A Malaysian lawyer told a British journalist: "I am wearing your clothes, I speak your language, I watch your films, and today is whatever date it is because you say so."
Do chaps or maps drive history? Human brilliance and folly, or geography? Or maybe genes, or culture? Ian Morris goes a level deeper than Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel to determine why the standards of Europe and North America now prevail in the world when it was the East that dominated for the 1,200 years between 550 and 1750 CE. Why did that happen, and what will happen next?
Ian Morris is an archaeologist and professor of classics and history at Stanford. His splendid book is Why the West Rules -- For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future.
Stewart Brand is co-founder and president of The Long Now Foundation and co-founder of Global Business Network. He created and edited the Whole Earth Catalog (National Book Award), and co-founded the Hackers Conference and The WELL. His books include The Clock of the Long Now; How Buildings Learn; and The Media Lab. His most recent book, titled Whole Earth Discipline, is published by Viking in the US and Atlantic in the UK.
Ian Morris is interested in understanding why the west has dominated the earth for the last few centuries. He began his career as an archaeologist and historian of ancient Greece, studying early texts and excavating sites around the Mediterranean Sea, but in recent years he has moved toward larger-scale questions and an evolutionary approach to world history. He has written or edited eleven books. The most recent, Why the West Rules -- For Now, asks how geography and natural resources have shaped the distribution of wealth and power around the world across the last 20,000 years and how they will shape our future. Morris' ongoing projects include a book on slavery and globalization, a study of western civilization co-authored with historian Niall Ferguson of Harvard University, and a volume of the forthcoming Cambridge History of the World.
As the director of the Long Now Foundation, Alexander Rose has facilitated projects such as the 10,000 Year Clock with Danny Hillis, the Rosetta Project, Long Bets, Seminars About Long Term Thinking, Long Server and others. Rose shares several design patents on the 10,000 Year Clock with Danny Hillis, the first prototype of which is in the Science Museum of London.
Hired as the first employee of the foundation in February of 1997, Rose has been an artist in residence at Silicon Graphics Inc., a project manager for Shamrock Communications, and a founding partner of Inertia Labs. Rose attended the Art Center College of Design and graduated with a bachelor of arts honors degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Industrial Design in 1995.
Historian Ian Morris examines how the transatlantic trade economy and the geography of those trade routes led to mathematical breakthroughs in the 17th century. Morris argues that the advancement of mathematics caused a chain reaction of innovative thought that culminated in industrial and scientific revolutions across the British Empire.