Monthly Archives: February 2016

Ethnogenesis of the Northmen


Ethnogenesis, from the Greek words ethno: meaning group of people, and Genesis: meaning coming into being.  This word portrays the beginning of people’s, and the people under discussion is that of the Northman, or Norse.

Between the 9th and 10th centuries, after the raids of the Muslims and Magyars, an influential group of Scandanavian warriors sailed their Drakkars south in the summer where they indulged in looting and pillaging along the coasts and river valleys of Western Europe.  The Viking ships, called Drakkars because of the artistic design of a dragon head carved into the front of the boat, were the main modes of transportation and carried between 50 and 100 men.  They were powered by a single sail with oars and were devastating because of their speed and ability to sail up the shallow rivers of Europe for surprise engagements.

These newest invaders sought loot, tribute, and heroic reputation, and to get these they ravaged lands, looted churches and monasteries, took slaves for work and ransom, defeated many who opposed, and then put insurmountable fear into the towns that lay in their path.  The Scandanavian expansion included Norwegians moving into Ireland and the coasts of Western Britain; Swedes moving into the Eastern Baltic and all along Northwestern Russia; and the Danes, who attacked Eastern England, Frisia, the Rhineland, and infiltrated Western France itself.  It was by the early 9th century that raiding parties grew larger and turned into settling parties, which turned into expeditionary armies seeking to take land and settle it.  This is due to the Vikings Dakkar, hastily-built defenses, military preparations, and an afterlife that glorified death on the battlefield that enabled them to raid successfully and become a terror for those living in undefended towns and villages along waterways.

By the late 9th century Vikings sailed the North Atlantic and settled Iceland.  By the late 10th century, the age of Viking Expansion came to an end with the extension of royal authority and the Christianizing of the Scandanavian kings.  It wasn’t until the 11th century, and recently discovered in 1961, that Leif Erickson sailed further west and landed at Jellyfish Creek in Northern Newfoundland, which indicates a temporary occupation of North America by Vikings.  According to Europe and the Middle Ages, Marc Bloch pointed out that the Vikings were the last outside invaders of Western Europe until the allied landings in 1944 during World War II.

A source that gives people a look into the time period is the Annals of Ste. Bertin, which gives brief detail on the accounts of the Vikings. The source analyzed is from 843-859, and begins with the Northmen coming to Nantes and killing many, pillaging the city, and then plundered lower Aquitaine.  The Annals then mentions how in 844 the Northmen  ascended as far as Toulouse where they pillaged both sides of the bank of the Garonne, but when they left the region for Northern Spain were overcome by attacks from cross bowmen and combat against Saracens.

The Nine Worlds of the Tree of Life in Norse Mythology
The Nine Worlds of the Tree of Life in Norse Mythology

Next, The Annals mentions that in 845 the Northmen sailed the Seine and came upon Paris without any resistance.  This marked an engagement against Charles the Bald who saw that victory was not an option and made an agreement by gift of 7,000 livres.  The Northmen then sailed the Elbe and battled Louis of German who won the day by the help of their Lord Jesus Christ.  These accounts are followed by the Northmen arriving without opposition before Tours in 853-854.  Luckily for those being invaded, Agius, bishop of Orleans, and Buchard, bishop of Chartres, gathered soldiers and ships to stop them.  This only had the Vikings abandon their design and return to the lower Loire, and set off to ascend on the city of Angers.

The Northmen then attempted to go overland in 855 to the city Poitiers, only to have the Aquitanians battle them so that no more than 300 escaped.  The Annals concludes that the Norhtmen made a long sea voyage all the way to Valence, and returning to the island where they had fixed their habitation, Camargue.

Abbo’s Wars of Count Odo with the Northmen in the reign of Charles the Fat is a detailed account of the Northmen in 885 trying to attack Paris.  They came with an estimated 700 ships  and attempted to use their numbers to intimidate Parisians.  It is written by Abbo that Siegfreid was the commander of the Northmen and he appeared at the walls of the city to negotiate surrender.  Bishop Gauzelin conversed with Seigfried, who told the bishop to throw open the gates and nothing the bishop or Count Odo owns would be touched, along with the lives of those in the city.  The bishop replied that he was entrusted by Emperor Charles to keep safe the city and assure its peace.

The following morning battle ensued.  Abbo mentioned that the Northmen approached “the Tower”. Because it blocked access to the Great Bridge that connected the right back with the island the city is built on.  The battle raged and heroes were made, of which Count Odo, his brother Robert, and Count Ragenar distinguished themselves for bravery.  Abbo tells of the Northmen retreating with their wounded only to regroup and attack the next day with as much ferocity.  The Battle for Paris was quelled by Charles the Bald giving the Northmen 700 pounds of silver to leave France.

