Thursday, December 06, 2007

Human history in one paragraph, from the well-endowed professor,
Alan Charles Kors
George H. Walker Endowed Term Professor of History
* 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.

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