The musings of Mr Monkeysized

A history of the world in 100 objects by monkeysized
February 23, 2010, 18:33
Filed under: Uncategorized

I began downloading a new series of podcasts today: the BBC’s history of the world in 100 objects from the British Museum. Splendid stuff – suddenly the whole of our flimsy current existence is cast in the long view, context and that enormous sweep of time, sediments of tiny lifetimes building up, generation by generation, exemplified in a series of sometimes mundane objects.

It would be wrong to just heap praise on this attempt at mass-monkeysizing. So I won’t.

The website annoys me for a start – too flashy, too glitzy, too uncomprehending of the simplicity of the idea itself.

And in the first episode, Amartya Sen popped up to talk of the interconnectivity of civilisations. The obligatory nod to the civilisations of West Africa were mentioned, just to – you know – say we’re all – like – kind of the same, yeah? Oh, and the Clash of Civilisations thesis was once again taken out of context and slighted. If feels a shame to introduce such modern normative values to such a grand sweep of human history. It feels grubby, and very, very modern. Very un-monkeysized, I’m afraid to say.


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