A Scholar’s Stage forum member reports that he and a friend recently finished reading John Darwin’s After Tamerlane. Enraptured by Darwin’s account of flourish and fall, they ask what else they might read to understand the rise and decline of peoples and powers over the course of human history.
In my mind there are four central parts to this tale:
Many of the Stage’s readers will be familiar with the work of “Pseudoerasmus,” currently the internet’s best blogger working on both economic development and macro-history. His most recent post is titled “Where do Pro-Social Institutions Comes From?“ I strongly urge you read it. In essence, Pseudoerasmus’s post tries to answer two questions: Why do humans cooperate? […]
Perhaps the most predictable fall-out of Graeme Wood’s influential cover article for The Atlantic, “What the Islamic State Really Wants,” is another round of debate over whether or not the atrocities committed by ISIS and other armed fundamentalist terrorist outfits are sanctioned by the Qur’an, Hadith, and other Islamic texts, and if not, whether these […]
The ten most controversial (i.e. most prone to edit wars) articles in the English, German, French, Spanish Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew language Wikipedias: Source: Taha Yasseri1, Anselm Spoerri, Mark Graham1, and János Kertész. “The most controversial topics in Wikipedia: A multilingual and geographical analysis” Upcoming chapter in Global Wikipedia: International and cross-cultural […]
A selection of the 60 volume Great Books of the Western World.Image source. A “proper education” changes with its times. In the days of America’s founding a true education was a classical education. An educated man was not simply expected to be familiar with the great works of Greek and Roman civilization; the study of […]
What impact does culture have on cognition? Psychologist Richard Nisbett has conducted dozens of studies to find out the answer to this question. Presented in The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently, the results of his study are fascinating – and their implications far reaching. “Perception: How Germans and Chinese See Each Other” from […]
The following series is an attempt to make some sense of that most peculiar of subjects: human civilization. My interest lies in the dynamics of civilized societies: their material needs and limitations, the recurring patterns of geography, social organization, and cultural complexity upon which they are built, and the type of interactions that define their […]