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  •  It would have been interesting (2+ / 0-)
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    capelza, yaque

    I used to wonder about that...though as I argue here it was unlikely just because of the nature of their empire. But not impossible!

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    by mole333 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:36:51 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed. One of the few others is (2+ / 0-)
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      mole333, yaque

      the Macedonian Empire of Alexander III (that guy.. :)  ).   Improbable to say the least that a small army managed to do what it did.  "What if" ATG hadn't died, or even if he did, if the Diadochi hadn't spent the next 40 years or so tearing it apart.  Again, not a value judgement, just the range of possiblities.

      The only one I ever indulge in really is the "what if" is the one where 1492 didn't occur, or that the populations of the Americas had resistance to disease.   How would the development of the Western Hemisphere been different.  

      But this veers off topic, my apologies.   I remember Koestler's book, but never read it.   My respect for him is still enormous, Darkness at Noon and The Ghost in the Machine, for example.   To me, The Thirteenth Tribe was part and parcel of the 70's....the same decade that saw one of my profs using The Urantia Book as a text for an anthropology class!   Or those "ancient alien" dudes and other less whacked out, but alternative ideas.   Though I would never compare Koestler to Von Daniken.

      It's one of those "you had to be there" kind of things.

      That Koestler's ideas from a book late in his life are taken on by racists is a travesty.

      •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
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        capelza, yaque

        His arguments were very well thought out, just lacked evidence. A similar book (similar time period, I think) was Julian Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind." Fascinating hypothesis. But ultimately pure speculation with no real data and ultimately either wrong or unprovable. But still something I enjoyed reading.

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        by mole333 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 11:01:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I always try to remember that those works (2+ / 0-)
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          mole333, yaque

          were written before the advent of genetic studies, in Koestler's case, or other advancements in Jaynes' case..wow, I hadn't thought about that book for years, though the term "bicameral mind" still pops up once in awhile.

          One positive of that period or any other that pushes accepted science, as it is known at the time, is that it does, or should force reexamination of paradigms.  The ideas don't have to be accepted, and in many cases, outright rejected....but I think Darwin (and Wallace, too) was viewed as a kind of Von Daniken, without the fraud and simply making shit up aspect.  :)

          Gobekli Tepe is extremely exciting to me, but I realise that whole cottage industries are going to arise based on a poor understanding of what the site means.   And the research in the Amazon showing that it was indeed farmed and had a much larger population at one time again is very interesting....but I'm sure that someone will "discover" that either aliens (you'll see it on the History Channel ;) or the lost tribe of who the heck ever from Africa, Asia, or Mu were the people who did it.

          The downside is that every crank, racist or climate change denier latches onto them without understanding the context or period they were written.

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