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 Common skills now forgotten or redundant

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 10:26

Much of what you say there Nordmann is surely true not only for political discourse but also widely for communication / entertainnment / education as a whole. Television (and radio and youtubes etc) are a very passive (for the receiver) form of communication. They are presented and roll along at their own pace, with no interaction or discourse. Until just a century ago if you wanted music you had to make it yourself, or find someone willing to provide what you wanted: if you wanted to be amused you had to talk, act, play games with others, and give as much as take. If you wanted to be informed you had to read, write letters, ask questions, make your own investigations, and draw you own conclusions. Now much communication is simply presented and it is not even necessary for another human to be present. Indeed even university level education is nowadays often presented as a series of fixed, pre-prepared packages that one can buy, to down-load and absorb in the isolation of ones home.

I am sure people were indeed much more adept at communication between those of differeing views, levels of education, class and social background ... even in the "gated-communities" of pre-revolutionary France, the nobility had occasion to communicate with people other than their own small circle of friends and family. And go back just a few hundred years further and I'm sure most people in Europe were accustomed to communicating with others, who were not of the same language/culture. The church spoke in Latin, the law spoke in French, merchants spoke a variety of foreign tongues, while you and your neighbours spoke your own particular dialect. Even the mid 19th century about 80% of the inhabitants of France did not speak French as their first language, while something like 40% did not speak it at all ... yet they still traded, started businesses, joined the army, and pursued legal cases. So I suspect communication skills were generally far higher than today where language and accent is standardized, 'the playing field' is more level, there are strict rules and norms to behaviour, and as you say above, the basic skills of discourse, debate, negociation and compromise, especially between parties of differing social backgrounds, have often been lost.

Or maybe I'm just spouting didactic nonsense.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 11:24

@Meles meles wrote:


Or maybe I'm just spouting didactic nonsense.

Au contraire - your post is as dialectic as any contribution to a discussion could ever be, and in fact your little disclaimer at the end is proof of this. In dialectic discourse the various sides to an argument are typically presented with proofs and examples (as you have done), and crucially each interlocutor makes a contribution in the expectation that it will be countered in similar fashion, but always as a point drawing from that which preceded it. Had you been didactic you would have expressed your view using such examples as emphasis only and not as suggested proof of veracity, and then you would signally not have expected a retort at all, the "lesson" having been "taught" by you and "learnt" by your counterpart in discourse, the matter therefore summarily and unilaterally closed by you to further discussion.

If you look at the evolution of political assembly you can see that its dialectic nature - something which one would have expected to have increased over time - has in fact regressed as these assemblies are used to formulate policy affecting ever larger constituencies that they serve. What passes for dialectic discourse is more often than not simply iteration of pre-defined views, performed using the structure of a discussion or conversation, but in fact nothing of the sort - even if the process still ends up with a "democratic" vote at the end. You can watch this process televised daily from the House of Commons, or indeed most modern parliament chambers. However if you compare this conduct to that which prevailed in a medieval village assembly convened under any authority or for any reason (where such records exist) it is rarely that such didactic intercourse would ever have been tolerated for long - in fact it would have been deemed pointless to the point of being retrograde to the process. Political assembly originated with an assumption that dialectic discourse conducted in public led to decisions most likely to benefit that public, and this did not have to be taught in universities to be understood - everyone seemed to have innately assumed it was the logical alternative to didactic dictat from authority figures, the alternative prevailing political ethos of the time.

Dialectic conversation allowed a measure of cross-class negotiation that was probably more natural and familiar to our medieval predecessors than to us in fact. And it could even be argued that our most fundamental rights and freedoms originated at some point in such discourse when it didn't originate with violence. But as a general rhetorical skill it seems consigned alas to those times. I reckon we could all do with a healthy dollop of it in public discourse these days, and are the poorer (literally) for its apparent demise.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 11:53

Your post was excellent, MM, as indeed was nordmann's. However, one must admit to being left feeling sadly inadequate for the rigours of debate - or even friendly discussion - here.

nordman wrote:
Au contraire - your post is as dialectic as any contribution to a discussion could ever be, and in fact your little disclaimer at the end is proof of this. In dialectic discourse the various sides to an argument are typically presented with proofs and examples (as you have done), and crucially each interlocutor makes a contribution in the expectation that it will be countered in similar fashion, but always as a point drawing from that which preceded it. Had you been didactic you would have expressed your view using such examples as emphasis only and not as suggested proof of veracity, and then you would signally not have expected a retort at all, the "lesson" having been "taught" by you and "learnt" by your counterpart in discourse, the matter therefore summarily and unilaterally closed by you to further discussion.

All this reminds me of an exchange between Miss Bingley, Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice:

`Then,'' observed Elizabeth, ``you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished women.''

"Yes; I do comprehend a great deal in it.''

"Oh! certainly,'' cried his faithful assistant, "no one can be really esteemed accomplished, who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.''

"All this she must possess,'' added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.''

"I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any.''

I am tempted to say I am no longer surprised at there being only a few posters left at Res His. I rather wonder now at there being any...
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 12:02

Temp wrote:
I am tempted to say I am no longer surprised at there being only a few posters left at Res His. I rather wonder now at there being any...

Why so? I don't follow your point at all. Darcy in your example expresses unrealistic expectations in didactic fashion which are then countered in quite dialectic manner by his interlocutor. In what way does this mean that you are not surprised at the low number of contributors on the site?

Strange ... unless of course you think that I, like Darcy, was being didactic?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 12:07

I wouldn't dare.

It was a joke, nordmann - no offence to you, the site or to posters past and present was intended.

Oh dear, why don't I just keep my mouth shut? I give up - again.

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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 13:44

I am very distressed that my post above has been obviously taken the wrong way. I repeat - no offence was intended at all. I was, if anything, laughing at my own perceived intellectual shortcomings, not at anyone else. Laughing here, even at oneself, is sadly something now forgotten.

