Friday, February 22, 2008

Calicut has a hand in designing of cannons

[Does studying boat design show us that culture is subject to natural selection?
from by Kambiz Kamrani. The paper, “Natural selection and cultural rates of change,” is open access...The authors rationalize boats are being selected naturally through a quote from the French philosopher Alain,
“Every boat is copied from another boat… Let’s reason as follows in the manner of Darwin. It is clear that a very badly made boat will end up at the bottom after one or two voyages and thus never be copied… One could then say, with complete rigor, that it is the sea herself who fashions the boats, choosing those which function and destroying the others.”]

[It isn't the man who drinks the tea, it's the tea which drinks the man.
It isn't you who smoke the pipe, it's the pipe which smokes you.
It is the book which reads me.
It's the TV which watches you.
It's the object which thinks us.
It's the lens which focuses on us.
It's the effect which cause us.
It's language which speaks us.
It's time which wastes us.
It's money which earns us.
It's death which lies in wait for us. --

[After waiting some days, and finding no friendly steps taken by the governors of Calicut towards a peace; and being likewise without hope of recovering the captives, Suarez resolved to take revenge by cannonading the city of Calicut, which he did for a whole day and a night, during which time he did prodigious damage, destroying the palace of the zamorin, several of their pagodas or idol temples, and many of the houses, and slew a great number of the inhabitants. For this service, he brought seven of his smallest ships as near the shore as possible, and advanced all the boats of the fleet, likewise carrying ordnance, close almost to the beach. A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II - Robert Kerr]

If "the sea herself fashions the boats," and "it's the tea which drinks the man," then it may be surmised that Calicut has a hand in designing of cannons. [TNM]

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