ou
Identifiez-vous pour activer la commande 1-Click.
Plus de choix
Vous l'avez déjà ? Vendez votre exemplaire ici
Désolé, cet article n'est pas disponible en
Image non disponible pour la
couleur :
Image non disponible

 
Dites-le à l'éditeur :
J'aimerais lire ce livre sur Kindle !

Vous n'avez pas encore de Kindle ? Achetez-le ici ou téléchargez une application de lecture gratuite.

The Rhythms of History: A Universal Theory of Civilizations [Anglais] [Broché]

Stephen Blaha

Prix : EUR 21,69 Livraison à EUR 0,01 En savoir plus.
  Tous les prix incluent la TVA
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Habituellement expédié sous 2 à 4 semaines.
Expédié et vendu par Amazon. Emballage cadeau disponible.

Formats

Prix Amazon Neuf à partir de Occasion à partir de
Relié EUR 34,89  
Broché EUR 21,46  
Broché, 1 mai 2002 EUR 21,69  

Offres spéciales et liens associés


Détails sur le produit


Vendre une version numérique de ce livre dans la boutique Kindle.

Si vous êtes un éditeur ou un auteur et que vous disposez des droits numériques sur un livre, vous pouvez vendre la version numérique du livre dans notre boutique Kindle. En savoir plus

