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-I first became an avid student of David Christian by watching his course, Big History, on DVD, and so I am very happy to see his enlightening presentation of the world's history captured in these essays. I hope it will introduce a wider audience to this gifted scientist and teacher.- --Bill Gates A great historian can make clear the connections between the first Homo sapi -I first became an avid student of David Christian by watching his course, Big History, on DVD, and so I am very happy to see his enlightening presentation of the world's history captured in these essays. I hope it will introduce a wider audience to this gifted scientist and teacher.- --Bill Gates A great historian can make clear the connections between the first Homo sapiens and today's version of the species, and a great storyteller can make those connections come alive. David Christian is both, and This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity makes the journey - from the earliest foraging era to our own modern era - a fascinating one. Enter This Fleeting World - and give up the preconception that anything old is boring.


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-I first became an avid student of David Christian by watching his course, Big History, on DVD, and so I am very happy to see his enlightening presentation of the world's history captured in these essays. I hope it will introduce a wider audience to this gifted scientist and teacher.- --Bill Gates A great historian can make clear the connections between the first Homo sapi -I first became an avid student of David Christian by watching his course, Big History, on DVD, and so I am very happy to see his enlightening presentation of the world's history captured in these essays. I hope it will introduce a wider audience to this gifted scientist and teacher.- --Bill Gates A great historian can make clear the connections between the first Homo sapiens and today's version of the species, and a great storyteller can make those connections come alive. David Christian is both, and This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity makes the journey - from the earliest foraging era to our own modern era - a fascinating one. Enter This Fleeting World - and give up the preconception that anything old is boring.

30 review for This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hosein

    این جهانِ گذرا از همون اول تکلیفش رو با خواننده‌ش مشخص می‌کنه، خیلی واضح می‌گه این کتاب برای کسایی که تاریخ رو تدریس می‌کنن طراحی شده تا زمانی که در مورد دوره‌های تاریخی صحبت می‌کنن، یک مسیر و روش مشخصی داشته باشن. برای همین دیوید کریسچن با فرضِ اینکه خواننده‌ی کتاب اطلاعات قابل قبولی در مورد تاریخ، اقتصاد، تکامل انسان‌ها و ادیان داره خیلی جزئیات رو نمی‌گه، فقط با هر سرفصل و توضیحات کوتاه سعی می‌کنه مسیر صحبت کردن در مورد تاریخ رو مشخص کنه. این کتاب برای اطلاعات عمومی خیلی خوبه، یعنی کسی که اهل خ این جهانِ گذرا از همون اول تکلیفش رو با خواننده‌ش مشخص می‌کنه، خیلی واضح می‌گه این کتاب برای کسایی که تاریخ رو تدریس می‌کنن طراحی شده تا زمانی که در مورد دوره‌های تاریخی صحبت می‌کنن، یک مسیر و روش مشخصی داشته باشن. برای همین دیوید کریسچن با فرضِ اینکه خواننده‌ی کتاب اطلاعات قابل قبولی در مورد تاریخ، اقتصاد، تکامل انسان‌ها و ادیان داره خیلی جزئیات رو نمی‌گه، فقط با هر سرفصل و توضیحات کوتاه سعی می‌کنه مسیر صحبت کردن در مورد تاریخ رو مشخص کنه. این کتاب برای اطلاعات عمومی خیلی خوبه، یعنی کسی که اهل خوندن تاریخ نیست و آشنایی زیادی با این قضایا نداره، این جهانِ گذرا براش فوق‌العاده‌س. همه چیز رو خیلی سریع توضیح می‌ده و قبل از خسته‌کننده شدن سراغ مورد بعدی می‌ره. نظرات نویسنده خیلی توی متن دخیل نیست و در مورد نظریه‌ها و تئوری‌هایی که بعضا هم پرطرفدار هستن ولی از لحاظ علمی ثابت نشدن صحبت نمی‌کنه. از اون سمت به هیچ‌عنوان ایدئولوژی‌ها و ادیان رو نمی‌کوبه و خیلی منطقی با تمامشون رفتار می‌کنه. به نظرم این کتاب برای رده‌ی سنی 12 تا 16 سال خیلی مناسبه، ممکنه برای کسی که اطلاعات کافی در مورد تاریخ داره خیلی تکراری باشه، چون کتاب برای دادنِ اطلاعات جدید نیست، فقط سعی می‌کنه یک دسته‌بندی خوب برای تدریس و تفکر در مورد تاریخ ارائه بده.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ali Niazi

