A Short History of the World is a non-fictional exploration of the world written by H. G. Wells, an English writer known as “The Father Of Science Fiction” with his. Size Report. DOWNLOAD PDF A History of Byzantium (Blackwell History of the Ancient World) · Read more A Short History of the World · Read more. A Short History of the World. H. G. Wells. October 1W - 22, g. Studying history invariably means exposing yourself to the risk of not seeing the forest because.
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THE STORY of our world is a story that is still very imperfectly known. A couple of hundred years ago men possessed the history of little more than the last three. Download A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD free in PDF & EPUB format. Download H.G. Wells's A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD for. Contents, The world in space -- The world in time -- The beginnings of life -- The age of fishes -- The age of the coal swamps -- The age of.
Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Nikhil Menon. A Short History of Data. The Hindu, March 21, , p. In January two independent members of the National Statistical Commission resigned in protest, over alleged suppression of economic data by the government. Pioneering history While declining data quality has been an issue for a while, concern over institutional independence is new.
There is no room for rational doubt that we are apes, and that, regardless of our exact route through time, we come ultimately from Africa.
For a long time now, there has been no such thing as that Enlightenment wild goose which Gauguin sought, the Natural Man. Like those arthritic Neanderthals who were cared for by their families, we cannot live without our cultures. We have met the maker of Hamlet's "piece of work" — and it is us. But as I suggested in the previous chapter, there is still a risk.
As cultures grow more elaborate, and technologies more powerful, they themselves may become ponderous specializations — vulnerable and, in extreme cases, deadly. The atomic bomb, a logical progression from the arrow and the bullet, became the first technology to threaten our whole species with extinction. It is what I call a "progress trap. What Are We? Where Are We Going? At a practical level, anthropology has answered the first two: Modern apes, which are also descended from the same original stock, are kin, not ancestors.
Our main difference from chimps and gorillas is that over the last 3 million years or so, we have been shaped less and less by nature, and more and more by culture. We have become experimental creatures of our own making.
This experiment has never been tried before. And we, its unwitting authors, have never controlled it. We have The Great Experiment 3i reached a stage where we must bring the experiment under rational control, and guard against present and potential dangers.
It's entirely up to us. We have already caused so many extinctions that our dominion over the earth will appear in the fossil record like the impact of an asteroid. So far, we are only a small asteroid compared with the one that clobbered the dinosaurs. I suggested in the previous chapter that prehistory, like history, tells us that the nice folk didn't win, that we are at best the heirs of many ruthless victories and at worst the heirs of genocide.
We may well be descended from humans who repeatedly exterminated rival humans — culminating in the suspicious death of our Neanderthal cousins some 30, years ago. Whatever the truth of that event, it marks the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic period — the last and briefest of three divisions in the Old Stone Age, about one-hundredth of the whole. In this chapter I want to see what we can deduce from the first progress trap — the perfection of hunting, which ended the Old Stone Age — and how our escape from We then have to ask ourselves this urgent question: Could civilization itself be another and much greater trap?
Geologically speaking, 3 million years is only a wink, one minute of earth's day. But in human terms, the Old Stone Age is a deep abyss of time — more than But measured as subjective human experience — as a sum of individual lives — more people have lived a civilized life than any other.
I should make it clear that I'm defining "civilization" and "culture" in a technical, anthropological way. Culture is everything: The Great Experiment 33 atom. Civilizations are a specific kind of culture: By B.
From ancient times until today, civilized people have believed they behave better, and are better, than so-called savages. But the moral values attached to civilization are specious: In their imperial heyday, the French had their "civilizing mission" and the British their "white man's burden" — the bearing of which was eased by automatic weapons.
As Hilaire Belloc wrote in At the gates of the Colosseum and the concentration camp, we have no choice but to abandon hope that civilization is, in itself, a guarantor of moral progress. When Mahatma Gandhi came to England in the s for talks on Indian self-rule, a reporter asked him what he thought of Western civilization. Gandhi, who had just visited the London slum s, replied: I would rather live in a house than in a rock- shelter.
