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Adrian Hester

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Adrian Hester last won the day on August 30 2011

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  1. Damn, sorry, I allowed myself to get rushed and searched on the wrong guy. The post I should have linked to is this one.
  2. She also supported legalized abortion, which you oppose, and unlike her pronouncements on homosexuality she considered abortion a central issue in Objectivism, going so far as to urge her readers to vote against Reagan in 1976 because he opposed abortion: "I urge you, as emphatically as I can, not to support the candidacy of Ronald Reagan. I urge you not to work for or advocate his nomination, and not to vote for him...This description ["a conservative in the worst sense of that word"] applies in various degrees to most Republican politicians, but most of them preserve some respect for the ri
  3. The cost of the time, labor, and thought put into acquiring aand processing the things found in nature to where they are usable by others. Again the equation of things as found in nature and those same things rendered usable by human time, labor, and thought, both indifferently described as "resources" to be divided among the group with no regard for the ones who made them usable: In short, again the attempt to obliterate the human mind as our distinctive means of survival.
  4. Liberal contradicts this bizarre claim below: "Cooperative sharing of resources is only the sharing of extra resources among a group by a member who does not require those resources to maintain an average degree of comfort." So in fact cooperative sharing requires that someone else have what is shared. Note the sleight of hand in this phrase: "felt as a 'dependence'". There's no effort on liberal's part to explain why this is actually dependence, or even to define "dependence" at all; instead, liberal assumes somehow that there is no need even to justify his claim that the animal f
  5. I'm not a professional historian, I'm a linguist. You don't need historical training to treat such issues, just determination, curiosity, and time. So starting with the Qin you start getting positive trends even with your method: Hardly ringing evidence for a universal trend towards decay! It's a question of how reliable you yourself to know your data to be. Otherwise you're just picking cherries some boss has laid out a path for you to pick along. But the question is how to prove this to someone like me skeptical of your claim about entropy. (And technically, I fit
  6. I wrote a lengthier reply earlier that I tried to post just as the power went out, so it's lost. While not as fleshed out with examples, at least I hope this version gains in clarity from concision. No, institutions of headship or chieftainship involving lineages over several generations are well-nigh universal whenever we look at non-literate societies. The Samoans, for example, had well-developed kingships and aristocratic societies with well-defied lineages despite not being able to write, as did the Hawaiians, the Bedouins of Arabia, the Salishan peoples of the Pacific Northwest,
  7. First of all, you include on the one hand the Liao and the Jin dynasties and on the other the two Song dynasties, even though they coexisted. (The Liao was a state ruling the north China plain and vast stretches of the steppes founded by the Khitans, an early Mongolic people; the Jin was founded by the ancestors of the Manchus after they revolted against the Liao. The two Song dynasties were their native rivals in the south.) Second, there's no cause to include the Shun or the supposed "empire of China," and in any case the period given for the latter is dubious. The first was founded af
  8. As with the mythical state of Utopia. If we reverse the data, then for the raw data we find an exponent of -0.0084 and for the cumulative mean an exponent of -0.0081. So no, your method does not show what you want it to show; it's simply unsound.
  9. Even though I know fairly little about Portugal, I still know enough to question the wisdom of treating the period of Spanish rule between 1580 and 1640 on the same level as native dynasties. "Cumulative mean"? So in other words you're basing vast claims about human behavior on the general phenomenon of regression towards the mean! Let's do this differently and take your same data with duration versus dynasty number. In that case you have a decline that is much less precipitate; if you fit a power law to it you get an exponent of -0.03149, with a correlation coefficient of 0.34. (N
  10. First of all, note that before about 500 BC, very few dynasties are recorded--the historical record is incredibly sparse for that period, and in many cases the king lists that you are relying on probably include many legendary and semi-legendary figures who were given reign periods that can't be checked and were probably fabricated out of whole cloth for cultural reasons. (Like the sage emperors in China.) Besides that, the only dynasties from that time we'd have records of are the ones so powerful and so long-lived as to make such an impact on later societies, for very few societies had wri
  11. More generally, if succession is from the father to the son, the if the father is long-lived the son will be fairly mature upon accession to the throne and simply in the course of things will not be expected to have as long a lifespan. Wrong? Or do you mean incomplete? Those are very different claims.
  12. Post your data for China--the names of the dynasties and their durations upon which you based your result. I'm fairly familiar with Chinese history and unlike you don't have to rely on the vagaries of Wikipedia for what constitutes a "dynasty." I'll add up front that I ran the same test and found results at great variance with yours--positive power-law exponents in all cases, regardless of how you define "dynasty" (for it's a vague term that meant different things at different times), provided you use only the dynasties for which the dates are actually solidly supported in the historical or
  13. Chinggis Khan died in 1227, before war with the Southern Song dynasty even started (in 1234); moreover, there were only two Chinese states (in the sense of states based in historically Chinese lands with predominantly Chinese populations), and in fact under the Southern Song Chinese culture, science, technology, and printing flourished, and indeed the Chinese economy not only expanded extensively (population growth without a decrease in per capita production) but intensively (an increase in per capita production). In fact, the Song saw one of the few pre-modern industrial revolutions (fueled
  14. A positive action of self-defense, in which case the consequent death of the fetus is justified. What you are saying then is that unlike every other sphere of social life, a pregnant woman does not have the fundamental right to deal with others or not as she wishes. Why? Precisely because in this case the fetus cannot support itself. You are saying that it is precisely because a fetus is not rational, not independent, not able to live on its own--and that its needs somehow give it rights that no other human being has. But again, if the fetus does not have the right to live a
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