Hanging with History

Episode 42: A Deeper Look at Stuart Rule. Social and Economic

We look at economic and social progress and some of its obstacles, mainly self-inflicted obstacles.  A Joseph Ardennes episode.  We discuss new industries and coal.  Newcastle is the new Peru.  The limited rights of the poor within a context where even small farmers had a lot of rights under common law, but the necessity of paying for lawyers meant that these rights were not always available.  The Cocaine affair is covered, which leads to a depression arising from reckless government policy.  We go with Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione into the Forest of Dean, where Reverend Simon Peter preaches the equality of man.

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Episode 41: James Stuart; The Mildest Monarch

The narrative takes us to James' death.  But first James attempts to hear cases like Daenerys Stormborn, knights cuts of beef, gives knighthoods to those who don’t want them and fines those who refuse them, raises money through forced “donations,”  commits a classic diplomatic blunder  and allows the craziest of royal marriage proposals. The farcical pattern in the Stuart monarchy is developed, as prelude to the tragedies to follow in Episode 42. Charles and Buckingham’s romantic, antic, incognito trip to Madrid is covered in some detail as the subsequent switch from a peace policy to a war policy seemed to be largely based upon this as shallow and trivial as that sounds.

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Episode 40: James Stuart I; the Wisest Fool

James Stuart VI of Scotland becomes James I of England after the death of Elizabeth.  The causes  of English Civil War and some of the ways the Stuart kings may have contributed to that upheaval.  Mainly a narrative history of James I reign in England, including his  “rescue” of Anne of Denmark and the witches that caused the disaster.  The poisoning of Thomas Overbury, the legally established virginity of Francis Howard are also explored.  We end with George Villiers running the government. In a more serious segment we explore Puritan psychology, an advanced mode of thought for the 17th century, one that explains a lot of their later success.

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Episode 38 and 39: The Birth of Science Part I and II

Thee beginning of the concept of discovery as a deliberate activity kicked off by the voyages of discovery, the birth of science through the Copernican Revolution to Newton and the Principia.  Early scientists in Catholic countries during the Counter Reformation faced great difficulties, not limited to the threat of being burned alive. This episode covers Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, William Harvey, Gibson,  and Kepler.  We get about halfway through Galileo, whose difficulties were much greater due to the interest of the Inquisition and his prosecution.   Galileo's prosecutor became a saint.

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Episode 37: Early Modern Economic Fallacies Concluded

Early Modern Economic Fallacies
1.  The Apples of Caernarvon:  Goods have intrinsic value determined by intuition.  This is one of the most difficult for modern people to understand.  We examine the idea that market prices are a kind of artificial intelligence.
2.  The balance of our treasure is determined by the balance of foreign trade.  Thomas Mun's 1620 essay is examined for what he got wrong and also the interesting things he got right.
3.  Middlemen are like parasites and vampires.  Perhaps the people in government who held this notion were having a look in the mirror experience.
4.  Monopolies are a good idea.
5 and 6 Regulation and taxation are like demons we are fated to contend with for all time.

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Episode 36: Apples of Caernarvon. Early Modern Economic Fallacies Part 1

The Apples of Caernarvon Fallacy is the first of 4 covered this episode.
1.  The Apples of Caernarvon:  Goods have intrinsic value determined by intuition.
2.  The balance of our treasure is determined by the balance of foreign trade.
3.  Middlemen are like parasites and vampires.
4.  Monopolies are a good idea.

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Episode 35: A Society that Can Pass the Marshmallow Test. Elizabeth Part VII

How did new Industries develop to allow Tudor England to catch up to the continent and later surpass it?  The Marshmallow Test provides framing for a discussion of cultural evolution in England.  England becomes a society able to pass the Marshmallow Test as sexual selection operates differently at this time.  Geographic mobility, local levels of high trust that allow for credit transactions allow for Prosperity.  How stocking knitting and blue dye supported growth on both sides of the MV=PY equation.  Relative prosperity increases and a small scale consumer economy begins and everyone has warm feet.

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Episode 34: Satan, Salvation and Atheism; Elizabethan Era Part VI

Calvinist ideas of salvation, what does it mean to be Elect and what were some of the weird things that Jesus said.  Harald puts forward a notion that Calvinists bring atheism within the grasp of the mediocre, though Reindeer75 disputes the notion.  A few of the radical Puritans overplay their hands and they are defeated, for a time.  The fact that they make good use of their time is suggested as a factor in their eventual triumph in the 17th century.

