- 905 wrote:
- Lads, lads, lads. Yis are all wrong.
First, there is no reason to think that cities would have emerged in the middle of the Congo any more than they might have emerged in the Mourne mountains. I'm sure Africa as a continent had plenty of cities before colonisation. But it's a gross generalistaion to think of Africa as a single cultural or urban entity. Incidentally I think the transport thing had much more to do with it than urbanisation.
Speaking of generalisations, it is very unscientific to think of Africans as having a homogenous genetic identity. Africans are as genetically diverse as any other continent of people. There are those in Africa that are genetically closer to the inhabitants of other continents than they are to other Africans.
I'd love to fight with you over this 905
but no way. I've already said that there were African cities before colonisation and made the point that race is not a concept that ties in with genetic groups. Your point about genetic diversity in Africa is a good one.
I think that population density appears to be a factor in the spread of HIV ( and presumably all other transmittable infections), rather than urbanisation, and agree that transport is an important factor as essentially it shortens the time it takes for new areas to be affected by an epidemic.
The spread of the bubonic plague or new flu viruses presumably follows the same pattern.
The spread of the Spanish flu at the end of WWI killed more people than the War itself. It seems to have originated in the transit camps in which soldiers were living in very poor cramped conditions after the end of the war. There is a theory that the flu jumped species from poultry kept in the camps. The soldiers were then shipped home all over the world by train, boat and plane with devastating results.
An old lady told me a story of how in a small town near here, her father as a boy had hauled, with his father, a cart full of bodies that were buried in the local famine graveyard at the time of the Spanish flu.