User talk:Tim Starling/Archive 2

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Since no one responded before, I'll ask again. Is there some sort of (meta)page that will list, instead of all recent changes, only those recent changes made by users who are not logged in? This might be an easy way to track vandalism, as it seems to me that most vandalism is caused by passersby rather than established users... with the obvious exception of "career" vandals such as Lir or Michael. I'm thinking a DDQ would probably do it, but I'm new to such fancy-shmancy type stuff. Any help would be appreciated. --Dante Alighieri 08:32 23 May 2003 (UTC)

No. Might be useful, but keep in mind that you would then be missing in-between and on-top edits by non-anonymous users, making it hard to get a coherent picture. But just to detect unchecked vandalism it might be a good idea, perhaps in the same style as the contributions page, with the "(top)" flag to indicate whether a change has been edited since, or only listing (top) edits. --Eloquence 09:21 23 May 2003 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. I was hoping to have some sort of resource to make it easier to find unchecked vandalism. Can someone construct such a page or at least direct me how to do it myself? --Dante Alighieri 09:33 23 May 2003 (UTC)
"SELECT * from recentchanges where rc_user=0 order by rc_timestamp desc" gets you the anonymous changes. The top mark is a little harder, take a look at SpecialContributions.php in the Wikipedia source code and search for "topmark". Feel free to hack a page together, we can always use more developers. --Eloquence 09:41 23 May 2003 (UTC)

I submitted this exact idea to the Sourceforge feature request tracker months ago, and I also pointed out that it would only take a few lines of PHP code to implement. Preferably the option would be hidden to the "anonymous" users themselves -- if it was displayed in full view on RC, it would encourage vandals to log in. -- Tim Starling 05:23 24 May 2003 (UTC)

Yes, a quick hack that only shows anonymous edits would be simple -- but not very useful, because you need to know if someone else has already edited the page in question, and you need the proper diff links. But since you seem to know enough about PHP to implement it yourself, we look forward to seeing your full implementation. --Eloquence 11:18 24 May 2003 (UTC)
I don't like writing code when I can't test it. My one submission so far (salted passwords) broke the code in about 5 different ways -- it took Lee quite some time to find all the bugs. I might be able to set up my own test server in a few weeks from now... Unless someone wants to lend me an account on test.wikipedia.org? Can I have CVS access as well? -- Tim Starling 15:04 24 May 2003 (UTC)
Give me the name of your SourceForge account and I'll set you up with CVS access. Double-check with Jimbo about a login on the server, I guess. I don't think I'm supposed to hand them out willy-nilly ;) --Brion 16:34 24 May 2003 (UTC)
My sourceforge account is "timstarling". And obviously if you can't give me access to test.wikipedia.org without giving me access to the whole machine we'll have to get authorization from Jimbo. That's fine. -- Tim
Okay, you should be added to the project and able to check in to CVS. You might also want to drop Lee Crocker a note; he's got a test installation on his server and has handed out logins to a couple other developers. --Brion 05:20 25 May 2003 (UTC)
What makes setting up a test server difficult? Grab a copy of Apache and MySQL, a database dump and you're ready to go, it doesn't need to be a remote machine. I have no objections to giving you CVS access, but please check back on wikitech-l before implementing that mega-move-page feature of yours; I'm afraid it might cause major breakage (potential for substantial abuse; multiple parallel edit conflicts etc.). --Eloquence 01:11 25 May 2003 (UTC)
The primary thing I'm worried about is HDD space: I've only got 500MB left and as far as I'm concerned that's swap space. Maybe I'll get a new one soon but it's not going to be just for Wikipedia's sake. The other thing is the time required to get Wikipedia working under Windows. My PhD, and a number of other commitments, are making me very conscious of time-management at the moment. -- Tim Starling 04:52 25 May 2003 (UTC)
Heh, I know the feeling - I'm on my diploma myself. But this thing is just too damn addictive ;-). As for HD space, you could use one of the smaller databases from Wikipedia:Database download. But setting it up under Windows may be a PITA. <insert OS flame here> --Eloquence 05:00 25 May 2003 (UTC)

