Friday, April 3, 2015

History: The Year is 1550

I've uploaded year 1550 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Gazette... the First Newspaper -- A gazetta is a small coin which is what the first newspaper sells for. I talk about the scorn placed on Internet news.

Predictably, Nostradamus Writes His First Almanac -- Yes... he makes a few predictions in an almanac and the crowd goes wild! I then talk about what the word "prophesy" really means.

Sweden Falters in it's Foothold on Finland -- Helsinki is founded and then flounders. I talk about government's role in commerce and the Great Boston Molasses Flood.

The Gazette... the First Newspaper

Before this time, the daily or weekly news was distributed via word-of-mouth by eavesdroppers or by royal proclamations posted in the public square. This year, Venetian printers are producing a few sheets of throw-away news that they sell for a small coin called a gazetta. It is worth about a penny and a half. These "penny papers" are scorned because of their low price and ubiquity, yet people buy them like they do modern gossip rags. The idea of printing newspapers filled with important facts will not occur to the printers until the American Civil War when they will notice a dramatic increase in sales whenever they print more-or-less accurate war news such as casualty numbers rather than the usual "Our side is fighting for all that is good and their side is biting off the heads of live puppies." You've heard that riff a million times. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Internet news sites such as the Drudge Report are denigrated because they are not fact-checked, but recent news coverage of the GermanWings plane crash is no better. The so-called professional reporters run with "sources from inside the investigation." That means press releases that wish to change the focus of the news coverage. These 'sources' said that the data recorder was destroyed on impact (a device designed to survive impact with a mountain at high speed... the plane, not the mountain) yet they found a cellphone chip with a video recording that survived. So where is the video? The news media should be treated with the same skepticism that one uses when reading the Enquirer. You know... the guys who uncovered the story of a presidential candidate who was shtup'ing (stuffing) his video photographer while his wife was dying of cancer. The news is shmooze (that is Yiddish for 'idle talk', maybe valuable, maybe not). [7] [8] [9]

Predictably, Nostradamus Writes His First Almanac

Almanacs are becoming popular these days. They are more than a calendar. They point out certain important dates such as when to plant certain crops; what the weather will be like on average in certain areas; when to visit the barbershop for bloodletting (that is why there is a red stripe on the barber pole) and, of course, natural astronomical data so that you can run your horoscope. Michel de Nostredame is a doctor in his 50s who has few patients these days probably due to a few poorly chosen remarks that were seen as bad omens. He has decided to join the crowd and publish an almanac under a new name: Nostradamus. He includes a few predictions for the future. These prophesies instantly catch the interest of the people including a number of very important people. He will include predictions in future almanacs and he is planning several volumes made up exclusively of his predictions of the future. [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The most important thing I can tell you about prophesy I will say right now. The word "prophecy" is a translation of the word from the Hebrew, "navi" (nah-VEE). It means "spokesman" and it is usually used in connection with God. The Prophets of the Bible were people who conveyed messages from God to the people. Generally they were messages of warning of some future disaster if they didn't straighten up. That is why the word "prophecy" carries an implied meaning of predicting the future... but that's not what it means. It simply means... messages or directions given by one person on behalf of another... usually God. Trivia for anime fans: The anime series: Serial Experiments Lain is about a young student, Lain, who receives a text message from her classmate who is already dead. Lain's computer at home is a Navi Computer and through it, she is able to talk to God. The brand name "Navi" is probably a coincidence but interesting.

Sweden Falters in It's Foothold on Finland

The town of Helsinki is established as a trading post by King Gustav the 1st of Sweden to serve as competition with the Hanseatic (hahn-say-ATTIC) League. It won't really work out and the town will bump along for years, trying to figure out what it will become. In 1809, the Russians will spank the Swedes and take Finland away from them. That will be the time when Helsinki really takes off. In the modern day it will be the capital and largest city in Finland.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
King Gustav's health took a bad turn in 1550 so it could be that Helsinki suffered from a good plan suddenly abandoned rather than an ill-conceived plan poorly executed. Nevertheless, history is replete with governments trying to force something that should come naturally... commerce. Even in the modern day we accept as a given that it is the government's responsibility to produce jobs. In fact it is the government's job to get out of the way and only step in as referee when asked to do so or to protect the public from the more obvious dangers such as building a molasses tank in 1919 that suddenly bursts, drowning Boston is a massive flood of goo. They say you can still smell the molasses in the summertime. Let me clue you in, Boston. That smell is not molasses. [13]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1550, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment