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Was Einstein Right About Global Civilization?

Princeton University has released a website called Digital Einstein, containing many writings by Albert Einstein that were previously unknown by the general public. Among these is a Manifesto To The Europeans, which begins with the declaration that, “technology and traffic clearly drive us toward a factual recognition of international relations, and thus toward a common world civilization”.

This document was written during World War I. Was Einstein right in his judgment? Has technology and improved travel created a global civilization? In what respect do we have a single human civilization?

2 thoughts on “Was Einstein Right About Global Civilization?”

  1. Dredd says:

    “In what respect do we have a single human civilization?”

    In the sense that we all live under the same Sun on the same planet with the same ecosystem (The Tenets of Ecocosmology). Thus we face the same threats to our species and global ecosystem.

  2. Bill says:

    Buckminster Fuller likewise believed that technology (and more specifically, electric power distribution grids) are driving us toward a world civilization and culture. I guess he thought we’d all join hands around the nearest high-voltage tower and sing Kumbaya.

    It seems to me more like technology is actually fragmenting us into tiny insular tribes. Just try to name a country today that doesn’t have either a separatist movement or a nativist movement, backed up by internet proselytizing at best or shoulder-launched missiles at worst. Look at the proliferation of conspiracy web sites, all of which appeal to readers’ fear and loathing of ‘them’ (whoever they may be, and usually involving a feared one-world conspiracy).

    Technology doesn’t make us different and better. It just makes us more like we already are. It’s an amplifier, not a catalyst.

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