Monday, December 31, 2007

Human history in 60 seconds

Happy New Year!

For the new year, here is Professor Alan Charles Kors summarizing the entire human history in 60 seconds - hmm...this is the most efficient way of learning history. (On a longer timescale, Alan Charles Kors has done an excellent Teaching Company course titled, The Birth of the Modern Mind: The intellectual history of 17th and 18th centuries)

Here is the transcript of the 60 second lecture:

Human History

Alan Charles Kors

George H. Walker Endowed Term Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania

  • First, tribes: tough life.
  • The defaults beyond the intimate tribe were violence, aversion to difference, and slavery. Superstition: everywhere.
  • Culture overcomes them partially.
  • Rainfall agriculture, which allows loners.
  • Irrigation agriculture, which favors community.
  • Division of labor plus exchange in trade bring mutual cooperation, even outside the tribe.
  • The impulse is always there, though: "Kill or enslave the outsider."
  • Gradual science from Athens' compact with reason.
  • Division of labor, trade, the mastery of knowledge, plus time brought surplus, sometimes a peaceful extended order and, rules diversely evolved and, the cooperation of strangers - always warring against the fierce defaults of tribalism, violence, and ignorance.
  • No one who teaches you knows what will happen.


    A perfect way to start 2008!

4 comments:

Doug van Orsow said...

I can't think of any Teaching Company lecturer that brings quite the same spark of intrigue to their subjects as Dr. Kors. I think Dr. Guelzo was his student, and I can see similarities in their styles, but perhaps the old cliche "they don't make 'em like they used to" applies in this case.

You may find my Teaching Company user forum helpful. I review all lectures from their new courses:

http://teachingcompany.12.forumer.com

Feel free to check it out.

Doug van Orsow
forum administrator

Doug van Orsow said...

I can't think of any Teaching Company lecturer that brings quite the same spark of intrigue to their subjects as Dr. Kors. I think Dr. Guelzo was his student, and I can see similarities in their styles, but perhaps the old cliche "they don't make 'em like they used to" applies in this case.

You may find my Teaching Company user forum helpful. I review all lectures from their new courses:

http://teachingcompany.12.forumer.com

Feel free to check it out.

Doug van Orsow
forum administrator

Salman Hameed said...

Thanks for letting me know. I'm currently listening to "Early Middle Ages" by Philip Daileader and it is also very good!

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