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Barbarians Invade Civilisations

Censorship strikes again

I was not even able to upload this answer someone talking to me on Quora, whose name is Alberto. I will put it here and you’ll be able to work out from the context what he was saying. Anyone wishing to comment is welcome, I only censor for spam and not politics. It is just as well I have my own outlet and am not fully in thrall to other people’s sites and their rules.

 

Some historical examples

I picked out the Phoenicians as an example because I thought that was your best argument out of them. Saying that the Greeks were educated by Egyptians is rather silly. All of these big libraries which were in due course destroyed by the Moors you so idolise were Graeco-Roman.  They were not originally Egyptian, as the Ptolemaic line was totally subordinate to Graeco-Roman power.

Egyptians came under the influence of Semitic tribes, among others the Hebrews and Phoenicians, and it was the Akkadians who brought literacy to Sumeria, so that we don’t even really know much about the original Sumerian language.

That all aside, I would like to point out a certain inconsistency in your arguments.

 

Inconsistency in your arguments

You are arguing that earlier cultures have been culturally more rich and civilised than invading cultures. There has been a tendency in history for advanced civilisations to become complacent and then the barbarians invade them. You reference the Vikings, ok, let’s take the vikings. Scandinavia was the “officina gentium aut certe velut vagina nationum“ as Jordanes wisely if naughtily puts it. From its territories the kingdoms and empires of all medieval Europe sprang, from Spain to Russia. And what happened? They became the most civilised parts of the world because they became economically relatively comfortable. Their homelands are among the highest HDIs in the whole world. So much for barbarians.

Obviously we can’t just leave these people on the street…

Now it is others coming in and destroying that. People who may have once been great repositories of culture but who lost it and now in many cases are barely literate. They come in many cases not so much to work as to receive gifts of houses and benefits. We know that because here in Poland, where the benefits even for Poles are meagre, and you need to work, we are not seeing them. Other than as a transit space to Germany and other Frankish and Visigothic and Viking kingdoms where they expect to find a copious social safety net. They even flock on the shores of France to enter the UK via dinghies just for a marginally more generous social crib.

And there’s you, taking the side of the fine culture when it’s Vikings like me invading but when it’s Vikings like me who have the fine culture, and those who long ago forgot their culture are invading as Barbarians, then that’s wrong.

You are like the Kali figure in Sienkiewicz’s trilogy. The epitome of double standards. Poles talk about “Kali’s Law”. That basically means it’s one law for me and another for you.

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Why are there so many Polish immigrants in the UK? Why is Poland such a bad country to live in?

First of all, if Poland were a bad country to live in, I wouldn’t live here. I am, after all, British. And there are a lot of British people living here, some in cities, some in more rural locations. As well as more and more other foreigners.

The reason you see a lot of Polish people is that this country has the same population as all the countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia combined. Percentagewise, more Lithuanians have emigrated than Poles, but that doesn’t mean that Lithuania is a bad country either.  However, because there are thirty Poles in the world to every Lithuanian, you’re still not going to run into them as often.

 

Polish Exploration – the example of Mikołaj Przewalski

Poles are more adventurous than most peoples. They have had more than their share of explorers and discoverers. They were not by any means always looking for an easy life, but simply highly interested in the whole world and what is in it. One example I can easily give is a wild horse species, now endangered, which lives over in Mongolia. This was discovered by a Polish guy called Przewalski and is to this day called “Przewalski’s horse”.  He also has a Przewalski’s gazelle, which is less known, and was the first to describe to science te wild Bactrian camel, although clearly that was well-known from time immemorial. What was not known, though, was that this wild Bactrian camel was a separate species to the domestic Bactrian camel. This by the way I very much doubt would stand up to genetic analysis, because people are saying that dogs are basically the same species as wolves, but apparently what domestic Bactrian camels evolved from was really a different thing entirely, so there you go.

