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Farmers, Nomads, and the Spread of Civilization

September 22, 2012 12:34 pm

Until about 1500 C.E. history largely revolved around the relationship between two ways of life that people have followed since the birth of agriculture: nomadic herding and settled farming. Environment largely determined how these peoples lived, with wetter climates or river valleys favoring settled farming and drier climates leading to […]

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The Problem with Textbook Learning

12:30 pm

“Learn” can mean many things, but in the context of History instruction it means being able to recall key events, understanding why those events lead to other events, and recognizing the patterns of events as they recur throughout history. Remembering facts—like dates and names—uses different aspects of our memories than […]

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The Birth of Metallurgy and its Impact

12:29 pm

Introduction The time is around 9000 B.C.E.  A Stone Age hunter picks his way through a riverbed looking for flint suitable for tools and weapons.  His eye is caught by the sight of a rock that glimmers “far, as from the moon” as the Greek poet Homer would put it […]

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The Birth of Writing and its Impact

12:29 pm

Like so many other aspects of our civilization, we take writing for granted since we grew up with it. Therefore, consider the story of John Cremony, an army officer in the American southwest writing a letter to his mother back home. A Navajo Indian saw Cremony writing the letter and […]

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The Evolution of Early Civilized Warfare

12:28 pm

Introduction: the roots of warfare Probably one of the most unfortunate aspects of humans is their ability and willingness to kill others of their own species in wars, although some would argue that the crisis mode of warfare stimulates and accelerates new developments, especially in technology. However, with the exception […]

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Festive Dancing and its importance in History

12:26 pm

Introduction One of the hardest aspects of history to document, yet maybe one of the most important, has been festive dancing. It seems especially remote to us, since we have become progressively more isolated as individuals since the industrial revolution, so we tend to lose sight of the importance of […]

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The Rise of Cities and Hydraulic Civilizations (c. 8000-3000 BCE)

12:25 pm

To a nomad, first encountering an ancient city must have been much like walking into one of our science fiction movies, only more incredible. After all, we have cities on which to base our concepts of science fiction movies. The nomad really had little or nothing to give him the […]

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The Domestication of Animals and its Effects

12:24 pm

About the same time as the invention of agriculture (c.8000 BC) another revolution occurred: the taming of wild animals for domestic use. As with agriculture, the more settled lifestyle that better hunting and gathering allowed at the end of the last Ice Age was important, because it gave people the […]

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The Birth of Agriculture and its Effects

12:21 pm

Cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life.  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field.  In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread till […]

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A Possible Scenario for the Evolution of the Family and Gender Roles

12:20 pm

The dramatic physical changes our ancestors experienced also triggered equally significant social changes that led to the evolution of the most basic social unit of our species: the family. One likely scenario involved two lines of development converging to create the family. First, as our ancestors moved out of the […]

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A Possible Scenario of Human Evolution

12:18 pm

Where to start? While human history is primarily concerned with cultural and technological evolution, we need to understand a possible scenario for the evolution of the biological characteristics that have served as the basis for the human species’ other advances. Maybe a good starting point would be some 75,000,000 years […]

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Biological, Cultural, and Technological Evolution in History

12:18 pm

Introduction There are three types of evolution that have driven the development of human societies. The first of these is biological evolution where nature very slowly adapts us physically to our changing environment. Whether one believes in the theory of dynamic biological change and evolution or a more static creationist […]

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Biological, Cultural, and Technological Evolution in History

12:17 pm

Introduction There are three types of evolution that have driven the development of human societies. The first of these is biological evolution where nature very slowly adapts us physically to our changing environment. Whether one believes in the theory of dynamic biological change and evolution or a more static creationist […]

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Microsoft wins third German patent victory over Google Motorola technology

September 21, 2012 10:18 am
Microsoft wins third German patent victory over Google Motorola technology

Microsoft has won a third victory in Germany over Google’s Motorola unit in the ongoing patent wars between the two companies. A German court ruled that several Motorola tablets and phones infringe a Microsoft patented method for apps to handle different kinds of user input, such as on-screen letter and […]

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Apple Makes a Wrong Turn as Users Blast Map Switch

10:11 am
Apple Makes a Wrong Turn as Users Blast Map Switch

Apple Inc.’s move to replace Google Inc.’s mapping software with its own on its mobile devices sparked a world-wide consumer backlash, marking a rare strategic blunder by a company more accustomed to rave reviews from users. Streaming Updates Plus, visit the Gadget Wars stream for the latest on the cutthroat […]

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