agricultural Revolution

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Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization by K. Eric Drexler

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Bill Joy: nanobots, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, dark matter, failed state, global supply chain, industrial robot, iterative process, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, performance metric, reversible computing, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Thomas Malthus, V2 rocket, Vannevar Bush

As Winston Churchill once said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” Here, we can begin with the Neolithic era. THE FIRST AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION The first agricultural revolution—the Agricultural Revolution—defines the dawn of the Neolithic era, more than ten thousand years in our past. The Agricultural Revolution gave human beings a new way to exploit the productive capabilities of the nanoscale machines found in living organisms, the molecular metabolic machinery that makes complex structures out of nothing more than water, soil, air, and sunlight. Agriculture multiplied the food yield of land by a hundredfold, yet the agricultural way of life also marked the beginning of a cascade of change. For example, the Agricultural Revolution dates from prehistory for a simple reason: Writing came later, and made written histories possible.

THE APM REVOLUTION What can we say about the coming APM Revolution, seen from the perspective of the three previous revolutions? A great deal, as it turns out. Both parallels and contrasts offer insights. The biological machinery of the Agricultural Revolution, the digital nanoelectronics of the Information Revolution, and the innermost mechanisms of APM systems all show ways in which nanoscale devices can be harnessed within macroscale systems to deliver useful results. In other words, three of these four revolutions rely on nanoscale devices, the Industrial Revolution being the only exception. However, although the Agricultural Revolution employs atomically-precise nanoscale devices, these are products neither of human action nor human design. Rather, these devices consist of soft structures that perform a Brownian dance, twisting and tumbling in the disorderly environments found inside cells.

Chapter 18: Changing Our Conversation About the Future 283the first response . . . often sets the direction for the next: This is an example of a “social cascade,” discussed (together with a range of other successes and pathologies of group decision-making) in Cass Sunstein’s brief and readable book, Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2006). INDEX Actin, 69 Additive manufacturing, 76–77 Agriculturalists, hunter-gatherers vs., 41–42 Agricultural Revolution, 39, 40–42 APM Revolution and, 50, 54 Industrial Revolution and, 44 nature and human impacts of, 54 Agriculture, atomically precise manufacturing and, 231–232, 248, 250 American Chemical Society, 181 Angewandte Chemie (journal), 20n APM. See Atomically precise manufacturing (APM) APM Revolution, 39, 40, 50–53, 54 Agricultural Revolution and, 50, 54 consequences, potential, 240, 286 competitive, 243 Information Revolution compared, xii, 256 nanotechnology research and, 202 nature and human impacts of, 54 personal concerns and, 282 threshold of, 193 Apollo program, 18, 20, 111–112 Applications, atomically precise manufacturing, 166–167, 174, 223–239, 281 consumer products, 224–225, 253 security, 263–266 medical, 167, 236–238, 256 military, 35, 236, 259–263, 284 Approximations, exploiting, 123–124 Arms race, military applications of atomically precise manufacturing and, 259, 261–262, 268–269, 284 Armstrong, Neil, 112 Arrhenius equation, 292 Assemblers, 329 Assembly methods, molecular, 190–193 Asteroid mining, 15n Astronautics, 133 Atomically precise fabrication, 177–193 biological examples of, 80–82 biomolecular engineering as, 182–184 chemical synthesis as, 82–84, 179–181, 182 history of, 22–25, 46, 178 materials science and, 184–185 nanotechnology as, 28, 195–196 National Nanotechnology Initiative and, 32, 205, 207 pathway to atomically precise manufacturing, 9, 25–27, 32–33, 84–86, 144, 280–281 scanning probe methods, 185–186 Atomic precision, x, xiii, 7, 10, 22–24, 50 called the essence of nanotechnology, 205 definition of, 7 digital systems compared to, 7, 77–80 feedstock molecules and, 152–153 from small to large scale, 154–155 long history of, 22 nanolithography compared to, 76 nanotechnology and, x, xiii, 32 Richard Feynman and, 24 See also Atomically precise fabrication, Atomically precise manufacturing, Chemistry Atomically precise manufacturing (APM), x–xii agriculture and, 231–232, 248, 250 aligning national interests and, 266–269 applications (see Applications) assembly methods and, 190–192 automated manufacturing as template for, 73–77, 84 biomolecular engineering and, 187–188 biotechnology and, 73, 80–82, 85 carbon dioxide and, 234, 246, 250–252, 255 chemical synthesis and, 73, 82–84, 85 chemistry and, 179–181 civil society and, 262–263, 265–266 collaboration in, 271–272, 312 consumer products from, 224–225, 253 costs and, 52, 224, 227 digital information systems and, 73, 77–80, 84 digital media as cost model for, 172–173 digital revolution/digital technology and, 7–8, 50–51, 53, 277–278 domestic security applications, 263–266 economic implications of, 34–35, 256–257 energy and, 226, 229–230 environmental restoration and, 33–34, 233–234, 250–252, 255 exploratory engineering and, 143–144, 279–280 framework for thinking about, 274–287 fundamental principles of, 10, 24, 289–293 improvement in product performance and, 162–166 information technology and, 226–227 materials processing and, 184–185 medicine and, 236–238, 256 military applications, 35, 236, 259–263, 284 molecular biology and, 24–27 pace and direction of development, 241–245, 309–311 pathways to (see Pathways to atomically precise manufacturing) potential solutions/disruptions created by, 34–35, 240–241, 245–255 precursors, 279, 303–306 productivity of, 276–277 progress towards, 32–33, 177–179, 278 raw materials and, 230–231 relationship to nanotechnology, 32, 196–199, 205–207 reducing complexity of, 303–304 resource scarcity and, 33–34, 169, 230–231, 248 roadmapping for progress in, 216–220 scanning-probe methods and, 185–186 security technologies and, 235–236 supply chains and, 34–35, 51, 225–226, 244–245 surveillance networks and, 263, 264–266 transformation of infrastructure and, 228–229 uncertainties and, 258, 269–272 See also Atomically precise manufacturing systems, Pathways to atomically precise manufacturing Atomically precise manufacturing (APM) research carbon-based supermaterials and, 158 fostering collaborative strategies for, 271–272, 312 government funding and, 32, 194–195, 198–199, 204–207, 208, 243 repression of, 209–210 Atomically precise manufacturing (APM) systems energy requirements of, 155–156 as factories, 276 microblocks, 152–155 ordinariness of, 70–71 process of, 148–151 products of, 147–149, 159–174, 224–225, 253 (see also Applications) radical cost reduction and, 168–173 Automated manufacturing, APM and, 72–77, 84 Avco Everett Research Laboratory, 17–18 Battelle Memorial Institute, 211 Becquerel, Henri, 134 Bell Telephone/Bell Labs, 46–47 Biomolecular engineering, 9, 187–188 machine engineering, 24–25 systems, atomically precise manufacturing and, 73, 80–82, 85 Boltzmann factor, 292n Brownian motion, 23, 50 Bush, Vannevar, 5 CAD (computer-aided design) software, 189 CAMD (computer-aided molecular design) software, 189–190 Cancer, atomically precise manufacturing and attack on, 237–238 Carbon-based materials, 137, 153, 158, 162–163 Carbon dioxide emission reduction, 171, 250–252, 255 problem, 246, 250–252 removal from atmosphere, 234, 252, 255 See also Greenhouse gases Carbon nanotubes, 161, 164, 185, 188 Carroll, Sean, 96, 100 Carson, Rachel, 12 Casimir forces, 64 Catalysts (as products), 302 Cells, molecular machinery of, 25, 50, 61–62, 182 CERN, 95 Chemical synthesis atomically precise manufacturing and, 73, 82–84, 85 organic synthesis, 23–24, 32, 179–181, 187 Chemical reactions click chemistry/click reaction, 180n equilibria of, 292 free energy change, 291–292 in chemical synthesis, 23, 83, 84, 180, 293 kinetics of, 277, 292 machine-guided motion, 73, 292 methods for blocking, 84, 281, 290–292, 300 stereotactic, 290–293 thermal motion and, 68 thermal motion timescale, 68 thermodynamic control of, 277, 292 transition states of, 291, 292 yield, 84, 113, 292 See also Chemical synthesis, Chemistry Chemistry atomically precision and, 7, 22–23, 82–84 computational, 33, 56, 98–100, 179, 189–190, 218 discovery of atoms and, 23, 29 organic synthesis and, 179–181 as pathway technology, 32, 84–85, 179–181, 188, 242 as a production method, 92–84 research scope, 178–181 thermal motion and, 68–70 China conflict with United States, 268–269 economic rise of, 246 government funding of nanotechnology research, 194, 210, 243 Churchill, Winston, 40 Civil society, atomically precise manufacturing and, 262–263, 265–266 Clausewitz, Carl von, 262 Climate change, atomically precise manufacturing and, 234, 246, 250–252, 255.

 

pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, European colonialism, experimental subject, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, invention of writing, invisible hand, job automation, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Abdallah, Muhammad Ahmad bin (Mahdi) 270, 271 Abe, Shinzō 207 abortion 189, 190, 236 Adee, Sally 288–9, 364 ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) 39 aesthetics: humanist 229–30, 233, 234, 238; Middle Ages 228–9, 228 Afghanistan 19, 40, 100, 171, 351 Africa: AIDS crisis in 2–3; borders in 167–8, 169; climate change and 214–15; conquest of 259, 350; Ebola outbreak in 11, 13, 203; Sapiens evolution in savannah of 338, 388–9 Agricultural Revolution: animal welfare and 77, 78–9, 83, 90–6, 363; Bible and 77, 78–9, 90–6, 98; Dataist interpretation of history and 379; intersubjective networks and 156, 157 AIDS 2–3, 11–12, 13, 19 algorithms: concept defined 83–4; Dataism and 367, 368, 381, 384–97; humanism, threat to 309–97 see also Dataism; individualism, threat to 328–46; organisation of societies in algorithmic fashion 160–3; organisms as 83–90, 106–7, 112–14, 117, 118, 121, 124, 125, 126–7, 140, 150–1, 304–5, 327, 328–9, 367, 368, 381, 388; render humans economically and militarily useless 307–27 Allen, Woody 29 Alzheimer’s disease 24, 336 Amazon Corporation 343–4 Amenemhat III 161, 162, 175 Andersson, Professor Leif 231 animals: Agricultural Revolution and 77, 78–9, 83, 90–6, 363; as algorithms 83–90; evolutionary psychology and 78–83; animist and biblical views of 75–8, 90–6; cognition/intelligence, underestimation of 127–31; consciousness and 106–7, 120–32; cooperation and 137–43; domesticated, numbers of 71–2; global biomass of 72; humanism and 98–9, 231; inequality, reaction to 140–1, 142; intersubjective web of meaning and 150; mass extinction of 71–5; mother–infant bond 88–90; soul and 101–2; suffering of 78–83, 82, 231, 286 animist cultures 75–8, 91, 92, 96–7, 173 Annie (musical composition program) 325 Anthropocene 71–99 antibiotics 10, 12, 13, 23, 27, 99, 179, 266, 275, 348 antidepressants 40, 49, 122–4 Apple Corporation 15, 155, 343, 372 art: medieval and humanist attitudes towards 228–30, 228, 233; technology and 323–5 artificial intelligence 48; animal welfare and 99; consciousness and 119; humanism, threat to 309–97; individualism, threat to 328–46; putting brakes on development of 50, 51; renders humans economically and militarily useless 307–27; timescale for human-level 50 see also algorithms; Dataism and under individual area of AI artificial pancreas 330 Ashurbanipal of Assyria, King 68, 68 Associated Press 313 Auschwitz 257, 376 autonomous cars 114, 114, 163, 312, 322, 341–2, 384–5 Aztec Empire 8–9 Babylon 172–3, 309, 390 Bach, Johann Sebastian 324–5, 358 Bariyapur, Nepal 92 bats: experience of the world 356–7, 358; lending and vampire 204–5 Beane, Billy 321 Bedpost 331 Beethoven, Ludwig van 253, 324; Fifth Symphony and value of experience 257–61, 358, 387–8 Belavezha Accords, 1991 145, 145 Bentham, Jeremy 30, 32, 35 Berlin Conference, 1884 168 Berlin Wall, fall of, 1989 133 Berry, Chuck: ‘Johnny B.

The Bible is a long book, bursting with miracles, wonders and marvels. Yet the only time an animal initiates a conversation with a human is when the serpent tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge (Bil’am’s donkey also speaks a few words, but she is merely conveying to Bil’am a message from God). In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived as foragers. The expulsion from Eden bears a striking resemblance to the Agricultural Revolution. Instead of allowing Adam to keep gathering wild fruits, an angry God condemns him ‘to eat bread by the sweat of your brow’. It might be no coincidence, then, that biblical animals spoke with humans only in the pre-agricultural era of Eden. What lessons does the Bible draw from the episode? That you shouldn’t listen to snakes, and it is generally best to avoid talking with animals and plants.

While animists saw humans as just another kind of animal, the Bible argues that humans are a unique creation, and any attempt to acknowledge the animal within us denies God’s power and authority. Indeed, when modern humans discovered that they actually evolved from reptiles, they rebelled against God and stopped listening to Him – or even believing in His existence. Ancestral Needs The Bible, along with its belief in human distinctiveness, was one of the by-products of the Agricultural Revolution, which initiated a new phase in human–animal relations. The advent of farming produced new waves of mass extinctions, but more importantly, it created a completely new life form on earth: domesticated animals. Initially this development was of minor importance, since humans managed to domesticate fewer than twenty species of mammals and birds, compared to the countless thousands of species that remained ‘wild’.

 

pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

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agricultural Revolution, big-box store, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

See also shipping and transportation infrastructure and the Aztecs, 143 and barbecue, 89 and chili peppers, 207 and cities, 143–44 and cross-subsidies, 65 and French food, 226–27, 229 and Genetically Modified Organisms, 165 historical influences on, 36 and home cooking, 245–46 and immigrants, 28–29 impact on quality of American food, 17–19 and Mexican food, 196, 210 and Nicaraguan food, 5 and poverty, 155–56 and Singaporean foods, 221–22 sushi, 58, 118, 122–23, 216, 218, 258 Susur: A Culinary Life (Lee), 249 Swanson, 35 sweets shops, 224, 240 Switzerland, 222, 235–37 Syngenta, 162 Syria, 157 tacit knowledge, 251 Taco Bell, 188 tacos, 190 Tad’s, 17 Taino culture, 89–90 Taiwanese restaurants, 136 tamales, 7 Tanzania, 129–30 tapas, 20, 239–40 taquerías, 188 Tarahumaras, 251 tariffs, 192 tar sands, 181 Tastee Chinese Food, 52 tastes of consumers, 183–84 taxi drivers, 3–4, 216–17 tax policy, 149, 158, 178–80 teas, 49 technological progress and agricultural revolutions, 146 changing pace of, 13 and home cooking, 258–59 and hunger and malnutrition, 151–52 and kitchen appliances, 35 mechanization of food production, 96, 100–107, 143–44, 154, 203, 205–6 and Mexican food, 209 and modern food market, 154 telegraph, 144 television, 18, 33–37 Teochew food, 221 teosinte, 143 Texas and barbecue, 12, 88, 105–7, 109, 111, 259 and food trucks, 76 and immigration restrictions, 31 and liquor laws, 25–26 and Mexican food, 189, 190, 192, 195, 199, 203, 206 and oil, 181 and perceptions of American food, 19 Texas de Brazil, 111 Texas Monthly, 88 Tex-Mex food, 31, 188 Thai Food (Thompson), 118–19 Thailand and Thai food and agricultural revolutions, 146 described, 116–22 and ethnic supermarkets, 50 and influential cookbooks, 251 in London, 232 and low-rent areas, 75 and seafood, 59 Thai Street Food (Thompson), 119 Thai X-ing, 119–20 Thermomix, 255–56 Thompson, David, 118–19 Ticciati, Laura, 164 Ticciati, Robin, 164 Tijuana, Mexico, 195 Time Out, 237 Tim Hortons, 94 Tlaxcala, Mexico, 98 tofu, 217 Tokyo, Japan, 214–19 tomatoes, 90, 206, 208–10, 246 Tony Roma’s, 96 torta sandwich, 202 tortillas, 141–42, 201–6, 246 tort law, 197 tourism and foods of Istanbul, 241 and foods of London, 231 and French food, 226, 229, 231 and Italian food, 237 and rules for finding good food, 70, 73, 74 traffic patterns, 74 trains, 193 transportation.

Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content. ALWAYS LEARNING PEARSON It is a hard matter to save a city in which a fish sells for more than an ox. —Cato the Elder Contents 1 On the Eve of the Revolution 2 How American Food Got Bad 3 Revolutionizing the Supermarket Experience 4 The Rules for Finding a Good Place to Eat 5 Barbecue: The Greatest Slow Food of All 6 The Asian Elephant in the Room 7 Another Agricultural Revolution, Now 8 Eating Your Way to a Greener Planet 9 Why Does Mexican Food Taste Different in Mexico? 10 The Finding Great Food Anywhere Encyclopedia 11 The Stuff and Values of Cooking at Home Notes Acknowledgments Index 1 On the Eve of the Revolution American food is in crisis, and rarely has more disruption loomed before us. People are rebelling against current food-production methods involving long-distance shipping, fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms.

Rarely is it admitted, much less emphasized, that cheap, quick food—including its embodiment through our sometimes obnoxious agribusiness corporations—is the single most important advance in human history. It is the foundation of modern civilization and the reason why most of us are alive. Before there was an Industrial Revolution, which eventually brought the conveniences of modern life, there was an Agricultural Revolution, which created a large enough social surplus to make further economic development possible. It enabled us to pull people off the farm and employ them as scientists, engineers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. Earlier food worlds were no paradise. If we go back to the middle of the nineteenth century, American consumers were suspicious of the concepts of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and milk, unless it came from their farm or a neighbor’s.

 

pages: 606 words: 87,358

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, Columbian Exchange, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial robot, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, paper trading, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

The rising world population drove humans to inhabit every inhabitable corner of the planet by about 15,000 years ago. The Agricultural Revolution ended Phase One and opened the door to Phase Two. Phase Two: Agriculture and the First Bundling For scientific reasons that are still unclear, the climate warmed twenty millennia ago and stabilized about 12,000 years ago (Figure 4). Prehistoric population density was limited by food, and food was limited by climate, so this “good” climate change triggered a transformation of human society. This, in turn, transformed globalization. Population density rose in regions with long growing seasons and reliable water sources. With lots of people and lots of food clustered in proximity, humans gradually learned how to reverse the mobility balance. Food production was moved to people rather than people to food. This was the Agriculture Revolution (also called the Neolithic Revolution).

Production and consumption were spatially bundled since prehistoric transportation made it easier to move people to food rather than food to people. Little trade occurred. In Phase One, globalization meant a burgeoning human population traveling to exploit ever-more-distant production sites. Phase Two: Localizing the global economy (10,000 BCE to 1820 CE) In Phase Two, production and consumption were bundled as before, but with one absolutely critical difference. Thanks to the Agricultural Revolution, food production was brought to people rather than vice versa. The world economy was, in other words, “localized” in the sense that production and consumption occurred in fixed locations. Trade was still difficult and thus rare. This phase also saw the rise of cities and the ancient civilizations in today’s Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, China, India / Pakistan, and Greece Italy. While trade emerged among these production consumption clusters, globalization in the modern sense had not yet begun.

