Monday, December 29, 2008
I'm still on vacation from work, but have returned to blogging, although it will probably be irregular this week due to my being on the road.
Blogging Etiquette Note
Sez Eric Siegmund of The Fireant Gazette:
I discovered the first instance of trackback spam on the Gazette earlier today. If you haven't run into this phenomenon yet, that's my term (perhaps someone else has a better one) for a blogger who sends a trackback ping to one of your posts, without actually linking to the post on his or her blog.A variant made possible by Blogger's "create a link" backlinking feature we might dub "backlink spam". Someone helped me discover it by doing it several times recently, including the day after I went on hiatus, forcing me to log on to my account to remove the link.
Siegmund politely explains that trackback/backlink spam is a breach of etiquette, but he is being too generous. This blog is my property, and trackback spam (petty though it be) is a violation of my property rights. The sites I promote here are my business, and if you want to advertise, email me and we can discuss it.
The Leviathan Plate
The wife and I are in New Orleans, where we are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary, whose date we share with her folks. Her dad took us all to Commander's Palace last night to celebrate. I ordered a redfish entree (pictured) whose name I can't recall, and we all laughed when they brought it to the table. I nicknamed the dish, the "Leviathan Plate".
Via Alan Sullivan, I learned of the interesting map at the right. Click to enlarge.
As explained at Strange Maps, the colored portion of the map comes from a breakdown of electoral results in Poland, while the outline is Imperial Germany.
"Your map showing the electoral divide in Ukraine (#343) is quite interesting, and put me in mind of a similar one that I saw last year, that prompted me do a bit of map research," writes David G.D. Hecht. "If you look at the Wikipedia article on the Polish legislative elections of 2007, there is a map there similar to the Ukrainian one. I looked at this map and thought, hmmm... where have I seen this divide before? Looks very familiar. This isn't just some urban/rural, professional/worker, white-wine-and-brie/beer-and-sausages thing!"
Mr Hecht did some overlay work, and came up with this remarkable fit: "The divide between the (more free-market) PO and the (more populist) PiS almost exactly follows the old border between Imperial Germany and Imperial Russia, as it ran through Poland! How about that for a long-lasting cultural heritage?!?"
The voting patterns exemplify a central idea behind Leonard Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels, in which he holds that philosophical ideas prevalaent in a nation's culture drive its politics.
Religious writers often claim that the cause of Nazism is the secularism or the scientific spirit of the modern world. This evades the facts that the Germans at the time, especially in Prussia, were one of the most religious peoples in Western Europe; that the Weimar Republic was a hotbed of mystic cults, of which Nazism was one; and that Germany's largest and most devout religious group, the Lutherans, counted themselves among Hitler's staunchest followers.It is fascinating to see this illustrated on such a map.
There is the Marxist interpretation of Nazism, according to which Hitler is the inevitable result of capitalism. This evades the facts that Germany after Bismarck was the least capitalistic country of Western Europe; that the Weimar Republic from the start was a controlled economy, with the controls growing steadily; and that the word "Nazism" is an abbreviation for "National Socialism." (20-21) [bold added]