What forces have shaped humanity most?

Question: What forces have shaped humanity most?

D. Quinn Mills: The most important thing that shapes humanity is human nature. In my view, it is a complex combination of good and bad--of altruistic impulses and impulses that are fundamentally selfish and difficult, and that's the most important thing. Now, in addition to that, shaping the history of the recent past by which I mean the last few thousand years, rapid growth the technology, which is very important, the improvements in our learning and skills and that things, so that the population has grown enormously. It's very interesting about that. When I was born, and I am not that old, there were about two billion people in the world. When I die, I expect it will be eight. So, that will have been a four-fold increase and enormous numbers. I think we underestimate how significant that has been, but those are the major factors I think that so there are demographics, there are technology and there are our basic nature. Those would be the factors I say that really shape us.

Recorded on: 9/27/07

A combination of human impulse and human innovation have shaped us, says Mills.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.