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  #21  
Old 04-02-2012, 06:24 AM
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I suppose Rand and Tuon will have to parcel out the land in any agreement they might reach. The seanchan seem to have a population problem. Or maybe they just brought the farmers along to support the army.

There are lots of depopulated areas and filling them would help RL itself recover. Although Rand might want to move some aiel to the wetlands.
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  #22  
Old 04-02-2012, 09:33 AM
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On contraception, even in our own Medieval period, tansy & pennyroyal tea was a very effective contraceptive. The only major problems with it were the lack of knowledge on mixing it and the fact that not mixing it correctly often proved deadly as both are poisons and oil of pennyroyal is quite deadly even in tiny amounts.

Those who are fans of aSoIaF will note the tansy connection to that series' "moon tea"...a very real tea used for contraception.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:34 AM
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Or maybe they just brought the farmers along to support the army.
They did...remember, its not just an invasion but rather a "return". They came in full out colonization mode to take back their lost lands.
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  #24  
Old 04-02-2012, 10:10 AM
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Along with their own livestock and flora...who knows what the ecological impact of introducing these new species to the ecosystem will be?
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  #25  
Old 04-02-2012, 04:24 PM
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I think, that another point of the decline of the population in Randland need to be presented. While it true that war and the DO very well could have affected the population, the status of the woman need to be taken into account.

Women with low status, low education and a poor justice system where the live usually have more children than those who have a higher status and/or education.

Jordan always made woman strong in his stories, independent and strong headed (wool headed too, of course).

It might not affect Randland as much as war and conflict, but it is unlikely that the status of women in Randland has not affected the population growth.

I just hope I didn't miss someone who have already posted this. I have a tendency to read a little bit too fast
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  #26  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:01 PM
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Along with their own livestock and flora...who knows what the ecological impact of introducing these new species to the ecosystem will be?
Damn not only do the Seanchan practice the abomination of slavery and want to conquor the world but they are not environmentally friendly either
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  #27  
Old 04-02-2012, 06:19 PM
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You joke, but imagine what would happen if a parasitic plant brought over by the Seanchan settlers eradicated tabac? It would be a sad, sad day is all I'm saying.'
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  #28  
Old 04-03-2012, 12:19 AM
Great Lord of the Dark Great Lord of the Dark is offline
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Default Culture of strong women

Vanadis, you said what I was thinking. The cultures all place women in positions where they are in charge of their sexual activity, marriage and procreation. Historical expansion on Earth may be based on the biological necessity to replace the previous generation and a male-centric philosophy in which women are for breeding large families to overcome the loss of children to disease. In the Wheel of Time, it seems plausible that the Wheel contrives to maintain a stable population (necessary for reincarnation) by controlling other factors such as disease. Less disease means less need for large families. In the real world when women have control over their procreation, health, and lifestyle, the shift has been to smaller families, later in life. However it happened, it is likely that the Wheel of Time women have no need or interest in popping out babies for the sake of expanding 'the human race'.
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  #29  
Old 04-03-2012, 03:39 AM
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Default Tons of Landlocked Nations?

How is it that, historically, landlocked nations don't really exist (at least until we got modern technology), but there are tons in Randland.
Plus Andor, the "best" country in the area is also landlocked.
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  #30  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:43 AM
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How is it that, historically, landlocked nations don't really exist (at least until we got modern technology), but there are tons in Randland.
Plus Andor, the "best" country in the area is also landlocked.
Maybe because trade by sea is quite small? Before the advent of sea trade, it was simply Europe and bits of Asia. Yet they thrived nevertheless. Even now, Tear and Mayene which have seaports seem to be among the richest. The borderlands seem to have the most difficulty surviving.
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  #31  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:56 AM
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Vanadis, you said what I was thinking. The cultures all place women in positions where they are in charge of their sexual activity, marriage and procreation. Historical expansion on Earth may be based on the biological necessity to replace the previous generation and a male-centric philosophy in which women are for breeding large families to overcome the loss of children to disease. In the Wheel of Time, it seems plausible that the Wheel contrives to maintain a stable population (necessary for reincarnation) by controlling other factors such as disease. Less disease means less need for large families. In the real world when women have control over their procreation, health, and lifestyle, the shift has been to smaller families, later in life. However it happened, it is likely that the Wheel of Time women have no need or interest in popping out babies for the sake of expanding 'the human race'.
Well they have "wisdoms" and AS healers to take care of diseases so maybe they can afford to have small families. Tar Valon and Far Madding are ruled by women and some other states like Andor. But the seanchan don't seem to have the pop problem even though they seem to more Empresses than Emperors. But the multiple factor solution is one I find appealing.
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  #32  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:32 AM
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How is it that, historically, landlocked nations don't really exist (at least until we got modern technology), but there are tons in Randland.
Plus Andor, the "best" country in the area is also landlocked.
One explanation would be that nations in that sense did not exist until we got modern technology.

