372 comments posted · 1 followers · following 3

1 day ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 0 replies · +9 points

I recently read a book called Tarentella, possession and dispossession in the old kingdom of Napoli

It is a very detailed history and analysis of the possession sickness one would catch when bitten by a tarantula and the dancing rituals that were the only cure. Interestingly enough the ritual was still practiced up until the very end of the 20th century because it had to be redone every year on the anniversary of the original bite (unless people just stopped needing it claiming the spider who bit them had died and therefore was not possessing them anymore).

As someone who suffers from depression I was very interested to learn that the symptoms of possession were a lack of energy and motivation, reclusiveness, loss of apetite. The cure, throwing the afflicted a huge, very expensive crowdfunded party were they dance for days without eating until they pass out from exhaustion was interesting too...

Making health, and in particular mental health an individual's problem instead of a community's is probably the greatest mistake of modern medicine imo.

Edit : I forgot to make clear that the spiders in the region are big and scary but not actually venomous, so whatever it was that people had wasn't some physical reaction to a bite

1 day ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 1 reply · +6 points

Yea magic, medicine and religion were pretty much interchangeable in most of human history. I think Religion For Breakfast has a video on his channel on the subject.

Edit : I include religion here because during the Counter-Reformation a lot of pagan healing rituals were co-opted by the church into the cult of healing saints.

1 day ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 1 reply · +17 points

This hasn't been mentioned in a while, but eyes are *very important* on Discworld. Eyes seem to reveal the true nature of their owner, and in The Color of Magic it was said that even the gods can't change their eyes when manifesting.

This was reinforced in witches abroad when we learned that a witch, and presumably a wizard, can only change a person eyes when shape changing a person if the change is permanent.

So what could it possibly mean for a the Cunning Man to have no eyes AT ALL ? Nothing good I can tell you that !

Edit : I'm changing my online id so I changed my name here too ^^ (used to be HBJ)

3 days ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 1 reply · +14 points

Something happened to her, and now she has the ability to understand meaning very quickly, which has manifested in her learning languages just by listening.

I don't agree with Mark's interpretation here. I think Amber always had this ability, she was just surrounded by people who didn't notice - or worse didn't care. For me the poor girl was just like the garden, and the kitchen at the Pettys place : not cared for and certainly not nurtured. The horror that happened to her is what brought her to the person who can teach her - the Kelda - but I don't think it's what unlocked her abilities.

Dark headcanon, trauma (no spoilers) : Gubhtu orsber gur Fbbguvatf jrer cynprq ba ure gung cbjre jnf cebonoyl orvat fbzrjung gnatyrq hc vagb fbzr fbeg bs ulcreivtvynapr / CGFQ. Nsgre nyy gur bayl bgure zntvpvna jr xabj bs gung unf n fvzvyne cbjre vf Evaprjvaq naq gung'f n punenpgre gung yvirf va n fgngr n pbafgnag srne.

5 days ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 1 reply · +4 points

I forgot to post this last week re:Amber and Chickens !

[youtube Ohue0j943b0&t=22 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohue0j943b0&t=22 youtube]

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 3 replies · +9 points

Yeah that's what I mean by immeasurable. Like, in days before the internet you could design a general knowledge test to find out if someone was 'cultured' based on a few thousand facts that people had access to. Now I know people who'd crash hard at that sort of test who can discuss some music genre or one niche politic subject for hours because now deep knowledge is accessible instead of us being limited to broad but superficial "paper encyclopedia" based one.

So maybe there is an element of older people lashing out for feeling ignorant. Like "kids today pretend to be smarter than everyone [ie the conservative talking] but they don't even know what stinging nettles look like".

Well tough luck old man I may not know but I could post a picture of one on twitter and I have more than one plant enthusiasts in my TL who will identify it for me, give me a review of its symbolic meanings and historical uses and maybe throw in a funny and/or interesting anecdote about a 12th century monk flagellating himself or something.

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 6 replies · +6 points

The weirdest thing about these claims of "kids today don't know anything" is that it's so counterfactual.

My generation (born in the early 90s, got internet access as teens) actually has incomparably more general knowledge than earlier ones. Immeasurable is not a figure of speech here : access to culture is so much wider and deeper that it's like comparing the physics of a droplet and the physics of sea currents. There is a common concept of water, but at different scales the phenomenon that dominate the system are just not the same.

Which is probably why these people are mad about it, insofar as they need a reason to get mad at young people...

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 1 reply · +13 points

^ This

That said this problem isn't limited to mob justice - I'd argue it extends to all form of justice that we have come up with in human societies. A justice system by definition exist to enforce social norms and if these social norms are sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic, etc. then the justice system will be in charge of enforcing sexism, racism ableism and homophobia. Even a quick look at the statistics of the US (or French, I don't want to exonerate my country just because I was born there by chance) justice system will show you that much.

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 0 replies · +5 points

To answer your question : Abcr, guvf vf gur riravat nsgre gur snve. Nyy gur qevaxvat bs gur qnl vf jung cerpvcvgngrq obgu Ze Crggl'f naq gur pebjq'f ivbyrapr.

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 4 replies · +22 points

The rough music is a very real thing - though you may hear of it under the name of charivari. It is a form of mob justice and like all form justice it can go very wrong, very fast. General content warning for abuse and lynching bellow.

For every wife beater or rapist it punishes, it would also turn against abuse victims such as husbands being beaten by their wives. A usual target would also be women when they were seen as overly sexual : pregnant unmarried women or even widows remarrying too soon (or at all in some regions !).

It became more symbolic and less violent in north America, where the rough music was played under the windows of newlywed on their first night, and even when the ritual was done to wrongdoers, it focused on rehabilitation and reintegration within society. Most of the punishment in this case would be enacted on an effigy.

The weakening of the charivari by colonists may or may not be correlated with the development of lynching as a competing form of mob justice depending on who you ask. Those that argue for this theory claim that it denotes how the racial hierarchy took the place of the sexual hierarchy as the fundamental pillar of society, but I think this is overly simplistic...

I researched it a lot because I'm interested in the ways we could run a justice system in anarchist communities that wouldn't require giving power over to professional judges without it reverting to mob justice.