Apology - the giving and the receiving of - is a redundant skill. "Never complain; never explain" was the old maxim: to this may now be added - "and never apologise". To do so is seen as a sign of weakness, while graciously to accept apology is viewed simply a waste of energy.

It continues to snow and it is bitter cold. Like poor old Francisco, I am sick at heart. But it'll pass.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 13:58

A gracious acceptance of your apology is hereby extended. Should you accept same by return you can expect an invoice for energy used in this transaction in the post in the near future.

But you raise a serious point - in terms of public perception the reward for apology is now outweighed completely by the negative interpretation of what it reveals about the apologiser's character, who is in fact doubly indicted publicly by their action - once for having admitted a flaw which led to the requirement in the first place (popularly, though most often incorrectly, interpreted as a character flaw), and secondly for having a deficiency in temerity by not having brazened the thing out (also interpreted, completely incorrectly to the point of being diametrically opposed to standard morality, as a character flaw).

In my humble opinion public opinion as it is expressed in mainstream media these days - and therefore by many who follow that lead - is just inarticulate shite that does not affect me in the slightest when it comes to defining me or my flaws, and I will continue to privately acknowledge (and even sometimes pursue) those flaws which have been identified through more dependable means, while ignoring completely those falsely identified and existing only as ephemeral and ill-reasoned allegation, as indeed I ignore the allegators (as Bill Hayley might have sung).

My heart as a result, unlike yours, is exceedingly hail (and indeed hearty). Well, at least euphemistically.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 14:33

@nordmann wrote:
At one time even every proverbial dog in the village street knew that no value could be placed on any other style of discourse if social progress was to be achieved or maintained in areas that ensured and insured preservation of the welfare of the majority. Now every actual dog on the street has more mannered and constructive methods of discourse than humans seem capable of achieving.

By coincidence (and as an aside) this reminds of an account I was reading recently of the only known meeting between Eamon de Valera and Sir James Craig. This took place in May 1921 with the president of Sinn Fein and the leader of the Ulster Unionists representing the 2 polar opposites of the Irish constitutional debate which was then particularly acute with the Irish War of Independence being at its height. And, as if that weren’t enough, in addition both men were also contesting the same seat, County Down, in the inaugural general election campaign for the nascent Northern Ireland parliament.

De Valera and Craig were guested in the private home of a Dublin lawyer for the purposes of the meeting. We don’t have de Valera’s account of proceedings but we do have Craig’s. He claimed that de Valera was indeed didactic and began lecturing him on the ancient history of Ireland with reference to Brian Boru etc in a lecture which lasted for about an hour. Craig found this somewhat tiresome and really wanted to discuss details relating to the contemporary political situation. He then says that (fortunately for him) one of the lawyer’s dogs "a fine Kerry Blue entered the room and enabled me to change conversation". The meeting itself, however, was essentially fruitless and soon ended with no meeting of minds.        

It has often been said regarding the peace treaty negotiations later that year between the Sinn Fein delegation and the British government in London, that history would have better been served had it been de Valera who had attended rather than Michael Collins. It has been suggested that de Valera would have been forced to face facts and political realities years before he actually did which would undoubtedly have saved his country from years of unnecessary strife.    

And just as it should have been de Valera (rather than Collins) who went to London in the Autumn for the Treaty negotiations then there is also a case for saying that it should have been Collins (rather than de Valera) who met Craig in Dublin earlier in the year in the Spring. A personal rapport would almost certainly have been built up between the 2 men many months before their forced encounter in London’s Mansion House. Craig’s appreciation of the Kerry Blue terrier in the Dublin lawyer’s parlour would certainly not have left Michael Collins cold or unmoved. The latter not only would have appreciated the dog but is well known for having been an avid fancier of the breed.
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Nielsen
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 14:39

Cor Blimey, it's a good thing this isn't the Suite, or I'd say that you're watering down the spririts.

Actually I think this have defined another craft almost forgotten, that of tendering an apology without dememeaning oneself. 

This is crossing posts with Vizzer, whose I've not read yet, perhaps to my downfall.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 15:57

@nordmann wrote:
A gracious acceptance of your apology is hereby extended. Should you accept same by return you can expect an invoice for energy used in this transaction in the post in the near future.

Accepted. I've just received a very welcome invoice from First Utility - yours likewise would be welcome - I think. I fear the Greeks - and First Utility - even when they offer a discount.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 18:05

Is prayer a common skill now forgotten?

I walked to church this morning in the snow. There were only six of us there in an unheated, ancient English church in which prayer has been going on since the thirteenth century : two church wardens, two ordained priests, one of whom took the service, the organist (a former Organ Scholar at Oxford) and me - all praying away as the snow fell outside. We were all frozen, but the experience was magical (is that word still permitted - I think Mozart would say yes); and we sang our hearts out, thanks to the beautiful music of that former Oxford music scholar. When he goes there will no on e who can play the organ - another dying skill.



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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 19:18

@Meles meles wrote:
Talking laundry ... remember the fastest and easiest way to iron a shirt is to do it the correct order: cuffs, sleeves, yoke, collar, front panels, back. But I'm sure you knew that.

I didn't. I do it: right front panel, back, left front panel, yoke, sleeves, cuffs, collar. I'll give your way a try though.

Take washing up. I don't know if it's the widespread use of dishwashers over the last 40 years or so but I've lost count of the number of times I've seen films or television programs in which actors are depicted doing the washing-up and almost invariably place items strait onto the draining rack with massive amounts of suds on them. Do they not know that they need to be rinsed first? The terms 'kitchen sink drama' and 'soap opera' take on a whole knew meaning. And doing the washing up has a correct order too: glasses, cups, other crockery, cutlery, pans.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 19:28

EDIT: Rude of me to point out typos here - yet another apology needed.




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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 19:40

Thanks for picking up on the typos Temp. I know 'knew' should be new but I'll stick with strait. In my defence I don't think Johnsonian orthography was ever a common skill and neither did he intend it to be.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 18 Mar 2018, 19:48

Cleaning generally is no longer done methodically - wasn't the old rule: sweep, dust, polish - in that order?
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 19 Mar 2018, 06:32

I always rinse the dishes I do by hand, but I never (well, hardly ever) rinse the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher, as many people seem to now (why keep a dog and do your own barking?).  As regards the order, I do them in order of dirt, least to most, of course.

