A 60 second lecture on “Human History”


Just caught this at Boingboing: Here you have history professor, Dr. Alan Charles Kors, attempting to encapsulate the entirety of human history in a 60 second lecture. The transcript goes:

* 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.

The video (which is cooler) can be seen here, although you will need RealPlayer to see it.

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and boingboing.net. He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at popperfont.net.