I noticed that you rewrote TextOut after seeing my vote for deletion. I still think it should be deleted. Wikipedia is not an SDK (to coin a policy). I haven't come across any other functions from APIs listed in the Wikipedia, and even then, the TextOut article does not provide anything more than the Windows SDK. Why do you think it should say (and by letting it stay, saying that Wikipedia should contain articles on specific functions)? CGS 20:40 28 May 2003 (UTC).

Answer at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion -- Tim Starling 00:01 29 May 2003 (UTC)
Ok, but I just dread the idea of someone writing a bot that copies across the entire PHP manual or something like that. CGS 14:54 29 May 2003 (UTC).

Thanks for the tip about name changing. I might just do it. Probably not right away: a) I'd like to come up with a reasonably clever pseudonym (I prefer to remain anonymous) and b)I seem to be locked in a feud in which my credibility and good faith are constantly being questioned (to say nothing of my taste, knowledge and intelligence), and I'm afraid that changing my name would make me look as if I am suffering from shame and ducking for cover (rather than confident as ever that God is on my side, so to speak). I think you're right about the PR value of a non-IP name. I imagine I'd have gotten better treatment if I'd started that way. Good luck with the quantum computing. It sounds like cool stuff.168... 18:18 29 May 2003 (UTC)

Terrific! it reads nicely. Kingturtle 13:54 30 May 2003 (UTC)


Hi Viking. Why didn't you choose the same name for yourself here as in the German Wikipedia? There is no sysop called Viking on de:Wikipedia:Administratoren. Which sysop are you? -- Tim Starling 14:03 30 May 2003 (UTC) ---

hallo Tim,
the way wikipedia is built all imput is tracable - we just do not want to have our names linked towards content of the like (because our children and students do sometimes look at "users contributions" - we allow you to edit our project, so why do you question or challenge a viking? Become a sysop too! We invite you! Maybe we can meet then and discuss matters of honor - a real viking would have never answered to your way of addressing, however we have not given up on cooperation and communication within wikipedia
Viking 14:17 30 May 2003 (UTC)

Tim - heya. Just curious, regarding Erythrophobia, is the source of a user's IP sufficient information to grant us permission to republish stuff on Wikipedia? Even if it was posted by the original author (or someone at his university), it seems that we would need some explicit declaration of rights, from them, to publish the material. -- Wapcaplet 00:16 5 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I think I'll do some editing/rephrasing anyway, to be on the safe side. As it stands, it does not even mention the word erythrophobia. Thanks for the clarification. -- Wapcaplet 00:31 5 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Tim - thanks for following up on the Erythrophobia thing. Glad to see that Dr. Gerlach was the source. I usually try to avoid copyright paranoia, but this one seemed significant enough to be concerned about. Thanks again! -- Wapcaplet 00:12 6 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Just for kicks, I thought I'd try making [[spectral envelope]] just the tiniest bit harder to create by unlinking it. Of course, if you object, the only place that had a link was [[Linear predictive coding]], and you can put it back. -- Someone else 05:07 5 Jun 2003 (UTC)


In case you didn't already know, I've created a group watchlist of sorts at Wikipedia:Favorite pages of banned users to help with tracking when Michael is vandalizing (and any future vandals like him). So feel free too use it, I have already found it helpful, and please add to it when he vandalizes more. Thanks. MB 22:12 6 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Thank you for you hard work on figuring out HP's Cartography Conference. A word of warning however: On some of HP's other pages on which he had written some deliberately cryptic stuff, I wrote a version explaining that "Writers on Subject X aredeliberately cryptic.. Here is an example...". Then some other well-meaning (I assume!) wikipedian saw that there was a problem with the page (on VfD) and merged HP's content with mine.. making it impossible for a reader to know what is really the heart of the matter. I have given up trying to clean after HP... it was taking up all the time I have available for the 'pedia but just thought I would warn that you are in for a long slog if you want to keep his contributions on track. Pcb21 09:53 9 Jun 2003 (UTC)