    اين جهان گذرا، كتاب مختصر و فوق العاده درباره تاريخ جهان از چندين هزار قبل تا الان با يك تقسيم بندي عالي و توضيح مناسب، يكي از كتاب هايي كه به نظرم همه مطالعه آنرا مي پسندند

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tim Chang

    picked this up on a whim -- perhaps at the TED conference? Quick, delightful "Cliff Notes on the Human Race up to now" In the spirit of Cliff Notes encapsulation and compression of salient data, here were the notes I jotted down as I read. Pretty much a bullet point version of the book for handy reference that you can keep in Evernote or on your smartphone :) -Universe appeared 13.7B years ago with Big Bang, starting smaller than an atom which exploded to create all base elements of universe today picked this up on a whim -- perhaps at the TED conference? Quick, delightful "Cliff Notes on the Human Race up to now" In the spirit of Cliff Notes encapsulation and compression of salient data, here were the notes I jotted down as I read. Pretty much a bullet point version of the book for handy reference that you can keep in Evernote or on your smartphone :) -Universe appeared 13.7B years ago with Big Bang, starting smaller than an atom which exploded to create all base elements of universe today -particles passed through phase changes: first forces ala gravity and electromagnetism. Then particles like quarks, but most particles annihilated as soon as they appeared, turning into pure energy. -starting point was protons and electrons + 4 forms of energy, all as plasma -380k years later, next phase change was first atoms with protons + electrons (hydrogen and helium), which was electrically neutral and ceased to interact with e-mag radiation - energy from big bang still detected in cosmic background radiation -early universe was just clouds of H and He -then complexity kicked in after 200M years, creating stars from gravity pulling H and He together, which heated up as they contracted, fusing H atoms together and creating pure energy poured out into empty space. -with gravity, stars collected into clusters of galaxies. These stars kept fusing H together in their cores until they ran out of H, which led to collapse of centers, generating higher temp which fused He atoms together to form more complex elements like Carbon -elements up to Iron created via these star core collapses (more complex atoms require more temp than a star can generate) -when star dies, it creates a supernova, which creates elements all the way up to uranium. Hence all elements created in death throes of stars -first supernovae within 1B years of Big Bang, seeding space with complex chemicals -these chemicals combined to create new stars our of clouds with more complex elements. Non-hydrogen elements combined like snowballs to form meteorites and asteroids. In orbit, all the bits and pieces collided to form planets. -Solar System's Sun created 4.5B years ago -sun's heat drove gassier elements away from center, which is why inner planets are rockier, while outer planets are gassier -early Earth was hot and bombarded by asteroid as it grew larger. Young Earth melted in a "differentiation" process, with heaviest elements like iron and nickel sinking to center to form Earth's core, which created magnetic field to protect surface from solar radiation. Mantle formed from semi-molten middle layer. Lighter materials at surface, cooling to form eggshell thin crust. Lightest materials form gas atmosphere. -1st 500m years of Earth is Hadean era, with no oxygen in atmosphere and no life. Then Earth cooled forming water vapor clouds which rained down to form oceans. -early oceans were perfect medium to create additional complexity via chemical reactions @ deep sea floor near underwater volcanoes. -3.5B years ago, first 1-cell prokaryotes formed, capable of metabolism and replication by splitting with DNA mutations, leading to natural selection. -those capable of photosynthesis thrived and pumped more oxygen into atmosphere, creating Eukaryotes 2B years ago. -new level of complexity, with larger single cell organisms that protected DNA in central nucelus and sexual reproduction, creating more variety of offspring. -600m years ago: multi-celled organisms living in the sea. -500m years ago, some organisms explored the land and evolved -65m years ago, asteroid wiped out dinosaurs, giving rise to small mammals who survived -20m years ago, primates started to live on ground -7m years ago, African apes stood on two legs -3m years ago: Lucy (Australopithicus) lived in Ethiopia as bipedal -2m years ago: homo habilis appeared, capable of making simple stone tools. -1.5m years ago: homo erectus appeared, making more sophisticated tools, and migrating out of Africa into other regions as far as China -250k years ago, homo sapiens appeared in East Africa -most powerful trait is symbolic language with formal grammars that create limitless, precise utterances and ideas. Allowed people to talk about parties not immediately present as well as past/present/future and abstract entities/ideas. Knowledge accumulated faster than lost as a result via collective learning over generations. Culture overtakes natural selection as primary