The more I learn about the history of Asia the more I wonder if it was just a...

viagrandad
viagrandad

The more I learn about the history of Asia the more I wonder if it was just a quirk of history that the west ended up triumphing over them.

Whether you look at China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia they were pretty advanced for their time.

What caused the West to pull ahead or for Asia to stagnate?

What could have tipped the odds in their favour?

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All urls found in this thread:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenshō_embassy
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasekura_Tsunenaga#The_1613_embassy_project
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Su_Song
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shen_Kuo
youtube.com/watch?v=tKp76r1A4dw
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khong_Tayiji

idontknow
idontknow

The westen civilizations were older (Japanese civilization only dates to the times of the Roman empire and the other civs except China are even younger)

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

The Chinese had crossbows at the time of Jesus and they build this massive fucking wall.

It's a shame that the vast expanse of central Asia and Himalayas blocked them from The West.

India was also similarly insulated from the West via vast distances and geographical barriers.

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Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

Wrong

Exploitation of New World resources, Scientific method, then industrialization. You can ask why China didn't industrialize first but that basically goes into alternate history

Flameblow
Flameblow

They're not as old as the Greeks, Egyptians but many of them are as old as the Romans and older than the Brits, French, Germanics and Slavs.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

Was going to post, but then saw this. The New World and prioritization of colonization was a game changer.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

China was aware of India, all of South-East Asia, Africa and the Northern part of Australia. What stopped them from colonising anything?

MPmaster
MPmaster

Wrong
Incredible argument, Japanese were basically hunter gatherers when much of Europe had agriculture, fortified towns, written languages and advanced metal working
The Chinese had crossbows at the time of Jesus and they build this massive fucking wall.
Leaving aside the fact that that portion of the wall was built way later than the birth of Jesus And Greeks had calculated the circumference of the earth, had primordial computers, created axiomatic math which allowed them to formally demonstrate several theorems and create Euclidean geometry, wrote down several physical principles, among many other things and that the Roman had 50 kilometers long aqueducts in all their provinces from Libya to France, had an industrial production several times superior to that of the Han, equipped their whole armies with iron armors, had functioning heated baths and villas in every average city of theirs, I'd say that it's not surprising that the West prevailed

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Soft_member
Soft_member

Guns, germs, and steel.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

s but many of them are as old as the Romans and older than the Brits, French, Germanics and Slavs.
Such as? Except for the Chinese literally no one

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

Vietnam with the Dongsan culture.
Neolithic era started in 7000BC in Korea.
I don't know why you think having agriculture has anything to do with the beginning of a civilization considering Southern neolithic Europe isn't even a European civilization

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

Vietnam with the Dongsan culture.
Neolithic era started in 7000BC in Korea.
Hum, you do know that was a hoax right?
considering Southern neolithic Europe isn't even a European civilization
It is though, without agriculture the cultures in Southern Europe would've never become civilizations in the bronze age and early iron age

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

But Neolithic Europe during that time never spoke an Indo-European language so weren't an Indo-European civilization. The people that made up those cultures we're their own thing that disappeared after race mixing from European steppe peoples

Lunatick
Lunatick

A unified China?

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

But Neolithic Europe during that time never spoke an Indo-European language so weren't an Indo-European civilization
Why are you creating new and new strawmen as you go?
South Europeans still descend from Neolithic Europeans for the most part, and those culture obviously influenced the development of the later European cultures

Emberfire
Emberfire

It's not a strawman.
Those are not European civilizations. They're Neolithic farmer civilizations who have no relation to Indo European invaders. By your logic any neolithic culture is a civilization and since there were Neolithic cultures in Asia around the same time as Europe your whole argument is moot.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

Those are not European civilizations. They're Neolithic farmer civilizations who have no relation to Indo European invaders
They have no relation to Southern Europeans civilizations like Greece? you're kidding right, 80-90% of their DNA came from the Neolithic and Calcolithic cultures of the Agean, as well as agriculture, metal working, their ships, and even the urban sites which were in many cases, such as Argos or Corinth, inhabited without a break, I think you have no idea what you're talking about, Mycenaeans were much more similar to Minoans both in genes and in technology and in culture than to someone living in France or Britain during the bronze age

and since there were Neolithic cultures in Asia around the same time as Europe your whole argument is moot.
First of all I wasn't talking originally about "Neolithic cultures" you're putting words in my mouth, I was implicitly talking just about ancient cultures like the early Greeks, the Iberians, the Celts, the Venetian or the Etruscans who had cities and complex technologies while Japanese were still a mix of hunter gatherers and primitive farmers as well as most of South East Asia/Indonesia, but even if we compare Neolithic and Calcolithic proto-historic cultures of Southern Europe like the Terramare, Cycladic, Minoan, Nuragic, El Argar or Los Millares they were still on a completely other league than the few places in East and South East Asia which had agriculture during the same period except for the Shang area of influence in China

StonedTime
StonedTime

Isolationism + big governments restricting innovation + stultifying belief systems such as Confucianism (ultra-conservative and wary of change) and Hinduism (accept your place, goy, or you will be reincarnated as a slug!)

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

Nigga we ain't talking about SEAsia and Indonesia and I sure as hell am not talking about the Japanese. We're talking about East Asia. And I'm telling you Shang, Sanxingdui, and Dongsan had contemporaneous civilizations as Europe did.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

Partly geography and culture.
All it took was for one guy, the Chinese emperor, to say "fuck that, we're not colonizing anything" or "fuck that, we're not gonna develop this" and that halted all progress in an ostensibly advanced culture.

Meanwhile Europe is a collection of smaller states that compete against each other.

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

Meme answers.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

west ended up triumphing over them.
The game isn't over yet.

