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    Originally posted by Various Artist View Post
    ...there can be few figures of such lowly status in life from that era that we have more evidence for having existed.
    'lowly status' intrigues me. Doesn't part of the New Testament assert that Jesus was, in fact, royalty - from the line of David - albeit no longer on the throne that the Romans had granted to the Herods? So was, literally not figuratively, "King of the Jews"?

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      Or, like the millerites, when their prophet's sole testable pronouncement didn't work out, instead of admitting that they had been hoodwinked by a charismatic charlatan, they just moved the goalposts, and moved on, and the Seventh Day Adventists are still with us today. There must have been a small number of people still alive who saw him speak, and remembered what he said, and been pretty disappointed when he didn't put in a showing with the armies of heaven when the romans were burning the Temple to the ground and stabbed everyone in the belly in the prescribed roman fashion.

      This isn't exactly an inexplicable, or even a particularly unique response. People who get really involved in something are very loathe to admit that they were completely hoodwinked, and often just double down. We can see it with Brexit. we can see it with trump, there are people who will go to the grave believing that corbyn was betrayed by all around him. A lot of people just need to believe something, and the bigger the mistake they make, the more they double down.
      Last edited by The Awesome Berbaslug!!!; 14-02-2020, 10:11.

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        Originally posted by Various Artist View Post
        I went on a long wander a couple of weeks back through a few dozen of the 'top' questions asked on Reddit's AskHistorians thread, which was fascinating and enlightening as the moderators are shit-hot on deleting anything that isn't an in-depth, knowledgeable, sourced answer from someone with relevant expertise. This very question is one of the ones I looked at, if you're interested TAB:

        "As I understand it, the earliest Christians expected Jesus to return imminently, or at least within their lifetime. How was the Church able to handle it, and even grow exponentially, when this didn't happen? At what point was this no longer the predominant expectation of new converts?"


        There's various other questions I read there that are also along the lines of the discussion up this page, talking about the historical evidence (or lack of) for Jesus. Consensus seems to be that there's a real historical figure at the root of the myths, because aside from the specifics it's simply far too unlikely that the early disciples etc. went to all the trouble of making one up out of wholecloth at a time when – as has already been noted here – such itinerant preachers, prophets and 'miracle'-workers weren't at all an unusual sight in that part of the world.

        The gap of a mere handful of decades between when he's said to have lived and the probable date of the first close sources like Mark's Gospel and Paul's letters is also something that historians don't generally seem to blink at. There are by all accounts an awful lot of figures whose historical existence we would never question, yet who can be attested to only in records from up to several centuries after their time – Hannibal is an example, I think, off the top of my head. As LS says, there can be few figures of such lowly status in life from that era that we have more evidence for having existed.
        Thanks. I think I've found a rabbit hole that I may never return from.

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          Originally posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post

          'lowly status' intrigues me. Doesn't part of the New Testament assert that Jesus was, in fact, royalty - from the line of David - albeit no longer on the throne that the Romans had granted to the Herods? So was, literally not figuratively, "King of the Jews"?
          The thing about being the king of a bunch of Iron age farmers is that you er, become 'a father to your people.' and a lot of people wind up claiming descent from you. Lowly status could even mean 'fairly major king who was quite a big deal in his area at the time.' Our records for everything are so incredibly patchy that we're really fumbling in the dark. History of this period is like trying to reconstruct the earth of the dinosaurs, based on digging up the odd bone, of the few animals that died in such a way that preserved them, that we have found.
          Last edited by The Awesome Berbaslug!!!; 14-02-2020, 11:01.

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            This is very true, that's basically the role both historians and palaeontologists perform.

            You're welcome, re the 'rabbit hole' – but yeah, sorry about that, I've only just clambered back out myself...



            Originally posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post

            'lowly status' intrigues me. Doesn't part of the New Testament assert that Jesus was, in fact, royalty - from the line of David - albeit no longer on the throne that the Romans had granted to the Herods? So was, literally not figuratively, "King of the Jews"?
            Well firstly, as Berba alludes to there's simply shedloads of regional 'kingdoms' of greater or lesser transience in the Middle East and surrounding areas thousands of years ago, associated with now-lost settlements, or with wandering desert tribes, or fiefdoms of local warlords installed as client or puppet kings under the auspices of greater empires. etc. etc., of which we have no real records. So in and of itself a 'kingly' status isn't necessarily all that to start with.


            Secondly, doesn't that part of the New Testament also inherently self-contradict, though?

