[29 – 9] On Brussels Journal: A Brief History of Zero and Indian Numerals
I heard the claim from one European reader that “The Arab world invented the zero, and it’s been downhill ever since.” This is false, but unfortunately not an uncommon mistake. Our numeral system dates back to India during the post-Roman era, but it came to Europe via the medieval Middle East which is why these numbers are called “Arabic” numbers in many European languages. Yet even Muslims admit that they imported these numerals from India. Calling them “Arabic” numerals is this therefore deeply misleading. “Hindu-Arabic” number system could be accepted, but the preferred term should be “Indian numerals.”
[24 – 9] On Atlas Shrugs: What was the First Novel?
Long narrative romances in prose were written by Greek writers as early as the second and third centuries AD. Typically they dealt with separated lovers who are reunited at the end of the story. Another influential predecessor of the modern novel was the picaresque narrative, which emerged in sixteenth-century Spain. Whether or not Cervantes Don Quixote was “the first European novel” is perhaps debatable, but there is now question that it constituted a major step in the development of this genre.
[21 – 9] On Brussels Journal a short one: Six Percent of Swedish Girls Raped Every Year.
According to a recent report, six percent of Swedish girls are raped EVERY YEAR, and that’s just the official numbers. Reality is probably even worse. The hostile Wikipedia entry on “Fjordman” previously claimed that my essays about the Swedish rape epidemic are false because the massive increase in rapes was caused by “a widening of the legal definition of rape.” I bet it was. In this situation, the number one preoccupation of Swedish media is demonizing Israel, and the number two preoccupation is demonizing native Swedish critics of mass immigration and barring them from access to the mass media.
Nevertheless, while you can argue that a certain individual is ranked too high or too low or that a handful of people might be included here and there, this doesn’t do much to change the basic conclusion: The lists of human achievement, especially in the sciences, are heavily dominated by those widely denounced today as Dead White Males, for they are almost all men from Europe or Europe’s offspring overseas. For good or bad, people of European origins largely created the modern world. You can certainly find great achievements such as the spectacular mountainous Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru, or the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia in Southeast Asia, yet as Charles Murray writes:
“Evidence scattered from Angkor Wat to Machu Picchu attests to the ability of human beings throughout the globe, not confined to the leading civilizations, to achieve amazing technological feats. And yet, and yet….Modern Europe has overwhelmingly dominated accomplishment in both the arts and sciences. The estimates of the European contribution are robust. They cannot, in any way I have been able to devise, be attenuated more than fractionally. As I write, it appears that Europe’s run is over. In another few hundred years, books will probably be exploring the reasons why some completely different part of the world became the locus of great human accomplishment. Now is a good time to stand back in admiration. What the human species is today owes in astonishing degree to what was accomplished in just half a dozen centuries by the peoples of one small portion of the northwestern Eurasian land mass. Not only does Europe dominate the narrative of human accomplishment, so does the minority that has become known in recent years as dead white males.”
[9 – 9] A History of Beer – Part 6 is up at Brussels Journal.
[6 – 9] A History of Beer – Part 5 is up at Europe News.
[3 – 9] A History of Beer – Part 4 is up at Brussels Journal.
A Brief History of Zero and Indian Numerals
What was the First Novel?
Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? – Part 2
Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? – Part 1
Six Percent of Swedish Girls Raped Every Year
Europe and Human Accomplishment
istory of Beer – Part 6
A History of Beer – Part 5
A History of Beer – Part 4
A History of Beer – Part 3
A History of Beer – Part 2
A History of Beer – Part 1
Swedish Hypocrisy Regarding Israel and Muslims
Culturally Enriched Homophobia in Oslo
European Wine – A Draft
A History of European Music — Part 5
More Fjordman Files here.