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Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

We ain't? I don't know if you're OP or not but OP's picture is of South East Asia, and I'm pretty sure East Asia includes Japan and Korea too that were backward and much less advanced than contemporary bronze age and ancient Europe

girlDog
girlDog

Republics and constitutional monarchies are OP, because people can set up businesses and be reasonably secure that they won't just get all of their shit stolen by politically connected assholes.

In a related note, being divided and constantly fighting is superior to being unified and stagnating. Conflict drives innovation.

5mileys
5mileys

Furthermore Dongsan is compaarable to the Celtic Hallstat culture both in technology and in chronology, Southern Europe had much older advanced cultures than Vietnam which I already have listed above, that by the time of the early Dogsan culture lived in massive cities, had writing and infrastructure

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

Asia is amazing and magic-filled. Just looking at the ruins of Angkor-Wat make me daydream of how life would be like the back in the day. But all this talk "my civilization is better/can beat yours" is childish, son.

Emberburn
Emberburn

they had middle-eastern derived innovations
Gee...who would have thunk?

DeathDog
DeathDog

Gee...who would have thunk?
What? Can you tell me which one of the innovations I've listed were possessed by the Middle East before Rome or Greece'

eGremlin
eGremlin

Its only about ~150 years since the west trumped over East Asia.

East Asia is once more set to take the stage.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

The West triumphed over East Asia at least since the Hellenism, East Asia somewhat regained some ground during the early middle ages but they were quickly surpassed again since the late middle ages

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

The West triumphed over East Asia at least since the Hellenism,
Read Marco Polo's diaries, he was absolutely shell shocked by how advanced Asia was compared to Europe.

w8t4u
w8t4u

Quote the passages, I can't be bothered to read the whole il Milione while arguing now

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

Not that user, but Marco Polo needs to be taken with a massive grain of salt since he made up so much fucking shit

farquit
farquit

You realize he's referring to Rome and Greece, in which case the line kind of blurs between MENA and europe but each still share a claim of the title of 'the West' over china, and most people know this when there's a conversation about Antiquity?

likme
likme

The Great Wall was not a monolithic project and the full extent of it was only completed a couple centuries ago. Furthermore, most of the wall didn't even look like that at all. Most of it was made of earth.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

Mesopotamia the greatest civilization in Asia fell after that only the persians were worthwhile

SniperGod
SniperGod

Marco Polo also wrote about dragons, stupid ass.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

What do you mean the west ended up triumphing over them? History isn't over, and Japan is arguably wealthier, better educated, more creative, and more influential than all Western countries excepting the USA. China will soon reach that level.

Emberburn
Emberburn

and Japan is arguably wealthier, better educated, more creative, and more influential than all Western countries
You're kidding, right?

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

/jp/

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

wealthier, better educated, more creative, and more influential than all Western countries excepting the USA

better educated
than all Western countries
excepting the USA
What did he mean by this?

Snarelure
Snarelure

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Illusionz
Illusionz

Not using per capita
No data on education in that image
Bunch of meme indexes
"Country brand"
"national wealth"
"creativity"
"innovators"
Into the trash it goes.

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farquit
farquit

I was mocking the fact that you think America has the most educated populace in the western world
accepting the USA
I assume It's also your home country.

RumChicken
RumChicken

anything that isn't in favor of me is a meme
lmao, also, those small "rich" european countries, if any, are irrelevant as fuck irl, not to mention the fact that 90's japan's per capita were even higher than those ones such as nordics.

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Ignoramus
Ignoramus

The more I learn about the history of Asia the more I wonder if it was just a quirk of history that the west ended up triumphing over them.
There is no Asian Milton or Shakespeare or Mozart. Nor anything even remotely approaching them.

Just stop.

MPmaster
MPmaster

i'm not him though
anyway, america is more influential than japan

iluvmen
iluvmen

During his time, dragons existed. Heck, to the 90% of the world, Gods exist. To a good 60-80% of the world, angels/heaven/hell exist.

If Marco Polo wrote "God commanded me", are you going to complain his work is fiction or a work of a lunatic?

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

Heck, to the 90% of the world, Gods exist.

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StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

Because individualism was hard-wired into western societies, by the Christian concept of the infinite value of the individual soul, Buttressed by Roman Law it became the great reforming force of western civilisation and it is notable by its absence, in the other great cultures of the past; those of Islam, Hindu India, and China.

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Emberburn
Emberburn

Gunpowder. It's gunpowder. And the Asian mentality.

happy_sad
happy_sad

Yeah no, this is christard special pleading bullshit. Indvidualism and the idea that everyone has individual rights as a concept didn't really take off until the enlightenment and the gradual move away from basing society around christian religious principles. Furthermore, individual rights alone are no guarantee of success on the international stage.

OP? The europeans got access to two entire continents worth of land and resources when they discovered the Americas. That tends to allow people to shoot ahead.

takes2long
takes2long

They also raped africa

hairygrape
hairygrape

Yeah but later, in the 19th century when the European states had already dramatically shot ahead of everybody else.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

Rides off on zebra , nothing personal bucko

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

Asians have collectivist, hivemind like cultures, which leads to stagnation.

Western civilization champions classical liberalism and individualism, which create the conditions for more progress and innovation.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

And despite all this,

Marco Polo visited the east. But nobody visited the west. And therein lies your answer to why the west won.

SniperGod
SniperGod

But nobody visited the west.
Not really.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenshō_embassy
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasekura_Tsunenaga#The_1613_embassy_project

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PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

But nobody visited the west.
That's wrong though? T

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

Europe is literally RIGHT next to the America's, two entire continents full of resources to exploit. How they remained behind for so much of history is the question we should really be asking.

Rome also got raped to death by primitive snownigger barbarians in the 5th century.

And no, the Byzantines were never comparable to the Tangs.