Some things have been taken out of the ordinary person's hands (not that they were ever in mine) and put into professionals because of growing health and safety rules, and various disastrous events. In NZ electrical things are increasingly moved to qualified electricians or at least have to be signed off by them.  I think we are still allowed to change fuses and light bulbs, but not much more.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 19 Mar 2018, 07:57

I changed a plug on some device a while ago - it was a kind of rechargeable breath/footstep/heartbeat-counter or something belonging to a member of today's beautiful young generation and he'd had the misfortune to have acquired a solid state plug on the charger with faulty wiring that kept blowing fuses in the house (actually fuses don't blow anymore, trip switches trip - which isn't quite as dramatic, but you get my drift).

Anyway I bought him a plug from the local hardware store and then, equipped only with a nail scissors (supplied by his "life-partner") as we were out on the hoof at the time, did the necessary. So amazed at my daring and apparent MacGyver ingenuity (they wouldn't have understood that one either) were these two that they insisted I repeat the exercise while being filmed in glorious technicolor multi-pixel splendour with the LP's phone. Within five minutes the whole thing was up on YouTube (under an anonymous account of course, in case the plug police were to swoop on us later) and within a day or two had clocked up thousands of "hits" and comments along the lines of "Holy Shit Man! Is that dude cool or what?? I dnt thnk tht wuz even FREAKIN POSS!!!" etc etc.

My hairy hands and the LP's nail scissors are now famous among millennials. Long after I'm gone they will probably be held up (hopefully not literally) in sociology and anthropology classes etc as examples of how that stage of human just after neanderthal once regarded with such casual disregard the law, human life and safety, and manicure standards.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 19 Mar 2018, 19:23

Well Done! I am athe only person in the family who can use a wire stripper for such work  and to plaudit. Then there's unacquried skill not quite what was asked for here but what seemed to me to be common sense, esp if one has had a course in physics - or my childhood - and that is using a boat hook to turn a floating craft.
With water low at a winding hole on a narrow canal, I asked my family crew to push us round with boat hooks. Immediately, just the way they were held I saw problems looming - I yelled out from 65ft away at the helm that they should think snooker - or just thinking would have been nice,,,,,,,,between them I had 2 MA's, one Phd, one Msc and a FMech Eng qualified crew to direct. They managed to bash into about 4 other craft(one with dislodged sunbather), damage a canal bank, get us stuck in the reeds -  then to tip the paint can over in a boat being painted and also upset a fisherman somehow. By which time we  had a cheering audience but mercifully at that time, no smart phones to record  neither awful sights - nor irate sounds. Finally I ordered all hands below deck and I got us round by motor in a 6pt turn without any mishap to got a huge round of applause from the gathered.crowd - and I had many apologies to make. Lesson learned - always have crew boat hook drill before allowing them aboard.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 19 Mar 2018, 21:55

Some of the farming methods common when I was a child are more or less unknown now.  Milking cows by hand (though even when I was young we had milking machines, but we did know how to milk by hand).  I was at an event the other day where there was a demonstration of blade-shearing, hardly ever done now, or when I was a child. Certainly using horses for farmwork has, at least in NZ, gone for all but the roughest high country.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Wed 21 Mar 2018, 19:46

My garden really needs attention - as I say it will be damage limitation rather than proper gardening but I googled "Gardening for the clueless" today and my search did bring up some answers.  Some sites said that young people were not really learning to garden these days - I haven't the excuse of youth being well on in my 60s now!
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sat 21 Apr 2018, 15:05

I hope I haven't rung the death knell for this thread.  I recently listened to a podcast by an investigative journalist, Tim Tate, from a couple of years ago.  He mentioned that investigative journalism is rare these days (or those days as he was talking a few years ago).  I tend to agree with him - so much "reality" TV - I really don't need to watch (well the switch off button is there and I make use of it) z-list non-celebrities either being got "out of here" or in the Big Borer (deliberate spelling) house.

So could investigative journalism be considered a declining skill these days?
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Nielsen
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sat 21 Apr 2018, 15:29

I'd tend to agree, LiR, and quite a few of those who write in papers or tell things on the radio or TV don't really know what they are on about, nor how to spell it - they depend way too much on a spell-checker.

Actually that's two jobs gone down the drain, the proof reader and the printers of the kind of ordinary typography as used in newspapers and books - the latter would actually catch plenty of spelling mistakes which passed the proof readers' eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 22 Apr 2018, 12:55

Journalism, not just the investigative kind, has taken a dive in recent times - more copy is sold now (to use the antiquated phrase, but you know what I mean) from people spouting opinions than actually reporting events, and this shows in the quality - and indeed the quantity - of instances of factual reportage available to potential readers these days.

It was refreshing - if more than a little disconcerting - this morning to hear a Conservative minister on Radio 4 actually compliment The Guardian for its persistence in highlighting what has suddenly become known as the "Windrush Scandal" in the UK. Though it is perhaps sobering to reflect on the fact that the paper was merely highlighting an on-going story that has been widely reported for some years now in media directed at black readership in the same country. Very little "investigation" was required on the part of the paper to unleash a slew of harrowing and vitally important news stories related to individuals suffering in this case. Indeed, what good investigative journalists should now be doing is finding out how and why such a long-running story was kept from wider readership over the last decade or so in a so-called tolerant country so comfortable with its sense of identity and ability to govern fairly that it no longer requires assistance from wider international legal and ethical safeguards of citizens' rights as available through EU membership, and most definitely does not apparently require to pay heed to any news stories emanating from within its own citizenship's declared "minorities".

