Quantifying history: Two thousand years in one chart

29. June 2011

Date: 28-06-2011
Source: The Economist

An alternative timeline for the past two millennia

SOME people recite history from above, recording the grand deeds of great men. Others tell history from below, arguing that one person’s life is just as much a part of mankind’s story as another’s. If people do make history, as this democratic view suggests, then two people make twice as much history as one. Since there are almost 7 billion people alive today, it follows that they are making seven times as much history as the 1 billion alive in 1811. The chart below shows a population-weighted history of the past two millennia. By this reckoning, over 28% of all the history made since the birth of Christ was made in the 20th century. Measured in years lived, the present century, which is only ten years old, is already “longer” than the whole of the 17th century. This century has made an even bigger contribution to economic history. Over 23% of all the goods and services made since 1AD were produced from 2001 to 2010, according to an updated version of Angus Maddison’s figures.

The 100 greatest non-fiction books

20. June 2011

The Guardian, 14/6

After keen debate at the Guardian’s books desk, this is our list of the very best factual writing, organised by category, and then by date.


(Naja, hfk)

nuts führt Sie in die Zukunft

7. June 2011

Wie üblich: Zwei Partner (RB & AS) arbeiten, der Dritte (hfk) dokumentiert.