Saturday, September 10

This is how Troy Looked like...possibly

So this is an illustration of how Troy looked like. We think. It is a fascinating perspective, when you read Homer, you can actually imagine where he took liberties and where my imagination failed. Most fascinating.

Friday, September 9

Indian Doctors in Kenya, 1895–1940: The Forgotten History

I havent read the book, just read the review and it was interesting in its own rights. You normally associate Indian emigrants as labourers and agricultural workers during the British Empire because that's what they were in the majority, but you dont really hear about the other professions. Yes, Yes, I know Gandhi was a lawyer and there were many who went out there to setup businesses but professions? not that much. the abstract is quite interesting

The story of Indian doctors in Kenya has been “almost entirely written out of the history books” (1). Thus begins Anna Greenwood and Harshad Topiwala’s careful and exhaustively researched monograph, which aims to rectify this oversight by providing a collective biographical portrait of the two hundred or so Indian doctors who practiced Western medicine in Kenya between 1895 and 1940. Topiwala, the son of a Kenya Indian doctor, and Greenwood, a historian of East Africa’s colonial medical service, argue that Indians supplied a “cheap, and also appropriately educated, medical labour force” (33), yet faced harsh material conditions, unequal pay, and a largely hostile European medical establishment. The British colonial state, understaffed and undercapitalized, initially leaned heavily on India for a range of assets—the wealth of its traders, the labor of its indentured servants, and the expertise of its professionals. Yet, as white settlement and political power surged in Kenya by the early 1920s, the Indian presence came to be seen more as a threat than a resource. By 1924, the colonial medical service dismissed its forty-four Indian doctors under the cynical banners of …

Thursday, September 8

Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: Police Responses to Male Rape

One does not normally think about male rape at all given the differences in the numbers and the gender perspectives in society and reporting. But it does happen and for the victim, I am sure it has similar huge impacts.

this paper was quite interesting to read about how the police react. When you realise that the policing reaction to female rape itself is so challenging and difficult despite the pressure and visibility, the situation with male rape has to be several levels below.

read and reflect.

The current paper focuses on police responses to male rape in England, UK. The data come from police officers and voluntary agency practitioners who completed in-depth interviews and qualitative questionnaires (N = 70). Questions about handling male rape cases were asked. The present paper focuses specifically on issues relating to the ways in which the police handle male rape cases. Thus, the way the police investigate male rape is critically explored. The police data were analysed using thematic analysis. Key issues emerged in the findings: male rape victims often get a poor response from the police; the police culture shapes officers’ practices and decisions regarding male rape cases; and some police officers often see male rape complainants as making false allegations. If male rape victims are seen as supposedly falsely reporting, the implication of this is that the ‘dark’ figure of crime may develop because ‘false’ reports are ‘no crimed’, giving a distorted view of the extent to which male rape occurs. I argue that the police’s treatment of male rape victims is largely influenced and shaped by preconceived ideas about male rape and gender bias. This paper attempts to tackle negative police treatment, and it raises awareness of male rape. It is significant to examine how the police manage male rape cases, to make changes to encourage reporting so that better services can be provided to rape victims.

Wednesday, September 7

Extracting economics from Roman marble quarries†

Singapore, for example like other countries, is urbanising extremely fast and is also needing building materials. There are countless stories about how there is a sand mafia, both in Singapore and in India, where rivers and sea shores and beaches are being literally ripped apart to collect sand which goes into the building of infrastructure and houses. Big issues.

Nothing new, see what Rome had to handle...

Urbanization across the Roman Empire created a demand for building materials on an unprecedented scale. Quarrying was largely conducted by municipalities, institutions, or landed aristocrats, who owned or inherited the valuable land from which stone was extracted. By using principles of economics as a guide, and with greater coordination between theory and written and archaeological sources, this article examines the decision-making processes involved in opening a quarry. Theories of economic rationality, resource economics, and statistical methods are helpful for understanding the prices for marble recorded in Diocletian's Edict, Roman jurists’ writings about exploitation on private land, and newly discovered quarries in the region of Aphrodisias, Turkey. Here it is argued that the exchange of local building stone took place in a competitive market where landowners actively tried to improve their financial situation, but did so at considerable risk. At Aphrodisias, examples of failed attempts exist alongside long-running and successful enterprises. Entrepreneurs there did not extract a homogeneous set of resources, but chose to target marbles with inconsistent physical properties at increasing distances from the city in response to greater demand and rising prices. Roman jurists, primarily interested in protecting property value, made landowners calculate whether potential profits earned from sales outweighed the degradation of land.

