Tuesday, 29 September 2009

History, History, Maths

Well, today was quite fun. I have Modern History, followed by Ancient History (after break), then lunch, then maths, and then home, yay! It's really interesting what we're doing at the moment. And kind of amusing to compare the stuff we're doing about democracy/political systems/politicians in modern regarding British foreign policy in the 20s with the radical democracy in Athens. At first I wondered why it was called 'radical'. I mean, democracy is just democracy, right? Well, their system seems pretty radical to me... Although they didn't let women have any say whatsoever :( . But that seems to be about standard (although one of the states, can't offhand remember which, did enfranchise women during the American Revolution in the late eighteenth century--obviously much later on though). Basically, everyone could go along to the Ecclesia (assuming you were an Athenian citizen, over eighteen/twenty one and male) and have a vote over the various aspects of policy. Instead of electing representatives, everything was run through the Ecclesia first, even the really mundane stuff. Quite interesting. And it was all in the open air, and by either show of hands or chucking pebbles in a box. Makes you wonder why we don't have referendums on at least some of the important issue (like the EU, hint hint Gordon Brown!). Although I am dubious about the actual realities of some of this stuff. I would so laugh if one day we realised that various people never really existed. We had a bit of a look at the trial of Socrates, and apparently, he never wrote anything down. My history teacher said he did exist, but it just makes you wonder whether Plato just invented him to explore a moral issue.

Democracy was less radical in the twentieth century. Although to their credit, they did have a somewhat wider franchise (all men from 1918, all women from 1928). Which meant that all of a sudden they had to appeal to the entire population. And the liberals got pretty well thrashed. I'm wondering if they're gonna make a comeback, what with nobody really liking Labour any more, and nobody really thinking Cameron would make a mega good replacement. But I have no idea what the Liberals are any more (I'm assuming they'll have changed like the other parties). I think they're still split. Hmm... Anyway, that's about it. Oh yeh, I said maths in the title, didn't I? We were just looking at e, ln and that sort of thing. Integrating and differentiating fractions using ln etc. I'm just annoyed that John didn't tell us why lnx differentiates to 1/x. Maybe it's really really complicated...

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