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Notes on video lecture:
The Direction of Humankind: Global Unity
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
potatoes, unemployment, binary, Mongol, llama, Genoa, Barbarians, capitalist, authentic, king, Mesoamerican, tomato, unification, Australian, Christianity, 1492, imagined, species, unity, macro
while wolf or bee societies are very similar, human societies are very different from one another
even when living in the same environment, human societies have different                  orders and different social hierarchies
what happened when these societies encountered each other?
various kinds of interactions
religious missionaries
do interactions between societies have an overall pattern or direction, i.e. does human history have a clear direction or not?
the answer is yes. And the direction is: global           .
throughout history smaller cultures have combined to form larger and more complex civilizations
over time, the earth contains fewer and fewer cultures and these cultures are becoming larger and more complex
this is true only at the            level of history
if you look at history at the level of only a few centuries, it's hard to say if the world is moving toward unity or not
for all the cultures that have combined into larger ones, there are larger cultures which have broken up
in 13th century, the              empire expanded, consolidated and combined huge parts of the European and Asian continents, but then shattered into smaller pieces
                         converted and thus united millions of people, but then splintered into numerous different sects
the Latin language, the language of the Roman Empire, spread over much of Western and Central Europe and more and more people began to speak the same language, but over time it split into different dialects, Spanish, Portuguese, French and so forth
if you look at history at a macro level, global unification is more obvious
seen from the macro level, the collapse of the Mongol Empire and the splintering of Christianity are only speed bumps on the highway of history which is leading mankind inexorably toward global unity
you can see this by looking at any point in history and counting the number of separate worlds that existed
today we think of the planet earth as a single connected unit, but for most of history this was not the case
for most of history, earth was a kind of galaxy of many isolated human worlds
2000 years ago, there were no connections between humans in America, humans in Europe and humans in Australia
as far as the                      aborigines were concerned, for example, the Roman Empire and Christianity might as well have been happening on Mars
as history progressed, the number of societal worlds became smaller and smaller
around 10,000 BC when the agricultural revolution began, our earth contained many thousands of different human worlds which had almost no connection between them
by 2,000 BC the number of separate worlds had dwindled to hundreds
by          it still had a number of separated words in remote jungles and islands, but at that point already 90% of humans already lived in a single megaworld, the world of Afro-Eurasia.
90% Afro-Eurasia World
if you were a Muslim who made the journey to Mecca, you could have met pilgrims from all over Afro-Eurasia
10% was separated from Afro-Eurasia but concentrated in four worlds
1.                          World (Mexico, Central American, North America)
2. Andean World (Western South America)
3. Australian World
4. Pacific-Oceanic World
rest: small, separated worlds in various remote islands and jungles
then in 1492, the people from the Afro-Eurasia world began to spread around the rest of the world, conquering and merging into all the other smaller worlds
this created the single world which we today live
today in our global world, people in all countries are influenced by the actions of people from other countries, they are no longer separate worlds
a political conflict in the Middle east may cause oil prices to rise in China and                          in Mexico
countries are beginning to share more and more the same basic understanding of politics, economics and the natural world
all countries share the basic political model that of the sovereign nation-state, every person in the world lives in one of the roughly 200 nation-states that exist in the world
most countries believe that power should come from the general populations, most have elections if not completely free
most are                      system with social programs
stock exchanges, banks, limited liability companies, money
natural world
a hospital in Tehran or New York will look basically the same, use the same theories, medicines and treatments
we still talk about                    cultures, but if we mean by this cultures with no influence from other cultures, then there are no authentic cultures left
ethnic cuisine
There is hardly anything more Italian in Italian food than the             , yet this plant is not native to Italy, it's a native plant from Mexico which arrived in Italy only three or four hundred years ago. Columbus came from            and never ate a tomato in his life. It you were to go to Switzerland in the Middle Ages, you would not find even a single chocolate bar. Chocolate is made of cocoa, and cocoa, just like tomatoes, originated in Central America. Cuisine in Poland and Ireland is based on                 , but before Columbus, you would not have found one person eating a potato in either of these countries, since at that time the only potatoes were in South America. And what is Indian cuisine without chili peppers? Yet in pre-Columbus days there were not chili peppers anywhere in Asia. Nobody in India ate chili before the Europeans brought this plant back from America. Conversely, if you went to Argentina in 1491, you could look everywhere but you would not be able to obtain any steak except            steak. Cattle arrived to America with the Europeans.
