Westerners who reached China overland by way of the silk road picked up the name Cathay…

Related: Westerners who reached China overland by way of the silk road picked up the name Cathay from central Asia, and westerners who reached China by sea picked up the name China from southeast Asia, and they didn’t realize both names referred to the same country until the late 1500s, when a group of Jesuits living in China started comparing Marco Polo’s account to their own travels and couldn’t find anyone in China who had heard of this “Cathay” place to the north.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathay

On Wandering.shop

The point where they met up with some Saracens in Beijing and asked them if they’d heard of “Cathay”, and they said, “We’re in Cathay right now” basically clinched it, though it took a while for them to convince everyone back in Europe.

Portuguese Jesuits in India sent someone overland to Cathay to check, and along the way he met a returning caravan who told him about the Jesuits they’d met in Beijing a while back.

On Wandering.shop

Wiki-walking, found this article collecting “Early World Maps” from antiquity through around 1800. I’ve always …

Wiki-walking, found this article collecting “Early World Maps” from antiquity through around 1800. I’ve always found it interesting to look at maps where they got the coastlines right, because they needed to be for sailing, but the proportions are all wrong. And it’s fascinating to compare the older Chinese maps that sort-of include Europe to the older European maps that sort-of include China, based on what little was known of each other at the time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_world_maps

On Wandering.shop

So weird how people are convinced that someone whose signature move is to go back on his word to re-negotiate deals, and who viciously turns on anyone the moment they cease to be useful to him, has *their* back.

So weird how people are convinced that someone whose signature move is to go back on his word to re-negotiate deals, and who viciously turns on anyone the moment they cease to be useful to him, has *their* back.

On Twitter

So when Valjean puts him into a position where he suddenly *has to start thinking for himself*, he (1) can’t justify who he’s been, and (2) can’t decide what path to follow, because he isn’t used to making decisions.

So when Valjean puts him into a position where he suddenly *has to start thinking for himself*, he (1) can’t justify who he’s been, and (2) can’t decide what path to follow, because he isn’t used to making decisions.

https://www.hyperborea.org/les-mis/book/derailing-javerts-one-track-mind/

On Twitter

Javert is authoritarian, but he’s not a leader. He’s a follower of what he thinks authority dictates to him. Why? because he craves *certainty*. He hates having to think for himself. And submitting to authority lets him justify any cruelty he does because it *must* be righteous!

Javert is authoritarian, but he’s not a leader. He’s a follower of what he thinks authority dictates to him. Why? because he craves *certainty*. He hates having to think for himself. And submitting to authority lets him justify any cruelty he does because it *must* be righteous!

On Twitter

Yeah, Russell Crowe was horribly miscast as a singing Inspector Javert, but he would’ve been …

Yeah, Russell Crowe was horribly miscast as a singing Inspector Javert, but he would’ve been incredible in a non-musical adaptation

And that visual image of him tightrope-walking on the edge of the roof during “Stars” is cinematically *perfect* as a metaphor for the way he sees the world and the way he goes about it. Narrow path, not an inch to the east, not an inch to the west, no thought, no decision, just one foot in front of the other or you’re doomed and it’s your own fault

On Wandering.shop

Having an open mind doesn’t mean believing both sides equally or disbelieving them both equally.

Comment on this guest post at This is True: What’s Good for the Goose

Having an open mind doesn’t mean believing both sides equally or disbelieving them both equally. It means looking at evidence and actually *thinking* about what is being said, what is being done, and what else is happening.

If one “side” promotes unfounded accusations (i.e. conspiracy theories) and the other “side” calls them on it, those aren’t equivalent.

If one “side” marches when an election doesn’t go their way and the other “side” violently threatens or attacks the legislature to overturn an election that doesn’t go their way, those aren’t equivalent.

If one “side” complains about propaganda in an election they lost, and the other “side” insists without evidence (unless you count the claims that have been repeatedly laughed out of court) that the votes in an election they lost were somehow faked, those aren’t equivalent.

Sure, don’t trust reflexively – but don’t dismiss reflexively either. Automatically rejecting “both sides” isn’t critical thinking, it’s just another way of reassuring yourself that you’re right.

Les Mis, alcohol mention

Going through my #LesMiserables blog after the conversion to Eleventy, making sure everything’s working right. I stumbled on this mention of Grantaire going beyond wine to some awful mixture of stout, brandy and absinthe.

https://www.hyperborea.org/les-mis/book/commandeering-the-tavern/

Curious about what it was, I searched for the ingredients. Turns out it doesn’t exist, but someone tried to make it.

Let’s just say they don’t recommend it.

https://medium.com/deru-kugi/la-chope-hugo-d1b712bb9a69

On Wandering.shop

Discovered via iNat that one of my cameras (the compact one with the good zoom …

Discovered via iNat that one of my cameras (the compact one with the good zoom that I like using for birds) was off by exactly a month. Apparently I messed up the DST adjustment

Except that I didn’t mess it up *on* the DST weekend. As I went through fixing timestamps on observations since November, I discovered that the first couple of weeks had the right date, but the wrong time.

I’d forgotten to adjust it on DST day. And then I messed it up when I noticed. 🤦‍♂️

On Wandering.shop