Wednesday, 14 May 2014

09:33 – Yesterday, I binned and bagged 30 sets of unregulated chemicals for chemistry kits, and binned 30 sets of regulated chemicals. I’ll bag those today, make up 30 small parts bags, tape up 30 boxes, and start building the kits. I also need to make up four liters of iodine solution, which we’re running short of.

I also spent a lot of time yesterday getting my main system configured, restoring data, and so on. Everything works now. I’m content with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which is good considering that I intend to continue using it for the next five years. I already like it better than I did Linux Mint 15.

45 thoughts on “Wednesday, 14 May 2014”

  1. I use to be a big fan of Gentoo about 10 years ago. I got a real kick out of setting custom compiler flags and compiling all the source to be optimized for my architecture. Then going through and tweaking the config files. Lots of fun for a couple of years. Then I sort of got burnt out on it and was spending too much of my time waiting for code to compile or Google searching how to get my peripherals to work properly. Then it stopped being fun and I sort of dropped it as an OS. Gentoo used to be quite popular amongst the hardcore Linux crowd, but like many open source projects it imploded due to disagreements and decreasing participation. It used to be in the top 10 on DistroWatch’s ranking (is that still a popular metric?) but has since fallen to #42.

  2. Here’s McCain being the typical GOP party of war:

    If they knew where they were, I certainly would send in U.S. troops to rescue them, in a New York minute I would, without permission of the host country

    Not US Citizens, not in our country, who gives a shit. Send in Team America, “fuck yeah!” World Police! Who cares how many troops are lost! How much does it cost, who cares! Fuck, yeah!

  3. Well, the Dems aren’t exactly non-interventionists, either.

    I have nothing against killing muslim nutcases like these, but I don’t want to see us spend much money to do it, and certainly no US lives. And I don’t see the point to doing anything to help these girls, who are after all muslims and will probably have sons who will become muslim nutters.

  4. I use to be a big fan of Gentoo about 10 years ago. I got a real kick out of setting custom compiler flags and compiling all the source to be optimized for my architecture. Then going through and tweaking the config files. Lots of fun for a couple of years. Then I sort of got burnt out on it and was spending too much of my time waiting for code to compile or Google searching how to get my peripherals to work properly. Then it stopped being fun and I sort of dropped it as an OS.

    I played around with Gentoo at about the same time. And then life got busier. I got married 7 years ago, switched jobs and bought a house 5 years ago, and my wife had a baby 3 years ago. The only irony is I now have a system that would scream at compiling Gentoo. A quad core system with 16 GB of RAM and a SSD.

  5. And I don’t see the point to doing anything to help these girls, who are after all muslims and will probably have sons who will become muslim nutters.

    Many, if not all, of them are Christians. The video released by Boko Haram purported to be of the kidnapped girls had many of them telling why they had converted to Islam.

    Christian churches and charitable groups are frequent targets of Boko Haram.

  6. We need to forget about the rest of the world’s stuff, except insofar we are fair and equal and friendly trading partners with one or another country. Otherwise, let’s mind our own biz and take care of things here, which are badly in need of care.

    Like with this:

    “This is one of the greatest redistributions of wealth in history, from poor to rich, courtesy of a twisted, perverted system of central banking masquerading as capitalism.”

  7. Many, if not all, of them are Christians.

    Ah, my mistake. As you might have guessed, I don’t pay much attention to this kind of crap. Sectarian squabbles hold no interest for me as long as they leave me alone.

  8. Not that I’m arguing for intervention, but (at least as I understand it) the kidnapped girls are Christian. It seems to be part of a religious war in Nigeria, which is more or less 1/2 Muslim, 1/2 Christian.

  9. Like with this:

    “This is one of the greatest redistributions of wealth in history, from poor to rich, courtesy of a twisted, perverted system of central banking masquerading as capitalism.”

    This Washington Timesarticle has the answer:

    A group of self-described revolutionary-style patriots with a million mobilized militia members are heading to downtown Washington, D.C., this week to bring a simple message to political leadership, from President Obama to House Speaker John Boehner: Get out.

    Lock and load one 30 round magazine!

  10. From that same WT article:

    “The group expects between 10 million and 30 million similarly thinking Americans to meet them in the capital on Friday for a rally that’s being billed as a sort of “Arab Spring” for Americans.”

    Yeah, OK. Between 3% and 10% of the whole population will show up in Mordor to threaten the current regime. Possibly armed. So right now via satellite or whatever we should see millions of vehicles and people on foot heading that way, rolling into Maryland and Virginia about now, I would think.

