Ten Misconceptions about Napoleon Bonaparte

I decided to give myself a history lesson on Napoleon Bonaparte.
He was a fantastic military leader who changed the world with his policies more than his wars.
In fact, many of his battles were more for the defence of the Republic of France rather than for conquest.
There were quite a few things that surprised me while I was researching him, I hope they surprise you too.

Napoleon wasn’t short.[1]
He was actually a little bit taller than the average Frenchman of the time. After his death in 1821 The English recorded his height as 5 feet 7 inches but Napoleon implemented the metric system in France so we will say he stood at a decent 1.69m
Napoleon was usually surrounded by his imperial guard and officers who had to be a certain height, this would have altered the perception of Napoleons ‘short’ stature.

 Napoleon wasn’t born French. [2]
He was born in Corsica an Island originally ruled by its own republic with history of occupation by the Genoese and was conquered by the French forces after his birth.
Napoleon disdained the French growing up but his father didn’t and was forced to go to an aristocratic school in Northern France where he did not think of himself as a Frenchman but a Corsican and was seen as an outcast by his schoolmates.
His real name was Napoleone Buonaparte but changed it at the beginning of his military career to sound more French.

Napoleon didn’t like his wife stinky.[3]
There is a rumour going around that Napoleon sent his wife Josephine letters, telling her “Don’t bathe, I’m coming home”
There is no discernible proof of this statement except through popular culture and speculation; as at the time some women would put an orange peel under their armpit wrap it in a cloth and send it to a loved one. This statement could be attributed to Henri IV, an antiquated French King who is long gone out of our memories.
We cannot confirm Napoleon wrote anything of the sort as nothing has been found in the correspondence between Napoleon and Josephine, though, they did send some pretty steamy stuff to each other, one of the letters wrote.
 How happy I would be if I could assist you at your undressing, the little firm white breast, the adorable face, the hair tied up in a scarf a la creole. You know that I will never forget the little visits, you know, the little black forest… I kiss it a thousand times and wait impatiently for the moment I will be in it.
It did get hot and heavy, but not in a smelly way.

 Napoleon didn’t make a law about pigs[4]
Speaking of smelly, Napoleon never made up a law about naming pigs Napoleon.
A rumour was spread that Napoleon, being egotistical and controlling of public opinion made up a law that you weren’t allowed to name a pig Napoleon.
There was a law (that was repealed in 2013) that said you weren’t to name any animal after the head of state but this law was actually put into action in 1881 after Napoleons Death and long after his exile from France.

Napoleon wasn’t afraid of cats[5]
He just didn’t like them, he thought them lazy and useless and compared them to the courtesans who exiled him “ because they never left the house”.
This common misconception is based around his nephew Napoleon the third, who would leap up onto his stool if a cat entered the room and wouldn’t get back down till the cat had been removed from the room and the fact great and terrible military leaders from history had suffered from ailurophobia, the fear of cats.

He did like dogs though, and once wept over the grief of one dog who had lost its master on the battlefield.
Napoleon wasn’t just a General.[6]
He was an emperor of one of the greatest land powers in European history and fostered religious freedom, industry and education.
In the first year of his rule he put through economic reforms that turned Frances economy around and also established a public-school system restarted primary schools and made an elite secondary school. He also promoted education for women and greatly improved Literacy levels in France.
He is noted for assuring freedom of religions and equality to all peoples within Frances jurisdiction and believed in ones merit rather than their status.

Napoleon opposed political freedom[7]
Contrary to popular belief Napoleon did not share all the same views as the French revolutionaries and would set up what is known as a military state.
He even went as far as setting up secret police who had a spy network that reached everywhere in France.
Jean Paul Bertaud, a specialist in French Revolution and military history said “You go to a salon, there’s a spy. You go a brothel, there is a spy. You go to a restaurant, there is a spy. Everywhere there are spies of the police. Everyone listens to what you say. It’s impossible to express yourself unless Napoleon wants you to.”

Napoleon did not believe in Freedom of press[8]
Napoleon would personally oversee every play produced in France and if he didn’t like it, it got the axe. As a master propagandist, he would never let a bad word be said about him and would contort negative press into a positive light whenever he got the chance.
Napoleon also controlled the press ruthlessly; throughout his rule he dismantled more then 50 publications, leaving only four publications left and two of which were created by him, one called ‘France and the Army of Italy’ and another called ‘The Newspaper of the Army of Italy’.
He also wrote some of the articles himself, a line attributed to Napoleons pen is “Bonaparte flied like lightning and strikes like a thunderbolt”.