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Episode 33: Grand Strategy; Elizabethan Era Part V; Win the Existential War

Grand Strategy in Elizabeth’s war with Spain.  Spain attacks on Brittany, while France is still divided by Civil War.  “Paris is worth a mass”, says Henry of Navarre, wrapping up a long series of brutal civil wars.  Elizabeth successfully intervenes in Brittainy, Martin Frobisher forces the Spanish to surrender. The strategic import of Brest and the Spanish raids on Cornwall. The final Spanish Armada, the attack on Ireland and its failures.  The institutional leads the Spanish and French have over the British work out to be a long term disadvantage.

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Episode 32: The Revenge; The Elizabethan Era Part 4; Thermopylae or Agincourt?

The conclusion of the Pirate Arc.  4th of the Elizabethan era.  Thermopylae or Agincourt? The Revenge captained by Grenville.  A legendary charge at 55:1 odds that ended with 10 Spanish ships sunk. Spanish attrition increased from 1 loss in 10 voyages to 1 in 4.   Newport’s 1591 voyage against the Mexican treasure fleet is covered then we wrap up with a discussion of the pilfering of the Madre De Deus.

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Episode 31: Francis Drake is Aragorn; Elizabethan Age Part 3

The 2nd of the 3 episode Pirate arc.  The Bygdøy episode. We cover 3 pirate voyages.  Drakes 1585 expedition to the New World, Drakes 1587 raid on Cadiz and its effects on the Armada and George Clifford’s raid on the Azores in 1589.  Pirates are inherently interesting, but the point of this arc along with Episode 15 is to explain the English self conception, how it was reinforced and how it will help Elizabeth in her struggles with the Puritans in Episode 34.

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Episode 30: Francis Drake; Elizabethan Era Part 2, Pirates and Witches

The first of 3 pirate episodes.  The greatest of Elizabeth’s Sea Dogs was Francis Drake, we cover two of his voyages this episode.  But what was Francis Drake really?  We also cover witch burning in England and ask why was it so mild compared to on the continent.  And what does it signify?  Does it help explain the Miracle?  And a little Australian history also.

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Episode 28: Bloody Mary; Memetic Failure; Reformation in England Part V

Mary’s efforts to restore the Catholic faith backfire. Protestantism gains strength, and anti-Spanish feeling grows.  We explore 3 characteristic failures with the greatest being that time when Cranmer foxed the regime with the help of a divinely sent comet. Also, the shared goals of Protestants and Catholics to get closer to God and some of the impact of Spain’s policies.

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Episode 29: Is RNA part of a Turing Complete Computer; Elizabethan Era Part 1

The Elizabethan era.  The Saltsrømmen episode.  Current ideas around Bostorm’s Simulation hypothesis and using RNA for computation are compared to the Elizabethan religious settlement.  Papal mercenaries invading Ireland,  Elizabethan concerns for the poor and terror of the poor.   Elizabethan economics; monopolies, inflation, unemployment, underemployment and the challenges of getting industries started without free markets. RNA, the changing social scene, the irony that increasing literacy makes poverty more immediate to us even as poverty is being reduced, Pascal’s Wager in the context of the English justice system, why were judges so reluctant to impose the death penalty for death penalty offenses?

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Episode 27: Bloody Mary, the Dead are Here; Reformation in England Part IV

Mary Tudor and the dead are our subjects.  Mary’s history and how history has looked at Mary, the cold logic of monarchical power and dynasty.  The consequences of her marriage to Phillip.  Mary, despite getting her way in many details, accomplished the opposite of her political and religious aims, the law of unintended consequences in action.  With the dead we explore the medieval church’s attitude to the dead during worship.   The end of this belief in magic is very helpful, possibly, to people on the spectrum who will then go on to give us science.

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Episode 26: Henry VIII Part 3; Anne Boleyn Must Die; Reformation in England

Henry’s romantic misadventures. The execution of Cromwell sheds light on the pattern of Royal executions.  Henry’s later advisors debase the currency and get into wars with both France and Scotland.  Cromwell’s contribution to the Reformation in England.  The English bible, the printing industry,  Mary’s threat to the Reformation. Literacy levels to divine intervention, the dangers of life at Court to a clarification about Mary’s burnings for Heresy as opposed to normal regime change type political murdering.

