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Karavolos
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:31 am

Not to mention the concerns of peak oil, which green and renewable energy would solve, but there is a vested interest of the wealthy energy companies who run on fossil fuel to keep us in that camp, so here we are. At least the chinks are going somewhere with green energy, that's something.
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Dragatus
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:47 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIMLoLxmTDw

The video is nothing special, but the comments are gold.
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:12 pm

I doubt the people who are in America's Deep State right now have anything to gain from the shale oil revolution
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:54 pm

ThePhilosopher wrote:
I doubt the people who are in America's Deep State right now have anything to gain from the shale oil revolution

So they should change their investment patterns.

@Dragatus: The comments are indeed gold.

"I watched it like 2 hours,than i realized i paused it...."

I suspect this one was one of my students.
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:49 pm

Feral wrote:
ThePhilosopher wrote:
I doubt the people who are in America's Deep State right now have anything to gain from the shale oil revolution

So they should change their investment patterns.

Don't be so stupidly naive
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:13 am



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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:06 pm

French brilliance...

@Philo: Isn't the ability to adapt to changing conditions a sign of intelligence?
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:49 pm

It was a solid plan, except for the part where it didn't work.
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:19 pm

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Jad.3
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:21 pm

https://img-9gag-fun.9cache.com/photo/a8o78v3_460svvp9.webm
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:05 pm

So Lindybeige was right on Stirling engines... Fascinating things, thermodynamically speaking.

For once, a thing the Swedes could be proud of!

@Jad: Well, the jokes... Were gay...
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:11 pm

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ThePhilosopher
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:30 pm

Would have been funnier if the dude didn't laugh.




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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:48 am

Guess he was aware of how ridiculous bullshit he has to comment.
I almost saw halo forming above his head.
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:36 am

https://img-9gag-fun.9cache.com/photo/a9pz4W1_460svvp9.webm
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:55 am

https://img-9gag-fun.9cache.com/photo/a5oMOrr_460sv.mp4
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:45 am

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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:05 am

I loved the frogfish video! The flatworm was adorable! Classical music as a background...

Poor, poor Metatron... So much bullshit to go trough!

Both the short ones were excellent! The younger brother was not my type, though. Paying the speeding ticket would have been cheaper, I guess...

I didn't know you are into *sarrissa joke incoming* penetrations so much, Philo!
On a flatland and with better coordination, the phalanx could have won...
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:34 pm

I'd rather have something that works well under most conditions than something that is invincible in perfect conditions.

But I did also note that Rome had the bigger army and war elephants.
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:29 pm

Dragatus wrote:
I'd rather have something that works well under most conditions than something that is invincible in perfect conditions.

But I did also note that Rome had the bigger army and war elephants.

It is not necessarily as simple. As prof. Daniel Gazda put it, a Hellenistic army was able to respond to any circumstances, having specialized branches capable of performing any battlefield task very efficiently: phalangites, theuderoporoi (or hypaspistai), archers, peltasts and slingers for ranged combat, heavy and light cavalry (also missile), organized quite akin to a modern division with its organic artillery, AA guns, tanks... It was an orchestra of many instruments, capable of performing wonderful concerts if used in unison. It had one weak spot the size of a war elephant: it required a commander capable of providing that synchronization and aware of weak and strong points of each of the branches. As the video described, Philip was not. He rushed a battle in unfavorable circumstances, while he could have drawn Romans into a pursuit, tire them out and give battle on the plain north of the hills, on a terrain favorable for phalanx.

Roman legionary, contrary to a Hellenistic soldier, was a multitool: not very good at any particular task, but capable of most of them. Even a mediocre commander could win having such troops, albeit at the cost of heavy losses, which were not uncommon in Roman military history.

Which curiously ties with the fact that the Romans were unimaginably lax with their citizenship laws by the standards of the ancient world. They simply needed a lot of cannon fodder... As the citizenship was awarded for military service and was rather valuable, there was always a waiting queue nonetheless. Well, at least before Karakala's edicts...
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:39 pm

I'll have to agree with Draggy there. The sarissa phalanx was unbeatable from the front, but it took a long time to set up, was vulnerable from the sides, difficult to turn and on some terrains was practically unusable. To say it would win with better coordination is something a glupi would say. Every army would fight better with better coordination, and the sarissa caused huge problems in the army's capacity to coordinate.

There's a reason as to why it Rome stopped using it well before the development of the Legion.

I don't think Phillip could have drawn the romans into a pursuit. He would have needed to do that with his cav and light infantry because doing it with the sarissas would've been impossible, which would have to retreat and give the Romans the better position in the hill. The skirmish was for control of the hill, after it had been conquered there would be no reason for the Romans to charge further. With control of the hill, Phillip's army cannot attack nor move to the direction they were previously going, so they're forced to retreat in another direction. The Romans would certainly not conquer the hill only to march into the flatland and push their heads into the pikes.
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:11 pm

Well, Alexander the Great managed to beat steppe nomads with phalanx, but he knew how to command... Your assertion that the phalanx was not flexible is also ahistorical, as it was preserved in the sources that well trained troops could form a square, triangle (chevron), turn 180 in place (last line turning into first) etc. Later Hellenistic phalangites actually did gain more amour than Alexander's used, but it was still less than that worn by the Romans. For analogies closer in time you may want to check the Lancknechten and the Swiss, for they fought almost identically to the sarrissophoroi. Effectively too, even in the age of gunpowder. Only massed artillery swept them off the battlefields.

Rome never used sarrissophoroi. All the Romans got was an analogue to classical period hoplite, which they abandoned as too expensive for their then poor economy and not very usefull against very mobile Samnite light javelinmen. It was in fact the Samite Wars that forced Rome to adapt a unitary infantry model where every man had to be able to do every task.

