David Baker of Macquarie University has pointed out that not only do the physical principles of energy flows and complexity connect human history to the very start of the Universe, but the broadest view of human history many also supply the discipline of history with a "unifying theme" in the form of the concept of collective learning. Fax: +7 (8442)42-17-71 Half a century after the Han began to engage with their western neighbors, Augustus came to power in Rome following a century of civil war. interactions between individuals and between communities. First Silk Roads Era (c. 50 BCE – c. 250 CE). (eds. Big history explains the past ,and gives us,knowledge about collective learning. 2013: 174–175). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. In Gervers, M., and Long, G. administration to fund a seven-day Big History Summer Institute in May 2010. On a Big History course, ... with collective learning." Crash Course Big History takes a look at Humans, one of the weirdest examples of change in the Universe. 8.1 Exploration and Interconnection Exploration required crossing dangerous deserts and deep ocean waters. After a long day of work, I had to come back to school and hope my presentation ran so long that I wouldn’t have time to answer any questions from parents I might be unprepared for. Donate or volunteer today! Read each of the following passages, and then discuss with your partner or group. Keywords: Silk Roads, Collective Learning, Agrarian Civilizations, Afro-Eurasia, trade. Little big history of the pencil: Home of the pencils Threshold 1 The big bang Threshold 2 Stars light up Threshold 3 New chemical elements Threshold 4 Earth and the solar system Threshold 5 Life on Earth Threshold 6 Collective learning Threshold 7 Agriculture Threshold 8 Modern revolution Threshold 9 The future Contact About 3–30). Through collective learning humans adapt to our environment without changing genetically. Our ancestors have passed on their knowledge to us, and as time passed on, we began to develop and expand our knowledge. Benjamin, C. 2009. At the heart of the Silk Roads network, straddling and influencing both the land and maritime routes, was the Kushan Empire (c. 45–225 CE), one of the most important yet least known agrarian civilizations in world history (Benjamin 1998, 2009). History of dogs The Beginning Evolution Collective Learning New Breeds The Future Little Big History Project: threshold 6: The next threshold I chose was collective learning because every species must grow and evolve by learning from each other. The Chinese merchants active in the silk trade became attracted to the faith, too, and returned home to spread the Buddhist message. This growing, multi-disciplinary approach is focused on high school students, yet designed for anyone seeking answers to the big questions about the history of our Universe. Buddhism first emerged in northern India in the sixth century BCE. The Summer Institute took place and the rest is Big History! Collective learning, according to the Big History website (bighistoryproject.com), is defined as: preserving information, sharing it with one another, and passing it to the next generation. Unit 9: Collective Learning (Part 4) 1. increased the opportunities for collective learning. Early Evidence of Collective Learning. False Humans are the only species with the ability to learn collectively. The trans-civilizational contacts that occurred through this exchange resulted in the most significant collective learning so far experienced by the human species. In Gervers, M., and Long, G. It shows what happened from the big bang, or from God creating the heavens and the earth. The bowls required the use of cobalt for blue coloring, which was imported by the Chinese manufacturers in significant quantities from Iran. Our curiosity and our ability to cooperate and collectively learn are the essential ingredients in the Big History story of us. 2013: 180). Collective learning is the distinctly human ability to share and preserve knowledge, the ability that allows us to build on ideas over time and advance at a rapid rate in comparison with other species of animals. Collective Learning COLLECTIVE LEARNING SNAP JUDGEMENT We have to look at the following statements and quickly decide whether they are true or false. BIg History project (Elements) - Ajay Pursram Tuesday, 6 December 2016. This happened because Greek merchants and colonists followed in the footsteps of Alexander and spread Greek language, art, religion, philosophy, and law throughout much of the region. When Zhang Qian returned after an epic journey of twelve years, he convinced the emperor that friendly relations could be established with many of the states of the ‘Western Regions’ because they were ‘hungry for Han goods’ (Benjamin 2007b: 3–30). All rights reserved, Kirova street 143, Eventually within the Afro-Eurasian world zone in particular, every human community was connected together within a vibrant web. Collective learning is the ability to share, preserve, and build up on ideas over time. (eds. After 1492, goods, ideas, peoples, crops, animals, and diseases were shared between the world zones. ), Toronto Studies in Central and Inner Asia (pp. Humans are cable of doing this because of our powerful brains and language. One branch of Christianity, Nestorianism, became particularly strong throughout the central and eastern Silk Roads. 