Globalization’s Phase One (humanization of the globe) was triggered when modern humans left Africa around 83,000 BCE following a millennia-long spike in the planet’s average temperature. Phase Two was triggered when the climate warmed and stabilized 12,000 years ago. With the climate warm and relatively stable, humans were able to master food production. Local food production could be expanded to match local population expansions. This change, known as the Agricultural Revolution, enabled the rise of civilization. Modern “global warming” is the upward tick at the far right. SOURCE: J. Jouzel et al., “Orbital and Millennial Antarctic Climate Variability over the Past 800,000 Years,” Science 317, no. 5839 (2007): 793–797; based on Arctic Dome C ice cores. The DNA and archaeological data suggest that about forty millennia ago, humans were continuously present in Africa, Asia, and Australia (Figure 5).

 

pages: 115 words: 10,972

Paleo Slow Cooker: 33 Quick Prep, Easy, Healthy and Delicious Smelling Paleo Slow Cooker Meals-Eat Well Even if You Are Tight on Time Through Paleo ... Slow Cooker Meals, Palo Diet) (Volume 6) by Tiffany Scott

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agricultural Revolution

Eating like a caveman means eating only foods that can be hunted and gathered. This eliminates grains, dairy products, processed foods, and a host of other food items that were introduced during or after the agricultural revolution from one’s diet. The idea is that the human body has not adapted to the newer grain-based diet we are used to. The large amount of processed foods people consume on a daily basis has also contributed to the health and weight problems plaguing a big number of the world’s population today. These foods contain a lot of chemical additives and sugar which, like grains, dairy, and other post-agricultural revolution food items, are not easily processed by the body. The Paleo Lifestyle Many traditional nutritionists dismiss the paleo diet as a fad diet that won’t last; however, as time passes, more and more people are going paleo.

With this recipe book, you will be able to vary your slow cooker recipes and create your own nutritious and tasty Paleo cuisine. Thanks again for downloading this book; I hope you definitely enjoy it! Chapter 1: Paleo or Paleolithic diet—a basic guide The Paleolithic diet is a way of eating from 10,000 years ago in the Paleolithic era, also known as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet & hunter gathered diet. The Paleo diet consists of foods that were eaten before the agricultural revolution and wheat based diet. These diets consist of meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables and nuts. All foods in their natural form, not processed and wheat free are included. Studies are showing that human bodies are better adapted to this way of eating. The term Paleo diet refers to the healthiest nutritional approach towards meal and eating food that keeps your genetics stay lean, potent and dynamic.

 

pages: 614 words: 176,458

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, scientific mainstream, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce

Tudge, C (2003), So Shall We Reap, Penguin Allen Lane. 7 Ernle (1912), op cit. 8 It has been argued that in some situations phosphorus was the limiting factor, a matter dealt with shortly, see Newman op cit. 13. 9 Allen, R (2008), ‘The Nitrogen Hypothesis and the English Agricultural Revolution: A Biological Analysis’, The Journal of Economic History, Vol 68, No 1, 2008. Allen says 1 to 3 per cent, but for convenience here I call it 2 per cent. 10 Allen (2008), ibid. See also Chorley, G P H (1981), ‘The Agricultural Revolution in Northern Europe, 1750-1880: Nitrogen, Legumes and Crop Productivity’, Economic History Review, Vol 34 pt 1 pp 71-93; and Clark, G, ‘The Economics of Exhaustion: The Postan Thesis and the Agricultural Revolution’, Journal of Economic History, Vol 52 Pt 1, 1992. 11 Marx, K (1894), Das Kapital, Volume 3, ‘The Transformation of Profit into Ground Rent’. 12 Cited in Girardet, H (2000), Cities, People, Planet, Liverpool Schumacher lectures, April 2000.

By championing the virtues of muck, generations of farmers, without realising what they were doing, improved the condition of English farmland by applying green manures. This is a point of view that lends considerable historical support to the case for stockfree agriculture. Allen is suggesting that the agricultural revolution, insofar as it was dependent upon nitrogen fixation, could have been carried out just as successfully, in the long run, by using legumes as a green manure rather than as animal feed. In the light of recent research into stockfree organic rotations entirely reliant upon green manures, it looks as though this could be correct. The Geography of Muck Unfortunately no sooner had one problem been solved by the so called agricultural revolution, than another was caused by the industrial revolution. As land was progressively enclosed for ‘improvement’ by capitalist farmers like Coke (even though many of the improvements just described took place some 200 years earlier on open fields) peasants were squeezed out of their communities and impelled into towns, in a process similar to one now taking place on a far larger scale in developing countries.

A more tempered approach will be to increase research and experimentation into organic agriculture in both the north and in the south, in the hope that the third world, in contrast to Europe, will undergo its biological ‘agricultural revolution’ after having undergone its chemical ‘green revolution’, since it failed to do so before. The world is waiting for an organic answer to Justus von Liebig, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch. 1 The Ecologist (1976), ‘Must an Ecological Society be a Vegetarian One’, The Ecologist, Vol 6:10, Dceember 1976. 2 Ernle, Lord (1912), English Farming Past and Present, Longmans. 3 Ibid. 4 USDA (1998), ‘Record US Wheat Yields, Large Stocks Pressure Prices’, Agricultural Outlook, Economic Research Service, USDA, August 1998, http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/agoutlook/aug1998/ao253b.pdf 5 Postan, M (1975), The Medieval Economy and Society, Pelican, p 65. 6 Beckett, J V (1990), The Agricultural Revolution, Blackwell. A similar phenomenon may have taken place in the early years of the 20th century in the United States, when corn harvests reliant upon the inherited fertility of virgin grasslands began to decline – the Oklahoma dustbowl being the most graphic example.

 

pages: 734 words: 244,010

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins

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agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, complexity theory, delayed gratification, Drosophila, Haight Ashbury, invention of writing, Louis Pasteur, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steven Pinker, the High Line, urban sprawl

But first, while our time machine is still in bottom gear, travelling on the timescale of human history rather than evolutionary history, a pair of tales about two major cultural advances. The Farmer's Tale is the story of the Agricultural Revolution, arguably the human innovation that has had the greatest repercussions for the rest of the world's organisms. And the Cro-Magnon's Tale is about the 'Great Leap Forward', that flowering of the human mind which, in a special sense, provided a new medium for the evolutionary process itself. The Farmer's Tale The Agricultural Revolution began at the wane of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, in the so-called Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and the Euphrates. This is the cradle of human civilisation whose irreplaceable relics in the Baghdad Museum were vandalised in 2003, under the indifferent eyes of American invaders whose priorities led them to protect the Ministry of Oil instead.

Far from being in balance with nature, pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers were probably responsible for widespread extinctions of many large animals around the globe. Just prior to the Agricultural Revolution, the colonisation of remote areas by hunter-gatherer peoples is suspiciously often followed in the archaeological record by the wiping out of many large (and presumably palatable) birds and mammals. We tend to regard 'urban' as the antithesis of 'agricultural' but, in the longer perspective that this book must adopt, city dwellers should be lumped in with farmers as opposed to hunter-gatherers. Almost all the food of a town comes from owned and cultivated land -- in ancient times from fields round about the town, in modern times from anywhere in the world, transported and sold on through middlemen before being consumed. The Agricultural Revolution soon led to specialisation. Potters, weavers and smiths traded their skills for food which others grew.

Potters, weavers and smiths traded their skills for food which others grew. Before the Agricultural Revolution, food was not cultivated on owned land but captured or gathered on unowned commons. Pastoralism, the herding of animals on common land, may have been an intermediate stage. Whether it was a change for better or worse, the Agricultural Revolution was presumably not a sudden event. Husbandry was not the overnight brainwave of a genius, the neolithic equivalent of Turnip Townsend. To begin with, hunters of wild animals in open and unowned country might have guarded hunting territories against rival hunters, or guarded the herds themselves while following them about. From there it was a natural progression to herding them; then feeding them, and finally corralling and housing them. I dare say none of these changes would have seemed revolutionary when they happened.

 

pages: 353 words: 91,211

The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, British Empire, conceptual framework, deglobalization, dematerialisation, desegregation, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, interchangeable parts, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, V2 rocket

From 1935 collective-farm households could operate a small plot to produce their own food, and could sell the surpluses. These family plots of approximately one acre would be very important indeed in meat, egg, vegetable and fruit production, right up to the present day. The agricultural revolution in the long boom The phrase ‘green revolution’ is applied to the introduction of new varieties, irrigation and fertiliser to agriculture in the poor world in the 1960s. Partly because agriculture is associated with poverty and the past, and because of the focus on novelty, the even more significant agricultural revolution in the rich world was missed. In the rich world agriculture in the long boom saw much greater rates of labour productivity change than industry or services, and at much greater rates than before.39 In high land-productivity Britain, yields doubled in the post-war years from a very high base.

Brazilian aircraft carrier Minas Gerais (Tom Pietrasik) Index Figures in italics refer to captions; those in bold to Tables. 2,4-D herbicide 162–3 17 of October (ship) 94, 124 A A-bomb see atomic bomb abattoirs 173 abortificients 23 abortion 23 Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq 156 academic science, and invention 185–7 acid rain 121 acupuncture 49 Acyclovir 163 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) 21 AEG 193 aeronautical research 186 aeroplanes ix, xiv, 1, 3, 6, 28, 159, 191 appearance as a new technology 31 civil aircraft 117 and civilianised warfare 139 downplaying of military origins 142 hypersonic 38 killing by 146 and nationalism 116 powered aeroplane innovated in the USA 111 primarily a weapon of war 116, 158 R&D 197 supersonic 38 see also aviation; flight Afghanistan 145, 153 Africa death rate per car 27 guerrilla rebellions 152–3 malaria 27 sub-Saharan income per head 207 African National Congress 122 AGA range 57 Agency for International Development (AID) 157 agent orange 163 Agfa 130, 193 Agfacolor 130 agricultural revolution 64–6 agriculture family farms in the USA and USSR 62–4 horsepower xiii, 33–4 output 53 productivity 65, 74 shift to industry 52 Agrigento, Sicily 78 AIDS 25, 27, 49, 164, 207 Air France 21–2 air transport, cheap 115 air-conditioning 170 aircraft see aeroplanes aircraft industry 116, 158 airships 38, 50, 199 Al-Khahira (Cairo) jet trainer 125 Alang Beach, Gujarat, India 208 Albania 118, 131–2 Aliano, Basilicata, Italy 122–3 alkali 190 Allen & Hanbury 196 Almirante Latorre (battleship) 92 alternating current (AC) electrical systems 8–9, 176 alternatives assumption that there are no alternatives 6–7, 8 comparable alternatives 7–8 using a thing marginally better than alternatives 8 American Civil War 146 American Monarch (ship) 167 Amgen 202 AMO factory, Moscow 126 amodiaquine 26 analytical labs 192 animals husbandry 66 hybrids 190 killing 161, 164, 172, 173–6 anti-aircraft guns 14, 15 anti-malarials 164, 199 anti-missile systems 155–6 anti-virals 163 antibiotics 163, 190 antifungal treatments 164 apartheid 122 Apocalypse Now (film) 152 Arab oil embargo (1973) 122 Arab–Israeli wars 146–7 architecture ‘post-modern’ viii vernacular 41 Argentina builds a jet fighter 124–5 meat exports to Britain 172 national industrial development 118 the picana eléctrica 157 Argentina (liner) 124 Armament and History (Fuller) 141 Armenians 178–9 Armour meat packers 171, 172 Armstrong, Neil viii artillery fire 143, 144, 190 asbestos 42, 43, 211 asbestos-cement 42, 43 Asia: rice production 64–5 astronauts viii AT&T 193, 195 Atebrin (mepacrine) 25 atomic bomb xiv, 15–19, 21, 114–15, 117, 123, 138, 139, 158, 159, 185, 198, 199 atomic power 3, 6 Auschwitz–Birkenau extermination camp, Poland 121, 165, 180–81, 182 Australia maintenance and repair 80 meat trade 172 national industrial development 118 autarky 115, 116, 117–19 Autochrome process 193 autogiro 103 automation 2, 3, 85 Aventis 196 aviation 1, 19, 143 choices in aircraft construction 10 civil 6, 116 and empires 132 engine types 10 maintenance 87–91, 89 power of 141 supersonic stratospheric 3 see also aeroplanes; flight Axis Powers 18 AZT 164 B B-29 bombers 13, 15, 16, 123 B-52 bombers viii, ix, 95, 152, 155 ballistic missiles 154 Bangkok, Thailand long-tailed boats 47 Science Museum 28 Bangladesh motorised country-boats 48, 61 rice production 65 shipbreaking 208 barbed wire 146 Barham, HMS 93–4 BASF 119, 120, 121, 193 battleships x, xiv, 92–4, 93, 97, 141, 142, 143, 148–9, 154 Bayer 193, 194 Bayh–Dole Act (1980) 187 Beechams 196 Beef Trust 171 Belgrano (ARA General Belgrano) 94 Bell Labs 195, 196 Bell telephone 132 Belzec extermination camp, Poland 179 Bergius, Friedrich 120 Berlin–Baghdad railway xi bicycles x, 4, 45, 50–51, 58, 61 bidonvilles 41 Billingham plant, Stockton-on-Tees 119, 121 biological warfare 149 biotechnology 1, 185, 188, 192, 196, 202–3 Biro, Ladislao José 103 biro pen 103 birth control 23 Bishop, Billy 114 Bloodhound anti-aircraft missile ix Blue Star Line 172 boats fishing 49 long-tailed 47–8 motor torpedo 68 motorised country-boats 48–9, 61 bomber aircraft viii, ix, x, xiv, 9, 13, 13–16, 18, 95, 97, 123, 143, 147, 148, 150, 152, 155 Bomber Command 14 bombing atomic 15–19 conventional 12–15 ‘dumb’ bombs 155 ‘smart’ bombs 155 targets 12–13, 14, 15, 16 Borges, Jorge Luis 94 boundaries 117, 131, 132 branding 71 Braun, Werner von 18 Brazil (film) 75 Brezhnev, Leonid 102 Bristol Jupiter engine 88 Britain agricultural yields 64 autarchy 118 aviation 104, 111 car production 69 coal consumption ix cotton industry 36–7, 105, 190 economic growth 206 executions 176 horsepower in First World War 35 maintenance and repair 80 meat imports 172 output per head 109 privatisation of railways 87 R&D 109 railway workshops 98 steam power ix, 105 television 131 truck production 69 two-way movements between Britain/France and Britain/India 111–12 British Airways 21–2 British Electrical Development Association 56 British Empire 135 Brunnental, Soviet Union 62–3 Bumper V-2 rocket 2 Burmese army 145 Burney, Commander Sir Charles Dennistoun 167 buses ix, 96, 98, 191 C cable TV x, 49 Calcutta: rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws 45–6 Cambodia 182 Camden Market, London 33 camels 35 caravans 28, 30 cameras, replica 50 Canada: maintenance statistics 79 cap, the 24 Cape Canaveral, Florida 2 capitalism 76, 128 carbon monoxide 121, 179–80 Carrier, Dr Willis H. 170 Carrier Corporation 170 carrier pigeons 43 Carson, Rachel: Silent Spring 163 carving 28 CASA company 125 cavalry units 35 CDs 7 cement ix, 45 ceremonial occasions: use of reserve technologies 11 Césaire, Aimé 133 CFC gases 211 Chamoiseau, Patrick: Texaco 42–3 Cheliabinsk, Soviet Union 126 Chelmno extermination camp, Poland 179 chemical warfare 164 chemicals 1, 105, 188, 191, 192 chemistry 2, 130, 185, 186 organic 185 synthetic 4, 185 Chicago meatpackers 129–30, 171–5 chickens 66, 163, 164, 174–5 China agriculture 73 and Albania 131–2 atomic weapons as ‘paper tigers’ 19 autarchy 118 bicycle production 45 collective farming abolished 73 control of the internet 137 cotton textiles 65 Cultural Revolution 45, 72 economic growth 109, 112, 207 economy 73 executions 177 export of containers 74 foreign enterprise 137 ‘four big belongings’ 58–9 Great Leap Forward 44–5, 73 a hydraulic society 76 imitation of foreign technologies 112 industrialisation 73 links with Soviet Union (1949–60) 131 low-tech exports 137 Maoists 152 nationalism 137 old small scale technologies 72–3 pig production 66 produces Soviet technology 44 promotion of small-scale rural industries 72–3 rural industries 73 second Sino–Japanese War 140, 179 steel production 73 ‘technological dualism’ 44 Chinese Communist party 73 Chinese First Automotive Works 126 chlorinated organic compounds 161–2 chloroquine 26, 164 cholera 25 Ciba 196 Ciba-Geigy 26 Cierva, Juan de la 103 cinema ix, 203 cities of the poor world 39–40 clinical trials 11–12, 201 clothes: trade in old clothes 81 coal consumption ix hydrogenation of 120, 121–2, 186, 199 Cold War 123 ‘cold-chains’ 170 collectivisation 63, 64, 127 colonialism 39, 134 Common Market 119, 175 communications technologies xiv, 2 Communist movement 60 Companhia Energética de Sao Paulo 99 computer-numerically-controlled machine tool 158–9 computerisation 2 computers ix–x, 1, 158 analogue 7, 9 cheap PCs 71 digital 3, 6, 7, 9 initial cost as a percentage of lifetime cost 78 Concorde 21–2, 38, 96–7 condoms 1, 22–3, 24, 25, 49, 190 Congo War, second 146 contraception vii, x, 1, 22–5, 49, 190 cooking ranges 57 copper 73 corn, hybrid 64 corporate research laboratories 192 corrugated iron 41–3, 50–51, 78 cost-benefit analysis 11–12, 21, 142 cotton industry ix, 36–7, 65, 105, 136 Cotton Industry Act (1959) 38 credit agreements xv creole technologies xii, 39, 43–5, 46–7 creolisation of technology 85 Cuba 36, 207 Cudahy meat packers 171 cultural lag viii, 141, 212 Cultural Revolution 45, 72 cultural significance, measurement of 1 cycle-rickshaws 46–7, 48–9, 191 D Daktarin 164 Dalén, Nils Gustav 57 Datong Locomotive Works, China 50 DC-3 airliner 88, 197 DC-4 aircraft 197, 198 DC-6 aircraft 88 DC-8 jet 88, 197 DDT 26–7, 38, 162–3, 162 De Niro, Robert 75 de-globalisation 212 dependence 39 depression 37 Derwent jet engine 123 design 71 Detroit automation 86 Deutsches Museum, Munich 104 development labs 192 Dewoitine, Emile 125 diaphragm 24 diesel engine 3 differential analysers 7 diffusion vii Digital Signal Processing chip 195 direct current (DC) electrical systems 8, 9, 176 division of labour 72 Dnieper complex, Soviet Union 127 dockyards 91 domestic equipment 81 domestic production 56 ‘domestic science’ 56 domestic servants 56 domestic technologies xiv, 4, 56 domestic work, scientific organisation of 56 donkey carts 28, 30, 49 Dornier, Claude 125 douches 23 Dreadnought (battleship) 92 dreadnoughts 92, 148 Dufay process 130 Du Pont 20, 158, 193, 194–5 Durex 25 E East Germany: hydrogenation 121 Eastman Kodak 130, 193 economic growth 5, 52, 108, 109, 110, 206–7 economic history 3 economies of scale 71 ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) 38 Edison, Thomas 176 Edwards Air Force Base, California viii Egypt Ancient 76 aviation 126 Einsatzgruppen 179 ELAS resistance movement 60 electricity x, 1, 3, 6, 76–7, 185, 188, 190, 192 increased usage 5 electrification 2, 6, 32 electrocution/electric chair 165, 176, 177, 178 electronic communication: change in price 6–7 electronics 3, 99, 105, 191 Elizalde 31 Elliot, Gil: The Twentieth Century Book of the Dead 145–6 EMI 130, 131 empires 132, 134 employment in agriculture 53 in industry 53 service industries 53, 70 enclaves for European colonisers 134 engineering 19 masculinity of 101 mass production 67 engineers xiii, 100–102, 192–3 state 101 engines jet 10 petrol 10 Erikson, Gustaf 95 Europe car accidents 27 car production 69, 70 uptake of new technologies 32 European Union (EU) 200, 206 Eva Péron (liner) 124 F Fairchild Semiconductor 195, 203 Fairfree (factory stern trawler) 167 Falklands war 94 Far East growth rates 207 Faust, Mrs Mary 54 fertilisers 44, 45, 50, 64, 65, 67, 119–20 fertility control 23 feudalism 76 Fiat 69, 127 fibre-optic cables 7, 49 firing squads 176 First World War 31, 34, 34–5, 130 battleships x, 148, 149 casualty rates 146 chemical warfare 164 a chemist’s war 138 deaths 143 developments in artillery practice 143 H.