Literary standards may well be in decline, and we are told these days that spelling, grammar and syntax no longer mean much anymore anyway so proof-readers can now be retired to those proverbial pastures wherein already graze the typesetters, sub-editors, and journos of by-gone days, but what is also apparently gone is the incentive to incorporate a fundamentally moral objective into the ethos surrounding the notion of public service and government. And with apparently the same shift in ethos now extending to the fourth estate as well, it's no wonder the average citizen in the UK confuses ignorant posturing with assertion of identity, and claims with vehemence a pride in both of them, anyone disagreeing being told in no uncertain terms what they can do with themselves.

No doubt at some point I might however read an opinion about this in the UK press, as if I haven't already one of those.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 22 Apr 2018, 13:57

Meles meles,

"I am sure people were indeed much more adept at communication between those of differeing views, levels of education, class and social background ... even in the "gated-communities" of pre-revolutionary France, the nobility had occasion to communicate with people other than their own small circle of friends and family. And go back just a few hundred years further and I'm sure most people in Europe were accustomed to communicating with others, who were not of the same language/culture. The church spoke in Latin, the law spoke in French, merchants spoke a variety of foreign tongues, while you and your neighbours spoke your own particular dialect. Even the mid 19th century about 80% of the inhabitants of France did not speak French as their first language, while something like 40% did not speak it at all ... yet they still traded, started businesses, joined the army, and pursued legal cases. So I suspect communication skills were generally far higher than today where language and accent is standardized, 'the playing field' is more level, there are strict rules and norms to behaviour, and as you say above, the basic skills of discourse, debate, negociation and compromise, especially between parties of differing social backgrounds, have often been lost.

Or maybe I'm just spouting didactic nonsense."

Of course not...I wanted to give the example of Bruges in the Middle Ages, but too late before my holidays to Holland to elaborate in full...and by the way my wife is asking to go once outside this afternoon before preparing the luggage...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 22 Apr 2018, 21:21

About present time journalism, mass media etc :

"Believe nothing you hear, believe half you read but belief ALL you see.


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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 22 Apr 2018, 21:47

Manipulation of the visual media in reportage is as old as graphic representation itself, so I wouldn't necessarily believe all I see either.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Tue 24 Apr 2018, 09:22

@Nielsen wrote:
I'd tend to agree, LiR, and quite a few of those who write in papers or tell things on the radio or TV don't really know what they are on about, nor how to spell it - they depend way too much on a spell-checker.

Actually that's two jobs gone down the drain, the proof reader and the printers of the kind of ordinary typography as used in newspapers and books - the latter would actually catch plenty of spelling mistakes which passed the proof readers' eyes.

Actually Nielsen, I usually find that if I type anything I rely on the lady for whom I do (most) of my typing to do the proof reading as I am worse at catching my own faults than other peoples' - or another person who brings a fresh pair of eyes is better at noticing my "bloopers".  There used to be a small group of us living in various parts of the country who would write articles in shorthand (just to pass round among ourselves) for each other to read.  I always did a longhand version also just in case any of my outlines were a bit faulty.  This was just for ourselves and not for profit and I found that if I left the article (longhand version) on the computer a day or so before printing it off and then came back and checked it I sometimes noticed the odd word or syntax that was not quite right.  "Emphasise" for "empathise" is one mistake I can tend to make.  In fact I not infrequently have to edit comments on Res Hist - sometimes the autocorrect on this computer makes some weird changes which I don't pick up but it is also possible the mistakes are all my own work.

Yes, the computer age has largely rung the death knell of the traditional printer.  The internet is very useful (nutty YouTube videos aside) but the number of actual paper and ink newspapers has decreased and I think "The Independent" is only available in an online version now (no doubt I'll be corrected if I am wrong here).
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Tue 24 Apr 2018, 09:36

Addendum - I don't know much about the "West Memphis Three" but I heard something about them recently - they were some men who were convicted in the 1990s in the USA for the particularly nasty murders of three young boys.  There was later a TV examination of the case.  The three have now been released but there seems to be a division of opinion - some people think that the released prisoners did in fact commit the murders and vice versa.  Somehow this all went over my head at the time but I heard something (via the internet - not YouTube) where somebody pooh-poohed one of the Prosecution expert witnesses calling him a "Mail Order Professor" and the person interviewing him reminded him that distance learning by mail was the norm before the internet age.  I got into legal secretarial work because having worked as a common or garden secretary I was sent by an agency as a "temp" to a firm and then later when they had a vacancy they rang me up and asked if I'd like to join them.  I later did a couple of courses by mail order from the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (a respectable organisation) to go more deeply into certain aspects of law.  I think there are some legal firms that still like to take on youngsters from school and train them in their own ways but that wasn't the way I entered the field of legal secretarial work.  Somebody I went to school with picked up a couple of degrees from the Open University.  I know the OU does have real live classes now and they probably have an online basis now but didn't they used to use distance learning (and the post) at least for students to send assessments for marking?
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 29 Apr 2018, 20:10

@PaulRyckier wrote:
Meles meles,

"I am sure people were indeed much more adept at communication between those of differeing views, levels of education, class and social background ... even in the "gated-communities" of pre-revolutionary France, the nobility had occasion to communicate with people other than their own small circle of friends and family. And go back just a few hundred years further and I'm sure most people in Europe were accustomed to communicating with others, who were not of the same language/culture. The church spoke in Latin, the law spoke in French, merchants spoke a variety of foreign tongues, while you and your neighbours spoke your own particular dialect. Even the mid 19th century about 80% of the inhabitants of France did not speak French as their first language, while something like 40% did not speak it at all ... yet they still traded, started businesses, joined the army, and pursued legal cases. So I suspect communication skills were generally far higher than today where language and accent is standardized, 'the playing field' is more level, there are strict rules and norms to behaviour, and as you say above, the basic skills of discourse, debate, negociation and compromise, especially between parties of differing social backgrounds, have often been lost.

Or maybe I'm just spouting didactic nonsense."

Of course not...I wanted to give the example of Bruges in the Middle Ages, but too late before my holidays to Holland to elaborate in full...and by the way my wife is asking to go once outside this afternoon before preparing the luggage...

Kind regards from Paul.