RumChicken
RumChicken

how they remained behind so much of history
They didn’t
Inb4 Southern Europe isn’t Europe
Fuck off

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

Marco Polo visited the east. But nobody visited the west.
There were several Middle Eastern travellers that visited the West but the reason why (East) Asians tended not to do so was because of their differing civilizational history.

China grew as one of the greatest powers in the East and stayed their for most of history. They were surrounded by barbarians and so they got arrogant from their wealth, progress and power that they thought themselves the peak of the world.

The West on the other hand, had an almost opposite experience after the fall of the Roman Empire. Constantly getting battered by invasions from Islamic dynasties/Steppeniggers they were usually the ones on the losers end. The best thing to happen to the West in the late Middle Ages was Timur stopping the halt of the Ottomans.

That's why you had more people that travelled to the East then the West, as it was usually out of desperation at the beginning.

As to answer your question OP

What caused the West to pull ahead or for Asia to stagnate?

I believe it was a mix of culture and luck. Western cultures focus on logic as well as what others have pointed out with the proximity of the America's, the native inhabitants being unable to handle New World diseases and the two largest enemies of the West deteriorating under toxic Central Asian dynasties (Ottomans and Qings).

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Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

Big talk for a fucking Chinaman whose ancestors were slaves to the Manchus for 300 years until the 20th century.

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haveahappyday
haveahappyday

Manchus
not Chinese

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idontknow
idontknow

The west was always far more military minded with more advanced military technology, e.g. Platemail when Japan was still using lacquered wood

hairygrape
hairygrape

The Himalayas

Playboyize
Playboyize

What stopped them from colonising anything?

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Burnblaze
Burnblaze

Siam (Thailand) should be yellow. They were always a vassal state of China up until the Opium War.

RavySnake
RavySnake

China, for the longest period of time, was ALREADY top-dog in its part of the world. It's sheer size, population and wealth meant that all it had to do was ask for tribute from its neighbouring states and it would get it.

There was virtually no impetuous to colonize. They were wealthy, secure, and had a civilization built of conservative confucian values. Wayward colonisation for no real benefit wasn't something they were interested in.

StonedTime
StonedTime

That's a good point.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

They were in the process of colonizing Southeast Asia not too long ago. See Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.

eGremlin
eGremlin

My ignorance means that I'm right!
Lurk moar

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

Who is Zhang Qian and Zheng He?

FastChef
FastChef

At one point China had a huge fleet of junks and was going to set out to colonise the world but some guy came to power and destroyed them all.

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JunkTop
JunkTop

They were in the process of colonizing Southeast Asia not too long ago.
I can see Vietnam but not really for the others desu

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

Chinese had gunpowder thousand years before Europeans you fucking imbecile

whereismyname
whereismyname

The Treasure Fleets were never intended for widespread colonization. They were more used to explore, conduct trade, diplomacy, and leave behind some trading posts for future Chinese travelers.

1421 hypothesis is a shit

MPmaster
MPmaster

Well not directly since China never really tried to expand in that direction. The region did receive massive amounts of Chinese immigrants explaining why Singapore is majority Han Chinese since it broke off from Malaysia.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

Yes. The east is already surpassing us

WebTool
WebTool

A FUCKING RAMP

whereismyname
whereismyname

The turning point will forever be the opening of the spice route around Africa, forever making the silk road redundant and cutting deeply into the wealth of the middle east and central Asia.

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

Malaysia or Indonesia
Malaysia and Indonesia didn't exist until decolonization. There were a variety of kingdoms and sultanates in the region, none of them were Malaysia or Indonesia.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

To be fair Asians didn't have shit on Roman and medieval European architecture. Also it was mainly China driving things forward.

That said Classical China started shitting out innovations, the horse collar, solid saddle tree, stirrup, heavy mouldboard plow, their mathematicians figured out everything the Greeks did, they developed civil service exams, paper, wood block printing, ceramics, leeboards, watertight compartments. Of course gunpowder, kites and some other things.

What did the Romans invent besides cement?

massdebater
massdebater

their mathematicians figured out everything the Greeks did
Not at all, they did make some excellent discoveries but they didn't even ever develop the principles of Euclidean geometry, I think you ought to study the history of math better

Playboyize
Playboyize

The Chinese migrants to Malaya and Singapore were going there for economic reasons, to trade and to work the mines and the plantations for the British, because all the turmoil under the Qing meant life sucked. The Qing considered those who left to be traitors and would have them executed if they ever returned. They weren't colonists

SniperWish
SniperWish

Heh, you think you're real smart don't ya. Shame it is all the dunning kruger effect. ;)

Mo Jing compiles pretty much every mathematical principle attributed to Euclid, for example in it it states "a point may stand at the end (of a line) or at its beginning like a head-presentation in childbirth. (As to its invisibility) there is nothing similar to it."

Maybe you should study history better or go back to /sci/ with your precious nerdy math books.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

What did the Romans invent besides cement?
Postal service, newspapers, optic studies, true domes, socks, bound books, c-section

But what's the most impressive thing about them is greatly improving already existing things like aqueducts and making them much, much bigger and more complex and building them everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, building massive sewers and aqueducts in every shithole town they conquered or founded, building giant theaters, amphitheaters and highways, spreading new technology

RumChicken
RumChicken

"a point may stand at the end (of a line) or at its beginning like a head-presentation in childbirth. (As to its invisibility) there is nothing similar to it."
That's not "pretty much every point" of Euclidean geometry and to my knowledge they never used these axioms to demonstrate theorems like the Greek did

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

To be fair Asians didn't have shit on Roman and medieval European architecture

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CodeBuns
CodeBuns

Those were the same motives why Europeans moved into the Americas so heavily and there is no dispute that this was colonization. What distinguishes mass immigration from colonization, especially if the migrants don't assimilate into the indigenous society?

