Story of Civilization Volume I: The Foundations of Industry

This post is a part of my series on The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.

For most history is guessing; and the rest is prejudice.

Can’t the same can be said about the present and future?

Here, too, the main problems were solved before written history began.

This line is the last in a long series of examples of the ingenuity of primitive people who had no ‘right’ way of doing things: how they used the plants, animals, and minerals around them to create tools for hunting, traveling, and navigating.

Did the first log float? Did the first boat travel across oceans? Was that boat capable of facilitating international trade? Of course not, but that didn’t hinder experimentation one bit.

It’s a ringing example of the significance of Nassim Taleb’s notion of antifragility. Trial & error reign over academic process every single time. The growth of education follows the growth of industry. We’ve grown to think otherwise, for some strange reason, that knowing how teaches us action; for much of history, and indeed in much of what we do today, action teaches us how.

So let’s all matriculate from childhood to work and then retire to school.

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