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Video The Black Death (documentary)

Catalpa

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Interesting documentary. To this day we're uncertain about how the black death was transmitted - the fleas on rats theory has long gone out the window. I always imagined if there was a pandemic in modern times we'd know exactly how it was spreading but this isn't really the case.
The one parallel I'd draw between covid-19 and the black death is the importance of travel routes. Despite proclamations from everyone that the disease will sweep through the 3rd world, so far the evidence suggests that the disease goes where international businessmen go the most.

I don't see a lot of other parallels between the two pandemics, statisticians will not find much evidence of covid-19's death toll outside of New York, northern italy and spain. The black wiped out 40-50% of the European population
I think I once read the first case of the black death was in Kilkenny city.

No but there is a strong link to the city as most of what we know comes from the pen of Friar John Clynn of that place who wrote up on it

"So that notable deeds should not perish with time, and be lost from the memory of future generations, I, seeing these many ills, and that the whole world encompassed by evil, waiting among the dead for death to come, have committed to writing what I have truly heard and examined; and so that the writing does not perish with the writer, or the work fail with the workman, I leave parchment for continuing the work, in case anyone should still be alive in the future and any son of Adam can escape this pestilence and continue the work thus begun."

The Annals of Ireland by Friar John Clyn
 

TheWexfordInn

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since watching the BBC's coverage of The Crusades, i am sad to say that their History Street-cred is zero.

Seeing a reference to the BBC is indeed off-putting seeing all the progressive historical revisionism the BBC has become infamous for lately.

The good news though is that it is in fact a straightforward documentary and that there isn't any hint of political correctness or the diversity agenda.

And the reason is explained at the end. Despite the incorrect "BBC" tag, it is in fact an ITV (Granada) production from 2004 which I guess is before the progressive agenda took over in any case.

 

Karloff

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When it comes to death, we have an entirely different response threshold to our ancestors. 200 years ago a child of ten years old would have been conscious of the fact many of the kids born around same time as him were dead already. Up until about 60 years ago TB was still killing in large numbers in Ireland. Go back further and you can add measles, diphtheria, cholera, smallpox and all sorts of nasty influenza strains that came around from time to time. Armed conflicts killed far more, proportionately, as well. The Great Irish Famine killed 1/8th of the population at least, the 1740-41 famine killed the same, Cromwell's visit coincided with a 25% population reduction, wars of plantation - large population decrease, Bruce invasion - many killed and many many more die from famine.

People were more religious because there was very little evidence that they could control the world and hold off death all by themselves. Nowadays, people put their faith in governments and science and believe that death and danger can be held off. The response to the St. Stephen's Day tsunami was very revealing, many demanded to know who was responsible because they had placed their faith in science and governments and couldn't countenance the notion that something could be beyond the ability of modern science and governments to control. There is less danger in the world now but far more media coverage of the few dangers that there are: as a result the modern westerner believes that everything can be controlled apart from a small few things such as terrorism and pandemics. Modern westerners are more anxious because of the way the mass media bombard them with images of certain dangers which threaten their world.

The world has never been safer.

I'd suggest everyone check out Stephen Pinker from time to time


It depends on which parts of it you are living in or how you measure safer... in hunter gatherer societies the community was very safe - members looked out for one another, danger came from natural forces. Infinitely safer than when civilisation came along and war with it.

Anyway i think this has been discredited now anyway, there are a lot of wars right now around the globe and we are always just a short distance from a nuclear war, we now have a killer virus among us - imagine if one evolved that had no symptoms for about a month then killed 90% of it's victims? More people concentrated in smaller areas has created breeding grounds for diseases and we have the means to spread one very fast.

The only thing the ONLY thing holding back disaster for the moment is mutually assured destruction.

I always felt Pinker as a Jewish narcissist was actually congratulating his own tribe there who now control large parts of the world.
 

Brenny

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There were always a lot if wars going on around the world but there wasn't always a mass media to project images of such wars into your living room.

Pinker's methodology is flawed at times, he tends to cherry-pick. He ignores groups such as the San people of Southern Africa when talking about hunter-gatherers. That being said, there is abundant evidence that most hunter-gatherer societies are violent - the common rebuttal to anti-government libertarians (who preach of a utopia with no borders ir government) is to cite the example of mountain-country New Guinea, where you know you've crossed a border when there's an arrow sticking out of you. Evidence from the neolithic suggests huge homicide rates.

The best indicator that we are living in safe times is to compare the global fertility rate (has never been lower) with the rate of population increase (consistently high for a century now). There has been a 23 million global population increase this year so far and yet women have never been having so few children. That's impossible to achieve in a world that is supposedly ravaged by war and disease.
 
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There were always a lot if wars going on around the world but there wasn't always a mass media to project images of such wars into your living room.

Pinker's methodology is flawed at times, he tends to cherry-pick. He ignores groups such as the San people of Southern Africa when talking about hunter-gatherers. That being said, there is abundant evidence that most hunter-gatherer societies are violent - the common rebuttal to anti-government libertarians (who preach of a utopia with no borders ir government) is to cite the example of mountain-country New Guinea, where you know you've crossed a border when there's an arrow sticking out of you. Evidence from the neolithic suggests huge homicide rates.

The best indicator that we are living in safe times is to compare the global fertility rate (has never been lower) with the rate of population increase (consistently high for a century now). There has been a 23 million global population increase this year so far and yet women have never been having so few children. That's impossible to achieve in a world that is supposedly ravaged by war and disease.

Correct. Niall Ferguson has a good intro to one of his lectures that charts the decrease in violence among human populations. The further you go back in History, the higher the rate of murder. In the year 2020, the rate of murder has never been lower in all of history.

the credit crunch of 2007 was the culmination of years of uncontrolled borrowing....we postponed the payback.

this Corona virus......for me it is payback for 100 years of antibiotics......we postponed diseases, we didnt eradicate them. Nasty new diseases have always been on the horizon.
 

Karloff

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But just 60 years there was a war that killed 60 million in just a few years.

Mankind today might not be always flinging arrows in the direction of each other as some hunter gatherers did, it is more like Mt Etna - goes dormant waits and then explodes in a massive intensity of killing.

But that seems to have stopped for now, they limit themselves to Libya or Iraq or Syria (wars fought to protect the interests of Pinker's kin). The reason is nukes and not.... the better angels of our nature. But will that hold? I see a lot of countries and leaders who would love to do war if they could.
 

Myles O'Reilly

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I think I once read the first case of the black death was in Kilkenny city.
I think you need to change your magazine subscription.
 
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