June 29, The liberal arts traditionally provided the core of a college education — and the underpinnings for further study and a career. Harvard College, early etching. I had the good fortune to attend such a university, Harvard.
For most of the last several thousand years, it would have seemed far likelier that Chinese or Indians, not Europeans, would dominate the world by the yearand that America and Australia would be settled by Chinese rather than by the inhabitants of a backward island called Britain.
The reversal of fortunes of East and West strikes me as the biggest news story of the millennium, and one of its most unexpected as well.
The Chinese could easily have continued around the Cape of Good Hope and established direct trade with Europe. But as they saw it, Europe was a backward region, and China had little interest in the wool, beads and wine Europe had to trade.
Africa had what China wanted -- ivory, medicines, spices, exotic woods, even specimens of native wildlife. In Zheng He's time, China and India together accounted for more than half of the world's gross national product, as they have for most of human history.
Even as recently asChina accounted for 29 percent of the global economy and India another 16 percent, according to the calculations of Angus Maddison, a leading British economic historian.
Asia's retreat into relative isolation after the expeditions of Zheng He amounted to a catastrophic missed opportunity, one that laid the groundwork for the rise of Europe and, eventually, America.
Westerners often attribute their economic advantage today to the intelligence, democratic habits or hard work of their forebears, but a more important reason may well have been the folly of 15th-century Chinese rulers.
Yes, the problem was that they didn't appreciate good claret. There's a lesson in that. The link is above."We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom." That epigram from E.O.
Wilson captures the dilemma of our era. Yet the solution of some folks is to disdain wisdom. "Is it a vital. Jan 06, · Many rivers and wells have dried up in southern Madagascar, forcing people to buy water that is trucked in.
Credit Nicholas Kristof/The New York Times As . The Americans are trying to portray the attack on the Al Rasheed hotel which almost (damn!) killed Paul Wolfowitz as a random attack that could not possibly have been targeted at Wolfowitz. Latest breaking news, including politics, crime and celebrity.
Find stories, updates and expert opinion. Apr 16, · By Nicholas Kristof. April 16, “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.” “But you need both, in my view, to maximize your potential.
iii) Standing Up to the King (Nicholas Kristof, June 18, ,The New York Times) In this article, Nicholas Kristof gives credit to Morocco’s King Mohammed IV for trying to put up a tolerant face to the pro-democracy protests.
But Kristof calls this wisdom on the part of the Moroccan king ‘a low bar’.