[ExI] Eurocentric Bias in Human Achievement
avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 8 04:04:50 UTC 2008
--- Damien Sullivan <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
> One suggestion has been that China was in an efficiency trap, so good at
> doing things with human and animal labor that there was no path allowing
> the profitable development of industrial machinery.
An interesting biological version of the efficiency trap are jungles. Most
people would think that the lush tropical rainforests would harbour
exceptionally fertile soil, but in fact the exact opposite is true. The soil of
the rainforests is very deficient in nutrients, by virtue of the fact that all
the nutrients are in use by something already.
So I guess early adoption of industrialization by China would have been like
trying to plant a garden in the Amazon without first burning or mulching what
was already there.
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu
"A portion of mankind take pride in their vices and pursue their purpose; many more waver between doing what is right and complying with what is wrong." - Horace
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