    Then I note a sidebar link to an article on Hollyweird celebs who allegedly “lean to the right;” I saw this piece a while back and laughed myself sick. Their idea of the “right” is my idea of the soft RINO left. There are no rightwingers in Hollywood. None in Mordor, and very few in NYC. Genuine conservatives are out there in “flyover country,” mostly, and their HQ as far as I’m concerned is in Rockford, Illinois.

    And the folks at and these guys:

  11. “The group expects between 10 million and 30 million similarly thinking Americans to meet them in the capital on Friday”

    American Spring? Given 10 million people, it would be entirely possible to tar and feather every federal bureaucrat in Mordor and run them all out of town.


    I’m sure there’s a game on the tube. Or Billy Bob needs help changing his dog’s tires. Or sumthin…

    I wish them the best, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  12. It has to do with the classic war between the ins and the outs. The ins are in and want to stay in while keeping the outs out. The outs are out and want to get in and make the ins the outs.

    What is similar to both is that the each have there own tribal chief and witch doctor.

  13. “I’m sure there’s a game on the tube. Or Billy Bob needs help changing his dog’s tires. Or sumthin…”

    I’m going to change the air in my tires and detangle my stereo wires.

  14. With the Tea Party’s help, it is sure to be a failure success.

    Fixed that for me.

  15. The Murkan commies are having a laff over this caper, and several previous freak shows:

    Meanwhile, you can download a manifesto in a Kindle edition from Amazon.

    About the best thing that could happen for the patriotard “movement” and Tea Party clowns is for a few thousand to show up in Mordor and the regime overreacts and machine-guns a bunch of ’em. Then we’ll see some stuff…

  16. Gee, I wonder if OFD might possibly have any thoughts regarding this:

    NY Times Replaces Jill Abramson As Editor After Only Three Years

    Sulzberger made it clear the decision was his, not Abramson’s, and said that it had to do with her management style, which many at the paper found abrasive.

    Abrasive harridan put in charge of an operation? People objecting? Nah, OFD will have nothing to say because this situation is totally outside the realm of his experience. Anyone’s experience, really. We all know that wimmins always have superior people skills because they’re not all aggressive and competitive ’n’ stuff, so she must have been fired because of racism. Or because of global warming, or because dolphins are the asshole of the sea, or something.

  17. Fixed the problem of not being able to see the Windows PC from the Mint 15 one. Went through the list here

    and after completing “Problem 3”, BINGO, all was well again. Transferring 140GB across the LAN overnight. Well, it says 44 hours, but it started out at 52 hours and fell to 44 in 6 minutes. Who trusts what the dialog says, anyway?

  18. So you hadda edit the conf file and install winbind. Always some screwy thing and lucky it wasn’t more of an edit than that. Yeah, dialog boxes mean nothing.

    On the NYT thing, I kinda side with La Coulter; the 9/11 bastards hit the wrong building. (I’d prefer they hit it with no one inside, though…) When the harridan took over there, I saw the gushing articles three years ago and just one look at her viz and I knew how it would be. Surprising it took so long.

    We have no daily papers here in the U.S. of Amnesia worth a shit, and that pretty much goes for the UK, too. I sometimes check RT, but otherwise Drudge, and occasional looks at the Boston and Woostuh papers mainly ’cause family is still all down there. The local rag here in town, which published the interview with me and Mrs. OFD on its front page with a color pic a few days ago. And shortwave radio.

  19. Gee, she looks remarkably like how I would have imagined Mrs. Gollum to look.

    The Times also owns the Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram, not sure about the Washington Post, but in any case, the big nooz papers are going down. And good riddance.

  20. Like I said: Sulzberger is the one who needs to go.

    Jeff Bezos owns the Post. NYT sold the Mass. papers during the past few months.

    Actually, the Times balance sheet looks pretty scary.

    The Globe was bleeding them. But even without it, looks like they will be lucky to net $6 mil this year. The little local TV station in that podunk cornfield with lights that I worked for in 1970 netted 13 mil that year. This is awful performance from the Times.

  21. And $13-million was WAY more then compared to now, let alone a piddly $6-million. The Times is sliding down the toilet regardless of whether Sulzberger goes or not. I either forgot or missed the nooz that they’d sold the MA papers, which are also going down the tubes; the Worcester T&G has a frigging pay wall once you hit a certain number of stories you’ve looked at. Ridiculous attempt to stay afloat while driving people off. Kids don’t read the papers; it’s sorta like the Episcopal Church here and the Anglican churches in the UK; just a few handfuls of folks with white hair and gone in another generation, at most.

