A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright

By Ronald Wright

Whenever background repeats itself, the associated fee is going up. the 20 th century—a time of extraordinary progress—has produced a massive pressure at the very components that contain existence itself: This increases the major query of the twenty-first century: How for much longer can this move on? With wit and erudition, Ronald Wright lays out a-convincing case that heritage has regularly supplied a solution, even if we care to note or no longer. From Neanderthal guy to the Sumerians to the Roman Empire, a brief heritage of growth dissects the cyclical nature of humanity's improvement and dying, the 10,000-year outdated scan that we've unleashed yet have not begun to manage. it really is Wright's competition that in simple terms via realizing and finally breaking from the styles of growth and catastrophe that humanity has repeated world wide because the Stone Age do we steer clear of the onset of a brand new darkish Age. Wright illustrates how a variety of cultures all through heritage have actually synthetic their very own finish by means of generating an overabundance of innovation and stripping naked the very components that allowed them to at the beginning increase. Wright's publication is very good; a desirable rumination at the hubris on the center of human improvement and the pitfalls we nonetheless can have time to prevent.

Show description

Read Online or Download A Short History of Progress PDF

Best culture books

Infidels: A History of the Conflict Between Christendom and Islam

Here's the 1st panoptic historical past of the lengthy fight among the Christian West and Islam.

In this dazzlingly written, acutely nuanced account, Andrew Wheatcroft tracks a deep fault line of animosity among civilizations. He starts with a beautiful account of the conflict of Lepanto in 1571, then turns to the most zones of clash: Spain, from which the descendants of the Moors have been ultimately expelled; the center East, the place Crusaders and Muslims clashed for years; and the Balkans, the place far-off thoughts spurred atrocities even into the 20 th century. all through, Wheatcroft delves underneath stereotypes, having a look incisively at how pictures, principles, language, and expertise (from the printing press to the Internet), in addition to politics, faith, and conquest, have allowed either side to demonize the opposite, revive outdated grievances, and gasoline throughout centuries a doubtless unquenchable enmity. eventually, Wheatcroft tells how this fraught background ended in our current maelstrom. we won't, he argues, come to phrases with today’s confusing animosities with out confronting this darkish earlier.

The Theft of History

Within the robbery of historical past Jack Goody builds on his personal past paintings to increase extra his hugely influential critique of what he sees because the pervasive Eurocentric or occidentalist biases of a lot western old writing, and the ensuing 'theft' via the West of the achievements of alternative cultures within the invention of (notably) democracy, capitalism, individualism and love.

Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction (6th Edition)

During this sixth variation of his profitable Cultural thought and pop culture: An creation, John Storey has greatly revised the textual content all through. As sooner than, the e-book offers a transparent and important survey of competing theories of and numerous methods to pop culture. Its breadth and theoretical harmony, exemplified via pop culture, signifies that it may be flexibly and relevantly utilized throughout a couple of disciplines.

The Body and Senses in Martial Culture (Palgrave Studies in Globalization and Embodiment)

This ethnographic research of a combined martial arts fitness center inThailand describes the standard practices and lived reviews of martial artpractitioners. during the lived realities and daily studies of thesefighters, this booklet seeks to ascertain why foreigners make investments their money and time totrain in martial arts in Thailand; the linkages among the embodiment ofmartial arts and masculinity; how overseas our bodies eat martial arts andwhat they get out of it; the sensory reconfiguration required of a fighter; and the influence of transnational flows on physically inclinations and information.

Extra resources for A Short History of Progress

Example text

This enabled him to urge that providing facilities to ensure precise computational standards was analogous to the Anglican God’s work of calculation and measurement. Thereby he could forge a strategic alliance between God and mammon, between philosophy and the factory. Not surprisingly, displayed over the Gothic entrance to the Cavendish, suitably decorated with the family coat of arms, were words from the book of Psalms. The new physical laboratory was a spatial and symbolic incursion into the university’s scholarly domain.

In the museum people learned how to look at the world, how to value the past, and how to visualize relations between specimens. Yet no matter how extraordinary the exhibit or how dramatic the diorama, the museum was not the world itself. The museum was no mirror of nature. To view that required moving outside the confined spaces of the collectors’ cabinets and into the open spaces of the field—another site of scientific endeavor. Field Operations The idea that the world should be its own laboratory, and that the best way to study some part of nature is to go there and experience it firsthand, is anything but the obvious claim it appears to be.

Whereas the drama of the laboratory lay in staging demonstrations, the museum’s theatricality is expressed by amassing, ordering, categorizing, and displaying exhibits of all kinds. The origins of museum culture can be traced back to what were known as “cabinets of curiosities”—early collectors’ closets into which gentlemen of the sixteenth century packed curios of all kinds. The more rare in occurrence or exotic in appearance or distant in origin an object happened to be, the more likely it would end up in a “world of wonders” housed in some secluded antechamber.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.68 of 5 – based on 45 votes
This entry was posted in Culture.