Cavalry and light troops were what he sent. As a recon force, not to capture a hill he did not need. Trying to fight on a wooded hill with a phalanx was a grave mistake that lead to his defeat. The plain would have favored better Macedonian cavalry over the Roman one too.Sun Tzu wouldn't have approved. As far as I recall ancient battles, plundering enemy camp was a main incentive to do battle. Romans could have fallen for it, as they had numerical superiority and elephants. Not to mention the Romans did win head on against Epirote phalanx of Pyrrus, albeit with heavy losses, so they could have tried to repeat that.
In the essence, it boiled down to how well the bait could have been used. As Philip did Zerg rush instead, we will never know. Of course, if the ambush failed, he could have simply retreated north through the open plain of Tessalia, virtually forcing the Romans to pursue him to do battle.
As Napoleon put it, good generals win battles through maneuver, poor ones through slaughter. Or was it Wellington...? Ironically, it had been nicely illustrated by the Roman commander at Kynoskephale.

On the topic of Roman military supremacy, would you say the Soviet Army had was the best? No? But it still won most wars it took part in!
Exactly the same way Romans did: through overwhelming numbers. As Jonn Warry convincingly put it: thanks to unique citizen laws Rome could sustain the loss of a dozen armies and then field thirteenth. No other Mediterranean state had this capacity until the Ottomans. For any Greek polis or Hellenistic kingdom one lost battle usually meant they had to sue for peace. They simply used their recruitment base very inefficiently and were thus not able to field another army due to lack of available recruits. Romans were pragmatic about it and did pay no heed to old customs or sensibilities of peoples assemblies where it run against their best interests.

As for the quality of the equipment, Roman army at the time of Macedonian Wars was around Mediterranean average for civilized states, being vastly superior to tribal Celts or Iberians, but not Greek states. A yawning gap in war material quality formed in times of Sulla and Cesar, but not earlier. Even then, the civilized Parthians were on par with the Romans and well able to give them a beating...

TL;DR: Numbers decide wars. Moar is better.



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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Tue May 01, 2018 2:27 am

Feral wrote:
It was an orchestra of many instruments, capable of performing wonderful concerts if used in unison. It had one weak spot the size of a war elephant: it required a commander capable of providing that synchronization and aware of weak and strong points of each of the branches. As the video described, Philip was not.

That's a pretty glaring weakness. You can't rely on it that all your commanders will be good. If an army can be handled adequately by an average commander that by itself is already an advantage.

Quote :
He rushed a battle in unfavorable circumstances, while he could have drawn Romans into a pursuit, tire them out and give battle on the plain north of the hills, on a terrain favorable for phalanx.

His scouts won and his phalanx positioned itself on top of the hill and pushed down, while the Romans had to fight a literal uphill battle. That doesn't really sound like unfavorable circumstances. He did lose the battle so we know that his plan failed and with that knowledge we can presume he should have tried something different, but without this knowledge of the outcome his plan looks decent. Certainly it's not obviously inferior to drawing the Romans out into the open. There is no guarantee the bait would be successful. Based on the video the one reason Phillip lost was because his reserve failed to deploy for battle before being hit by the Roman reserve and war elephants.

Quote :
Which curiously ties with the fact that the Romans were unimaginably lax with their citizenship laws by the standards of the ancient world. They simply needed a lot of cannon fodder... As the citizenship was awarded for military service and was rather valuable, there was always a waiting queue nonetheless. Well, at least before Karakala's edicts...

Interesting.

Quote :
TL;DR: Numbers decide wars. Moar is better.

That's an oversimplification, but I suppose the tl;dr format does tend to lead to those.

I read an interesting essay that I can't find back now, but essentially it claimed that superior numbers are an advantage but like with any advantage you have to know how to use them properly in order to really benefit from them. An example was given of general Grant during the American civil war as a man who really knew how to use superior numbers effectively.
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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Tue May 01, 2018 2:50 am

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PostSubject: Re: Video of the day   Tue May 01, 2018 4:22 am

Dragatus wrote:


That's a pretty glaring weakness. You can't rely on it that all your commanders will be good. If an army can be handled adequately by an average commander that by itself is already an advantage.

True. That is why the rather simple Roman Army was able to win even under poor commanders.

It is interesting to think modern Western armies share the weakness of their Hellenistic predecessors, while most Muslim militias do not...

Dragatus wrote:

I read an interesting essay that I can't find back now, but essentially it claimed that superior numbers are an advantage but like with any advantage you have to know how to use them properly in order to really benefit from them. An example was given of general Grant during the American civil war as a man who really knew how to use superior numbers effectively.

That is indeed true. For a inept commander no advantage is enough. Look at the 1920 Polish-Soviet War: Red Army had an advantage in everything from numbers to artillery pieces, machineguns, horses and last but not least stockpiled ammo. The patchwork that was freshly organized Polish Army had a great lack of everything, including a glaring lack of ammunition. In fact if Hungarians did not send their own almost whole reserves the Warsaw Battle would have been lost and German Communist Revolution reinforced by the Red Army. There was a time of Polish bayonet charges nevertheless, as troops had nothing to shoot with on some sections of the front...
There was one advantage on the Polish side: competent officers. Poles who served in Austro-Hungarian, German and Russian armies as well as the Polish Legions during WW1. On the Soviet side there were dilettantes like Tuchaczewski, able to pacify peasant uprisings (Riazan, Tambov) or tribal jihads (Caucassus, Central Asia), but not fight against a regular army. It is often forgotten that Stalins purges in the army killed mostly auch propaganda acclaimed "geniuses" and in the effect increased military performance.
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