Friday, June 5, 2015

History: The Year is 1589

I've uploaded year 1589 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Reverend Introduces a (nearly) Open Source Machine -- Knitted stockings are all the rage so a reverend invents a machine that knits socks. His patent is rejected because it will cause the loss of jobs. He will win acceptance because he will sell his machines overseas rather than try to use the machines exclusively.

The Werewolf of Bedburg and Preserving One's Humanity -- Another guy is burned for being a mass murderer. He is a farmer who may have started by hurting animals. I talk about the importance of rules for killing farm animals for food and the rules for hunting.

Henry Kills Henry, then Henry is Killed in Turn so Henry Takes the Throne -- The War of the Three Henrys keeps France busy killing each other.

The Reverend Introduces a (nearly) Open Source Machine

Ladies knitted stockings are all the rage so the English poor have set their hands to knitting. Vocational schools have opened to teach this valuable skill. In the midst of this flurry of activity, the Reverend William Lee invents a knitting machine. He believes it will make him money and gain the love of his lady fair. To protect his business interests he seeks a patent from Queen Elizabeth the 1st, but if she grants a patent she believes that she will put a lot of people out of work. Request denied! Over the next few years the Reverend will make improvements to his invention and in 1612 he will receive a patent from the King of France. He moves his operation to France and will train French apprentices. He will also sell his knitting machines. His design will be in use for the next 200 years. Elements of his design will remain in use into the modern day. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Reverend is not just selling stockings. HE IS SELLING HIS KNITTING MACHINES! It is difficult to exaggerate the monumental impact this will have on the industry. A patent protects an inventor from having his ideas stolen, but it also creates a bottleneck. If the inventor is under-capitalized his factory output will be limited. By selling his knitting machines, the Reverend created competition but also gained the support of people who would otherwise be his enemies... like any knitters who might "accidentally" set fire to his factory. The best knitters could buy his machine to increase their production and offer suggestions for improvements to his machine. The most productive people make out well and society benefits from the spread of knowledge. It's not quite "open source" but selling those knitting machines took more genius than actually inventing the darn things. (Was that a pun?) Alex Shrugged notes: I'm grateful to authors: Eric Flint and Gorg Huff for exploring what might happen when a fundamentally good idea is introduced to an industry that is fully invested in doing it "the old way". A modern example is the reaction of American gun manufacturers when the Glock was introduced to the public by an Austrian man whose only prior experience was making curtain rods. [8] [9]

The Werewolf of Bedburg and Preserving One's Humanity

The Sewer War is over. (It's called the Sewer War because a castle was taken by soldiers gaining entrance by crawling through the crapper.) But the people remain on edge. The farmers find heaps of animal entrails and meat left to rot in the fields. Now several young girls and two women have been found dead. One of the women has her heart ripped out. The farmers suspect a werewolf and corner a farmer named Peter Stump. They threaten him with torture so he confesses to the murders. He also confesses to various sex crimes including sex with his own daughter. He says that Satan gave him a belt that would turn him into a wolf. That was enough for the mob. He was tied to a wagon wheel, his limbs broken, his head lopped off and then he was burned to ashes along with the bodies of his wife and daughter who had been strangled beforehand. The Werewolf of Bedburg remains a curiosity into the modern day, with a mention in the cartoon movie, "Big Top Scooby-Doo!". [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Did he do it? No telling. The one documented source appears reasonable... other than they are assuming that werewolves exist and that Satan hands out belts like he was the president of the World Wrestling Federation. There are some sick people who enjoy torturing animals. That is why we have strict standards for the slaughtering of animals. No fooling around. It has to be quick and reasonably painless. These rules protect our souls as much as they protect the animals. And hunting is mostly done for herd control so that the animals don't suffer. Too many animals in the wild means not enough food for the winter and thus animals will suffer unless someone shoots a few of them. The rangers make a count of the herd, figure the bag limit and issue hunting licenses accordingly. These rules for killing are a discipline that keep us from becoming animals ourselves.

Henry Kills Henry, then Henry is Killed in Turn so Henry Takes the Throne

In the "War of the Three Henrys," King Henry of France has been winning battles against the Huguenots led by Henry of Naverre who happens to be a Protestant and the heir to the throne of France should King Henry die... like in one of these battles for example. Henry, the Duke of Guise who is head of the Catholic League demands that King Henry annul the heir apparent before something terrible happens to the King. Actually, the Duke wouldn't mind something terrible happening to the King, but if it does, the Duke wants to be king and not the Protestant Henry. Since the King is more fearful of the Duke than he is of the Huguenots, King Henry has the Duke assassinated. (Don't feel too sorry for the Duke. He was going to have the King assassinated.) Then a Catholic monk appears at court with a secret message for the King. Such messages are common so he approaches the throne as the King's guards step back to give them privacy. The messenger then stabs the King with a dagger. The messenger is killed on the spot. The King dies the next morning. Henry of Navarre becomes King Henry the 4th of France... exactly what was NOT supposed to happen. [17] [18]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
If you can believe it, this entire mess was orchestrated by the King of Spain who was fighting for Catholicism but wanted France occupied in a civil war so that he could quell the rebellion in the Netherlands without interference. The loss of a third of the Spanish Armada made the King of Spain vulnerable. King Henry the 4th was a Protestant but he got so much flack for it as King that after a few years he repudiated his Calvinism in order to rule France.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1589, Wikipedia.

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