  22. just a few handfuls of folks with white hair and gone in another generation, at most

    My wife’s church (the group) bought a church (the buildiing) from another church (the group) a few years ago, but let the congregation keep meeting there. The preacher, probably 50-ish, was the youngest by far. The eight or twelve people in the pews were all white-haired or obviously dyed, probably in their 70s at least.

  23. Religion in general is dying. It’s dying more slowly in the US than in most other countries, but even here the writing is on the wall (so to speak). Young people generally are much less likely to attend church than their parents were, let alone their grandparents. They simply don’t see the point of organized religion and in many cases of any religion at all. My guess is that within one more generation believers will be in a distinct minority, and within two they will be viewed by most people as quaint artifacts of an earlier time, and within three they will have for all practical purposes disappeared.

    Even the fundie churches are feeling the heat, losing young people in vast numbers. Look at it this way: the median age in the US is about 37. That means that half of the people in church every Sunday should be younger than 37. Even counting babies and young children, who have no choice in the matter, I doubt there’s a church in the country that comes anywhere near that.

    Which reminds me of a study that GM did many years ago. Their concern was that Cadillac buyers were too old and getting older. What they discovered was that the average Cadillac buyer was getting older at a rate of more than one year per year. Churches, including the RCC, are in a similar situation. Their clientèle is rapidly aging and dying off. Heck, they can’t get enough new priests to fill the pulpits, and IIRC the average nun is now in her 70’s.

    Churches and religion hold little appeal for most young people. Bring it on, I say. It can’t happen soon enough to suit me.

  24. Or me. People want results and proof. They only get fiction and lies from religion. People may not be able to do anything about the lack of results from their republican democracy, but they sure as heck can about religion.

    Anything to do with organized religion is completely bogus, it being not even remotely possible to prove — much less prove reproducibly. Religion is nothing more than fictional ideas and ritual concocted by guys of another era exactly like Jim Bakker, Harold Camping, and others similar. Scores of differing religions abounded before the West adopted Christianity as its favorite, and even a modest study of them shows their beliefs were ever-changing in marketing attempts to widen their appeal — including the Christians. Christians themselves readily accept that the birth date of the fictitious Jesus of Nazareth was changed to attract pagans to the then tiny sect of Christianity, but fail to question the whole premise of Christianity itself. And dates like Easter were already celebrated in many religions of earlier eras, as a copycat of Passover and other Jewish calendar feasts.

    Nothing contained in any religion that I am aware of, can be proved with anything even remotely like scientific certainty of any level. The only thing that can be demonstrated in some cases other than Jesus’, is that — unlike the entirely mythical Jesus — the ‘prophets’ creating other sects, actually did exist, however misguided their attempts to control other people were. And authority and control of other people and their money is the principle objective of all religions. Irony of ironies, people of the past have often run TO religions, when they should be running FROM them. But that is changing. Latest stats I have seen is that millennials have absolutely zero interest in religion, and are completely uninfluenced by their parents’ beliefs.

    The first university I attended had a seminary — by odd coincidence, a Disciples of Christ seminary, — the church my mom grew up in. They had the TV equipment that we used for our training, so we spent a good deal of time in their buildings, mingling with them, and taking the same media classes they did. I worked in TV in the city with several of them. It was alarming to the university, but generally known, that while the seminary had few dropouts, only a tiny percentage ended up continuing with jobs in the faith. Many I knew, went into sales; apparently the seminary is good preparation for that. Several who worked in media, went on to be very successful, with a couple ending up in Hollywood. So, even those who once felt a calling, ended up overwhelmingly not choosing religion as a vocation, once they were really exposed to it.

    I do agree that in a few more generations, we will be in a similar state to my experience in the former East of Germany: practically no churches (just like newspapers — and I do believe there is a connection) with not even a curiosity about religion, let alone any conversation about it. If only that were the case around me now.

  25. I merely point out here that though the Episcopal and other “mainline” Christian denominations in North Murka are fading away, ditto the Anglican churches in the UK; the latter’s presence in East Africa and South Asia has spread like wildfire. And there are a *billion*each in the world of Catholics and muslims. The influx of fifteen or twenty million Latinos here in the U.S. also finds them Roman Catholic, and again, very, very big in the southern hemisphere; we only see it dying in the industrialized West.