Meles meles,

"And go back just a few hundred years further and I'm sure most people in Europe were accustomed to communicating with others, who were not of the same language/culture. The church spoke in Latin, the law spoke in French, merchants spoke a variety of foreign tongues, while you and your neighbours spoke your own particular dialect. "

I wanted to take the example of Bruges:
https://goo.gl/vbLT1e
But about the languages it was on page 214 I read yesterday, but after some clicks the site said for this part your reading account is reached and it wasn't available anymore, but nevertheless it is a good book I have seen.
https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/medieval-bruges/A32AFF5B4F71CF50377489F4DA6F2887
Medieval Bruges. c.850-1550
From the site:
Bruges was undoubtedly one of the most important cities in medieval Europe. Bringing together specialists from both archaeology and history, this 'total' history presents an integrated view of the city's history from its very beginnings, tracing its astonishing expansion through to its subsequent decline in the sixteenth century. The authors' analysis of its commercial growth, industrial production, socio-political changes, and cultural creativity is grounded in an understanding of the city's structure, its landscape and its built environment. More than just a biography of a city, this book places Bruges within a wider network of urban and rural development and its history in a comparative framework, thereby offering new insights into the nature of a metropolis.

Anyway as it is perhaps the same for every city of that time. The cities as trade centres, where places of exchange in nearly every field. And although under the tutelle of local nobility they were more free than the country side (Stadsluft macht frei (city air makes free)) and with that many languages exchange in the city, money exchange, ideas exchange a lot became put in question through exchange of thougts from elsewhere and by that exchange there came discussions, which gave a push to new ideas. Ideas which went again to other trade centers...I guess the cities were the first pools were free thought independent from the "government" emerged and I guess again that it was no coincidence it were mostly the cities, which struggled with the governments seeking always to centralize their might and abolish the "privileges" of the cities Examples in Flanders: the cities of Bruges against Maximilian of Austria, Ghent against Charles V...and again Ghent against Mary of Burgundy...

And if I recall it well, yes "dialectical discours" as nordmann said? Because with all these factions, nobility, merchants, moneychangers, guilds there was a lot of friction and discussion, which led at the end I guess to new ideas and thoughts and all that fed with the thoughts coming in from abroad...

"and I'm sure most people in Europe were accustomed to communicating with others, who were not of the same language/culture."
Yes, it is unbelievable, how adapting and how many languages the human brain can absorb and reproduce again, especially when the neccessity is there as in these multilanguage city centres, where the many "nations" spoke each another language. And I don't see why the medieval brain was less flexible than the nowadays brain. I think the money exchangers/hostellers, who at the end became local support for the foreign merchants staying in their country and later became local intermediaries, had to have a big grasp of foreign languages or have people in service, who were fluent in those languages.
And about that capacity of learning foreign languages, I see even today that if neccessity is there, as for instance even Indian dialect speakers or Chinese dialect speakers learn the local language in a year or two. For European languages it is even more easier while the Romance group and the Germanic group have that close ties and even English is the easiest one as one who speaks a Germanic and a Romance language can nearly immediately speak English as it is a mixture of both.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 30 Apr 2018, 08:13

Coastal cities in Western Europe, in the early medieval period in particular, were rightly regarded with huge suspicion by the several centralised authorities that were establishing themselves as "countries" in the modern sense of the word, in that they were notoriously difficult to be held to account to an overlord or administration imposed from without which didn't suit them at any given time. This independence of spirit wasn't the only manifestation of how these people differed from their fellow "countrymen" either. In Dublin, for example, the typical denizen was obliged to be fluent in English, Irish, Norwegian/Danish, Spanish, French, Low-country German, and also required a smattering of Italian and even Greek if they wished to fully avail of the mercantile possibilities that living there involved. Much the same was true for other established trading ports, so much so that they often had more in common with their "foreign" equivalents than they had with their own sovereign governors and their more inland urban fellow nationals, as the Hanseatic League and other less formal private trade alliances demonstrated - and which scared the bejaysus out of their so-called overlords.

The Hanseatic League deserves a discussion of its own in fact. It is normally seen as a "one-off" development in which a group of international traders opportunistically invented and then ran (for great profit) a form of trading cartel that briefly flourished to the extent that it had to be taken seriously by the leaders of the countries in which the ports were situated, who were forced to allow them a sort of semi-autonomous financial existence and identity - until apparently the fish stocks dried up in the Baltic and brought the cartel crashing down (the "official" version - in fact the truth of its demise is much more interesting).

There is a theory here in Norway that in fact the Hanseatic League (of which Bergen was a prominent member) was actually a continuation of a business model perfected over many centuries by several ports, especially around the Baltic, that itself can be traced back at least to the end of Roman Empire influence in the area, and in fact nowadays is reckoned to go back even further than that. The reason this continuity isn't stressed in traditional histories is mainly that it would give the lie to the notion of Vikings as "raiders", another simplistic generalisation easily contradicted and challenged by documentary and archaeological evidence. In the same historical vein, the same activity prior to the Viking era has been traditionally dismissed as "piracy" when it co-existed with Roman rule to the south, though again the actual evidence suggests a much more complex, extensive, and considerably more established trading system than such dismissals allow credit for.

Recently a few historians have tried to approach the history of Western Europe afresh with a concentration on its maritime history, in particular what this history suggests may have been the real contribution of such activity (especially trading) to pan-European civic history, and only then how this might have been later absorbed and subsequently historically accounted for during the much later emergence of "countries". This approach yields some very interesting perspectives on traditional assumptions regarding population shift, regional autonomy, and in particular the idea of "identity" shared by those engaged most directly in the milieu. Polyglotism is only one common feature that emerges. There are others, with huge implications for how we should assess not only European history but also how the notion of the central state emerged and what these states did to curb (and even attemptedly erase the history of) what had been a millennia-old  parallel system of governance, facilitator of trade, generator of identity and community, and which ultimately represented basic existence for a huge proportion of the pan-European population over countless generations.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 30 Apr 2018, 19:02

Your general comments about coastal cities, the Hanseatic League and polyglotism also ring true around the Western Mediterranean.