            Mark's Gospel, the simplest and shortest of the three Synoptic Gospels, and the text most likely to be the foundation for the similar but more expansive later(?) ones of Matthew and Luke, doesn't have anything about Jesus' birth in it; it takes a running start, with a brief mention of John the Baptist baptising an adult Jesus of Nazareth before the story crashes straight in with the latter's ministry. (The less similar gospel of John kicks off with the more metaphysical bit about "In the beginning was the Word", then dives into the story proper at the same spot.)

            Matthew and Luke though both insert what is effectively a 'prequel', in which they go to great lengths to place Jesus' birth in Bethlehem – I believe because Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah?) says that's where the promised leader to come would be born of David's line. Matthew joins the dots in particular detail, listing the entire genealogy from Abraham to David to Joseph. To get him to Bethlehem though he has to send Joseph and Mary, narratively, from Nazareth, even though there's apparently no Roman records of a census then and that's not how censuses work anyway: it would be like me travelling to London for next year's UK census because that's where my parents and grandparents etc. were from, instead of it recording me as living where I, you know, live.

            But, at the same time as all that effort to put Jesus in the right place for the anointed future King of the Jews to appear to carry on this line (which ultimately extends all the way back to Adam), the story also (obviously) holds the rather key tenet that he is born to a virgin Mary via the spirit of the Almighty, making him expressly not of Joseph's line. It's one of those curious things one has to swallow if one is to accept the story at anything like face value.

            All that aside, the stories tell us he was subsequently far from accepted as an actual king by his people, who in contrast derided, mocked and denounced him to the Roman authorities and had him executed. So regardless of how legitimately or otherwise he may have been King of the Jews, he certainly wasn't ruling, powerful in any conventional fashion, or in any tangible sense something other than of 'lowly status', I'd say.


            Short version: yes, Jesus was, in fact, royalty from the line of David, and thus perhaps not of 'lowly status' – if you accept the two out of four sort-of-parallel versions of the story in which a carpenter from Nazareth is stated to have conveniently been born in Bethlehem where said king was prophesied to be born, and if in so doing he carried on the royal line of his father. Who wasn't his father. And if you disregard how the 'royal line' is that of a downtrodden tribe dominated by the Roman Empire, he didn't have any riches or power and he was crucified as a common criminal.
            Last edited by Various Artist; 14-02-2020, 12:39.

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              Cracking post, VA

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                Originally posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post

                'lowly status' intrigues me. Doesn't part of the New Testament assert that Jesus was, in fact, royalty - from the line of David - albeit no longer on the throne that the Romans had granted to the Herods? So was, literally not figuratively, "King of the Jews"?
                He was born in an animal stall to poor people from a backwater. He lived much of his life homeless.

                That’s the whole point. Lots of people would expect the messiah to be a great king, like David, but instead he came as just a poor kid from nowhere who hangs out with people of low status - shepherds, beggars, prostitutes, lepers, etc. The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

                Even if he was related to David, he didn’t have any great social standing as a result.

                It’s about subverting expectations and breaking either/or thinking. I don’t know if a short way to explain all of that.


                Edit: What VA wrote
                Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 14-02-2020, 13:52.

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                  Also, David was hundreds of years afore Jesus. Being of some Royal lineage in part of your family tree would be no more impressive or remarkable than Danny Dyer being a right royal geezah.

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                    Also given how often the people of that region had been smashed into the ground by empire after empire, and subjugated so many times in that time period, the idea that you could be directly descended from king david, and living in a hole in the ground wouldn't have seemed so strange. Everyone called O'Neill, and a lot more besides can all claim to be directly descended from the great O'Neill. That didn't stop a lot of them from starving in the famine.

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                      Is that true though Berba? Folk could take the name of whatever warlord took over their land and started oppressing them without having any of their blood.

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                        The descendents of Niall became all the warlords. Also Ulster was a very big place, with remarkably few people in it. They estimate that the pre plantation population was in the region of 50-100,000 people.

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                          The idea that Niall propagated half the Ulstermen has been disapproved now but, the common ancestor some excitable folk were identifying as Niall happened to live thousands of years before the supposed hostage man. And most folk in stratified to fuck Iron Age/mediaeval Ireland were slaves or peasants rather than warriors.

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                            Though the warlords would be more likely to sire healthy sprigs than wretched types but.

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                              No, it's literally what a lot of our names mean. There's usually one man at the root of it all. O'Neill literally means descendant of Niall. A lot of the rest of people of ulster were called "Descendant of one of Niall's sons." These familes ruled ulster pretty much undisturbed for nearly 1000 years. It's a very unusual situation by european standards But you know, Isolated islands on the edges of continents and what not.

