Links, 10/28/09

First two links are from

  • Historians Reassess Battle of Agincourt – The older view, fta: Based on chronicles that he considers to be broadly accurate, Clifford J. Rogers, a professor of history at the United States Military Academy at West Point, argues that Henry was in fact vastly outnumbered. For the English, there were about 1,000 so-called men-at-arms in heavy steel armor from head to toe and 5,000 lightly armored men with longbows. The French assembled roughly 10,000 men-at-arms, each with an attendant called a gros valet who could also fight, and around 4,000 men with crossbows and other fighters. Although Mr. Rogers writes in a recent paper that the French crossbowmen were “completely outclassed” by the English archers, who could send deadly volleys farther and more frequently, the grand totals would result in a ratio of four to one, close to the traditional figures. Mr. Rogers said in an interview that he regarded the archival records as too incomplete to substantially change those estimates.
  • Who’s afraid of the avant-garde?And yet how can Structures I [a work of atonal classical music] lack structure? It is, after all, one of the most “structured” pieces of music ever written. It was composed using “integral serialism,” a method related to the 12-tone or “serial” method introduced in the 1920s by Schoenberg. The serial method ensures that no note is used more often than any other within a piece of music, so that the piece cannot become anchored to any particular musical key, as it always was (to a greater or lesser degree) in the tonal tradition to that date. By the 1950s, serialism had become, in many schools of classical composition, the only respectable way to compose; anything hinting at tonality was considered passé and bourgeois. Yet Schoenberg not only failed to justify his horror of tonality but never came to terms with what its abandonment implied for composer and listener. Since atonality has no tonal “home,” there was nowhere to depart from or return to, so that beginnings, endings and structure became problematic.
  • Some links on newspapers and journalism that might be of interest: Megan McArdle on “horrifying” circulation figures; Kristine Lowe, “How blogs transformed and challenged mainstream media coverage of the credit crisis;Jeff Jarvis on the worldview killing old media. Putting these links your way because I was thinking of writing something about what a new model for media might look like, but I think I want to stay quiet about that.
  • Jon Corzine’s formula for winning an election has nothing to do with his actual job performance. More at the link that makes me shake my head. fta – Corzine, a former Wall Street executive, has spent $23.6 million on the general election, compared to Republican Chris Christie’s $8.8 million and independent Chris Daggett’s $1.2 million, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.

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