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

We're obviously talking about East Asians
Anyway other than demonstrating several geometry theorems using Euclidean axioms the Greeks made some incredible mathematical discoveries that I don't recall the Chinese making:
Plato’s student Eudoxus of Cnidus is usually credited with the first implementation of the “method of exhaustion” (later developed by Archimedes), an early method of integration by successive approximations which he used for the calculation of the volume of the pyramid and cone. He also developed a general theory of proportion, which was applicable to incommensurable (irrational) magnitudes that cannot be expressed as a ratio of two whole numbers, as well as to commensurable (rational) magnitudes, thus extending Pythagoras’ incomplete ideas.

The Pythagoreans also established the foundations of number theory, with their investigations of triangular, square and also perfect numbers (numbers that are the sum of their divisors). They discovered several new properties of square numbers, such as that the square of a number n is equal to the sum of the first n odd numbers (e.g. 42 = 16 = 1 + 3 + 5 + 7). They also discovered at least the first pair of amicable numbers, 220 and 284 (amicable numbers are pairs of numbers for which the sum of the divisors of one number equals the other number, e.g. the proper divisors of 220 are 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 11, 20, 22, 44, 55 and 110, of which the sum is 284; and the proper divisors of 284 are 1, 2, 4, 71, and 142, of which the sum is 220).

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

Pythagoras is also credited with the discovery that the intervals between harmonious musical notes always have whole number ratios. For instance, playing half a length of a guitar string gives the same note as the open string, but an octave higher; a third of a length gives a different but harmonious note; etc. Non-whole number ratios, on the other hand, tend to give dissonant sounds. In this way, Pythagoras described the first four overtones which create the common intervals which have become the primary building blocks of musical harmony: the octave (1:1), the perfect fifth, the perfect fourth (4:3) and the major third (5:4). The oldest way of tuning the 12-note chromatic scale is known as Pythagorean tuning, and it is based on a stack of perfect fifths, each tuned in the ratio 3:2
Menelaus of Alexandria, who lived in the 1st - 2nd Century CE, was the first to recognize geodesics on a curved surface as the natural analogues of straight lines on a flat plane. His book “Sphaerica” dealt with the geometry of the sphere and its application in astronomical measurements and calculations, and introduced the concept of spherical triangle (a figure formed of three great circle arcs, which he named "trilaterals").
In the 3rd Century CE, Diophantus of Alexandria was the first to recognize fractions as numbers, and is considered an early innovator in the field of what would later become known as algebra. He applied himself to some quite complex algebraic problems, including what is now known as Diophantine Analysis, which deals with finding integer solutions to kinds of problems that lead to equations in several unknowns (Diophantine equations). Diophantus’ “Arithmetica”, a collection of problems giving numerical solutions of both determinate and indeterminate equations, was the most prominent work on algebra in all Greek mathematics, and his problems exercised the minds of many of the world's best mathematicians for much of the next two millennia.

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

But Alexandria was not the only centre of learning in the Hellenistic Greek empire. Mention should also be made of Apollonius of Perga (a city in modern-day southern Turkey) whose late 3rd Century BCE work on geometry (and, in particular, on conics and conic sections) was very influential on later European mathematicians. It was Apollonius who gave the ellipse, the parabola, and the hyperbola the names by which we know them, and showed how they could be derived from different sections through a cone.

Hipparchus, who was also from Hellenistic Anatolia and who live in the 2nd Century BCE, was perhaps the greatest of all ancient astronomers. He revived the use of arithmetic techniques first developed by the Chaldeans and Babylonians, and is usually credited with the beginnings of trigonometry. He calculated (with remarkable accuracy for the time) the distance of the moon from the earth by measuring the different parts of the moon visible at different locations and calculating the distance using the properties of triangles. He went on to create the first table of chords (side lengths corresponding to different angles of a triangle). By the time of the great Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd Century CE, however, Greek mastery of numerical procedures had progressed to the point where Ptolemy was able to include in his “Almagest” a table of trigonometric chords in a circle for steps of ¼° which (although expressed sexagesimally in the Babylonian style) is accurate to about five decimal places.

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Soft_member
Soft_member

Archimedes produced formulas to calculate the areas of regular shapes, using a revolutionary method of capturing new shapes by using shapes he already understood. For example, to estimate the area of a circle, he constructed a larger polygon outside the circle and a smaller one inside it. He first enclosed the circle in a triangle, then in a square, pentagon, hexagon, etc, etc, each time approximating the area of the circle more closely. By this so-called “method of exhaustion” (or simply “Archimedes’ Method”), he effectively homed in on a value for one of the most important numbers in all of mathematics, π. His estimate was between 317 (approximately 3.1429) and 31071 (approximately 3.1408), which compares well with its actual value of approximately 3.1416.
Interestingly, Archimedes seemed quite aware that a range was all that could be established and that the actual value might never be known. His method for estimating π was taken to the extreme by Ludoph van Ceulen in the 16th Century, who used a polygon with an extraordinary 4,611,686,018,427,387,904 sides to arrive at a value of π correct to 35 digits. We now know that π is in fact an irrational number, whose value can never be known with complete accuracy.
Similarly, he calculated the approximate volume of a solid like a sphere by slicing it up into a series of cylinders, and adding up the volumes of the constituent cylinders. He saw that by making the slices ever thinner, his approximation became more and more exact, so that, in the limit, his approximation became an exact calculation. This use of infinitesimals, in a way similar to modern integral calculus, allowed him to give answers to problems to an arbitrary degree of accuracy, while specifying the limits within which the answer lay.