Commentaires en ligne 

Il n'y a pas encore de commentaires clients sur Amazon.fr
5 étoiles
4 étoiles
3 étoiles
2 étoiles
1 étoiles
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  3 commentaires
4 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Just don't look for the data... 13 septembre 2003
Par Mark E. Hall - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The Rhythms of History by Stephen Blaha is one of the latest contributions in the filed of macrohistory. Drawing uncritically on Toynbee's A Study of History, Blaha attempts to develop a quantitative theory of civilizations. Over the course of eighteen chapters and two appendices, he reviews Toynbee's theory of civilizations, develops a series of mathematical equations to model Toynbee's theory, and subsequently applies the equations to several civilizations. Not to be limited to this planet alone, Blaha even provides a chapter on extraterrestrial civilizations.
A few words are in order concerning Toynbee's theory of civilizations. Toynbee saw civilizations developing in a rally-rout cycle of three and a half beats, with each cycle consisting of a growth, breakdown and disintegration phase. Blaha tries to model this theory with equations based on harmonic oscillators. Another facet is that Toynbee downplayed material factors in the development and decline of civilizations, and instead stressed religious and philosophical factors.
While the book claims to be a quantitative theory of civilizations (see the jacket and Chapter 4), quantities such as the societal level (S) and the rate of change (C), are relative quantities and have no way of being measured. Granted, this is admitted at several points in the book (see for example in Chapters 4 and 8). Blaha, following Toynbee, sees the societal level corresponding to the overall feeling of the civilization's inhabitants, and not necessarily their material culture, wealth or population (pgs. 124-126).
Credulity is strained though when examining the equations for the societal level and rate of change. Instead of finding variables like population size, energy use, socio-cultural development, or technological developments, one finds that the societal level and rate of change are based on calendrical time, constants, and nebulously defined forces (F). The constants in some cases are derived from the number of years between events that are seen to be important by either Toynbee or Blaha, or they are defined in an ad-hoc fashion (see for example pages 82-88).
Examining the numerous plots of societal level versus calendrical time, leads one to wonder exactly what proof the author has to support any of his results. For example, dealing with my specialty, in the plot of Japanese civilization (pg. 89), Blaha sees it beginning in 58 BC during the Yayoi period. The plot shows that the highest societal level reached at any point in Japanese civilization occurred during the Yayoi period in AD 76. The Yayoi culture was a non-urban, ranked agricultural society that left no written records. The only contemporary written accounts of the Yayoi culture are brief passages in the Chinese histories Han Shu and Wei Chih. My curiosity is piqued as to how the societal level and rate of cultural change can be determined for a society that left no written record when the material culture is being ignored. Even if the material remains are taken into account, I am still baffled as to how the Yayoi culture achieved a societal level higher than Japanese civilization during the Kamakura period (AD 1185-1333) or Meiji era (AD 1868-1912). The high societal level reached during the reign of the legendary emperor Nintoku is also problematic; once again this is a time period from which there are practically no contemporary written accounts.
This is not the only problematic section. There are also numerous other mistakes and errors littering this book. Detailing them all will take far more space than this review has.
The paucity of the bibliography is also disturbing given the scope of this book. Only seventeen references are listed in the bibliography, and the majority of them were published before 1970. While not being dismissive of earlier works, the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and history have all gone through massive paradigm shifts in the intervening years. For the prehistoric and early historic civilizations covered in this book, new discoveries since 1970 have also altered our understanding of them. The bibliography also has a noticeable absence of books and articles on the use of mathematical models and simulation studies in the social sciences. With the advent of personal computers, this is an area of research that has grown immensely. In my opinion, the sparseness of the bibliography demonstrates a lack of primary research and understanding of the complexity of the topic under study.
At best, The Rhythms of History is an example of how not to use mathematical models in historical research. The equations and graphs look impressive at first, but close examination of them reveals historical, methodological and theoretical errors. If you are interested in macro-history, I would strongly suggest books by Diamond, Fernandez-Armesto, or even Toynbee.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 At Last a Science of History! 11 novembre 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book takes off from Toynbee's observation of a 3.5 cyclic pattern in civilizations to develop a mathematical macro-theory of civilizations. Blaha defines a measure of civilizations called the societal level which measures the strength or health of a civilization. This measure is like a consumer sentiment index - a measure of the psychological state of a civilization that integrates the outlook, the successes and failures, the military and political strength and all the other factors making up a civilization into one number. Then starting from Toynbee's 3.5 cycle observation Blaha develops a complete phenomenological theory of civilization using a damped harmonic oscillator model and applies it to all major European and Asian civilizations.
Ideally the societal level would be measured by a psychological profiling or poll of the civilization's population. In the absence of such polls, Blaha uses the patterns of historical events, comparing the events of each Eurasian civilization with the theory's pattern in a series of 40 or so charts. The agreement between the cyclic curves and events is impressive.
Blaha's theory goes far beyond Toynbee in defining the shapes of the curves and in extending the theory to describe the interaction between two civilizations (using the types of "forces" found in coupled harmonic oscillators), and the interaction between a civilization and a barbarian society. Both cases are illustrated by charts comparing history and theory. In the latter case Blaha displays a chart that clearly corresponds closely to the pattern of events in the conflict between Western civilization and Germanic barbarian tribes.
He also extends the theory to consider the effect of longer lived populations and technology on civilizations - topics of considerable current interest. He bases his theory on human heredity and a 4 generation long term social cycle previously noted by Toynbee and others.
While inserting this review I noticed a review by Mark Hall. I believe a careful reading of Mr. Hall's review shows a lack of understanding of science and mathematics, and an unstated bias against a scientific, mathematical theory of civilizations and history. He claims the book is filled with errors. Why didn't he provide a short list of 5 or 10 errors in his lengthy review? The one example he does discuss is early Japanese history. He states this period has little or no historical data available. How then can he say that this indicates Blaha's theory is wrong when Blaha simply extrapolates his math curves backwards in time? Illogical! He should say Blaha's theory is neither corroborated nor supported by data in that period.
As for the shape of the curve he might consider that the societal level is a measure of the unity, strength and health of a civilization. Civilizations at their beginnings often reach a social peak - although their population, culture and wealth may be less substantial than later periods. Consider the 100 years of major pyramid building in Egypt, the unity of Greek civilization at its beginning when fighting the Persians, and the countless other examples afforded by history. Hall's other comments about the bibliography (did he see the many footnotes?) are mere quibbles.
This is a solid book, as is its second edition entitled The Life Cycle of Civilizations. Both books are thought provoking. A remarkable pioneering effort towards a mathematical theory of civilizations. I recommend them without hesitation. Blaha has expanded the comparison of his theory with the history of civilizations in the second edition to include Mayan and the sub-Saharan, Great Zimbabwe civilization based on the latest archaeological findings. Thus 41 civilizations in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas conform to his model.
3 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 BLATANTLY FALSE REVIEW BY MARK HALL 5 décembre 2006
Par Publisher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Mark Hall's review contains blatant errors, misstatements, and misunderstanding of this book. Starting from the headline, "Just Don't Look for the Data" Hall misrepresents the facts. This books contains an enormous amount of data in the text and in 15 detailed graphs that show his headline and similar review comments to be totally false.