199–203 the most important 4 new inventive institutions 192–8 stage models of invention 188–91 time of maximum use 4–5 inventors: seen as ahead of their time vii, viii investment expenditure 79 Iran 153, 154 Iran–Iraq wars (1980s) 149, 153–4 Iraq, US-led invasion of (2003) 153 IRI (Industrial Reconstruction Institute) 118 iron 2, 19, 44 corrugated 41–3, 50–51, 78 galvanised 41 ironer 38 irrigation 64, 65, 76 Italy aviation 104–5 car ownership 69 economic growth 112 imitation of foreign technologies 112 output per head 109 R&D 109, 110 under fascism 118, 122 IUD 25 J Japan agricultural productivity 65 bicycle industry 98 bombing of in Second World War 15, 16 car industry 136, 194 consumer electronics 105, 136 cotton industry 37, 136 economic growth 108, 109, 110, 112, 206 electrical firms 194 energy use levels 209 imitation of foreign technologies 112, 136 industrialisation 73 inventiveness 200 R&D 108, 110, 136 repair workshops 99 second Sino–Japanese War 140, 179 sewing machine production 58 war production 15 whaling 166 Japanese Navy 92–3, 136 jet engines 88–9, 103 jet fighters 123–5, 135 Jews, and the Holocaust 146, 179, 181 Jiefang (Liberation) trucks 126 Johnson and Johnson 196 Jones, Frederick 170 Jutland, battle of 148 K Kamprad, Ingvar xii KC-135 air-refuelling tanker 95 Kenya: road accidents 27 Kharkov tractor factory 126 Khrushchev, Nikita 128 killing 160–83, 212 executions and other killings 176–8 innovation in killing 160–65 killing animals in the long boom and after 173–6 slaughterhouses 168–73, 171 technologies of genocide 178–83 whaling and fishing 165–8 Kirov plant, Soviet Union 126 Kitty Hawk, North Carolina viii Klystron microwave generator 186 Kodachrome 130 Kokura Arsenal, Japan 16 Koolhaas, Rem 39 Korea 109, 123, 136, 200 Korean War 13, 151, 152 Korn, Arthur 193 Kuwait 155 Kyoto, Japan 16 L Lada car 127 lascars 135–6 lathe 4 Latin American dependency theorists 118–19 Latour, Bruno x Le Corbusier xii League of Nations 129 Leblanc process 190 leisure, technologies of 55 Lenin, Vladimir 128 Lenin Dam, Soviet Union 127 lethal injection 165, 176, 177, 178 Leuchter, Fred A. 181–2 Leuna, Germany 119, 120 Leverkusen, Germany 194 Libertad (liner) 124 Liebig, Justus von 171 Liebig Extract of Meat Company 171, 171, 172 Lindberg, Charles, Jr 104 lobotomy 38 London Red Routemaster buses 96 Science Museum 29, 104, 139 London Underground trains 96 long boom 52, 53, 74, 110, 163 agricultural revolution 64–6 cars 68–70 Eastern European economies 69 spectacular growth in 206 lorries 98 Los Alamos, New Mexico 16, 123 Lubitsch, Ernst 101 Lucent Technologies 195 Luftwaffe 122 Lumière brothers 193 lynchings 178 M MacArthur, General 26 Magnitogorsk steel works, Soviet Union 127, 208–9 Magnox reactors 21 mail order catalogue xiv maintenance 75–102 of ancient ruins 78 aviation 87–91, 89 the battleships and bombers 91–7, 93 downtime 86 engineers and the maintenance of society 100–102 from maintenance to manufacture and innovation 97–9 how important are maintenance and repair?

 

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Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income per capita, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, V2 rocket, very high income, working poor, World Values Survey

The North American colonies did indeed contain many ingenious inventors willing to get their hands dirty. Even the slave areas were not inventive deserts by any means: look at Jefferson’s ingenuity, and the improvement of cotton varieties. But the leaders of industrialization, from the 1760s, were northwest England and lowland Scotland. These were lands of grindingly necessary thrift. Yields of agriculture were still low—the real “agricultural revolution” came finally in the nineteenth century with guano, selective breeding, steel plows, cheap water transport, reaping machines, commodity exchanges, and clay-pipe drainage, not as used to be thought in the eighteenth. In short, the homeland of the Industrial Revolution was not a place of excess savings waiting to be redirected to factories. The point is that there is no aggregate increase in thrifty savings to explain the modern world.

Marx claimed that enclosure enriched the investing classes and drove workers into the hands of industrialists. Most educated people believe the tale as gospel truth, and are quite sure that a lot of industrial 156 investment came from the profits from enclosures, and that the workforce for industrialization was “pushed off the land.” Sellar and Yeatman capture the bits we can remember: “there was an Agricultural Revolution which was caused by the invention of turnips and the discovery that Trespassers could be Prosecuted. This was a Good Thing, too, because previously the Land has all been rather common, and it was called the Enclosure movement and was the origin of Keeping off the Grass, . . . [culminating] in the vast Royal Enclosure at Ascot.”7 But by now several generations of agricultural historians have argued (contrary to the Fabian theme first articulated in 1911, following Marx) that eighteenth-century enclosures were in many ways equitable and did not drive people out of the villages.8True, Parliament became in the eighteenth century an executive committee of the landed classes, and made the overturning of the old forms of agriculture easier than it had been under earlier and royal supervision.

The domestic story is like blaming the current administration in Washington for the price of oil — which is determined by the world’s supply and demand, not by the White House. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries one can tell a domestic story of agricultural improvement in England — the application, say, of Belgian and Dutch farming methods (though recent work has shown that they were not applied enough to constitute then an “Agricultural Revolution”).22 But you can’t reasonably tell a domestic story of the price of the wheat or cattle or much else except hay, because the markets of Europe set the prices of wheat and cattle. (Hay down to the present is a local product, because it is of course heavy relative to its per volume price, and therefore was cheaper in, say, 1914 in the United States than in England, with consequences for local transportation23 ).

 

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Britain Etc by Mark Easton

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, credit crunch, financial independence, garden city movement, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, social software

In March 1669, the diarist Samuel Pepys reflected the caution with which foreign fruit and veg were met in Britain, when presented with a glass of fresh orange juice. ‘I was doubtful whether it might not do me hurt,’ he wrote. Vegetables won an improved status in the rural economy when it was realised that including legumes like beans and peas in crop rotation dramatically improved soil fertility and yields. During the British agricultural revolution in the eighteenth century, the Whig Parliamentarian Lord Charles Townshend became convinced of the central role for the turnip in this new agricultural system, earning both the inevitable nickname Turnip Townshend and a reputation for boring the pants off anyone who engaged with him on the subject. The British have always tended to regard vegetables as objects of ridicule, particularly root crops.

Horne, Sleepfaring: A Journey through the Science of Sleep (Oxford University Press, 2006) 9. R. G. Foster and S. W. Lockley, Sleep: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011) INDEX Acheson, Dean, ref1 acid (drug), ref1 Act of Consecration (UK), ref1 Act of Union (1707), ref1 adolescence, concept of, ref1 Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, ref1 Age of Reason, ref1 agricultural revolution, ref1 AIDS, ref1 Ajax, ref1 alcohol and drinking, ref1 and antisocial behaviour, misconception concerning, ref1 Britain’s ‘intoxication culture’ concerning, ref1 and cultural differences, ref1 and expected behaviour, ref1 and fighting, ref1 and journalism, ref1 and links to social problems, ref1 and liver disease, ref1 and murder, ref1 northern European attitude to, ref1 and outdated licensing laws, ref1 pseudo-science about, ref1 and sexual assaults, ref1 southern European attitude to, ref1 UCLA study concerning, ref1 and UK courts, ref1 Washington State University experiment concerning, ref1 ale, real, ref1 Alfred, King, ref1 Alternative Regional Strategy, ref1 Aliens Act (1905), ref1 allotments, ref1, ref2 American Psychological Association (APA), ref1 Amis, Martin, ref1 anachronism, and Britishness, ref1 Anatomy of Swearing (Montagu), ref1 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ref1 [roman in text: OK?]

David, ref1 NVLA, ref1 obesity, ref1 obscenity, see bad language Observer, ref1 O’Donnell, Sir Gus, ref1, ref2 Ofcom, ref1 Oliver, Jamie, ref1, ref2, ref3 Olmstead, Frederick, ref1 On the Origin of Species (Darwin), ref1 One Tree Hill, ref1 open space, see public open space opium, ref1 in laudanum, ref1, ref2 Royal Commission on, ref1 Wars, ref1 see also drugs, recreational Orange Lodge, ref1 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 d’Ortous de Mairan, Jean-Jacques, ref1 Osbourne, Ozzie, ref1 Oswald, Ian, ref1 Oxford, murders in, ref1 Oz, ref1 Paddick, Brian, ref1 paedophobia, ref1 Paine, Thomas, ref1, ref2, ref3 Palmerston, Lord, ref1 Panorama, ref1 Pantazis, Christina, ref1, ref2 pantomime, ref1, ref2 Papago people, drinking culture among, ref1 parasol, see umbrella Parental Advisory Scheme, ref1 Parliament: Acts of, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12, ref13, ref14, ref15, ref16, ref17, ref18, ref19, ref20 and agricultural revolution, ref1 and coalition government, ref1 House of Commons, ref1, ref2 House of Lords, ref1, ref2 and Internet, ref1 kitsch fancy dress in, ref1 and obscenity, ref1 and public health, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 and social capital, ref1 State Opening of, ref1 televised, ref1 see also monarchy Partridge, Eric, ref1 paruresis, ref1 Pauper Pedigree Project, ref1 Paxton, Joseph, ref1 Payne, Sarah, ref1 Pearl Harbor, ref1 pedagogy, ref1 Peel Park, ref1 Peel, Sir Robert, ref1, ref2 penal code, ref1 Pennsylvania Railroad, ref1 Pentagon, ref1 People’s Palace, ref1 Peplau, Letitia Anne, ref1 Pepys, Samuel, ref1, ref2, ref3 Peru, ref1 Peter Pan (Barrie), ref1 philanthropy, ref1, ref2 Philips Park, ref1 Phillips, Pearson, ref1 The Philosophy of Sleep (Macnish), ref1 Pickles, Eric, ref1 Pitlochry, ref1 Plato, ref1 Plough Green, ref1 Plumstead Common, ref1 Poitiers, Battle of, ref1 Poland, ref1, ref2 police: affection for, ref1 beat constable, ref1 passim characteristic helmets of, ref1 on demonisation of young people, ref1, ref2, ref3 in Kansas, ref1 and neighbourhood policing, ref1 patrol cars adopted by, ref1 targets for, ref1 see also crime; Dixon, George; knife crime; Morse, Ch.

 

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Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

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agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, New Urbanism, Paul Graham, peak oil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, Y2K

Those dates happen to match major human diebacks from pandemics—Roman-era epidemics, the Black Death in Europe, and the devastation of North American native populations by European diseases. Each time, forests grew back rapidly over empty agricultural land and drew down carbon dioxide. If Ruddiman is right, climate has been a human artifact, a highly sensitive one, for a long time. “The end of nature,” to use Bill McKibben’s famous book title, didn’t begin two hundred years ago with the Industrial Revolution but ten thousand years ago with the agricultural revolution. Farm and pasture land now takes up over a third of the world’s ice-free land surface. Ruddiman notes that “farming is not nature, but rather the largest alteration of Earth’s surface from its natural state that humans have yet achieved.” Furthermore, “A good case can be made that people in the Iron Age and even the late Stone Age had a much greater per-capita impact on the earth’s landscape than the average modern-day person

While working in Borneo in the 1960s, he became one of the pioneers of “integrated pest management.” From 1998 to 2004, he was president of the Rockefeller Foundation, and during that time he wrote an important book, The Doubly Green Revolution (1999). It noted the shortcomings of the original green revolution (excessive water use, excessive advantage to rich farmers, neglect of soil maintenance) and proposed how to remedy them. Conway expects the doubly green agricultural revolution to expand opportunities for the poorest farmers and to emphasize conserving natural resources and the environment while using GE to increase yield yet further. “Our capacity to build ecology into the seed,” he writes, “is largely a consequence of modern biotechnology.” The new “gene revolution” will be more adroit than the green revolution for two reasons but harder to implement for one reason, which he is trying to fix.

GE bananas are also being developed to provide a full daily allowance of vitamins A and E and iron for countries, like Uganda, that rely on bananas as their major food source. “Greenpeace will fight to keep GE bananas, cassava, and sorghum from poor countries’ fields, just as it will keep opposing golden rice, says Janet Cotter of Greenpeace’s Science Unit in London.” That quote was in an April 2008 issue of Science. • A journalist I know, Gregg Zachary, wrote in 2008 about a little-noticed agricultural revolution going on in Africa:Exports of vegetables, fruits, and flowers, largely from eastern and southern Africa, now exceed $2 billion a year, up from virtually zero a quarter-century ago. . . . “The driver of agriculture is primarily urbanization,” observes Steve Wiggins, a farm expert at London’s Overseas Development Institute. As more people leave the African countryside, there is more land for remaining farmers, and more paying customers in the city. . . .

 

pages: 574 words: 164,509

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

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agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey

Later developments, related to the Industrial Revolution, brought about a second, comparable step change in the rate of growth. Such changes in the rate of growth have important consequences. A few hundred thousand years ago, in early human (or hominid) prehistory, growth was so slow that it took on the order of one million years for human productive capacity to increase sufficiently to sustain an additional one million individuals living at subsistence level. By 5000 BC, following the Agricultural Revolution, the rate of growth had increased to the point where the same amount of growth took just two centuries. Today, following the Industrial Revolution, the world economy grows on average by that amount every ninety minutes.1 Even the present rate of growth will produce impressive results if maintained for a moderately long time. If the world economy continues to grow at the same pace as it has over the past fifty years, then the world will be some 4.8 times richer by 2050 and about 34 times richer by 2100 than it is today.2 Yet the prospect of continuing on a steady exponential growth path pales in comparison to what would happen if the world were to experience another step change in the rate of growth comparable in magnitude to those associated with the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.

If the world economy continues to grow at the same pace as it has over the past fifty years, then the world will be some 4.8 times richer by 2050 and about 34 times richer by 2100 than it is today.2 Yet the prospect of continuing on a steady exponential growth path pales in comparison to what would happen if the world were to experience another step change in the rate of growth comparable in magnitude to those associated with the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. The economist Robin Hanson estimates, based on historical economic and population data, a characteristic world economy doubling time for Pleistocene hunter–gatherer society of 224,000 years; for farming society, 909 years; and for industrial society, 6.3 years.3 (In Hanson’s model, the present epoch is a mixture of the farming and the industrial growth modes—the world economy as a whole is not yet growing at the 6.3-year doubling rate.)

The craft was practiced in China during the Tang Dynasty around AD 600 (and might have been in use as early as AD 200), but was mastered by Europeans only in the eighteenth century.7 Wheeled vehicles appeared in several sites across Europe and Mesopotamia around 3500 BC but reached the Americas only in post-Columbian times.8 On a grander scale, the human species took tens of thousands of years to spread across most of the globe, the Agricultural Revolution thousands of years, the Industrial Revolution only hundreds of years, and an Information Revolution could be said to have spread globally over the course of decades—though, of course, these transitions are not necessarily of equal profundity. (The Dance Dance Revolution video game spread from Japan to Europe and North America in just one year!) Technological competition has been quite extensively studied, particularly in the contexts of patent races and arms races.9 It is beyond the scope of our investigation to review this literature here.

 

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In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

Did they breed with us, or did they simply die off? These questions are still researched and debated. Whatever happened, by 40,000 years ago H. sapiens sapiens is alone on the world stage. The rate of change accelerates. Europe is ablaze with the colour of cave art between 30,000 and 12,000 years ago, although most of the continent remains frozen under the last Ice Age. Rapid global warming returns around 10,000 years ago, and the agricultural revolution takes place. We still live in that ‘long summer’ that began ten millennia ago, in the scientifically termed ‘Holocene period’. It took humans four million years to evolve the hand axe, another two million years to somewhat improve it. And then, within a mere 20,000 years, a geological blink of an eye, they created art, agriculture, the wheel, computers and spaceships. This unbounded creativity kicked in between 65,000 and 40,000 years ago in what scientists call ‘the Middle/Upper Palaeolithic transition’, sometimes referred to as ‘the big bang’ of the modern mind.

To understand the vital significance of totemic thinking for the survival of our forefathers and foremothers, let us revisit Ice Age Europe circa 17,000 years ago. The continent is at its coldest. Never before have humans lived in an environment harsher than the one that these ancient hunter-gatherers endure. This period is called ‘the Magdalenian’3 and lasts until around 10,000 years ago when the last Ice Age ends, and the agricultural revolution begins. Equipped with a general-purpose language and general intelligence, our species applies their evolved minds to surviving the long and ruthless winter of the Ice Age. They innovate. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of a major shift in hunting techniques from that period. Elaborate tactics, weapons, logistics and strategies are developed and employed. Fishing spears, hooks and nets become increasingly common.

Thinking through metaphor, feeling through narrative As we have seen, because of the way our storytelling brain has evolved it is impossible to think about anything without using metaphor and analogy. Both are linguistic tools for discovering, debating and pushing the boundaries of knowledge. They have served us very well since the Upper Palaeolithic. Thanks to them, we developed our technological civilisation. And we have considered how, as humankind progressed from the agricultural revolution to the Greco-Roman world, Renaissance, Enlightenment and the modern times, our metaphors for life and the mind have evolved and mutated. First came mud, then water or humours, then mechanics, the electric current or spark of life, followed by the telegraph and now the computer. For each of these metaphors, people have imagined automata, artificial artefacts set in motion by technologies that support the metaphors.

