"Pirate questions are often difficult, because pirates as a group have been so heavily fictionalized -- and were often fictionalized even in the "golden age" of piracy (or shortly thereafter) -- that it becomes hard to separate reality from fiction. Indeed, there is evidence that later sailing crews, including pirates, took on behaviors that they may have read or heard that "pirates" did -- even if these accounts were fictional, meaning that fictional accounts of pirate activities actually became reality due to people acting out what they'd seen in fiction." https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/60deda/how_h...
>To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, “by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only.” Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of it's benefits, than is done by it's abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.
Previously the only way to get news was through these slow, controlled channels. And the people controlling these channels were responsible for the content being delivered, so if a slanderous lie was published they could be held accountable.
But with Facebook I can make up anything I want, frame it as fact, and get it seen by millions of people. Many of whom will believe it if it is convenient for them to believe it. And many of whom will never realise or accept that is a lie. And nothing bad happens to me for sharing these lies, I just make a bit of money from the ads.
This is a phenomenon that can only happen with the awesome communication enabled by the internet. And it's much worse than minor press bias.
There's no need to conclude that a PBS Newshour story about Somali pirates is fake news because "Pirates of the Caribbean" is so much more popular.
I say this as someone heavily dissatisfied with the media I pay for.
Which is sad because really, truth is a simple concept. For some reason, many people don't feel like their beliefs should in any way correspond to reality.
> It is still valuable to understand the mainstream perspective.
I agree that the role of media as social objects (shared things to talk about) is important, but there's a tradeoff here - the more junk you put in your head, the easier it is to hold a conversation with random strangers, but you're still puttting junk in your head. Is socializing really worth it?
To celebrate that failure, Brits light fireworks and burn dummies wearing that mask every 11/5.
For example, a pink triangle means something different now than it did during the 40s and pointing to its historic usage instead of its reclaimed/new usage would be disingenuous and missing the point of how it is being used in the modern context. Pointing to Guy Fawkes instead of Vendetta for Anonymous' usage of the mask is missing the point.
[The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates](https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0862789559)
The book ends up giving the reader background on the Barbary pirates - a mix of Turks, Dutch, Algerian, and Moroccan pirates led by a Dutch convert to Islam (from Catholicism). It also attempts to tell the stories of as many of the slaves as possible using historical information from people known to suffered a similar fate.
It details some of the stories of Algiers and the Ottoman empire and how Europeans were enslaved by the Muslims who controlled the Mediterranean at the time and who targeted English shipping and later American shipping leading us to dispatch Marines to the shores of Tripoli.
In the end it describes the roundabout way that one of the pirates may have ended up on Manhattan and may be one of the founders of some of America's oldest monied families with descendents that may include people such as Kasey Kasem and Jon Voigt. Really a great story.
I'll have to check out some of these other books mentioned on this thread since history is one of my favorite subjects.
It was so profound in fact that much of it was the inspiration for our business model:
In the case where there is disagreement about what product to build, I could see this more rapidly going sideways. Sometimes having one person with a specific vision can be very helpful.
The point being that, plundering french ships under an English letter of Marque will prevent the french from calling you a pirate. Instead, you are simply an enemy combatant.
I think this was from a Wilbur Smith novel.
And also like mentioned in the article, much of what we think about when we hear those words/terms is based on a subset of these groups/populations as well.
I've since stopped paying attention to these things. Better that way. Feels more peaceful.
Then again, just last week a guy got shot by police in broad daylight 3 blocks from me because he was actively in the process of stabbing someone.
No running gun battles yet that I know of. It's been 2 years or so.
But what percent of the population did those counties represent? "Counties" are fairly arbitrary divisions, after all. New York County, NY (better known as the burrough of Manhattan) has a population of around 1.6 million.
Kalawao County, HI has a population of 89.
It doesn't really make sense to compare homicide counts by county.
It does if you're a tourist needlessly worrying about getting gunned down while you're visiting the Grand Canyon, or a student needlessly worried that you're going to encounter open gang warfare in a small midwestern college town.
As it happens, the worst 1% of counties have about 19% of the population but about 37% of the murders, so it's not just that these counties are more heavily populated. They really are more dangerous.
Even within those counties, murders are heavily concentrated by neighborhood.
Edit: here's a map that lets you zoom down to the individual census block level, and which shows the rate (thus controlling for population).
Note how much of the country is in the 0-50 category.
This kind of example is really stacking the deck. It's not like there are real people out there being tourists and getting scared of being involved in a drive-by at the Grand Canyon.
> As it happens, the worst 1% of counties have about 19% of the population but about 37% of the murders, so it's not just that these counties are more heavily populated. They really are more dangerous.
Urban areas with higher population densities have higher crime. Fact of life. Rub people together more often and they'll cross each other more often.
In any case, when 1% of the counties hold 1 in 5 members of the public, it's a gross mischaracterisation to call them 'a very, very, very small portion of the United States'
The linked map informs about land use, by precisely locating crime on the map; it isn't a valid guide for the tourist.
For example, look at New York: who would avoid Central Park because of the higher crime rate and prefer a "relaxing" walk through the almost crime-free dense city blocks surrounding it? Reasonable tourists are aware of what can happen in a park. Who would reserve an hotel out in the middle of Long Island because it's safer than in the city?