our conceptions of ethnic cuisines often actually reflect the globalization of the last few centuries
many local traditions are recent
we usually relate the globalization of the world with European imperialism
but this was only the climax of what began working much earlier
when Columbus was born, most of world was already unified into the giant world of Afro-Asia, the result of a process which began thousands of years previously
the vision of globalization goes back to the first millennium BC
a strange idea when you think about it from a biological or evolutionary perspective
no social animal, as far as we know, thinks about the interests or the identity of the entire                to which it belongs
social animals have an us-them approach to other animals, either they are in your group or they are not, e.g. "the people in the next valley"
despite what you see in Hollywood films, no lion was ever the          of all lions, they only become the alpha male of a particular pride of lions
bees are biologically set up to help the bees in their hive survive, but they are not concerned about other bees in other hives
humans, as a result of the agricultural revolution, came into contact more and more with people they didn't know who they imagined to be their friends and fellow humans
nevertheless, this growing brotherhood between people was not universal
Menes (3100–3050 BC)
accredited with the unification of Egypt
it was clear to the Egyptians that beyond the borders there were other humans who were considered                     
most religions ignored a large part of humankind
in the first millennium BC this changed when three potentially universal orders
people who believed in these orders, for the first time started to imagine the whole human race as a single unit which at least potentially may be governed by a single set of laws
according to this vision, everybody in the world was "us" and, at least potentially, there was no "them"
1. monetary order
the belief in money
2. imperial order
the vision of a single empire governing the whole world
3. religious order
the idea that a religion is not connected to a certain people but can be universal
e.g. Christianity, Buddhism, Islam
aim was to include all of humankind as their members, as believers
so merchants, conquerors, and prophets were the first people in history to begin transcending our              sense of division which separates people into "us" and "them" and to foresee the potential unity of the whole of humankind
the amazing thing about money is that it succeeded in doing something that no king, no conqueror, and no God ever managed to do: even people who don't believe in the same God or king, have almost always had little problem believing in and using the same money, even people who hate each other and don't agree about anything, money is the one belief that they usually share. It may be that the most fundamental basis of the                        of humankind is money.
The Context of History and Our Extended Human Family
How Walking Upright Led to Better Social and Cooperative Skills
The Importance of Fire and Cooking
Why Did Other Human Species Become Extinct?
The Cognitive Revolution and the Beginning of Human History
The Language of Homo Sapiens
How Fictive Language Enabled Larger Social Groups
The Power of Imagined Realities
How the Ability to Tell Stories Enabled Humans to Cooperate in Massive Groups
The Cognitive Revolution and the Variety of Human Communities
Spiritual Beliefs of Early Humans
Politics and Warfare of Pre-Agricultural Societies
45,000 Years Ago: Human's Decimation of Australia's Large Mammals
14,000 BC: Human Migration to the Americas
Agriculture: The Good and the Bad
10,000 BC: Agricultural Revolution
The Origins of Agriculture
The Code of Hammurabi and Other Imagined Realities
Inter-Subjective Reality and Romantic Consumerism
The Human Brain's Outsourcing of Mathematics
Unjust and Imagined Hierarchies
Imagined Hierarchies in History
Culturally Defined Gender
Three Theories of Gender Domination
The Direction of Humankind: Global Unity
The Essence of Money
The History of Money
The Historical Definition of Empire
The Relationship between Science, European Imperialism and Capitalism
Science, Capitalism and European Imperialism
Columbus: Last Man of the Middle Ages, Vespucci: First Man of the Modern Age
European Empires, Science, and Capitalism
How Capitalism is Based on Trust in the Future
On the Interdependence of Science and Capitalism
How Capitalism Enabled Small European Countries to Explore and Conquer the World
The Relationship Between Capitalism, the Slave Trade, and Free Market Forces
Industrialization, Energy and Raw Materials
The Second Agricultural Revolution and its Effect on Animal Treatment
The Ethics of Capitalism and Consumerism
On Limitless Energy Resources and the Hegemony of Modern Time Schedules
State/Market vs. Family/Community
Humankind's Rigid and Violent Past, and Flexible and Peaceful Present
Reasons for Our Current Unprecedented Era of International Peace
Three Theories on the History of Happiness
Psychological and Biological Happiness
Measuring Human Happiness
The Future of Cyborgs and Robots
What Do We Want to Want?