scholarly communications

anonymous asked:

Communism caused the deaths of 100 million people. 10x as much as the holocaust.

A number of observers have criticized the Black Book of Communism on scholarly and political[13]:139 grounds, with particular attention being drawn to Courtois’ controversial introduction.[12]:236[14]:13[15]:68-72

Two of the book’s main contributors, Nicolas Werth and Jean-Louis Margolin, as well as Karel Bartosek,[16] publicly disassociated[4]:xii themselves from Courtois’ statements in the introduction and criticized his editorial conduct. Werth and Margolin felt Courtois was “obsessed” with arriving at a total of 100 million killed, and faulted him for exaggerating death tolls in specific countries.[16][17]:194[18]:123 They also argued that, based on the results of their studies, one can tentatively estimate the total number of the victims at between 65 and 93 million.[19] Historians Jean-Jacques Becker and J. Arch Getty have criticized Courtois[20]:178 for failing to draw a distinction between victims of neglect and famine and victims of “intentional murder.”[21]Economic historian Michael Ellman has argued that the book’s estimate of “at least 500,000” deaths during the Soviet famine of 1946–48 “is formulated in an extremely conservative way, since the actual number of victims was much larger"—1,000,000-1,500,000 excess deaths according to Ellman.[22] Regarding these questions, historian Alexander Dallin has argued that moral, legal, or political judgments hardly depend on the number of victims.[23]

Many observers have rejected Courtois’s numerical and moral comparison of Communism to Nazism in the introduction.[14]:148[24] According to Werth, there was still a qualitative difference between Nazism and Communism. He told Le Monde, "Death camps did not exist in the Soviet Union”,[21] and “The more you compare Communism and Nazism, the more the differences are obvious.”[25] In a critical review, historian Amir Weiner wrote: “When Stalin’s successors opened the gates of the Gulag, they allowed 3 million inmates to return home. When the Allies liberated the Nazi death camps, they found thousands of human skeletons barely alive awaiting what they knew to be inevitable execution.”[26]:450-52 Historian Ronald Suny remarked that Courtois’ comparison of 100 million victims of Communism to 25 million victims of Nazism, “[leaves out] out most of the 40-60,000,000 lives lost in the Second World War, for which arguably Hitler and not Stalin was principally responsible.”[27]:8 A report by the Wiesel Commission criticized Courtois for trivializing the Holocaust and expressed concern at the political use of this comparison by the Right in Eastern Europe.[7]

In the view of historian Peter Kenez, the book contained several inaccuracies: “Werth can also be an extremely careless historian. He gives the number of Bolsheviks in October 1917 as 2,000, which is a ridiculous underestimate. He quotes from a letter of Lenin to Alexander Shliapnikov and gives the date as 17 October 1917; the letter could hardly have originated at that time, since in it Lenin talks about the need to defeat the Tsarist government, and turn the war into a civil conflict. He gives credit to the Austro-Hungarian rather than the German army for the conquest of Poland in 1915. He describes the Provisional Government as ‘elected’. He incorrectly writes that the peasant rebels during the civil war did more harm to the Reds than to the Whites, and so on.”[11] Historian Mark Tauger challenged the authors’ thesis that the famine of 1933 was largely artificial and genocidal.[28] According to journalist Gilles Perrault, the books ignores the effect of international factors, including military interventions, on the communist experience.[29]

Social critic Noam Chomsky has criticized the book and its reception as one-sided by outlining economist Amartya Sen’s research on hunger: while India’s democratic institutions prevented famines, its excess of mortality over China—potentially attributable to the latter’s more equal distribution of medical and other resources—was nonetheless close to 4 million per year, for non-famine years. Chomsky argued that, “supposing we now apply the methodology of the Black Book and its reviewers” to India, “the democratic capitalist 'experiment’ has caused more deaths than in the entire history of […] Communism everywhere since 1917: over 100 million deaths by 1979, and tens of millions more since, in India alone.”[30]

The Black Book of Communism prompted the publication of several other “black books” which argued that similar chronicles of violence and death tolls can be constructed from an examination of colonialism and capitalism.[31][32][33]

Many faculty members — especially at schools where the teaching load is heavy and resources few — have become eager participants in what experts call academic fraud that wastes taxpayer money, chips away at scientific credibility, and muddies important research.

“When hundreds of thousands of publications appear in predatory journals, it stretches credulity to believe all the authors and universities they work for are victims,” Derek Pyne, an economics professor at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, wrote in a op-ed published in the Ottawa Citizen, a Canadian newspaper.

The number of such journals has exploded to more than 10,000 in recent years, with nearly as many predatory as legitimate ones. “Predatory publishing is becoming an organized industry,” wrote one group of critics in a paper in Nature.

Looking for Connections!

