Example Of Civilization Critical Thinking
Type of paper: Critical Thinking
Topic: Literature, World, Civilization, Science, Books, Fiction, City, Nature
Civilization of a society is characterized by urban development, communication ways (languages, writing systems), social stratification, living styles, eating and living habits and interaction with the natural environment. In simple words the civilization is an advanced living form—the city gentleman as opposed to the cave-dwelling savage. Civilization is about social values, economic structure, architecture, politics and governance in a society. The development of a society into an urbanized centralized and stratified culture in short is referred to as the civilization. It involves evolution and transformation from the basics to advanced cultural reforms that involve a primary role of education, science and technology (Dartnell 1-17).
In order to rebuild a civilization the three most suitable books in such a grim scenario would be The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch, Eco Cities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature and the Different Engines: How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science. The selection of the above-mentioned books is because the authors have a unique perspective and approach to the problem of rebuilding a civilization.
The book The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch is written by the astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell. Dartnell refers to his book as a survivor’s guidebook and then step by step he teaches the survivors of a man-made or natural catastrophe how to acquire the “core-skills” that can help rebuild a civilization. Dartnell being an optimist believes that after enduring the initial shock the survivors would start the process of rebuilding their civilization and with the basic knowledge can extract a great deal of critically useful materials from the immediate natural surroundings. The author has brilliantly described how an ending civilization can be rebuilt in terms of agriculture, power generation, and metallurgy. He quotes particular instances from the ancient civilizations, like the Egyptian and the Roman civilizations and suggest possible solutions to the endeavour of rebuilding a civilization from scratch. While discussing the modern times he notes how Japan and more recently Moldova after the fall of the Soviet Union in1991, returned to the very basics and with ingenuity and collective wisdom resurrected themselves and restored their civilizations. He cites the example of cement, especially hydraulic cement that is the most important component in construction and architecture back then as it is in the post-modern world. According to Dartnell the hydraulic cement was in fact responsible for Rome ruling the seas, in particular and the world, in general (Dartnell 1-17).
The other book that is selected for guiding in the rebuilding of civilization is the Ecocities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature. Richard Register writes the book on the subject of ecological construction. The important aspect of this book is that it deals with the building and construction in an ecologically friendly and healthy environment. According to Register “cities are the largest creations of the mankind but because of the emphasis on what he refers to as the “car/sprawl/freeway/oil complex” man has ruthlessly destroyed the natural habitat of thousands of animal and plant species which now stand at the very brink of extinction. This is only one aspect of the larger picture as man has also put his own existence in danger on the surface of the earth because of his careless and ruthless pillage of the fossil fuels. Register mentions that it took over 150 million years of fossil fuel like oil to accumulate and man because of his greed and short-sightedness is wasting this “treasure chest” at a phenomenon rate. He also notes that companies like Ford Motors use another natural treasure , steel which is derived from iron at the astronomical rate that 150 Effiel Towers can be built each year, and Ford is only one such company among many others. The Ecocities he talks about are a necessity for the well-being of every form of life on the planet earth. Especially so because the eco-cities have the regenerative power as these cities by design support the principles of access by proximity that decreases our reliance on cars. Furthermore, these cities are work on the principles of clean and renewable energy (solar and wind energy) and equitable and responsible use of resources and materials (Register 1-12).
Science is the backbone of advancement and development, and the building of civilization is highly dependent upon the ability of a nation to understand the concepts of science and invent stuff based on needs and resources. It is important that nation should be introduced with advanced methods of constructing and developing new machines to serve different needs of the society. The third book selected for rebuilding the civilization is the Different Engines: How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science by Mark Brake and Neil Hook.
The book is found very interesting as it discusses different mechanisms linked with the phenomenon of fiction. The author claims that nothing is fiction for science and scientists. Every thought can be turned into practical demonstration only if it can be scientifically proven. Science is the ideology of transformation and civilization. Civilization is about advancement and science provides knowledge about how to bring change. The book is divided into seven sections that begin with the Age of Discovery till the Age of Biology. In each section, the writer has discussed the development and advancement in particular areas such as mechanics, computers, and biology. The information provided in the book will be helpful for people working in different fields to learn about advancements and create new inventions. The development of civilization will be based upon the adaptation of technology and building new era. The book also gives detail account of how technology has impacted civilizations particularly with the advancement in atomic and nuclear technology. The basic premise of the book is that from the age of enlightenment to the age of post-modernism the advancements in science and technology have been inspired by dreamers like Johannes Kepler, Leonardo Da Vinci and Arthur Clarke. The author time and time again reminds the readers that basically it is science fiction that has spurred science to the very limits of the unknown and helped it overcome insurmountable obstacles (Brake and Hook 4-101).
In conclusion, the three selected books The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch, Eco Cities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature and the Different Engines: How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science have important and vital information related to rebuilding of civilization. These books are important piece of literature as they enhance understanding of different elements of human existence that could rebuild civilizations. The first book provides a guideline on redevelopment of civilization from scratch. It discusses the uses of different natural resources and chemicals for the development of industrial processes necessary for rebuilding of civilization. The second book on eco cities contains revolutionary content giving the idea of developing civilization with environmentally friendly construction and building methods. While the third book provides detailed account of information related to advancement in technology based on various science phenomena. It explains how science has evolved civilizations in different eras in terms of nuclear power, computer, information technology, biology and mechanical science but it is the dreamers that have made this possible. These three books present different but concrete views of how the human civilizations can be built and sustained.
Brake, Mark. Different Engines: How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science. London: Macmillan, 2008. Print.
Dartnell, Lewis. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch. New York: The Penguin Press, 2014. Print.
Register, Richard. Ecocities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature. Gabriola Island: New Soc. Publishers, 2006. Print.