I am not an advocate of pataphysics. (that is just for the record, take it as you will) I do however want to make clear that the current practitioners of pataphysics do not necessarily have anything to do with the original science of pataphysics by Alfred Jarry; any more than say any form of christianity has to do with christs actual teachings. Uhm. I think that is all I really wanted to say. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 07:38 10 Jun 2003 (UTC)


After your last comment i thought I had better reply here. I have no great problem about living in a structured and coherent society, but I don't believe we do. You may feel safe on your streets but I am not sure that I do. (one of my neighbours was stabbed in the streets on Monday. Fortunately he is off the critical list. The last stabbing a couple of hundred yards down the street in March was fatal.) I think we live in a structured but incoherent society where wealth and resources arer taken from the majority of poor people to support islands of extravagance - well that's what I see when I look out of my window (aside from Sir Christopher Wren's Royal Observatory which I can peer at over my computer screen). I live in one of the poorest wards in England which is alongside the opulebnce of Canary Wharf. I checked out your work on Newton. When i get a chance I want to do some stuff on Gresham College, a fascinating topic - but this might involve doing some prior work on the Antwerp rebellion and the development of the bourse which Thomas Gresham emulated before setting up Gresham College (probably inspired by Humphrey Gilbert's essay proposing setting up an Academy. Harry Potter 06:08 12 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Unfortunately I think it will be impossible to do justice to Gresham College without drawing out plenty of accusations of "unverifiable factoids" and "nonsense". This is why I have hung back from the task, starting in around about way, such as Knights of St Thomas - which needs lots of development first, developing the items on other actors in the drama like Gresham, Gilbert, Francis Bacon and other such influential people before getting really to grips with the College.

By the by are yoiu familiar with John Greaves, the Gresham professor who visited Mount Athos and the pyramids and wrote "On Cubits" which I think may have been wrongly attributed to Newton. Of course there is also Newton's alchemical works which were discussed by John Maynard Keynes at a meeting of teh Royal Society in the forties (I have not tracked this text down). Oh dear so much to do and so little time!!!Harry Potter


Did the dingo eat your baby?

The dingo ate many of my babies. I can't have it going hungry, can I? -- Tim Starling 05:53 13 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I know exactly how you feel mate!


Hi, Tim, and thanks; I had my browser setted to disable cookies. It's fixed now. Very grateful.-- The Warlock June 13, 2003, 6:34 (GMT) O, please excuse my misspelling of "setted" instead of set; I was so shocked of being logged in that almost forgot how to write... A teacher that cannot forgive himself: The Warlock 8:51 (GMT):-)


Hi, on my talk page I have a strange comment where somebody refers to me as the Irish god, Lir. I just noticed that u left a comment when you edited a page, stating, "I am turning into Lir" I can't help but wonder what the connection is between Irish mythology and encylopedias? Pizza Puzzle

[name removed] (recently discussed on Wikipedia talk:Wikipedians by number of edits), also known as Lir and half a dozen other names, is a troll who hung around Wikipedia for about 6 or 9 months. He now seems to be gone, thank God. He was well known for not using the "preview" function, and constantly making perhaps half a dozen minor edits in a row, in the space of a few minutes. That was why I said "I am turning into Lir", because I didn't bother with preview and it took me three edits to make a redirect. -- Tim Starling 03:02 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

It doesnt seem to matter whether I use preview or not, I invariably find just "one more" thing to fix after I click save page. . Pizza Puzzle


same here. fmt

Wikipedia:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License, 4D
"Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document".
IANAL, but I suggest that if someone uploads a photo to Wikipedia and they put a copyright notice on the image description page, then third parties should preserve that copyright notice in any modified version they produce. That may be a sufficient assurance for some photographers. Martin 09:20 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Thank you. I did say they were uninformed opinions, but they will be slightly more informed in the future. The trademark issue still remains, I assume? -- Tim Starling 10:09 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I frankly don't have a clue how trademark law and copyright law might interact! Martin 10:14 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Well yes, it's an interesting question. My (again uninformed) understanding is that you can pick which one you want to sue under. GFDL isn't copyright law, it's a contract. It applies to trademark law just as it applies to copyright.

