It’s Military Advantages That Matter

According to Jared Diamond, the reason why Pizarro did capture Atahuallpa was that Spaniards had great military advantages over Inca troops. When Spaniards used steel weapons, guns and horses, Incas still made their tools and weapons from bronze. The imbalances of equipment directly led to the imbalances of military power between Spaniards and Incas. Due to Spaniards’ good use of steel swords and horses, Pizarro’s troops could achieve overwhelming victory even with fewer forces. Incas cannot hit back even they had more people.

I see from the war between Spaniards and Incas that military equipment and technology are of importance in the wars. Countries who have more sophisticated equipment are more likely to be the winner. Similar to steel swords and horses used by Spaniards, tanks and chemical weapons showed up the World War I and atom bombs were used as weapons of mass destruction in the World War II. These military weapons have something in common, that is, when they were first used in the wars, they helped countries that owned them build total advantages over countries that did not have. With the development and sophistication of military equipment and technology, victory of wars cannot be easily achieved through more forces; instead, military technology plays more important role. Incas used bronze weapons against Spaniards’ horsemen with steel swords, which reminds me of the war between Nazi Germany and Poland in the early stage of WWII. When the main troop of Poland consisted of cavalries, Germany had the advanced armored forces. There is no doubt that Poland was defeated as Inca. They cannot change the imbalances of equipment and turn a situation around.

We can conclude from two wars that military advantages really do matter. Only if countries have total military advantages can they win.

Qingming

In this journal, I want to talk about Qingming.

Qingming, which can be translated as Tomb-sweeping Day in English, is a statutory public holiday in China. On this day people make offerings to their ancestors, sweep the family graves, and go on spring outings. However, actually, Qingming that is regarded as a holiday in memory of ancestors began in the Zhou Dynasty.

Far earlier than the Zhou Dynasty, Qingming is considered as one of the points marking the 24 divisions of the solar year in the traditional Chinese calendar. As Daniel D. Ding mentioned in the “Pleasure in Naming All the Parts of the Known in Their Expected Order: How Traditional Chinese Agrarian Culture Influences Modern Chinese Cyberspace Communication”, Confucianism emphasizes correct names. In order to found social harmony and build social order, farmers must “perform certain tasks at certain times for a cycle” (Ding, 114). Ancient Chinese people gave these certain times correct names as Confucianism believed to ensure the completeness of cycles. Qingming is one of these certain times. When it is Qingming, temperature increases, weather becomes warm and rainfall increases, which is good for planting and farming. As a result, Qingming is very important for agriculture.

The reason for writing this journal about Qingming is that I left my dormitory without an umbrella on Monday morning. The weather was actually very good on Monday morning so I didn’t think it was necessary to bring an umbrella. However, the rain was pouring down in the afternoon when I finished my classes and wanted to go back to my dormitory. Why am I always down on my luck?

 

Worked Cited:

Ding, Daniel D. “Pleasure in Naming All the Parts of the Known in Their Expected Order: How Traditional Chinese Agrarian Culture Influences Modern Chinese Cyberspace Communication”. Culture, Communication, and Cyberspace: Rethinking Technical Communication for International Online Environments. Ed. Kirk St. Amant, Filipp Sapienza. Baywood Publishing Company: New York, 2011. 112-119. Print.

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Qingming is written as 清明 like in the picture.

 

Tomb Sweeping Day

 

Last weekend was Tomb Sweeping Day. I travelled to Shanghai with my parents. We went to a tourist spot called Zhujiajiao. It is a typical ancient Southern town of China that still keeps ancient buildings and architectural style of last century. There are many narrow paths along the river. Paths are conneted by bridges. In the southern regions, there used to be many rivers and hills rather than plains. The main transportation is boat.

When we visited the town, the weather was not good; it was raining. The path was too narrow. My umbrella collided with passers-by. Due to the development of economics, most of the towns in southern regions turned into modern cities. Ancient tows like Zhujiajian have hardly been found. Regretfully, driven by interests, such kind of towns is flooded by shops and restaurants, losing its peaceful beauty.

It was interesting to have a lunch in the restaurant along the river. When we were eating, there were boats floating on the water.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Processed with Rookie Cam

Processed with Rookie Cam

 

Summary and response of “Yali’s Question”

 

In the prologue Yali’s Question, the author talked about the reason why he wrote this book focusing on historical inequalities and how to explain such huge disparities. The initial main cause was a penetrating question raised by Yali, who was a local politician of New Guinea. He asked the author why black people could not create cargo of their own as white people. This question made the author ponder long and deeply; as a result, he finally finished this book about “human evolution, history, and language” to attempt to answer Yali. According to the author, as early as of the year A.D. 1500, there were already great differences “in technology and political organization” between different continents. It is “different rates of development on different continents from 11,000 B.C. to A.D. 1500” that led to the technological and political distribution in A.D. 1500. In his opinion, during that period of time, Eurasia developed “agriculture, herding, metallurgy and complex political organization” while people on other continents still remained hunter-gatherers. He also mentioned that “conquest, epidemics, and genocide” were the ways of interactions among people that the modern world was shaped. “Those collisions created reverberations.” One of reverberations was that many indigenous populations fell drastically due to genocide and disease. The other reverberation was that 6,000 surviving languages were replaced by several major languages whose numbers of speakers have immensely increased.

I find many interesting facts in the Yali’s Question that I have never noticed before. We always think that the huge disparity started with the age of discovery and the Industrialization. Due to the discovery of new travel routes and illegal trades, the development of Europe exceeded the other continents. All progress that Europe has made after that are almost based on the Industrialization. However, the author gave an opinion that the different rates of development from 11,000 B.C. to A.D. 1500 led to present wealth distribution today. Also, he mentioned a reverberation caused by the collision between people on different continents, which was that a diversity of languages is replaced by only several major languages. We always see this phenomenon as the result of globalization. If we want to continue globalization, it will be unavoidable that the number of languages surviving in the world is drastically decreasing.

I was born when the structure of the world was almost finalized. I have never thought deeply about the reasons why the structure of the world was like today. The article encouraged my curiosity about what led to political, economic and military distribution of the world today.