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Making Sense of History of Humanity

A lot to think about
Thinking, probably, about history of humanity – Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:In_Thought_…_(3020466221).jpg;

Over 200,000 a day! According to the Ubersuggest site, that is the number of daily visits to history.com in a search with the word “history”. That site is the top history site on the planet. An appetite for history knowledge is high. What is the history of humanity? Is it just a description or visual of some past events?

Too Many Important Events

Of course, we want to know historical events, what happens, what were the surrounding circumstances, how people behave, and so on. That is a history of events, which happen with humans. 

How could we orient ourselves among those events? Do you know how many important mankind’s history events historians counted so far? It is easy to check out. Just look at a history of humanity’s timeline. It contains over 2,000 event titles! Is it even possible to make sense of all those events altogether?

     We could look at other authorities. “More than 450 distinguished scholars from all over the world” together prepared a fundamental The History of Humanity series of books. That work consists of 7 volumes and 4850 pages. It was written by a team of several hundred internationally-recognized scholars.

      For me, that mountain of information looks overwhelming. What about you? Could you make sense of humanity’s history based on existed knowledge about that history? Is there any order in the history of humanity? Does known history provide a clue to a future? Did you come across a single short book, or, even better, one sentence, which describes where mankind is headed? I guess, not. 

     Maybe we are just lost on available to us an ocean of historical events. It could be that we could not see the direction of mankind’s development on the surface of that ocean. Maybe we need to look under surface. 

     A close example is the existence of currents in oceans on Earth. It is well known that there is a global circulation of water deep below the surface of oceans. 

Hidden order
The order under surface, which is not visible on the surface – Image credit: https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/circulation

This is an image from the USA National Weather Service site. The warmer currents are in red. What is the mega-meaning of this picture? First of all, we see the order, which exists under surface and is not visible on the surface itself. The other important find is that the found direction is not linear, and it is a pretty complicated route. Specifically, this is a closed-loop path. 

Well, it is a wealth of information here. Is it possible that under the surface of historical events could be hidden an objective direction of mankind’s development? Yes. Could it be a complicated and non-linear path? You bet. Is it a closed loop, a road with some kind of cyclical behavior, or a complicated but precisely oriented route? There are all kinds of possibilities here. We do not know until we know.

Just One Event is Too Little

The other extreme is the explanation of the historical dominance of the Sapiens on the planet based on just one event in the history of humanity.

Yuval Noah Harari in his bestseller book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” argues that “. . . fiction has enabled us not merely to imagine things, but to do so collectively” … Sapiens acquired that ability during one single event – the so-called Cognitive Revolution. “That’s why Sapiens rule the world”. 

No matter how valid is this viewpoint, it does not bring us closer to understanding if our history makes any sense or is it just of a chain of chaotically happened events.

We Need to Dig Deeper

Too many or too little is not the only problem. I wanted to know a direction, in which mankind is moving. Yet, I was not able to find a confirmation that such a direction even exists!

Think about it! Should we, at least, know if humanity is moving anywhere? I do not mean moving in a direction of “progress”, “more happiness” or something similar. Those are very subjective terms. Are there any objective facts showing that mankind is not like a drunken guy whose movement is unpredictable? I think this information is hidden somewhere within our multi-thousands-of-years history. Then why we do not see it?

Viewpoint Matters!

If you are going or driving from home to a close-by shop you know exactly the direction of your move. You could calculate it. The ability to calculate is the key.

What is a direction?
Calculation of the direction – Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vector_from_A_to_B.svg

You know the coordinates of every point on your path and how fast you are moving. That allows you to use math to calculate the direction and speed of your move. To find out the direction of some move you have to use a precise science – mathematics!

You could not find the direction of mankind’s development if you are not using math. Yet, with a conventional description of our history, it is impossible to use math. The reason is simple. The study of history is a science. But it is not a precise science.

Of course, many researchers use precise science methods to investigate specific events in our history. What about applying math to mankind as a whole for all duration of human history? Is it even possible to do? Yes, it is. It is feasible if you look at mankind and its history from a complex system theory viewpoint. A short overview of what is a complex systems theory by David Krakauer, a professor at Santa Fe Institute, is here.

My Book and My Blog

My upcoming book Subsurface History of Humanity is about what I found on my journey to uncover the hidden direction of mankind. The book shows the concrete route in which humanity is running. You could sign up here to my e-mail list to be notified when this book would be published. 

The found direction of humankind’s development is based on objective facts from our history. There were some events in mankind’s history, which shaped humanity. The number of such events is manageable – not too much and not too little. In my blog, we would be looking for such events from our history. I would release new blog posts regularly. You could be notified about new posts via e-mail.

What to Expect on My Book and in My Blog

This blog is a prelude to my book Subsurface History of Humanity. The blog will provide a broad overview of mankind’s history. The emphasis is on humankind as a single entity as opposed to a specific history of social structures at certain geographic locations. Moreover, I will look at events, which had, and, in most cases, still have a lasting effect on most societies globally. Some such events deserve to be a part of the subsurface history of mankind. 

 The explanation of how my approach from a complex systems viewpoint allowed me to uncover an objective direction of mankind’s development will be published in the book. Further in Subsurface History of Humanity, I will provide answers to some big questions. 

What is the direction of mankind’s development? How fast humankind is moving in that direction? Is that move controllable by humans? Why humans rule the Earth? Which force is driving humanity’s development? 

The book will conclude with a discussion of which circumstances could lead us off the uncovered course. All the answers are based on objective facts and do not depend on the views and beliefs of any observer, including me.

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By victortorvich

I'm a scientist and a writer. My upcoming book is “Subsurface History of Mankind”.

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