Nerd Haiku by Robb Pearlman

By Robb Pearlman

Nerd Haiku takes a enjoyable, light-hearted poke in any respect the stereotypes, truths, and absurdities in nerd tradition.

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The Mediterranean was an area of rain-fed agriculture (seen as a critical advantage for Europe by other Eurocentric writers such as Mann50 ), specializing in the cultivation of olive trees, whereas the river valleys of Egypt and Mesopotamia needed a complex social organization to make the irrigation systems work. But as Finley recognizes the Greeks under Alexander (d. 323 ) and later on the Romans controlled precisely those irrigated areas and to the north of the Mediterranean developed great expertise in water control, though not mainly for farming.

The notion of a period of illiteracy between the late Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Greece has been contested by Bernal,21 who sees the West Semitic alphabet as having been diffused in the Aegean before 1400  and as therefore overlapping with Linear B. He suggests that documents must have survived from that period but none have yet been discovered; papyrus is subject to serious decay in European climates. However, he recognizes that there was ‘considerable cultural regression’ between the twelfth and the eighth centuries, after the collapse of the Mycenean palace cultures.

The notion of Asiatic despotism and collective ownership follows nineteenth-century ideas of the east, criticism of which appears in chapter 4 as well as under politics below. So too with the idea of dominance, thought of as related to water control. While it is true that the river valleys with their fertile soils gave exceptional yields and came to be of central importance, Mesopotamia included many rainfed areas, just as the production of olives was especially important in North Africa, around Carthage for example.

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