Many thinkers believe that the next transformational change in human organization will be the onset of human-level artificial intelligence (the 'singularity'), and that the most likely method of achieving this will come through brain emulations or "ems": the ability to scan human brains and program their connections into ever faster computers. Taking this as his starting point, Hanson describes what a world dominated by these ems will be like.
THE AGE OF EMPIRE is a book about the strange death of the nineteenth century, the world made by and for liberal middle classes in the name of universal progress and civilisation. It is about hopes realised which turned into fears: an era of unparalleled peace engendering an era of unparalleled war; revolt and revolution emerging on the outskirts of society; a time of profound identity crisis for bourgeois classes, among new and sudden mass labour movements which rejected capitalism and new middle classes which rejected liberalism. It is about world empires built and held with almost contemptuous ease by small bodies of Europeans which were to last barely a human lifetime, and a European domination of world history, which was never more confident than at the moment it was about to disappear for ever. It is about Queen Victoria, Madame Curie and the Kodak Girl, and the novel social world of cloth caps, golf clubs and brassieres, about Nietzsche, Carnegie, William Morris and Dreyfus, about politically ineffective terrorists, one of whom, to his and everyone's surprise, started a world war. With the AGE OF EMPIRE, Eric Hobsbawm, Britain's leading historian of the left, brings to a dazzling climax his brilliant interpretative history of 'the long nineteenth century'.
Japan, Egypt, and the Global History of Aesthetic Education
Author: Raja Adal
Pubpsher: Columbia University Press
When modern primary schools were first founded in Japan and Egypt in the 1870s, they did not teach art. Yet by the middle of the twentieth century, art education was a permanent part of Japanese and Egyptian primary schooling. Both countries taught music and drawing, and wartime Japan also taught calligraphy. Why did art education become a core feature of schooling in societies as distant as Japan and Egypt, and how is aesthetics entangled with nationalism, colonialism, and empire? Beauty in the Age of Empire is a global history of aesthetic education focused on how Western practices were adopted, transformed, and repurposed in Egypt and Japan. Raja Adal uncovers the emergence of aesthetic education in modern schools and its role in making a broad spectrum of ideologies from fascism to humanism attractive. With aesthetics, educators sought to enchant children with sounds and sights, using their ears and eyes to make ideologies into objects of desire. Spanning multiple languages and continents, and engaging with the histories of nationalism, art, education, and transnational exchanges, Beauty in the Age of Empire offers a strikingly original account of the rise of aesthetics in modern schools and the modern world. It shows that, while aesthetics is important to all societies, it was all the more important for those countries on the receiving end of Western expansion, which could not claim to be wealthier or more powerful than Western empires, only more beautiful.
Europe and the Transformation of the Tropical World
Author: Corey Ross
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
Ecology and Power in the Age of Empire provides the first wide-ranging environmental history of the heyday of European imperialism, from the late nineteenth century to the end of the colonial era. It focuses on the ecological dimensions of the explosive growth of tropical commodity production, global trade, and modern resource management-transformations that still visibly shape our world today-and how they were related to broader social, cultural, and political developments in Europe's colonies. Covering the overseas empires of all the major European powers, Corey Ross argues that tropical environments were not merely a stage on which conquest and subjugation took place, but were an essential part of the colonial project, profoundly shaping the imperial enterprise even as they were shaped by it. The story he tells is not only about the complexities of human experience, but also about people's relationship with the ecosystems in which they were themselves embedded: the soil, water, plants, and animals that were likewise a part of Europe's empire. Although it shows that imperial conquest rarely represented a sudden bout of ecological devastation, it nonetheless demonstrates that modern imperialism marked a decisive and largely negative milestone for the natural environment. By relating the expansion of modern empire, global trade, and mass consumption to the momentous ecological shifts that they entailed, this book provides a historical perspective on the vital nexus of social, political, and environmental issues that we face in the twenty-first-century world.
During the nineteenth century the performance of Shakespeare's plays contributed significantly to the creation of a sense of British nationhood at home and overseas. This was achieved through the enterprise of the commercial theatre rather that state subsidy and institutions. Britain had no National Theatre, but Shakespeare's plays were performed up and down the land from the fashionable West End to the suburbs of the capital and the expanding industrial conurbations to the north. British actors travelled the world to perform Shakespeare's plays, while foreign actors regarded success in London as the ultimate seal of approval. In this book, Richard Foulkes explores the political and social uses of Shakespeare through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century and the movement from the business of Shakespeare as an enterprise to that of enshrinement as a cultural icon. An examination of leading Shakespearean actors, managers and directors, from Britain and abroad, is also included in the study.
Release on 2015-03-24 | by Myles Osborne,Susan Kingsley Kent
Author: Myles Osborne,Susan Kingsley Kent
Africans and Britons in the Age of Empires, 1660-1980 tells the stories of the intertwined lives of African and British peoples over more than three centuries. In seven chapters and an epilogue, Myles Osborne and Susan Kingsley Kent explore the characters that comprised the British presence in Africa: the slave traders and slaves, missionaries and explorers, imperialists and miners, farmers, settlers, lawyers, chiefs, prophets, intellectuals, politicians, and soldiers of all colors. The authors show that the oft-told narrative of a monolithic imperial power ruling inexorably over passive African victims no longer stands scrutiny; rather, at every turn, Africans and Britons interacted with one another in a complex set of relationships that involved as much cooperation and negotiation as resistance and force, whether during the era of the slave trade, the world wars, or the period of decolonization. The British presence provoked a wide range of responses, reactions, and transformations in various aspects of African life; but at the same time, the experience of empire in Africa – and its ultimate collapse – also compelled the British to view themselves and their empire in new ways. Written by an Africanist and a historian of imperial Britain and illustrated with maps and photographs, Africans and Britons in the Age of Empires, 1660-1980 provides a uniquely rich perspective for understanding both African and British history.
Seema Alavi challenges the idea that all pan-Islamic configurations are anti-Western or pro-Caliphate. A pan-Islamic intellectual network at the cusp of the British and Ottoman empires became the basis of a global Muslim sensibility—a political and cultural affiliation that competes with ideas of nationhood today as it did in the last century.
KITLV - The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, 1851-2011
Author: Maarten Kuitenbrouwer
Category: Political Science
How was it possible for the Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (KITLV) to grow from a learned society with fewer than a hundred members and only one partly salaried employee in 1851 into a modern professional institute with 1800 members and a staff of over fifty in 2001? This book provides the answer to this question.