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Episode 25: Henry VIII The Reformation in England: Part 2; Too Many Threads

Cromwell’s Act of Supremacy.  A minimally murdery Reformation.  Parliament makes Henry head of the Church of England and the clergy goes along with it.  Cromwell begins dissolving the monasteries through a thorough legal process with pensions for the ex-monks.  Along the way the crown is enriched.   With Camie we look at the 3 main phases of monastery dissolution and emphasize how different Britain was as their Reformation was minimally murdery.

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Episode 24: Henry VIII The Reformation in England: Part 1

The first of a 5 episode arc.  The Reformation is dominated by Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell.  Narrative on Henry’s first marriage, the arguments made to the Pope in his quest for an annulment.  The argument here is that the entire approach was hopeless because the person who decided was really Charles V.  Henry’s minister  Wolsey must have known this and his failure lead to his downfall.   Enter Thomas Cromwell, we hear his fascinating background, his capacities, and the first hint of his plan to solve Henry’s 4 problems.  Power.  Money.  Royal Succession.  His Love for Anne.

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Episode 23: Drown the Anabaptists! Reformation in Germany Part 2: Revolting Peasants

The example of astrology as a belief of educated people in the 16th century. Extended coverage of the Peasant’s Revolt, the largest until Bolshevik times.  The Reformation begins to spread but is limited by reaction to the Peasant’s Revolt.  The Anabaptist attempt to create a paradise in Munster.  Their failure is widely misunderstood as a religious failure, but the reaction to it across Europe and the continent has consequences we still feel today.

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Episode 22: Martin Luther: Reformation in Germany Part 1: They didn't have a prayer

With the help of Kurt Gödel via Scott Aaronson we examine Purgatory and the related prayer industry.  How can we understand a prayer industry?  This leads to indulgences. The great weakness, the great mistake of the church.  The conflict between Martin Luther and Tetzl.  Grace vs Authority.  Roberto Calasso and Augustine.  The Diet of Worms.

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Episode 21: Introduction to the Reformation: Henry V vs Stirner

Introduction to an introduction to the Reformation. A little about the widespread understanding of corruption in the church.  The P=NP hard problem of history, individual choices or broad social movements.  How much freedom do singular persons like Henry V, Henry VIII and Napoleon have to make the choices that affect history?  Harald presents the theory that Christianity has a built in advantage when it comes to dealing with the truth that successful institutions quickly begin to fail.  Camie hints that we may have a lot of Shakespeare and Milton in our future.

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Episode 20: Agricultural Revolution Concluded: Crop Rotation

The Agricultural Revolution arc concludes with a discussion of crop rotation.  We take some time to credit the Catholic kingdoms for their contribution to the miracle. Was the rivalry between England and France essential to progress?  The history of crop rotation, the Norfolk four course system (wheat, turnips, barley, clover), Charles Townsend’s role in popularizing.  The dominance of grass based grains on earth might mislead aliens trying to make sense of the earth, or is it we, the domesticated semi-intelligent apes who tend the grasses who are misled?  Conversation with Camie goes a little behind the scenes.

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Episode 18: The Dreaded Agricultural Revolution and Engineering

The first of a 3 episode arc on the Agricultural Revolution.  Yes, this is the Jethro Tull episode. The focus is on engineering and the early inventions often associated with the Agricultural Revolution – the wrong ones.  Then we turn to the Dutch and their development of efficient water transport which allowed for a much larger hinterland to support growing cities.  This development is as much social as it is engineering and finance, and the social part is still mysterious to historians.

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Episode 17: Charity and Kindness

Tudor England, the Parish, British and Dutch elites, village life in England. Tensions between freedom and responsibility and predictability within a nuclear family context.

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Episode 16: The Problem of Evil and the Wizard of San Diego.

Dutch industry and agriculture vs the rest of Europe. Basics of comparative advantage, futures markets, Pareto improvement and protectionism. Coordination problems, Dutch water management and the price mechanism.  Dutch success raises the awkward corollary of the failure of others. Tudor England does not have free markets.  Adam and Eve and hard limits.  Artificial intelligence.

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Episode 15: The Spanish Armada vs God's Chosen People.

The Spanish Armada was a consequence of the Dutch war with Spain. The importance of the defeat of the Armada to the Battle of Jutland.  Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and William Haller’s Elect Nation. The effect of slave raiding by the Moors.

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Episode 14: Dutch Independence When Irresistible Force meets Immovable Object

The Dutch are special part 2.  The 80 years war.  Dutch Independence.  Sea Beggars and Maurice of Nassau. The Duke of Alba and his Blood Court, the Inquisition, the Spanish Fury and the sacking of Antwerp all get a look in this background episode. Themes of radicals rising to influence during unsettled times, taxation, money and war and the importance of tolerance to a commercial society and the determination of the Counter Reformation to put a sword through the idea of tolerance.