 

Napoleon did not come up with the famous hand in coat pose[9]
Napoleon didn’t actually walk around with his hand in his coat, the pose he adopted was commonly used in portraits to portray nobility and steadfastness in men in the early 18th century long before Napoleon.
But Napoleon was unpopular with his people at the time of the famous painting ‘Napoleon in the Study’ and the man who painted it was a Napoleon supporter that wanted to give Napoleon a popularity so he painted him in the famous pose.
Upon seeing the art, Napoleon was grateful and said  “you have understood me, my dear David” and continued to pose for many of his portraits with his hand in his coat.

Napoleon wasn’t really the best tactical genius[10]
Most of Napoleons tactics had already been developed during the French revolution and Napoleon relied mostly on his Field Marshalls to win battles.
One example is his field marshal Davout who literally does the impossible to save Napoleon; a straight 36 hour march to Austerlitz, fighting half the Prussian army with only a third of their numbers in one corps at Auerstadt, being an important anchor in almost every major battle during the 1809 campaign and so much more through Napoleons Military career.  [11]
Though Napoleon should receive credit for his mobilisation and organisation of Frances armies where he placed highly competent Field Marshalls in charge of brigades of 25,000 men each comprising exactly the same number of infantry, artillery, health and cavalry forces.
[1] https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/napoleon-short.htm

[2] http://www.pbs.org/empires/napoleon/n_myth/youth/page_1.html

[3] http://www.napoleon-series.org/cgi-bin/forum/archive2003_config.pl?md=read;id=19310

[4] https://www.quora.com/Why-is-it-illegal-to-name-a-pig-Napoleon-in-France

[5] https://www.quora.com/Why-was-Napoleon-afraid-of-cats

[6] http://www.dummies.com/education/history/world-history/napoleon-bonapartes-lasting-contributions/

[7] http://www.pbs.org/empires/napoleon/n_myth/tyrant/page_1.html

[8] http://www.pbs.org/empires/napoleon/n_myth/tyrant/page_1.html

[9] http://www.jmarkpowell.com/mon-dieu-the-real-story-behind-napoleons-famous-pose/

[10] http://www.historyhome.co.uk/c-eight/france/well-nap.htm

[11] Napoleons Marshals ed. By David G. Chandler

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Worried about Lizards

A mostly unknown original electro keys player with a feel for the room performs a dope soundtrack style gig with a subtle finish.

I moseyed on down to The Moon, Late Night Café in Northbridge to check out some new music.

A guy who calls himself Worried About Lizards sounds cool enough for me. It turns out his real names Jack.

We were early and the place was trendy (motorcycle on the wall trendy). So, we ordered some food.

My nachos were fine, but my girlfriends’ salad was really good.

I missed the very beginning of Worried About Lizards because I was paying for my meal and trying to choose a beer out of the Moons large selection.

What I did catch of the opening song made me feel like I was in a tripped-out Stanley Kubrick soundtrack.

He performed with an electric intensive mindset on par with his music.

Jack outlined his setup for me “I use a Roland Juno 60 which is an old synth from the 80s, I run that through a delay pedal and play that over samples”. His gear wasn’t up to date with all the shiny knobs and flashy buttons but he managed to pull off a pretty smooth show, especially for a single composer/producer.

The set in its entirety somehow reminded me of Arizona Dream, a classic with Johnny Depp. You have to watch it to get the feel of what I mean because I’m not sure why I felt that way.

Perhaps the 80’s electro feels, or the subtle nuances throughout, that made you think of elsewhere. Maybe it was just the emotion poured through the technology.

Maybe it was just his face, the guy looks like Johnny Depp I swear.

You would think this set was suited for drugs but I’m sure, if you were on it, you would not be in the building for very long.

He introduced Drops and build-ups that were smooth and layered. This set wasn’t intense for the fact that it was fast and, in your face, but that it had so many interfering sounds that worked together almost elegantly.

Jack told me after his gig, that he wrote all his music and samples. This was obvious though, because it had that original feel, like a person making beats purely for themselves and playing for the sake of it.

Whilst keeping in touch with his originality, the way his set was laid out showed a deep desire to connect with his audience, purely through his music (this guy wasn’t a talker).

Towards the end, he subtly dropped out of a fast pace synth movement into an ambient sound with voice samples all over an off-kilter beat at around 58bpm.

Making the listening experience pleasurable for everybody around and slowing down the energy almost incredibly.

Finishing with this slow beat song compared to the usual crescendo is a desirable change to the electro scene. That, with a nice coffee and some decent table service, topped off my night and I went home.

99 homes, an ode to that crazy movie.

Wow! Yeah! We’re all just monkeys jumping and looning around the place.