Another one is that you seem to be forgetting some examples, such Switzerland, Tibet, Austria (which didn't have sea ports for quite a while, I think), Russia for a long time (the Arctic ocean don't count, I hope). Then there were some (how many probably no one knows) in Africa. May have been more in Asia too, but I am not very well versed in the history of that region.
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  #33  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:40 AM
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I have to remark that there is something very uncomfortable about the idea of a long-lasting population decline (as opposed to stability or growth) caused primarily by high female status or use of contraceptives. It seem like a... slow, silent murder? Or an unconcious suicide? For one thing, I imagine that a matriarchal society would be interested in there being enough babies born. It seem strange to portray a matriarchal society as irresponsible. For one thing, wouldn't it value highly its mothers? People have always counted births, and I know of a southern African example during the 19th century where one tribe was worried because they had less children than their neighbouring rivals (and thus less warriors in potential, future conflicts).

I personally prefer to think that Ishamael and the Dark One's influence spark up butchering wars, from which the population do recover, but pretty slowly.

However, it is not entirely true that higher status for women means less children. The average birth rates in old-time northern Europe (who historically had the highest female status of any larger region of city cultures/civilization on Earth) was higher than in China. Chinese women had by far less standing than European women, yet the Chinese bred less children per woman. Of course, this probably had something to do with the relatively advanced medicine of the Chinese and crowding meaning a later marriage, or at least a later procreation once the young couple moved away from the husband's parents house.

Now, the Wheel of Time keeping a quite stable population for order of convenient reincarnation numbers is an interesting thought, although the population decline sadly seem to crush it.

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  #34  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:48 AM
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Another one is that you seem to be forgetting some examples, such Switzerland, Tibet, Austria (which didn't have sea ports for quite a while, I think), Russia for a long time (the Arctic ocean don't count, I hope). Then there were some (how many probably no one knows) in Africa. May have been more in Asia too, but I am not very well versed in the history of that region.
IIRC Poland was forcibly landlocked during the partitioning. Navigable rivers do make the situation somewhat manageable.
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  #35  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:53 AM
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IIRC Poland was forcibly landlocked during the partitioning. Navigable rivers do make the situation somewhat manageable.
Poland was originally a landlocked country, until it expanded towards the Baltic sea and acquired Teutonic Knight territory.

There have been several land-locked lands and empires throughout history, the Aztec being among them, as well as the Savanna/Sahel African kingdoms, not to mention Ethiopia. Despite having a long coastline, the Inca empire was pretty landlocked, since it only had small fishing villages by the sea, and used great roads in the mountains instead for most of their transports and communications. The Inca had stafette runners that could bring the Inca ruler high up in the mountains fresh fish from the seashore. Many ancient Middle Eastern and Chinese states flourished despite lacking a coast line, or having very little to do with coastal seafaring. Navigable rivers and coastlines were great assets, but not necessary for creating countries. There were states on the steppes in Central Asia without a single mile of coastline (eg. the Kwarezm).

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  #36  
Old 04-03-2012, 07:16 AM
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For most of its existence Egypt was river-locked. Sure, it had a bit of a navy now and then, but that was at a time when they didn't have anyone to fight with on the sea, so I don't think that really counts.
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  #37  
Old 04-03-2012, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Karak Norn Clansman View Post
I have to remark that there is something very uncomfortable about the idea of a long-lasting population decline (as opposed to stability or growth) caused primarily by high female status or use of contraceptives. It seem like a... slow, silent murder? Or an unconcious suicide? For one thing, I imagine that a matriarchal society would be interested in there being enough babies born. It seem strange to portray a matriarchal society as irresponsible. For one thing, wouldn't it value highly its mothers? People have always counted births, and I know of a southern African example during the 19th century where one tribe was worried because they had less children than their neighbouring rivals (and thus less warriors in potential, future conflicts).
...
However, it is not entirely true that higher status for women means less children. The average birth rates in old-time northern Europe (who historically had the highest female status of any larger region of city cultures/civilization on Earth) was higher than in China. Chinese women had by far less standing than European women, yet the Chinese bred less children per woman. Of course, this probably had something to do with the relatively advanced medicine of the Chinese and crowding meaning a later marriage, or at least a later procreation once the young couple moved away from the husband's parents house.

Now, the Wheel of Time keeping a quite stable population for order of convenient reincarnation numbers is an interesting thought, although the population decline sadly seem to crush it.
Um, you know that's exactly what is happening right now in every developed country in the world, right? The basic fact is, women who have higher eductaions - even those with lower incomes - wait longer to start families and have fewer babies. I'll admit to being uncomfortable with your suggestion that it's akin to slow murder - murder of whom? Or unconscious suicide - it's actually the introduction of conscious thought and free will that create the trend.

