Friday, October 16, 2020

Triptych 15 Three Subjects in One Blog Post

Viking female war leaders?

Why does the game Monopoly have such market power?

The number of people convinced that there is evidence of a god or gods is ridiculous

Viking female war leaders?

A friend of mine told me that long ago Viking burials of women had been found with regalia such as swords, implying they were warriors.

But how likely is this, especially in the rough-tough Viking mold? Do we find women warrior leaders elsewhere? No. 

Lagertha on the History Channel series “Vikings” is cool, but that’s fictional imagination/wish fulfillment, not based on fact. Even if she were a lot bigger than 5’6”, she wouldn’t be able to compete with men of comparable training, because she’d still be smaller in almost all cases. Combat sports have weight classes for reasons, the larger will almost always defeat the smaller. Then consider muscle development (hormones), far stronger in men than in women. And speed/quickness.

Imaginations are running rampant here, perhaps the same imaginations that think Vikings were black skinned. (Yes, there were people called black Vikings, but not black as in African black.)

Why not women war leaders? Through most of history, the leader had to be someone the warriors respected as a warrior. The leaders were expected to be in the front lines along with everyone else, and were often killed. Women simply could not prosper in that melee environment.

What about Boudicca? Boudicca was a symbol, not a warrior leader, despite some fevered imaginations. After all, didn’t it start with Romans sexually assaulting Boudicca?

What about actual female rulers in pre-modern times? One Egyptian pharaoh (plus Cleopatra, a Greek-descended member of the Ptolemies); one Chinese emperor; Catherine the Great and Elizabeth I. I don’t know of any in India despite the vast number of states that have existed. No one in the Greek/Roman worlds. No one in Medieval Europe (though Henry VI’s wife Matilda was often the one really in charge, as Henry was not sane).

Yes, there were lots of queens, but they didn’t rule. And to be fair, there have been women who were “powers behind the throne” for their weak husbands/sons.

Even where we find the existence of a woman in a role, if there’s just one or a very few, that doesn’t mean there were many. Whether ruling queens, or warrior leaders. 

Why does the game Monopoly have such market power?

Habit/familiarity. The majority of mass-market games are bought as presents. Parents buying a game as a present will pick Monopoly because they know it or at least know of it. They also do so because “everybody knows how to play” even though many don’t actually play correctly (auctions are often dropped). And if everybody knows how to play, the parent(s) won’t have to teach the recipient! If it’s a lesser-known game, someone has to figure out how to play!

Its market power certainly doesn’t stem from being a good game. It’s not.

Evidence of the existence of god(s)?

The number of people convinced that there is evidence of a god or gods is amazing. I recall talking with some friends at PrezCon about this. They were absolutely convinced that there was such evidence. No, there is none, scientifically or historically.

Frequently people point to the Bible, ignoring that there are at least four different Bibles, ignoring that the Old Testament is the JEWISH bible, ignoring that it's just a book. (What about "Chariots of the Gods," shall I believe in that crap because it's a book?). Utter nonsense.

If there were real evidence, do you think the world would be divided into so many religions? Don’t you think professional historians would take account of the existence of gods (they do not, and that's pretty much the point of this)? This idea that there’s evidence, is people who believe in “superstitious mumbo jumbo” (actually Alec Guiness’s remark about The Force, applies to any religion) trying to convince themselves that they aren’t suffering from delusions.

Religion is a matter of faith, not evidence.

You may as well believe the earth is flat. (Yes, I know hundreds of thousands do, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Faith, I guess.)

The latest video on my free Game Design channel on YouTube is "Robust Games" A new video every Thursday, and occasionally Monday.

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