A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for January 2003

That, or the gay one

Nihilist Bear
Nihilist Bear

Which Dysfunctional Care Bear Are You?
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Written by Randy McDonald

January 31, 2003 at 3:00 pm

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Honours English Introduction

Gentle readers of my livejournal, below is the next-to-final version of my Honours English thesis’ introduction. It runs to eight pages in WordPerfect 8.0, in all, doublespaced.

Read me!

Written by Randy McDonald

January 31, 2003 at 9:52 am

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[Academia] Updates

The day was done without undue problems. The only fault was that I needed to borrow money from Dr. MacLaine for the printer. Everything else–the Freud.Marx comparative test in historiography, the ENG 493 papers, everything–went well.

  • I heard back from Dr. Srebrnik–he’ll be taking a look at my paper on Poland and the kresy sometime next week, at the latest. I’d really like to do something with the paper.
  • My Honours essay went quite well, with only minor changes suggested. The next segment I’ll submit will be the Ringuet element, this coming Thursday at 9 am. I’ll post the intro tomorrow.
  • In the meantime, I left a paper copy at Dr. Moran’s door, so he can take a look at it and tell me if I’m hopelessly off-track.

Well, that’s it. I’m quite tired–slept most of the evening, still sleep–so to bed must I proceed.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 31, 2003 at 12:03 am

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International Law in the Making

From The Telegraph:

Namibian tribe sues Germany for genocide

By Christopher Munnion in Johannesburg

(Filed: 31/01/2003)

A Namibian tribe that came close to being exterminated by Germany’s colonial forces nearly a century ago is suing the German government and two companies for £2.6 billion.

Germany had colonised the territory of South West Africa, a parched, sprawling land made up largely of two deserts and rocks, in 1884, encouraging white settlers to farm the hinterland. The colonial authority was taken by surprise when the Herero tribespeople rose in revolt against the seizure of their land.

After white settlers were attacked and killed, Kaiser Wilhelm sent an army under Gen Lothar von Trotha to suppress the rebellion. Von Trotha, a man with a reputation for ruthless efficiency, issued an order demanding that “every Herero, whether found armed or unarmed, with or without cattle, will be shot”.

In the following three years, German forces slaughtered 65,000 Herero men, women and children, sending remnants of the tribe into the depths of the Kalahari desert.

Supporters of the Herero people claim that Von Trotha’s attempted extermination of the Herero people set the pattern for the Holocaust in Nazi Germany 40 years later.

The Herero massacre has weighed heavily on the conscience of latter-day German governments.

Despite the fact that Germany was forced by Allied troops to cede the territory in 1915, leaving it eventually under the rule of apartheid South Africa until its independence as Namibia in 1990, Germany has remained the largest single investor in the country and provides billions in financial, technical and medical assistance to the government.

When Roman Herzog, then German president, visited the country in 1998 he pledged that Germany would “live up to its historical responsibility” towards Namibia, but said the Hereros had no case for compensation because international laws on the protection of the civilian population did not exist at the time of the conflict.

Many of the enormous ranches and farms in Nambia today are owned by German-speaking descendants of early settlers or German expatriates.

President Sam Nujoma, Africa’s strongest supporter of President Robert Mugabe’s “land reform programme” in Zimbabwe, has threatened to follow a similar programme of land seizure.

There are no more than 100,000 Hereros and related tribespeople left, scattered throughout south-western Africa, but human rights activists and lawyers have taken up their case and helped to form the Herero People’s Reparation Corporation, that is now launching the lawsuit against the German government and, in a separate case, against the two companies.

Herero paramount chief Kuaima Riruako said he expected the cases to be heard at American courts within two months. He and his lawyers have evoked comparisons with Nazi Germany in papers filed with the courts.

The legal claim for German reparations to the Herero Nation [2002] – University of Dayton School of Law
The Herero holocaust? The disputed history of the 1904 genocide – Namiweb

Written by Randy McDonald

January 30, 2003 at 11:27 pm

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Demographic Change in Moscow

“Moscow’s face is getting darker”
The Moscow Times
Wednesday, January 29, 2003

By Nabi Abdullaev

If existing demographic trends continue, in two generations most Muscovites will have olive skin, dark hair and extended families in the Caucasus and Central Asia, according to a leading institute.

The main reasons for the imminent change to the city’s face is that ethnic Russians do not have as many babies as their darker-skinned counterparts and, to lesser extent, the growing number of non-Slavic migrants moving to Moscow, they say.

