Thursday, December 20, 2007

Human History

A short history of humanity:

  • First, tribes: tough life.
  • The defaults beyond the intimate tribe were violence, aversion to difference, and slavery. Superstition: everywhere.
  • Culture overcomes them partially.
  • Rainfall agriculture, which allows loners.
  • Irrigation agriculture, which favors community.
  • Division of labor plus exchange in trade bring mutual cooperation, even outside the tribe.
  • The impulse is always there, though: "Kill or enslave the outsider."
  • Gradual science from Athens' compact with reason.
  • Division of labor, trade, the mastery of knowledge, plus time brought surplus, sometimes a peaceful extended order and, rules diversely evolved and, the cooperation of strangers - always warring against the fierce defaults of tribalism, violence, and ignorance.
  • No one who teaches you knows what will happen.

-Alan Charles Kors

 

George H. Walker Endowed Term Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania
School of Arts and Sciences 


 

 

Posted at 06:38 AM in Science | Permalink

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Comments

Nutshell history that belongs back in the nutshell.

Posted by: lowlywhisper | Dec 20, 2007 10:39:17 PM

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