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                                I don’t get how commercial real estate works.

                                In our downtown, there are a lot of new spaces in new buildings that have taken a long time to find tenants. Apparently, they’re very expensive compared to the rest of the market.
                                (https://www.centredaily.com/news/loc...239724538.html)

                                We also just got a new supermarket in a space that has been vacant for about *20 years.* It used to have the Hills store and then an Ames before that whole company went bust. Then the owners sat on it all that time despite lots of offers and the area around it developing rapidly. Then, finally, Giant moved in while closing their location a few miles away. (But, to me, it seemed like their previous location was better because it was further from any competitors.)

                                I’m told this is now an epidemic in New York. So many beloved businesses are gone, but there are of empty store fronts waiting for somebody to pay the exorbitant rents.

                                How does that make sense for anybody? Wouldn’t the landlord be better off lowering the rent until they found a tenant?

                                Or can they really make more by holding out for somebody willing to pay a lot more? Is it a game of chicken with potential tenants hoping they lower their asking price? I understand retail is dying, but then why not convert it to another use and find somebody to pay something for it?

                                Why can’t they do a better job of recruiting/finding those tenants faster? And doesn’t local government help make that happen in order to get some tax revenue from the space?

                                It violates basic Econ.

                                This asks the same question but doesn’t really answer it.

                                https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...t-vacancy.html
                                Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 18-02-2020, 03:21.

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                                  Yes, this is a very real problem here and the handful of people (mostly landlords) that do seem to know what is going on are keeping schtum.

                                  The best that I can tell is that it is a combination of financial products having disaggregated the risk of owning commercial real estate from the need to collect rents and a lottery-type mentality in which landlords are keeping storefronts vacant in the hope that sites will become (or form part of) a site for a developer's new oligarch tower (thereby increasing its value by an order of magnitude more or less overnight).

                                  It's pernicious, and there are frequent attempts by progressive politicians to pass legislation to address the issue, but the real estate industry still is maintaining its death grip on much of our local politics.

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                                    It seems that this is the real road to serfdom. Soon, all of our money will go to landlords.

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                                      I can show you several streets here in Valencia where the exact same problem exists.

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                                        Same in Berlin and any other number of cities.

                                        The forces that are driving this are not in any real way limited by national borders.

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                                          Letting their potentially more lucrative properties at so-called cut price rates leaves landlords at the mercy of minimum-term rental agreements.

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                                            I seem to remember reading something along the lines of the increase in the value of the empty property for resale grows faster than the income generated if it is occupied (because you can quickly sell something that is empty but not if a tenant is in for the next five years).

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                                              Centre Point in London was famous for being held empty during a time of rising rents:

                                              Centre Point was built as speculative office space by property tycoon Harry Hyams, who had leased the site at £18,500 a year for 150 years. Hyams intended that the whole building be occupied by a single tenant, and negotiated fiercely for its approval.

                                              On completion, the building remained vacant for many years, leading to its being referred to as "London's Empty Skyscraper". With property prices rising and most business tenancies taken for set periods of 10 or 15 years, Hyams could afford to keep it empty and wait for his single tenant at the asking price of £1,250,000; he was challenged to allow tenants to rent single floors, but consistently refused. At that time skyscrapers were rare in London, and Centre Point's prominence led to its becoming a rallying symbol for opponents. The homeless charity Centrepoint was founded in 1969 as a homeless shelter in nearby Soho, named Centrepoint in response to the building Centre Point being seen as an "affront to the homeless" for being left empty to make money for the property developer.

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                                                It is more understandable in places where security of tenure is protected by law and/or leases tend to be long.

                                                Both are rather rare in this country, where one year leases (or even month to month) are common.

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                                                  There's a fair amount of it around here. A fairly regular post-cycling stop was driven out of their location in a mall about 15 months ago. Nothing has gone in its place.

                                                  My suspicion is that landlords don't want to allow any units to go at lower rent, because that might drive other prices down. It is potentially better to give tenants the impression that the inflated rents are "normal" and the only way that the landlord can operate his business. If all commercial enterprises are conditioned to these rents they won't resist them. Even if that means leaving a number of properties empty for the medium term, it might be better for the overall business model.

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                                                    It is easier to do that when the landlord has oligarchal wealth, is a member of a cartel and/or has used financial engineering to disaggregate his/her risk

                                                    A number of major New York commercial landlords check all three boxes

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