The evolved civilization

A while ago I read Thomas Friedman's widely acclaimed book, The world is flat. I particularly liked the initial chapter where he has outlined significant events that have helped 'flatten the world'. While he wrote more from a economic perspective, I took to thinking of evolution in a rather different manner.

Swiping our cards, hitting the keyboard and sipping sodas, do we realise what forces acted to make us the man of the modern times ?A quick run down 2000 years of human history - social, economic,political and technological, I came to conclude the following,

Renaissance
After the dark ages, Europe rebelled and we saw the birth of the Renaissance.Like Nehru says, The character of religion is enforce obedience and that of science to seek explanation and that makes these two faculties contradict each other forever. In the whole scheme of 2000 years since man has existed, this is particularly a very important event for, from this time reason has started to over-power belief. The Renaissance, in one way or the other, is the mother of all inventions and ideas that have made life easy today. The literary works, the laws of physics and universe and the reformation of the church, development of the languages and the birth of the bourgeois and industry - all make us what we are inclusive of our opinions, judgments and comforts.

Chemicals
None of us is unaware of the contributions of the Industrial Revolution to the ease of humanity - the steam engine, the power-looms and so on. To all these there was a subtle undercurrent that, in my opinion, went relatively unpublished in history because of its catalytic nature and because it was not a result but rather an element. I am referring to the birth of the ubiquitous 'chemicals'. To overlook the power chemistry is like demeaning the force that keeps us healthy. What a science it indeed is ! Combining raw and seemingly dull matter ( air, water, ores, oil ) into an array of materials - necessities and luxuries equally. Of these most significant are drugs and polymers. The former, has if you view it in that light, eliminated belief, superstition and brought the status of gods to humans- the doctors ! The latter is too much a part of our life that I can't imagine one thing that lacks it- be it the funky Friday shirt adorning your broad chest, or the bottle of soda in your hand, the pen in your pocket,the wheel in your car, the tar on the road, the pan in the kitchen -everything you can imagine has been polymerised today including your money.

Wars
Since forever, war, greed and conflict have shaped the human thought. The early Greco-Persian wars to the crusades and the world wars and the present day Kosovo, Middle-East and Indo-Pak conflicts - each has been a the fulcrum of the our perception of religion, of other humans on the planet and of everything sharable in general - be it energy resources or knowledge or utility goods. These wars have also been the parents of the numerous foreign polices and treaties that decide opportunities, food and attention available to the citizens all across the world and consequently play a major but hidden role in the continued evolution of man.

Internet
The very fact that I am sharing my opinions here for everyone to read speaks for the power of Internet. To an extent its mitigating the ill effects of the wars - skrinking the entire world into click of a button. On a very large scale, it is revolutionising what makes a man of an animal - the faculty of the mind , of knowledge and thought. It seems as if 'the mind' or minds have been digitized forever. Its changed the way search, we shop and also the way we spend our leisure. Its the one thing that integrates every factor changing this world today. Politics, polices, science, common-mans opinions, angst and perception, cross-border business, pleasure, fantasy, charity and so on. Information rules!


From being microbes, to being settlers around the Indus and the Mediterranean, to irrationals following an abstract religion ( whose teachings we comfortably afforded to overlook) and fighting for it , to rebelling against the same religion and embracing science, generating comfort and ease,then again misusing the enlightenment of science and society in Wars and conflicts to win land and achieve ethnic-cleansing, we gradually discovered peace( which still remains illusive in certain pockets) and co-operate to share information, the availability of which to the masses further springs another era of evolution of the human civilization !

Isn't this world absolutely fantastic ?
Isn't our rise from creatures to human scintillating?

2 comments:

The Futz Factor said...

I read your mba blogs and this one too once in a while...If you really like Thomas Friedman, try reading his pulitzer prize nove "From Beirut to Jerusalem". I think William Dalrymple's "The age of Kali" is also on the same lines. All the best with your mba

Sudha said...

well some say history is but class struggle!
i understand the significance of tying in technological advances with the history of the human race too. thats basically why we r much different from the primates.