 

pages: 398 words: 100,679

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch by Lewis Dartnell

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, Dava Sobel, decarbonisation, Dmitri Mendeleev, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of movable type, invention of radio, invention of writing, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, nuclear winter, technology bubble, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route

You could, of course, always hunt for meat, but keeping livestock, and sacrificing some of your arable capacity to support them, actually contributes a critical function for keeping your fields productive. As we’ve seen, without chemical fertilizers farmland would deteriorate in fertility, but animal manure allows you to return nutrients to the soil. Furthermore, there is a particular class of crops that will naturally boost soil nitrogen levels for you, the incorporation of which was a crucial step in the agricultural revolution in the seventeenth century. In the immediate post-apocalyptic world, the husbandry of plants and of animals will once again become inseparable, mutually supporting endeavors. Throughout the Middle Ages, European farmers followed an agricultural convention of routinely leaving plots fallow—a woefully inefficient practice, as at any one time up to half of your fields would be growing no crops at all.

But rather than simply swapping back and forth between two—from clover to wheat, say—a far better option is a crop rotation with several stages, as it also breaks the cycle of diseases and pests. These are often very specific to the plant they can attack, and so annually shifting, and not growing the same crop on a plot for several years, means that you can exert natural control without pesticides. The Norfolk four-course rotation is the most successful of these historical systems and became widespread only in the eighteenth century, spearheading the British agricultural revolution. In the Norfolk system, succession of crops through each plot follows the order: legumes, wheat, root crops, barley. As we have seen, growing legumes is intended to build up the soil’s fertility for the rest of the cycle. Clover and alfalfa grow well in the British climate, but in other regions you might be better off with soy or peanuts. At the end of the season, if you’re not harvesting any part of the plant for human consumption, the entire crop can be grazed by livestock or simply plowed back into the ground as green manure.

* Even the familiar color of carrots is artificial: their roots are naturally white or purple, and the orange variety was created by seventeenth-century agriculturists in the Netherlands to honor William I, the Prince of Orange. * Even within Britain, the Norfolk four-course rotation is less effective on the heavy clay soils of the north and west, and so historically these regions focused on livestock pasturing and on manufacturing (and using their profits to buy grain from the south). * Using many of the advances discussed in this chapter, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries the British agricultural revolution achieved a substantially greater production of food while simultaneously becoming less labor-intensive, and the fact that a decreasing proportion of farmers and agricultural laborers was needed to feed everyone else enabled greater urbanization. By 1850, Britain had the lowest proportion of farmers of any country in the world, with only one person in five working the fields to feed the entire nation.

 

pages: 342 words: 88,736

The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis by Ruth Defries

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agricultural Revolution, Columbian Exchange, demographic transition, European colonialism, food miles, Francisco Pizarro, Haber-Bosch Process, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, planetary scale, premature optimization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade

He had turned his attention to farming on his estate, earning the name Turnip Townshend for his enthusiasm for the new Norfolk system. Yields of cereal crops soared in England, a combined result of nitrogen-enriching clover and manure, tools for deeper plowing, more livestock for manure and labor, and new seeds that increased edible portions of the harvest along with other agricultural improvements. The impact was so colossal that the period is termed the agricultural revolution. The result of the revolution was a surplus of food. Whether the surplus spurred England’s industrial revolution of the eighteenth century or the other way around is impossible to say. Whether the times truly ushered in an abrupt revolution or a slower evolution is also a debatable point. But there’s no doubt that surplus food was available to feed the growing cities and the human laborers who worked the machines of the textile mills and other factories.

Fawcett, E. Inoue, M. Inoue-Muruyama, J. Mitani, M. Muller, M. Robbins, G. Schubert, T. Stoinski, B. Viola, D. Watts, R. Wittig, R. Wrangham, K. Zuberbühler, S. Pääbo, and L. Vigilant. 2012. Generation times in wild chimpanzees and gorillas suggest earlier divergence times in great ape and human evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109:15716–15721. Larsen, C. 2006. The agricultural revolution as environmental catastrophe: Implications for health and lifestyle in the Holocene. Quaternary International 150:12–20. ———. 2009. Emergence and evolution of agriculture: The impact in human health and lifestyle. Pages 3–13 in W. Pond, B. Nichols, and D. Brown, eds., Adequate Food for All: Culture, Science, and Technology of Food in the 21st Century. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Lev-Yadun, S., A.

Popkin. 2009. Prospective study on nutrition transition in China. Nutrition Reviews 67 (Suppl. 1):S56–S61. Zimmerman, C. 1932. Ernst Engel’s law of expenditures for food. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 47:78–101. INDEX Africa failure of Green Revolution to reach, 182 introduced species, 150 locust plagues, 145 pest management, 152 wheat rust, 183 Age of Discovery, 94, 97 Agricultural revolution, 81 Agriculture birth of, 53, 56 Chinese, 75–78 corn, 60, 133–136, 148 four-course system, 80–81 genetically engineered crops, 168 greenhouse gases from, 196–197 pesticide use in, 154–155 rice, 176–178 slash-and-burn, 60, 65, 69–70 soybeans, 138–140 three-field system, 80 wheat, 136–138, 172–176 See also Farming and farmers Al-Haytham, Ibn, 72 Algal bloom, 118–120 Amaranth, 194 Amazon region, farming in, 59–60 Ambrosia beetles, farming by, 9 American crows, learning by, 40 Ammonia, 63–64, 108, 109 Animals domestication of, 52–53 transport to New World, 94–95, 97 use for power, 73, 74–75, 78–81, 97, 98, 123, 141 Antony Gibbs & Sons, 89, 90 Ants farming by, 9 fire, 155 insecticide use to control, 155 leaf-cutter, 149 Aping, 44 Arctic, 35–37 Arsenic, 151, 156, 169 Artificial breeding, 127–128 Asia, rice breeding in, 176–178 Asimov, Isaac, 65–66 Aswan dams, 72 Atmosphere greenhouse effect, 20–21 greenhouse gases in, 121–125, 196–197 of Mars, 21 nitrogen in, 62 solar wind as threat to, 21, 22 Aurora australis, 21 Aurora borealis, 21 Australia, locust plagues in, 146 Australopithecine, 48 Azotobacter, 63, 109 Aztec, 93 Bacillus thuringiensis, 168 Bacteria of early Earth, 30 nitrogen cycling and, 63–65 Balboa, Vasco Nuñez de, 94 Bangladesh, increase in overweight people in, 194 BASF, 109, 110 Beachell, Henry, 177 Beans in China, 75 New World origin of, 93 nitrogen and, 62–63, 75 soybeans, x, 138–140, 186, 193 Bennett, Merrill, 142–143, 144, 191, 192 Bergius, Friedrich, 109 Biofuels, 198 Biotechnology, criticisms of, 186–187 Birds guano from, 88–92 pesticide effects on, 160–162 protecting crops from, 151 Birth rates, 6 Black Death, 80 Blended inheritance, 129, 132 Blue-green algae, 63 Bolivia, 90, 91 Bone meal, 113 Bone Valley, Florida, 116 Bones, phosphorus from, 113–116 Borlaug, Norman on Africa, 182 on criticisms of Green Revolution, 182–183 in Mexico, 172–174 Nobel Peace Prize, 179, 181 on pest reappearance, 184 on pesticide use, 164, 169 on poverty, 181 view of biotechnology, 187 Bosch, Carl, 109 Boserup, Ester, 13–14 Bottlenose dolphin, 41, 42 Bowen, Samuel, 139 Boyd, Robert, 38, 45 Brain evolution of human, 42–43 intelligent, 40 Brandt, Hennig, 66 Brazil deforestation, ix–xi diet transformation in, 192 overweight people, 194 soybean production, x Breastfeeding, 57 Britain, guano trade, 90–91 Bt crops, 168, 186 Bubonic plague, 80 Buffalo bones, phosphorus from, 114 Calories burned to produce food, 122 Canals, 71 Capron, Horace, 138 Capuchin monkeys, 44 Carbon, cycling of, 23–24, 26–27, 125 Carbon dioxide global warming and, 27 as greenhouse gas, 121, 196, 202 nitrous oxide compared to, 121 in photosynthesis, 74 temperature effect on atmospheric, 27 from volcanoes, 24, 26, 27 weathering and, 26 Carnivore, 74 Carson, Rachel, 161–163, 169 Carter, Jimmy, 182 Cassava mealybug, 150, 167 Catton, William, Jr., 13 Chemical poisonings, 167–168 Children, number of, 6 Chile, 90, 91 Chimpanzee, 43–44, 45, 48 China agriculture in ancient, 75–78 diet transformation, 191–192 pest control in, 151 soybean domestication in, 139 Cholera, 77, 86 Chrysanthemum, 151, 152, 154, 158, 167, 169 Cities, growth of population in, 5 Civilization farming link to, 8 food as engine of, 7–10 overshoot and, 13–14 Clear Lake, California, 160–161 Climate agriculture’s impact on, 196–197 change from greenhouse gases, 125 fluctuations in, 43 shift from foraging to farming and, 55–56 Clover, 62–63, 75, 78, 80–82 Coal energy from, 81–82 industrial revolution and, 81–82 opening of energy bottleneck by, 123 steam engine tractors, 123 Coffee, as New World commodity, 96 Collar harnesses, 78 Colorado potato beetle, 158–159 Columbus, Christopher, 10, 93–94 Comets, 30 Communication by animals, 50 cumulative learning, 44–46 genetic inheritance, 39 language, 50–51 transition to cooked meals and, 49 Continents, 24–25 Continuously Habitable Zone, 20 Cooking, 49 Corals, phosphorus from, 116 Corn, 133–136 as biofuel, 198 Bt, 168, 186 farming in Amazon region, 60 fungal disease of, 148 high-fructose corn syrup, 193 origin of, 53–54, 93 Cortés, Hernando, 94 Cotton, Bt, 168, 186 Cows, greenhouse gases released in production of, 196 Crick, Francis, 186 Crookes, Sir William, 105–106, 107, 108, 136, 141 Crop rotation in China, 75–76 in Egypt, 78 in Europe, 80 Crops, genetically engineered, 168, 186 Crosby, Alfred, 94 Cross-fertilization, 130–131 Crows, tool use by, 48 Culsius, Carolus, 98 Culture cumulative learning and, 45–46 defined, 37, 45 evolution of, 38, 39 genes and, 46 role in human evolution, 37–38 Cumulative learning, 44–46, 49, 50 Dairy farming, 46 Dalrymple, Oliver, 123 Dams, 101, 124 Darwin, Charles hybrid vigor principle, 129 inbreeding, 128–129 natural selection and, 37–38, 127–128 On the Origin of Species, 128 Dawkins, Richard, 10 DDT.

 

pages: 350 words: 100,822

Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Donella H. Meadows, Jörgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows

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agricultural Revolution, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, financial independence, game design, income per capita, informal economy, means of production, new economy, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review

We need to turn off our computers, put away our data and scenarios, and reappear in chapter 8, where we will conclude with insights that have come as much from our hearts and our intuition as they have from our scientific analyses. CHAPTER 8 Tools for the Transition to Sustainability We must be careful not to succumb to despair, for there is still the odd glimmer of hope. -EDOUARD SAOUMA, 1993 Can we move nations and people in the direction of sustainability? Such a move would be a modification of society comparable in scale to only two other changes: the Agricultural Revolution of the late Neolithic and the Industrial Revolution of the past two centuries. Those revolutions were gradual, spontaneous, and largely unconscious. This one will have to be a fully conscious operation, guided by the best foresight that science can provide.... If we actually do it, the undertaking will be absolutely unique in humanity's stay on the Earth. -WILLIAM D. RUCKELSHAUS, 1989 r - 're have been writing about, talking about, and working toward sustainability for over three decades now We have had the privilege of knowing thousands of colleagues in every part of the world who work in their own ways, with their own talents, in their own societies toward a sustainable society.

The ideas of wealth, status, inheritance, trade, money, and power were born. Some people could live on excess food produced by others. They could become full-time toolmakers, musicians, scribes, priests, soldiers, athletes, or kings. Thus arose, for better or worse, guilds, orchestras, libraries, temples, armies, competitive games, dynasties, and cities. As its inheritors, we think of the agricultural revolution as a great step forward. At the time it was probably a mixed blessing. Many anthropologists think that agriculture was not a better way of life, but a necessary one to accommodate increasing populations. Settled farmers got more food from a hectare than hunter-gatherers did, but the food was of lower nutritional quality and less variety, and it required much more work to produce. Farmers became vulnerable in ways nomads never were to weather, disease, pests, invasion by outsiders, and oppression from their emerging ruling classes.

They must demand the right to produce, buy, and sell those commodities without outside regulation or interference.... As wants multiplied, as markets grew more and more far-flung, the bond between humans and the rest of nature was reduced to the barest instrumentalism.' That bare instrumentalism led to incredible productivity and a world that now supports, at varying levels of sufficiency, 6,000 million people more than 600 times the population existing before the agricultural revolution. Far-flung markets and swelling demands drive environmental exploitation from the poles to the tropics, from the mountaintops to the ocean depths. The success of the industrial revolution, like the previous successes of hunting-gathering and of agriculture, eventually created its own scarcity, not only of game, not only of land, not only of fuels and metals, but of the total carrying capacity of the global environment.

 

pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War

A powerful reason for maintaining the strict social order had unobtrusively disappeared, leaving behind a set of social prescriptions whose obsolescence would slowly be discovered. Nothing could have so dramatically distinguished England from the rest of Europe with its last general famine in 1819, not to mention the rest of the world, which still wrestles with failing food supplies. Despite the dislocations of the Agricultural Revolution, it improved everyone’s life chances. Inland trading in foods and other goods became denser. A single national market, the largest, free trading zone in Europe, took shape. This countrywide commercial network created another bulwark against famine because rarely did crop failures hit all regions at the same time. Now there were the connections—transportation, middlemen, and means of payment—to ship food anywhere there was a dearth.

The steady increase of food output also introduced a new measure of certainty in people’s lives. After a generation without famines, spenders and investors could shed the caution associated with fear and begin to take a few risks with their savings. There is no direct connection between more effective farming and the ingenious engineering of new machines that ushered in a new age in manufacturing. The Agricultural Revolution could not produce the inventions central to industrialization, but without its bounteous harvests, those inventions would have been confined to that small part of the economy not dedicated to growing food for the whole. Unlike the earlier quickening pace in commerce, the production of more food with less money and fewer workers released the vital resources of people and capital for a variety of other economic activities, some of them previously unimaginable.

Their experience was the harbinger of what awaited the entire European peasantry in the ensuing decades. Millions of these men and women would cross the Atlantic to establish a European beachhead in North and South America while their sisters and brothers became part of an emerging proletariat. Present-day famines remind us of the complex challenge of feeding a society. They also make us aware of how an agricultural revolution made capitalism possible. COMMENTARY ON MARKETS AND HUMAN NATURE THE EAST INDIA COMPANY began importing colorful calicoes and ginghams at the end of the seventeenth century. After spending lifetimes wearing heavy wools and linens, ordinary Englishmen and women reacted with enthusiasm to this opportunity to wear light, bright fabrics. Their response so surprised observers that some of them waxed eloquent on the benefit of material desires.

 

pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, market bubble, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

Turkeys and llamas, their only domesticable animals other than dogs, took centuries more. Australians had the most limited resources of all. Recent excavations show that they experimented with eel farming, and given another few thousand years may well have created domesticated lifestyles. Instead, European colonists overwhelmed them in the eighteenth century CE, importing wheat and sheep, descendants of the original agricultural revolution in the Hilly Flanks. So far as we can tell, people were indeed much the same everywhere. Global warming gave everyone new choices, among working less, working the same amount and eating more, or having more babies, even if that meant working harder. The new climate regime also gave them the option of living in larger groups and moving around less. Everywhere in the world, people who chose to stay put, breed more, and work harder squeezed out those who made different choices.

Back in Chapter 1 I described the historian Kenneth Pomeranz’s complaints about how comparative historians often skew analysis of why the West rules by sloppily comparing tiny England with enormous China and concluding that the West already led the East by 1750 CE. We must, he insisted, compare like-sized units. I spent Chapters 1 and 2 responding to this by defining West and East explicitly as the societies that have descended from the original Western and Eastern agricultural revolutions in the Hilly Flanks and the Yellow and Yangzi river valleys; now it is time to admit that that resolved only part of Pomeranz’s problem. In Chapter 2, I described the spectacular expansion of the Western and Eastern zones in the five thousand or so years after cultivation began and the differences in social development that often existed between core areas such as the Hilly Flanks or Yangzi Valley and peripheries such as northern Europe or Korea; so which parts of the East and West should we focus on when working out scores for the index of social development?

Perhaps the industrial revolution came first to the West not because of some extraordinary fluke, as Pomeranz concluded, but because East and West were both on track for such a revolution; and then something about the way the West reacted to the events of the fourteenth century gave it a slight but decisive lead in reaching the takeoff point in the eighteenth. It seems to me that Figures 3.3, 3.7, and 3.8 illuminate a real weakness in both long-term lock-in and short-term accident theories. A few of the theorists focus on the story’s beginning in the agricultural revolution, while the great majority look only at its very end, in the last five hundred years. Because they largely ignore the thousands of years in between, they rarely even try to account for all the spurts of growth, slowdowns, collapses, convergences, changes in leadership, or horizontal ceilings and vertical links that jump out at us when we can see the whole shape of history. That, putting it bluntly, means that neither approach can tell us why the West rules; and that being the case, neither can hope to answer the question lurking beyond that—what will happen next.

 

pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K

Now imagine a bowl of nuts that had the opposite character. The more pecans you took, the larger and more numerous they grew. Implausible, I admit. Yet that is precisely the character of the human experience since 100,000 years ago. Inexorably, the global nut bowl has yielded ever more pecans, however many get used. The pace of acceleration of returns lurched upwards around 10,000 years ago in the agricultural revolution. It then lurched upwards again in AD 1800 and the acceleration continued in the twentieth century. The most fundamental feature of the modern world since 1800 – more profound than flight, radio, nuclear weapons or websites, more momentous than science, health, or material well-being – has been the continuing discovery of ‘increasing returns’ so rapid that they outpaced even the population explosion.

Here is how Landes puts it: ‘For a long time, the most accepted view has been that propounded by Marx and repeated and embellished by generations of socialist and even non-socialist historians. This position explains the accomplishment of so enormous a social change – the creation of an industrial proletariat in the face of tenacious resistance – by postulating an act of forcible expropriation: the enclosures uprooted the cottager and small peasant and drove them into the mills. Recent empirical research has invalidated this hypothesis; the data indicate that the agricultural revolution associated with the enclosures increased the demand for farm labour, and that indeed those rural areas that saw the most enclosure saw the largest increase in resident population. From 1750 to 1830 Britain’s agricultural counties doubled their inhabitants. Whether objective evidence of this kind will suffice, however, to do away with what has become an article of faith is doubtful.’ Landes, D.S. 2003.

Even when, by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, science appeared to make mighty contributions to new industries, the philosophers still played second fiddle to the engineers. Lord Kelvin’s contributions to the physics of resistance and induction were driven more by practical problemsolving in the telegraph industry than esoteric rumination. And though it is true that the physics of James Clerk Maxwell produced an electrical revolution, the chemistry of Fritz Haber spawned an agricultural revolution, Leo Szilard’s idea of a chain reaction of neutrons led to nuclear weapons and the biology of Francis Crick fathered biotechnology, it is none the less also true that these sages needed legions of engineers to turn their insights into things that could change living standards. Tinkering Thomas Edison, with his team of forty engineers, was more important to electrification than thinking Maxwell; practical Carl Bosch mattered more than esoteric Haber; administrative Leslie Groves than dreamy Szilard; practical Fred Sanger than theoretical Crick.

