Recent Activity

  • Rachael shared from SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
    This reform was one of the most expensive things Augustus ever did, and it was close to unaffordable. Unless he made a gross error in his arithmetic, the cost alone is an indication of the high priority he gave it. On a rough reckoning using the known military salary figures, the annual bill for regular pay combined with retirement packages for the whole army would now have come to about 450 million sesterces. That was, on an even rougher reckoning, the equivalent of more than half the total annual tax revenue of the empire.
    Note: @EdanaFrench Just got to this & while I'd known Augustus did this I hadn't grokked the importance.
  • Rachael shared from SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
    Cato, once it was clear that Caesar was the inevitable victor, killed himself at the town of Utica on the coast of what is now Tunisia in the most gory way imaginable. According to his biographer, writing 150 years later, he stabbed himself with his sword but survived the gash. Despite attempts by friends and family to save him, he pushed away the doctor they had summoned and pulled out his own bowels through the still open wound. Egypt
    Note: Cato is like the lawful good senator of the late Roman Republic. Also gross death.
  • Rachael shared from SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
    Pliny the Elder, trying later to arrive at a headcount of Caesar’s victims, seems strikingly modern in accusing him of ‘a crime against humanity’. The
    Note: Must find the Latin source for this!
  • Rachael shared from SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
    So what kind of political system was this? The balance between the different interests was certainly not as equitable as Polybius makes it seem. The poor could never rise to the top of Roman politics; the common people could never seize the political initiative; and it was axiomatic that the richer an individual citizen was, the more political weight he should have. But this form of disequilibrium is familiar in many modern so-called democracies: at Rome too the wealthy and privileged competed for political office and political power that could only be granted by popular election and by the favour...
    Note: I believe Beard is saying the US is like Rome.
  • Rachael shared from What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know by Joan C. Williams, Rachel Dempsey
    Bias against women fuels conflict among women. Stop judging other women on the right way to be a woman, and keep in mind that we’re all fighting our own battles.
    Note: A good, short reminder.
  • Rachael shared from Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
    “I don’t like the word ‘addict’ because it has terrible connotations,” Root says one day, as they are sunning themselves on the afterdeck. “Instead of slapping a label on you, the Germans would describe you as ‘Morphiumsüchtig.’ The verb suchen means to seek. So that might be translated, loosely, as ‘morphine seeky’ or even more loosely as ‘morphine-seeking.’ I prefer ‘seeky’ because it means that you have an inclination to seek morphine.” “What the fuck are you talking about?” Shaftoe says. “Well, suppose you have a roof with a hole in it. That means it is...
    Note: Why I dislike the phrase "toxic people".
  • Rachael shared from The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist
    The world market’s willingness to lend reveals its continued faith in the long-term profitability of slavery. The new system of credit delivery was capillary, as opposed to the arterial system of the 1830s, and so defaults and other breaks in its flow were less catastrophic.
    Note: The 1830s securitization of slaves caused a crash but that didn't stop further attempts.
  • Rachael shared from The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist
    As late as the 1930s, the Principality of Monaco, which had inherited some Mississippi Union Bank bonds, was still trying to sue Mississippi in the Supreme Court.
    Note: Addendum to previous: big giant crash, states defaulted on slave bonds. Monaco still suing in 1930s!
  • Rachael shared from The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist
    Although some of the banks were ostensibly chartered to create investment in the state’s infrastructure—including railroads, or, in the case of the New Orleans Gas Light and Banking Company, modern municipal utilities—the major purpose of the splurge was to rush seeds of growth into the fields of southwestern entrepreneurs’ dreams. In the course of a mere four years, from 1833 through 1836, 150,000 enslaved people were moved from the old states to the new. They cleared and planted and harvested millions of new acres, and the US cotton crop doubled in size. Meanwhile, the bonds created...
    Note: A quote from the section that led to that short history.
  • Rachael shared from The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist
    Thus, in effect, even as Britain was liberating the slaves of its empire, a British bank could now sell an investor a completely commodified slave: not a particular individual who could die or run away, but a bond that was the right to a one-slave-sized slice of a pie made from the income of thousands of slaves.
    Note: Another quote about it. Britain was 'ending' slavery but economically entangled with it.