chinese ?
(See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Rome vs China)
They developed paper quite early and had multiple records , but the dynastic system meant that each new dynasty purged and rewrote previous records . The memory of the system then vested in a large literate class (Mandarins) , but this had a limited capacity . Still , they managed to stay ahead in innovation of Europe until the Mongols (the Yuan dynasty ) .
The Mongols impoverished China in two ways :
1.The killed a large percentage of the literate class , destroying the main memory .
2.Surplus accumulated wealth was expropriated . A very large percentage was sent to Tibet (the Lamaseries) , especially the libraries . (The Mongol aristocracy saw themselves as Tibetans . Chinggis traced his ancestry back to nobles on the Tibetan plateau ) . The Tibetans have a long history of extremely aggressive behaviour . Their monks are about as pacifistic as the Knights Templar . They had an empire encompassing the Mongolian steppes from about 600 AD to 1000 AD .
No wonder the Chinese see the Mongols as being cat's paws for the Tibetans .
The enmity goes as deep as the memory system of the surviving Mandarin families from the Yuan dynasty .

After the Mongols were expelled from China proper , the Ming dynasty gradually collapsed in exhaustion . The reserves of wealth and memory were exhausted . The literate class (Mandarins) could not regenerate fast enough .
They jealously clung to their now enhancedhttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png privileges .

The exploration fleets (Hu in 1421) were burnt . More importantly , eye-glasses were discouraged . (Chinese had invented concave lenses about 1100 AD) . This stifled all innovation and growth (which was the intention ) .

So , can you see how the technological ability to store and retrieve information , interacted with Chinese society to shape them ?

The paper cut is the mosthttp://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png dangerous cut of all .



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