motor of change Three Major Eras of World History: 1) Foraging (250k-10k years ago): 250k-100k years ago - African origins 100k-10k years ago - global migration - society as family drove relations of exchanges conceived as gifts (act of exchange more important than quality of goods being exchanged) -- reciprocity. Hierarchies based on gender, age, experience, and respect within the family - foragers usually lived on 3000 calories/day and had much free time. Built-in population control based on land area's resources. Thin population densities, with growth from expansion 2) Agrarian (8000BC-1750CE) 8000-3000BC: pre-city agrarian communities 3000-500BC: earliest cities and states 500BC-1000CE: agriculture, cities, empires 1000-1750: agricultural socities - agriculture appeared 1st in Nile Valley with global warming and fertile areas capable of producing surpluses of food supply. Appeared in parallel across several independent regions. - agriculture = cluster of tech that enabled humans to increase food production, via manipulation of environment and domestication of other species. Average human controlled 12k calories/day - intensification with agriculture created larger communities with more people, changing social environments -- need hierarchies of power to administrate surpluses, etc. - division of labor-- larger communities support non-farmer specialists: priests, potters, builders, soldiers, artists who exchange goods and services for food - surpluses grew large enough to support elite groups specializing in exploitation of other people (macroparasites) - villages appeared before cities - new hierarchies created more patriarchy, and complex government and leadership models - statehood arose as large coercive power structures between cities with interexchange of goods and services. Collection of wealth by force = crude form of looting that became formalized looting as taxation. - writing first emerged as technique to track large stores of resources: 1st writing = early accounting systems!! - defending city-states led to creation of armies, and rulers engaged in symbolic activities to maintain power: human sacrifice, monuments, palaces, etc. to raise prestige of local rulers - Sargon of Akkad established 1st imperial system 2334BC in Mesopotamia - Eurasia became largest system of exchange on Earth (silk road) - increased reach of political, commercial, and intellectual exchange helped create first world religions, starting with Zoroastrianism in central asia in 600BC (when Cyrus I founded Achaemenid Empire), followed by Buddhism in northern India, and Christianity in Roman Empire, and then Islam in SW Asia in 600CE -Western Europe became global hub of power via fleets and trade in integrated world system in 1500s, with inflow of ideas, wealth, resources, knowledge. European diseases also overpowered other regional populations. 3) Modern (1750-) 1750-1914: industrial revolutiion 1914-1945: 20th century crisis 1945-: contemporary era -population grew from 770M in 1750 to 6B in 2000 (8x in 250 years only!) -productivity gains driven by rapid tech advances. Average person controls 230k calories today -411 cities with 1M+ pop, 41 with 5M+ (Shanghai at 16+M) -3 waves of Industrial Revolution: 1) UK: Watt steam engine able to burn fossil fuels (endless supply of cheap energy), cotton-spinning machines 2) Steamengine trains vastly increase ranges for large nations like US 3) Industrial tech spreads to Europe, Russia, and Japan. Large corporations formed. -industrial armies conquered much of the world, and machine-produced textiles undercut local producers in other regions -global imperialism and 3rd World created in 19th century -governments get even bigger and more complex, creating democratic rule -crisis and progress slowdown created with collapse of global financial system as governments learned to cope with rapid growth, and often focused on monopolistic domination of other regions for resources. -capitalist engine of growth driven by mass production and mass consumerism -mass consumerism solved under-consumption/over-production problem. In early 1900s people realized that stimulating demand is more promising for long-term growth vs seeking protexcted mrkts. In 1930s John Maynard Keynes argued that governments revive capitalist economies by boosting consumption via unemployment payments (ex: New Deal in US 1930s to create jobs) -cultural revolution driven by tech: realism in cinemas and mass culture and mass media caused artists to experiment with more abstract forms of expression -Communist vs Capitalist models of industrialization competed in Cold War. Communist command economy only works well with military crises or massive resources devoted to prestrige projects (like space programs), but lacks constant innovation via competition. -majority of people in most countries introduced to literacy and schooling -rise of Globalization, with commodities and global brands available everywhere -global population should level out at 9-10B by end of 2099, with rising standard of living -but consumption levels rising everywhere, straining environment!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mostafa