I like great buildings and good books. I like knowing that I am an ape, that the world is round, that the sun is a star and the stars are suns — taken-for- granted knowledge that took thousands of years to wrest from "chaos and old night. It is also precarious: There is no going back without catastrophe. Yet it ended so recently — only six times further back than the birth of Christ and the Roman Empire — The Great Experiment 35 that the big changes since we left the cave have all been cultural, not physical.
A long-lived species like ours can't evolve significantly over so short an interval. This means that while culture and technology are cumulative, innate intelligence is not. Johnson's joke that much may be made of a Scotsman if he be caught young, a late- Palaeolithic child snatched from a campfire and raised among us now would have an even chance at earning a degree in astrophysics or computer science.
This may explain quite a lot of what we see in the news. But nature stirs a pudding there In the individual, the sum of these is personality; in society, it is the collective personality called culture. In the long run, the pudding of culture has always grown in size. And there have been several yeasty times when it rose quite suddenly and spilled across the kitchen.
The first of these was the taming of fire by Homo erec- tus, which tipped the balance of survival strongly in our favour. New weapons were produced: Many of these things had already been done on a small scale by Neanderthals and earlier Cro-Magnons,14 so this spurt of art and technology cannot as some claim be evidence that we suddenly evolved into a new species with brand-new cognitive powers.
But it is evidence of a familiar cultural pattern: The hunters and gatherers were producing more than mere subsistence, giving themselves time to paint the walls, make beads and effigies, play music, indulge in religious rituals. For the first time, people were rich. To draw a rough analogy between two unconnected eras of very different length and complexity, there are certain The Great Experiment 37 resemblances between this end-time of the Old Stone Age and the past half millennium of Western "discovery" and conquest.
Since A. During the Upper Palaeolithic, one kind of human — the Cro-Magnon, or Homo sapiens15— multiplied and fanned out around the world, killing, displacing, or absorbing all other variants of man, then entering new worlds that had never felt a human foot. By 15, years ago at the very latest — long before the ice withdraws — humankind is established on every continent except Antarctica.
Soon after man shows up in new lands, the big game starts to go missing. Mammoths and woolly rhinos retreat north, then vanish from Europe and Asia. A giant wombat, other marsupials, and a tortoise as big as a Volkswagen disappear from Australia. Camels, mammoth, giant bison, giant sloth, and the horse die out across the Americas. Not all experts agree that our ancestors were solely to blame.
These are good objections, and it would be unwise to rule them out entirely. Yet the evidence against our ancestors is, I think, overwhelming. But Upper Palaeolithic people were far better equipped and more numerous than their forerunners, and they killed on a much grander scale.
Luckily for bison, cliffs are rare on the great plains. But archaeological evidence does not support this view. Palaeolithic hunting was the mainstream livelihood, done in the richest environments on a seemingly boundless earth. Done, we have to infer from the profligate remains, with the stock-trader's optimism that there would always be another big killing just over the next hill. In the last and best-documented mass extinctions — the loss of flightless birds and other animals from New Zealand and Madagascar — there is no room for doubt that people were to blame.
The perfection of hunting spelled the end of hunting as a way of life. Easy meat meant more babies. More babies meant more hunters. More hunters, sooner or later, meant less game. Most of the great human migrations across the world at this time must have been driven by want, as we bankrupted the land with our moveable feasts.
The archaeology of western Europe during the final millennia of the Palaeolithic shows the grand lifestyle of the Cro-Magnons falling away. Their cave painting falters Sculptures and carvings become rare.
The flint blades grow smaller, and smaller.
Don't kill off your host. As they drove species after species to extinction, they walked into the first progress trap.
But the rest of us found a new way to raise the stakes: The people of that short, sharp period known as the Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age, tried everything: The Great Experiment 4i with enormous implications. So rich were some of these grasses, and so labour-intensive their exploitation, that settled villages appear in key areas before farming.
They began to influence the outcome by tending and enlarging wild stands, sowing the most easily reaped and plumpest seeds. Like the accumulation of small changes that separated us from the other great apes, the Farming Revolution was an unconscious experiment, too gradual for its initiators to be aware of it, let alone to foresee where it would lead.