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Episode 13: Weaving, Athena and the Norns, Metis

The Dutch are special introduction. Flanders and the Netherlands. Clothing manufacture led to trade.  The Mother Trade and the technological marvels that made it possible broke the Hanseatic monopoly and broke the old Malthusian limits on the Netherlands.  Control of the Netherlands passes from the Burgundian royal house to Hapsburg Spain.

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Episode 10: Magna Carta, but fun.

Magna Carta, a unique document that is one of England's many great gifts to the world.  Magna Carta is, or is a marker for, one of the greatest innovations in world history.  It, like Modus Tennedi Parliamentum, rests upon a common delusion.  It's great success was based on failure.  Is this a Doctor Who episode or is it history?

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Episode 9- 1066: Legacy of Forkbeard

We cover the history of Canute the Great and the year 1066.  Was it an Annus Horribilus or something necessary for the Miracle?  William the Bastard should maybe be called William the Beautiful.  We boost linguisteducatorexchange.com and gently tease our Danish friends for their spoken language.  The bonus content with Camie covers the surprising accuracy of the sagas.

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Episode 8: The Greatness of Forkbeard

England is special, we explore another reason why.  The story of Forkbeard's rapid conquest of England is complete.  And he dies 5 weeks later.  Along the way we cover Thorkell's invasion and his short lived service of the Saxons.  There is a digression on modern Scandinavia and the term "hard socialism" is introduced; we hear the verdict of history.  The relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Princess Mononoke to early 11th century Britain is covered in the proper depth.

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Episode 7: Tyr is Beren or Rich Vikings- They showed me the money

Exponential growth and how it matters to the development of markets for English manufacturing in the 18th century. The Vikings in the Danelaw are settling down and spreading out. Politics ensue.  The beginning phases of the 2nd Viking conquest of England, and the legendary life of Olav Tryggvason. After Olav's death Forkbeard is secure enough to go for it in England.  His success drives taxation in England.

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Episode 6: The Sons of Ragnar in England

Vikings conquer 3 English kingdoms and settle down.  They just seem unstoppable, until they decide to stop.  The Danelaw is established with long term consequences for the history of England, the English language and the legal system.  The Challenges of determining exactly how much influence on the development of Middle English came from Old Norse is explored.  What were the viking settlements like and how were they established.

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Episode 5: Thor's Hammer and Fork

Discussion of the Viking Raids in England, France and Frisia before the Great Heathen Army period.  Charlemagne, Alcuin and and other European reactions, the founding of Normandy.  With digressions on the St. Brice's Day massacre and the great Forkbeard.
The Vikings conquered England?

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Episode 4: Odin's Eyes

The first of the Britain is special episodes and also the first in a 6 episode arc on Vikings. Pelagius and the Joseph of Arimathia legend.  England catches the worst case of Vikings in the world. A personal look at a young viking.  What's it like at home for him?   Why is he interested in going raiding?  Blood feuds, Tolkien's in depth look at blood feuds in the Finn and Hengst section of the Beowulf poem.  Were vikings just traders?  No.  Norman mercenaries conquering Sicily and southern Italy after being hired on as mercenaries by Lombard lords.

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Episode 3: The Farmers, no really this time

The good and the bad and the very bad of settled agriculture.  A little Aristotle, the great anthropologists, and their views of family structure and how that interacts with Christianity.  The Greco-Roman legal context of the early AD period. How women and widows powered the early growth of the church,  amd unusual, weird features of Christianity and how those features contributed to early growth. Innovations in monogamy, exogamous families, the end of exposing children, and female consent to marriage.

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Episode 2: The Farmers, err the Vikings

What made Britain so special?   Why was it the source of the Miracle?  A brief list of what made England special with a digression about Charles I, the Republican period, Cromwell and more Stupidity Smart People Commit.  Another about the Anabaptists and their role in the American Revolution.  Religion and Literacy.  Ending with a discussion of a special cognitive error smart people are particularly vulnerable to, with reference to Sabine Hossenfelder.

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Episode 1: The Miracle that Happened that One Time.

The Industrial Revolution was a miracle.  We explore the concept of a miracle through Tolkien's made up word eucatastrophe and give an example from the Lord of the Rings.  Was it a mistake to leave the paleolithic hunter gatherer lifestyle?

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