What if there had been one continuous line of development over that 1,300 years? What if the Renaissance had started 500AD? What kind of world might it be now?
This dip in the curve of world development used to seem to me like a problem for the idea that there's a directionality to development...but now I think it's reassuring, that even if you smash everything and reduce it to rubble, eventually development finds its way again, it may set you back a thousand years but the complexity and structure will re-form.
It does seem convenient for us that the 'east' is China and as the 'west' we get variously Egypt, Constantinople, Rome, London, the United States etc but I suppose that's the way it goes when you talk about the 'west'.
- Flinders UniversityEnglish, Philosophy, 1994 - 1999
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