Subject Re: [IBDI] Re: (and a Jason rant on "free beer" again)
Author R. Tulloch

No to beat this to death:

Everything you say is quite true and anyone with a sense of history
will already
be familiar with your points. They are well taken.

The United States has made many contributions to the world and it
swell being.
These are of course Political, Economic and Scientific. What we have
done is built
upon the foundations of those who went before us and those folks
deserve due credit.
We also deserve due credit and we are, unlike many other
countries/cultures are
in our heyday. Don't you think Portugal and Portugese citizens patted
themselves on the
back and took credit when the sun shown so brightly on them?

> About national attitudes, just some perspective:
> <off-topic>
> About America contributions to the world, there are a lot of good
> ones and a lot of bad ones. And the result of a balance is at
> least questionable enough to deserve some reserve.
> Since you are into history, I advise you to try to study it beyond
> what is in the primary school books as I did with the history of
> my own country.
> In the primary school books I studied all was great and perfect,
> but when going trough other sources the balance is much more
> questionable.
> I am sure you will be able to cover the history of your country

> even much better, since it all is so much shorter and recent than
> mine's.
> If you think that one can not compare Portugal's influence to the
> one of the USA, maybe you should get some perspective: although
> Portugal is a very small country, there was a time when its impact
> over the world was immense. The marks (both good and bad) are
> still there to see (if you know enough to recognize them) and
> cover most of the globe.
> A small example: the navigation techniques used to discover
> America were perfectioned by the Portuguese.
> There is also not so anecdotic evidence that the existence of the
> continent might be a well kept Portuguese secret even before
> Columbus went there. This and the similar Australia case are
> controversial, but the famous "Secret Portuguese Maps" are often
> mentioned even in fiction (e.g.: "Shogun").
> Many other countries represented in this list have an history of
> greatness and of enormous contributions to the cultural political
> and technological evolution of the world. Many other countries
> had their turn and left a mark.
> However, all of them are much less influent today that they were
> before. Some don't even exist anymore (consider the Inca people).
> (Did you know that Inca constructions resisted very well to
> earthquakes?)
> Just from the top of my mind:
> - Greece: wide Mediterranean influence, mathematics, philosophy,
> navigation techniques, architecture, etc.
> - Italy: the Roman empire, the roman alphabet we are using,
> navigation techniques (the Latin sail?), architecture (the
> use of the arch in bridges and buildings), etc.
> - Arabic countries: besides a much larger geopolitical influence,
> literature, architecture (the use of the vault) and
> mathematics. The Arabic numeration we still use is the base
> of the evolution of Arithmetic and Mathematics - example:
> dividing two numbers was almost impossible before.
> And I could go on with some which influence is still more
> visible, like the UK, Spain, France, etc.
> All this countries and some others I did not mention had
> sometime in history a huge geopolitical influence and developed
> technologies that are the foundation of things we now take for
> granted. However, some of them look quite small and meaningless
> now when compared with the USA.
> Some great empires lasted for centuries, some just a few years,
> but looking back at those histories, it sure looks like THAT
> kind of greatness was a temporary situation. And a general
> attitude of arrogance was the beginning of the end for most of
> them.
> History also shows:
> - Respect your neighbors and then just _maybe_ they will
> respect you.
> - Try to rule your neighbors and then it is _sure_ they will
> kick back.
> The world got small and we are all neighbors today.