happy_sad
happy_sad

Archimedes’ most sophisticated use of the method of exhaustion, which remained unsurpassed until the development of integral calculus in the 17th Century, was his proof - known as the Quadrature of the Parabola - that the area of a parabolic segment is 43 that of a certain inscribed triangle. He dissected the area of a parabolic segment (the region enclosed by a parabola and a line) into infinitely many triangles whose areas form a geometric progression. He then computed the sum of the resulting geometric series, and proved that this is the area of the parabolic segment.
Another example of the meticulousness and precision of Archimedes’ work is his calculation of the value of the square root of 3 as lying between 265153 (approximately 1.7320261) and 1351780 (approximately 1.7320512) - the actual value is approximately 1.7320508. He even calculated the number of grains of sand required to fill the universe, using a system of counting based on the myriad (10,000) and myriad of myriads (100 million). His estimate was 8 vigintillion, or 8 x 1063.
The discovery of which Archimedes claimed to be most proud was that of the relationship between a sphere and a circumscribing cylinder of the same height and diameter. He calculated the volume of a sphere as 43πr3, and that of a cylinder of the same height and diameter as 2πr3. The surface area was 4πr2 for the sphere, and 6πr2 for the cylinder (including its two bases). Therefore, it turns out that the sphere has a volume equal to two-thirds that of the cylinder, and a surface area also equal to two-thirds that of the cylinder. Archimedes was so pleased with this result that a sculpted sphere and cylinder were supposed to have been placed on his tomb of at his request.

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

Care to explain this meme?
As I see it, and I know nothing about carrier tech, a mechanized plane pushing system can break down, but a ramp cant.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

The new ski platform for the winter olympics game looks good

DeathDog
DeathDog

Exploitation of New World resources, Scientific method, then industrialization.

This is the corrrect answer. Prior to the industrial revolution, which was possible thanks to those events leading into each other (the scientific revolution was partially the result of european powers having a whole new landmass of shit too comprehend),

Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and even Mesoamerica and the Andes really weren't that far apart and any one of them could have pulled ahead in the right conditions (though it would be harder for the latter two, but still possible)

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

You can't really have an industrial revolution without the specific style of government and economics that was developed from the Greeks and Romans.

No other continent developed constitutional republicanism.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

And you can't have a scientific revolution without all the formalism introduced by the Greeks

FastChef
FastChef

Europe became the dominant power just because they discovered the Americas and benefited from the plunder of riches beyond belief. It only lasted 400 years and its already ending.

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Spazyfool
Spazyfool

Those are not European civilizations.
moron

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

special pleading
learn what words mean

viagrandad
viagrandad

Unironically:
The destruction of the Song dynasty by the mongols (and the somewhat shitty, and foreign, new Yuan dynasty).
Then:
The terrible late Ming dynasty
The even worse Qing dynasty
The european interventions (colonialism) in China during the XIX century.
The japanese interventions (imperialism) in China
Maoism

happy_sad
happy_sad

only lasted 400 years
sad

Inmate
Inmate

You can't really have an industrial revolution without the specific style of government and economics that was developed from the Greeks and Romans.
Citation needed, or you pulled that conclusion out of your ass?

Methshot
Methshot

uh do you see any other industrial revolution outside or independent from the one that took place in Europe?

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

uh do you see any other industrial revolution outside or independent from the one that took place in Europe?
You are joking, right? You do understand why your statement is fallacious?

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MPmaster
MPmaster

The Industrial Revolution took place exactly once, in Britain, in the particular conditions of the flooded British coal mines that, with a ready supply of both fuel and coolant, acted as an incubator for the development of improved steam engines. From there the steam engine spread. Industrialization was an anomaly of time and place, not a natural consequence of democratic government.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

asking for a citation for an abstract concept

That isn't how this works.

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

the industrial revolution was just steam engines
what is the Scientific Revolution
what is the British agricultural revolution

TreeEater
TreeEater

Industrial Revolution
Abstract concept

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Snarelure
Snarelure

A lot of Asia started becoming incredibly insular and isolationist right around the time where Europe was leaping forward in terms of technology.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

Implying the Song didn't basically have all that and weren't a step away of their asian equivalent of an industrial revolution until the Mongols bttfo
Eurocentrism is a hell of a drug.

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

hmm, it seems to me like the industrial revolution took place in Europe and then hyper-diffused around the world. Maybe you can explain this fallacy of mine instead of relying on innuendo, but somehow I doubt it.

Yeah, if the cultural and economic context for the industrial revolution is somehow unimportant then why didn't it happen elsewhere? Geography, tech? China invented the blast furnace, but didn't undergo an industrial revolution.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

eurocentrism is justified because of how outsized their relevance to world history and the current state of affairs is, you cannot refute this.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

I'm not implying it, I'm stating it.

The Song never produced an Isaac Newton, or a Galileo, or anything even resembling the things that Europe was doing by 1700.

"Eurocentrism" is self loathing hippie for "what actually happened"

The European university system, European corporate law, and European science were already well beyond anything else in the world when the steam engine was invented.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

If you want to support China so much then go the fuck back to your communist motherland instead of leeching off of the West you stupid slant-eyed cunts.

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farquit
farquit

You stated (from a single data point) that things (that is, an industrial revolution) couldn't have happened differently or under other similar circumstances, which is incredibly retarded. Literally Hegel tier vision of History.

Bidwell
Bidwell

Ah, a /pol/tard i see. And here i was wasting my time.

Snarelure
Snarelure

Well, the Industrial Revolution was the result of some very specific circumstances

Western Europeans have an unprecedented knowledge of physics and thermodynamics
Western European population levels are booming to a never before seen level
Western European governments are granting patents and allowing corporations to be founded
Western Europe has extremely high literacy rates thanks to the printing press
without the knowledge of physics and mechanics, you don't get steam engines or flying shuttles
without the population surplus, you don't get an industrial workforce that's free to leave the fields to work in the cities
without patent law, people do their best to avoid divulging any technological developments, to avoid losing their competitive advantage
without corporations, people don't spend all of their money building a canal in the hopes that it will pay out

You have to understand that the Industrial Revolution was only a revolution because it was the culmination of a trend towards greater technological and economic complexity that dates back to the fifteenth century.

