Saturday, April 07, 2012

Saturday morning snippets - bread, circuses and cultural necrophiliacs

A few things this morning that you may find interesting.

A link from Christopher Moore led me to this piece in the Canadian journal Foreign Affairs, Game of Thrones as History. This examines the relationship between R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and medieval life. The message is summed up this way: "It's Not as Realistic As It Seems--and That's Good."

Ramana's The Salt Of The Earth provides a nice perspective on the mix in Indian life. It includes a link through to a story on the Americanisation of India. Globe centered on Asia, with Asia highlighted. The continent is shaped like a right-angle triangle, with Europe to the west, oceans to the south and east, and Australia visible to the south-east.

In a discussion on What does "Asia" and the "Asian century" mean?, Ramana suggested that he certainly thought of himself as Asian!

This map from the Wikipedia article on Asia shows the spread of Asia as currently defined. The Wikipedia article is worth reading, for it draws out some of the difficulties in geographic labelling, including the way very old ideas continue to affect thinking today.

I missed this at the time, but historian Simon Schama has branded the popular Downton TV series as 'cultural necrophilia'. Really love that phrase! My thanks to the Idle Historian for the link.

On economics and the Australian economy, Malcolm Maiden's A year on, and no closer to resurrection provides a simple but useful summary of developments in the Australian economy over the last twelve months. It sets a useful context for some of the changes and stresses

Finishing with history, I found skepticlawyer's Panem et circenses an absolutely fascinating post because it provided another set of insights into one of the world's great empires. 

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