But compared with all earlier developments, it happened at breakneck speed. On every continent except Australia, farming experiments began soon after the regime of the ice released its grip. It is now clear that the Middle East was only one of at least four major regions of the world where agriculture developed independently at about the same time. Over generations these animals grew tame enough, and dim- witted enough, not to mind the two-legged serial killer who followed them around.
Hunting became herding, just as gathering grew into gardening. Sheep and goats were the first true domesticates in the Middle East, starting about B.
Domestic camelids — early forms of the llama and alpaca, used for pack trains and wool, as well as for meat — appear in Peru during the sixth millennium B. Donkeys and horses were tamed by about B. Craftier creatures such as dogs, pigs, and cats had long been willing to hang around human settlements in return for scraps, slops, and the mouse boom spurred by granaries. Dogs, which may have been tamed for hunting back in the Palaeolithic, are found with human groups throughout the world.
In cold weather, they were sometimes used as bedwarmers. In places such as Korea and Mexico, special breeds were kept for meat. The chicken began its sad march towards the maw of Colonel Sanders as a gorgeously feathered Asian jungle fowl, while Mexico domesticated the turkey. Along with the llama and alpaca, Peruvians kept muscovy ducks and the lowly but prolific guinea pig — which even made a cameo appearance on the menu of Christ's Last Supper in a colonial painting.
Peru alone had nearly forty major species. The more predictable the food supply, the bigger the population. Unlike mobile foragers, sedentary people had little reason to limit the number of children, who were useful for field and household tasks. Farmers soon outnumbered hunter- gatherers — absorbing, killing, or driving them into the surrounding "wilderness. The change to full-time farming took The Great Experiment 45 millennia, and early results were not always promising, even in a core zone such as the Middle East.
Neolithic Jericho was tiny, a mere four acres35in B. As any rural Canadian knows, hunting continues among farmers wherever it's fun or worthwhile, and this was especially true in the Americas and parts of Asia where domestic animals were scarce. Nevertheless, the pace of growth accelerated. By about 5, years ago, the majority of human beings had made the transition from wild food to tame.
In the magnitude of its consequences, no other invention rivals farming except, since , the invention of weapons that can kill us all. The human career divides in two: The New Stone Age has much more in common with later ages than with the millions of years of stone toolery that went before it. The Farming Revolution produced an entirely new mode of subsistence, which remains the basis of the world economy to this day.
The crops of about a dozen ancient peoples feed the 6 billion on earth today.
Despite more than two The Victorian archaeological scheme of classifying stages of human development by tool materials becomes unhelpful from the Neolithic onward. It may have some merit in Europe, where technology was often linked to social change, but is little help for understanding what happened in places where a lack of the things our techno- centric culture regards as basic — metal, ploughs, wheels, etc.
The Japanese didn't begin to work bronze until B. At that time they acquired European firearms, then abandoned them for years. But they began accidentally, a series of seductive steps down a path leading, for most people, to lives of monotony and toil. Farming achieved quantity at the expense of quality: People gave up a broad array of wild foods for a handful of starchy roots and grasses — wheat, barley, rice, potatoes, maize.
As we domesticated plants, the plants domesticated us.
Without us, they die; and without them, so do we. There is no escape from agriculture except into mass starvation, and it has often led there anyway, with drought and blight. Most people, throughout most of time, have lived on the edge of hunger — and much of the world still does.
The successful hunter did not sit down beside his kill and stuff himself on the spot; he shared the meat and thereby gained prestige. If a leader became overbearing, or a minority disliked a majority decision, people could leave. The early towns and villages that sprang up in a dozen farming heartlands around the world after the last ice age seem to have continued these free-and-easy ways for a while. Gradually, however, differences in wealth and power became entrenched.
Freedom and social opportunity declined as populations rose and boundaries hardened between groups. This pattern first appears in the Neolithic villages of the Middle East, and it has recurred all over the world. The first farmers along the Danube, for , example, left only tools in their remains; later settlements are heavily fortified and strewn with weapons.
