Thursday, October 15, 2015

History: The Year is 1662

I've uploaded year 1662 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Act of Uniformity Produces Political Correctness for Religion -- In an attempt to bring Anglican, Puritan and Presbyterians together, the Anglicans create a rift and eject 2,000 clergy from the fold. I talk about the origins of political correctness.

Say Bye-bye to the Dodo Birds... and the Indians -- This year marks the last sighting of the Dodo bird. I talk about how extinction times are calculated and how feral pigs not only destroyed the Dodo bird's food supply but in New England, feral pigs ate the emergency food supply agriculture-based Indians as well. That and other reasons will cause a reduction in the number of Indian tribes that base themselves primarily on agriculture.

The Act of Uniformity Produces Political Correctness for Religion

In an attempt to bring Anglican, Puritan and Presbyterians together, a small conference was convened last year to revise the Common Book of Prayer. While they agreed to the revisions there was dispute about a change to the liturgy so uniformity of observance by negotiation failed. Now there will be uniformity by law. The revised Common Book of Prayer is designated as the official prayerbook. It is mandatory that it be used and all bishops, ministers, deacons and anyone else they can think of, must take an oath to follow this Act of Uniformity. Because of this final demand, 2,000 clergy refuse to take the oath. This is known as "The Great Ejection" as the Anglican Church achieves unexpected uniformity of thought by summarily ejecting all dissenters. Portions of this law will remain in force into the modern day ("modern day" being defined as 2010). [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Political correctness was a term used by socialists in the early 20th century to disparage overly zealous communists who strenuously advocated the straight Communist Party line even when it made them look like asses. But the socialists expected some people to step out of line and their plan to deal with them was public shaming. I'm not saying that all politically correct maniacs are communists, but the general tactic of bringing people into line through social shaming and legal pressure has now become the political correctness the socialists condemned. Socialism has its virtues in small groups (like small churches for example) but as the groups get larger the normal social pressure to conform (which is often helpful to those who WANT to fit into a group) becomes a dictatorial power and then you've created a modern version of the thought police. George Orwell's "1984" and "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess both need updates but it is the natural tendency of government to force the masses to conform. (It makes governing easier... though not always better.) It was true in 1662. It was true in 1920 and it remains true today. [4] [5]

Say Bye-bye to the Dodo Birds... and the Indians

No one has realized it yet but the last sighting of the Dodo Bird occurs this year. (FYI, you can never know when your last sighting will be until you account for the location of every bird.) The Dodo only lives on the island of Mauritius east of Madagascar. The island was largely ignored until 1598 when several Dutch ships lost their way in a storm. They landed on the island to care for their sick and injured. They named it Mauritius after Maurice, the Prince of Orange and colonized the island in 1638. The Dutch East India Company requires a report of everything the sailors find so a description of a large bird with shortened wings is sent back to the home office. They also make some Darwin-like speculations about how a flightless bird that cannot swim could possibly be found in such isolation. The colonists have stocked the island with pigs and goats which are competing for island resources with the Dodo. At some point, (probably 1690 [6]) the last of the species will go extinct. The Dutch will abandon the island by 1701. It is just too difficult to maintain a colony there. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... a good book to read about how scientists can calculate approximately when a species goes belly up is "Dinosaur in a Haystack" by Stephen Jay Gould where the author demonstrates statistically that the dinosaurs were killed off right around the time that a big asteroid hit the planet. (Some people had suggested that the dinosaurs had been dying off well before that time.) To prove his case, all he had to do was to find one particular dinosaur bone at one specific layer in the strata... somewhere on the frickin' planet. It is a beautiful demonstration of logic and perseverance. (Spoiler alert! He finds it.) Regarding the Dodo bird's competition for resources on the island, some scientists suggest that the Dodo bird had already suffered a catastrophic reduction in population prior to the arrival of man, probably due to a storm, but feral pigs were a real environmental problem. In 1662 in Virginia and New England, feral pigs were eating the "natural" roots that the Indians would use as an emergency food supply if their "natural" crops failed. Thus their "natural" agricultural system was slowly collapsing while the European mono-crop system was prevailing. Feral pigs were one of the reasons that America looked a lot like Europe by the 1700s. [10] [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1662, Wikipedia.

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