The Chronicles of Ste. Denis based on Dudo and William of Jumiegesi is a brief account of the 10th century that revolves around a Norman named Rollo, a pagan, baptized in 912.  Chronicles begins with King Charles giving the province of Flanders and Duchy of Normandy to Rollo, and acquiring him to show allegiance by kissing the Kings foot.  Rollo swore allegiance but would not kiss the foot, and proceeded to convert him and his men to Christianity.  Chronicles also mentions the good Rollo did for the community by dividing land among his followers, constructing new buildings, giving inviolable rights and laws to his subjects, rebuilding churches and restoring temples, repairing walls and fortifications of the cities, and supplying  the land that was given to him with provisions for future rebellions.

The demonstration of ethnogenesis by the Northmen sailing, pillaging, and settling, is creating  new cultures and mingling with old ones all over Europe.  The Northman sailed and marched over much of Europe and left material and generic culture wherever they traveled.  In doing so it created a beginning of people’s (ethnogenesis) that assimilated many of whom they came across.  The Northmen did not always inhabit the land they pillaged, which allowed other cultures to come and inhabit the lands they pillaged, so as to even set up ethnogenesis for other groups.




Leveling Out Media Costs on Consumers; The People’s Bundle

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had the People’s Eyebrow and the People’s Elbow, and now I believe it is time to introduce a new concept to level out the Internet and Cable costs normally assigned to the consumer.

There is a term floating around certain circles making the claim the “Print is Dead.”  In some respects this is absolutely true, in others it couldn’t be more wrong.  But not to get sucked into that debate, I’m just going to acknowledge that it is there and move on with my crazy argument, and that I hope Bernie Sanders hears about and will endorse this idea.

Before we go on with the argument, though, there is a term that everyone needs to be familiar with: POSITIONING.  This seems like an innocent term or concept, but in the media/mass comm/advertising world, it has specific, and possibly diabolical, meaning.  Positioning is  where brand is positioned IN THE MIND OF THE CONSUMER.  Now this is not some hokey, magical, conspiracy stuff going on here.

This is countless hours and vast fortunes going into researching how to best position a message into the mind of the consumer to get the best long-term effect.  Firstly, it’s concept is based on product and services, and so on positioning of competitors.  Secondly, positioning is used in advertising a newly created product designed to meet unmet consumer needs and to advance pre-existing technologies.  Thirdly, positioning is used to help determine your emotional/rational roller coaster ride; i.e.  if a company can buy so much time in your head they can help predict the odds you will choose their product or do what is being offered.

Advertisers can event help determine career positions; “Talking up STEM, Farmers, military,” “Talking down X,Y,Z”; you won’t be happy as an artist, you need to choose STEM—Old Navy/GAP t-shirt;

“Start here work there;” medical field slogan– no guarantee/partnership, only interning and not full time paid job, just use the student for the volunteer hours, but no guarantee of job afterwards, use successful people in the neighborhood that live in neighborhood whole life for advertisements, but get job because they went to nursing school at local hospital, know everyone before starting, and then hospital and school advertise if you “start here, you can work there,” but not so if you did not grow up there.  In other words positioning not only brands consumables, but also positions brands your in life and making it appear as if 1) it was your choice to get the product, 2) gives the appearance of choice.

So, positioning, taking up time in the minds of every consumer, should be accounted for, and even more importantly should be accounted for the benefit of the consumer; hence the People’s Bundle.

When a consumer, YOU, buy a television, smartphone, or iPad type device, the services currently available are all separate, highly-competitive, paid-for services who turn people into targets and profits. (Cable, Internet, HD, replay/recording services)  But we can’t forget about positioning people.  The fact that companies, due to creative advertising, are getting free air time in our heads and not paying for it.

What I call for is nothing less than revolutionary, a cry against the detested status quo.

Bundling has a history, and not just in the media sector, but also the finance and real estate sector.

Bundling brought down the real estate bubble.  Because of greed/addiction to gambling/to societal acceptance that this was ok; even going so far as a societal redistribution of what value means on a societal and linguistical level.

Advertising is a billion/trillion dollar industry, propping up the whole sales and service economy of the United States.  Much of this money goes into Research and Development, pockets and bad business investments.  All producing so much data that the algorithms we create are good at dechipering the data but they are still overwhelmed producing irregular results.  There needs to be a reorientation/shift away from data mining/collection as being the hottest topic and highest paid field toward forcing the advertisers to pay the people for the business/industry involutary research and positioning done to and on the people and everyday consumers.