Tuesday, September 6

Scottish Political Economy, Education and the Management of Poverty in Industrializing Britain: Patrick Colquhoun and the Westminster Free School Model

I was speaking to a friend of mine and I mentioned that the UK is actually doing very well. Most other countries would love to have our problems. Yes, there are issues in the UK, but broadly we are doing very well. The economy is good, unemployment is under control, people are educated, there is sufficient food, we are good in technology, there's manufacturing and loads of inventions, etc. etc. We have many problems but broadly, we are good, that's why most of our debates frankly are about relatively smaller things, everybody clusters around the centre and life is broadly good.

this article was quite interesting as it showed how Scottish Enlightenment lead the way to mass education first in Scotland and then spread to England and that helped England prosper for many decades and centuries ahead.

This article examines how public education began to be seen as crucial to addressing the management of poverty in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. Public education was central to the shaping of eighteenth-century Scottish socio-economic development and the concerns of the Scottish enlightenment intellectual project. In the generation after Adam Smith, scholars and administrators were confronted with the enormous challenges of burgeoning poverty created by urban growth and the industrial revolution, which were further exacerbated by the pressures of global warfare. Employing and adapting the methods and insights of Scottish political economy, as well as the lessons of Britain's colonial experience, the influential author and magistrate Patrick Colquhoun advocated mass education to tackle the problems that Britain faced in the era of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.

Monday, September 5

I found Papa Smurf's ancestor in Singapore

I was wandering around in Singapore's wonderful Asian Civilisations Museum and found this statue of a central Asian Warrior dating to 648 AD. This was recovered from the tomb of Doudan, a general in the Tang Army and a son in law of the Emperor Gsozu.

so now that i have got the history bit out, take a look at him

See? doesnt he remind you of Papa Smurf?

Sunday, September 4

On two conjectures that shaped the historiography of indeterminate analysis: Strachey and Chasles on Sanskrit sources ☆

This paper is part of a research project on the historiography of mathematical proof in ancient traditions. Its purpose is to shed light on the various ways in which nineteenth-century European scholars attempted to make sense of Sanskrit mathematical sources dealing with indeterminate analysis. Attention will be paid to the historical processes by which these different strands interwove into a cumulative historiography of the field. The focus is on two interpretive conjectures that shaped alternative readings of an evolving corpus of texts, with significantly different emphases and viewpoints.
The British scholar and East India Company servant Edward Strachey first identified a consistent algebraic theory in Bhāskara's Bīja-gaṇita, which he translated from a seventeenth-century Persian manuscript. While reading his sources through the lens of the Euler–Lagrange theory of periodic continued fraction expansions for quadratic irrationals, he offered an insightful interpretation of the so-called cakravāla  , or “cyclic method”. Two decades later, in the context of his investigations on the historiography of geometry, the French geometer Michel Chasles delved into Henry Thomas Colebrooke's translations of Bhāskara and Brahmagupta, from the Sanskrit original, which had become authoritative all over Europe in the meantime. While working out an overall interpretation of Brahmagupta's theory of quadrilaterals, Chasles incidentally spotted a geometrical construction which opened the way to a geometrical solution of the indeterminate equation Cx2±A=y2. He conjectured that this geometrical way may have been the Sanskrit path to indeterminate analysis. Furthermore, on the basis of textual reconstruction, he supplemented his rigorous interpretive conjecture with a more sweeping historical assumption about a possible transmission of this geometrical approach to algebra, from Sanskrit to European mathematics, through the Arabs and Fibonacci. Owing to further scholarship by Baldassare Boncompagni, Franz Woepcke and others, the wheat would be sorted out from the chaff.