2013: 181). Within a decade the Han had established a tributary relationship with dozens of city-states of Central Asia, and mercantile traffic began to flow out of China along the ancient migration routes into Central Asia. An example of collective learning can be seen when a … As the smaller exchanges of the Early Agrarian Era began to expand, the enhanced collective learning that followed led to more and more significant changes in the material, artistic, social, and spiritual domains of human history. Benjamin, C. 2013. PART 4 COLLECTIVE LEARNING 9 1180L 2. The Periplus demonstrates that sailors had discovered the secrets of the monsoon ‘trade’ winds. Other species do not have the symbolic language skills to enable collective learning. As smallpox devastated the Mediterranean world late in the second century, populations declined again, to perhaps 40 million by 400 CE. Collective learning is the increase in complexity over time as ideas and knowledge are preserved, spread and built up upon among communities. Collective learning increases when there is greater diversity within a network Rule 3 Uneven distributions of information produce uneven distributions of power and wealth Positive feedback cycles compound the effects of these three rules, accelerating collective learning Collective learning worked differently in the world zones. The Yuezhi. But collective learning likely predates 50,000 years ago. Such knowledge is institutionalized in the form of structures, rules, routines, norms, discourse, and strategies that guide future action. China and the Dar al-Islam were clearly engaged in intense commercial exchanges during this second Silk Roads Era, and Arab mariners undertaking lengthy seagoing voyages were maintaining this vibrant trans-Afro-Eurasian web late in the first millennium of the Common Era. This helped facilitate the emergence and spread of Mahayana (or Great Vehicle) Buddhism, partly because the scriptures were now written in a language the common people could understand, and not one that could be read only by religious elites (Benjamin 2013). Through collective learning we are able to distinguish different people and establish a social structure. Silk Roads Studies Series. Plagues and People. Elfrieda H. Hiebert, PhD, UC Santa Cruz, Text Genome California, USA Note: This blog post is featured in Session 3.2, Teaching Reading of Teaching Big History, our online training course for new and returning BHP teachers. Along these difficult routes through some of the harshest geography on earth traveled merchants and adventurers, diplomats and missionaries, each carrying their commodities and ideas enormous distances across the Afro-Eurasian world zone. Bentley, J., and Zeigler, H. 2010. Sometimes they joined up simply because their borders met and merged, but more often they joined in a looser sense as people from one region traded with, or traveled to, or borrowed ideas from, or fought with people from other regions within and beyond agrarian civilization. Collective learning worked differently in the world zones. The development of the Silk Roads is also an example of another key theme in Big History – evolving complexity at all scales. It can also tell us much about the impact of these zones coming together. : 176). Between 600–1000 CE, thousands of Buddhist stupas and temples were constructed in China. Video: The Common Man. Threshold 6: Humans and Collective Learning. Big history is the collective history of everything from every human's perspective. Benjamin, C. 2007b. The two broad toes on each of its feet have undivided soles and are able to spread widely as an adaptation to walking on sand. As confederations of pastoralists, states and large-scale agrarian civilizations expanded and stretched their boundaries, they joined together to form larger systems. The Christian missionary, Paul of Tarsus, may have traveled as many as 8,000 miles along the roads and sea-lanes of the eastern Roman Empire preaching to small Christian communities. From the very beginning of human history the exchange of information and ideas between diverse peoples and cultures has been a prime mover in promoting change through this process of collective learning. Despite the complexity and fluidity of these processes, the slow linking up of different agrarian civilizations