While the Kingdom of Castille and the Umayyad Caliphate vied for control of Hispania, and post Roman Gaul developed into France, the coastal Iberian cities like Barcelona and Valencia turned outward to the sea. By the high middle ages they were part of a network of coastal and island city states. These independent city states had grown wealthy by their mutual support (and rivalry of course) and through their control of trade between Eastern Spain, Southern France, Western Italy, North Africa, and all mechandise sailing in from the Eastern Med' and out through the Straits of Gibraltar. Catalan became a lingua franca and it is still spoken in Catalonia, Valencia, throughout the Balearics and in Algheria in Northern Sardinia, but in the past it happily rubbed alongside locally spoken French, Occitan, Provençale, Arabic and Berber, and the Tuscan, Genoese, Roman, Neapolitan and Sicilian dialects of Italian. The principal 'language' of course was trade to such an extent that the Umyyads lost control of al-Andalus not simply to the military might of Castille, but also in part because they didn't want to lose the lucrative trade from their possessions in Africa and the Middle East, that was being conducted through Aragonese/Catalan/Italian 'colonies' on the North African coast.

Of course later history up until just decades ago is characterised by the expansion and consolidation of central authority, and the establishment of the nation state, whether that is in Spain, France or, albeit somewhat later, Italy, and with it the suppression of all these 'fringe' regional languages.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Tue 01 May 2018, 10:49

I don't remember the details  exactly - I heard it some time ago on the BBC World Service before everybody was worried about fake news - but there was something about the ancient Indian ocean trade between countries on the eastern coast of Africa and the Indian sub-continent using dhow boats being re-established now that western empires had retreated.  Perhaps other contributors to the site have more knowledge than me on this subject.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Wed 02 May 2018, 10:31

Here's an interesting little photo gallery of disappearing jobs:

The Guardian: Disappearing jobs around the world - in pictures

including a neon sign maker, a clock keeper, an umbrella repairer, a shorthand teacher, an elevator operater, an ear cleaner, a darkroom printer ... and a gnomonist.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Wed 02 May 2018, 11:33

That link is interesting, MM, and including a shorthand teacher (ha ha).  The picture of the rickshaw man made me think of the rise of the trips around London (for tourists I suppose) offered by people with pushbikes where the passengers sit on a thing a bit like a rickshaw behind the bike.  I've been out of London (except for occasional visits) since autumn 2010 so I don't know if that mode of transport still exists.

Edit:  I know a lady who teaches machine stenography though.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 07 May 2018, 13:01

When I worked at the museum I had a young (married to a Briton) colleague who said that she and her travelling companions had had a good laugh when staying at a British hotel and somebody had asked if they wanted to be knocked up (as in the sense of getting an early morning wake-up call).  Of course in the USA the expression is a slang way of saying to become pregnant.  Of course with alarm clocks and even alarms on our mobile phones (the method I usually use) the knocker-upper or knocker-up as in the sense of the man/woman who went round with a long pole to bang on the window to wake people up has disappeared.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cm3F9of9mI   (The link preceding has still photographs and an awful robot voiceover but does explain the job reasonably well).  The next link has more human sounding voices https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZGNf6zIO-8
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 07 May 2018, 21:54

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
When I worked at the museum I had a young (married to a Briton) colleague who said that she and her travelling companions had had a good laugh when staying at a British hotel and somebody had asked if they wanted to be knocked up (as in the sense of getting an early morning wake-up call).  Of course in the USA the expression is a slang way of saying to become pregnant.  Of course with alarm clocks and even alarms on our mobile phones (the method I usually use) the knocker-upper or knocker-up as in the sense of the man/woman who went round with a long pole to bang on the window to wake people up has disappeared.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cm3F9of9mI   (The link preceding has still photographs and an awful robot voiceover but does explain the job reasonably well).  The next link has more human sounding voices https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZGNf6zIO-8

Lady in retirement,
 
I am glad (I wanted to say: delighted, but not sure how strong it is...in Dutch I would use "verheugd"...Dirk?) to talk once again with you...

"if they wanted to be knocked up (as in the sense of getting an early morning wake-up call).  Of course in the USA the expression is a slang way of saying to become pregnant."
In the vulgar slang of our West-Flemish dialect, we have an even worser conscription, that I can't translate for the decency of this board... Embarassed
A knocker-up, first time in my life I heard about it, but doing a small research indeed and even in Dutch websites the history of the alarm clock in Amsterdam too knocker-ups...one daily learns something news on this board...
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/a-2000year-history-of-alarm-clocks
Although I have to say that in Belgium I have only rememberings, even via my grand-mother, born 1889, of mechanical alarm clocks. Perhaps as they were fishmerchants needing early wake up to go to buy fish in Ostend...? Although there was never mentioned in our family from father and mothers side something about knocker-ups...even my mother from the Twenties was always using an alarm-clock...and I too...yes that frightening sound of the ringing of the alarm-clock...not that the electrical ones are better...

Yes, I always let me wake up on travel, in big hotels there was a phone on the room and in modest ones the lady did it with a knock at the door...but nowadays this old fashioned one has no respons anymore as there are no phones anymore on the rooms and everybody expects that you have your own electriclal alarm clock with you...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Mon 07 May 2018, 22:23

I read the article you have linked, Paul, and it seems that alarm clocks were invented considerably longer ago than I had realised.  Maybe it was expense that made some people rely on a knocker-upper rather than an alarm clock.  I am living where I was living as a child but in my childhood this area was on the outskirts of town (ribbon development between World War I and World War II) and there were some people who kept hens.  Some of them had a cockerel also and quite often the rooster could be heard going "cock-a-doodle-doo" early in the morning (and later but it was most noticeable first thing).  I think I was better at getting out of bed as a young child than I was as a teenager.  At one time when I was working in London I was in lodgings in Ilford which is in the suburbs of London and heard "cock-a-doodle-doo" so there must have been someone keeping hens behind one of the Victorian houses - the house where I rented was average sized but there were some large houses on that estate though.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 27 May 2018, 13:07