 

pages: 436 words: 140,256

The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond

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agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Columbian Exchange, correlation coefficient, Drosophila, European colonialism, invention of gunpowder, invention of the wheel, invention of writing, phenotype, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, the scientific method, trade route, V2 rocket

Since no food is grown and little is stored, there is (according to this view) no respite from the time-consuming struggle that starts anew each day to find wild foods and avoid starving. Our escape from this misery was launched only after the end of the last Ice Age, when people began independently in different parts of the world to domesticate plants and animals (see Chapter Fourteen). The agricultural revolution gradually spread until today it is nearly universal and few tribes of hunter-gatherers survive. From the progressivist perspective on which I was brought up, the question 'Why did almost all our hunter-gatherer ancestors adopt agriculture? is silly. Of course they adopted it because agriculture is an efficient way to get more food for less work. Our planted crops yield far more tons per acre than do wild roots and berries.

For example, animal domestication arose partly from people keeping captive wild animals as pets, partly from wild animals learning to profit from the proximity of people (such as wolves following human hunters to catch crippled prey). Similarly, early stages of plant domestication included people harvesting wild plants and discarding seeds, which were thereby accidentally 'planted'. The inevitable result was unconscious selection of those plant and animal species and individuals most useful to humans. Eventually, conscious selection and care followed. Now let's return to the progressivist view of this agricultural revolution of ours. As I explained at the outset of this chapter, we are accustomed to assuming that the transition from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture brought us health, longevity, security, leisure, and great art. While the case for this view seems overwhelming, it is hard to prove. How do you actually show that lives of people 10,000 years ago got better when they abandoned hunting for farming?

Thus, the lives of at least the surviving modern hunter-gatherers are not 'nasty, brutish, and short', even though farmers have pushed them into the world's worst real-estate. Hunters of the past, who still occupied fertile lands, could hardly have been worse off than modern hunters. However, all those modern hunter societies have been affected by farming societies for thousands of years and do not tell us about the condition of hunters before the agricultural revolution. The progressivist view is really making a claim about the distant past: that the lives of people in each part of the world got better when they switched from hunting to farming. Archaeologists can date that switch by distinguishing remains of wild plants and animals from remains of domestic ones in prehistoric rubbish dumps. How can one deduce the health of the prehistoric rubbish makers, and thereby test directly for agriculture's supposed blessings?

 

pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

Everything that human beings might need or want, Hilton foresaw, would very soon be produced by machines—“solely by machines without any human intervention or labor.”53 The industrial revolution of the nineteenth century wasn’t big enough as a comparison, Hilton argued. The agricultural revolution was the better analogy. The ability to cultivate crops and livestock turned food gatherers and primitive hunters into food growers and organized communities. Cultivating plants and domesticating animals freed “some” of their energy to create civilization. Automating production would have a similar effect yet again: now “all of human energy” could be freed from the task of providing for survival. Instead of an agricultural revolution, humankind would now face a cybercultural revolution. Hilton, an exceptionally eloquent mathematician, was certainly the most potent cheerleader of that revolution. She tried to come to terms with the consequences of it in a book published in 1963: Logic, Computing Machines, and Automation.

., 109 Abene, Mark, 237 abstraction, 68, 69 “Achieving Electronic Privacy” (Chaum), 281–82 action, brain and, 63 adaptation, 55 Adelman, Leonard, 251–52, 254 Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution, 104–7, 110 Adobe Acrobat, exploitation of, 327–28 Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), 147 Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), 111, 148, 186 Advanced Technology Institute, 319 Aeronautical Research Committee (Britain), 19 aeronautics, 12 African Americans, 107 “After the Take-Over,” 101 Age of Cyberculture, The (book series), 103 Agile Eye, 204 agricultural revolution, 102–3 Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program, 128–29 air defense, xi–xii, 40, 56, 78–81; See also Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) Air Defense Command, 40, 79, 81 Air Defense Systems Engineering Committee (Valley Committee), 76 Air Force Office of Scientific Research, 143 Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 76, 144 AirLand Battle, 300–301 airpower, 4, 10, 300–301 Albe Archer exercise, 208 Aliens (film), 136 “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace” (Brautigan), v, 165–66, 170 Amazon.com, 244 American Association for the Advancement of Science, 71–72 American Civil Liberties Union, 244 American Mathematical Society, 29 Ames Research Center, 220 amputees, 141–42 Analyzer, The (hacker), 315 anarchy, 246–93 Andrews Air Force Base, 314–15 AN/FSQ-7 computer, 96 Anguilla, 287, 288 anonymity, 272 antiaircraft batteries, 22 Anti-Aircraft Command (Britain), 39 antiaircraft gunnery, 56 antiaircraft missiles, 78 “antiaircraft problem,” 12, 16–17 Apache helicopter, 305 Apple Computer, 184, 186–88, 215 Apple II computer, 211–12, 295 Applied Cryptography (Schneier), 276 Arbeit am Mythos (Blumenberg), xvi “Are Human Beings Necessary?”

 

pages: 372 words: 107,587

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, working poor

Both of these strategies have deep and ancient roots in human history.46 Division of labor increases economic efficiency by optimizing the use of people’s unique talents, proclivities, and skills. If all people had to grow or gather all of their own food and fuel, the effort might require most of their working hours. By leaving food production to skilled farmers, we enable others to spend their days weaving cloth, playing the oboe, or screening hand-carried luggage at airports.47 Prior to the agricultural revolution several millennia ago, division of labor was mostly along gender lines, and was otherwise part-time and informal; with farming and the settling of the first towns and cities, full-time division of labor appeared, along with social classes. Since the Industrial Revolution, the number of full-time occupations has soared. If economists often underestimate the contribution of energy to economic growth, it would be just as wrong to disregard the role of specialization.

Fire enabled us to stay warm in forbidding environments, cook our food (leading to profound changes not only in human culture but human physiology as well), and alter landscapes in our favor.24 The second was the development of language — likely a gradual process that began many tens of millennia ago, but an equally fateful one: it enabled humans to coordinate their actions over time and space, and it slowly altered the internal architecture of our brains. With language we told stories, and with those stories we wove religions, philosophies, and eventually scientific theories and computer programs. The third turning point was the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago. Seasonal surpluses of storable food enabled full-time division of labor (society became segmented into peasants, soldiers, accountants, merchants, and kings) as well as the emergence of cities and empires — which brought with them writing, mathematics, and money. The industrial revolution, only about two centuries old, liberated the energies of fossil fuels, which replaced muscle power in production and transportation, thereby dramatically increasing the speed and scale of those processes.

 

Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low-Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health--In Just Weeks! by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades

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agricultural Revolution, Chance favours the prepared mind, Louis Pasteur

This restricted-carbohydrate diet worked like a charm for Banting and, if sales were any in duration, many others. It has always intrigued us because it completely flies in the face of today’s low-fat paradigm. At about the same time we ran across Banting we began attending paleopathology conferences and studying anthropology, where we learned what paleopathologists and anthropologists have known for years: the agricultural revolution and the increased consumption of carbohydrates it brought along with it played havoc with the health of early man. Mary Dan’s extensive study of eating disorders and metabolic hormonal derangements combined with Mike’s interest in biochemistry rounded out the “preparation” of our minds. We looked at Banting’s success with carbohydrate restriction along with the paleopathological/anthropological data showing a decline in health accompanying an increase in carbohydrate intake and concluded that maybe the intake of large amounts of carbohydrates wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

The archaeological dietary data support this conclusion.” Dr. Cassidy is not alone in reporting this phenomenon. Many scientific papers have been written on this subject, and they present even the most passionate believer in the superiority of the high-carbohydrate diet with some food for thought. As Dr. Kathleen Gordon, like Dr. Cassidy an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution, writes in one such paper: “Not only was the agricultural ‘revolution’ not really so revolutionary at its inception, it has also come to represent something of a nutritional ‘devolution’ for much of mankind.” The Thrifty Gene: Store That Fat! The anthropological record provides plenty of evidence that the change to a high-carbohydrate diet caused a general decline in health of people designed to eat a high-protein, carbohydrate-restricted diet. Why?

 

pages: 297 words: 89,176

Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilization by Paul Kindstedt

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agricultural Revolution, New Urbanism, trade route

The Philistine Settlement as Mercantile Phenomenon? American Journal of Archaeology 104:513–530. Barham, E. 2003. Translating Terroir: The Global Challenge of French AOC Labeling. Journal of Rural Studies 19:127–138. Barker, G. 1981. Landscape and Society: Prehistoric Central Italy. Academic Press, London. —. 1985. Prehistoric Farming in Europe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. —. 2006. The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory: Why Did Foragers Become Farmers? Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Barker, G., and T. Rasmussen. 1998. The Etruscans. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK. Barker, G., A. Grant, P. Beavitt, N. Christie, J. Giorgi, P. Hoare, T. Leggio, and M. Migliavacca. 1991. Ancient and Modern Pastoralism in Central Italy: An Interdisciplinary Study in the Cicolano Mountains. Papers of the British School at Rome 59:15–88.

Archeological Sources for the History of Palestine: Between Large Forces: Palestine in the Hellenistic Period. The Biblical Archeologist 60(1):2–51. Berlin, I. 1998. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Bezeczky, Dr. 1996. Amphora Inscriptions—Legionary Supply? Britannia 27:329–336. Bidwell, P. W. 1921. The Agricultural Revolution in New England. The American Historical Review 26(4):683–702. Bidwell, P. W., and J. I. Falconer. 1941. History of Agriculture in the Northern United States, 1620–1860. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication No. 358. Peter Smith, New York. Bieber, M. 1957. A Bronze Statuette in Cincinnati and Its Place in the History of the Asklepios Types. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 101(1):70–92.

 

pages: 332 words: 104,587

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl Wudunn

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agricultural Revolution, correlation does not imply causation, demographic dividend, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, illegal immigration, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, paper trading, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, special economic zone, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce

“They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” Drayton is the founder of Ashoka, an organization that supports and trains social entrepreneurs around the world. They are called Ashoka Fellows, and there are now more than two thousand of them—many involved in women’s rights campaigns. Drayton’s brief history of the rise of social entrepreneurs goes like this: The agricultural revolution produced only a small surplus, so only a small elite could move into the towns to create culture and conscious history. This pattern persisted ever since: Only a few have held the monopoly on initiative because they alone have had the social tools. That is one reason that per capita income in the West remained flat from the fall of the Roman Empire until about 1700. By 1700, however, a new, more open architecture was beginning to develop in northern Europe: entrepreneurial/competitive business facilitated by more tolerant, open politics….

Likewise Scotland examined the Dutch and Swedish approaches, along with that of New South Wales in Australia, and preferred Sweden’s strategy: Scottish Parliament, Local Government and Transport Committee, “Evidence Received for Prostitution Tolerance Zones (Scotland) Bill Stage One,” February 4, 2004. CHAPTER THREE Learning to Speak Up 52 A retired high court judge, Bhau Vahane: Raekha Prasad, “Arrest Us All,” The Guardian, September 16, 2005. The New Abolitionists 55 “The agricultural revolution”: Bill Drayton, “Everyone a Changemaker: Social Entrepreneurship’s Ultimate Goal,” Innovations 1, no. 1 (Winter 2006): 80–96. CHAPTER FOUR Rule by Rape 61Women aged fifteen through forty-four: The calculation that more women die or are maimed from male violence than from the other causes comes from Marie Vlachova and Lea Biason, eds., Women in an Insecure World: Violence Against Women, Facts, Figures and Analysis (Geneva: Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, 2005), p. vii.

 

pages: 97 words: 28,524

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus

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agricultural Revolution, price anchoring, Skype, young professional

Pescatarians are basically vegetarians who eat fish. We also consume some dairy products, albeit significantly less than we used to. Paleo or Primal. Although neither of us subscribe to this diet (because we don’t eat meat), we have some friends who have had tremendous results from some form of a paleo or primal diet. The Paleo Diet mimics the types of foods most people on earth ate prior to the Agricultural Revolution (a mere 500 generations ago). These foods (fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood) are high in the beneficial nutrients that promote good health. The Paleo Diet is low in the foods and nutrients (refined sugars and grains, dairy, trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods) that frequently cause weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and numerous other health problems.

 

pages: 137 words: 36,231

Information: A Very Short Introduction by Luciano Floridi

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, bioinformatics, carbon footprint, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of writing, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, moral hazard, Nash equilibrium, phenotype, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, RFID, Turing machine

The length of time that the evolution of information life cycles has taken to bring about the information society should not be surprising. According to recent estimates, life on Earth will last for another billion years, until it will be destroyed by the increase in solar temperature. So imagine an historian writing in the near future, say in a million years. She may consider it normal, and perhaps even elegantly symmetrical, that it took roughly six millennia for the agricultural revolution to produce its full effect, from its beginning in the Neolithic (10th millennium BC), until the Bronze Age, and then another six millennia for the information revolution to bear its main fruit, from the Bronze Age until the end of the 2nd millennium AD. During this span of time, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) evolved from being mainly recording systems - writing and manuscript production - to being also communication systems, especially after Gutenberg and the invention of printing - to being also processing and producing systems, especially after Turing and the diffusion of computers.

 

pages: 537 words: 200,923

City: Urbanism and Its End by Douglas W. Rae

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agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, complexity theory, desegregation, edge city, ghettoisation, income per capita, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Saturday Night Live, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Works Progress Administration

ACCIDENTS OF URBAN CREATION Beginning in about 1840, a concatenation of four events and two nonevents began to emerge in the United States; they would constitute what I’ll call accidents of urban creation. All of these outcomes are wrapped within the evolution of American capitalism, with its sharply increasing capacity to create and to destroy, and to influence the course of government policy. These developments were: the rising dominance of steam-driven manufacturing, already noted; an agricultural revolution allowing the nation to support more and larger urban centers; the emergence, largely as a result of integrated railroad systems, of national markets accessible from central-city manufacturing plants; a critical timing gap between the maturation of that rail system (which centralized cities) and the coming automotive and truck transportation (which decentralized them); a sustained period of relatively open immigration allowing accelerated growth in the supply of urban labor; and a delayed and uneven spreading out and implementation of distance-compressing technologies such as alternating current (AC) electricity.

The national forces that lined up between about 1870 and the 1920s helped to shape the city that became home to Joe Perfetto’s store. During this time, two of these forces were important by their absence: motor vehicles with the highway system on which they relied, and a well-developed electrical grid spanning urban regions. The other forces were made important by their presence: the (temporary) dominance of steam-powered manufacturing, the agricultural revolution needed to sustain more and larger urban centers, the maturation of a well-integrated railroad system, and, finally, the willingness of government to permit a great wave of immigration during the same decades. There was nothing inevitable or even predictable about this temporary historical alignment: if God, or nature, should elect to run the same history a thousand times, there is no particularly good reason to expect that the same alignment would recur very often, or at all.

See brutalism; modernism; New Urbanism assembly-line production, 21–22, 224 athletic organizations, 144–45 Atlas Club, 154 automobiles assembly-line production of, 21–22, 221 growth in numbers, 437 impact of on city governance, 23–24 manufacture of, 223 –24 in New Haven, 223, 224–28, 296 and urban life, 14–15, 223 –30, 369 – 70 A&P stores, 236–43 Adler, Max, 81, 172, 187 African-Americans. See blacks agglomeration economies, 435 agricultural revolution, 11–13, 17 agriculture in the New Haven area, 48 – 50, 63 Albertus Magnus College, 248 Alexander, Bruce, 431 Alfano, Jenny, 250–51 Amalgamated Clothing Workers, 250–51 Ambler Realty, 261 American Automobile Association, 223, 458 American Federation of Teachers, 252 American Steel & Wire Company, 110, 111 Amorotti, Ben, 384 Andrew B. Hendryx Company, 109 Andrews, Norris, 306, 317 Angell, James Rowland, 247–48 annexation, 386 Ansonia, Conn., 64, 65 anti-Semitism, 153, 154, 268 Baldwin, Simeon, 172 Balsamo, Emidio, 77 Baltimore, Md., 72 banking, 93 –96 Baptist churches, 148 Barbieri, Arthur, 293, 294, 309, 310, 407, 419, 429, 431 503 I N D E X Campner, Samuel, 188, 189, 291 Candee Rubber Company, 109, 111, 156, 217, 220–21 capitalism and urban growth, 7–8, 9 –11, 215–16 and urban policy, 27–28 capitalist enterprise, 62–63 Caplan, Ruth Ginsberg, 73 Cappel, Andrew, 262 Carnegie, Andrew, 1, 10 Carpentieri, Constantino, 396 Carpentieri, Hope, 3, 396, 397 cars.

 

pages: 796 words: 242,660

This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, failed state, financial independence, glass ceiling, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, urban decay

Because the British lands were surrounded by water then it followed that development of the islands was likely to be later than that of, for example, eastern Continental Europe. That is a generalization, but not out of place in our story. This period is called Neolithic which can be translated from two Greek words neos (new) and lithos (stone) – thus Neolithic is New Stone Age. Because of what was going on in settled farming, it is sometimes called the Agricultural Age and is seen as a ‘culturally more dramatic threshold than our more recent Agricultural Revolution’.3 Yet, if we look at the New Stone Age or Agricultural Age in the British Isles, we would probably date it c.5,500 BC–c.2,500 BC. But the same age in the region where Europe meets Asia started not c.5,000 BC but c.10,000 BC. The three larger reasons for this late start were the distances from the origins of change in the Middle East; climate; and resettlement that came from two distinct directions.

When the migration started, it appears to have been mainly a pincer movement. One migration came along the southern European-Balkan corridors then up the western coast of Europe. The second claw in the migratory pincer was from the near neighbours of northwestern Europe. Agriculture followed by settled farmers (as opposed to herdsmen who would follow the grazing) is in evidence in East Anglia as early as 6,300 years ago. It took hundreds of years for the Agricultural Revolution to spread throughout the islands from the south, the east and the west as far north as the Orkneys.4 What is not so clear is the answer to the threefold question of the consequence of the introduction of the new society: Were the influences of the new cultures spread by the migrants from Continental Europe or by the indigenous population? Did the new farming produce a diet and a less vulnerable lifestyle that preserved the indigenous population?

James ref 1 Act of Reformation ref 1 Act of Uniformity ref 1 Act of Union (Ireland) ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Act of Union (Scotland) ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Acts of Supremacy ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Adams, Sam ref 1 Addington, Henry, Viscount Sidmouth ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6, ref 7 Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen ref 1 Adrian I, Pope ref 1 Adrian IV, Pope ref 1 Ælfthryth ref 1 Ælla, King ref 1 Ælle, King ref 1 Æthelbald, King ref 1 Æthelberht, King ref 1, ref 2 Æthelflaed ref 1 Æthelfrid ref 1 Æthelred of Mercia ref 1, ref 2 Æthelred of Wessex ref 1 Æthelred the Unready ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Æthelwald ref 1 Afghan Wars ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 passim, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6 Africa ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6 passim, ref 7, ref 8 Agincourt, Battle of ref 1, ref 2 Agricultural Revolution ref 1 Ailwin, Henry fitz ref 1 Aiscough, William ref 1 Aix-la-Chapelle, Treaty of ref 1 Albert, Prince ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6 Alexander I of Russia ref 1, ref 2 Alexander I of Scotland ref 1 Alexander II of Scotland ref 1, ref 2 Alexander III of Scotland ref 1 Alexander III, Pope ref 1 Alexandra of Denmark ref 1 Alfred the Great ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Alfred the Innocent ref 1, ref 2 Allenby, Gen.