was immensely important because it facilitated a dramatic expansion in the size and diversity of collective learning, which can be described as the human capacity to share ideas so efficiently that they accumulate in the collective human memory from generation to generation. Perhaps, the most important spiritual consequence of material exchange was the spread of religions across Afro-Eurasia, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, which moved from India through Central Asia to China and East Asia. It is important to look at how collective learning ties into the broader Big History themes developed by Eric Chaisson and Fred Spier: the rise of complexity in the Universe and energy flows. In Afro-Eurasia, by the time the first cities and states appeared, the technologies of the secondary products revolution had generated more productive ways of exploiting livestock, some of them so productive that they allowed entire communities to depend almost exclusively on their herds of animals (Sherratt 1981: 261–305). Through collective learning humans adapt to our environment without changing genetically. Arts and humanities Big History Project 6. Population growth tended to BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 8.3 COLLECTIVE LEARNING & WORLD TRAVELERS Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 31–50). As noted above, long before the Tang came to power, many foreign religions had made their way into East Asia. The Big History timeline has multiple ideas form all sorts of times. Collective Learning (Part 1) Why Human Evolution Matters. The first important period of the Silk Roads was between roughly 50 BCE and 250 CE, when material and intellectual exchange took place between the Chinese, Indian, Kushan, Iranian, steppe-nomadic and Mediterranean worlds. The diagram opposite is a very simple map of the relations between three people (or perhaps three groups of people). Like Buddhism, Manichaeism was particularly attractive to merchants, and eventually most of the major Silk Roads trading cities contained Manichaean communities (Christian et al. Big History also explores the mix of individual action and social and … The more knowledge we have the … Extensive internal road networks were constructed, great advances were made in metallurgy and transport technology, agricultural production was intensified, and coinage appeared for the first time. The Silk Roads also illustrate another key theme in Big History – evolving complexity at all scales. October 31, 2017 November 30, 2017 Big History Project BHP and ELA, BHP General. Second Silk Roads Era c. 600 – c. 1000 CE. Because of this regular commingling the very idea of distinct agrarian civilizations with rigid borders is misleading. Worrall, S. 2003. (eds. Through collective learning humans adapt to our environment without changing genetically. Big history is a giant web, instead of a straight time-line. You’ll argue that culture either is or is not a product of collective learning. In return for their high value-exports, the Chinese imported a range of agricultural products (including grapes), Roman glassware, art objects from India and Egypt, and horses from the steppes. Ultimately it was the role of pastoralists as facilitators and protectors of trade and exchange that allowed the Silk Roads and other networks to flourish (Christian et al. It is generally conceptualized as a dynamic and cumulative process that results in the production of knowledge. ‘Made in China’. 6.4 Humans (CK) Projects Feedback 6.2.1 6.2.2 6.2.3 6.2 Quiz Lesson Resources: Activity 6.2.1 Objectives Video: What makes humans different? Collective learning can refer to different concepts: . © 2013 Uchitel Publishing House. In Africa, there is strong evidence of new technologies from 100,000 years ago or even earlier. Only with the biological evolution and then human domestication of the silk worm and the Bactrian camel did the Chinese have an export commodity valuable enough, and a transport mechanism hardy enough, to justify and facilitate the expensive and complex expeditions necessary to allow the Chinese merchants to join the pre-existing Afro-Eurasian exchange network. And thats how collective learning ties into big history. The survival of the first century CE seaman's handbook, the Periplus of the Erythrian Sea, has provided historians with a detailed account of maritime commerce at that time (Ibid. There were varying degrees of nomadism, ranging from groups that had no permanent settlements at all to communities like the Andronovo that were largely sedentary and lived in permanent settlements. The Kushan monarchs were not only effective political and military rulers; they also demonstrated a remarkable appreciation of art and were patrons of innovative sculpture workshops within their empire. Collective learning is the increase in complexity over time as ideas and knowledge are preserved, spread and built up upon among communities. Even though Pliny's figure is undoubtedly exaggerated, it provides evidence of the incredible scale of Silk Roads commercial exchanges. Big history has several organized sections which are the thresholds. These four brief examples all support the claim that the Silk Roads profoundly affected the subsequent shape and direction of all human history. Up Next. