Lets talk about the Villains

It seems we have lived through many revolutions as a species, I really only knew about the industrial revolution before this class. The Scientific Revolution may be the most important revolution humanity has ever gone through, because it changed almost every way knowledge is perceived. The most knowledgeable people before the Scientific Revolution were mostly well versed in theology and rhetoric. The revolution changed education as a whole as well as who was able to be educated. Mathematics has become the cornerstone of the educated and the knowledgeable. Harari uses the example of even college majors that are considered in the school of humanities have a basis in mathematics. Education is trending to be more quantitative due to the Scientific Revolution.

Let’s start with imperialism, for the next part of the prompt. Almost all of modern scientific discoveries have been financed by imperialist governments. Of course that last sentence was exaggeration, but it still has some truth to it. Harari provides multiple examples to why this is true, one of the most important is Christopher Columbus discovering America. Columbus was sponsored by the Spanish crown to search for America, and was accompanied by soldiers. These imperialist governments sponsor scientists because they see them as an investment that will eventually pay off. The Spanish got large swaths of new colonial land and resources that helped catapult them even higher in the world power leaderboards. Moving on, modern science is also wedded to capitalism. The reason being for this marriage is quite simple, advanced technology gives a company an edge over its competitors. Let’s talk about a historic example and a modern one. A lot of trading companies in the 17th and 18th centuries sponsored explorers to map out new trade routes in order to make their companies more profitable. A lot of those expeditions brought about world shattering discoveries, which were essentially a byproduct of capitalist greed. Take Darwin for example, evolution was basically found on one of these expeditions (it is more nuanced than that). In modern times, Monsanto has invested astronomical amounts of money into improving biotechnology. Monsanto is seen as a villain quite often in most circles, but their discoveries in the realm of biotechnology have brought great change to our world. These discoveries were fueled by the companies to stay competitive, in some ways the investment was a risk for them.

One thought on “Lets talk about the Villains

  1. I really like your reasoning using the colonial history of America to support your claim. As we discussed in lecture before, the new world yielded new opportunities otherwise unknown to the European empires. Land, materials, and the indigenous wildlife all were new resources added when Columbus sailed that ocean blue. These resources required new advancements in not only social sciences but technical sciences as well. From this we saw the rise of slavery, and recorded trade routes, enhanced knowledge in cartography, and even the developments of new machinery used to mass produce various materials. In the social sciences, slaves were used as an inexpensive labor force for the new established colonies. The scientific revolution allowed us to expand but at the cost of our humanity to an extent, and its important to look back and recognize this because what will stop us from being the alien invaders when we start to expand our reach into the stars.


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