TechHater
TechHater

fifteenth century
coincidentally that's when the blast furnace began to really spread in Europe

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

Also when population and trade began to rebound from the Black Death and when the printing press was invented.

Nojokur
Nojokur

Indeed, the "The Indrustial Revolution" required all that to happen. That is why i was talking about an asian equivalent of an "Industrial Revolution". Just like Hitler (and nazism) achieved power through a mix of "very specific circumstances", yet another german totalitarian dictator could have done the same if he didn't.

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

yet another german totalitarian dictator could have done the same if he didn't.
Only a catholic one

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Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

My guess is, a development of industrial technology in Medieval Asia would be more of an evolution than a revolution.

Europe had a university system, very high literacy, and a huge population surplus. So once a few labor saving devices were developed, conditions were ripe for things to snowball dramatically.

If the Song, or the Moguls were to develop something like the steam engine, it would replace windmills and watermills, but the technology would diffuse more slowly due to lack of intellectual property rights, you would have a lot less entrepreneurs implementing the technology due to less secure property rights, the new technology wouldn't get taught to as many people because of the lack of colleges and lower literacy, people wouldn't move off of the farms to factories at the same rates because they would be needed on the farms.

So the Industrial Revolution was only a sudden, dramatic change in society because Europe had been primed for one by centuries of earlier developments that hadn't happened elsewhere.

Emberburn
Emberburn

I am going to be the first to admit that traditionalism (confucianism) has slowed China down for centuries (millenia). Yet, during the Song dynasty you had much better (relative) stability (peace), women's and peasans' rights and social mobility compared to the Europe of the Middle Ages. A good first step for sure.

If they had invented "the steam engine" (and other similar tech) it would probably have been implemented gradually indeed, but with 600 years of advantage over the west, would it really matter?

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

Japanese were basically hunter gatherers when much of Europe had agriculture, fortified towns, written languages and advanced metal working
And Americans were basically hunter-gatherers when China was sending out treasure fleets.

Japanese people are culturally descended from some Northeast Asians who were about as advanced as Koreans and other people peripheral to Chinese civilization you fucking idiot, that's why Japan jumped from the Neolithic to the fucking Iron Age as soon as the Yayoi landed. Jomon people are about as relevant as pre-Columbian natives are to modern Americans.

StonedTime
StonedTime

ur wrong becuz ur wrong browse this board of amateur historians more
No thanks, imbecile

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

Reread my post you cretin.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

The Yajoi were troglodytes too compared to the Southern European bronze age cultures, let alone the iron age ones

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

I meant Yajoi, pipe down Chang

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

European colonization of the Americas is what allowed it to far surpass China in industrialization. Without the influx of Gold, Sugar, Spices, and Cotton from the Americas there would have been no industrial revolution, which is funny since Europeans found the Americas by accident while they were trying to find a better mercantile rout to India.

King_Martha
King_Martha

3rd grader tier hunderstanding of history, this guy explained why pretty well

Methnerd
Methnerd

The Song Dynasty had dudes that were getting pretty close

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Su_Song
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shen_Kuo

Then they got overran by the Jurchens and Mongols. The geography of Western Europe placed Newton and Galileo far from the steppes where Nomads could become a threat, and the Byzantine Empire held off the Muslim advance when Western Europe was at it's most fractured.

Then the great unexploited resources of the Americas was a relatively short sail away.

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RavySnake
RavySnake

They were under-developed because they sprang from a tiny settler group on a new frontier, like the Vikings in Vinland and Greenland. Unlike those doomed colonies they managed to fortify their hold and keep contact with the mainland though, and some centuries later the Japanese formed respectable East Asian polities. They weren't "hunter gatherers" like the Jomon (who were actually at the very peak of sophistication and density sustainable with neolithic societies by the way), they were low density iron age colonial societies.
But the point was that the Jomon are to the modern Japanese what the natives are to modern Americans, Japanese civilization was formed by mainland Asian colonists and is generally considered an offshoot of Sinic civilization either way. Might as well marvel at how Iceland is now a modern high income Western country when there weren't even any humans beings living on it 2000 years ago, they sure caught up fast!

JunkTop
JunkTop

Cultural inhibition against rising above one's station. You were born into a niche, you stayed in that niche - though you were expected to be the very best in that box, people outside your box were not expected to interact with you, nor visa versa.

Granted, this was true to a lesser degree in the west for a long time, which is part of the reason for its stagnation as well. Technology in the Roman Empire, aside from some fun toys, stayed largely stagnant for the bulk of its near thousand year existence (depending on how you count). It wasn't until The Black Death, when there was a suddenly huge shift of wealth in the general populous, that innovation really started to take off in the west, leading directly to the Renaissance.

Apparently some diseased rats, well documented inheritance, and a mercantile economy with contacts all over the world makes all the difference. Isolationism and a stable aristocracy with little room for vertical advancement leads to stagnation.

youtube.com/watch?v=tKp76r1A4dw

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

The protestant reformation spawned great minds

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Illusionz
Illusionz

Europe had a university system, very high literacy, and a huge population surplus. So once a few labor saving devices were developed, conditions were ripe for things to snowball dramatically.

Semi-controversial opinion, but I think Protestantism has it's role to play here by encouraging mass literacy through translated bibles. Not all of Europe had the high literacy required to undergo the industrial revolution.

Italy for example, had the highest literacy rates at the start of the 15th century. But as the reformation progressed, Italy fell behind the protestant countries that had translated bibles that made learning to read much easier.

Literacy in China is hamstring by the Chinese characters system. While it's fantastic at communicating ideas between people who know it, traditional characters are not only a bitch to read and write, but also do not lend themselves as well to a printing press as phonetic languages. Japan and Korea both achieved higher literacy rates than China by supplementing Chinese characters with Kana/Hangul, and Japan was able to leverage it's higher literacy to industrialize faster. Chinese literacy did not surpass 30% until simplified characters and pinyin were introduced.