    ترسیم حرکت انسان به عنوان موجودی هوشمند از زمان پیدایش و افتراق از دیگر گونه های زیستی تا زمان حال... در واقع کتاب تاریخ زندگی بشتر است فارق از اتفاقات سیاسی-حکومتی و تمرکزش بر تاریخ زیستی انسان است از آنجا کتاب مشخصا برای کمک به معلمان تاریخ جهت دادن یک تصویر کلی از تاریخ تدوین شده، بسیار خلاصه و موجز تاریخ را شرح داده که برای خواننده معمولی هم جهت داشتن یک تصویر کلی از تاریخ مفید است نویسنده با تقسیم تاریخ بشر به سه بخش 1.عصر خوراکجویی 2.عصر کشاورزی 3. عصر مدرن تاریخ بشر را بررسی کرده

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ayda

    همانطور که در ابتدای کتاب مشخص شده این کتاب صرفا کتابی برای تدریسه و از پرداختن به شرح جزئیات خودداری کرده و مختصر تاریخ بشریت را در سه بخش توضیح داده. به نظرم همین سادگی و جمع و جور بودن کتاب برای منی که مطالعه ی نسبتا کمی از تاریخ داشتم باعث به وجود آمدن یک چهارچوب کلی در ذهنم شد که برای شروع قدم مناسبیه.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erick Harper

    Marketed as a fresh, new perspective on world history, especially for teachers. Unfortunately falls short of this promise; it's a thumbnail version of every World History class that has ever been taught. I should have been skeptical of an overview of human history weighing in at just over 100 pages in the first place. A few interesting debate questions/thought experiments, but overall too much emphasis on (and blatant speculation about) primitive/prehistoric foraging societies who I'm sure were Marketed as a fresh, new perspective on world history, especially for teachers. Unfortunately falls short of this promise; it's a thumbnail version of every World History class that has ever been taught. I should have been skeptical of an overview of human history weighing in at just over 100 pages in the first place. A few interesting debate questions/thought experiments, but overall too much emphasis on (and blatant speculation about) primitive/prehistoric foraging societies who I'm sure were nice people and all, but the least relevant to modern society and students. Really nothing new or particularly insightful here that's not already covered by most high school world history texts. The exception would be the whole section on the origins of the universe, which would be great in a science class of some kind, but something I'm unlikely to waste time talking about within the confines of a year-long World History survey course. I suppose it provides a nice outline/structure for teaching about human history, but again, it's nothing that teachers aren't already doing. Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel gave a lot more insight into how different human societies evolved differently, with a lot stronger factual foundation.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barzamini

    هنگام مواجه با این کتاب،اگر انتظارمان را تا حد یک خلاصه سطحی ولی جمع و جور از تاریخ پایین بیاوریم،رضایت نسبی مان را در پایان جلب می کند و به داشته های تاریخی مان نظمِ خوبی می بخشد و شِمای کلی بی طرفانه ای از تاریخ ارائه می دهد. خود نویسنده،کتابش را راهنمایی موجز برای مدرسان تاریخ می داند و مخاطب اش را از پیش مشخص کرده ولی هدف من صرفا ایجاد آمادگی مناسبی برای شروع مطالعات اساسی ترِ تاریخی در آینده بود و البته صادقانه اعتراف می کنم که نقاشی روی جلد کتاب که اثری از بروگل است هم در انتخابم بی تاثیر ن هنگام مواجه با این کتاب،اگر انتظارمان را تا حد یک خلاصه سطحی ولی جمع و جور از تاریخ پایین بیاوریم،رضایت نسبی مان را در پایان جلب می کند و به داشته های تاریخی مان نظمِ خوبی می بخشد و شِمای کلی بی طرفانه ای از تاریخ ارائه می دهد. خود نویسنده،کتابش را راهنمایی موجز برای مدرسان تاریخ می داند و مخاطب اش را از پیش مشخص کرده ولی هدف من صرفا ایجاد آمادگی مناسبی برای شروع مطالعات اساسی ترِ تاریخی در آینده بود و البته صادقانه اعتراف می کنم که نقاشی روی جلد کتاب که اثری از بروگل است هم در انتخابم بی تاثیر نبود!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nick Mariner

    Is it possible to tell a useful history of the world in 100 pages? After this book, the answer still remains no.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jean-Marie

    I enjoyed this big picture overview of the history of humanity. It's a very quick read and offers a good contextual outline for filling in the details of world history. I enjoyed this big picture overview of the history of humanity. It's a very quick read and offers a good contextual outline for filling in the details of world history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mohammad

    وقتی سراغ این کتاب رفتم تصور می‌کردم با فضایی شبیه به کتاب تاریخ جهان گامبریچ مواجه خواهم شد ولی باید اعتراف کنم که اصلا آن چیزی که تصور می‌کردم نبود. مطمئنم برای هر کس که بخواند کتاب مفیدی است.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cockeram