I'm not sure if this is the correct thread to post this, but thinking about clocks, I remembered from about  8 years ago the "History of the World in 100 Objects" where one of the objects was a mechanical galleon which was a clock but also played music https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tt49x  I used these podcasts partly because I was interested in history and partly to practise my shorthand.  Before I left London in autumn 2010 I went on a free guided tour in the British Museum where the guide explained the mechanical galleon. It was still behind glass of course and I don't think the galleon moves forward anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 27 May 2018, 21:16

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I'm not sure if this is the correct thread to post this, but thinking about clocks, I remembered from about  8 years ago the "History of the World in 100 Objects" where one of the objects was a mechanical galleon which was a clock but also played music https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tt49x  I used these podcasts partly because I was interested in history and partly to practise my shorthand.  Before I left London in autumn 2010 I went on a free guided tour in the British Museum where the guide explained the mechanical galleon. It was still behind glass of course and I don't think the galleon moves forward anymore.


Lady,

that is really an interesting series. I enjoyed very much your first galleon episode. And it is entirely about that many subjects that I discussed here, for instance I suppose here with Vizzer?, the Mary Rose and the standard guns with standardized calibers and not the mick mack of the Spanish galleons, thus a better and more accurate firing power and also from naval viewpoint, the English vessels more maneouvrable and lower to the sea, thus less vulnerable for the high vessels of the Spaniards, thus not easy targets by their low profile and all that...or was it with Gilgamesh? On the old BBC board the HRE in depth with the Swedish Hasse...those were the times...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00nrtf5


"Before I left London in autumn 2010 I went on a free guided tour in the British Museum where the guide explained the mechanical galleon. It was still behind glass of course and I don't think the galleon moves forward anymore."

How lucky you were...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Tue 29 May 2018, 01:01

Paul, it wasn't a tour of the whole museum (though I don't think I'd have been able to take it all in at once if there had been one).  It was a focused guided tour - they still do them at the museum.  I have copied the link from the British Museum's site listing the current ones:- www.britishmuseum.org/visiting/planning_your_visit/tours_and_talks.aspx
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Tue 29 May 2018, 01:17

I mentioned something a while ago about the dhow trade between east Africa and places in the Indian Ocean. I remember where I heard it now -  it was on the BBC radio World Service before my radio went bump.  Anyway, I have found an article online which refer to the trade though perhaps as the trade between east Africa (East Africa?) and the Persian Gulf (etc) is possible experiencing something of a renaissance perhaps a thread for forgotten/redundant skills is the wrong place to comment on the subject.  https://www.thenational.ae/.../east-africa-s-ancient-trade-links-with-the-gulf-explored-..


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Tue 29 May 2018, 21:12; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Tue 29 May 2018, 09:15

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I have found an article online which refer to the trade though perhaps as the trade between east Africa (East Africa?) and the Persian Gulf (etc) is possible experiencing something of a renaissance .....  ttps://www.thenational.ae/.../east-africa-s-ancient-trade-links-with-the-gulf-explored-..

Your link, as posted, doesn't work but I think this is the one you were referring to:

The National (UAE) - East Africa’s ancient trade links with the Gulf explored at NYUAD talk

... and yes I've seen it suggested elsewhere that with the rising price of oil (even in the Gulf) and the need to reduce carbon emissions, it makes a lot of sense to reintroduce sailing vessels to carry heavy, bulk, non-perishable goods such as iron ore or crude oil - especially between East Africa, the Persian Gulf and the Indian subcontinent, where the monsoon winds reliably blow one way for part of the year and then reverse for the other part (allowing reasonably fast out and back voyages almost entirely under sail). Modern bulk cargo sailing ships would inevitably be largely automated with only a very small crew but doubtless some new/revised sailing skills would be required.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sat 08 Sep 2018, 22:47

The following are not work skills but I wondered if some of the more practical playground games of children could be viewed as disappearing skills though it's unfair to think of youngsters being stuck in front of their computers or phones all the time I guess.  I remember there was an indoor game called cat's cradle that we used to play with a piece of string.  Here is an example of a solo version (I never played anything but the version for two people)

There was a game called French skipping where a person would make patterns in the rope with their legs. I found an article by Michael Rosen about skipping games on the British Library site.https://www.bl.uk/playtimes/articles/an-introduction-to-skipping-games  (The video clips posted have gone ou of sequence I believe).
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sat 08 Sep 2018, 22:49

I don't know what happened but I seem to have deleted the cat's cradle clip so I am trying again
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Thu 11 Oct 2018, 12:22

For the second time I have clicked away without posting properly and lost a comment!

Anyway, I had been thinking about the old three-field system in use before the agricultural/agrarian revolution.  The old poem Stealing the Common off the Goose came to mind as it related to the effects of the enclosures of land that the cessation of the three-field system brought in its wake.  www.onthecommons.org/magazine/“stealing-common-goose”  and if people don't feel like clicking the link here is the first verse to give a flavour of the poem:-

“The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.”

I was trying to find places I could visit on a day trip by public transport and found that this village in Nottinghamshire (Laxton) still uses the three-field system and wondered if it might be worth
moseying over there www.laxtonvisitorcentre.org.uk/  Somehow I had forgotten (if I ever knew) that livestock was allowed on the fallow field in the three-field system https://www.revolvy.com/page/Three%252Dfield-system   I can get to Chester from where I live though I have been there before but it can merit more than a single visit.  Ludlow is probably do-able but I'd have to get up bright and early (still I'd have to do that to go to Laxton).
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Thu 11 Oct 2018, 23:20

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
For the second time I have clicked away without posting properly and lost a comment!

Anyway, I had been thinking about the old three-field system in use before the agricultural/agrarian revolution.  The old poem Stealing the Common off the Goose came to mind as it related to the effects of the enclosures of land that the cessation of the three-field system brought in its wake.  www.onthecommons.org/magazine/“stealing-common-goose”  and if people don't feel like clicking the link here is the first verse to give a flavour of the poem:-

“The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.”

