Re: Why the West has 'won'.
Wed, 6 Aug 1997 15:22:33 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 8/5/97 9:49:15 PM, (Cyberlogin
Solutions) wrote:

>As long as we're tossing around personal theories here...
>Agricultural societies will tend towards "civilization", in the
>technological sense, anyway.
>Why? It is only through agriculture that long term food surpluses can be
>created. This leads
>to two things: spare time, for intellectual pursuits, and the written word,
>used to identify
>personal property.

I don't know about the spare time business. Hunter-gatherer societies have
lots of free time. I think the increase in population (hence, more computing
power) is far more significant. I think that continues today, and that a
significant part of current development is due to bringing ever-larger
numbers of people into our market and science systems.

>only those long term food surpluses
>can move an army over long distances.

Up to the invention of gunpowder, the most powerful armies were those of the
Central Asian pastoralists. Long term food surpluses can take
non-agricultural form; they used grazing animals, which had the distinct
advantage of moving themselves.