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  • #16
    Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
    Which brings up a recurring wonder for me.. and I have asked this before.. what sustained the numerous grand manor houses, churches and surrounding hamlets only a mile or two apart? There just doesn't seem to be enough agricultural land ..
    http://www.castlesandmanorhouses.com/manorhouses.htm

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    • #17
      Originally posted by noone View Post
      If there is intelligent life on some distant planet, there is a good chance they do something that resembles track and field.
      They likely compete who can move the fastest, over short, medium and long distances. They will try to defeat gravity by jumping as high or as far as possible. They may also see who can propel various implements as far (or as high?) as they can.
      But will they do the triple jump? That seems more contrived. Why not a double or quadruple jump?

      Pole vaulting and hurdles/steeplechase seem reasonably natural, but I don’t know about walks.
      What do you think?


      There was actually a juvenile science fiction novel on the subject: “The Space Olympics” by A.M. Lightner copyrighted in 1967. I read it in grade school and a few years ago was able to purchase a used copy for a few bucks on Amazon.

      Ty Vann is the protagonist and prospective Olympic discus thrower. Instead of countries at the opening ceremonies, athletes represent their planets. Earth is not a powerhouse but has a place of honor as the founder of the Olympics sort of like Greece. The Olympics have just been revived four years before the novel, so they are more akin to the 1900 Olympics than the 2016 Olympics.

      An Amazon review mentions another juvenile science fiction novel with Olympic themes from 1960 by Milton Lesser titled “Stadium in the Stars.”
      Last edited by Halfmiler2; 05-22-2020, 07:33 PM.

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      • #18
        Thank you, gm, very informative..this has been of continuing interest to me. My paternal ancestors, obviously not from landed gentry, came to America from England in early 19th century. (My maternal ancestors met the boat, having previously migrated from Asia a dozen millennium earlier). The Europeans homesteaded, built very rustic domiciles and raised large families on 160 acres. These farmers supported small market towns, mostly now ghost towns, that developed every ten to fifteen miles. I was born and raised on one of those homesteads. There were no Lords of the Manor; everyone was poor. Contrast that with all the hamlets and small 10 to 40 acre tracts, with degrees of ownership, surrounding the many palatial estates.

        This was pre-Industrial Revolution. Basically, all wealth had to come from the earth. Even though these lands were granted by royalty, there just doesn't seem to be enough of it. Charging fiefdom resident "sharecroppers" a percentage of their produce or for foraging pigs in the baronial forests doesn't cut it. I am not an economist. It doesn't compute for me. Where did the money come from?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by lonewolf View Post

          Thank you, gm, very informative..this has been of continuing interest to me. My paternal ancestors, obviously not from landed gentry, came to America from England in early 19th century. (My maternal ancestors met the boat, having previously migrated from Asia a dozen millennium earlier). The Europeans homesteaded, built very rustic domiciles and raised large families on 160 acres. These farmers supported small market towns, mostly now ghost towns, that developed every ten to fifteen miles. I was born and raised on one of those homesteads. There were no Lords of the Manor; everyone was poor. Contrast that with all the hamlets and small 10 to 40 acre tracts, with degrees of ownership, surrounding the many palatial estates.

          This was pre-Industrial Revolution. Basically, all wealth had to come from the earth. Even though these lands were granted by royalty, there just doesn't seem to be enough of it. Charging fiefdom resident "sharecroppers" a percentage of their produce or for foraging pigs in the baronial forests doesn't cut it. I am not an economist. It doesn't compute for me. Where did the money come from?
          The key thing to remember is the value of time.

          What you see now as palatial estates are often the accumulation of centuries of wealth and privilege. Many "lords of the manor" started out with very modest dwellings that were extended and refurbished over generations and hundreds of years.

          Just imagine a modest "starter mansion" comprising 2 rooms downstairs and 2 rooms upstairs. Compared to the workers single room cottage that's luxury but not really grand in any sense.

          Now it's reasonable to assume that each generation (25 years) can accumulate enough wealth to add one room on average to that same house. Because they inherited, they have a zero cost base, so are only up for the cost of one room. Now just 200 years, or 8 further generations, later, you have a 12 room house. And that's just from 1200 to 1400.

          Let's take that up to 1700 and the start of industrialisation. That's another 300 years, or 12 generations, so now you have a 24 room house that qualifies as a mansion. That's just from slow accumulation of minor wealth over a long time at the local level.

          Now imagine the guy at the next level up. His underlings are lords of the manor, so he gets money from multiple of those so he can afford to add 4 rooms a generation. So, the same 20 generations takes his 8 room starter to 88 rooms. That's a grand country house.

          Of course with civil wars, imprisonment/execution/confiscation by the King, untimely deaths, fires, plague, famine, economic drift, profligate descendants, investment in outbuildings and knock down and rebuilds of the main house, the accumulation of size is not linear.

          Anyway, more centuries of technological accumulation means the manor house is now affordable for the lower classes.

          10 bedroom, 24 room 16th century knock down and rebuild of a probable 13th century rebuild of an 11th century dwelling. https://www.onthemarket.com/details/5182761/

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          • #20
            Originally posted by El Toro View Post

            The key thing to remember is the value of time.