It’s been a while since I put my feelers out for connections with regards to this disaster Duskwight; in fact, last time I did, I didn’t even have a blog for him! So here’s a LFC post. I’m comfortably part of two very different groups, but I’d like to have some connections outside of them.

Please at least skim the following two pages for some information about Leonnaux as a character and my general RP preferences! (Leonnaux is on Balmung.)

leonnaux info | read me

In terms of RP style, I tend to match my partners, but I tend more toward paragraph-style RP in-game. I am also open to Tumblr RP, though, so if people want threads here, then I’m more than happy to write things on this blog as well, especially if server is an issue. However, my interactions and posts tend to be a lot more long-winded when I’m not limited by the game’s character limit.

I prefer serious to silly, and plot-based to social, but I’m open to anything:  from rivals to friends, enemies to colleagues, business contacts to drinking buddies. Basically anything you can imagine except for romance (Leonnaux is already involved)! I am also open to joining linkshells (I have 3 free slots), Discords, etc.

If anyone is interested, by all means send an ask to @krahenlied​! My Discord is available upon request. My RPC Forums username is zaviire. I am a NA player, based alternately in Central and Eastern timezones; my home is in Texas, but I go to college in Pennsylvania.

Some suggested RP hooks are below the cut to potentially get some gears turning!

Keep reading


mostly reblogging for @zoobus but also @memecucker is “ religious criticism arrived Christian Europe only after it spread in Jewish and Islamic scholarly communities” really true? I always got the impression that e.g., Haskalah and Enlightenment thought were roughly concurrent and reciprocal. Like even in the 17th century Bacon, Locke and Spinoza etc. all influenced each other no?

@prudencepaccard I’m splitting this into a new thread because the OP was getting a bit clogged hope you dont mind but anyway the scholars I was thinking of actually predate the Enlightenment and Renaissance periods as conventionally dated. 

The 14th century rabbi and polymath Levi ben Gershon aka Gersonides aka the Ralbag is a good example. Levi, who lived in southern France, argued in one of this principle texts The Wars of the Lord that it is impossible for reason to be in conflict with religion but the way he worked it out is that if one sees reason contradict religion then the flaw is with the interpretation of religion in that moment, which is to say that reason is what is given primacy when it comes to understanding truth. For example when it comes to miracles described in scripture, Levi did not deny that these events occurred but did deny that they were “supernatural” in any meaningful sense of the term. When Jacob is said to have wrestled with an angel, Levi argued that this was simply a literary description of an intense mental and psychological struggle. In Exodus when Moses and the Hebrews cross over the Yam Suph, Levi said this was not God intervening into the world to break natural laws but rather mentions how through observation of the natural world we can observe that rivers and watery areas can temporarily dry up for various reasons whether tides, drought, gusts of wind etc and says this is what happened when the Hebrews escaped Pharoah’s army. When Joshua is said to have made the Sun stand still, Levi (who was also an astronomer and thus is very adamant about how this is a complete impossibility) says this is simply a metaphoric description for how time seems to phenomenologically “slow down” in moments of intensity such as Joshua launching his attack on the Amorites. Levi’s priortization of natural science when it comes to interpreting scripture sets him apart from earlier examples of allegorical interpretors such as the Christian theologian Origen for whom scripture is to be read allegorically because reading scripture as referring to natural and material events is “too low” for matters of religion whereas for Levi it was because religion had to conform to the truths of natural science. To the modern reader these ideas might seem fairly normal especially after the rise of naturalistic Biblical criticism in the 19th century but this is in the context of the 1300′s not the 1800s and Levi’s words were seen as quite radical.

Levi ben Gershon’s willingness to challenge traditional wisdom extended beyond religion as well. 200 years before Galileo he was actually the first person to provide a refutation of Ptolemaic astronomy based on empirical observations specifically observations he had made concerning Mars’ shadow and its relationship to Venus as well as of the Moon. He did not provide a Heliocentric model to replace Ptolemy (his model was more a mixture of heliocentrism and geocentrism) but his willingness to just go “Ptolemy was flat-out wrong if you actually observe the evidence” was very significant in the history of science. Levi says of this scientific establishment “We did not find among our predecessors from Ptolemy to the present day observations that are helpful for this investigation except our own” which is to say that if the observations and calculations done by the living contradict that of received authorities then the received authorities are wrong.

One of the reasons why Levi was able to say such heterodox things and get away with it was because of him being Jewish. He lived primarily in the territory controlled by the Avignon Papacy and specifically during the reign of Pope Clement VI who actually had a fairly tolerant attitude towards Jews (when the Black Death was sweeping through Europe, Clement actually issued condemnations of angry mobs that blamed Jewish people for the plague and said that the assertion that Jews were poisoning Christians was a product of people having been “seduced by that liar, the Devil” and ordered priests to preach against such ideas). Clement, who also did not make any strong efforts to convert Jews unlike previous popes, didnt care that his personal friend Levi said such things because it was outside of a Christian context even though we can see that when Christians in Western Europe asserted such subversive ideas they did face punishment.