Essentially, the upcoming century will see a fundamental decline in the labour market. This labour force shortage will arise as the massive baby boomer generation retires and companies compete to hire the small pool of "baby bust" employees. Other factors that contribute to these changes include the following: birth rates are declining throughout the world, populations are aging, the age at which people are taking retirement has fallen, people are staying in school longer (or returning to school), and the skill-intensity of employment is increasing.

While only one of those factors is what we're talking about with regards to WoT, it's a basic fact as it relates to the real world. And what's more, it's a generation too late to do anything about it (in terms of making more babies to fill the population gap).
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  #38  
Old 04-03-2012, 08:21 AM
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Yes, but it is incorrect that it is "too late" to do anything about it. A basic fact of the real world is that it's never too late (because such an attitude is defaitistic). It's essentially a matter of family planning and changed attitutdes, something that may well happen in the close future. The 1930s saw a decline in birth rates, yet the 1940-50s saw markedly higher figures. Too late? Was it too late for China to regain a dominant economic position after its 19th century decline? Of course not, things are looking quite fine for the Chinese. Was it too late to build a better future once the second world war had ruined large parts of Europe? Of course not. And neither is it too late to stabilize the population. Japan for one have plans to do so, and its politicians have waited several decades in order to let their crammed population decrease to a less dense level.

Besides, if I viewed the current developments as something else than only pretty temporary historical ones, pure honesty would force me to view them as a slow, drawn-out implosion of the species as a whole, if the trend persists for centuries to come. But since that seem unlikely and ridiculous, I don't view the current trend as a suicide of the species as a whole (which the case seem to be for imaginary Randland, if the theories about the population decline in WoT are correct). I didn't start this thread to discuss real life politics, however.

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Old 04-03-2012, 11:30 AM
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Um, you know that's exactly what is happening right now in every developed country in the world, right? The basic fact is, women who have higher eductaions - even those with lower incomes - wait longer to start families and have fewer babies. I'll admit to being uncomfortable with your suggestion that it's akin to slow murder - murder of whom? Or unconscious suicide - it's actually the introduction of conscious thought and free will that create the trend.

Essentially, the upcoming century will see a fundamental decline in the labour market. This labour force shortage will arise as the massive baby boomer generation retires and companies compete to hire the small pool of "baby bust" employees. Other factors that contribute to these changes include the following: birth rates are declining throughout the world, populations are aging, the age at which people are taking retirement has fallen, people are staying in school longer (or returning to school), and the skill-intensity of employment is increasing.

While only one of those factors is what we're talking about with regards to WoT, it's a basic fact as it relates to the real world. And what's more, it's a generation too late to do anything about it (in terms of making more babies to fill the population gap).
The easiest solution is already being done...we simply outsource those jobs to cheaper foreign labor where the birth rate is till high...companies win, western citizens lose.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:34 PM
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Sorry, but I am still a bit puzzled by the original question. What areas exactly are you saying are wilderness ripe for the plucking? And, why do you feel they are?

Trade South from Saldaea is vigorous, as seen repeatedly in the books, so travel through the areas of the Black Hills and the Caralain Grass area occurs frequently. Armed guards are required, so the areas are not secure, but still, they are not abandoned entirely. There are also numerous Steddings, if I recall correctly in those areas. No one in their right mind would try to "take over" Ogier land, a resounding response from armed nations would definitely occur.

The most telling quote I could find follows...the terrain in that area is not likely to encourage a "hey why don't we expand there" discussion with leaders. I picture the area (Black Hills and the Caralain Grasses) to be basically inhospitable to everyone.

Quote:
TITLE: Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: Prologue - Deceptive Appearances
Ethenielle had seen mountains lower than these misnamed Black Hills, great lopsided heaps of half-buried boulders, webbed with steep twisting passes. A number of those passes would have given a goat pause. You could travel three days through drought-withered forests and brown-grassed meadows without seeing a single sign of human habitation, then suddenly find yourself within half a day of seven or eight tiny villages, all ignorant of the world. The Black Hills were a rugged place for farmers, away from the trade routes, and harsher now than usual.
The other direction you head towards Tar Valon...and no one is going to expand within their sights, nor the simmering volcano shadowing them.

I guess I am still not clear as to what areas would be considered "fertile wilderness".

Nobles of Tear talk of their cooler estates along the Spine, so I assume you are not eyeballing that area. Aiel are not to be poked, and the Borderlands are heavily fortified and not likely to be happy to see any expansion attempts along their Southern borders.
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