CFTAG took place at one o'clock at the usual place in the Starbucks at Yonge and Wellesley, with me, schizmatic and pauldrye in attendance. A variety of worthwhile subjects were discussed.
The new Harry Potter was discussed, of course.
schizmatic raised the importance of social networks in relation to medieval history, going into more detail here.
Ethnic stereotypes--the Texan, the Arab, the Japanese, the Swede--were raised and dissected.
pauldrye raised an interesting book, a sociolinguistic history of the word that examined language change over time and made interesting predictions about the future.
Spain, we agreed, is a country that did quite well for itself in the 16th and 17th centuries. It, and its Western Hemisphere offshoots, seem set to do well in the 21st century. As well? Wait and see.
Cape Breton, and all Canada, could have been Portuguese.
The possibilities of the Portuguese and French colonial empires to be transformed into functioning transnational communities were discussed. For Portugal, successful integration with its colonies in continental Africa would have precluded inclusion in political Europe. A broader French community would do likewise for Europe; a successful French Community might only come about if, for instance, the Soviet Union advances to the Rhine and precludes any sort of political Europe organized around a Franco-West German alliance. A more restricted French community, including (say) a pied-noir-heavy Algeria and oil-rich Gabon, might still work within Europe.