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Need_TLC
Need_TLC

Korea, Vietnam and South East Asia was behind Europe during prehistory and ancient history, China was the only exception

massdebater
massdebater

not the guy you responded too, but that's sort of a poor argument. Columbus wasn't even intending to find a new country, but rather new trade roots which you just said the Chinese were doing. I guess what it boils down to is what chinese did with their information which was nothing.

iluvmen
iluvmen

That's like saying "Britain, Russia and Northern Europe was behind East Asia during prehistory and ancient history, the Hellenistic world was the only exception."

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

Cultural inhibition against rising above one's station
a stable aristocracy with little room for vertical advancement
But there was room for advancement under the Song. Being born into money and knowing the right people would help you along just as it does today, but everyone could take the imperial examinations to achieve a position in the civil service. The Song were the dynasty under which the ideal of the scholar bureaucracy really reached its height.

Isolationism
There was plenty of exchange of ideas and peoples along the Silk Road, that's where the entire Hui ethnic minority comes from for example, and the Ming were happy to learn how to make guns from Jesuits.

Firespawn
Firespawn

But wait, what does your reply even have to do with my post? Again, the fucking point was that the development level of the Jomon was not significant, it wasn't a fucking dick-measuring contest. They could have been kangz who flew away to Alpha Centauri in their earthenware spacecraft right before the mainlanders arrived for all I care, the mainlanders brought their own Northeast Asian culture that most likely had the same roots as Chinese civilization.

JunkTop
JunkTop

Yes FVEY nation alliance rules the world Sky's and underground. If not an insurmountable position to the achievance of such. Well fucking done OP. Welcome to the conclusion of History.

Anarchism, chaoticness/chaotisphere predominating out of the pressures mostly topographically formed out of Europe and then England's colonisation, a summation of mainly Minoan, Greek (Mycenaean and Hellenistic), Roman, Carolingian and then Reich's summising in English Ascension

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BinaryMan
BinaryMan

Basically easier access to the Atlantic + greed + materialism

Nojokur
Nojokur

Eurocentrism is helluva drug

Fortunatelly I'm not under its effects anymore

Soft_member
Soft_member

muh STEM degree muhfugga

takes2long
takes2long

We are talking about genuine arguments here, not /pol/stormfromt/ infographic tier opinions, thanks

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

I find it fascinating how much Veeky Forums and the like talk about Asia. I wonder if the Japs on 2ch and such have similar discussions to these. I wonder what conclusions they come to.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

I fail to see at all how that's necessarily true.

No other continent developed constitutional republicanism
Nothing inherently prevented it, though: Hence "it easily could have gone differently". There were semi-democratic/republic based goverments in Mesoamerica, for instance, the Tlaxcala Confederacy is a famous example where a group of city states ruled via a meritocratic council of around 200 people, and it wasn't just a simple council, either: you needed to be taught legal guidelines and codes for 2 years befoore admittiance, and complex beucractic goverments with laws and courts weren't that uncommon in the region.

Hell, the Aztecs were a sort of republic as well, in theory: You had 2 councils, a military and a civil one, and the civil one chose who the next king/emperor would be. It was just a de-facto monarchy because the council was limited to nobility and over time laws were passed too further the class divide and limit social mobility, and the noble council pretty much always chose the next king from a royal family.

The Mesoamericans had proto-taxonomic systems for botony.

Mesoameriica also had public education.

To be clear, i'm not saying all of thiis to just wank mesoamerica off, i'm illustrating my point that the seeds necessary to cause the industrial revolution weren't just in europe and iif a few things had gone differently in history, it COULD have happened elsewhere, or not even happened at all as we recognize it, had colionaism in the Americas noot worked out (and I think people vastly, vastly overestimate how much of a forgone coonclusion it was that it would: The chain of events that allowed Spain to conquer Mesoamerica and the Andes was insanely fortuitous: Cortes was literally going roouge and illegally mounting a revoked expedition, and there were like 20 times he and his men could have been killedhad somebody made a different split second decision on a whim)

Supergrass
Supergrass

European university system
European corporate law
It's funny because the first 3 British inventors of the steam engine (Savery, Newcomen, and Watt) had little to do with corporate law* and as far as I can tell, did not go through the university system (Savery went to a naval academy, which is quite different, especially in the 17th century)

Watt in particular was simply schooled by tutors during his youth and then fucked off to the big city to be an apprentice to some guild, which is a common story since the high medieval period. In fact, it's basically the same story as Da Vinci (schooled by whatever tutors his parents could afford in childhood, in his mid-teens already an apprentice at a famous artist's studio, continued working in the artists' guild system, was not taken too seriously in other fields because he lacked a formal education.) Probably most of the famous engineers before the 19th century or so.

* Watt's partnership with Boulton was nothing special, those sort of partnerships existed from Lisbon to Shangai and Islamic civilization probably still had the most robust venture and partnership institutions at the time.

w8t4u
w8t4u

I was talking about comprehensive primary and secondary sources, not this autistic Polish sheep pasture.

TreeEater
TreeEater

If Kubla Khan and the Mongols had uninterrupted reign over China, then they would be *the* world power now. Instead, though, China withdrew into a basket of conservatism.

SniperWish
SniperWish

You say that like China wasn't conquered again by the northern horseniggers after that little Ming interlude, in fact the Manchu founder Hong Taiji even used a Yuan seal for legitimacy as Qing emperor. His very name was basically "we wuz khanz":
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khong_Tayiji

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

I have no idea how you think that matters when it comes to China ultimately suffering from isolationism and strict traditionalism. To the point that a dominant culture during the time of Kubla Khan, was humiliated during the Opium Wars.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

The northern half of China was already conquered and occupied by a different type of horse nomads for hundreds of years before Genghis Khan was even born, and Southern Song was on the defensive against them most of the time.

