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It might be inaccurate, too.

I got a little too interested in the Comanche over the summer, which the article notes is actually a Ute word basically meaning "enemy". The Utes called them enemy because the Comanche prior to European contact lived in the Rockies much farther north. It was only the horse which allowed them to move out onto the plains. He's got them located in the plains of Texas, which again, they weren't at until probably after 1700 and when they were they completely dominated a region way bigger than that.

Wiki:

The Comanche emerged as a distinct group shortly before 1700, when they broke off from the Shoshone people[15] living along the upper Platte River in Wyoming. In 1680, the Comanche acquired horses from the Pueblo Indians after the Pueblo Revolt.[16] They separated from the Shoshone after this, as the horses allowed them greater mobility in their search for better hunting grounds.

http://www.npr.org/assets/news/2014/06/Tribal_Nations_Map_NA...

I'm not sure exactly what he's representing. It can't be a single moment in time.

https://www.amazon.com/Empire-Summer-Moon-Comanches-Powerful...




Wouldn't the obvious answer seem to be to provide certainty factor estimates where varying degrees of evidence are available?

Anyways, I've rarely ever seen historians qualify their data points. Unfortunately humility is only for the scientists, and because they can't escape the same consequences of uncertainty when drawing conclusions from data (i.e. statistical significance). Confidence is for the rest of us, not because it is helpful, but because our human nature commands it.


You might be interested in Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen. He's a sociologist but he brings up this point when talking about the different possible discovery dates fo the Americas by the Japanese, Africans, Polynesians and others at one point - history books have a tendency to wrongly paint many things as objective truth when there should be more subtlety. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies_My_Teacher_Told_Me


> Wouldn't the obvious answer seem to be to provide certainty factor estimates where varying degrees of evidence are available?

The uncertainty involved in history is rarely quantifiable. How would you go about attaching a number to, say, the probability that Jesus existed? Where such quantifiability is possible--dates in radiocarbon and demographic estimates come to mind--you in fact do see estimation ranges from historians.

> Anyways, I've rarely ever seen historians qualify their data points.

Having read a few archaeological papers out of curiosity, yes, these data points are often qualified where prudent. This is much less the case in popular history books, but it's worth noting that popular science books are equally egregious in omitting such details.

> Unfortunately humility is only for the scientists, and because they can't escape the same consequences of uncertainty when drawing conclusions from data (i.e. statistical significance).

Let's not put scientists on some holy pedestal here. Having read science papers as well, I can tell you that scientists are quite bad at being humble and qualifying their results with limits of uncertainty.


Instead of trying to conduct some kind of comprehensive probability analysis, admirable as the idea might be, you could just be clear and say "this is roughly the point in history I'm representing."


I was thinking more along the lines of a metric indicating the probability the conclusion is correct, based on the strength of evidence.


I'd prefer for the map to err on the side of including more names of tribes over having those tribes' territories be more accurately drawn. Every map is a simplification.


Of course, and I don't think it's intended to be misleading. In the interest of accuracy, it would be great if he'd make clear what his map is displaying.

The legend says:

This map represents the original pre-contact homelands....

Is it a simplification, or is it wrong?




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