Re: The Western Hemispherre & Elsewhere,

Wed, 3 Aug 1994 15:07:00 PDT

Those who have been following or contributing to the discussion on
differences in rates of development may be interested to know that a theory
on precisely this issue was developed by Nicholas Raschevsky in a book
called "Looking at History Through Mathematics" (MIT Press, 1968). Very
roughly, he relates the difference in rates of development of Europe versus
Asia and Africa to differences in rates of information transfer that in turn
are caused by differences in transportation potential: "Thus a tenfold
increase of the specific shoreline, a ratio observed for western Europe as
compared to other countires, might very well make the rate of cultural
development appreciably greater" (p. 162). (A single quote, though, does not
do justice to his argument.)

D. Read