I was trying to find places I could visit on a day trip by public transport and found that this village in Nottinghamshire (Laxton) still uses the three-field system and wondered if it might be worth
moseying over there www.laxtonvisitorcentre.org.uk/  Somehow I had forgotten (if I ever knew) that livestock was allowed on the fallow field in the three-field system https://www.revolvy.com/page/Three%252Dfield-system   I can get to Chester from where I live though I have been there before but it can merit more than a single visit.  Ludlow is probably do-able but I'd have to get up bright and early (still I'd have to do that to go to Laxton).


Lady,

the three-field system was perhaps as much an agriculture revolution from the two field as the later "enclosure". It was only when starting on the old BBC board that I learned about the enclosure..
We had had it all in the small city of my childhood. Small farmers hiring land from the baron, free farmers with enclosed land, and yes common land free for every one...a remnant of that common land, then in ownership of the municipality, was still called "den akker" (something to do with the English "acre"?) they translate it by "field"...and those strolls on that "akker" during summer together with sister and grandma are beautiful rememberings...
And I read this evening on internet that one of the great advantages of enclosure was that the individual farmer worked now for his own profit and not for the profit of the community. I can understand that as I spoke with people from the "Communist" system...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sat 13 Oct 2018, 14:09

I had a quick look about the two-field system.  The information given said that back then people tended to plant wheat, barley or rye in the field they were not allowing to lie fallow - crumbs, someone with gluten intolerance would have been in a pickle.  I am interested to learn from Paul that there was some survival of the system in Belgium in his childhood.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sat 13 Oct 2018, 22:18

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I had a quick look about the two-field system.  The information given said that back then people tended to plant wheat, barley or rye in the field they were not allowing to lie fallow - crumbs, someone with gluten intolerance would have been in a pickle.  I am interested to learn from Paul that there was some survival of the system in Belgium in his childhood.


Lady,

by your topics you push me many times to do research about matter I know, but not a knowledge in depth, hence research in depth...And now by the research I see that it was not called "den akker", but "den dries"...After all it is seventy years ago that I walked on that "dries" with granma and afterwards that word came in my vocabulary, as any other word without some special connotation. But there was always a vague rememberance of "common land"...
And now there seems to be high level scientific discussions as what the etymology is and for what it served...
https://goo.gl/6niZMx
Has to be further researched, but conclusion:
difference between "dries" and "braak" (fallow)
"dries" once ploughed before sowing
"braak" four times ploughed before sowing
and on both one could let graze cattle

But in the wiki it is common ground
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dries_(plein)
From the original destination, evolution to central square, in the middle ages this square was used as common pasture for the cattle and to plant...
But now by my further research I found that I could nevertheless been right and that it indeed to the "akker" that we made in the time a stroll with the grandma, as the word "den akker" exist also in the terminology of the Middle Ages in our region. I found it all in an article by the professor Gysselink, well know in his field of toponymy and names...
And we had the whole series of names in our little city:
"kouter", "dries" and "akker"...
Will explain it in addendum for fear to lose my message in all my tribulations...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sat 13 Oct 2018, 23:51

Addendum:
ttps://www.onroerenderfgoed.be/assets/files/projects/downloads/Begrippenlijst_feb2013.pdf
"dries" the oldest farmland from the Middle Ages' agrarian community + a full description as in the wikii of my previous message...
In Northern France : "trieu"
The Netherlands: "brink"
England: "green"
Germany: "Angerdorf"
"kouter" Farmland without green bording. English "open fields"
https://www.dbnl.org/tekst/_naa002197801_01/_naa002197801_01.pdf
On page 22 about East-Flanders
Also the explanation of "dries"...
With "akker": originally the common farmland of a village or a farm. For example: Culingahem Accra: the "akker" of Kolegem
But from the 12th century only the connotation of farmland.
In the beginning of the 12th century the word "akker" makes place for the word "kouter" in the same connotation.

Did some research on the map of my childhood city, but nothing was mentioned. Only some names of institutions on that place with that name from which I could deduce where the "dries" originally was located. The "kouter" was still located. But the "akker" I had to guess from the direction of our walk, now some 70 years ago...I know a historian of that city, who wrote a lot about it. Will ask him if he can solve my problem...

Kind regards from Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 28 Oct 2018, 13:47

On another thread I mentioned the old saying "If ifs and ands were pots and pans there'd be no need for tinkers".  I guess tinkers are fairly scarce now.  Periodically some gypsy people (well travellers anyway though they may be on a permanent site now) come down the road looking for scrap though they seem to do that it vans now rather than with a pony and trap (as they did a few decades ago).  When my last washing machine (twin tub) gave up it was in the front garden while I intended to ring the Council to arrange for collection and a traveller (Irish voice) knocked on the door and asked if he could have it.  I said yes.  I haven't bought another washing machine; I'm within walking distance of a launderette.
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Sun 28 Oct 2018, 22:02

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
On another thread I mentioned the old saying "If ifs and ands were pots and pans there'd be no need for tinkers".  I guess tinkers are fairly scarce now.  Periodically some gypsy people (well travellers anyway though they may be on a permanent site now) come down the road looking for scrap though they seem to do that it vans now rather than with a pony and trap (as they did a few decades ago).  When my last washing machine (twin tub) gave up it was in the front garden while I intended to ring the Council to arrange for collection and a traveller (Irish voice) knocked on the door and asked if he could have it.  I said yes.  I haven't bought another washing machine; I'm within walking distance of a launderette.

Lady,

no tinkers anymore overhere... we have municipal parcs (they call it "container parcs" overhere), where we can bring all our waste including old household machines and all that...as I have from time to time a lot of waste from "refurbishing appartments" in the time, especially for old lead tubes, I went to a specialized "old iron marchand" but nowadays there are no big prizes anymore for small amounts of old metal...but the neighbour behind the door is still collecting them and select the "metals" I suppose more as an entertainment than to gain money...

Kind regards from Paul.
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