Asian renaissance:
I grew up in a house my mother said looked like the seven dwarves house in “Snow White.”  It was built during the Florida land boom.  At first there were few that were newer, but over the years new ones have been built.  Across the street in the woods there were remnants of farm machinery from before the boom.  A few blocks away there was a house built sideways to the street, or rather the house was so old the street was laid along its side.  A creek named Hogtown Creek made clear that the original location and name of the town had been different.  The place is now zoned for high rise condos.  So culture after culture has swept the place, one per generation I make it.  No need to tell me that civilizations have vanished.  I watch them vanish all the time.  When they are big enough to get into the history books I look for evidence for the reason they vanish.  As for my home it’s quite obvious; there were children, but we were never many.  People moved in.  Nobody moved out. 

Now there’s another vanished “great” civilization.  (Richard Stone
Was America Discovered in Medieval Central Asia? SCIENCE vol. 344 no. 6190 June 20, 2014 page 1331)  Abu Rayhan al-Biruni was a polymath of central Asia some thousand years ago.  Among other things he measured the circumpherence of the earth to within 17 km.  He was part of a sort of Renaissance in that part of the world that lasted seven centuries.  Hey, that’s pretty good.  Three hundred years is usually the brick wall.  If this was a single perennial society, no wonder they got so much done intellectually. 

The area is said to have been the crossroads of China, India, Europe, India and the Middle East.  Of course that’s exactly what you don’t need for stability. 

And indeed in the end it fizzled like the rest.  Superstition and ignorance ruled the night.  A clever lad indeed, it’s a pity he didn’t know what you now know.

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