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The bulk of overland Silk Roads trade was literally carried on the backs of these extraordinary animals (Christian et al. Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Let’s look at one particular type: those based on improve- ments in the way information is exchanged, stored, and circulated within networks — in essence, innovations having to … Learning emerges because of interactive mechanisms where individual knowledge is … In the same way that the early universe was simple until contingent circumstances made it possible for more complex entities to appear, and that the relatively simple single-cell organisms of early life on the planet were able to evolve into an extraordinary, complex biodiversity, so human communities and the connections between them followed similar trajectories. This physical representation then spread along the Silk Roads, penetrating south to Sri Lanka and east to China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia (Benjamin 1998, 2009). (eds. Their use of collective learning made them an important force for change in Little Big History. At sites in Africa, there is tantalizing evidence for innovative thinking and new technologies from 100,000 years ago or even earlier. IX. Big History and Collective Learning. This opportunity allows students to investigate the history of an item or commodity through multiple thresholds and various disciplines. It shows what happened from the big bang, or from God creating the heavens and the earth. The primary function of the Silk Roads was to facilitate trade, but the intellectual, social, and artistic exchanges that resulted had an even greater impact on collective learning. 1981. As maritime trade gradually eclipsed overland trade in volume, merchants and sailors from all over Afro-Eurasia flocked to the great southern port cities of Guangzhou and Quanzhou (Christian et al. At the same time, in Eurasia, new types of tools and new kinds of art and sculpture started to emerge. The physical contexts that made the Silk Roads possible were the product of billions of years of geological change and biological evolution. Native to the steppes of Central Asia, the two-humped Bactrian camel is a supreme example of superb evolutionary adaptation. Collective learning is the ability to share information so efficiently that the ideas of individuals can be stored within the collective memory of communities and can accumulate through generations. It's a story about us. Little Big History Project: threshold 6: The next threshold I chose was collective learning because every species must grow and evolve by learning from each other. 8.2 Commerce and Collective Learning The Han became involved in the late-second century BCE after Emperor Wudi dispatched envoy Zhang Qian on a diplomatic and exploratory mission into Central Asia. Traditions and Encounters. Also critical in facilitating these exchanges were the pastoral nomads, who formed communities that live primarily from the exploitation of domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, camels, or horses. The result was that there developed, over several millennia, entire lifeways based mainly on pastoralism, capable of exploiting the arid lands that ran in a long horizontal belt from northwest Africa through Southwest Asia and Central Asia to Mongolia. Just a normal blackbackground. One idea is passed from one person to the next, and is improved upon. Big History Collective Learning 8 Public Lectures (Feb - May 2017) Big History: A Scientific Narrative of Changes from the Big Bang to Modern Society The Emerging Universe, Life and Human Society 400079 Big History examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future Journey through nearly 14 billion years of history in this self-guided, six-hour version of Big History. By the middle of the last century BCE, conditions in Afro-Eurasia were ripe for levels of material and cultural exchange – and collective learning – hitherto unknown (Benjamin 2009: 30–32). Tag: Collective Learning. Instead, merchants from the major eastern and western civilizations took their goods so far, then passed them on to a series of middlemen, including traders who were operating deep within the Kushan Empire. Early Humans 6.2—Collective Learning. XXV. Activity 6.2.1 Review Course Glossary Activity 6.2.2 Objectives Reading: Early evidence of collective learning Activity 6.2.2 Review Course Glossary Activity … firstname.lastname@example.org, Globalistics and globalization studiesBig history & global history, In Memoriam: Robert L. Carneiro (1927-2020), 6th International Scientific Congress “Globalistics-2020”: “Global issues and future of humankind”, A new volume: A Big History of Globalization. Or, as I like to say, a story of collective learning. 