And we know Christian rationalists in the Medieval Era faced suppression on a more substantial scale because that was essentially what happened in the 1270′s when Pope XXI caught wind of the ideas being promulgated by monks over in France and ordered Bishop Tempier of Paris to issue a condemnation and suppress said ideas.  The rationalistic school of thought that was causing so much trouble was called Averroism (or “Latin Averroism” in some modern sources) and it was named after the Muslim writer whom the condemned scholars sought to emulate namely Averroes aka Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd. Averroes was introduced into the Latin Christian tradition mainly as a commentator on Aristotle but his works on reconciling contradictions between religion and reason took root with the scholars of Paris and were seen as increasingly subversive. Some of the ideas attributed to the Latin Averroists by Bishop Tempier that were held to be blasphemous include the assertion that God cannot create logical contradictions, that Adam was only metaphorically the “first human”, that the mortality of humans is a product of nature and not sin and that sometimes religion and reason are irreconcilable (the Latin Averroist answer to that dilemma differed from the actual Averroes and was that essentially that reason and religion occupied separate spheres of truth and thus that the exercise of reason does not have to be mediated by faith). 

Though the influence of Levi ben Gerson on Christian thought was mostly minor (and would be easily dismissed by Christian writers by virtue of him being Jewish) and that of Averroes was suppressed they still were able to influence the movement of intellectual history in Latin Europe with Giordano Bruno and later Spinoza being indebted to those schools of thought

In 2012, Harvard University said the growing cost of journal subscriptions was an “untenable situation” for the school’s library, which shelled out $3.5 million a year for them.

“Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices,” an internal Harvard memo read.

It’s not just Harvard struggling with these costs. An analysis from the University of South Florida found that “American research libraries spent 227% more for their journal collections in 2002 than in 1986. The CPI increased 57% during the same period.”

The frustrating irony is that universities have to pay these sky-high prices despite the fact they are the institutions funding the research in the journals. Similarly, taxpayers spend $140 billion every year supporting research they can’t easily access.

hello!! this is my (late) introduction post. i’m new to the studyblr community and i’d like to introduce myself a bit! 

name: kate

age: 17

nationality: filipino

a few facts about me:

- i love coffee (if you can’t already tell)

- i enjoy reading (i’m open to book recs!!)

- i love all dogs

- i like to paint in my free time

why i joined the studyblr community:

i want to improve my work ethic and prepare myself for uni! besides that, i love how the studyblr community is so friendly and motivating!! 

blogs that inspired me:

@studyign @studybuzz @theorganisedstudent @workhardlikegranger @studyplants @getstudyblr @elkstudies @hermionegoals @verbtostudy @studysthetics @scholarly @katsdesk @asazora @academla @studypetals

my friends! @kaisdesk @studyingaf

i’d appreciate it if you like / reblog this so that i can follow and meet more people!! my ask is always open as well! 

The whole academic publishing industry is a gigantic web of avarice and selfishness, and the academic community has not engaged to the extent it perhaps should have to stop it,” Leeder said.

“Scholarly publishing is a bit like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. It’s not totally clear what the hell is going on, but you can be sure someone is making a hell of a lot of money from it.


Don’t write in your books! Who doesn’t remember this phrase from your schooldays? But for book lovers this admonition makes no sense—reading and writing are inseparable. All those who love and live with literature know that books are not static things, but rather dynamic tools of learning, thought and imagination. The best readers both read and write back.

All over the world in every language there are hundreds of different words that describe the act of writing:  Scribble, inscribe, doodle, dash off, draft, compose, create….annotate—visible language in all its permutations.

This week the Brooklyn Museum Wilbour Library of Egyptology is highlighting our rich trove of annotated works by our founder Charles Edwin Wilbour (1833-1896). Wilbour’s personal library forms the core of our collection and includes all the major texts for the study of Ancient Egypt of his time. Many of the books are annotated with notes, shorthand, comments, corrections, drawings and more.

These annotations are currently being catalogued and preserved so that they can be more accessible to researchers and the general public. The notes, drawings and marginalia are fun and fascinating, but they are also valuable research tools.

Wilbour, like other Egyptologists of the time, traveled with his books to excavations and annotated them on site; he also traded volumes with fellow scholars. These marginal writings are a vibrant record of thought and a form a scholarly communication. A list of Wilbour annotated titles can be found here.

Posted by Roberta Munoz  with help from intern, Isabel Adler