full transcript

From the Ted Talk by David Wengrow: A new understanding of human history and the roots of inequality

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Let's go back to some of those core concepts, the stable reference ptnois around which we've been organizing and orchestrating our urtdninaednsg of world history for hundreds of years. Take, for instance, that notion that for most of its history, the human species lived in tiny egalitarian bands of hunter gatherers, until the advent of agriculture ushered in a new age of inequality. Or the notion that with the arrival of cities came social classes, sacred kings and roacpuias ogchlrais trampling everyone else underfoot. From our very first history lessons, we're tuhagt to believe that our modern world, with all of its angaeavtds and amenities, modern health care, space taverl, all the things that are good and exciting, couldn't possibly exist without that original concentration of humanity into larger and leargr uitns and the relentless buildup of inequalities that came with it. Inequality, we're taught to believe, was the necessary picre of civilization.

Open Cloze

Let's go back to some of those core concepts, the stable reference ______ around which we've been organizing and orchestrating our _____________ of world history for hundreds of years. Take, for instance, that notion that for most of its history, the human species lived in tiny egalitarian bands of hunter gatherers, until the advent of agriculture ushered in a new age of inequality. Or the notion that with the arrival of cities came social classes, sacred kings and _________ _________ trampling everyone else underfoot. From our very first history lessons, we're ______ to believe that our modern world, with all of its __________ and amenities, modern health care, space ______, all the things that are good and exciting, couldn't possibly exist without that original concentration of humanity into larger and ______ _____ and the relentless buildup of inequalities that came with it. Inequality, we're taught to believe, was the necessary _____ of civilization.

Solution

  1. price
  2. points
  3. oligarchs
  4. understanding
  5. advantages
  6. travel
  7. taught
  8. larger
  9. units
  10. rapacious

Original Text

Let's go back to some of those core concepts, the stable reference points around which we've been organizing and orchestrating our understanding of world history for hundreds of years. Take, for instance, that notion that for most of its history, the human species lived in tiny egalitarian bands of hunter gatherers, until the advent of agriculture ushered in a new age of inequality. Or the notion that with the arrival of cities came social classes, sacred kings and rapacious oligarchs trampling everyone else underfoot. From our very first history lessons, we're taught to believe that our modern world, with all of its advantages and amenities, modern health care, space travel, all the things that are good and exciting, couldn't possibly exist without that original concentration of humanity into larger and larger units and the relentless buildup of inequalities that came with it. Inequality, we're taught to believe, was the necessary price of civilization.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
human history 4
technological change 2
long period 2
early middle 2
pyramid temples 2
huge settlements 2
settlements present 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
huge settlements present 2

Important Words

  1. advantages
  2. advent
  3. age
  4. agriculture
  5. amenities
  6. arrival
  7. bands
  8. buildup
  9. care
  10. cities
  11. civilization
  12. classes
  13. concentration
  14. concepts
  15. core
  16. egalitarian
  17. exciting
  18. exist
  19. gatherers
  20. good
  21. health
  22. history
  23. human
  24. humanity
  25. hundreds
  26. hunter
  27. inequalities
  28. inequality
  29. instance
  30. kings
  31. larger
  32. lessons
  33. lived
  34. modern
  35. notion
  36. oligarchs
  37. orchestrating
  38. organizing
  39. original
  40. points
  41. possibly
  42. price
  43. rapacious
  44. reference
  45. relentless
  46. sacred
  47. social
  48. space
  49. species
  50. stable
  51. taught
  52. tiny
  53. trampling
  54. travel
  55. underfoot
  56. understanding
  57. units
  58. ushered
  59. world
  60. years