Found in 3 comments
by hiram112
2017-10-22
I am certainly aware of the 'Treasure Voyages' and China's abilities up through the Ming dynasty. China was indeed able to travel, trade, and exploit foreign nations at limited distance, but never on a scale as the Europeans from the 16th century onward.

This is also documented: https://www.amazon.com/Civilization-West-Rest-Niall-Ferguson....


Original thread
by markdog12
2017-08-03
I read Our Kind over a decade ago, and thought it was a very good book at the time, but its central thesis, that culture dominates biology, is overstated. I haven't read Why the West Rules for Now, but just looking at its wiki page, it looks to be a complete rehash of Guns, Germs and Steel? The title made me think of The West and the Rest, excellent book: https://www.amazon.ca/Civilization-West-Rest-Niall-Ferguson/...
Original thread
by mseebach
2011-11-22
Large scale hunger is typically a symptom of systemic failure, not a lack of food production ability. There's no consensus on how to fix that. Niall Ferguson suggests that the "killer apps" are competition, science, democracy, medicine, consumerism and the Protestant work ethic. This is controversial - see, for and example the comments on his TED talk[1] or the reviews of his book[2].

As for reporting yourself as satisfied, this is hugely subjective. I could be unsatisfied because I think my bosses at my well paid and comfortable programming job are doing things wrongly, this, I suspect, would be a luxury problem to an unemployed graduate on benefits, who again has a luxury problem compared to a homeless crack addict.

> Our political mechanisms and were designed a few centuries ago by people who had the mathematical and scientific sophistication of a contemporary high school student.

Will all due respect, but there's really no way to say this without being a dick: Go read a book. The big philosophers of the enlightenment are towering intellectual capacities.

> There is every reason to believe that we can do better if we put our best minds on this task.

Quite the contrary. People are people and they all have individual goals and desires. Societies can't be designed and directed on any significant scale without devolving into totalitarianism. Our enlightenment friends realized this, and anyone who's tried to do this has failed miserably and bloodily.

1: http://www.ted.com/talks/niall_ferguson_the_6_killer_apps_of...

2: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Civilization-Ways-West-Beat-Rest/dp/...


Original thread

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