|Let us do a thought experiment. Suppose that all
pharmaceutical equipment, factories, and plant suddenly, mysteriously disappeared.
How long do you think it would be before humanity rebuilt and pharmaceutical
production returned to normal?
Now suppose that all knowledge of pharmaceutical production were removed
from all printed material, computers, and the memories of human beings.
How long before humanity re-discovered how to use the existing pharmaceutical
equipment and production returned to normal?
This experiment suggests that human knowledge of pharmaceutical production,
is more valuable than its' pharmaceutical equipment.
Or let us do the following thought experiment. Let us instantly move
all of modern humanity back to the pre-civilization Earth. Simultaneously,
we will move pre-civilization anatomically modern humans into our modern
cities and farms. Which group will fare better? Does anyone doubt that
civilized humans would soon set to work building all the modern equipment
and infrastructure necessary for a modern comfortable life? Or that the
untrained pre-civilization humans will allow everything to fall into disuse
and disrepair as the buildings slowly collapse?
Both experiments show the value of knowledge over physical factors.
By all accounts of pre civilization history, modern humans, with modern
intelligence potentials existed for well over hundreds of thousands of
years before any kind of civilization developed. Now the life time of individual
intelligence in a human being is 125 years max. Under harsh pre-civilization
conditions, this would be more like 25 years. It follows that individual
intelligence is not the sole cause of the development of civilization.
Instances of individual intelligence have too short a lifetime to be the
cause of civilization, without some way to make the effects of intelligence
in an individual lifetime cumulative. This accumulation of the results
of intelligence over time is called culture.
So, culture is the reason that we chase the tiger, rather than having
the tiger chase us.
In this age of the internet, the Library of Congress can move between
continents in minutes. But there is a portion of our culture that must
be absorbed by the individual in order for the rest of the culture to be
of any use. You can have libraries on mathematics at your fingertips, and
still not be able to solve a simple quadratic equation. You can live next
door to the Library of Congress and still not be able to write a clear
paragraph. Every parent that has helped a child with home work knows what
an enormous effort is required to absorb the basics of our culture. That
familiarity must renew itself in every generation. And the willingness
to make that effort is also cultural. It propagates itself from parent
to child in families.
This is why all attempts to redistribute wealth always have been, and
always will be a total failure. This has been ignored by our enlightened
Could culture also be the reason that some countries are a bloodbath
of racial and ethnic strife and others are not?
Information and Culture define who we are.
Our technical culture makes us masters of the planet.
Our artistic culture gives us the opportunity to confront our spirit.
Our social culture may help us make deals that allow us to live and
let live in mutual cooperation.
Our wealth is informational and cultural. Our culture must be understood