We may never fully fathom other cultures, so claims this Nautilus essay. To bolster its case it presents Friar Sahagun’s ethnography of the Mexica civilization. It’s gruesome and bloody, with lurid tales of a mountain of human sacrifice. But it’s also part of a strange culture with a hierarchy of nobility that the article equates to upper crust England.
St. Augustine on BBC In Our Time.
A capsule summary of the exciting life of Claire Boothe Luce, wife of Henry Luce, who provided the funds for Silliman University’s Luce Auditorium.
Is the gun the basis of Anglo civilization? Provocative question from Aeon.
Rather than a handbook for tyrants, Machiavelli wrote The Prince as an ironical work, according to political scientist Erica Benner. Machiavelli was an ardent Republican during the time of the Medicis, de facto rulers of Florence, when the swing towards monarchy was strong. Read this way, The Prince can be seen as a cautionary work into the workings of tyranny and how best to recognize and fight it.
The Berlin Wall has been down for as long as it was up. Twenty-eight years, two months, and twenty-six days. What a world it was, what a world it’s been.
Ted Nelson is designer of Project Xanadu, a conceptual precursor to the World Wide Web. He invented the term ‘hypertext’.
Archaeologists are using forensic software developed in the cold war to decode Leibniz’s notebooks. Leibniz, if you recall, independently developed calculus. Since paper was expensive during his time, his notebooks were crammed with a mishmash of information from various subjects, often overlapping on the same page.
Via BigThink: salmonella from Europe may have killed the Aztecs. This is based on DNA analysis on Aztec remains. The salmonella may have been carried over via livestock. The end result would not have been pretty. Salmonella can cause enteric fever, which leads to high fever and bleeding from the nose, eyes, and mouth. The death toll was 15 million.