    You guys live in the South and Midwest and can see up close zillions of Protestant believers, many of whom are very active evangelists, one way or the other, and heavily represented in various media there. Not so here; the Northeast is still heavily Roman Catholic and my parish here is about evenly divided between the white-haired geezers and younger families, the latter of whom are quite active. Including for the Latin masses every Sunday and on early Saturday mornings. The Church isn’t going away; after all, it started with only a dozen guys. Who daily faced imprisonment, torture and death. So they could get power over people and steal their money? Like the countless martyrs since and currently?

    It will be here countless generations beyond our grandchildrens’ grandchildren. Unless Someone decides to cut it short.

  26. My oldest daughter invited us to her church Sunday for the “presenting of the youth”. My wife and I haven’t belonged to an organized church since joining the Army (I was raised Zion Evangelical, I even have papers and such). I thought it was this little church up the street. It was actually a mile further south and is *large* by my standards. Two services on Sunday morning of a couple thousand people each. They cater to youth with a hip band, no hymnals, sing along karaoke screens, Starbucks like entrance to the main auditorium with free coffee drinks and lounge. Child care, youth service, Sunday school, etc. I’m 59 and was one of the oldest there.

    I don’t think religion is going away in the near future. Churches in Vegas seem to recruit a lot of youth. The service, by the way, was warm and inviting. No “you’re going to burn in Hell, Mr. OFD, unless you give a lot of $$.” I felt good enough to put a fiver in the plate to expunge some sins.

  27. Bravo, OFD!

    It is such eloquence that keeps me coming back all these years. Not just religion, but on a broad spectrum of subjects. I don’t always agree, but enjoy the free expression of ideas.

    OK, everybody take a deep breath and reestablish contact with terra firma.

  28. Those Protestant mega-churches would squick me out in a hurry; not my cup o’ tea, but to each his and her own. I’m sure some of our rampant papist idolatry and swinging incense would do the same to others. Along with our Death Cookie (apologies to Jack Chick).

    Five bucks, eh, MrAtoz? You don’t seem the sinful sort so probably whatever you had just got expunged accordingly. Me? It’s gonna take more than that. A LOT more, and I don’t mean $.

    Thanks, Jim B; yep, we still float the free expression of ideas when and where we can, until such time as the knock on the door in the middle of the night. But they’re not so blatant under our current regime/system; they have other ways of making life very unpleasant.

    Sunny today but the wind has been howling and blowing 50-60-MPH gusts since overnight; whitecaps on the bay and surf crashing over the still mostly submerged pier and at the end of our little street on the shore. You get some spray on yer windshield driving by.

    Mrs. OFD reported snow in Albuquerque and nighttime temps in the 30s the last couple of nights. Of course they’re at 5,000 feet. And I guess the Colorado Rockies got slammed with a few feet. We don’t know anything about that here, of course. Not in May. Oh wait. Yeah. It’s snowed here in mid-May before and I’ve seen ten-foot drifts on the runways up at the old Loring (SAC) AFB in Houlton, Maine. In June. Also whiteout snowstorms on the Killington/Pico Peak (Route 4) in June on the gap road.

  29. I think that the brimstone and hellfire preachers of the 1970s are going away. The kinder, gentler, more tolerant christian church of the 2000s is here to stay for a while.

    Even the GLBT people have churches catering to their needs now. That is a good thing.

    The RCC church in the Houston area now has spanish masses and priests. Also a good thing.

    Lynn posting from Helena.

  30. I lived in Tulsa for a time and was blown away by the size of the churches there. Easily 100,000 square feet. Crazy. It’s not one or two either. There are several like that. They very much cater to the 0-40 demographic. They’re all about young families and youth groups. Many of the more traditional protestant churches have seen the success (i.e. attendance and offering) of these “non-denominational” churches (more like Cult of Personality churches built around a charismatic and money grubbing minister) and have start having two services, a contemporary and a traditional service. The gray hairs usually attend the latter and there’s usually an electric guitar and drum set at the former.

    I was raised Lutheran (ELCA) and rarely attend church as I am an atheist. When I do attend it’s usually because someone I am related to has something going on (baptism, etc.) or because it makes the holidays feel more like the holidays (I’m an atheist that enjoys a good candlelit Christmas Eve service… lol).

  31. “But they’re not so blatant under our current regime/system; they have other ways of making life very unpleasant.”

    Could *that* be why you have come sooo close to a new gig? Sorry, I’m going to burn for that one!