I don't think it is - there needs to be some sort of agreement, and mutual benefit between parties to establish a contract. Under copyright law, by default, everything comes with all rights reserved. The GFDL is a set of conditions under which the copyright holder grants additional permissions - you can use, redistribute and/or modify only if you follow the provisions of the license, anything else has to be discussed with the copyright holder as usual. -- Jim Regan 18:15 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)
A contract requires "consideration", which is mutual cost, not benefit. Here, the consideration on the part of the copyright holder is the release of information, and the approval given to copying. The consideration on the licensee side is the agreement to various restrictive terms, including redistribution only under GFDL. The "agreement" in this case is towards the implicit end of the scale, but certainly not without precedent. For example, an easily visible sign on the outside of a store warning customers bags may be checked on exit, constitutes a contract agreed to by the customer on entry. A sign on the inside of the store is not automatically a contract, but regular customers may enter such a contract through "continued action". That is, they saw the sign previously, they were aware of the terms, and yet they continued to enter the store repeatedly. GFDL has all the essential characteristics of a contract. Of course, a contract is void if it has illegal object, so someone posting copyright material on this site without permission will find no protection under GFDL. -- Tim Starling 00:49 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Hi Tim,

Have you voted yet on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (years in titles)?. I am afraid that wiki is about to make a major captioning error. It seems to be voting to putting the year first when naming elections, sports events, etc. While people often do so in spoken english, in titles and captions it doesn't do so, because to do so makes the year the central fact, whereas in reality what the event is is central, the year the disambigulation point. For example, media outlets caption election coverage as Election 2000, General Election 2000, Presidential Election 2000 etc because the the fact that it is an election is the main fact to know, that it is a general/presidential/local/state/congressional election central. We have been following this rule for ages on wiki, so we have everything from UK general election, 1970 to U.S. presidential election, 1932 to Irish general election, 2002, etc. Moving to [[1932 US presidential election]] goes against standard media caption style and would involve the wholescale renaming of pages covering elections and all sorts of events from all over the globe. You are talking about hundreds if not thousands of pages having to be renamed and go against standard caption style, which is often called the where what, when rule. After all, people if they are searching for a page on an election will use the name of the election as their entry point for a list (particularly if they don't know the year). Typing in a search for U.S. presidential election throws up a clear orderly list of US presidential elections, with the disambigulation year at the end uniformly.

As you may guess, I do think wiki's proposed to system would amount to a pointless waste of energy in remaining vast numbers of pages, especially when it is to a format that is generally not used in titles and captions but only in speech. And this debate is all about titles. So I am canvassing support to vote down what I think is a flawed, ill thought through and pointless that originated initially with Adam Rinkleff (in the Susan Mason persona) some months ago and survived as an idea after SM was banned. FearÉIREANN 01:51 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)


And why don't you want me posting Wops? to wikiwiki.org?

reply on User talk:165.230.149.164

Congratulations! You finally deleted that guy with the orgy and the weird name! What took you so long to get around to it?


http://www.googlism.com/index.htm?ism=Adam+Rinkleff&type=1 Pizza Puzzle


Comment about the WikiWikiWeb and salvaged WikiPedia pages[edit]

Tim, I'm sure you didn't mean any harm, but could you in future refrain from posting salvaged WikiPedia pages to the WikiWikiWeb? Richard's copy of the page is okay, since it's on his home page there, and homepages get a lot of leeway. However, posting off-topic that doesn't connect in any way to the rest of the WikiWikiWeb is considered impolite.