Because media uses data mining/data collection/myth creating techniques to position information in your mind, i.e. “buying airspace” in your head, then they should be held liable to the people/consumer for which they target and position.

There are organizations, like Neilsen, that are hoarders of information, digital or otherwise.  There are others who use this information collected to see real knowledge about the world they situationally find themselves in; the situational discourse community.

But what I am offering is nothing short of a checks and balances, much like the lawmakers did against the tobacco companies targeting and positioning in their advertisements.  A checks and balances to force better business ethic, though all along great business ethic is what should have been the inherent choice.

In conclusion, and in summary, because there is deliberate positioning of products and services in the minds of everyday people/consumers in the United States, I am proposing a change in how people obtain Internet, Cable, HD, and other services.

Upon purchase of a product, for example Television, smartphone, gaming console, computer, or iPad type device, there should be some inherent services (Internet, Cable, HD) that come with the device, and should not be paid for by the consumer, individually and preyed upon by industries using a Vertical Organizational model and who care nothing except profit.

Those services could be competed for by companies applied at purchase of the device, but, overall, this method will return customer value to vertical organizational methods.

And, mind you, this package will forever be know as: “The People’s Bundle.”  Where you pay for a product, and they pay you for the services.

Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Donald Trump, Ron/Rand Paul: just in case you were monitoring.

An Introduction to the Writing Center

Writing centers across the nation are located, usually, in multiple locations throughout any town/city that has an academic center.  Western Illinois Univeristy, for example, has 3-7 depending on the semester.

The first issue that anyone working in a writing center wants to address are the myths or already formulated stories about what the WC does and the services the WC provides.  For example, is the writing center an editing service, well no, but editing does happen naturally in the process of reviewing the work.

So what does the writing center do if editing, or doing the assignment for the student/whomever?  Great question because of the Breadth and Depth involved.  The WC will assist with 1) Brainstorming, 2) Drafting, 3) Research and Research Methods, 4) Finding Purpose in Writing/Work, 5) Organization, 6) Coherence, 7) Development, 8) Documentation, and 9) Grammar.

But the specialization does not stop there.  At academic institutions, for example, WC’s intern and train students from a variety of fields of study, so a student can work with someone who is familiar with their discourse community.  But WC’s also specialize in genres of writing: cover letters, resumes, Graduate Degree Applications, Portfolio said, etc.

So, with information on the specific services distributed, what does a writing center do, universally, anywhere I go.  The mission statement of WC’s is free, one-on-one, collaborative consultation for any writing assignment at any academic level at any stage in the writing process.

What is someone to expect when going to a Writing Center?  First and foremost courtesy, you are not only talking to fellow students and peers, but we are all humans and deserve a certain level of universal respect.  Second, a timely session if you walk-in, otherwise appointments are always encouraged; all sessions are 50 minutes.  Computers are available in some WC’s, as well as printers, but a hard-copy of the writing already in hand is greatly appreciated and desired.

Just to let the reader know, there are some taboos in a WC session.  1) Participation is key.  You would think that people would be more involved in the writing processed of their own work, but more and more the research dictates that if people can float by JAnd have someone else do things for them they will sit there and be quiet and just let it happen.  Well, in the mission statement it says collaborative, and participation is key to the writing process at a WC. 2) Editing, strictly speaking, does not occur at WC’s.  3)Technology is welcomed but not wanted.  A hard paper copy is most welcomed, you can see better than a screen and mark it up as necessary.  Yes computers hold some very significant advantages, but until you have to teach the writing process, there is also an argument that you don’t understand what your talking about.  🙂

In conclusion, writing centers are great for those trying to find organization in their writing, to bounce ideas off with someone also studying the same thing you are, and to find resources for the always present and forevermore research that accompnies academic circles nationwide.

Notable quotes

1. V For Vendetta

Narrator: Parliaments cold shadow falls on Westminster Bridge, and she shivers. There was power here once, power that decided the destiny of millions. Her transactions, her decisions, are insignificant. They affect no one…

Eve: Mister?

Narrator: Except her.

Eve: Uh…would.. would you like to… Uh… Sleep with me or anything? I mean.. Uh…For money?

Man: That’s the clumsiest piece of propositioning I’ve ever heard. You’ve not been doing this very long, have you?

Eve: Oh god, I must be really terrible. Yeah, you’re right. It’s my first night. You’re my first…

Man: Customer?