Worry and that’s not all! Forget about it and you love it even more.

Forget about it, and you will crave it for later!

Lunacy like a merry go round, I wonder if you’re ever gonna get a just a little bitta rest!

Maybe five hours, what about them those sleep headaches, and all those them lovely little moments where you can’t help but smile.

Fly through it, those sorta days, and Eureka you’re not a virgin anymore. You know all the best moves in town and you can grind and groove your way to the top baby! Yeah!

Mindless, spineless, crimeless lunacy and that’s just a day in the thoughts of your life, better believe it buster.

3625819_15_iWhat’s that? A sweet little lonely moment, I love those little lonely moments where you loaf and do whatever you feel like.

I feel those lonely moments up and groove those best moves in town, grinding my way through those leisurely lonely moments.

And this ain’t even a serious bit of prose!?

To be surely serious, I heard a great quote today, I will remember it as well as I can from the top of my head.

The man who wrote it, I’m not sure if the writer that wrote the script was on a roll and nailed the most beautiful piece of words or it was outright plagiarism.

I, I’m not sure because I feel like I’ve heard it before, and this is off the top of my head, so I know it’s not right.

“I know, the sun is shining!”

Did a great king or queen say it? A couple of Princies got together to write a great speech!

“I know, the sun is shining and if you were to say it was night, I would still know that it was day, because the sun is shining!”

Maybe from the bible? It seems anti-god almost, but it does admit there is a god.

“I know, the sun is shining and if you were to say it was night, I would still know that it was day, because the sun is shining! Even if god were to come down from the heavens and say “It was night” I would know it was day!”

Someone good anyway, sounds like a middle eastern proverb or it’s Confucian or even Greek, was it Aristotle, nahhhhh.

Proverbs are reusable. And I’m sure there’s more to it than that.

Humph

A concise introduction to logic

A Concise Introduction to A Concise Introduction to Logic.

In this brief assessment of A Concise Introduction to Logic written by Craig DeLancey; I will attempt to unfurl his magnificent introduction to logic onto you whilst giving praise when merited and owning up when it becomes obvious that some of these concepts begin to drift over my head.

The book, itself, is almost Zen. In the sense that it is strewn with philosophy and rules that seem trivial but eventually will make sense in the long run and can impact your life extremely well.

A Concise Introduction to Logic begins with the definition of logic as the ability to recognise an argument. It also states that every undertaking in life requires you to evaluate an argument, sometimes two, several or many. Logic helps you understand life or at least what it entails.

Logic is a skill and therefore it puts the onus on the user. If you use it poorly, you will be made a fool of, you will be taken advantage of and you will eventually be disenfranchised.

This book will help you learn how to use logic to its fullest, whether or not you actually want to is an entirely different question.

We will begin with the lighter stuff, as we were fortunate enough to do in the book.

First, we discover the logic of sentences, this is known as prepositional logic or sentential logic. This is the most basic we are going to get with logic as it outlines only the logic of sentences.

Declarative sentences are the most important. We know declarative sentences because they are either true or false.

We need sentences to be precise to be able to pursue them logically. To assess how precise a sentence is, is to ascertain the truth value of a sentence. If a sentence is vague it is not clear what conditions are true, If the sentence is ambiguous we cannot tell if it is true at all and if a sentence has both truth and no truth value it is confusing and therefore hard to apply logic to.

In short, we want our language to either be true or false. This is called the principal of bivalence.
Seemingly explaining basic language in the context of logic, the author continues to show clever math through tables, language, semantics and syntax to engage the student and help tackle the huge doctrine of logic.
I will not go into the syntax and semantics that the author did, because I am afraid I might get it wrong, but I will describe the feeling you get once you understand a logical argument through this language.

It is like grasping algebra (which I never really did). But I believe that’s what it would be like. Except the meaning behind logic and truth is much more profound then “x+y=z”

After Delancey nails language to the door with Greek letters and Logical Syntax, DeLancey begins to describe arguments further. He explains that our language is now complex enough for us to develop the idea of using our logic not just to describe things, but also to reason about those things.
An argument in the sense of trying to persuade someone that something is true is an ordered list of sentences. We call one of these sentences the conclusion and the rest is called a premise.

You would be likely to say “an argument is good if the premise is true and the conclusion is true” but this is weak, because it doesn’t necessarily make a good argument. The premise could have nothing to do with the conclusion and the conclusion could still be true. This is not a good argument because it is not valid.
A valid argument is an argument for which, if and only if the premise is true then the conclusion is true.