As an alternative, you could establish a home page there, and post salvaged content to that.

Thanks, a c2.com WikiGnome

Hello WikiGnome, I would reply on c2.com if you had a real name, but you don't so here will have to do. Indeed I meant no harm. If I was posting that content here, I would have put it in a user subpage (e.g. User:Tim Starling/Greetings), but I wasn't sure if you have them. Anyway, I don't mind if you move it, and if Richard doesn't do anything about it in the next few days, you should mark the page for deletion. -- Tim Starling 05:35 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
*ahem* Wikipedia:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License, Section 2: "You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that [...] the license notice saying this License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies...".

Martin (pedantically)

Sorry, what's your point? I think I'm missing something. By the way do you likeArt Tatum? -- Tim Starling 09:47 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
The "Wops" stuff you copied across to c2.com. You didn't put a notice of its GFDL status on it.
Martin (listening to UFO instead)
Ah, right. Hang on, I'll do it now. -- Tim Starling 11:12 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Oh, and by the way, I deleted Original Wops from my home page and sanitized my version of Wops so that it has "Italians" doing all of those things rather than "Wops". I think my version is better, Du Wops or no Du Wops. Rickyrab 16:25 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Thanks for simultaneous equation I wasn't happy about replacing the text myself in case there was some other meaning of simultaneous equation that i was unaware of. Theresa knott 13:44 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Very cute picture, Tim (or is it Crocodile Dundee??? ;) ) Heard they got nice railroads down there, mate. Rickyrab 15:59 20 Jun 2003 (UTC) I laught out loud when I saw it. Theresa knott 16:14 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Glad to know someone else found it funny. For some reason everything seems hilarious to me at 2am. Which reminds me, good night. -- Tim Starling 16:21 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Yup, those railroads are cool... :) Rickyrab 16:20 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Oh, come on, there was barely even time for anyone to see it before you reverted! ;) -- John Owens 16:24 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Oh, I'd have reverted it sooner or later myself, I'm not like that.
So, umm, you're signing off now, eh? Hmm.... ;-) -- John Owens 16:30 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I have no problem with your rewrite of Bright. It is much better than mine. Tony Vignaux 20:26 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Another date standard used by people who have to communicate across language barriers is dd-mm-yyyy, where dd and yyyy are arabic numbers and mm is a Roman numeral. It avoids having to use any particular language's month names. Probably not worth implementing but perhaps worth mentioning. December 31, 2002 = 31 XII 2002; March 4, 1999 = 4 III 1999.

Also you might want to consider what to do with O.S./N.S. dates and so-called "double-dates" in years where the year's start was reckoned as March (e.g. 22 Feb 1615/6). See George Balanchine, Aleksey I of Russia, Peter I of Russia, George Washington, Vladimir Lenin -- Someone else 11:59 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Re: User:Vasantha, OK, I hadn't been following Talk:Neutrosophy much lately... Evercat 01:28 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Hi Tim, just got your offer. I've been off-line for a while so I just got the message. I would be immensely thankful if you would do an archive. I would even buy you a wiki-pint!!! Merci beaucoup! FearÉIREANN 08:13 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Sorry Tim, revert unintended. When I added the extra text, I didn't spot the change (or check history) and just replaced the lot with the revised version, assuming it hadn't been touched. Laziness, not malice (although I wonder why my wp didn't pick up the error. jimfbleak 09:45 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Hi Tim, just a note to say thanks for the archiving. Of course the irony is tonight wiki is so quick it is quicker than Bill Clinton hitting on an intern! So tonight I can use Safari and enter pages over 32K, whereas for the last few days I have been reduced to I.Explorer! So buy yourself a pint on me *grin*! FearÉIREANN 00:45 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)


