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This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked hereits already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theorymy own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copyingthe effenciency of press-copying. After about 1450, Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying in China as it was in Europe.

* - Yes, the Chinese actually had an earlier printing press. It wasn't an important invention in China though. Why is the interesting question

This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copying. After about 1450, Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying in China as it was in Europe.

* - Yes, the Chinese actually had an earlier printing press. It wasn't an important invention in China though. Why is the interesting question

This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copying. After about 1450, Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying in China as it was in Europe.

* - Yes, the Chinese actually had an earlier printing press. It wasn't an important invention in China though. Why is the interesting question

8 added 166 characters in body
source | link

This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copying. After about 1450, Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"*"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying in China as it was in Europe.

* - Yes, the Chinese actually had an earlier printing press. It wasn't an important invention in China though. Why is the interesting question

This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copying. After about 1450, Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying in China as it was in Europe.

This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copying. After about 1450, Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying in China as it was in Europe.

* - Yes, the Chinese actually had an earlier printing press. It wasn't an important invention in China though. Why is the interesting question

7 added 18 characters in body
source | link

This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copying. After about 1450, Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying in China as it was in Europe.

This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copying. Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying as it was in Europe.

This is, in fact, the big question of history.

Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world?

The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to Eurasia, North America just did not have nearly the number of domesticable flora and fauna. Guns, Germs, and Steel goes over this in detail (including listing all the major domesticable plants and animals on both continents). Their best was maize, whose wild ancestor is native to the tropics. It took over a millenium for it to be hybridized into a form that could be cultivated in the larger latitudinal area of North America. By that time, the MB's were hopelessly far behind Eurasia.

Subquestion 2: OK, so why Europeans rather than Chinese or Persians?

This is a much more interesting question. However, its already been asked here.

One theory I've seen is something I'd call "cultural Darwinisim". The idea here is that China was most often ruled over by one entity. This caused society there to be conservative in the extreme. Europe, on the other hand, was a heaving morass of squabbling states. Thus any new innovation that makes a state stronger will get adopted everywhere quickly: The states that change will have more luck expanding, and those that refuse to change will be more likely to get conquered. Only the innovative survive. Jared Diamond suggests this as a possible reason in GG&S.

Longtime readers here know what my own theory is: Its all about the printing press. Europe was in fact a complete backwater until the late 15th Century. Then all sorts of things start happening at once that we wrap up into a big ball called The Renaissance. However, if you look closely, most of the new discoveries were not brand new things. Northern navigators had known about the "New World" for centuries. The Chinese had been using gunpowder for quite a while. What was different was the the effenciency of press-copying. After about 1450, Knowldege could now be spread around European society an entire order of magnitude greater than in societies stuck with hand-copying their writings. It is often said that knowledge is power. 19th Century world history shows this.

Of course this leads up to a followon question: "OK, but why did Europeans make full use of the movable-type printing press first?"* I believe here the Chinese were laboring under one peculiar handicap: They have no alphabet. A European can make printing type blocks using only around 30 or so glyphs. Han Chinese however uses an ideogram setup. This makes "translating" to multiple languages (as exist in China) fairly simple, but it means someone trying to create type for a Chinese press has to deal with a vocabularly of 100,000 or more possible glyps (to this day, nobody is really sure). Thus a press, at its first point of introduction where its advantage over hand-copying will be the smallest it will ever be, was just not nearly as competitive a method over hand-copying in China as it was in Europe.

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