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Friday, 7 November 2014


I noticed this morning that when I typed in the address of this blog, a phishing site appeared. I can still get on it via a googel search, but I'm concerned that some visitors won't be able to get on the usual way.

I don't know what to do about this, but suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

An End to Anonymity?

For the past decade, this blog has allowed The White Man to unleash his creative urges in an atmosphere of anonymity. This has been important for a number of reasons, but as time goes by they are all becoming less significant. My readers have probably noticed that I post here less and less, the reason being that my writings are more and more being read under my own name, and the time is soon coming when the benefits of anonymity will diminish past the point of usefulness.

Even my very first post continues to draw in several readers a week, and it will probably be years before what I write in my own name reaches as many as the 50,000 plus unique visitors to this blog, so it will stay up indefinitely--but I won't be contributing very often. I promised earlier to write at least every three months, and that won't be very hard to keep, but don't expect more than about one post a month for the foreseeable future; the need for anonymity will never go away altogether. I will, however, continue to monitor traffic to this blog, and make any updates as needed to ensure that what's on here never misinforms my ongoing readership.

At some point the person behind this blog may see fit to disclose his identity to the world, but don't count on it; what I wrote here stands regardless of who wrote it.

Finally, I want to thank all of my readers, commenters, and followers. You have helped to shape me into the writer that I have become.

Oh, one last thing, while I'm still anonymous--John Brockhoeft Sr, I recently discerned the sort of warfare you're involved in these days, and I have to say I'm very impressed. Keep it up, and may your tribe increase!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Polygamy--a result of slavery?

Foreign Policy has released an article that shows a correlation between tribes on the West Coast of Africa which contributed males to the transatlantic slave trade, and tribes which practice polygyny today. The implication is that the slave trade freed up a surplus of virgins, who were graciously taken in by the remaining men.

Like so many studies, this one failed to ask the question, what caused which?

Polygyny was already a factor during the slave era--and the authors admit this. But what they don't envision is that a conquering tribe would have retained the captured women of the conquered tribe, whilst selling the men as slaves. This scenario turns the whole theory on its head: the sexual disparity in the slave population was not a cause of polygyny, but a result of it.

West African slaves were mostly sent to the New World, where buyers strongly preferred men capable of performing backbreaking tasks on plantations. By contrast, buyers in slave trades centered on the Indian Ocean and Red Sea were often looking for women who could work as domestic servants or concubines.
Record-keeping by European slave traders shows a consistent pattern, Dalton and Leung found: Between 1545 and 1864, 66.4 percent of slaves sent to North America and the Caribbean from present-day Senegal and Gambia were men, as were 66.6 percent sent from Sierra Leone, 65.4 percent from the Gold Coast (now Ghana), and 65.4 percent from the Windward Coast (now Ivory Coast). Going a step further, Dalton and Leung looked at data on the slaves taken from specific ethnic groups and compared it with the percentage of women in those groups who today share husbands with other wives. (They controlled for factors such as education level and religion.) The researchers found that groups hit heavily by trans-Atlantic slavery were significantly more likely to have a high percentage of polygynous marriages.
Now, taking my approach, we see that polygyny in East Africa may have been stifled by a lack of women, the surplus of that sex having been depleted rather than augmented by the slave trade. So if anything was a result of slavery in Africa, it was monogamy. What native culture could not manage to effect--the suppression of polygyny--the outside force of slavery could.

As the Western world slides ever further away from monogamy, we wonder what it will take to reverse that slide, and from where such a powerful force may come.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Life is pretty frustrating if you're an Iranian nuclear scientist

Another mysterious explosion has leveled a building at an Iranian nuclear research site.
Before and after satellite photos here.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Another look at Sarah's three measures of flour

Traffic has been pretty steady lately to this post on Sarah's gigantic tortilla recipe. I already updated it several times, so it's time for a new post on the topic.

Why, one may ask, would Sarah make up such a huge batch of pita bread? Well, it's time to take a new look at the scene in Genesis 18. And please, forget every movie clip you've seen of it, which probably had no more than five actors, including all the extras.

Abraham was a chieftain with a considerable retinue. Note that he had a young man butcher the calf that he selected; he did not leave his visitors hanging for hours whilst he prepared their meal. Neither, are we to suppose, that Sarah ground the three measures of flour herself. She remained in the tent not because her help was needed to make the tortillas, but because women didn't insert themselves into a conversation between men. That she listened in all the same indicates that she wasn't bent over a loudly grinding set of millstones, but rather had her ear pressed to the side of the tent, where her laughter could be heard.

So, given the number of staff that was necessary even to prepare the meal, it makes sense that a large amount would be prepared--way more than Abraham's three guests could consume--with the remainder, once the choicest cuts were shared with the guests, made available to the staff. Three measures of flour would make no more tortillas than a retinue the size of Abraham's could be expected to consume.