Mikołaj Przewalski (or as he was known in Russian Николай Михайлович Пржевальский),  was born in Smolensk, a perennial favorite haunt of Poles, in the Spring of 1839, and died in a place called Karakol (yes, I know, Turkish for “police station” but this is I think an actual town in Kirgizia which bore the name Pzhevask in his honour for a while before the Turkic police stations, the black arm gang, took over, and exploration and zoology put on the back-burner) in 1888, a good ten years after the birth of Stalin, not sayin’ anything, but you have to admit the moustache has a certain familiar look…

This chap was a Russian citizen, as at that time Poland was not even on the map, and Poles were either Prussian citizens, Russian citizens or Austro-Hungarian citizens. He used his “nash chelovek” status to explore all over Central Asia wherever the Russians went. He was so adventurous, that some people even reckon that he was Stalin’s real dad, but that’s probably just an urban legend.

These days some criticism is levelled at him for being quite high-handed towards the native peoples of the places he went to, which just goes to show that it was not just the British and other West Europeans that took an Imperialist stance it was everyone, and if we had been on the receiving end instead of the dishing-out end, it is highly unlikely to have been better.

Here you can penetrate anywhere, only not with the Gospels under your arm, but with money in your pocket, a carbine in one hand and a whip in the other. Europeans must use these to come and bear away in the name of civilisation all these dregs of the human race. A thousand of our soldiers would be enough to subdue all Asia from Lake Baykal to the Himalayas….Here the exploits of Cortez can still be repeated.

(N. M. Przewalski on Asia)

 

But above all for him it was exploration, science, nature, collecting specimens of unknown plants, insects and higher life which really got him his Vega medal.

How Przewalski's gazelle appears in Sclater's "The Book of Antelopes", a seminal work on these Bovidae from 1894.

Philip Sclater, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons The_book_of_antelopes (1894) Procapra przewalskii.

This is the same spirit that sends people to the UK. They believe that it will improve their English, which in turn will enable them to communicate on a world-wide scale and they want a nice classy English (unfortunately on building sites they tend to pick up something less than classy, but of course they don’t know that, and proceed with their h-dropping and “effing and blinding” when they get back and are trying to use English for the purposes of international tax consulting, or something equally august). They want to experience something different to their own country and culture, but which is still relatively friendly. The pay of course doesn’t hurt either, but for many it is not the prime consideration.

 

Some will stay in the UK, appreciating the education system as the grass is always greener on the other side, and wanting good UK universities and qualifications for their kids. Some are merely saving money and will use it to buy back in Poland in lush countryside a bigger mansion than any of their work colleagues in the UK will ever have.
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Shouldn’t Poland be taking in more African refugees? Poland is a large EU country with a booming economy.

Hi there.  (Credit Al Jazeera)

Original Posting Date: 24/06/2018
Question as answered Shouldn’t Poland be taking in more African refugees? Poland is a large EU country with a booming economy.

Views at the time added to HTV: 3,000
Upvotes at the time added to HTV: 78
Comments at time added: 1
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This question was asked at the time of the first Migration crisis where indeed there was quite a sizeable focus on North Africans coming into Europe in 2014. Germany at the time invited them in and then expected other countries to take co-responsibility for this rash action, especially blaming Poland, like they had anything, anything whatsoever, to lecture Poland about other than how to make a nice Vollfettquark, or a decent Leberwurst. Oh, and literature. But less of that.

These days we have a more topical migrant crisis but I haven’t really needed to update the text below to take account of the change in times, but something to bear in mind when reading this is that the main issue now is it is no longer Germany wanting to take them, they have closed the doors to the migrants coming via Belarus and are not encouraging them from anywhere else either, and I have not heard Olaf-faminit Schultz, the new socialist chancellor for a month or so now, change back from Merkel’s hardened position, although it is early days yet and I don’t put anything past German Socialists.

The main issue now is that these migrants are very clearly being weaponised by Russia and Belarus, in a context of military pressure around the Ukrainian border. I do get why Putin feels he should push on the east of Ukraine, why he and Lukashenko are having a good laugh really exposing the hypocrisy of western Europe this way, but I cannot condone the weaponising of people. Moreover, each of these people apparently paid good money to Belarus for transit and the simple pocketing of the money seems very cynical. On top of which Belarus forces have gone too far in assisting breaches of the border and clearly this is not acceptable. I can only commend the Polish side for a very measured reaction. Clearly both sides have at their disposal ordinance which would allow a very rapid and harmful escalation of hostilities. It is therefore a good thing if this mess can be put right by the President of Belarus.  He’s going to have to step up and bear the costs of this one, unless Putin is bailing him out.