You can have a valid argument that is false but does this make it a bad argument? A bad argument is not only an invalid argument but also an argument that is not sound. A sound argument is a valid argument with true premises. Finally, Arguments sometimes need a hypothesis, there are four ways to assess a hypothesis’ relevance.
1. The more a hypothesis can predict correctly, the better it is.
2. It is preferred that the hypothesis might lead to a new direction of research
3. A hypothesis can cohere with an existing theory.
4. the simplest hypothesis is preferable.
To discern an argument, we must learn how to use and understand certain language such as “and” and “or”

“and” is an adjunction and “or” is a disjunction. An adjunction is a false if either aspect of the argument is false e.g. I will get you flowers and chocolates. A disjunction is a false only if both aspects of the argument is not fulfilled e.g. I will get you flowers or chocolate.

There are many more but to cover them would be as tedious to write as it is tedious to read. To elaborate, this is basic knowledge, only outlined in the book to help understand the syntax and semantics of logic.

It is important for the reader to understand that without proper syntax, arguments in logic can become lost in translation; just as without grammar, communication can become muddled and incoherent.
Logic is meaningless without dialogue and to understand the dialogue you need to understand these terms.
Primitives: True, false, Refer and Identity are primitive words.
Domain of discourse: Not only sounds cool but explains what it is in the name.
Predicates: Are adjective phrases that identify a relation between any number of things.
Derivation: this is the process of proving an argument through syntax.
An Indirect Derivation: This is slightly more difficult, but can be discerned as if something is not, not true then it is true. And if it is not, not false then it is false.

Logic is the maths of philosophy, this is because logic and truth are morally correct. Theistic philosophers strive to answer the question, did good and bad come before religion? Do gods have strict moral codes as well?

The author attempts to answer the question, but only ends up showing the argument through logical means and defining it. Not actually answering any question. Can this be only what logic does? assess arguments? Thankfully, it is not. Logic is also the pursuit of truth through simplification of arguments.

Delancey boldly takes us to first order logic. I am barely going to cover this topic because it is mostly just more syntax and semantics.

First order logic only translates more diverse words into syntax such as Everything, Something, Nothing, All, Some, No, All and only. These words are called quantifiers.

It also adds a few rules. An example of one is an inference rule, this allows us to write down a sentence that must be true based on the fact that previous sentences are true.

First order logic helps us understand predicates further as well (these are adjective phrases, right?). It outlines that predicates have things called arities. An arity is the smallest number of things a predicate can relate to.
Delancey has given us all this information not only so we can dive deeper into philosophy and its discussion through logic but so we can go even further afield with the study of advanced logic…

Which brings us to advanced logic. If you couldn’t get your head around the syntax and semantics of prepositional or first order logic, you have no chance here.

First, DeLancey begins with axiomatic prepositional logic. It’s not only a mouthful but it’s also trigonometry; or to be more precise, prepositional logic in a trigonometrical layout. This is a brand new easier method compared to traditional prepositional logic.

He then describes mathematical induction, which is a deductive method of logic. Mathematical induction shows how conditional derivation works by deduction.

Set theory is apparently a useful tool for logicians and philosophers because it groups things into a set and allows them to determine the identity of a set by its elements.
This goes on for a while, leaving us to wonder what we did to deserve logic and how enigmatic it really is.

Delancey even takes us back to trig class with axiomatic first order logic. This is the same as axiomatic prepositional logic but with first order rules applied. Meaning we can now use the usual negation and conditional syntax of first order logic, making the arguments much more in depth, usable and succinct.

The book finally finishes on one final note on peano arithmetic. Which I am not sure how to portray logically. I can say that it helps combine logic with maths in a way that connects it intrinsically whilst atomising the deities of logic and math into accessible principles.

A Concise Introduction to Logic has no observable conclusion except; I believe as itself, and that is how I will end this essay.

The problem of pain

“Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life- the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child- he will take endless trouble- and would, dountless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and recommenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God has designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny ; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less”

C.S.Lewis.

Firstly I’m not religious, I stumbled across this book (The problem of pain) in my travels in New Zealand last year and have only just started reading it.

The book is mostly a christian mans justification for a world wrought with pain and evil.

The world his god created.

The man C.S. Lewis is not a theologist or a philosopher but only a good christian who questioned his faith not with adversity but with love.

It is a wonderful book and adresses the major issue atheists and christians alike have with religion.

That is; if god is so great, why do bad things happen?

20 pages in and the paragragh above spoke to me.

In an amazing spiritual sense, Lewis outlined life and destiny.

He outlined hardship and the ability to overcome.

To read this book as an agnostic atheist is eye opening to say the least and though I am not finished with it, currently I highly recommend it.

You have hardships because your destiny is not fulfilled, you are still being made!