    An attempt to tell the history of the world as a single story, in about ninety pages, is probably doomed from the start--the only question is, where does it fail? This text gives the best possible answer for a book seeking mass appeal: sacrifice the culture of prehistoric humans and stick to what is measurable. There is no doubt that Christian knows history, and he's well acquainted with the important controversies and debates within his project. He explains the ethics of dividing world history i An attempt to tell the history of the world as a single story, in about ninety pages, is probably doomed from the start--the only question is, where does it fail? This text gives the best possible answer for a book seeking mass appeal: sacrifice the culture of prehistoric humans and stick to what is measurable. There is no doubt that Christian knows history, and he's well acquainted with the important controversies and debates within his project. He explains the ethics of dividing world history into periods, and he covers competing theories in a balanced way. Did all humans emerge from Africa, or did different variations of the human species evolve from various, regionally-based proto-human animals with some degree of interbreeding? Christian covers that controversy well, justifying why he cleaves to one theory while giving a fair hearing to the other. My disappointment with the book enters with Christian's obvious preference for economics and data. He quantifies human progress in terms of world-wide Gross National Product and gives almost as much attention to the cold war and the collapse of Soviet Russia as he does to animal husbandry. To some extent, it's natural to skew a history of the world in favor of recent history, where a greater quantity of research and information are available. But the appeal of a book like this has to rest equally in its coverage of ancient, even prehistoric history, which is the bit about which lay readers most likely know the least. On that history, Christian delivers some fascinating material, and I enjoyed that part the most by far. Particularly interesting was his use of the concept "lifeways" to characterize different human cultures at different times in history. Unfortunately, in keeping with his bias for economic behavior, too much of what we learn about humanity's various lifeways concerns what they bought and sold, the technologies and innovations they developed, rather than the arts or the cultures they practiced. About those, the book delivers only odd references here and there to the cave paintings, with almost no attention to the watershed discovery of a prehistoric temple dating older than the pyramids, which is located at Gobekli Tepe. That last objection might be due to the book's age. Although my edition was copyrighted 2008, the latest data referenced in the text were from the 1990s. In general, this is a good resource for school-aged children looking to get a handle on the history of humanity in bite-sized chunks. Certainly the "Thought Experiments" included in various side-bars seem directed to that age and level of development. And it's also a useful read for anyone who'd like to learn a narrative of the human race that hangs together remarkably well. But the writing style is so very dry, and there is so much emphasis on economics and numbers, that I can't say it's a fun read. And learning the story of the human race should be a lot more fun than this.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hosein Naseri

    کتابی جمع‌و‌جور و سبک برای شروع مطالعه در زمینه تاریخ که دیدی نسبتا جامع و برون‌نگر را به دست می‌دهد. توصیه من خواندن کتاب انسان خردمند بعد از این کتاب است تا با جزئیات بیشتر درگیر شوید هرچند که نویسنده در آن اثر پررنگ‌تر است و در این اثر تقرییا غایب.

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Gustafson

    3.5. This is obviously a book designed to be a short introduction for young adults to the concept of world history. But it falls into the trap of often being "Western History" once you leave the agrarian age except where the rest of the world intersects with "western" development. For instance, once early humans leave Africa, we cease to see Africa appear in the narrative for the most part until they reappear, ironically, as an example of peoples ignored by modern economic developments. The autho 3.5. This is obviously a book designed to be a short introduction for young adults to the concept of world history. But it falls into the trap of often being "Western History" once you leave the agrarian age except where the rest of the world intersects with "western" development. For instance, once early humans leave Africa, we cease to see Africa appear in the narrative for the most part until they reappear, ironically, as an example of peoples ignored by modern economic developments. The author tries to stick to major historic driving forces without much room to examine how different areas react, incorporate, or ignore those forces. There obviously is only so much you can cover in 100 odd pages but perhaps that is a fault and not an excuse.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    Every Global 9 teacher should start their course by having their students read this short, fascinating book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    YHC