Anyway, here is the article exonerating Poland from any moral need to take in non-European refugees. Poland has actually taken a reasonable (by comparison to similarly engaged countries) share of  Afghans whom they knew and worked with during Western occupation of Afghanistan. I am not dealing with that issue here, it is in my opinion a separate and very complex issue, but suffice it to say hardly anyone appearing on the Belarus -Polish border is from Afghanistan, despite early media reports that this was the case.

Last time I looked, Poland wasn’t the ‘First Safe Country’ with regard to any African country. Nor any Middle Eastern one. It is, however, ‘First Safe Country’ for Ukraine, so in accordance with the relevant international treaty that is actually signed up to by our nations, namely the Dublin Accord, (as opposed to making new laws up as you go along, which is what some leaders in the EU, notably Merkel, have been doing) it accepts refugees from that country, and has done so far in excess of its duty, with about a million Ukrainians having benefited from an open door to Poland. And this in spite of Ukrainians having been responsible for some of the worst massacres against Poles in living memory. They are not exactly natural allies.

As far as economic migrants are concerned there is no point in accepting these from Africa in a big lump but for sure there might be some who have skills we need, and indeed you do see Africans around, and I have been to a fine Nigerian doctor here in Warsaw, probably some of the people from Poland reading this post know who I mean and people like this man will always have an open door to Poland.
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What happened to Polish People?

Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła, póki my żyjemy...

This is part of a new series where I bring over the best of my answers to questions on Quora. I did a few of these in earlier years in chronological order. From 2022 I am reworking them in the order of the number of upvotes received. These being the ones I would most regret losing – which is what they threatened me with over there for not being a Neo-Marxist.

On even numbered dates in the months, I plan to bring home to http://www.huliganov.tv as many of the best of these as I can manage. I will of course be improving them, updating them, adding images. I warmly invite discussion below in each case. Enjoy!

Original Posting Date on Quora : 06/03/2018
Question as answered What happened to Polish People?

Views at the time added to HTV: 10,600
Upvotes at the time added to HTV: 204
Comments at time added: 18
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Historical perspective

They had a huge country in the Middle Ages and were a paragon of civilisation, with links to other Nations all over the world. Then they were wiped off the map twice by their enemies. They finally arrived back on the map after World War I but endured invasion again in World War II, by Germans and Russians. Both, motivated by various forms of Socialism (National and International respectively), wished to take back what they had before the First World War. Poland’s military leadership assisted the allies and was instrumental in the Battle of Britain among other battles. The resistance wore down Hitler’s supply lines throughout the war.

After the war, they came under the hegemony of to the Soviet Union for their troubles. They did receive a new set of borders on the map, much smaller but rather with a center of gravity to the west of the one they had had previously. They managed to pioneer the breakout from Russian Socialism and its oppressions largely due to the Catholic majority (I speak as a Protestant, but credit where credit is due). The reborn nation worked very hard to make up the difference between itself and the west. Now despite what statistics say there’s little difference between the lifestyle in Poland and in the UK.

Current status

The average Polish house is larger, garden too, food of higher quality, better public transport systems and other benefits. The tax regime which is not so onerous but which offers not such a high level of benefits. It remains a safety net for the needy but does not constitute a comfy hammock for the indolent as in Western countries. That’s why Poles work, and why their economy grows. Now it is the hub of Central Europe, with a regionally leading Stock Exchange. The zloty has been strong against the EUR in the last couple of years.

Some Polish people, yesterday.