If you ever have any difficulty with another user over whether to use F or C - feel free to immediately create a vote and list my name in support of Celsius. Pizza Puzzle

Me too. (Good God! I'm agreeing with Adam for once. Zoe must be turning her grave!!! :-) FearÉIREANN 01:12 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, but inevitably somebody will complain. I don't think there is a formal convention on it yet. Perhaps there is. I do not like the policy of placing text at the bottom. Pizza Puzzle


Thank you for fixing the atomic oxygen statement. Pizza Puzzle


The date/time page is too long for me to edit, but I'd like to put in another plea that Julian/Gregorian and double dates be handled properly! -- Someone else 01:16 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

My reply is on the freshly archived Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). -- Tim Starling 02:52 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I've replied to you on my talk page. -- Oliver P. 00:45 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)


Yeah. Measurements are always a nightmare. I just cooked using metric measurements, but only know my height via imperial, not metric. I haven't a bulls notion about farhenheit (is that the correct spelling? I can't even spell the damn thing!) and only use celsius but measure in inches and feet, not metric. Most people I know think in miles but roadsigns say kilometres. I guess the bottom line is to remember that some people think only in metric, other in imperial and a hell of a lot in a crazy mixture of both, often without knowing conversion details. And as much as the EU tries to force people in Europe to accept universal metrication, I don't see it happening because if people feel comfortable using one form in one area of their life, no EU directive or national law is going to change it. FearÉIREANN 01:49 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)


I very much doubt it will happen. If anything Imperial is back in fashion in the UK and elsewhere, if nothing else to piss off the EU. Ireland officially metricated in the 1970s. Yet a proposal now to change roadsigns to km from miles has met with widespread opposition. RTÉ has stopped just using km on news bulletins because of complaints from viewers who kept saying 'stop using measurements we don't use'. It is illegal to sell food in lbs yet a packet of stuff I opened gave metric & imperial. (I cooked tonight using metric, but cook christmas cakes using imperial, and that is from a recipe I got in a book only 4 years ago!) The use of metric is seen as the eurification of Ireland, UK etc and while there is a significant minority in favour of greater European integration, there is a larger minority increasingly hostile to Europe, as shown in tiny turnouts in European Parliamentary elections, the voting down of the Nice Treaty first time around, the growing opposition to the adoption of the Euro in the UK.

Today (well yesterday, as it is 3.22am here) Ireland had the largest single monthly increase in unemployment in 16 years and in the last 12 months has witnessed the almost complete collapse of the previously rampant Celtic Tiger. Both of those are being openly blamed by the public, politicians and most economists on the euro and Europe. So if metric is seen as European, it is the kiss of death for it with many people. So don't throw away your instruments. The best fans of metric can hope for is that it has practical parity in Britain and Ireland with imperial measurements. In reality, things European are losing not gaining popularity. If after 30 years of official metrification, with it illegal to sell goods in imperial, millions of people are still using imperial measurements, young as well as old, imperial has a long long way to go before it is confined to the history books. (BTW just remembered: I weighted myself last week at a weighing scales in a chemists in the city centre. I got my weight in stones and pounds. I asked why the electronic machine didn't do metric. The chemist said when they tried that everyone (young and old) demanded to know their weight in real (ie imperial) measurements, not what a lot called "'Mickey Mouse" metric. He was so fed up of the grief he programmed it just to do imperial and had no complaints from anyone except the police who said it was technically illegal, but not to worry because they wouldn't have a clue, nor did they want to have a clue, what their metric weight was!) FearÉIREANN 02:40 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Even here in Australia you will more often than not find babies' weights quoted in real money, i.e. lbs. and oz., simply to make sense to people who only relate to the context that way. And talking of real money, Australian/Fijian/NZ coins in many denominations are still the same size as the British originals, whereas by now Britain has changed many of them. PML.