Eve: Customer, yeah. I…I’ve got a job. In munitions, but the money is, you know, it isn’t enough… Look mister, I really need that money. I’d be ok. I mean I’m sixteen. I know what I’m doing…

Man: No you don’t know what you’re doing. (Man reaches into his coat and pulls out a badge)… Because if you did you wouldn’t have picked a Vice detail on stake-out.

Eve: OH CHRIST!!! You’re a fingerman.

Man: That’s right. And these are my colleagues. You know the laws of prostitution. That’s a Class-H offense. That means we get to decide what happens to you. That’s our prerogative.

Eve: Oh No. Look, please, Mister, it was my first time. I’ll do anything you want. Please don’t kill me.

Man: You’ve got it all wrong, Miss. You’ll do anything we want and then we’ll kill you. That’s our prerogative.

Eve: Oh Please Don’t!!! Oh, Jesus No Please!!!

V: The multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him…

Man 2: Who the Hell???

V: And fortune, on his damned quarrel, smiling, showed like a rebel’s whore.

Man 3: Who’s He?

Man 2: I dunno, Must be some kinda retard got out of a hospital. Hey you! What are you doing?

V: But Alls too weak; for brave Macbeth…well he deserves that name.

Man 2: You’re in trouble, chum. Big trouble. This woman is a criminal. We’re police officers. She’s wanted for interrogation, so keep your…Hands Off?

V: Disdaining fortune with his brandishing steel. Which smoked with bloody execution. Like valour’s minion carved out his passage, till he faced the slave; which ne’er shook hands, Nor bade farewell to him.

Man 4: Tear Gas! *cough! Holy Christ, it’s tear gas!!!

Man 2: I got his hand. What shall I do with this. (Explosion)

Man 3: Oh Jesus… What the hell happened??He just came out of nowhere and..just what the hell happened?? Frank’s dead. They’re all deaud. Oh Christ, what are we going to do??

Man 1: Find him. We’ve got to find him or the HEAD will have our guts..

Eve: rescued me! Like in a story! I don’t believe it. Wh-who are you?

V: Me? I’m the king of the twentieth century. I’m the bogeyman. The villain. The black sheep of the family.

Eve: Uh…Yeah. But what were you doing around here? I didn’t think anybody came to Westminster at night except, you know…women.

V: Ahh, but tonight is special. Tonight is a celebration. A grand opening. Were you never taught the rhyme? Remember, remember the 5th of November, The Gun-powder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the gun-powder treason…should ever be forgot.

Tips for Civil Disobedience

1. Shoes, Tied tight; good ankle support for urban flight

2. Googles/Glasses/face mask that protects from baton hits or pepper spray

3. Ear plugs in anticipation for sonic weapons   (Could be used in nostrils to keep out sprays)

4. Protection from and use of non-lethals: use of stink bombs, bags with clothes in them to protect from baton strikes (if sonic weapons are used does that give the people the right to use Molotov cocktails?)

5. Hoody, Pants, Belt

6. Do no carry identification, never talk if caught

7. “They” think/run/patrol like wolves.  You either need to organize or operate like highly intelligent prey, or be a whole new breed of predator

8. Learn counter-Intel operations

9.  Non-verbal non-radio communication for operations

10. Know your rights, Know Libel vs Slander, Know Recording Laws, Know states with Shield Laws, know Miranda Rights

11. Know the entire police procedure; from reading rights to booking to cell rights

12. Professional sit-in, demonstration, riot groups???

This is a message that will grow, with the help of comments as well, of how to be prepared for Civilan Misconduct within an urban setting/environment.  Use the video from Macomb, Il’s Wheeler Block Party being broken up by police as a template for how future police actions will occur against the populace.

(Wheeler Block party videos):

Revolutionizing Urban Travel

Urban travel, globally, can be arguably congested, dirty and unhealthy.  No matter the city, once humans are involved, especially in mass scale, we rape the natural resources while dumping our waste as we see fit.

Traveling around an urban environment needs to be more clean, safe, but just as quick, and without the congestion that accompanies modern roadways. A shift away from burning petroleum in gas guzzling cars/trucks/SUVs, individual modes of transportation that use a combustion engine; toward either electric/solar, hydrogen, or gravity and a   pulley system.

This video demonstrates a zip-line roller coaster:

If someone could implement this technology in an urban environment, then getting to work and around cities, with the help of either already being up high or going to an building that can be turned into a “metro type” platform, would be clean (electric/solar and gravity), safe, quick and doubtfully congested, once the logistics are fine tuned.