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It has always been fascinating to me why, out of so many other options, the society has developed in this way. So I was searching for resources which explain what chain of events-and why- from beginning of the civilization proceeded what we have today. Unfortunately, what I have found are either very specific or very technical. I hope you could help me.

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  • $\begingroup$ This question seems very broad. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Jan 17 '17 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ It also seems like a better fit for History. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Jan 17 '17 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ And personally I think most posterior rationalizations are wrong (perfect hindsight) unless they are very specific and technical. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Jan 17 '17 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it's about Economics. $\endgroup$ – WorldGov Apr 20 at 19:28
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I recommend Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, for this topic. I don't know what you mean by "the society." Diamond makes it clear that there are many different societies around the world, progressing at different rates. To answer your question about why we have what we have today and why individual societies developed in the direction they did: some technologies are inevitable, such as farming, writing and mettalurgy. What differs is that a few societies developed these technologies much earlier than others. Diamond lays out the reasons why; differences in intelligence across races is not a reason but the geology and biogeography of people's habitats are ultimate causual factors. These ultimate factors lead to more proximate factors such as animal and plant domestication, leading to denser and more sedentary populations with more complex political organization. Technological development led to further economic development, with most technology arising from it being spread from other societies—and that transmission depends again on geography. Eurasia had the advantage of an east-west axis that made transfer of domestic food and animal species easier (along the same lines of latitude and hence similar climes), and thus the technology which accompanies more sedentary societies. More isolated societies such as Australia did not benefit from the spread of technology, and hence remained a hunting-gathering society until European conquest.

His book is entertaining and interesting to read. I've learnt facts and a perspective of the differences amongst races that I couldn't do without.

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  • $\begingroup$ Diamond provides one interesting and thought-provoking view, but also one that many economists (who work in this specific area) would disagree with. $\endgroup$ – Kenny LJ Apr 6 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ @KennyLJ. Instructive comment! Could you please elaborate on "many economists (who work in this specific area) would disagree with" why? (if it's not too long and/or any reference). $\endgroup$ – emeryville Apr 6 at 7:03
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    $\begingroup$ @emeryville: You could pose that as a question. It's much too long for a comment. $\endgroup$ – Kenny LJ Apr 6 at 7:14

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