    You had to have seen that coming 🙂

  32. You guys live in the South and Midwest and can see up close zillions of Protestant believers, many of whom are very active evangelists, one way or the other, and heavily represented in various media there.

    Not so here. It is a very vocal minority that repeatedly bug the hell out of me. Always the same groups knocking on the door, leaving cards — about once every month or two — some actually telling me I will burn in hell if I do not contact them. And in fact, there are quite definitely more churches being abandoned and torn down around me, than those being built. Yeah, there is the occasional church with hundreds attending, but one of those ‘charismatic’ churches up in Muncie lost their minister to death about the time I returned to the area, and I do not think they are long for this world. On Sundays, their huge parking lot looks like Walmart at 3:00am, and they turned off their big Jumbotron sign sometime late last year (the Nativity animations were actually very ingenious and attractive, but not there for the past Xmas).

    As far as I know, Pew research is the most thorough on religion statistics, although you really have to study them because they do not lay out the trends. Christians, of course, are a minority religion in the world as a whole, and dropping. Muslims are growing worldwide. In their most recent figures, which came out pretty recently, Pew found that Roman Catholics are losing ground the fastest of any religion in the US. Not surprising, as the RC church in Tiny Town does not even have regular weekly services anymore, much less daily Mass like they did when I was a kid. In this area, you have to hopscotch to different towns around here for a Sunday RC Mass, if you want one every Sunday.

    It is pretty clear from the Pew research I most recently read (which was within the last month or so), that people’s attitudes are that, — whatever your beliefs about spirituality or a higher power, — people are dropping from organized church as the place to satisfy their needs. What I got from the report — which probably came from a post of this guy’s:

    — is that the number of people who find spiritual satisfaction without attending church is doubling every decade. Same with those abandoning religious beliefs altogether: their numbers are doubling every decade.

    Yeah, it is going to be some time before I am free of people accosting me in the name of religion, but considering how quickly East Germany abandoned religious interest (about 30 years of The Wall), I suspect the evolution will gain momentum faster than most of you imagine. Those people who do not identify with any religion at all, constitute the third largest group worldwide, behind Christians and Muslims. Other smaller religions — like Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews — are behind that.

    And contrary to your thinking that Latinos are increasing numbers of the RC church, Hispanic Millennials are actually abandoning the church at rates that are about twice the dropout rate in their parents’ generation (it’s in the Pew stuff). About Millennials at large, one-third of them now contend they have no faith at all in the existence of a god — the largest of any age group.

    I do not think the actual statistics bear out the personal impressions expressed above.

    BTW, other research on Millennials shows they are most likely to be Democrats, and that they abhor the divisiveness in Congress. When the Pelosis, Reids, McConnells, and Boehners die off, a Congress of Millenials is likely to be quite different than what we have now.

  33. “The RCC church in the Houston area now has spanish masses and priests. Also a good thing.”

    There have been masses in Spanish in Roman Catholic churches here in the Northeast for decades now; ditto urban Episcopal parishes.

    “Could *that* be why you have come sooo close to a new gig?”

    I’m not paranoid but I wouldn’t be surprised, either.

    No word again this week on the two “still open” positions like the one I had before at Big Blue and as tomorrow is Friday and nobody works, ditto Monday, it will be at least Tuesday before I hear anything at all. I gotta get back into the work force; they only work Tuesdays now, maybe Thursday mornings. Sweet!

  34. Well, seriously, I do wish you well.

    Things sure have changed since I was employed. Not sure it would be so sweet to have to be present but not working much. My concept of jail, but with nights at home.

  35. Same here, but I saw it in real life in state gummint for four years and often at corporate organizations; as with much else, the 80/20 Rule.

    At my last gig I hit the ground running every day and for my last year actually worked two jobs, covering for someone who’d been there their whole life and had a zillion weeks of vay-cay every year. Most of the work was hands-on inside the data centers so I have no clue who’s been doing it for the past twelve months. If nothing else, I wanted a job back there just to find that out.

  36. Islam growing – yes… You know, Islam is a mystery, in the following sense: On our vacation in southern Spain, we saw several Islamic ruins dating from the 9th to the 12th century (Islam started in, iirc, the 6th century). I love old ruins, and visit them whenever I have the chance in Europe, which is a lot.

    The islamic castles and fortresses from that time period were architecturally and technologically more advanced than “Christian” ruins elsewhere in Europe 500 years later. Sanitary systems. Water systems. Ventilation. General technology – really, genuinely impressive.

