Re: I missed my self-imposed deadline for the Mayan numeral proposal

From: CE Whitehead <>
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2012 16:01:21 -0500

From: Steven Atreju <>

Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2012 12:28:23 +0100

Philippe Verdy <> wrote:


> |then the real catastrophe occured 394 years ago, in 1618, just because of

> |the conquest of America by Spanish troops :
I'm still waiting for another catastrophe though I guess.
> > which meant a massive death of

> > |lots of Amerindians (most of them due to imported infections, to which
> Terrible and ridiculous little selfish infections.

> >|Amerindians were not protected, but also due to the end of development of

> > |the Mayan civilization caused by their internal wars, their concentration
Not only that Phillipe, but the Atlantic basin climate underwent major change during the 17th and 18th centuries, more drought winters and summers, wetter springs, according to both local farmers trying to grow stuff, and also according to research on the layers of soil (I've got to get the citation; the author was actually trying to argue that 17th-18th century effects of Europeans were no were environmentally than what happened when first people came to Americas perhaps more than 25000 years before. But from the graphs he produced for precipitation, the effects of Europeans on the climate were rather severe.)
> One won't believe how stupid these natives were.

> Ritual torture of the *own* people.
O.k. I used to think the Mayans were one people who did not sacrifice their own, but wells apparently were used for such as not all bones found in these were from people who fell accidentally apparently; when the Incans wanted to sacrifice someone, they hit the person over the head, etc. But the Europeans likewise had some odd customs, burning people at the stake, no Geneva Accords at the time, slavery. Oh well.
And look today at the West, high heels on ladies, not at all good for achilles tendons (I never wore heels though and still I ended up in college with an almost completely ruptured plantaris tendon and an inflammed and partly ruptured achilles tendon -- you have no idea how difficult it was to study like that with no easy way to "unwind") and this is not too much different than having your feet bound (though IMO it would also be awful trying to jog on feet that had been bound as one needs lots of space to redistribute the punch from each step; incidentally here you have another custom of the Natives of the Americas; when taking prisoners they cut muscles in their feet so they'd not run off, but some darted off quite well in such a state apparently).
> Also Polynesians and Aborigines, Indians and some african
> natives -- all foolish enough to torture themselves instead of
> others.
IMO that's their body, their business (we should probably be thankful to all for business I guess), but interestingly HTLV II was found initially in a smattering of places, the West Coast where the Incas were, not really quite north to the Mayas but just about; while HTLV I, maybe 1000 years removed (who knows really though when the two varieties split off) was found on Japanese Islands, and among the Melanesians, and also East Africa, but also in an area of Italy and the Caribbean (I'd surmise Columbus and others brought it to Italy and the Caribbean but I really don't know).

> Fortunately these times are over, thanks to the missioners which

> altruistically spent their lives spreading the light all over the

> planet.

Melanesians seemed to (and seem today to) appreciate Christianity; and they developed something called "Cargo Christianity" as I understand it (their version of Christianity): (but anyway interestingly, according to another source, Pacific Islanders already had a system of adopting "kin" who lived in distant locales and sending to them messages via boat travelers requesting goods not found on their island; so maybe "cargo cults" were partly indigenous, and not such a bad custom; everyone is greedy; and Christianity today has pulled in various customs IMO but I'm not an experton any of this).
> It must be said though that it seems as if countermovements rise

> on the very sphere, a motion that is absolutely inconceivable.

> And it'll possibly be a bit frightening to participate in the

> further developments of events.

> Good to know to be on the right side.

> On the other hand it is quite spirited that Unicode covers the

> language of so many cultures. Even of some that didn't use

> written text on their own, and originally.

O.k. but the Mayans did have writings (not to mention delicious chocolate); though our ideas today of what a "written text" is and what its purpose is and the ideas of the Mayans might differ a bit (and even Europeans in the 17th century had different ideas about the uses of texts than we do today and computers are changing still further what texts do for us; ideas vary from person to person and culture to culture; I like Shirley Brice Heath (ed)'s "Exploring Orality and Literacy" and also Heath's (author this time only) "Ways With Words" on this. Miztec codices, incidentally, as I understand it, are still found today in the public sphere in Mexico, in offices of officials; they are deemed important today -- what they represent is the story of the land and the peoples who have come there so I suppose that means today's officials, in spite of prejudice against "Indians," in some way trace their genealogies to the genealogies shown on the codices (but this is just my guess; any other ideas as to why these codices show up in town halls? just local history?); also I love the story of Felipe Guaman Poma de Alaya though I do find him a bit sexist since he saw the natural order was having men rule over women; and so when he depicted the world's having turned upside down he showed the loss of male rule over women:
But we are getting off topic for this list. Happy New Year.


--C. E. Whitehead

> As a matter of fact sometimes something similar to what can be

> called a face shines through.

Rare events can be savoured much more intense.


Received on Sat Dec 29 2012 - 15:06:39 CST

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