According to the calculations of the Institute of General Genetics, the ratio between Moscow residents who traditionally practice Christianity and those who profess Islam was 37 to 1 in 1994. In 2000, the ratio had narrowed to 32 to 1, and by 2025 it is expected to shrink to 6 to 1.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2003 at 10:48 pm

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[Academia] Honours Essay

I had a nice chat with Dr. James Moran today. He’s my Canadian History instructor–he taught 101 in the fall Semester,and he’s teaching 102 in the winter semester–and he knows me from that class. I’d had a brief talk with him about by Honours English essay. (I’d chosen to talk with him because he’s interested in Canadian social history.) I asked him if I could send a copy of my introduction to him, to see if it made sense; he agreed, and volunteered his services to serve as a reader; I might just take him up on that, or figure some way to integrate him.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2003 at 10:27 pm

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Languages of Two Oikoumenês

Oikoumenê: Term from the Greek, referring to the sum total of Classical civilization, broadly defined as the area incorporated in the sphere of the Roman Empire. The Oikoumenê is an integrated economic and political space marked by the presence of a common culture. Let’s say that early 21st century Earth, Western-dominated as it is, is also an Oikoumenê.

Latin = English

  • The dominant languages of the two Oikoumenês. Both languages were originally spoken by populations at the far fringes of the civilized world–Latin in central Italy amid savage Italic-speaking tribes and incorporated at the margins of the Etruscan sphere, English on the island of Britain. The two languages rapidly expanded only as a result of imperial acquisitions, of grand efforts at colonization in their immediate hinterlands (Italy; Ireland) and then by a maritime-driven expansion initially linked to trade then by colonization and assimilation (Iberia, Africa and Gaul; North America and Australasia). From these greatly expanded territories, the future hegemonic languages of the Oikoumenê were then spread throughout the old colonized world by imperial conquest, trade, and migration.

Greek = French, Spanish, German

  • These four languages were the old linguae franca of the civilized world, but were marginalized by the rapid expansion of their contemporary linguistic hegemons. Nonetheless, in the areas of the world that they influenced–Latin America, West Africa, the Hellenistic sphere in the east, central Europe, Sicily–they remain languages of note, entirely competitive in their limited domains with the Oikoumenê‘s dominant language.

Egyptian/Coptic = Italian, Polish, Portuguese

  • These four languages might have large numbers of speakers, but for all intents and purposes their are limited exclusively to the lands where these languages originally developed, with perhaps one or two outliers. They are associated with the Oikoumenê‘s semiperiphery, with labour- and population-exporting areas, and generally politically subordinate to the core.

Yes, it’s a bit of an ethnocentric comparison. Still, there’s some points of interest.

(Thanks to the various–first James B., then ebeloic and taem.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2003 at 10:13 pm

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I got on the phone to Dalhousie’s Registrar’s Office, and I was able to get the pyament put through. Which means things are no longer a concern: The 40 dollar fee of Memorial is small, I’ve plenty of margin, and so on.

But. Now I have to buy office supplies for ENG 493, the portfolio. I’ve just spent 35 dollars at Premium Office supplies for some of the stuff I need.

I’m beginning to undeerstand what it means to be financially straitened.

Oy gevalt.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2003 at 1:00 pm

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A Proposed RPG Character

Procor is a densely-populated world shaped profoundly by its geography. The planet has flipped, over the past few hundred million years, between periods of intense volcanic activity and periods of quiescence, while the world’s rapid rotation (the day is 19 hours long) and occasional asteroidal bombardments (from the Procor planetary system’s dense asteroidal and cometary belts) has ensured rapid erosion. In the Northern Hemisphere, there are three continents and a dozen major archipelagoes, with no point being more than two kilometres high, separated by shallow seas. This and a generally temperate climate has helped Lomax become one of the more populous worlds in the RFW–more than 20 billion people live on Procor, including 17 billion in the Northern Hemisphere. With this dense population comes a thriving economy.

Conditions in the Southern Continent are rather different.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2003 at 12:38 am

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Things Catching Up

For English 493, I have to buy at least 40 dollars worth of supplies (possibly 60 or 70, Andrew would know). Oh, I have to work on a couple of essays to submit Thursday, and read three longish articles.
For my Honours, I have to update a next-to-final draft of my Honours introduction for Thursday at 1:30 with MacLaine.
And, best of all, when I got an E-mail from Dalhousie telling me that

[w]e received your application form today and tried to process your application, your Credit Card was declined, please reply with another method of payment.

A definition:

“Meep”: The sound that small furry animals make, in mixed fear and resignation, when they are cornered by large carnivorous animals with plenty of sharp teeth.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2003 at 12:08 am

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