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.
Bench Grass is the research blog of Erik Lund, an "independent scholar" in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- Gathering the Bones, 18: Hew Down the Bridge!
- Postblogging Technology, October, I: Forest for the Trees
- The Bishop's Sea, III: The Real Presence
- Postblogging Technology, November, 1943: Caesar's New Clothes
- Postblogging Technology, November 1950, II: Platypus Time
- Postblogging Technology, December 1950, II: Christmas Corps
- Postblogging Technology, March 1944, I: Pulling In the Horns
- A Techno-Pastoral Appendix to Postblogging Technology, October 1950: The Chestnut Plague
- Gathering the Bones, XXIII: Wyandotte Days
- I Would Run Away to the Air: The British Economy, Montgolfier to 727, Part 1
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
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