    really a much simpler version of his previous book on big history, suitable for those who have never try to connect all the history together to kick a start. --最早的生命原核生物诞生于太古宙(38亿年至25亿年前),紧随其后的是真核生物。距今约6亿年前的震旦纪(也称埃迪卡拉纪),地球上出现了多细胞的“埃迪卡拉生物群”。地球进入古生代之后,进化速度大大加快。最早的两栖动物、爬行动物和哺乳动物都在这一时期出现。距今2.5亿年前,地球进入中生代,这一时期的生物圈几乎被恐龙主宰。恐龙灭绝之后,地球进入新生代,现代生物开始出现,包括最晚进化出来的人类。 --为了适应树间生活,灵长类动物需要具备适于抓握的手,可以观察立体图像的眼睛和能够处理大量视觉信息的大脑。从距今约2 000万年前起,一部分灵长类动物(早期形态的猿)开始花更多时间生活在地面上。到了约700万年前,在非洲某个地方,一些猿类开始用双脚站立。这是第一批“类人猿”,这种两足直立的猿是 really a much simpler version of his previous book on big history, suitable for those who have never try to connect all the history together to kick a start. --最早的生命原核生物诞生于太古宙(38亿年至25亿年前),紧随其后的是真核生物。距今约6亿年前的震旦纪(也称埃迪卡拉纪),地球上出现了多细胞的“埃迪卡拉生物群”。地球进入古生代之后,进化速度大大加快。最早的两栖动物、爬行动物和哺乳动物都在这一时期出现。距今2.5亿年前,地球进入中生代,这一时期的生物圈几乎被恐龙主宰。恐龙灭绝之后,地球进入新生代,现代生物开始出现,包括最晚进化出来的人类。 --为了适应树间生活,灵长类动物需要具备适于抓握的手,可以观察立体图像的眼睛和能够处理大量视觉信息的大脑。从距今约2 000万年前起,一部分灵长类动物(早期形态的猿)开始花更多时间生活在地面上。到了约700万年前,在非洲某个地方,一些猿类开始用双脚站立。这是第一批“类人猿”,这种两足直立的猿是我们人类的直接祖先。 --200万年前,非洲东部出现了另一个类人物种,我们称之为“能人”。这个物种的特别之处就在于它的成员可以制作简单的石质工具。约50万年前,地球上又出现了一个类人物种,名为“直立人”(Homo erectus,古生物学家至今仍在争论该物种的确切命名)。该物种的成员和现代人类个头相当,其脑容量也和我们相差无几。他们制作的石质工具比能人更加精细复杂。随后,这个物种的部分成员离开非洲,迁移到其他地区,历经许多代,最远的到达了今天的中国境内。现代智人,出现在约25万年前的东非。 --如果我们假定3万年前世界人口为50万,那么就意味着,在距今3万年到1万年前这一时间段中,世界人口的年增长率低于0.01%。也就是说,世界人口大致每8 000年至9 000年翻一番。我们可以把这个增长率和其他历史阶段的平均增长率作比较:农耕时代是每隔1 400年翻一番,现代社会是每隔85年翻一番。 --但是当时间来到距今55 000年至40 000年前,人类出现在冰河时代的澳大利亚大陆时,这一事件立刻被视为技术创新的明显标志。因为抵达澳大利亚大陆需要高超复杂的航海技术,而且要想定居在澳大利亚大陆,人类必须适应完全不同的生物环境。迄今为止,我们还没发现其他哺乳动物能独立完成这样的壮举。 --在刚刚过去的5万年中,许多大型动物物种相继灭绝,尤其是在人类新近踏足的地区,无论是澳大利亚、西伯利亚还是美洲。澳大利亚和美洲可能失去了70%—80%体重在100磅(约45公斤)以上的哺乳动物物种。这些物种包括澳大利亚的巨型袋鼠和袋熊;西伯利亚冰河时代的猛犸和长毛犀牛;美洲的野马、骆驼、大树懒和剑齿虎。欧洲可能失去了40%的大型动物物种;而在人类和大型哺乳动物长期共存的非洲,仅有14%的大型动物灭绝。随着考古学家推算出更加准确的日期,我们发现这些灭绝发生的时间正好和现代人类抵达相关地区的时间大致吻合,这就意味着人类导致这些动物灭绝的可能性大大增加。 --在农耕时代期间,世界人口由1万年前的600万增长到1750年现代社会初期的7.7亿。虽然这些数字背后隐藏着巨大的地区和年代差异,但基本可以得出每年约0.05%的平均人口增长率;以这种增速,人口每1 400年会翻一番。把这种速度和采集狩猎时代每8 000年至9 000年翻一番的速度,以及现代社会约85年翻一番的速度做一下对比。 --1750年至2000年间,世界人口从7.7亿左右增加到近60亿,在250年里数量增长近8倍。这种增长态势相当于每年人口增长0.8%,大约每85年人口会翻一番。(相比而言,农耕时代人口翻倍时间估计为1 400年,采集狩猎时代的翻倍时间长达8 000年至9 000年。)劳动生产力空前提高让人口数量增长至8倍成为可能。 ---采集狩猎时代,每人平均每天可以支配3 000多千卡的能量,仅够维持人体的合理健康状态。农耕时代,每人平均每天可以支配12 000千卡的能量,当时最强劲的可用动力是家畜或风力船。到了近现代,人类已经学会从煤、石油和天然气等化石燃料中提取能源,甚至利用存储在原子核中的能量。如今,平均每人每天可以支配230 000千卡的能量,这一数据是农耕时代的20倍。(相当于每天吃近1 000块糖获取的能量!)飞机、火箭与核能的时代取代了马、牛与柴火的时代。 --