    So what happened? If the Islam of 1000 years ago was all for progress, why the Islam of today so against any sort of progress? What the heck happened?

  37. Islam wasn’t advanced. They simply lost less of what Rome had been than did European society. In its entire history, islam has invented essentially nothing. I remember reading an article several years ago that listed the 100 greatest inventions of islamic science and technology. The most significant one was the ballpoint pen, and even that is questionable. Even alchemy, which many attribute to islam, was actually mostly just preserved work of Greek and Roman authors, which has otherwise been lost.

    It’s just like the claims that the European church preserved knowledge from the Romans that otherwise would have been lost. To the extent that’s true, it’s only scraps that accidentally survived ignorant monks scraping off old documents to reuse for recording their religious crap. Yeah, they saved maybe 0.1% of what came down to them. They could have saved closer to 100%, but they considered what was on those documents to be worthless.

    The Dark Ages weren’t quite as dark in islamic areas as they were in Europe, but it’s certainly nothing to brag about.

  38. I confess, I hadn’t thought about. You’re right: The aquaducts, water pumps etc – those all existed in Roman times. Heck, while in Spain we also visited a Roman mine, with a pretty incredible spiral water pump for keeping the shafts dry.

    Edit: Found it – it predates the Romans, but this particular one was big, and apparently animal powered…

  39. Yeah, the human race lost about a thousand years there. Otherwise, we might well have landed on Luna in 969.

    But the good news is that growth of science knowledge is exponential. Almost all of what we know was discovered in the last 100 years, and if nothing horrible happens that rate will continue and accelerate. By 2100, the state of scientific knowledge should be further ahead of 2014 than 2014 was relative to 1900.

  40. In fact, in terms of sanitation and amenities like central heating and indoor plumbing, Rome at its peak was not matched until the 19th century. Some would argue the 20th.

  41. Chad wrote:

    “Side Note: RBT, do you think we could get the ability to display images in our comments? We’re a pretty well-behaved lot. :)”

    Do that and I’ll post a selfie. Hope it heals, but at the moment I have a scar on my forehead that looks like Herman Munster’s.

  42. Another reason Roman ruins did not survive as well as the Islamic ones is because they were pillaged and salvaged for other buildings and infrastructure. So there are houses and other structures, like roads and bridges, and government buildings that have substantial chunks of Roman masonry in them.

    Daughter lived/worked in Rome for a year and Mrs. OFD spent a month there with her and saw all this stuff and took pictures.

    I note the graphic refers to the so-called Dark Ages as the “Christian Dark Ages.” I would argue they weren’t as dark as mythology and tradition would have it, and recent scholarship tends to bear that out. Rome didn’t fall apart more or less completely until the late 5th-C, a period also known as Late Antiquity. And in the following centuries were Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire; Anglo-Saxon literature, law and craftsmanship; La Chanson de Roland, etc., etc.

    From the Wiki:

    “Since the Late Middle Ages significantly overlap with the Renaissance, the term “Dark Ages” has become restricted to distinct times and places in medieval Europe. Thus the 5th and 6th centuries in Britain, at the height of the Saxon invasions, have been called “the darkest of the Dark Ages”,[38] in view of the societal collapse that characterized the period and the consequent lack of historical records compared with either the Roman era before or the centuries that followed. Further south and east, the same was true in the formerly Roman province of Dacia, where history after the Roman withdrawal went unrecorded for centuries as Slavs, Avars, Bulgars, and others struggled for supremacy in the Danube basin, and events there are still disputed. However, at this time the Arab Empire is often considered to have experienced its Golden Age rather than Dark Age; consequently, this usage of the term must also differentiate geographically. While Petrarch’s concept of a Dark Age corresponded to a mostly Christian period following pre-Christian Rome, the use of the term today applies mainly to those cultures and periods in Europe least Christianized and thus most sparsely covered by chronicles and other contemporary sources, nearly all written by Catholic clergy at this date.[citation needed]”

    “However, from the mid-20th century onwards, other historians became critical of even this nonjudgmental use of the term for two main reasons.[10] First, it is questionable whether it is possible to use the term “Dark Ages” effectively in a neutral way; scholars may intend this, but it does not mean that ordinary readers will so understand it. Second, the explosion of new knowledge and insight into the history and culture of the Early Middle Ages, which 20th-century scholarship has achieved,[39] means that these centuries are no longer dark even in the sense of “unknown to us”. To avoid the value judgment implied by the expression, many historians avoid it altogether.[40]”

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