Poles achieved a lot by their hard work, they joined the EU to get a bit more of what the West owed them for the big backstab last century. However, they are not about to have Germany, which made one very big attempt to alter their demographics to suit themselves 70 years or so ago, do the same thing again. Just with a slightly curvier pant suit on and no silly moustache. So therefore this insistence, coupled with threats, by Germany and its multiple panders in the EU like Mr Verhopeless, Mr Schulds, Mr Junky and others to allow Poland to become less Polish and a little bit more Islamic are not going to meet with with any kind of sympathy. Neither are attempts by Germany to blame Poland for what they did likely to make any normal, sane Pole happy.

The peeves of the pervs

Of late, the politicians have all changed and some of the situation has become worse, and some better. Germany seems to have opened its eyes to the reality of accepting migrants with open arms. Now Germany is not so open and Poland has refused to join Belarussia’s quisling act in injecting the carriers of militant Islam into Western Europe. Finally the Polish approach has gained respect. Still the left are all the more determined to make trouble. Turów coal plant, the democratisation of the juridiciary and the refusal to allow unbridled genderism, are among their current peeves.

Uncomfortable politics?

They voted for a party which asserts their right to have an own view, to be different, to be Polish, even if that’s inconvenient for the funded elite and their plans for Europe. This appears to be a very big problem for the remnants of the Socialists who now sit like parasites in the West. They control a lot of opinion as their news outlets go bankrupt one after another unless bailed out by certain interests. Yet the more they rage and rant and threaten in a manner devoid of understanding either of history, or the Polish identity, the more certain it is that Poles will rally and will compound their successes in the arts, sport, businesses and general influence in the world today. So the Poles become even more inconveniently and gloriously Polish.

Some Q&A about Aquatics (Quora #4)

A couple of Saturdays ago I started a series which was intended to reproduce my inputs on Quora over here on this blog, as a repurposing and collating of them as well as a way of making sure I don’t lose my own content. Once again I recently had a warning from Quora just for letting another Englishman know thatt in saying no Englishman likes Donald Trump he took rather too much on himself as there are those of us who do. This was enough to have a second warning from Quora and so now I need to accelerate the copying over of my own work from that site in case I lose all those hours of work and creativity. Where there is moderation, there is limited trust.

At first I did one article per post, but there are quite a lot of briefer answers and it makes little sense to copy these over in that format, so now I have in mind to produce more answers in a single post, based around onne theme, and I have been preparing lists that analyse these articles into common themes. Last time in #3 we took a few articles I had written about Betta splendens, the Siamese fighting fish. These answers gave rise to more questions for me to answer (Quora has A2A, or Ask to Answer where people get invited to answer, either because the person asking knows them or they are suggested by the software. Alternatively you can jump in and give an answer on whatever appears on your screen. If you have opted to receive emails, you get a feed from Quora or items that may interest you) and these questions started to be about fishkeeping or aquatics in more general terms, and even (to be looked at later on) about ichthyology. Inevitably I also started to receive questions about sport fishing and I have zero time for that. I am ready to talk about fishery as part of the food industry, but not about angling, fly fishing or any of these sadistic pseudosports.

Please remember that my answers vary a lot from facetious to informative usually depending on my mood, the time available and what I think about the question. Be prepared for a rather broad range of approaches to questions. Quora goes from highly intellectual Q&A to the dumbest things a human being can write or read. I try to vary my own tone to match the quality of the question.

If you want to discuss or ask anything else around these themes, please get a discussion going in the comments. It’s what the comment facility is there for. I hope it is not onerous to log on and make some kind of utterance.

My own Heros severus.

As mentioned in the title, the theme for today is aquatics, and these answers were given by me all in 2015-2016.

1. Can you overfeed fish? How do you avoid doing so?

You can always add more food but it is harder to take it out. Give enough for everything to be eaten in a few minutes and feed morning and evening. You can leave raw carrot pieces or washed lettuce leaves – not much – or the skins of fresh cucumbers in there for them to eat more gradually.

Feeding too much will cause a nitrate hike, it has a demand on oxygen and will generally poison the fish as well as cause bacterial blooms and too much growth of algae.