I misread. Does seem to be a rate.
Not totally clear to me how per capita adds. On the one hand it captures the family member or neighbor known person assault. On the other hand, it's not terribly comforting to know that there are lots of murders somewhere but there are lots of people so you'll probably be OK.
Colma has an index equal to or worse than most of Oakland, which only makes sense if there's some form of population-weighting, since Colma has only 1500 or so living inhabitants (and doesn't have a particularly bad reputation for crime, except for most "residents" being already dead when they get to Colma).
Not disputing crime exists, but just, this place is vast, so there are lots of different experiences.
Might be true for DC- probably as much or more a special case than Florida, though :)
OMG everything I imagined is true!
America: the thief leads a chase and conducts a gun battle with police.
Florida: the vehicle is a golf cart.
I occasionally read the news and catch up on the exploits of legendary anti-hero Florida Man, and somewhat more rarely his intermittent girlfriend and permanent babymama, Florida Woman. Their stories can often be ended by the punchline, "The Aristocrats!"
So yes, Florida does appear to be a special case, but the state does make a special policing effort to keep Florida Man away from the tourists. So as long as you stick to the mainstream areas, you are unlikely to encounter him during your trip. But stray too far from the beaches, parks, and tourist traps, and you might just catch a glimpse of him or his exploits. And sometimes, you can still see him whitelining past your rental car on a motorcycle at 90 mi/hour (145 km/hour) in a 50 mi/hour (80 km/hour) zone. And if you ever see a naked man throw a Burmese python at a police car, that's definitely him.
The interesting distinction here is the almost self-fictionalisation of pirates. Many pirates would go from port to port spreading rumours and horror-stories about themselves simply to make raiding an easier (and less violent) process; fearful captains being all the more compliant.
Do you have some examples for these two, or maybe a link? I am interested in these subjects in particular.
The uniforms they are always wearing in movies are probebly only really standardised like that for a small part of the empire, and even the not completly.
"The Complete Roman Army" is the best book on the subject.
"Not everyone, though, should take the Julius Caesar approach to kidnapping. As a young man, reports Plutarch in his biography of the great man, he was kidnapped off the Dodecanese islands en route to learn rhetoric under the famous teacher, Molon of Rhodes. The Cicilian pirates (from the area of modern Anatolia north and north-east of Cyprus) he treated high-handedly. They asked for a ransom of 20 talents – he laughed at them for undervaluing him and offered them 50. While he was kept captive he treated them like bodyguards rather than prison guards, and frequently told them he would crucify them after his ransom was paid. (Better than that, "He also wrote poems and sundry speeches which he read aloud to them, and those who did not admire these he would call to their faces illiterate Barbarians.") In due course the ransom was paid, Caesar was set free – and, as promised, he crucified them to a man."
A few blog posts on Baltimore's history as a "nest of pirates" and stories about privateering: https://maryland1812.wordpress.com/category/privateers/
Besides all the Pirating action, I'm really surprised how credible the economics and politics of the show is. I'm often embarrassed by how naively those things are treated in TV, but here it mostly makes sense on at least some level.
Aside for 1 or 2 miscasts I find the acting pretty damn great. All the 4 captains are a joy to watch.
I did stop watching for a time after a really dumb plot development at the end of Season 2, but I'm glad I picked it up again.
You may say instead:
A lot we believe is not true, and we don't know much.
Excellent as a summer book, a Libertarian view on the subject with good info on pirates even if you don't agree with the author's view.
Obviously, the magnitude of our decent in piratehood varies from person to person, and at some level (murder being obviously a issue) we stop accepting them post-haste.
I find a close analogy to doing drugs and drug dealers in modern society. A lot of upstanding citizens enjoy doing drugs and actually like and feel safe around their drug dealers, but rarely if ever does popular culture show that side of reality.
I don't think its any coincidence that TV and movies show the murderous and thieving side of piracy as to condition us to be appalled by them, in general.
I guess it doesn't end up too well for Travolta, but I think his dealer made it out okay. Come to think of it, that guy had a negative body count by the end of the film; he saved Uma Thurman's life.
Invitation to ones house is building up a trust relationship, both offer each oother higher risk of exposure but build up a long running buissness relation.
There are dealers and then there are dealers. A hippy friend who can get you MD, acid or DMT (which he orders on darknet) is very different from someone who pushes crack for a living in a bad neighborhood.
Is this really true? There's a long history of sympathetic portrayals of drug culture, from Trainspotting (novel and movie) to A Scanner Darkly (novel and movie) to Jesus' Son (novel and movie) to Pineapple Express (mainstream movie), and a whole lot more.
But yeah i am yet to see a drug-themed kids show or cartoon.
My favorite ones are the books written by Ambroise Louis Garneray, which also served under Surcouf, before eventually becoming a painter after his life as pirate.
However even back in his lifetime some would state he colored his memories a bit, so that they were more interesting to read.
Of course, only he knew how much that was actually so.
And Cities of the Red Night by William S. Burroughs :)
The authorship sometimes attributed to Defoe, but also to a Nathaniel Mist. (It was published under a pseudonym). 
An insightful, nevertheless, somewhat dullfull read.