A user account for you is set up on larousse; info on its way by e-mail. --Brion 02:19 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)


I wouldn't worry about all that post-modernist rubbish. As a historian one thing I have learned is that things simply don't change that much. Everything ebbs and flows but basically remains the same. Religion becomes the craze for a few decades, then everyone abandons it. Then becomes a craze again. Nationalism and a sense of nationality rises and falls. We panic over 'crime waves', oblivious to the fact that the same thing happened a generation or two before, except perhaps hadn't a tabloid press to hype it up. Nationalism as in a sense of national identity is on the rise again. It will decline in a decade or two, then rise again, then fall again etc etc. Each generation thinks its world is either the best ever or on the brink of collapse. People look back on a golden age that is a figment of their imagination. We look back on the 'non-violent' days of the a couple of decades ago. People in the 1950s looked back on the 1930s as the good old days and thought their era embodied the collapse of civilisation! In the 1930s they looked back on the early 1900s as the good times, the 1930s as the end of civilisation! In the 1900s they looked back on the 1870s, etc etc. Usually each generation looks back about 30 years, usually far enough to their parents' childhood, when only the good bits are remembered. (An Irish Times editorial from 1928, for example, complained about a rise in VD, drinking by women, all night dances and how older people know about the complete collapse in morality and influence of religion. The 1920s!!! Nowadays we see the 1920s as one of the most conformist eras in Irish history, where religion was at its most powerful, but to people then, it was an era of social collapse and they dreamt of the good ol' days of the 1890s!)

In Europe it is natural that nationalism is on the rise. The 1930s and 1940s discredited nationalism, so those people growing up then became anti-nationalistic. So in Europe, ideas of European integration were pushed by the Schumann/Heath/Gisgard D'Estaing/Mitterrand/Kohl/FitzGerald generation formed in the 1930s when nationalism became a dirty word. The current generation of leaders and voters don't have that baggage and provided nationalism is not used to extremes, it simply acts as a bonding exercise. Hence that 1970s generations of leaders enthusiastically championed metric - a multinational new shared European ideal. Modern day Europeans (well, most of them) don't see it that way. Some do, a lot have the attitude of 'if I am using another system, why bother trying to force me to change?' Others see things like imperial, like the pound sterling as their badge of identity, hence the rise in opposition to replacing sterling with the euro in the UK. It is simply society establishing an equilibrium between embracing something new and being attached to something old.

(Hence the sudden rise in the use of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church, with even the pope in his own private chapel opting for the old Tridentine Mass rather than the Novus Ordo Missae) Society simply ebbs and flows between chance and conservation, new and old, reform and retrenchment. Old and tradition is the new 'new'. Ultimately the twin rival dreams or nightmares (society is facing an abyss, everything is going wrong, things have never been this bad, or we are facing a bright new age, everything is changing for the better) are illusions. While some things change, history goes in cycles and where we think we see dramatic change it is simply that we are deluded into imagining that we haven't been here before, albeit with some changes. So you had the fall of the Bourbons, the French Revolution, the return of the Bourbons, etc. FDR to Reagan, with another FDR coming at some stage, nationalism in Europe, internationalism, back to a somewhat different form of nationalism; the 'naughty (18)90s, imperial 1900s, all change 1920s and 1930s, retrenchment 1950s, all change 1960s, 1970s, retrenchment late 20th century/early 21st century, etc etc etc etc. The idea that society is on the road to hell, or on the road to heaven, are both constantly repeated myths. Every era changes bits about itself, role of women, system of governance, attitude to minorities, sexual attitudes, public and private ethics, but while these may change, society as a whole simply keeps ebbing and flowing, with some people seeing all bad, some seeing all good, and both being wrong because they don't know their history, the fact that like a good or bad case of deja vu we simply repeat things over and over, with each generation not knowing that their parents or grandparents went through something similar back in what we delude ourselves into believing was our good ol' days.

Here endeth the lesson. :-) FearÉIREANN 04:06 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)