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Some Q&A about Betta splendens or Siamese fighting fishes (Quora #3)

A couple of Saturdays ago I started a series which was intended to reproduce my inputs on Quora over here on this blog, as a repurposing and collating of them as well as a way of making sure I don’t lose my own content.

As explained last time to group answers around themes and I have a little sheet where I am preparing them for these Group posts, based on the format I’ll be doing today.

Please remember that my answers vary a lot from facetious to informative usually depending on my mood, the time available and what I think about the question. Be prepared for a rather broad range of approaches to questions.

Male Crowntail Betta by Wikipedia User Anandrajkumar

If you want to discuss or ask anything else around these themes, please get a discussion going in the comments. It’s what the comment facility is there for. I hope it is not onerous to log on and make some kind of utterance.

As mentioned in the title, the theme for today is Betta splendens, and these answers were given by me all in late 2015 or the first half of 2016.  It seems very random that I emerged as an expert on this species in Quora as I haven’t had an awful lot of them myself but I do know a thing or two about them.

1. What’s a good way to keep the temperature constant in a small fish bowl for a Betta?

Personally I would not keep him in a bowl at all. Just because an aquarium fish is hardy and will accept unnatural temperatures without dying and can breath air so that it is not affected by poor oxygenation it does not mean that the quality of life of a fish will be pleasant in a bowl.

A person needs to deserve to be looking after animals, you know, and the basis of that deserving is giving the animal a pleasant life. I would give a Betta a heater/stat and filter, gravel and plants and decent lighting and regular water changes and good food just like any other aquarium fish.

The specifics for Betta males is you can’t keep two of them together and you should avoid keeping them with fish that are likely to nip their lovely flowing fins. But you can keep them with small catfishes like Corydoras or Ancistrus no problem. I think it is nicer for them to have that kind of tank mate than be stuck on their own.

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Some Q&A about culinary matters (Quora #2)

A couple of Saturdays ago I started a series which was intended to reproduce my inputs on Quora over here on this blog, as a repurposing and collating of them as well as a way of making sure I don’t lose my own content.

Having given more thought to the way of doing this, I have decided to do these Quora Q&As on Saturdays but to change the approach slightly, namely instead of having one answer per post to only have one answer if it is a nice big essay but often (as in the case of the first one) it is too short to deserve being a whole week’s portion. Not only will these posts look funny but also they won’t be very useful and I’ll never get through the whole corpus of my answers on Quora.

So I decided to group answers around themes and I have a little sheet where I am preparing them for these Group posts, based on the format I’ll be doing today.

Cymothoa exigua – the fish louse mentioned below – in action.

Please remember that my answers vary a lot from facetious to informative usually depending on my mood, the time available and what I think about the question. Be prepared for a rather broad range of approaches to questions.

If you want to discuss or ask anything else around these themes, please get a discussion going in the comments. It’s what the comment facility is there for. I hope it is not onerous to log on and make some kind of utterance.

As mentioned in the title, the theme for today is Culinary, and these answers were given by me all in late 2015 or the first half of 2016.  I’ve got three Q&As for you today in this topic.

1. Why are people okay with consuming raw fish or rare steak when it may contain parasites?

Well, it’s not a good idea eating raw river fish and you won’t actually find that much by way of river fish in sushi bars.
With two exception, the Candiru and other people themselves, all parasites on man are invertebrates. They don’t have kidneys, they cannot osmoregulate. The ability to do this happened in the notional common ancestor between us and lampreys and anything “higher” than that has kidneys, anything “lower” doesn’t.

So those invertebrates that live in the sea want a salinity for their plasma of nearer 27 ppm while those from freshwater want lower than 9 ppm, which is what vertebrate plasma has.

So fish lice and other parasites in marine fishes can’t survive the change form a marine to a non-marine environment. You don’t have to worry about them breeding in you. There is one illness from one louse but extremely rare and limited to a few species. But these days marine fish have other risks, namely contamination from plastics and metals that they have absorbed from the sea.

That’s now a bigger worry than parasites by far if we’re talking about marine fish, and brings us back to the urgent and much larger issue of how we can reduce new marine pollution with plastics and heavy metals as well as clean up what is already floating around out there.

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