            What you see now as palatial estates are often the accumulation of centuries of wealth and privilege. Many "lords of the manor" started out with very modest dwellings that were extended and refurbished over generations and hundreds of years.
            Thank you, El Toro.... I suppose that is one explanation.. I still have difficulty grasping how there was/is enough real estate to sustain so many people..No doubt mechanization is a factor..One man can now do the work of ten a hundred years ago... In my lifetime and experience, western Oklahoma went from a family of four to six on every 160 acres to no one on the farm and an elderly couple in the nearest market town... Also, virtually everyone has moved to the county seat and most of the market towns are now ghost towns... In the thirty miles from US 40 to Ok Hiway 9, there are only two occupied farm houses on the N-S section line I was born and reared on..A hundred years ago there were 60.. All of the land is owned by fewer people..
            Of course, there are lots of things I don't understand.. Like, how life is sustained in many barren and hostile desert and arctic climates... and smart phones and the internet

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            • #21
              Originally posted by lonewolf View Post

              Thank you, El Toro.... I suppose that is one explanation.. I still have difficulty grasping how there was/is enough real estate to sustain so many people..No doubt mechanization is a factor..One man can now do the work of ten a hundred years ago...
              Of course, there's dozens or hundreds of reasons why history happened the way it did but never underestimate the simple passage of time and the accumulation of small effects. The Grand Canyon was once just a trickle of water on flat land and with no subsequent innovation in erosion technology, you now have a rather large tourist attraction.

              Getting back to the UK and other reasons , the reality is that on several occasions the land didn't really support the population but 50%+ death rates courtesy of the black plague solved that for a while but by around the start of the industrial revolution, the UK could not feed all its people and has not been able to up to this day, even with the advance of technology.

              But the UK, or I should say, the island of Great Britain, has been inhabited continuously for 11,000 years and farming undertaken for about 7,000 years and mining for 4,000 years. That's a lot of time to work out how many people can be supported off each piece of land. A more moderate and reliable climate with better soil would also help compared to Oklahoma pre-1900.

              Over that same time, Britain was connected to international trade routes, so trade enhanced wealth as goods and technology flowed into the island. This transfer of wealth was turbocharged from the late 1500s as privateers like Francis Drake started the exploitation of wealth from the Americas, firstly by hijacking ships filled by Spanish South American thievery, then by colonising North America, the triangular trade with Africa and N.Amer., the predations of the East India Co, the rise of the industrial revolution, etc.

              So what you seen now as country Britain reflects the long term outcome of much a older, more diverse, more integrated and historically advantaged economy compared to Oklahoma over the last 130 years. It is much more than just the simple carrying capacity of the land - food and wealth from elsewhere has supported those communites for hundreds of years.

              If you want more informed commentary, I found a Wikepedia artiicle on the ecomics of farming in the Middle Ages LINK, if you want get a feel for the broader economy during the same period a related Wikipedia page.

              Obligatory story on England's oldest house: https://www.ancient-origins.net/anci...ngland-0011679




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              • #22
                Originally posted by El Toro View Post

                Of course, there's dozens or hundreds of reasons why history happened the way it did but never underestimate the simple passage of time and the accumulation of small effects. The Grand Canyon was once just a trickle of water on flat land and with no subsequent innovation in erosion technology, you now have a rather large tourist attraction.

                Getting back to the UK and other reasons , the reality is that on several occasions the land didn't really support the population but 50%+ death rates courtesy of the black plague solved that for a while but by around the start of the industrial revolution, the UK could not feed all its people and has not been able to up to this day, even with the advance of technology.
                Hence the importance of the Atlantic Convoys during WWII, protecting grain exports from Canada to the UK.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Trickstat View Post

                  Hence the importance of the Atlantic Convoys during WWII, protecting grain exports from Canada to the UK.
                  And WWII was the closest GB came to feeding itself since ~1700 with the intensive application of Land Army and Dig for Victory AND rationing and it still only achieved something like 3/4 self sufficiency in food.

                  However, I'm sure Brexit will overcome these fundamental physical limits by dint of sheer pluck and determination and sticking two fingers up to that cursed Johnny Foreigner...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by El Toro View Post
                    If you want more informed commentary, I found a Wikepedia artiicle on the ecomics of farming in the Middle Ages LINK, if you want get a feel for the broader economy during the same period a related Wikipedia page.

                    Obligatory story on England's oldest house: https://www.ancient-origins.net/anci...ngland-0011679
                    Thank you, El Toro.. illuminating article.. I don't know why I never looked it up. I guess, as you said, they had time. I contrast houses inhabited for 1000 years with current common practices..

