Chapter twelve of Global Brain
by Howard Bloom
. 1st ed. copyright 2000, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Having taken the last eleven chapters to carry us from the Big Bang to early city life, Bloom takes a moment to recap in this chapter. As he brings up images from the previous hundred-or-so pages, he pays a special close attention to the two major contributors to social evolution: trade and conquest.
Since Bloom is attempting to provide an alternative to the "selfish gene" school of social evolution, trade gets more pages. In fact, when Bloom at last turns his attention to the effects of conquest on social evolution, he brings up cases where the conquering society groks the conquered one.
"The Mongols took China in 1215 A.D. . . . The conquerors . . . learned to live in cities, to use Chinese firearms and navies, to rule through a semi-Chinese-style administration, and to tax the peasants instead of turning farmland into pasture for their horses" (119).
Trade and conquest are the forces that tug at the rip-cord of that world-wide information and technology exchange network we gave up when we evolved beyond our bacterial ancestors.
Back to chapter 11: The End of the Ice Age and the Rise of Urban Fire
On to chapter 13: Greece, Miletus, and Thales: The Birth of the Boundary Breakers
Up to the Index.