Thursday, April 23, 2020

Interesting Observation From

Will Durant and Ariel Durant, Our Oriental Heritage : The Story of Civilization, Volume I, 1:
Civilization is an interlude between ice ages: at any time the current of glaciation may rise again, cover with ice and stone the works of man, and reduce life to some narrow segment of the earth.
I saw this quote from Clarke's notes on some of his stories.  As becomes apparent, some of Clarke's early stories have billion year intervals of action.

1 comment:

  1. The Story of Civilization (which took 3 or so years to read - the prose is burdensome) was my introduction to the French Enlightenment. Based on their evidence the Durants and I came to opposite conclusions about its influence on religious tolerance. Voltaire being a notable exception, the philosophes were hostile to the church; I don't recall any of them presenting a vision of religion as a functioning part of the general culture.

    Later on I learned about Francis Fukuyama's basic observations about high- and low-cooperation societies, and figured out where religious tolerance really found its roots - in the trade hubs of Northern Europe, where Christian sectarianism was less divisive than elsewhere. The Church of England deserves credit for being lenient enough that Dissenting faiths could form and flourish. Later on a lot of these competing sects would come together for what may be the first post-Reformation ecumenical movement, the fight against slavery.