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tulip

    Một sự thất vọng lớn. 3 sao cho bản gốc, trừ nửa sao cho bản tiếng Việt còn 2,5 (dịch sai những đoạn rất vô duyên - vd thế kỷ 20 dịch thành thế kỷ 19 wtf; và lược bớt khá nhiều phần thế kỷ 20) Quyển sách chia ra 4 phần chính: trước thời tiền sử (Big Bang, sự hình thành các vì sao,...); kỷ nguyên săn bắt hái lượm; kỷ nguyên nông nghiệp; thời kỳ hiện đại (1750 tới hiện tại). Cá nhân mình thấy cách chia này có phần tương đồng, nhưng không hay và có lý như trong cuốn Sapiens (sự khác biệt chủ yếu nằm Một sự thất vọng lớn. 3 sao cho bản gốc, trừ nửa sao cho bản tiếng Việt còn 2,5 (dịch sai những đoạn rất vô duyên - vd thế kỷ 20 dịch thành thế kỷ 19 wtf; và lược bớt khá nhiều phần thế kỷ 20) Quyển sách chia ra 4 phần chính: trước thời tiền sử (Big Bang, sự hình thành các vì sao,...); kỷ nguyên săn bắt hái lượm; kỷ nguyên nông nghiệp; thời kỳ hiện đại (1750 tới hiện tại). Cá nhân mình thấy cách chia này có phần tương đồng, nhưng không hay và có lý như trong cuốn Sapiens (sự khác biệt chủ yếu nằm ở phần cách mạng công nghiệp - Sapiens nói nhiều về sự khởi nguyên từ thời kỳ Khai sáng, lấy đó làm điểm mốc, còn cuốn này lấy mốc là khi máy hơi nước ra đời; và không nói nhiều tới lý do khởi nguồn của nó, và đoạn này cũng không thuyết phục) Quyển sách có khá nhiều đoạn đọc rất sượng, cảm giác dẫn dắt thiếu logic (không phải thiếu ý hay thiếu dẫn chứng). Phần trước thời hiện đại đọc rất ngán, không có ý gì mới mẻ hay đáng chú ý, thậm chí phần chuyển tiếp ở thời đại săn bắt hái lượm tới thời đại nông nghiệp viết rất gượng và nghe không ổn. Phần hiện đại thì ổn hơn nhiều, nó đưa ra nhiều vấn đề đáng suy ngẫm hơn, và mạch logic tốt hơn. Mình tự hỏi điều gì là lý do? Có thể vì các bài phân tích thời hiện đại rất nhiều nên việc tổng hợp lại đơn giản và chính xác hơn? Dù lý do là gì thì phần đầu vẫn quá tệ. Và dù hiểu lý do, nhưng việc đưa lịch sử từ thời Big Bang vào chẳng giúp người đọc được gì trong việc hiểu về lịch sử loài người.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    I originally read this book because I had to for school....I was surprised to disorder that I actually liked it. David Christian lays out history in a way that makes so much sense--from the beginning to the end in terms of trends and big events. This book laid the ground work for me to look at the history of our world differently. As I type about my feelings, I'm pretty sure I need to go back and reread and think about how things have changed since this book was published. Essentially, if you ar I originally read this book because I had to for school....I was surprised to disorder that I actually liked it. David Christian lays out history in a way that makes so much sense--from the beginning to the end in terms of trends and big events. This book laid the ground work for me to look at the history of our world differently. As I type about my feelings, I'm pretty sure I need to go back and reread and think about how things have changed since this book was published. Essentially, if you are looking for a book to understand history, this one is concise and really decent BUT if you are not into history, it may be a little dry.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    It is exactly what it purports to be " a short history of humanity". In doing so it raises questions about how to present and document history. As such it is a great stepping off point for anyone starting on their own journey. Its a guide book for teachers and an introduction for students. I've already dipped into Christians other works on World History and consider this would be a great place to start for newcomers. I liked the discussion questions and would love to listen to young enquiring mi It is exactly what it purports to be " a short history of humanity". In doing so it raises questions about how to present and document history. As such it is a great stepping off point for anyone starting on their own journey. Its a guide book for teachers and an introduction for students. I've already dipped into Christians other works on World History and consider this would be a great place to start for newcomers. I liked the discussion questions and would love to listen to young enquiring minds debate the issues