Illusionz
Illusionz

The fact of the matter is Europe had a renaissance, while China chose to remain stagnant. And the progressives always win in the end.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

I have no idea how you think that matters
I'm not the one who came up with the kooky idea that mongol rule is the miraculous cure to all of China's problems.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

It's not Mongol rule that would be the savior of China, but the reaction that followed which sunk it. China might have very well been better off without the Mongol conquests, and perhaps probably would have been.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

Great empires rise and fall. Honestly I would have thought the Levant civilizations or Persia would have come to dominate in modern times, especially Persia. Maybe even Egypt.

The West is what it is because they dominated during the technology boom, then again they also started the technology boom. I think the earth was just waiting for a civilization to come around that could invent all the wacky stuff they came up with. Like it just handed off the flame from civilization to civilization until one was able to do such great things with it.

WebTool
WebTool

while China chose to remain stagnant.

It only seems stagnant in retrospect. Development of technology and civilization is like evolution: technology and societes generally adapt to bettter fit their current conditions.

This is why the Native Americans in what's now the US didn't develop civilization (with a few exceptions): They had a fuck ton of empty land and resources, why would you bother to do the up front heavy cost of settling down and forming cities when it's way easier and more immedateley fruitful to live how they did, when the advantages cities and civilization have aren't readily apparent?

You see a similar thing with metal use in Mesoamerica: Despite the fact mesoamerican civilizations are bronze to iron age tier iin most ways, beyond even iron age in a few, they never adopted widespread use of metals for weapons or tools: Why would they boother when they had obsidian, and obsidian is far sharper, and the climate makes metal armor a bitch, and metal weapons ar far harder to replace and make in the field and are heavier; which is a bigger deal for them since military campaigns are more ardeous due to the lack of horses? In retrospect, obviously, it makes sense to use that metal use for tools has a toon of advantages, but to them, without realizing what it opens up, it didn't make sense to them to switch. (also, tthey viewed them as religious comoodities rather then ulitarian ones: they did smelt metals and make alloys, they just focused on aeshetic and auditory properties for ceremonial items rather then mechanical properties)

viagrandad
viagrandad

they viewed them as religious comoodities rather then ulitarian ones
Man, they must have seen conquistadors like we imagine highly advanced space fantasy aliens with the armors and spacecraft made of golden alloys and crystals.

massdebater
massdebater

So people in the west never able to adapt and fit to their current condition? Is that why they colonize and suck dry every resources they found?

RumChicken
RumChicken

Not really, at least, not based on the records we have. The Aztecs adapted quickly to calvary and firearms, changing their formations to be less vulnerable to calvary charges and spreading stones and primitive caltrops around after their firstt defeat to the spanish due to calvary; and they also change their formations similarly, started to build earthen walls, and "hit the deck" to counteract firearms. They also learned to target gaps between armor very, very quickly: The Spanish lost to the Tlaxcallans before they even goot to any core Aztec cities

The oft-repeated claims about them thinking they were gods or that their horsemen were centaurs isn't really supportted: The former only comes up ONCE in accounts made prior to it becoming a meme, which is that in Cortes's letters, the Totonacs in the city of Cempoala allegedly call Cortes and his men "teotl" after he tells them to jail Aztec taxers, and then Cortes and his men go around calling themselves teotl; but cortes's letters don't actually say "teotl", they say a word that's a mistranslation of a tontonac word to the nahuatl word teotl, which would have then also needed to have been translated from nahuatl to mayan to spanish for the spanish to hear it, meaning it is HIGHLY likely it got mangled in trranslation, and "Teotl" doesn't even necessarily mean god, it could mean anything otherworldly, strange, or awe-inspiring. It's way more likely that they were just calling the spanish ABSOLUTE MADMEN for brazenly demanding they lock up state officials from the Aztecs, which could result in an retaliatory invasion. The same letters from cortes outright has Montezuma stating that he knows them calling themselves teotl is a load of bullshit. Likewise, native accounts call the horses "deer", so they clearly understood they were seperate animals.

If anything, it was the other way around: Conquistador accounts of Mesoamerican cities make them sound like something out of a fantasy novel.

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

No, crazy experimentation and random chance are also factors. Besides the need to innovate if there's stressors/limitations, Societies also get the chance to experiment more when there's a surplus of resources to make "wasting" them on experimental stuff easier. Europe got that chance due to the surplus of resources thanks to colionalism.

Also, tthe fact they had an entirely new continent to explore and to learn shit from WAS one of the reasons that the scientific revolution happened, you could argue that the scientific revolution was an adaption to dealing with that.

If anything, it was the other way around: Conquistador accounts of Mesoamerican cities make them sound like something out of a fantasy novel.

I'll try to remember to dump excerpts tomorrow of these

farquit
farquit

That's not what I was saying, man. I meant they saw conquistadors covered in metal and probably went "holy shit check out these soldiers, they are covered in METAL what the hell", as we would react to some space troopers wearing diamond-covered suits.

askme
askme

Wait, in fact they probably reacted the same as Europeans did to the obsidian swords.

FastChef
FastChef

All answers in this thread are wrong.

The real answer is that Western Europe birthed Capitalism. Before that both civilizations were on an equal playing field, nothing specific made one trump the other. Capitalism forced europeans to open up markets in the New World through colonization, created a new class of wealthy power holders (bourgeoisie), and created new systems of government. China did not advance beyond the centralised mandarin state, that heavily depended on tribute and taxes.

Now however the playing field is equal once more,and anything goes.

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

mongols

Firespawn
Firespawn

The Mesoamericans had proto-taxonomic systems for botony.
That's not a scientific method, it's just classification, it's something but not even close to what Europe had

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