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    • What a different world we live in!

      Ironic that after all these centuries of social progress I relax by playing Red Dead Redemption 2, a video game in which I frequently have arguments about horses that escalate into lethal free-for-alls with passers by.

      Maybe not so different after all? 🤔

    • I wonder if people had a more fatalist attitude what with the Black Plague killing a quarter of the population. Or maybe the fact that a large proportion of the adult population were twenty somethings with raging hormones and carrying knives.

      The average life expectancy for a male child born in the UK between 1276 and 1300 was 31.3 years. In 1998, it is 76.

      However, by the time the 13th-Century boy had reached 20 he could hope to live to 45, and if he made it to 30 he had a good chance of making it into his fifties.


      @yaypie Does your game have any notes on the root cause of this behavior?

    • @yaypie Does your game have any notes on the root cause of this behavior?

      The root cause tends to be that someone wants to steal my horse and that I do not want them to steal my horse.

      Having reached an impasse of wills, the offending party typically proceeds to steal the horse, whereupon I employ bullets to remove them from said horse. Inevitably a stray round discommodes a hat or a noggin or some lesser extremity of a passerby, at which point the passerby (or an avenging party thereof) enters the fray and things get, for lack of a better word, medieval.

      I'm not sure there's much to be learned from the game about human nature, except inasmuch as it is apparently human nature for disagreements about horses to have violent consequences.

    • Safe is always a relative term, especially when statistics are the only criteria. It is quite possible to still be safe in very unsafe areas if following some common sense rules related to timing and behavior. What cracks me up allot of time are opinions that carrying a weapon makes one safer.

    • Good question--I wondered about that as well. I found the graph in the Our World in Data website, which I first learned about from Steven Pinker. These specific historical data come from a 2003 paper from Cambridge by Manuel Eisner, Long-Term Historical Trends in Violent Crime, which is 60 pages long and highly detailed. Eisner is also the creator of the map in the OP. Here's a brief summary from OWID:

      For earlier historical periods, researchers have reconstructed the
      long-term changes in homicide rates from historical records that often
      originated from some form of legal documentation of the crimes. Although
      there are gaps in the reconstructed data, and there are uncertainties
      in both the number of homicides and the size of the population, the
      historical record is more complete than one might assume. One reason for
      this is the great social importance of these crimes. Violent killings
      were of concern for a long time, and they were therefore often reliably
      registered. In some cases, or for prehistoric times, it is additionally
      possible to use the insights from forensic archaeologists, who can
      determine the causes of death from skeletal remains.

      That doesn't answer all of your questions, but I think you'll find most of them addressed in the paper itself.

    • Did you know if you whistle to your horse after it is stolen but within distance it will buck the thief.

      I would reply to apm but he blocks me from his threads so I imagine he doesn't want to hear it here either , and deletes my reactions.