 

pages: 1,773 words: 486,685

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker

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agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, friendly fire, Google Earth, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, Mercator projection, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Republic of Letters, South China Sea, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, University of East Anglia, World Values Survey

Some English historians have hailed these practical and theoretical efforts, which gathered momentum in the 1640s and 1650s, as an ‘agricultural revolution’.19 Chinese farmers also innovated at this time, notably by cultivating maize, peanuts and sweet potatoes: three crops recently imported from the Americas, which thrived in marginal soils, resisted both droughts and locusts, did not require transplanting like rice, and produced twice as much as other dry-land crops with far less labour input. According to a Gazetteer from Jiangxi province, ‘in general, maize is grown on the sunny side of the hills, sweet potatoes on the shady side’ while maize ‘provides half a year's food for the mountain dwellers’. Sucheta Mazumdar has hailed these improvements during the later seventeenth century as China's ‘second agricultural revolution’, one ‘predicated on the maximum utilization of all crops and the development of complementary patterns of crop selection’.

Rawski, ‘The Qing formation’, 217–18, notes the pawnshops; demographic data from Pomeranz, ‘Is there an East Asian development path?’, 325–6; acreage from Ho, Studies, 102 (but note the caveat on page 730 n. 4 to ch. 5 above). Other information from Huang, Peasant economy, 85–6; Pomeranz, The Great Divergence, 84; and Will, ‘Développement quantitatif’. 19. Hartlib, Samuel Hartlib his legacie. Kerridge, The agricultural revolution, first published in 1967, produced a barrage of examples of agrarian ‘improvement’ in England during the later seventeenth century. Mark Overton, An agricultural revolution, later dismissed this evidence and argued that little changed before 1750. The rival claims may be reconciled by noting that Kerridge drew most of his examples from East Anglia, where lighter soils facilitated innovation, whereas Overton concentrated on the Midlands, with heavier soils. For similar improvements in Japan, see ch. 16 above. 20.

The number who took advantage of these schemes ‘during the late seventeenth century and eighteenth centuries alone easily surpassed 10,000,000’. Thanks to these measures, the total cultivated land in the empire, which had fallen to 67 million acres in 1645, climbed back to 90 million acres in 1661 and to 100 million acres in 1685 – although since over 191 million acres of Chinese soil had been under cultivation in 1600, the heavy footprint of the Global Crisis remained perceptible well into the eighteenth century.18 A Second Agricultural Revolution A baby boom normally stimulates the agricultural sector, since every new mouth needs to be fed, encouraging farmers to invest in irrigation and drainage works, to improve the yield of traditional crops and to introduce new ones. In Mughal India the versatile peasants of the Ganges valley, who already cultivated almost 50 different crops in the early seventeenth century, added maize (as well as tobacco, the other New World ‘miracle crop’) to their repertory; while the farmers of west central Africa began to plant not only maize but also manioc (originally a Brazilian crop) as a safeguard against the failure of the millet and sorghum harvests during drought.

 

pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij

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agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

The Ming rulers ordered an end to the maritime expeditions, dictated the burning of all ocean-going vessels, and instructed the Nanjing shipyard, then by far the largest in the world, to build only barges that could navigate the Grand Canal with cargoes of rice, thus to alleviate the plight of the colder, drier north. Environment may not determine the capacities of humans, but environmental events can decisively influence the course of history. CRISIS IN EUROPE It is no exaggeration to say that the vicissitudes of Western Europe's Little Ice Age climate brought about what cultural geographers refer to as the second Agricultural Revolution. Farm implements were improved; field methods (planting, sowing, watering, weeding, harvesting) got better, transportation and storage of produce involved less waste and loss. New crops were tried (not always with good results); marketing in the growing urban areas became more efficient. All this was, literally, a matter of survival, because toward the end of the sixteenth century there were signs that the Little Ice Age had even worse in store.

See also specific countries, organizations and events and Afghanistan, 156-59, 176, 177 (see also primary entry for Afghanistan) bin Laden, 155-56, 157, 160, 161-62, 163, 177 of Chechens, 247-48 color-coded terror alerts, 174 INDEX terrorism (continued) defining terrorism, 151 and demarcation, 120 expansion of, 159-61 favorable environments for, 176-77 (see also states, failed or malfunctioning) funding of, 187-88 and globalization, 164 incidence of, ix (see also specific attacks) infiltration, 180 and insurgency, 188 and Iraq, 189-96 (see also primary entry for Iraq) and Islam, 48-50, 123, 124, 147, 148, 151-56, 161-73, 181-87 potential targets, 174-75, 176-81 religious extremism, 48-49, 50, 151-56, 161-67 responding to attacks, 175-76 suicide attacks, 152, 160, 170, 175-76, 189,248 and territorial imperative, 161-62 Triple Frontier, 179-81, 180 Thailand, 147, 177 Thatcher, Margaret, 151-52 Thira eruption, 76 Tiananmen Square, 131 Tianjin, China, 127, 139 Tiber Valley, 201 Tibet (Xizang, China) borders and boundaries, 119-20, 135 China's claims to, 108, 130, 135, 144 name, 37 Tibetan revolt (1959), 137 Tigris-Euphrates rivers, 98, 190, 193 time in geologic terms, 53, 58, 59 Toba eruption, 71-72, 82, 83, 279 Togo, 185 toilets, 93 topography, 28, 29, 30 Toure, Sekou, 267 trade Africa, 182, 258, 267, 271 China, 124, 136, 146-47, 149 Europe, 202 Japan, 146-47 South Korea, 146-47 United States, 14| Transcaucasia, 234, 236, 238, 243-48 transculturation, 144, 173 Transdniestria, Moldova, 3, 206 Trans-Siberian Railroad, 238, 239 Transylvania, Romania, 206 TreatyofNice (2000), 211 TreatyofRome (1957), 210 tree ring research (dendochronology), 78 Tribal Areas (Waziristan), Pakistan, 177 Trinidad and Tobago, 180 Triple Frontier, 179-81, 180 Truman, Harry, 209 tsunami of December 26, 2004, 12, 55, 279 Tunisia, 94 Turkestan, 133 Turkey borders and boundaries, 193 Dardanelles Strait, 116 ethnic groups, 228 and European Union, 225, 228-29, 253 immigration, 95, 168 and Iraq, 190 Islam in, 162, 164 and oil, 234 terrorists, 188 and U.S. invasion of Iraq, 189 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 37 Turkmenistan, 109, 176 Tuscany (region), 218 Tutsi population, 264, 269 Uganda, 185. 265-66, 268 Ukraine climate change, 72 and European Union, 218, 225-26, 228, 230 industrialization, 203 language, 199, 201 name changes, 37, 40 and Russia, 205, 231, 234, 237, 253, 254 terrorists, 188 unitary states, 110-11 United Arab Emirates, 277 United Flight 93, 174 United Kingdom borders and boundaries, 115, 119-20, 223 colonialism, 112, 125, 129, 136, 138, 142-43, 183,262,263,264,265 currency, 213 and European Community, 210 and European Free Trade Association, 210 and European Union, 217, 218 geographic education in, 13 and Gibraltar, 222, 224 government of, 110-11 and immigration, 168, 212 and Iraq, 189, 194 Islam in, 168, 169 and language, 201 Navy, 128 physical separation from Europe, 74 population, 95, 223 remote-sensing technology, 48 and separatist movements, 220-21 strength of, 128 terrorism, 177 United Nations and China, 125 Conferenceon Environment and Development inRiodeIaneiro(1992), 100 Convention on Law of the Sea, 115, 148, 252, 281 307 creation of Israel, 162 definition of terrorism, 151 on environmental issues, 100 on genocide, 183 on Iraq, 113, 114, 189,229 Israel's origins, 162 Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, 175 and Soviet Union, 113 and United States, 280 United States and Afghanistan, 3, 148, 159-60 and Africa, 255-56, 266, 274 African American population, 274 bases in Asia, 129 borders and boundaries, 108, 115, 120, 181, 280-81 challenges to supremacy, 123-24 and China, 47, 125-26, 129-30, 132-33, 133, 282 climate, 87 and continental drift, 57 and Cuba, 114 democracy, 148, 195, 276, 281 economy, ix education, 13, 14-15 elections, ix and Europe, 122, 214, 229, 280, 281 and European Union, 214, 229, 280 and Heartland Theory, 129 immigration, 106, 167-68, 181, 281 intelligence operations, 130 international relations, 45 and Iraq, 3, 21-22, 42, 167, 189-90, 193-94, 195 (see (j/so Gulf Wars) and Islam, 167 migration to Sunbelt, 85 military, 229-30 and NAFTA, 3, 109, 209, 280 national security, 277 oil imports, 271-72 and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 210 population, 93, 94, 95, 97, 101 race relations, 148 at Rio summit (1992), 100-101 as superpower, ix-x, 129, 229-30, 274-75, 280, 281-82 support of the mujahideen, 153-54 and Taiwan, 129, 130-31, 146, 279-80 and terrorism, 3, 150, 152, 156, 159, 160-61, 174, 178, 180, 1T5 unilateralism, 147, 194, 195, 229-30, 281 and United Nations, 280 United States Geological Survey (USGS), 28 United States Naval War College, 8 University of Baghdad, 44 University of California at Berkeley, 9 University of Miami, 17, 18 Upper Silesia, Poland, 206 Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), 112, 183, 185 Uralic languages, 201 Ural Mountains, 204, 238, 240 urban areas and urbanization. See also specific cities Afghanistan, 158-59 Africa, 265, 267 and Agricultural Revolution, 79 Chechnya, 246 China, 129, 134, 141 distance between, 10 and environmental issues, 100, 106 Europe, 202-3 and field of geography, 7, 10 growth rates, 96 interaction between cities, 10 and Little Ice Age, 78 and Muslim community, 171 and population, 96, 97-99 and terrorism, 26-27, 164, 176-77 Uruguay, 180 USS Cole, 156 U.S.S.R. See Soviet Union Usuli doctrine, 192 Uttaranchal, India, 3 Uyghurs in China, 144, 152 Uzbekistan, 109 Vakhan Corridor, 157 Van Gogh, Theo, 172 Van Loon, Hendrik Willem, 4-5 vegetation, 64 Venezuela, 146, 176, 180, 181 Vienna, Austria, 162 Vietnam borders and boundaries, 121 and China, 145 U.S. knowledge of, 13, 14, 17, 49, 50 U.S. presence in, 129 Vladivostok, Russia, 236, 242, 243 volcanoes Laki eruption, 80 Little Ice Age, 79 Pleistocene, 68 "Ring of Fire," 55, 56 Russia, 239 Tambora eruption, 81, 82, 279 Thira eruption, 76 Toba eruption, 71-72, 82, 83, 279 Volga River, 238 Wahhabism, 154-55, 159, 163, 164 Wales, England, 206, 220-21 water, 57-58, 93, 100, 279 Waziristan, Pakistan, 177 weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

 

pages: 852 words: 157,181

The Origins of the British by Stephen Oppenheimer

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agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Eratosthenes, phenotype, the scientific method, trade route

Immediately after the Younger Dryas, sea levels rose at a dramatic rate, which eventually slowed until another warm-up hit and produced the highest post-LGM temperatures, causing the final over-topping ‘flood’ of the Black Sea around 7,500 years ago.74 Now, let us see what our ancestors were doing in this post-glacial springtime, also known as the Mesolithic. 4 ULTIMATE HUNTERS AND GATHERERS: THE MESOLITHIC The cultural period following the Younger Dryas Event, the Mesolithic, saw the final and most sophisticated flourishing of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle in Europe. It was the golden age of coastal hunter-gatherers. The Mesolithic was a time of rapid innovation in stone tools and increasing use of microliths – very small, multipurpose stone tools which had already been in use in Africa and India for 20,000 years – and preceded the Neolithic agricultural revolution. Quite a bit is known about how Mesolithic hunter-gatherers lived, and one major feature in the evolution of their lifestyle in north-west Europe was a reduction in big game hunting and an increasing reliance on the beach and sea. In making this change, our Mesolithic ancestors resembled their African forebears, who were the first humans to see the great advantages of seafood,1 but the reason for the change in Europe was the encroachment of the forest, not the desert.

Large parts of the world, such as South-east Asia, still practise some form of labour-intensive agriculture, many elements of which would be familiar to their Neolithic ancestors, apart from the change to rather more effective metal implements such as iron ploughshares and iron hand-held rice-cropping knives. The Neolithic is therefore rightly seen as a culturally more dramatic threshold than our more recent Agricultural Revolution (immediately preceding the Industrial Revolution), although the size of its effect on population growth in Europe was controversially less than previously thought.1 The Agricultural Age, as the Neolithic is sometimes called, is certainly the most researched period of European prehistory. The Neolithic Revolution in the western part of Eurasia started at least 10,000 years ago, but did not impinge on Britain and Ireland until 6,500–5,500 years ago.2 Not only were the British Isles at the very end of the long trail of agricultural influence that began in the Near East, but they seem to have received their Neolithic inputs, agricultural and otherwise, via two completely different routes: north and south through and round Europe from the Balkans and the Near East.

 

pages: 376 words: 118,542

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, bank run, banking crisis, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, invisible hand, labour mobility, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, school vouchers, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

During most of the period of rapid agricultural expansion in the United States the government played a negligible role. Land was made available—but it was land that had been unproductive before. After the middle of the nineteenth century land-grant colleges were established, and they disseminated information and technology through governmentally financed extension services. Unquestionably, however, the main source of the agricultural revolution was private initiative operating in a free market open to all—the shame of slavery only excepted. And the most rapid growth came after slavery was abolished. The millions of immigrants from all over the world were free to work for themselves, as independent farmers or businessmen, or to work for others, at terms mutually agreed. They were free to experiment with new techniques—at their risk if the experiment failed, and to their profit if it succeeded.

Government started playing a major role in agriculture during and after the Great Depression of the 1930s. It acted primarily to restrict output in order to keep prices artificially high. The growth of agricultural productivity depended on the accompanying industrial revolution that freedom stimulated. Thence came the new machines that revolutionized agriculture. Conversely, the industrial revolution depended on the availability of the manpower released by the agricultural revolution. Industry and agriculture marched hand in hand. Smith and Jefferson alike had seen concentrated government power as a great danger to the ordinary man; they saw the protection of the citizen against the tyranny of government as the perpetual need. That was the aim of the Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) and the United States Bill of Rights (1791); the purpose of the separation of powers in the U.S.

 

pages: 374 words: 114,660

The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, Columbian Exchange, Downton Abbey, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, new economy, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trade route, very high income, War on Poverty

A six-foot-tall worker weighing 200 pounds would have survived about as well in the eighteenth century as a man on the moon without a spacesuit; on average there simply was not enough food to support a population of people of today’s physical dimensions. The small workers of the eighteenth century were effectively locked into a nutritional trap; they could not earn much because they were so physically weak, and they could not eat because, without work, they did not have the money to buy food. With the beginnings of the agricultural revolution, the trap began to fall apart. Per capita incomes began to grow and, perhaps for the first time in history, there was the possibility of steadily improving nutrition. Better nutrition enabled people to grow bigger and stronger, which further enabled productivity to increase, setting up a positive synergy between improvements in incomes and improvements in health, each feeding off the other.

See Massimo Livi-Bacci, 2001, A concise history of world population, third edition, Blackwell; James C. Riley, 2001, Rising life expectancy: A global history, Cambridge University Press; and Mark Harrison, 2004, Disease and the modern world, Polity Press. 2. The data are taken from the Human Mortality Database, http://www.mortality.org/. 3. The following account relies on Graeme Barker, 2006, The agricultural revolution in prehistory: Why did foragers become farmers? Oxford University Press, and Mark Nathan Cohen, 1991, Health and the rise of civilization, Yale University Press. See also Morris, Why the West rules. 4. David Erdal and Andrew Whiten, 1996, “Egalitarianism and Machiavellian intelligence in human evolution,” in Paul Mellars and Kathleen Gibson, eds., Modelling the early human mind, McDonald Institute Monographs, 139–50. 5.

 

pages: 285 words: 81,743

Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle by Dan Senor; Saul Singer

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, call centre, Celtic Tiger, cleantech, friendly fire, immigration reform, new economy, pez dispenser, post scarcity, profit motive, Silicon Valley, smart grid, social graph, Steve Ballmer, web application, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

And this is how he knew, well before official statistics were kept, how the economy was doing.” Sanbar also believes that this system could have worked only in a small, striving, and idealistic nation: there was no government transparency, but “all the politicians then . . . died poor. . . . They intervened in the market, and decided whatever they wanted, but at no point did anyone pocket even one cent.”6 The Kibbutz and the Agriculture Revolution At the center of the first great leap was a radical and emblematic societal innovation whose local and global influence has been wildly disproportionate to its size: the kibbutz. Today, at less than 2 percent of Israel’s population, kibbutzniks produce 12 percent of the nation’s exports. Historians have called the kibbutz “the world’s most successful commune movement.”7 Yet in 1944, four years before Israel’s founding, only sixteen thousand people lived on kibbutzim (kibbutz means “gathering” or “collective,” kibbutzim is the plural, and members are called kibbutzniks).

 

pages: 281 words: 79,958

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

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agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, X Prize

The only way that will happen is by producing more food per hectare—more crop, as agronomists like to say, per drop. That is not the direction in which the world has been moving. Grain production began to decline in the 1990s for the first time since World War II. Africa, the continent that needs the most help, is the place that is faltering most profoundly. Total production on farms there, according to the World Resources Institute, is nearly 20 percent less than it was in 1970. Without another agricultural revolution, that trend will surely accelerate. IF WE GENUINELY care about sharing our fate, and making food more readily available to everyone, there is only one question worth asking: how can we foment that next revolution? Certainly we need a better way to grow crops, one that sustains the earth but also makes the most efficient possible use of it. Breeding is the art of choosing beneficial traits and cultivating them over time.

 

pages: 258 words: 77,601

Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet by Ian Hanington

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, energy security, Exxon Valdez, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hydraulic fracturing, oil shale / tar sands, stem cell, sustainable-tourism, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban planning, urban sprawl

For most of our existence, we were nomadic hunter-gatherers, following useful plants and animals through the seasons. Our ecological footprint (the amount of land and water required to fulfill our needs) was slight because when you have to carry everything you own, you tend to lug only the bare necessities. People understood and were grateful for nature’s abundance and generosity. About ten thousand years ago, the agricultural revolution signalled a monumental shift in human existence. By deliberately planting and growing food, we could settle in one place and establish roots. Civilizations rose and fell relatively rapidly in evolutionary time, but until the past century, most people lived in rural communities and were involved in growing food. Farmers watch the seasons carefully. They understand the relationship between winter snow and summer moisture, and they know which plants and insects are beneficial and which are pests.

