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Married Man
Jul 2, 2004
Isaac Brock said:
I submit that you might want to reconsider your premise. The evidence might suggest that people DO in fact get bogged down in how you things, and your tone and style make it MORE difficult for people to think "logically" about what is being said. Whether this is your fault or not is pretty much irrelevent - your premise is flawed.
This is an illogical argument. I am in no way responsonsible for others thinking. It doesn't matter how I say something. They are responsible for their own reasoning. If I had a say in other people's thinking than they would be void of a free will and I would be controlling them like a puppet. To suppose that this is the case is just absurd.

Isaac Brock said:
I'm suggesting that your entire approach to the question of primary sources is to use a straw man argument. To summarize:
idontlikeforms - primary source X says Y and that supports my argument
But my argument didn't exist until I saw what the primary source said. Before that it was just conjecture or a hunch or more often than not, not even remotely what I was thinking about.
Isaac Brock said:
second party - Well that's only one primary source, and you have to be careful when evaluating the reliablity of primary sources
Yes you do. A primary source author who has a very high probability of having access to the information he's talking about should be considerably more valuable than one that doesn't.
Isaac Brock said:
IDLF - primary sources are the best information we have. Your argument that we cannot consider primary sources is simply wrong.
I'm guessing that you meant secondary sources here. Correct me if I'm wrong. We definitely can consider secondary sources. But man secondary sources are wrong alot too. If you read primary sources as much as I do you'll see what I'm talking about. Secondary sources often have theories and naked conjecture being passed off as historical facts and all kinds of other crap too that just makes you roll your eyes in disbelief that someone would actually beleive the crap that they are talking about.

In a perfect research project, you would actually study ALL of the primary sources on a given subject and then compare them while reading what others who have done the same thing have to say. This is what the secondary source authors do.
Isaac Brock said:
We have to use primary sources to understand history because those people were actually there.
Isaac Brock said:
SP - Secondary sources are also important in understanding history.
They usually are. But consider this. Say you decided to study the Bible. You then went and purchased a bunch of commentaries(not including all the scriptural passages being commented on), theme dictionaries, and atlases. Then you read all of these. But I went and purchased a Bible that has an extensive middle column, maps, and concordance. We then both spent 2 years studying these materials. Then we meet for a conversation. Now truthfully which one of us is going to have a better understanding of the Bible? I would say so many things that you know nothing about. Granted you would undoubtedly know an interesting point or two that I would be unaware of but as far who would know the Bible inside and out, I would beat you hands down. Ideally of course you should study all of these if you wanted a mastery of the Bible, but certainly studying the Bible directly would be the biggest time consumer.

This is essentially what happens in the history department of Acadamia today for people who don't know all the languages that the primary sources were originally printed in and who don't have access to them. The plain and simple truth is that if I study the primary sources I can have considerably more information to pool from in making events and game settings than someone who doesn't. I can get a much better feel for the importance of an event from the perspective of the countries involved than you can without doing this. Will I get facts wrong occasionally? Sure, but the overwhelming majority of what I'm reading is indeed true and I'm being exposed to so much more information. You'd be amazed how much information that is very useful to modding this game is in primary sources but isn't in secondary sources. Historians don't always have the same set of priorities in what's important to know as a modder does.
Isaac Brock said:
IDLF - Your dismissal of the value of primary sources shows your general wrong headedness.
I'm assuming you mean secondary sources here again and I don't dismiss them. I just realize their priority in importance.

Let me tell you also that when you read the primary sources you usually already know what the secondary source author is talking about. In fact sadly after reading all or most of the primary sources on a given topic,there isn't much benefit to reading ALL of a secondary source. Skimming it is actually more productive time-wise. Because you can compare all the things that he did yourself and may already have too. I habitually do things like this. So their importance to me is less. The raw sum of knoweldge that I accumulate from them after reading the primary source authors is considerably less than what I amassed from the primary source authors. In fact after reading a secondary source author or two, the amount to be learned from them drops to an even smaller amount as they tend to say the same things usually too. So typically if I'm well versed in the primary source author's information, I will actually only skim them. Granted if I am not, I do tend to read all or almost all of what they say. After all I can't get primary source authors on every subject I'm interested in.

Apparently it has lost it's popularity in the history department of Academia to translate and footnote primary source authors. It used to be done by historians so much more often. Now they tend to stick to these boring scholarly works where they unneccessarily use long words, speak with as little emotion as posible, discuss the theories that they do or don't agree with of their collegues, and in general make reading their books a nausiating boredom for all layreaders. In the past even secondary sources were better reads and directed towards layreaders as well.

Isaac Brock said:
Now it's possibel I've missed some of what you've been trying to say about the relevence of primary sources.
I suspect this is the case.
Isaac Brock said:
If so, I'd appreciate it if you could point me to any poster saying that no primary sources should be considered.
My gripe was that my information shouldn't be majically considered invalid because it came from a primary source author. In fact it should be considered more valid because of this, unless of course there is some evidence to the contrary.

Listen man let me tell you that I have read secondary source authors being off so many times it makes me sick. The thing is that when all of us small-time or wanna-be historians have been trained to avoid primary sources, we tend to find this out so much less. It make me mad. I'm not a moron damn it! I can read what the primary source authors say and figure out if it's BS or not too. There's nothing about their having a PHD that makes them a genius and me unworthy of reading what they read. It's like they want their opinion of a given history to be more important to us than that history itself.
Isaac Brock said:
I probably shouldn't bother with these posts, but I was hoping to try to help. You see you did NOT win that particular argument with me, and if I did not post you would, by your own standards, be certain that you had won it. (Not that I'm saying that I won it...)
I'm inclined to believe that I did win it. As my argument for why Pacheco is not full of crap remained untouched after I gave it.

Isaac Brock said:
And I think this is the root of the problem. There is, and cannot be a 'correct' viewpoint for any of these debates. Unless the debate is about something like 'when did Castille conquer Gibraltar' (and even those questions may not have a definitive answer) every single debate here comes down to subjectivity.
I don't agree with this. I certainly do not subscribe to a relativism philosphical view of the world. I definitely beleive that truth is objective and often can be known. To think otherwise would make communicating beyond just grunts and groans a worthless endeavor.
Isaac Brock said:
"Should Portugal be able to conquer Granada?" There is no correct answer to that question. "Should Sao Tome produce sugar" There is no correct answer to that question.
Well there is a right answer here if certian criterias are being mutually upheld. If our objectives and priorities for those objectives are the same or very similar than there definitely is a right or wrong answer for these kinds of things. Otherwise of course I tend to agree with this point.

But fortunately people often give their criterias throughout the course of the discussion and when I see that I use to make a point, that should be accepted by their logic. This is why I am the one who made such a huge stink about a mission-statement and why I plead with people who disagree with me so much that they should consider the conseuquences fo their decisions. Like how playing out the same criteria, method, or lack of a method all the way out throughout other areas of the mod and just what will this look like if they do.
Isaac Brock said:
The answer always depends on (among other thigns) what you're trying to do, and what you think all the different things in the game represent.
Well that certainly is part of it. Listen man this kind of debate isn't a hostile/contentious kind of thing to me. I'm perfectly willing to engage in it, but I suppose how I can see how others would feel alienated by it if they just wanted to talk about Iberian countries.


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I guess you just do not get the spirit of what I was saying!
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