                    OKC was established as a tent town in the land run of April 1889. I am certain no territorial buildings remain. The oldest downtown commercial building is a 1990s nondescript 25' wide, two story building, sandwiched between two equally blah 1920s buildings, the front facade sheathed by 1950s aluminum.. There are a few 1990s mansions of early movers and shakers left near present day downtown. Of course, the quality of construction was not conducive to lasting 1000 years. My two square mile neighborhood of approx 1200 homes was developed 1960-70. Four house have burned. Two torn down for new homes. None will last a thousand years.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                      The oldest downtown commercial building is a 1890s nondescript 25' wide, two story building, . . . . There are a few 1890s mansions

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                        Hey, just reflect that 120 years ago this was vacant prairie. We got a late start

                        I checked. That 1890s brick box is long gone. Currently the oldest building is 1902 Marion Hotel, a turn of the century luxury showplace, vacant for twenty years, now being converted into apartments.It is on 7th Street, midway between downtown and the old "silk stocking" neighborhood where the baron's mansions are still extant. The surrounding neighborhood of lesser homes has had a resurgence in the last two decades. When I returned to OKC in the 1970s, this original prestigious residential area had deteriorated to the point these 4000 to 5000 sq ft homes on tree canopied streets could be bought for $10,000. Took a little freshening up but now they are 500 K to 100K homes.
                        Last edited by lonewolf; 05-24-2020, 04:03 PM.

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                        • #27
                          I dont see why the TJ is 'unnatural'. It is very similar to the hopping and skipping children will do, I remember doing hops and jumps and general skipping along when I was a wee child, so it's no more unnatural then having barriers placed at set intervals from each other, or running at speed over a set start and end point. It's a natural progression from what children do to a contrived event, like all the others. Hell, it is no more unnatural than the SP or DT, especially the former, which doesn't feel like a natural movement, neither gliding nor spinning, with a weight tucked into your neck!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Halfmiler2 View Post

                            There was actually a juvenile science fiction novel on the subject: “The Space Olympics” by A.M. Lightner copyrighted in 1967. I read it in grade school and a few years ago was able to purchase a used copy for a few bucks on Amazon.

                            Ty Vann is the protagonist and prospective Olympic discus thrower. Instead of countries at the opening ceremonies, athletes represent their planets. The Olympics have just been revived four years before the novel, so they are more akin to the 1900 Olympics than the 2016 Olympics.

                            An Amazon review mentions another juvenile science fiction novel with Olympic themes from 1960 by Milton Lesser titled “Stadium in the Stars.”
                            I got a used copy of the Milton Lesser book and read both books. It turns out that Lesser’s book is the one that I read in grade school. The protagonist is Steve Frazier who is a space suit racer from Earth with a wrestler as his best friend. In the other book, Ty Vann’s two friends are runners. in both books, the chief female character is a swimmer.

                            In Lesser’s Book, it is the first Olympics in space but closer to our version of the Olympics with fifty planets competing with teams of 200 to 500 athletes each. In both books, human beings have settled many planets in the Galaxy using spaceships that can go faster than the speed of light. Aliens exist but the Olympics are only for humans.

                            Both books mention there are track races (including a marathon in Lesser’s book) but no details. In Lightner’s book, they do cover the discus competition but it only has a casual similarity to the rulebook in the 1960s or now. Still, it is of interest that they handicap the throwers based on the gravity of their home planet.

                            Keep in mind that both books were published in the 1960s before the authors had the benefit of seeing a live Summer Olympic telecast in the USA in 1968. On the whole, I think Lesser’s book is the better sci-fi novel but the Lightner’s book has more of a track & field orientation.
                            Last edited by Halfmiler2; 06-01-2020, 03:27 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Wiederganger View Post
                              I dont see why the TJ is 'unnatural'. It is very similar to the hopping and skipping children will do, I remember doing hops and jumps and general skipping along when I was a wee child, so it's no more unnatural then having barriers placed at set intervals from each other, or running at speed over a set start and end point. It's a natural progression from what children do to a contrived event, like all the others. Hell, it is no more unnatural than the SP or DT, especially the former, which doesn't feel like a natural movement, neither gliding nor spinning, with a weight tucked into your neck!
                              IMO, The triple jump is "unnatural" because its an arbitrary number of 3 jumps. Not all on the same leg, not even alternating legs, but same-same-opposite leg.

                              Aside from running as fast as you can in a straight line, I see the shot put is one of the most most natural as well. Here is a heavy ball, see how far you can make it go.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ATK View Post

                                IMO, The triple jump is "unnatural" because its an arbitrary number of 3 jumps. Not all on the same leg, not even alternating legs, but same-same-opposite leg.

                                Aside from running as fast as you can in a straight line, I see the shot put is one of the most most natural as well. Here is a heavy ball, see how far you can make it go.
                                But all running events have arbitrary numbers in distance. Why 100m? Why 400m? Why 1500m? And most field events have an arbitrary number of attempts...3 per height in the HJ/PV, 6 attempts in others (if you're lucky..)

                                Throwing an object is 'natural'. But so is jumping far. The fact that the TJ has 3 jumps, on different legs, is no more arbitrary then the heavy object being ball shaped and enforcing a rule that it has to sit in the neck of the thrower, which seems counter natural for sure. (overhead throw seems much more natural!). I would say the JT is the most natural of the throws, considering humans probably did that very thing to hunt!

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