Here, said the great Australian archaeologist Gordon Childe, "we The Great Experiment 49 almost see the state of war of all against all arising as.. Patriotism may indeed be, as Dr. Johnson said, "the last refuge of a scoundrel," but it's also the tyrant's first resort. People afraid of outsiders are easily manipulated. The warrior caste, supposedly society's protectors, often become protection racketeers.
In times of war or crisis, power is easily stolen from the many by the few on a promise of security. The more elusive or imaginary the foe, the better for manufacturing consent. The Inquisition did a roaring trade against the Devil. Was defending either system really worth the risk of blowing up the world? Now we are losing hard-won freedoms on the pretext of a worldwide "war on terror," as if terrorism were something new.
Those who think it is should read The Secret Agent, a novel in which anarchist suicide bombers ,prowl London wearing explosives; it was written by Joseph Conrad a hundred years ago. The Neolithic Revolution seems to have been inevitable, or nearly so, wherever the makings for it were found. If Until the Upper Palaeolithic or shortly before48 , nature had kept all the meddlesome apes in one big laboratory, the Old World. But once the apes got out and made their way to the New World, there were two laboratories, each stocked with different raw materials and largely cut off from the other when sea levels rose with the melting of the ice.
It is true that there had been a few pre-Columbian contacts — with Polynesians, Vikings, and possibly Asians — but these were too fleeting and too late to affect native flora and fauna or the rise of civilization. Not even such able seamen as the Norway rat and the cockroach had reached America before Columbus.
Neither had the Old World's terrible plagues, such as smallpox. Two cultural experiments, running in isolation for 15, years or more, at last came face to face. The Great Experiment 51 Amazingly, after all that time, each could recognize the other's institutions. Smaller experiments running independently elsewhere had not reached the same level of complexity, but many showed the same trends. Even on remote Polynesian islands, settled by people descended from a boatload or two of intrepid seafarers, mini-civilizations sprang up complete with social rank, intensive farming, and stone monuments.
Faced not only with the similarity but also the syn- chronicity of these discrete developments, we have to ask: Why were no crops domesticated anywhere before the end of the last ice age?
The people of 20, years ago were just as smart as those of 10, years ago; not all of them were glutted with game, and the ice did not hold sway in lower latitudes. One possible answer to this question is a worry to us now. These studies show that the world's climate It seems we couldn't have developed farming earlier, even if we'd tried. Some sort of chain reaction may provoke the rapid upsets — perhaps a sudden reversal of oceanic currents, or a release of methane from thawing permafrost.
In his book on the glacial core studies, Richard Alley points out what should be obvious: Increasingly, humanity is using everything this climate provides. Our only rational policy is not to risk provoking it.
This kingdom belongs to the bacteria 2. Take this fact under consideration: An average human has at least one trillion bacteria only on its skin. The theory of relativity, however, struggles to manipulate the sequence of the subatomic world, and the quantum theory, on the other hand, returns the favor, by not being adequate to clarify concepts like weight, time or gravity.
Such inaccurate statement produces little value.
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Website language: But what exactly was that history? The birth of a new nation led to an explosion of national statistics, based on the need to plan the economy through Five Year Plans.
While the British colonial government had made efforts to collect statistics on the subcontinent from the early 19th century, these were provincially organised and geared towards trade and administration. On the eve of World War II, it had become apparent, both to the colonial government and the Indian National Congress, that any concerted postwar developmental effort would require fine-grained statistical information on the national economy.
As a pioneer in the emerging field of large-scale sample surveys, he would also be the force behind creating the UN Sub-Commission on Statistical Sampling in , co-authoring the textbook on the subject in Launching sample surveys By the middle of the twentieth century, the Indian Statistical Institute was globally recognised as a leader in the field of sample surveys.
It would soon even begin training statisticians from other developing countries. The famed English statistician R. As the American statistician W. Edwards Deming recalled: Their complexity and scope seemed beyond the bounds of possibility. Twenty years later, the once sceptical Edwards Deming was now a convert: India was a frontrunner in this regard: Methods pioneered by the National Sample Survey have become the norm for household surveys across the globe.