Thursday, February 5, 2015

History: The Year is 1514

I've uploaded year 1514 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

A Death Census in Hispaniola -- The Spaniards run a census and find a lot of Indians missing. They have probably died of disease.

Cop Cams and News on the Rialto -- The Rialto is a banking and marketing center of Venice and it is on fire... literally. I also talk about Rialto, California that is experimenting with Cop Cams.

The Church's White Elephant and the Death of Debt -- The King of Portugal gives the new Pope a white elephant. I talk about the Pope's excessive spending and the difference between personal debt and government debt.

A Death Census in Hispaniola

The Spaniards have worked out a labor tax where the Indians must contribute labor for the benefit of Spanish rule. (You guessed it. It won't work for the Indian's benefit very much at all but let's not talk about that right now.) In order to allocate the labor amongst the Indians, the Spaniards must run a census to count the Indians. The count is somewhere around 26,000. No one really knows how many natives were living on Hispaniola when Columbus first landed. Everyone agrees that the number was large with 60,000 being the lo-ball figure. With only 26,000 of the Taino [TAY-no] Indians left on the island, that means at least 34,000 are missing and most likely dead. [1]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Let's noodle this one out. Certainly some Indians have left the island but it can't have been a mass migration or the Spanish would have noticed. African slaves, called the Maroons, have added population to the island but those are escaped slaves so counting them is impossible since they have run away. Doesn't that mean that the Indians can hide as well? Maybe a lot of them. Probably not 34,000 though. The next census will tell the tale. By 1548 only 500 Taino [TAY-no] will be left alive on Hispaniola. The Indians must have died... probably from disease caught from the Spaniards.

Cop Cams and News on the Rialto

The Rialto of the Republic of Venice is the marketplace and financial center residing on the islet of the same name. The famous Rialto Bridge spanning the Grand Canal won't begin construction until 1588 so for now it is something of an embarrassment that one must cross to the marketplace on wooden planks. This year a fire has destroyed most of the buildings of the Rialto (including the tax offices conveniently located nearby) leaving only the church of San Giacomo di Rialto with its distinctive clock. The Rialto will be mentioned in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" as Solanio asks , "What news on the Rialto?" apparently asking for business news. [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The city of Rialto, California has been in the news because of its pioneering of "cop cams" worn by their police officers. The camera looks like a rugged version of Google Glass. It's made by Taser, the guys who produce the generally non-fatal alternative to firearms. The camera records any exchange between a police officer and citizen either manually or automatically and then uploads a copy of the video to "the Cloud" maintained at a secure website. The Rialto police seem to be logging the video to the website whether it is controversial or not. If they can do that... why can't I record the police in the same manner? For that matter... why can't I record parent-teacher conferences, or any other interaction I might have with government officials? Turnabout is fair play. Isn't it? [5] [6] [7] [8][9] FYI: In August of 2014, Sidekik launched a campaign to develop a similar product for citizens. It has not reached its funding goal as of the time of this writing. See Episode 1425 of the Survival Podcast for an interview of Orion Martin of Sidekik. [10] [11]

The Church's White Elephant and the Death of Debt

Hanno the white elephant is given as a gift to the new Pope Leo the 10th from King Manual of Portugal. It will become his favorite. Pope Leo is quite the connoisseur of fine living. His excessive spending and selling of offices and indulgences will make the list of Martin Luther's complaints, as Martin Luther attempts to reform the Church. When Pope Leo dies, several banks will go out of business which suggests that he will owe them some very large sums of money. [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
As the old saying goes: When you owe a bank thousands, the bank owns you. When you owe the bank millions, you own the bank. I tried to explain to a fellow why government debt is different from personal debt. The difference is that with personal debt, when I die the debt dies with me. With government debt, when I die, the debt rolls over to my children, grandchildren and on into eternity. I can die but the debt never does.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1514, Wikipedia.

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