2013: 177–178). Sherratt, A. Big history is the collective history of everything from every human's perspective. The Silk Roads also illustrate another key theme in Big History – evolving complexity at all scales. 6.1 How our ancestors evolved 6.2 Collective learning 6.3 How did the first humans live? Big History and Collective Learning Summer Day Camp 2018/19 (NEW!) But collective learning likely goes back more than 50,000 years ago. Passage One “It is a fact that all over the country of Cathay there is a kind of black … Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 2013: 177–178). Advances in transportation, communication, and road systems also helped to increase connections and increase collective learning. McNeil, W. H. 1998. XIV. Collective Learning Agriculture Expansion and Interconnection The Modern Revolution The Little Big History of Watches References Reference Part 2 Big History From the Beginning of time to the world we know today. Geography made it possible for the first agrarian civilizations of western Eurasia and northeastern Africa to form cultural and commercial connections, but geography also prevented Chinese civilization from joining these developing networks in any substantive way. Turnhout: Brepols. The Big History Project Tuesday, 25 October 2016. Humans use collective learning in their everyday life in order to communicate, and establish society as it is today. Collective learning is a complex concept that is variously defined. The Han iron was prized in Rome for its exceptional hardness. Population estimates from the ancient world are always difficult, but the population of the Roman Empire may have fallen from 60 million to 45 million between the mid-first and mid-second centuries CE. The Thresholds are sections that summarize a time of the Universe. Silk Roads Studies Series (pp. New York: McGraw-Hill. Collective learning Scale What is Big History? These immunities proved of great significance in the pre-modern age, when Muslim, Chinese, and particularly European traders and explorers carried Afro-Eurasian diseases to the other world zones, with disastrous consequences for native populations (McNeil 1998). ( Log Out / We didn't descend from chimps or bonobos — they're just our cousins. Big History, a new perspec tive originally introduced by Prof. David Christian, tries to provide an evidence-based scientific . Smallpox, measles, and bubonic plagues devastated the populations at either end of the routes, where people had less resistance. The dhow was filled with tens of thousands of carefully packaged Tang ceramic plates and bowls, along with many gold and silver objects. In Christian, D., and Benjamin, C. One of the distinctive ideas of big history is that of collective learning.David Christian describes collective learning in this way in his Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History:. Connecting the four world zones posed many challenges, but after 1400, innovation and collective learning took a giant leap forward. Humans and Collective Learning. Decorative patterns painted or glazed on the various items – including Buddhist, Iranian, and Islamic motifs – show the specific market the goods were intended for. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The highly mobile, militarized pastoralism of Inner Asia, associated with the riding of horses by the Saka/Scythians and other groups, probably did not emerge until early in the first millennium BCE (Christian et al. Not only did the passing of disease bacteria along the Silk Roads by traders play a significant role in the depopulation and subsequent decline of both the Han and Roman Empires, but the exposure of millions of humans to these pathogens meant that antibodies spread extensively throughout the Afro-Eurasian world zone, and important immunities were built up within populations. RAPID ACCELERATION By David Christian COLLECTIVE LEARNING 3. 2 3 In the final essay of a four-part series, David Christian explains how advances in communication and transportation accelerated collective learning. New York: McGraw-Hill. VIII. Benjamin, C. 1998. After a slow 7 million years of evolving, developing bipedalism, collectively … National Geographic Magazine (June 2009): 112–123. It helps explain why the zones had such different histories. In Hodder, I., Isaac, G., and Hammond, N. Start studying Big History Threshold #6: Early Humans and Collective Learning. 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