Re: Why the West has 'won'.
Tue, 5 Aug 1997 01:31:43 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 8/4/97 4:12:53 PM, (Eric Watt Forste)

>How did the Greeks get so cool?

Personal theory? Mountainous geography, lots of coastline, and localized
political structures made conquest difficult but communication and trade
easy. Result: good memes for cooperation and constructive competition got
the upper hand over conquest and religious ones.

I don't consider modern pluralism descended from the Greeks. Modern
pluralism developed in England and Holland around 1600 to 1700 as a result of
a loosely similar situation where trade was easy but conquest hard. They
took lots of (modified) ideas from the Italian Renaissance, which in turn had
gotten lots of (modified) ideas from the surviving Greek texts. But,
basically, they did it themselves.

Personal theory, of course. YMMV