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Principles of Applied Epistemology (APPLIED EPISTEMOLOGY)
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Ishmael


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Hatty wrote:
Are you suggesting all the rivers in the catchment area found their way independently as it were to the shore but were made to change course? Why?


The reason this was done was to create a flooding river.

The farming technique used in the Mississippi, the Nile, and Mesopotamia, involved annual floods watering and fertilizing river-banks with the flooded land being farmed after the waters receded. I suggest that the Mississippi was engineered to flood periodically but, to do that, you need a massive amount of water (you also need rivers from the mountains to bring down phosphate for fertilizer).

I have also a further suggestion.

While this job in Mesopotamia and Egypt was manageable for human work crews, the land area in North America was simply too massive for people to be tasked with the work. So an animal was engineered to do the work for them.

The beaver.
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Mick Harper
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This is not suited to this thread and, to some extent, not suited to the public part of the AEL but here goes

Chad should be a salt lake.

Unless it's had its salt removed. Both the local people and animals are in dire need of salt, not just for consumption but for trade. But I don't know enough about replacive hydrology in desert zones (no, really) to say whether this is a possibility. We have in the past speculated about Carthage's relationship to Lake Tunis.

I first developed this hypothesis when I applied Mick's methodology to the Mississippi river---noting all of the cultural and technical similarities between the peoples that lived there and those that lived in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

They couldn't be more different, surely.

My suspicion is that, in so far as the Nile and Euphrates are likely to have been engineered, the Mississippi too is likely to have been.

I can't see any similarities geography-wise. The Mississippi flows into its nearest sea at all times -- leaving aside the Great Lakes.

I suggest that salt lakes are merely marooned remnants of former oceans (I think I stole this notion from Mick).

You did indeed.

The Beaver

Another one of mine but you are welcome to it.
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
This is not suited to this thread and, to some extent, not suited to the public part of the AEL but here goes


It's not suited to this thread but I do think this thread is private.

I first developed this hypothesis when...noting all of the cultural and technical similarities between the peoples that lived there and those that lived in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

They couldn't be more different, surely.


Farmed by Africans. Farmed by slaves. Farmed using a flooding technique. I think there were a few more similarities.

The Mississippi flows into its nearest sea at all times -- leaving aside the Great Lakes.


And the Mississippi should leave aside the great lakes because....? The river starts right next door to lake Michigan! It flows exactly the wrong way.

The Beaver

Another one of mine but you are welcome to it.


Yes. I know the domestication of the beaver was your idea.

My innovation was identifying the reason for the beaver's domestication--as well as the reason why it remained native to America. It was instrumental to the engineering and maintenance of the Mississippi river.
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Mick Harper
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It's not suited to this thread but I do think this thread is private.

Dunno what gave you that idea. We're trying to spread the Principles of Applied Epistemology, not keep them under wraps. Only the Reading Room is private.

Farmed by Africans. Farmed by slaves. Farmed using a flooding technique. I think there were a few more similarities.

You may be getting your eras mixed up. Didn't the African slaves arrive in America after the Europeans? And what makes you think the Nile was farmed by slaves anyway? Did native North Americans use 'flooding techniques'? The South American ones used terracing and long distance irrigation canals but that's hardly the same thing.

And the Mississippi should leave aside the great lakes because....? The river starts right next door to lake Michigan! It flows exactly the wrong way.

I was assuming the Great Lakes are a glacial phenomenon but I agree it's up for grabs.

My innovation was identifying the reason for the beaver's domestication--as well as the reason why it remained native to America. It was instrumental to the engineering and maintenance of the Mississippi river.

The original idea was indeed that the beaver was domesticated in North America for local water management purposes but I find it difficult to imagine the locals were capable of -- or would even be interested in -- engineering the Mississippi basin.
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Mick Harper
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Thomas Becket: Alpine ice sheds light on medieval murder
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52095694

One of the best examples of ‘academic chat’ I’ve come across since ... last week. Originally in the august Antiquity but thanks to the BBC no doubt winging its way worldward.

Ancient air pollution, trapped in ice, reveals new details about life and death in 12th Century Britain. In a study, scientists have found traces of lead, transported on the winds from British mines that operated in the late 1100s. The pollution also sheds light on a notorious murder of the medieval era; the killing of Thomas Becket.

So, the battle lines are drawn. The connection that guarantees world publicity has been made.

Analysing the 800 year-old ice from the Colle Gnifetti glacier in the Swiss-Italian Alps using a highly sensitive laser, the scientists were able to see a huge surge in lead in the air and dust captured in the 12th century. Atmospheric modelling showed that the element was carried by winds from the north west, across the UK, where lead mining and smelting in the Peak District and in Cumbria was booming in the late 1100s.

What be cause of that, Jedemiah? It'll be zummat going on in that Lunnun.

But production of the metal was clearly linked to political events according to the authors of this latest research. "In the 1169-70 period, there was a major disagreement between Henry II and Thomas Beckett and that clash manifested itself by the church refusing to work with Henry - and you actually see a fall in that production that year," said Prof Christopher Loveluck, from Nottingham University.

That is impressive. Cause and effect down to the year. And then?

Excommunicated by the Pope in the wake of the murder, Henry's attempt at reconciliation is detailed in the ice core."To get himself out of jail with the Pope, Henry promised to endow and build a lot of major monastic institutions very, very quickly," said Prof Loveluck. "And of course, massive amounts of lead were used for roofing of these major monastic complexes. Lead production rapidly expanded as Henry tried to atone for his misdemeanours against the Church."

I’m no expert – no, really, it’s the one lacuna in my erudité universale – but I’ve never heard of these monasteries Henry had to build. But maybe he did. What I do know though is that hundreds of monasteries (etc) were being built elsewhere in Europe at the time all, as it were, pumping out lead pollution. Another thing I know about is atmospheric modelling. Actually I don’t, nobody does really, but it comes down to prevailing winds. And nor-westerlies, from the Lake District to the Italian Alps are really quite rare. Could be an eddy in the jetstream though. The one they're already calling Beckett's Eddy.
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