Steel and Stylus is a unique look at human history: The Conflict and struggle that brought us to where we are, and the wisdom and truth we are always searching for.
These two subjects (war, advancement of ideas) seem to be the only constants across cultures, continents and time. The Ancient Romans: fought wars among themselves and with other people. They also debated the nature of mankind and made advances in engineering and medicine. Ancient Aztecs: built a vast empire that was ruled through the law of the sword but they also had advanced understanding of astronomy and the stars that their European counterparts could only dream of. China (ancient or otherwise): victim to the dynastic cycle that saw civil war, strife and struggle all throughout their history and up to modern times… while also inventing the compass and maintaining a vast administration with in-depth records.
A lot of us here love history, reading, and the advancement through time humanity has made. It’s amazing to see the same debates played out over time and the different answers societies have come up with. What is the appropriate use of force in a counter-insurgency situation? What is the Nature of Truth? How does a society’s values influence its martial characteristics? Is it even important to study the intersection of war and learning, conflict and ideas?
Some of us also find it (extremely) difficult to pinpoint a time period or region that warrants full time “study”. I ran into this problem in Graduate School and struggle with it to this day; pinpointing individual research interests that fit a specific niche in a small field of history. It’s great to be an expert in corn production in 1880’s Midwest America (down to a specific town and all) and place it in a greater context. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with wanting to study the military tactics of the Spartans and the philosophy of Socrates. Or the sophistication of the Medieval Arabs and the barbaric tactics of the Mongolian hordes…
What makes this site unique then? We will cover varied, and interesting topics while keeping things limited in scope to the theme of Steel and Stylus. I’m not going to bore you with stuffy, academic writing, or overanalyzed statistics. On the same note, I’m going to stick to facts and leave political leanings and intonations aside; there’s enough issues these days to get anyone worked up, so why get all rustled about things that happened 20 or 2,000 years ago?