Archive for August, 2010

The Quest For Civilization – I

August 31, 2010

The Quest For Civilization – I

This is the first blog of the series “The Quest For Civilization”, which look out for the quest for civilization.

Before 5 A.D : Early foundations of Philosophy

The period before Christ was more or less development of mankind from being a cage person to a modest civilized one. He progressed from fruit gathering, hunting to agriculture. Just before Christ and till 5 A.D, the first foundations of philosophy was being laid in Greece, India and China. Rationalism and Science was still in its infancy, whereas religion started developing a stronghold over the hearts and minds of the masses across the World.

5 A.D – 15 A.D : The Route of Religion, Crusades

During these early stages of human civilization (before 5 A.D), human population was comparatively less as off today and natural resources abundant. And as necessity is the mother of invention, men went on to explore the route of religion in its full fervour. They started forming groups, communities and kingdoms under the umbrella of religion. As these communities started growing in numbers, natural resources had to be shared across them. Without any real development and the advancement of civilization, men started looking at each other with hatred, fear and anger. This led to growing number of wars, crusades (IslamChristianism, etc)  between these groups, communities under the name of religion. The effects of which are still felt now.

The population increased from a few millions to billions with more or less the same natural resources and little development of science and technology until the 18th & 19th century. These were called the Dark Ages.
Reference
Crusades
Dark Ages

15 A.D – Present: The Route of Science, Refinement of Philosophy

From 15th A.D onwards, discontent started arising within the path of religion. People started moving gradually towards rationalism, science and technology. The seeds of the first industrial revolution was laid in Europe with England taking the lead. The spectrum of philosophy was being redrawn which included more thought towards to science and technology. Religion was being tossed out which raised quite a few hackles for the religious leaders. These new philosophers, thinkers and scientist (Voltaire, Issac Newton, Einstein) had constant threat to their life and were often banished from the country. Nevertheless religion had failed to provide advancement in producing food, shelter and other necessities for mankind. Hence men had no choice but to embrace science and technology over the next few centuries. This led to many revolutions which turned the kingdoms, countries, their kings, their leaders upside down. Also, science and technology did fulfill one promise, they brought enormous wealth to the masses.

Europe and America led in this space of science and technology development. Whether this led to the advancement of civilization will be explore our next blogs.

Caution: This might be all theory

The Have’s & Have’s-Not: Part VII

August 20, 2010

The Have’s & Have’s-Not: Part VII

After the awakening which would happen in the East with the journey to rationalism from religion complete, the next step would be to embrace science & technology.

All these changes has to be brought about in two ways for the 1.5 billion poor people in Asia and Africa. On the top, leaders of the countries in these continents have to create an environment with open & de-regularized economy, least of corruption and red tape, encouragement for small business and innovation among many other reforms.

From the bottom, we need leaders to step out of their four walls and have the courage to reform themselves and their environment. Leaders like Mother TeresaMahatma Gandhi are need to lift the masses out of poverty and illness.

Each one of us in the World has to take part in this revolution. Whether the person lives in a penthouse in Manhattan, New York or a slum in Mumbai. They all need to have the initiative and the courage to think & do out of the box for a brave new world. A World free of poverty, illness & illiteracy.

The next 100 years of change will be recorded as the biggest improvement man has brought in terms of improving the overall quality of life of the entire human race. The feat is difficult with 6 billion people on this planet, but will still be accomplished in this century. How effectively it is done and how quickly, it is to be seen.

CAUTION: This might be all theory

My Old Man

August 18, 2010

My Old Man

Got his kids from
a small town to
the capital of
the country

Gave them education
and more

Then went on to
retire early

With no time to
develop hobbies

Lived a lonely life
thereon from 35 to 70

His family ran away
from him in his old
age

Leaving him to his
destiny

They would come to
visit him sometime

Only to crash into
his place once in a
while

For their own good

During his last
years

Old age nagging
him

Along with poverty
& disease

He walked alone
to the graveyard

But gave much to his
descendants never asking
anything from them

Now i am marching
towards my old age

With no family
no kids

A lesson well
learned

I must develop
hobbies

And march gracefully
also to my hole in the
graveyard

CAUTION: This might be all theory

The Have’s and Have’s-Not: Part VI

August 17, 2010

The Have’s and Have’s-Not: Part VI

Asia

and Africa face mass hunger with more than 1.5 billion people living on or under the poverty line. With natural tragedies like famine, floods always lurking nearby, the risk of death and disease is always lurking close by. Risk-averse nature, corruption, ever-increasing population, lack of natural resources are some of the reasons why development will take at least a century in the poorest regions of these continents.

Europe

blasted off to industrialization as it moved away from religion and into rationalism & science. It took millions out of poverty and brought great material wealth to masses. This lead to substantial improvement in the infrastructure in these regions increasing the standard of living and life expectancy at these places.

It would take substantial time for philanthropic help from the richer nations of the West to these poor regions in the East. Also technology transfer has its own implementation cycle. The learning curve for these cannot be expedited. It takes decades to develop a technology and get it into implementation phase. For any developing nation to learn a new technology, implement and innovate takes at least 4-5 decades.

Having said all of this, the best bet for these poorest regions is to move away from religion as Europe did in the 16th and 17th century and embrace rationalism and science. This would bring a bit of uncertainty in the near term, but it would bring substantial development with possibilities of home-grown innovation too. This is our only way to lift ourselves out of poverty and the time to implement this is now.

CAUTION: This might be all theory

The Have’s and Have’s-Not: Part V

August 16, 2010

The Have’s and Have’s-Not: Part V

Why did Europe race away with Industrial Revolution in the 16th century while the rest of the World was sitting in the temple? What were some of the factors which led to this?

In the 16th Century, the whole World was embroiled in a religious tone. The population was increasing and borders melting between kingdoms, caste and religion. People had to trade and relate to each other beyond these traditional boundaries and issues. The mixing of people across kingdoms, caste and religion brought forth new ideas which started breaking old order and traditions.

Philosophy and science brought about  Industrial Revolution in countries like France, England, Germany and the rest of EuropeEngland took the lead in developing of the big machine which brought about greater efficiencies in food and luxury and passes over the baton to America, who excelled in computers and the internet. Over the next few centuries the  Industrial Revolution spread to countries like America, Japan, Russia, China and IndiaIndia is yet to catch up in this race with majority of its masses still under the influence of caste and religion. Africa is yet to see the light in this respect.

Content borrowed from “Glimpses of World History” by Jawaharlal Nehru.

CAUTION: This might be all theory