Sunday, January 15, 2006

Really Good Carnivals

After a New Year's hiatus, the History Carnival is back, with a vengeance. One of the best bits comes early
The CHNM is also home to H-Bot, a robot (ok, a “software agent,” but you know how I feel about robots) that answers simple history questions. Sheila Brennan’s Relaxing on the Bayou introduced me to H-Bot with a post called “Web of Lies.” As that title suggests, H-Bot is only as good as the information it finds on the internet, but Daniel Cohen (H-Bot’s creator) and Roy Rosensweig say that’s pretty good. The robot got an 82% score on the fourth-grade National Assessment exam in American history, trouncing the average human fourth-grader and making no friends on the playground.
There's lots of stuff I want to read there, like the ones here:
A handful of blogs and indeed the mainstream Canadian press discussed The Lost Millenium: History’s Timetables Under Siege. This new book by mathematician Florin Diacu contends the Middle Ages didn’t happen, the Peloponnesian Wars are fifteen centuries more recent than we think, and today’s date is January 15th, 964 A.D.
That last, and this conspiracy theory definitely qualify as my first collections for the next Bad History Carnival. This History Carnival had so much good stuff, they actually didn't use anything I sent in! The quality's definitely going up.

There's also a Teaching Carnival, which is always great reading: Lots of moaning and groaning, of course, but underlying it all is great joy and a desire to do well.


John Briant said...

I would warn you not to trash "The Lost Millennium" before reading it. I read it and found it fascinating. And so did other people, among them a renowned Princeton historian, Anthony Grafton. If you had cared to look not farther than the back cover of the book, you could have read Grafton's comments. Diacu's account is a balanced, objective criticism of historical chronology. People like you, and others, who trash things before reading, make me sick.

Ahistoricality said...

Unless there's some flaw in the reports that I did read, Diacu's book is neither balanced nor objective: for one thing, it entirely ignores the existence of reliable historical records outside of Europe for the "missing years."

Sorry, but I'm not going to waste money or time on an argument with no foundation in reality.