Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So I'm currently working on the first chapter of the Unsolicited Manuscript of Doom, which covers world history from the beginning (as seems required in a good universal history) to the beginning of written history. This is essentially a complete rewriting of a first draft of the introductory lecture of my old history of science course --a pointless waste of time that Kwantlen University College used to require of its Bachelors in Business Technology students.
It is, at the very least, a better chapter than it was in the first go. I guess that justifies a great deal of reading and thinking over the last 6(!) years, but it is not exactly free of the jejune: case in point, my discussion of Karl Polanyi today.

I guess I should read a great deal more Polanyi rather than theoretically-minded archaeologists genuflecting to him, but I was not aware until I looked him up in Wikipedia the other day that his grand theory of non-market societies was formulated as a contribution to the history of the 18th-19th Century transition, and that I know something about. Specifically, I know that there ain't no early modernists ever heard of Polanyi. Does that justify giving him short shrift? Probably not, but you've got to save time somewhere.

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