Hall alleges that the book draws uncritically from Toynbee. In fact except for the 3.5 beat cycle and the 400 year Time of Troubles and Universal State observations the theory in the book uses nothing from Toynbee. Hall's Toynbee bashing is therefore irrelevant.

Hall says the Societal Level cannot be measured. Since it is a measure of the "health" of a civilization it can be measured by the patterns of good and bad events that happen as the civilization evolves. Historians implicitly use this type of comparison in qualitative ways to compare periods in civilizations. My book does it quantitatively. Hall's objection falls.

Hall claims that one should take account of "population size, energy use, socio-cultural development, or technological developments" and not just societal level. This comment neglects the fact that many phenomena in nature and human affairs can be described by one variable despite being complex. For example, recently an analysis of stock price movements, which depend generally on many factors, could be explained by a simple harmonic oscillator equation for the price in some situations. The repeatedly observed similar behavior of civilizations suggests a pattern. As Nexus Magazine, September, 2003, points out, "Dr. Blaha has a mathematical model of civilizations. ... It's uncanny how the model fits the historical data." Hall seems not to have looked at the data that the magazine reviewer found so compelling. Hence his credulity.

Hall claims, "Examining the numerous plots of societal level versus calendrical time, leads one to wonder exactly what proof the author has to support any of his results." Hall seems to have missed all the civilizational events on these plots that follow the 3.5 beat cycle. This is the data that he apparently can't see.

Hall claims his "specialty" is Japanese civilization and states "Blaha sees it beginning in 58 BC during the Yayoi period. The plot shows that the highest societal level reached at any point in Japanese civilization occurred during the Yayoi period in AD 76. The Yayoi culture was a non-urban, ranked agricultural society that left no written records. ... My curiosity is piqued as to how the societal level and rate of cultural change can be determined for a society that left no written record when the material culture is being ignored. Even if the material remains are taken into account, I am still baffled as to how the Yayoi culture achieved a societal level higher than Japanese civilization during the Kamakura period (AD 1185-1333) or Meiji era (AD 1868-1912). ..." These comments reveal a complete misunderstanding of the Societal Level as well as the graphs in the book. The Societal Level measures the health or strength of a civilization. At that early period when a relatively small invading population was engaged in a life and death struggle with the inhabitants to survive on the island the societal level of the Japanese was high due to their social health - unity (thus societal level). In subsequent periods the same level of societal level was not reached due to internal struggles and social discord. Hall does not appear to understand that societal level is not a direct measure of population, culture or wealth. Thus Second century BCE Rome with a comparatively small population was stronger than fourth century CE Rome with a 100 million in population.

Hall also misunderstands the graph for early Japan. It was simply the implication of the theory for that period in Japan. It is not based on non-existent data. It is a prediction. This approach is similar to the predictions of cosmologists for Black Holes in the 1960's and 1970's before Black Holes were discovered. So the graph of early Japan is a prediction which might eventually have archaeological support.

Hall claims there are numerous mistakes in the book but worries about taking space to show them. In fact he found one typo in an earlier version of this review placed elsewhere. (The typo was quickly corrected in 2003 with two omitted words placed in the text.) When I pointed out it was a typo to Hall he reverted to the evasive statement in the review here: "Detailing them all will take far more space than this review has." A list of 4 or 5 of these supposed errors would not take much space. In fact I am not aware of space limitations on reviews. There are no known errors.

Hall complains "The paucity of the bibliography is also disturbing." Yet all the data and all the references needed to support the book's theory were presented. This author does not believe in the discredited practice of padding books with extraneous references.

Lastly, Hall states, "The equations and graphs look impressive at first, but close examination of them reveals historical, methodological and theoretical errors." Again he cites no historical, methodological or theoretical errors.

In view of Hall's difficulty with the English in my book, I revert to Latin and suggest his review should be taken "Cum grano salis."
Ces commentaires ont-ils été utiles ?   Dites-le-nous

Discussions entre clients

Le forum concernant ce produit
Discussion Réponses Message le plus récent
Pas de discussions pour l'instant

Posez des questions, partagez votre opinion, gagnez en compréhension
Démarrer une nouvelle discussion
Thème:
Première publication:
Aller s'identifier
 

Rechercher parmi les discussions des clients
Rechercher dans toutes les discussions Amazon
   


Rechercher des articles similaires par rubrique


Commentaires

Souhaitez-vous compléter ou améliorer les informations sur ce produit ? Ou faire modifier les images?