Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Amazing history of Arabs and Math (audio)

Dhr. Seven, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Mitch Jeserich, J. Lyons (KPFA, Berkeley); IJSN
From algebra to algorithms, science to precise astronomical observations, the "West" starting with ancient Greece got higher math and logic from Arabs. It then began to take credit for it then to erase their contributions. Islamophobia is a terrible thing.

If math is a religion, it's Islam/'Induism
ARABS, ISLAM, MATH: Jonathan Lyons, an independent scholar and author of the book The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization. talks to host Mitch Jeserich about the amazing contributions from Arabs to our culture. While they are demonized and set up as the ultimate enemies of Christians and Jews, when it seems as if it were more Christian Crusaders and Catholic papal aggression from Europe and Christendom, all in the name of peaceful Christ and the tribal war-god Jehovah, attacking the "East."

Listen to AUDIO sample (
For centuries following the fall of Rome, Western Europe was a benighted backwater, a world of subsistence farming, minimal literacy, and violent conflict.
Meanwhile, however, Arab culture (next to the former astonishing Indus Valley Civilization and what remained of it in India) was thriving, dazzling those Europeans fortunate enough to visit cities like Baghdad (the great seat of paper making) or Antioch.
There, philosophers, mathematicians, and astronomers were steadily advancing the frontiers of knowledge, as well as keeping alive the works of the ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle [influenced by Buddhism -- some arguing that it was in fact the Buddha who introduced parliamentary democracy to Greece via the Vinaya rules and detailed voting procedures for running the Sangha, the massive monastic community that spread across the Buddhist world].
Are you a mathophobe?
When the best libraries in Europe held several dozen books, Baghdad's great library, The House of Wisdom, housed 400,000. Jonathan Lyons shows just how much "Western" ideas owe to the Golden Age of Arab civilization.

Even while their countrymen waged bloody Crusades against Muslims, a handful of intrepid Christian scholars, hungry for knowledge, traveled East and returned with priceless jewels of science, medicine, and philosophy that laid the foundation for the Renaissance. In this brilliant, evocative book Jonathan Lyons reveals the story of how Europe drank from the well of Muslim learning.
ISRAEL: Darwin Bond Graham talks about the intertwined economies of Israel and California's Silicon Valley (home of Google, Apple, and other high tech U.S. government-spying partners).
Islam overran and displaced Silk Road Buddhism throughout Central Asia and India.
AFGHANISTAN: In the second half Diana Preston shows how Afghanistan is where empires go to die. The once great British Empire learned its lesson during the tragic first Anglo Afghan War when it underestimated the Buddha's homeland, the nomadic Indo-Scythian kingdoms and territories now called Afghani-stan.

The Dark Defile
Listen to AUDIO (amazon)
Convinced in 1838 that Britain's very valuable empire in India was threatened by Russia, Persia (Iran), and Afghan tribes, the British government ordered its Army of the Indus into Afghanistan to oust from power the independent-minded King Dost Mohammed.

It was then going to install in the capital of Kabul the unpopular puppet-ruler Shah Shuja, who would be friendly to the West while growing rich selling out his own country and people(s).

Afghan Buddha, first statues
Expecting a quick campaign, the British found themselves trapped by unforeseen circumstances; eventually the disparate Afghan tribes united, and the seemingly omnipotent British Army was slaughtered in 1842 as it desperately retreated through the mountain passes from Kabul to Jalalabad.
Only one Briton survived uncaptured, while 15,000 were killed. Diana Preston vividly recounts the drama of this First Afghan War, one of the opening salvos in the strategic rivalry between Britain and Russia for supremacy in Central Asia.
As insightful about geography as she is about political and military miscalculation, Preston draws on rarely documented letters and diaries to bring alive long-lost characters -- Lord Auckland, the weak British governor-general in India; his impetuous aide William Macnaghten; and the prescient adventurer-envoy Alexander Burnes, whose sage advice was steadfastly ignored.

A model of compelling narrative history, The Dark Defile is a fascinating exploration of 19th-century geopolitics and a cautionary tale that resonates loudly today.

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