 

pages: 243 words: 66,908

Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, game design, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, means of production, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Review

Even a delicate and intricate pattern, such as the Koch snowflake shown here, can evolve from a simple set of organizing principles or decision rules. Here are some other examples of simple organizing rules that have led to self-organizing systems of great complexity: • All of life, from viruses to redwood trees, from amoebas to elephants, is based on the basic organizing rules encapsulated in the chemistry of DNA, RNA, and protein molecules. • The agricultural revolution and all that followed started with the simple, shocking ideas that people could stay settled in one place, own land, select and cultivate crops. • “God created the universe with the earth at its center, the land with the castle at its center, and humanity with the Church at its center”—the organizing principle for the elaborate social and physical structures of Europe in the Middle Ages

 

pages: 288 words: 76,343

The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--And How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity by Paul Collier

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, Doha Development Round, energy security, food miles, megacity, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, profit maximization, Scramble for Africa, stem cell, Stewart Brand

Although current research qualifies this conventional account, reducing the estimates of productivity gains to the 10–20 percent range, to ignore commercial agriculture as a force for rural development and enhanced food supply is surely ideological. Large organizations can internalize those effects that in smallholder agriculture are localized externalities, and thus not adequately absorbed. In the European agricultural revolution innovations indeed occurred on small farms as well as on large ones, and today many small farmers, especially those that are better off and better-educated, are keen to innovate. Nonetheless, agricultural innovation is highly sensitive to local conditions, especially in Africa, where soils are complex and variable. Innovators create benefits for the locality and, to the extent that these benefits are not fully captured by the innovators, improvement will be too slow.

 

pages: 262 words: 66,800

Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, Gini coefficient, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, open economy, Rosa Parks, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

The head, chest and stomach could not be operated on reliably. Injured limbs were amputated. There were no targeted drugs or transplants. Ageing meant losing one’s mobility and eyesight. In prehistoric times, the average hunter-gatherer is estimated to have had a life expectancy of around twenty to thirty years depending on local conditions.6 Despite an often more stable supply of food, the agricultural revolution did not improve this much, and according to some accounts reduced it, since larger, settled groups were more exposed to infectious disease and problems related to sanitation. In classical civilizations such as Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, life expectancy has been estimated at around eighteen to twenty-five years. In medieval Britain, estimates range from seventeen to thirty-five years.7 The early era of globalization resulted in terrible epidemics, since populations which had earlier been separated now exchanged contagious germs.

 

Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity by Bernard Lietaer, Jacqui Dunne

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, business process, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, complexity theory, conceptual framework, credit crunch, discounted cash flows, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, Marshall McLuhan, microcredit, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, Occupy movement, price stability, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban decay, War on Poverty, working poor

Against this emerging social and economic backdrop, part of the agenda of the Economic Hit Man that unfortunately worked so well in other parts of the world, taking advantage of developing countries to enslave them with indebtedness to international financial institutions, has come home to roost in what is referred to as the “developed world,” including the United States. Circumstances like these generate revolutions. The Agricultural Revolution. The Industrial Revolution. The American Revolution. We have entered such a time. Future historians, I believe, will define this as a Revolution in Consciousness. People around the world are waking up to the fact that a very few extremely wealthy individuals are enslaving the rest of us. The shackles take the form of the currencies and debt that are interwoven with global monetary systems.

 

pages: 797 words: 227,399

Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

By the time of the airstrikes over Afghanistan in 2001, the ratio had flipped; each plane was destroying 4.07 targets on average per flight. Connectivity is also expanding at an exponential rate, allowing new technologies to change human society quicker and quicker. For example, the wheel first appeared in Sumer around 8500 B.C. But it took roughly three thousand years for the wheel to be commonly used in animal-drawn carts and plows. So the agricultural revolution that made possible human cities, and what we now know as “civilization,” played out over several millennia. By the eighteenth century, communication and transportation had sped up to the point that it took only just under a century for the steam engine to become similarly widespread, launching the Industrial Age. Today, the spread of knowledge is nearly instantaneous. The Internet took roughly a decade to be widely adopted (and Internet traffic doubles every six months).

Biddle, Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), 30. 100 exponential “stretching” of the battlefield Michael E. O’Hanlon, Technological Change and the Future of Warfare (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2000), 121. 100 each plane was destroying 4.07 targets Edwards, “Swarming and the Future of Warfare,” 137. 100 the agricultural revolution Rodney Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (New York: Pantheon, 2002). 100 launching the Industrial Age Richard R. Nelson, Technology, Institutions, and Economic Growth (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 135. 100 The Internet took roughly a decade “Internet Usage Statistics—The Big Picture,” Internet World Stats, 2007 (cited May 30, 2007); available at http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm. 100 In less than a decade, over a billion people Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (New York: Scribner, 2003), 112. 101 the aggregate of technologic change Ray Kurweil in an interview with Kip P.

 

pages: 650 words: 203,191

After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 by John Darwin

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agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, deglobalization, deindustrialization, European colonialism, failed state, Francisco Pizarro, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, price mechanism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade

Far more than the ‘colonial’ West, the Islamic Near East was the intellectual legatee of the Ancient World and home to an intellectual culture that had all but collapsed in the ‘Dark Ages’ of the West. Nor was the wealth and urban tradition of the Near East an accident. Here, where the earliest riverine civilizations had grown up, economic life enjoyed a double stimulus. In the Nile–Euphrates corridor, and scattered across the Iranian uplands, were agricultural regions of exceptional productivity. An agricultural revolution had introduced new crops;37 hydraulic technique overcame the curse of aridity. An agrarian surplus sustained urban elites and their elaborate high culture. In the towns, an artisan class of legendary skill had sprung up to cater for these elites’ material demands. But the Near East was also the great commercial crossroads of the world: the land bridge between China, Europe, Africa and India, and the portage for the seaborne trade of the Indian Ocean.

The ‘Turko-Circassian’ elite (a mixture of the old Mamluk ruling class and Mehemet Ali’s Turkish and Albanian followers) would be made to pay for its privileged status in an overwhelmingly ‘Arab’ society by loyal support for its patron and protector. Both rulers understood that their chances depended upon a rapid increase in agrarian wealth. The omens were favourable. The demand for Egypt’s long-staple cotton in industrial Europe seemed almost insatiable, but to meet it required an agricultural revolution. The area of cultivable land grew by 60 per cent between 1813 and 1877.112 The delta marshlands below Cairo were drained and cleared. Perennial irrigation, supplied by a network of canals and barrages, replaced the reliance on the annual flood, and doubled production. By the mid-1860s foreign investment was growing, and foreign-owned banks sprang up to serve the new landed class. Alexandria boomed as the Mediterranean port city of the export economy.

 

pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

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agricultural Revolution, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

These compensatory ideologies are part of the hegemonic influence over subject peoples in an imperial situation. It happens in all class systems, meaning all cultures in recorded history, since the first agrarian and urban civilizations.” “They’ve all been class systems?” “There might have been classless societies before the Neolithic agricultural revolution, but the record makes our understanding of those cultures very speculative. All we can say for sure is that in the post–ice age agricultural revolution, which was one of those more general revolutions that took perhaps a thousand years, a division into classes was institutionalized as a state power apparatus. All over the world, and independent of others, there emerged a four-level division into priests, warriors, artisans, and farmers. Often they were all under the rule of what everyone agreed was a sacred monarch, a king that was also a god.

 

pages: 323 words: 89,795

Food and Fuel: Solutions for the Future by Andrew Heintzman, Evan Solomon, Eric Schlosser

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, deindustrialization, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, full employment, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, hydrogen economy, land reform, microcredit, Negawatt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Upton Sinclair

Almost one and a half billion small farmers in the developing world depend on saved seeds as their primary seed source; these are people whose average income barely creeps above two dollars a day, often not even above one. Imagine what it would mean if these farmers were suddenly required to pay distant corporations for every seed they planted. Imagine what it would mean for these farmers to relinquish centuries-old local agricultural practices for techniques and products developed and controlled by faraway corporations over which they have no say? We don’t need to imagine. We can look to another agricultural revolution and learn from history. Today’s “Gene Revolution,” after all, is in many ways a reprise of the 1960s Green Revolution, which used technological innovation to increase yields across the developing world. The key to the Green Revolution was the development of high-yield hybrid seeds, or what critics of the technology call “high-responding” because they require extensive application of inputs — including water, fertilizer, and pesticides.

 

pages: 398 words: 108,026

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, knowledge worker, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

That phrase represents the evolution of three generations of time management theory, and how to best do it is the focus of a wide variety of approaches and materials. Personal management has evolved in a pattern similar to many other areas of human endeavor. Major developmental thrusts, or "waves" as Alvin Toffler calls them, follow each other in succession, each adding a vital new dimension, For example, in social development, the agricultural revolution was followed by the industrial revolution, which was followed by the informational revolution. Each succeeding wave created a surge of social and personal progress. Likewise, in the area of time management, each generation builds on the one before it--each one moves us toward greater control of our lives. The first wave or generation could be characterized by notes and checklists, an effort to give some semblance of recognition and inclusiveness to the many demands placed on our time and energy.

 

pages: 417 words: 109,367

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, energy security, failed state, financial independence, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, women in the workforce, yield curve

One fundamental downside to this form of social organization is that innovation, both social and technological, is stifled because it threatens the monopolies through which elite patrons extract wealth. But why don’t extractive elites encourage economic growth? After all, economic growth would mean more wealth for them to loot. In their 2012 book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, MIT economist Daron Acemoğlu and Harvard economist James Robinson largely concur with the analysis of North and his colleagues. They too find that since the Neolithic agricultural revolution, most societies have been organized around “extractive” political and economic institutions that funnel resources from the mass of people to small but powerful elites. The economic and political institutions that produce economic growth are inevitable threats to the power of reigning elites. “The fear of creative destruction is the main reason why there was no sustained increase in living standards between the Neolithic and Industrial revolutions.

 

pages: 344 words: 93,858

The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, interest rate derivative, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional

He observed that food production in England rose at an arithmetic rate (1, 2, 3, 4, . . .) but population grew at a geometric rate (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, . . .). This mismatch, unless altered, would ensure that the country would be hungry and impoverished, and that only catastrophes like famine and disease could raise living standards (by shrinking the population).* Malthus’ dilemma was quite real, but he failed to appreciate the power of technology. He did not recognize that these very pressures would generate a human response in Europe—the agricultural revolution, which vastly expanded the production of food. (The continent also eased population pressures by exporting tens of millions of people to various colonies, mostly in the Americas.) So Malthus was wrong about Europe. His analysis, however, well described Asia and Africa. Strength Is Weakness And yet, how to make sense of those extraordinary Chinese voyages? Zheng He’s dazzling fleet is just one part of a larger picture of remarkable achievements in China and India—palaces, courts, cities—at the very time that the West was moving ahead of them.

 

The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer

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agricultural Revolution, banks create money, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, clean water, complexity theory, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, Golden Gate Park, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invention of writing, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, price stability, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, the market place, the payments system, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, working poor

Managing savings intelligently therefore boils down to allocating cash between the three classical major asset classes: real estate, bonds, and stocks. Over the past decade, another major asset class has appeared that is of particular interest to us: currencies. A few words about the changing role of each asset class over time puts this development into perspective. Real Estate From the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution until last century, real estate, particularly land, was the dominant form of savings available in the world. The wealth of individuals could usually be evaluated by the quality and the size of the real estate they had accumulated. This all changed with the Industrial Age when stocks and bonds in commercial enterprises became a favourite investment vehicle. Today, most people's real estate holdings are limited to their house, and typically even that is mortgaged.

 

pages: 1,197 words: 304,245

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Bannister, Saxe. Denis Papin: Notice sur sa vie et ses écrits. Blois: F Jahyer, 1847. Barber, William H. ‘The Genesis of Voltaire’s “Micromégas” ’. French Studies 11 (1957): 1–15. Barbette, Paul. The Chirurgical and Anatomical Works . . . Composed according to the Doctrine of the Circulation of the Blood, and Other New Inventions of the Moderns. London: J Darby, 1672. Barker, Graeme. The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory: Why Did Foragers become Farmers? Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Barker, Peter. ‘Copernicus and the Critics of Ptolemy’. Journal for the History of Astronomy 30 (1999): 343–58. ———. ‘Copernicus, the Orbs and the Equant’. Synthèse 83 (1990): 317–23. Barker, Peter and Bernard R Goldstein. ‘The Role of Comets in the Copernican Revolution’. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 19: 299–319 (1988).

Harrison, ‘Reassessing the Butterfield Thesis’ (2006), 7, argues that the concept of the Scientific Revolution is incoherent because there is no way of knowing when it began and when it ended. I disagree: the concept would be coherent even if the dates were uncertain (compare the ‘Industrial Revolution’), but actually the dates are fairly easy to specify. CHAPTER 1 1. Borges, The Total Library (2001), 465. 2. Barker, The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory (2006). 3. Stein, Everybody’s Autobiography (1937), 289. 4. Turgot’s A Philosophical Review of the Successive Advances of the Human Mind was written in 1750 but not published until the nineteenth century (Turgot, Turgot on Progress (1973)); Condorcet, Outlines of an Historical View of the Progress of the Human Mind (1795) – original French edition the same year; Bury, The Idea of Progress (1920). 5.

 

pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, new economy, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Paper too originated in China long before it was introduced in the West. So did paper money, wallpaper and toilet paper.11 It is often asserted that the English agricultural pioneer Jethro Tull discovered the seed drill in 1701. In fact it was invented in China 2,000 years before his time. The Rotherham plough which, with its curved iron mouldboard, was a key tool in the eighteenth-century English Agricultural Revolution, was another innovation anticipated by the Chinese.12 Wang Zhen’s 1313 Treatise on Agriculture was full of implements then unknown in the West.13 The Industrial Revolution was also prefigured in China. The first blast furnace for smelting iron ore was not built in Coalbrookdale in 1709 but in China before 200 BC. The oldest iron suspension bridge in the world is not British but Chinese; dating from as early as AD 65, remains of it can still be seen near Ching-tung in Yunnan province.14 Even as late as 1788 British iron-production levels were still lower than those achieved in China in 1078.

 

pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

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agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Horses and oxen were soon domesticated, which increased our energy to 1 horsepower. Now one person had the energy to harvest several acres of farmland, yielding enough surplus energy to support a rapidly expanding population. With the domestication of animals, humans no longer relied primarily on hunting animals for food, and the first stable villages and cities began to rise from the forests and plains. The excess wealth created by the agricultural revolution spawned new, ingenious ways to maintain and expand this wealth. Mathematics and writing were created to count this wealth, calendars were needed to keep track of when to plant and harvest, and scribes and accountants were needed to keep track of this surplus and tax it. This excess wealth eventually led to the rise of large armies, kingdoms, empires, slavery, and ancient civilizations. The next revolution took place about 300 years ago, with the coming of the Industrial Revolution.

 

pages: 366 words: 117,875

Arrival City by Doug Saunders

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agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, megacity, microcredit, new economy, pensions crisis, price mechanism, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, working-age population

Collins, 1974), 35–36. 8 Rudé, “The Social Composition of the Parisian Insurgents of 1789–91,” in Paris and London in the 18th Century, 104–109. 9 McNeill, Population and Politics since 1750, 11. 10 Rudé, “Society and Conflict in London and Paris in the Eighteenth Century,” 53–55. 11 S. L. Popkin, “The Rational Peasant: The Political Economy of Peasant Society,” Theory and Society 9 (1980); Patrick Svensson, “Peasants and Entrepreneurship in the Nineteenth-Century Agricultural Transformation of Sweden,” Social Science History 30, no. 3 (2006). 12 Jonathan David Chambers and G. E. Mingay, The Agricultural Revolution, 1750–1880 (London: B.T. Batsford, 1968), 104. 13 Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870–1914 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1976), 10. This is also very well documented in Graham Robb, The Discovery of France (London: Picador, 2007). 14 For claims of Britain’s superior living standards, see Tom Kemp, Economic Forces in French History (London: Dobson, 1971); Charles P.

 

pages: 482 words: 117,962

Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, Meera Balarajan

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, conceptual framework, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labour mobility, life extension, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Malacca Straits, microcredit, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open borders, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spice trade, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working-age population

No sooner had this massive expansion been completed than the first developments in agriculture and horticulture began to generate new energy for migrants to spread technological and social innovations across thousands of miles. As human communities followed separate trajectories of social and cultural evolution, they remained connected by the unceasing movement of people. CONNECTING HUMANITY The Agricultural Revolution Around the time that humans completed their great migration, the ice age also ended and the earth entered into the Holocene period. The Holocene was marked by radical changes in climate, retreating ice sheets, shifting vegetational zones, and rising sea levels.23 The environment became more unpredictable in many parts of the world. These pressures contributed to the emergence of the first sedentary communities in the Middle East, which adapted to environmental changes through more intensive exploitation of food sources, food storage, and more permanent settlement.24 While sedentism did not immediately produce recognizable agriculture, as Christian notes, it was “a vital, unplanned step toward agriculture.”25 From 15,000 to 10,000 years ago, people living in six regions of the world experimented with harvesting and fishing techniques.

 

pages: 421 words: 125,417

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

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agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Gini coefficient, Haber-Bosch Process, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, low skilled workers, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

As explained in 1968 by USAID administrator William Gaud: [T]he developing nations—their governments, their institutions, and their farmers—cannot sustain the Green Revolution without outside support. They lack the skills to do the necessary adaptive research. They lack the capital to build fertilizer plants. They lack the facilities and the technicians needed to train their people in the new ways. If this agricultural revolution is to succeed, it can only do so as the result of a working partnership between the advanced and the developing nations…. This is why fertilizer is rapidly becoming the largest single element in the A.I.D. program. This is why A.I.D. is backing a growing number of American companies in their efforts to put up fertilizer plants in countries which are seeking to expand their production of food.

 

pages: 522 words: 144,511

Sugar: A Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott

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agricultural Revolution, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, flex fuel, land tenure, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working poor

Louisiana, named for the Sun King, Louis XIV, was one of the thirteen states (or partial states) carved out of the vast territory included in the Louisiana Purchase. Under the French, Jesuits and colonists had made sporadic attempts to cultivate cane, but it was the planters and sugar experts fleeing the Haitian Revolution, and the collapse of Haiti’s sugar production, that transformed it into a sugar economy. In 1795, American-born Jean Étienne Boré sparked an agricultural revolution when he applied Haitian sugar maker Antoine Morin’s techniques for processing sugar to his crop and produced 100,000 pounds of sugar granules. This earned him $12,000 and the title “savior of Louisiana.” Until then, planters had had to be content with making molasses. By 1812, when Louisiana joined the United States as a slave state, it had seventy-five sugar mills, Anglo-Americans had begun their trek into this new and profitable way of life and Frenchmen and Haitians continued to arrive.

 

pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, Zipcar

Children overwhelmingly say: O’Brien, Catherine, “Sustainable Happiness: How Happiness Studies Can Contribute to a More Sustainable Future,” Canadian Psychology, 2008: 289–95. cyclists report: Harms, L., P. Jorritsma, and N. Kalfs, Beleving en beeldvorming van mobiliteit (The Hague: Kennisinstituut voor Mobiliteitsbeleid, 2007). To put our history: My comparison of human history to the walk across the length of Central Park is based on these figures: Appearance of Australopithecus: 4 million years Agricultural revolution: 10,000 years ago Sumerian and Egyptian cities of cut stone: 3,000 years Length of Central Park: about 2.5 miles Width of Fifty-ninth Street: much more than 11 yards Width of New York sidewalk at Fifty-ninth: more than 3 yards Depth of a stair: much more than 4 inches See Wright, Ronald, A Short History of Progress (Toronto: Anansi Press, 2004), 35–69; Stringer, Chris, and Robin McKie, African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humanity (New York: Henry Holt, 1997); Cordain, Gotshall, and Eaton, “Evolutionary Aspects,” 49–60; also drawn from interviews with Ronald Wright.