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Hood

    Kiddo was reading this for her World History class and since I basically know nothing about history, gave this short book a try. I really liked the first two sections "Before the Beginning" and "Foragers". The big picture approach strongly appeals to me. However, there was almost too much detail in the "Agrarian Era" and "Modern Era". I guess I like old stuff like me. Kiddo was reading this for her World History class and since I basically know nothing about history, gave this short book a try. I really liked the first two sections "Before the Beginning" and "Foragers". The big picture approach strongly appeals to me. However, there was almost too much detail in the "Agrarian Era" and "Modern Era". I guess I like old stuff like me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Narciss

    داشتن یک تصویر منسجم از تاریخ برای درک بهتر وقایع و جایگاهشون واقعا لازمه و به نظر من این کتاب بدون غرض و جبه‌گیری یا تعصب، و با اطلاعات علمی کامل و خلاصه شده،‌ تصویر منسجم خوبی ارائه میده که واقعا لازمه. بعد از این میشه به سراغ کتاب‌های دیگه رفت تا هر قسمت تاریخ رو با جزئیات بیشتر مطالعه کرد. کلا به نظرم این کتاب دقیقا جوری بود که باید می‌بود، با اطلاعات خوب و منسجم، علمی و خلاصه.

  21. 4 out of 5

    ROBERT GAGLIARDI

    Rating and review is for audiobook version. Narrator Neil Scott-Barbour was horrendous. Noticablely paused every 5 to 10 syllables, which I found distracting and irritating. Listening in the car, several times took very deliberate effort to stay awake. The material of the book was probably fine, but was completely overshadowed by the horrible experience of listening to the reading by NSB.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Goose

    I did not enjoy this book and will not recommend it to others. I appreciate what the author was doing, but I found myself either bored (it’s a textbook) or annoyed (some observations appeared to indicate a western or male-centric bias). A worthy attempt, but it wasn’t a good fit for me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dastaan17

    جزئیاتی در کار نیست... یا باید فقط قصد آشنایی اولیه با مسیر تاریخ داشته باشید، یا باید اطلاعات تاریخی داشته باشید تا کتاب براتون مناسب باشه.(به قول خود نویسنده، برای ایجاد یک تصویر از روند تاریخ در سراسر جهان یا بخش عمده جهان)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Yueh-Hua Chen

    一本精要的人類歷史,適合作為大綱學歷史。但如果要我說的話,我會建議再搭配上另一本書《槍炮、病菌與鋼鐵:人類社會的命運》,看地圖會更有感。

  25. 4 out of 5

    David

    a simple book about the birth of universe and quarks>>atoms>>planetary formation>>terraforma...DNA formations+learning>>simple organisms>>complex organisms>>human...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Monica Bond-Lamberty

    This is one of the first Big History works (yes short book for big history) that I read. Big History is not my thing but this give a nice overview of World History in any event.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mad Bells

    Very general

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hung Nguy

    Quite good but nothing new and exciting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Arman Erafic

    کتابی خلاصه و بسیار جذاب از تاریخ بشریت. مناسب برای کسانی که تاریخ تمدن براشون خسته کننده هست.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hadi Bayat

    کتاب بسیار خوبی است. یک دید کلان و مختصر اما روشنی‌بخش و گویا نسبت به تاریخ جهان. البته که در این حجم نمیتوانسته بر استخوان بحث گوشت بپوشاند، کاری که به نظرم در انسان خردمند صورت گرفته است. به نظر من در کنار انسان خردمند و "خاستگاه‌های جهان مدرن" سه‌گانه‌ای هستند که چشم انداز عمیقی ایجاد میکنند. ترجمه مثل ترجمه دو کتاب دیگری که گفتم عالی نیست ولی گویا است. فهرست مختصر کتابهای معرفی شده در حوزه تاریخ جهان در انتهای کتاب هم قابل استفاده است. کتاب بسیار خوبی است. یک دید کلان و مختصر اما روشنی‌بخش و گویا نسبت به تاریخ جهان. البته که در این حجم نمیتوانسته بر استخوان بحث گوشت بپوشاند، کاری که به نظرم در انسان خردمند صورت گرفته است. به نظر من در کنار انسان خردمند و "خاستگاه‌های جهان مدرن" سه‌گانه‌ای هستند که چشم انداز عمیقی ایجاد میکنند. ترجمه مثل ترجمه دو کتاب دیگری که گفتم عالی نیست ولی گویا است. فهرست مختصر کتابهای معرفی شده در حوزه تاریخ جهان در انتهای کتاب هم قابل استفاده است.

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