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Old 05-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
Steveknj
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‘Civilization: The West and the Rest,’ on PBS

This sounds interesting:

http://tv.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/art...er=rss&emc=rss
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:52 PM   #2
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Just watched this. VERY well done. Plausible explanations as to why Western civilization in general and "British America" (North America) in particular have ascended to global domination while China, the Ottomans, and Latin America foundered.

However, the frequent "killer app" allusions are going to become very dated very quickly.

Last edited by Graymalkin : 05-22-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:15 AM   #4
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I heard the title and immediately thought of the 1985 BBC documentary series "The Triumph of the West". Dr. Roberts final evidence for the triumph was that the West's competitors (i.e. China, USSR) were using political/economic structures based on philosophies that originated in Europe.

Earlier this year, NPR did a story about elections in Burma. A government official, speaking in his native language, explained how the election were "fair and free". The "fair and free" expession in English popped out of the rest of the guy's incomprehensible Burmese. Fair and free elections were apparently part of thier political discourse, but did the mass of people voting know what those words meant? (Do Americans know that laissez faire means?)
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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I do. There may not be a totally translatable concept of fair and free in the Burmese language. In Chinese liberty is translated closer to license.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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Guide fail! My TiVo thinks tonights episode was first aired 5/22/2012, though it looks like it is part 2 of 2.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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I watched part 1, but I thought he spent way too much time on why China and the Arabs DIDN'T get power and not enough time on why they west got power. It seemed to me, at least how I saw it, that it was more a failure by the East than a triumph of the West that lead to it's leadership. Maybe he'll cover more of that in Part 2.
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