 

pages: 607 words: 133,452

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, cognitive bias, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, financial innovation, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jean Tirole, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, pirate software, placebo effect, price discrimination, profit maximization, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, the market place, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Y2K

Sali (2004), “Finding Cures for Tropical Diseases: Is Open Source an Answer?” PLoS Medicine 1 (3): e56. Maurer, S. M. and S. Scotchmer (1999) “Database Protection: Is It Broken and Should We Fix It?” Science 284, 1129–30. May, E. R. (2005), “When Government Writes History: The 9–11 Commission Report,” History News Network, available at http://hnn.us/articles/11972.html. McClelland, P. D. (1997), Sowing Modernity: America’s First Agricultural Revolution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. McKenzie, L. W. (1981), “The Classical Theorem on Existence of Competitive Equilibrium,” Econometrica 49, 819–41. Meyer-Thurow, G. (1982), “The Industrialization of Invention: A Case Study from the German Chemical Industry,” Isis 73 (3), 363–81. Morris, P. J. and A. S. Travis (1992), “A History of the International Dyestuff Industry,” American Dyestuff Reporter 81 (11), available at http://colorantshistory.org/ HistoryInternationalDyeIndustry.html.

 

pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discrete time, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

Recent research across a range of scientific fields has suggested that a variety of intelligent-seeming behaviors may simply be the physical manifestation of an underlying drive to maximize future freedom of action. For example, an intelligent robot holding a tool will realize that it has the option of leveraging that tool to alter its environment in new ways, thus allowing it to reach a larger set of potential futures than it could without one. Technology revolutions have always increased human freedom along some physical dimension. The Agricultural Revolution, with its domestication of crops, provided our hunter-gatherer ancestors with the freedom to spatially distribute their populations in new ways and with higher densities. The Industrial Revolution yielded new engines of motion, enabling humanity to access new levels of speed and strength. Now an Artificial Intelligence Revolution promises to yield machines able to compute all the remaining ways that our freedom of action can be increased within the boundaries of physical law.

 

pages: 467 words: 114,570

Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science by Jim Al-Khalili

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Book of Ingenious Devices, colonial rule, Commentariolus, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Henri Poincaré, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invention of the wheel, Islamic Golden Age, Joseph Schumpeter, retrograde motion, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, trade route, William of Occam

While far from the most important of Islamic astronomers, al-Bitrūji’s Principles of Astronomy (Kitab al-Hay’a) became very popular in Europe.3 Of course, the influence of Arabic scientists on the rest of the world, and Western Europe in the Middle Ages in particular, extended far beyond their achievements in the pure sciences. For example, I have not gone into detail about their contribution to what is described as the Islamic agricultural revolution and with it new methods of irrigation, or their creation of whole new chemical industries such as glassmaking and ceramics, or the sugar-refining industry. Their engineering feats in building dams, canals, waterwheels and pumps and their technological advances in clockmaking – all these advances in many ways changed the lives of millions of ordinary people directly and immediately. Rather than turn this into a dry and lengthy list, I shall mention in passing just one example of a gift from the Arabs that I for one am rather grateful for: coffee – especially as it was originally banned in Europe as a ‘Muslim drink’.

 

pages: 476 words: 120,892

Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology by Johnjoe McFadden, Jim Al-Khalili

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, bioinformatics, complexity theory, dematerialisation, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Ernest Rutherford, Gödel, Escher, Bach, invention of the printing press, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, New Journalism, phenotype, Schrödinger's Cat, traveling salesman, Zeno's paradox

Buchner went on to make the revolutionary proposal that the vital force was nothing more than a form of chemical catalysis. Catalysts are substances that accelerate ordinary chemical reactions and were already familiar to chemists in the nineteenth century. Indeed, many of the chemical processes that drove the industrial revolution depended crucially on catalysts. For example, sulphuric acid was an essential chemical that spurred both the industrial and agricultural revolutions, used in iron and steel manufacture, in the textile industry and for the manufacture of phosphate fertilizer. It is produced by a chemical reaction that starts off with sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxygen (the reactants), both of which react with water to form the product: sulphuric acid (H2SO4). However, the reaction is very slow and was therefore initially difficult to commercialize. But in 1831 Peregrine Phillips, a vinegar manufacturer from Bristol, England, discovered a way to speed it up by passing the sulphur dioxide and oxygen over hot platinum, which acted as a catalyst.

 

pages: 400 words: 129,320

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer, Jim Mason

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agricultural Revolution, air freight, clean water, collective bargaining, dumpster diving, food miles, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, means of production, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review

Tests carried out for The New York Times in March 2005 showed that six out of eight New York City stores, including gourmet haven Dean & DeLuca, were selling farmed salmon labeled-and priced-as the far more expensive wild salmon. The difference can be detected in the laboratory by the presence of an artificial coloring fed to farmed fish in order to turn their otherwise grayish flesh pink. The flesh of wild salmon is naturally pink because of the krill they eat.'4 Fish farming is the latest agricultural revolution and the fastest growing form of food production in the world. In 1970 it contributed only 3 percent of the world's seafood. Now about a third of the fish and other seafood we eat is farmed; the weight of farmed fish produced exceeds that of the global production of beef.15 Almost all of this is highly intensive production. In the fjords and coastal inlets along the coast of Norway, Britain, Iceland, Chile, China, Japan, Canada, the United States, and many other countries, cages or nets that may be more than 200 feet long and 40 feet deep have been lowered into the sea and secured to platforms from which workers feed the fish.

 

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

The Norwegian fish farming leader Marine Harvest, which produces one-third of the world’s farmed salmon, has expanded through mergers and acquisitions into twenty other countries as far as Chile to meet rising demand for fish. While global production and distribution networks are expanding, new technologies such as more efficient photosynthesis could massively boost local crop yields even in inhospitable climates. (The Gates Foundation recently announced that empowering African farmers to achieve food self-sufficiency would be its top priority until 2030.) Aquaponics represents another agricultural revolution: data centers for food. These high-tech greenhouses need neither natural light nor soil and only one-third the water of even organic farming, so they don’t have to be greenhouses at all. The California start-up Famgro uses LED light in stackable units that look like tarpaulin-covered computing servers and grow food 24/7. They simply insert the spinach, kale, lettuce, basil, alfalfa, or other seeds and program the software.

 

pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, oil shock, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Ferreira de Souza, “Poverty, Inequality and Social Policies in Brazil, 1995–2009,” working paper 87, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, February 2012, www.econstor.eu/dspace/bitstream/10419/71804/1/687787998.pdf. 9. For an analysis of the turnaround in sub-Saharan Africa, see Radelet, Emerging Africa. 10. “Ethiopian Textile Exports Reach $29 Mn in First Quarter,” Fibre2fashion.com, November 7, 2013, www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/ethiopia/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=155309. 11. “Blooming Desert: An Agricultural Revolution,” Economist, July 7, 2005, www.economist.com/node/4157659. 12. This paragraph is drawn from Radelet, Emerging Africa, and is based on a personal email interview with Masetumo Lebitsa (May 6, 2010), and “Maseru Tapestries and Mats,” AfricanCraft.com, last modified July 2006, www.africancrafts.com/artisan.php?sid=32937883115182448238975381169031&id=maseru&pg=intro. 13. De Souza, “Poverty, Inequality and Social Policies in Brazil, 1995–2009.” 14.

 

Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production by Vaclav Smil

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of gunpowder, Louis Pasteur, precision agriculture, recommendation engine, The Design of Experiments

H. 1969. Agricultural Development in China 1368–1968. Chicago: Aldine, p. 16. Chao, J. 1986. Man and Land in Chinese History: An Economic Analysis. Stanford: Stanford University Press, p. 89. 51. According to Chorley’s estimates, even as late as 1770 the recycled organic matter supplied no more than 1/3 of all nitrogen inputs in Northwest Europe’s farming; see Chorley, G. P. H. 1981. The agricultural revolution in Northern Europe, 1750–1880: Nitrogen, legumes, and crop productivity. Economic History 34:71–93. 52. Ibid., p. 85. 53. Campbell, M. S., and M. Overton. 1993. A new perspective on medieval and early modern agriculture: six centuries of Norfolk farming c. 1250–c. 1850. Past and Present 141:38– 105. 54. Chorley (51), p. 92. 55. Bennett, M. K. 1935. British wheat yield per acre for seven centuries.

 

pages: 1,327 words: 360,897

Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Graeber, feminist movement, garden city movement, hive mind, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Naomi Klein, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, the market place, union organizing, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

Zerzan makes no bones about it; he is quite simply Against Civilization (1999) and all that it stands for: its wars, hierarchy, division of labour, symbolic thought, machines, environmental destruction and mass psychology of misery. As the best form of human society so far, he looks back to the hunter-gatherers who lived lightly on the land and shared goods without a central authority and hierarchy. The ‘wrong turn’ for humanity was therefore the Agricultural Revolution, which was much more fundamental than the Industrial Revolution. Drawing on archaeology and anthropology, he further argues for the superior health and well-being of the hunter-gatherers: ‘life before domestication/agriculture was in fact largely one of leisure, intimacy with nature, sensual wisdom, sexual equality, and health.’38 The Great Settlement led to social hierarchy, the oppression of the many by the few, the subjugation of women and the exploitation and destruction of the planet.

http://www.earthfirstjournal.org/ Green Anarchy http://www.greenanarchy.org/ Information http://www.infoshop.org Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) http://www.iww.org/ Indymedia http://www.indymedia.org.uk/ Insurgent Desire http://www.insurgentdesire.org.uk/ Institute for Anarchist Studies http://www.anarchiststudies.org/ Institute for Social Ecology www.social-ecology.org/ International Workers’ Association (IWA) http://www.iwa-ait.org/ Kate Sharpley Library http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/ Peace Pledge Union http://www.ppu.org.uk/ Peoples’ Global Action http://www.agp.org/ Primitivism http://www.primitivism.com/ Research on Anarchism http://raforum.info/ Schnews http://www.schnews.org.uk/ Situationist International Text Library http://library.nothingness.org/ Social Anarchism http://www.socialanarchism.org/ Spunk Library http://www.spunk.org/ INDEX Abad de Santillan, Diego 457 Abbey, Edward 684 Ablett, Noah 491 Acharya, M. P. ‘I’. 529 Action Française 442 Acts of the Apostles 76, 95 Adam 41 Adamites 87 Adler, Alfred 46–7, 225 Adorno, Theodor 603, 612 L’Adunata dei Refrattari 501 affinity groups 617, 663, 672, 697 Afghanistan 670 Africa 686, 704 aggression 595–6 L’Agitazione 350 Agrarians 511 agricultural associations 298 Agricultural Revolution 685 agriculture: Kropotkin’s plan 330–1; Proudhonism 626 Aksakov, Konstantin 469 Alarm 499 Aldred, Guy 351, 491 Alexander II, Tsar: accession 274; assassination 370, 416, 470, 489; Kropotkin page to 310; Tolstoy letter 366 Alexander III, Tsar 370, 378–9 Alexander the Great 69 Algerian independence 584 La Alianza Obrera 514 All-Russian Congress of Anarchists 475 Al-Quramitta 86 Altgeld, John Peter 499 altruism 225–6, 321, 439, 642 Ambrose, St 76 America: Articles of Confederation 496; Civil War 388; Constitution (1776) 129, 136, 138, 388, 598; Indians 186, 187; individualists 384–95; libertarians 181–8, 496–7; politics 403: Proudhon’s influence 236; Revolution 135–6, 181, 195, 496, 604, 608, 637; Socialist Party 403; War of Independence 136, 181, 193, 496; see also United States American Federation of Labor 501 Amiens, Charter of 443 Amsterdam Congress (1907) 351, 444, 450 Anabaptists 78, 93–5, 661 anarcha-feminism 556–7, 672, 673, 701, see also feminist movement L’Anarchie, Journal de l’Ordre 434 anarchism: Chinese definition 520; communism relationship 297–8; early manifestations 3–4; fathers of 236, 262, 265; goal 3; Goldman’s definition 402; nature of 639–42, 695–6; resurgence 265, 558, 671, 695, 702–5; varieties 6–11, 672, 677–8 anarchist: definition xv; term of abuse 432, 487, 488 The Anarchist 490 anarchist communism: Hsin Shih-chi 520–1; Berkman 395; Kropotkin 327, 347, 520, 521, 627; Malatesta 342, 393, 627; militant 392, 393; Reclus 342, 344, 347, 437, 520; Tucker 391 Anarchist Communist Federation 495 Anarchist Communist Revolutionary Union (AKRU) 478 Anarchist Federation of Great Britain 492 Anarchist Syndicalist Union of Munich 415 anarcho-capitalism 559–65, 653; development 10, 502; economics 653; power of individual 46; Right-libertarianism xii-xiii, 502; see also Libertarian Party anarcho-communism see anarchist communism anarcho-primitivism 672, 675, 684–5, 687, 691 anarcho-syndicalism 8–10: Argentina 505–6; Britain 491, 495; Chomsky 578–9, 674, 691; collapse 659; Cuba 514–16; France 441–5, 652; Germany 481–3; Holland 484–5; Italy 450–1; Japan 524–5; Lenin’s attitude 334; Mexico 513–14; Nicaragua 509; origins 236, 280, 431, 441, 627; Peru 508; Read 590; Reclus’ position 343; Russia 28, 470, 478; Spain 9–10, 280, 420, 455–68, 652; strikes 413; United States 502; Uruguay 506–7; see also syndicalism Anarchy 492, 676 Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed 680 Anarchy in Nippon group 700 anarchy, definitions 3, 342, 349, 434 Ancona: Anarchist Union Congress 451; Malatesta’s activities 350, 352 Andalucia: anarchism 454, 663; collectives xi, 462, 511; communes 458 Anderson, Margaret 408 André, Armando 515 Andrews, Stephen Pearl 181, 387, 498 Angry Brigade 493, 558 animals: Bookchin’s attitude 618; Fourier’s views 150; Kropotkin’s study 310, 319; Paine’s view 135; Reclus’ view 342, 689; rights 689 anthropology 13, 169, 319, 437, 595, 607 Antigone 66 anti-capitalist movements 445, 468, 503, 518, 558 anti-globalization movements 445, 468, 503, 518, 558 Anti-Jacobins 198, 488 ‘Anti-Justice’ group 700 anti-nuclear campaigns 485, 492, 539, 568–9 Antisthenes 69 Apollinaire, Guillaume 143 Aquinas, St Thomas 76, 80 Arabi Pasha 347 Aragón: collectives xi, 462; strikes 459 Aragorn!

 

pages: 879 words: 233,093

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, new economy, New Urbanism, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, planetary scale, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, working poor, World Values Survey

Together, those inventions spawned a massive increase in agricultural yields in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries that would go unrivaled for another five hundred years. Agricultural yields in many regions rose by one-third and human productivity by half.2 The new farming practices not only increased yields but also the diversity of crops under cultivation—especially legumes—which provided a more balanced diet. Lynn White, Jr., says that the importance of the agricultural revolution of the late Middle Ages can’t be overemphasized. It was not merely the new quantity of food produced by improved agricultural methods, but the new type of food supply which goes far towards explaining, for northern Europe at least, the startling expansion of population, the growth and multiplication of cities, the rise in industrial production, the outreach of commerce, and the new exuberance of spirits which enlivened that age.3 The new agricultural innovations made up a vital part of the new energy regime.

 

pages: 740 words: 217,139

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, invention of the printing press, Khyber Pass, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, means of production, offshore financial centre, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus

But even if higher population density is a necessary condition for state formation, we are still left with two unanswered questions: What causes population density to increase in the first place? And what is the mechanism connecting dense populations with states? The first question might seem to have a simple Malthusian answer: population increase is brought about by technological innovation such as the agricultural revolution, which greatly increases the carrying capacity of a given piece of land, which then leads parents to have more children. The problem is that a number of hunter-gatherer societies operate well below their local environment’s long-term productive capacity. The New Guinea highlanders and the Amazonian Indians have developed agriculture, but they do not produce the food surpluses of which they are technically capable.

 

pages: 551 words: 174,280

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, conceptual framework, cosmological principle, dark matter, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, first-past-the-post, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, illegal immigration, invention of movable type, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, pattern recognition, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, William of Occam

In future, when the rate of innovation will also increase due to the sheer increasing clock rate and throughput of brain add-ons and AI computers, then our capacity to cope with that will increase at the same rate or faster: if everyone were suddenly able to think a million times as fast, no one would feel hurried as a result. Hence I think that the concept of the Singularity as a sort of discontinuity is a mistake. Knowledge will continue to grow exponentially or even faster, and that is astounding enough. The economist Robin Hanson has suggested that there have been several singularities in the history of our species, such as the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. Arguably, even the early Enlightenment was a ‘singularity’ by that definition. Who could have predicted that someone who lived through the English Civil War – a bloody struggle of religious fanatics versus an absolute monarch – and through the victory of the religious fanatics in 1651, might also live through the peaceful birth of a society that saw liberty and reason as its principal characteristics?

 

pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, land reform, Mercator projection, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

Responding to the different environments of soil and climate, they developed hundreds of different tribal cultures, perhaps two thousand different languages. They perfected the art of agriculture, and figured out how to grow maize (corn), which cannot grow by itself and must be planted, cultivated, fertilized, harvested, husked, shelled. They ingeniously developed a variety of other vegetables and fruits, as well as peanuts and chocolate and tobacco and rubber. On their own, the Indians were engaged in the great agricultural revolution that other peoples in Asia, Europe, Africa were going through about the same time. While many of the tribes remained nomadic hunters and food gatherers in wandering, egalitarian communes, others began to live in more settled communities where there was more food, larger populations, more divisions of labor among men and women, more surplus to feed chiefs and priests, more leisure time for artistic and social work, for building houses.

 

pages: 1,072 words: 297,437

Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader

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agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, clean water, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, illegal immigration, land reform, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, new economy, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, surplus humans, the market place, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

John Barbot, writing of voyages to West Africa in the late 1600s, observed ‘that Indian corn rises from a crown to twenty shillings betwixt February and harvest, which I suppose is chiefly occasion'd by the great number of European slave ships yearly resorting to the coast…’35 The amount of maize consumed by slaves when the trade was at its greatest volume is estimated to have been no less than 9,000 tonnes per year – a sizeable proportion of which was used to feed slaves en route from the hinterland and while awaiting shipment on the coast.36 If the prevalence of cassava and maize cultivation in Africa during modern times is any measure, the introduction of the crops amounted to an agricultural revolution. Maize enabled more intensive use to be made of fertile well-watered land, and cassava brought hitherto unproductive regions into use. Imported iron facilitated the dissemination and production of the new crops. It might be supposed that the importation of iron would have put African iron-makers out of business. And indeed it did, but only in so far as the smelting of iron was concerned and this in itself was beneficial, for without the need to smelt ore the demand for charcoal fell dramatically.