Mr. G's AP World History

Your Only Work During the Break

Posted in Uncategorized by gibault1 on December 22, 2011

Spanish Fleet

Like we discussed in class this week, there’s no textbook homework during the break. I didn’t think it reasonable to have you take your brick-like textbook along with you on vacation. That said, I do want to make sure that all of you stay in “AP World History Mode” and that you don’t lose the positive momentum you’ve successfully built up during first semester. Consequently, I’m assigning another practice DBQ. Hopefully this will further reinforce the expected criterion for a level-5 essay. Download the generic rubric Here if you need a reminder. And click Here for your DBQ.

Due: first class in January. ***Make sure you type it***

The Black Swan of Cairo

Posted in Cool Ideas, Economics by gibault1 on December 8, 2011

How Suppressing Volatility Makes the World Less Predictable and More Dangerous

The fall of the Roman Empire. The Catholic Counter-Reformation. The Haitian Revolution. The French Revolution. The Fall of Communism. The Egyptian Tahrir Square Revolution. Rebellion, Revolution, Upheaval, Social Chaos.

Historically, governments and power elites have done their best to maintain “stability” at all costs. The attempt to eliminate or minimize volatility has been of utmost concern. Much thought and effort has gone into creating rational systems of control and regulation, systems to mitigate against chaotic social fluctuations and the up-and-down, unpredictable forces of nature (ie. economic depressions, social rebellions, environmental catastrophes, natural distasters, etc). But have these efforts to suppress volatility actually created more volatility? Moreover, can the perennial desire for stability actually (and ironically) create more instability?

Read the following article by scholars Nassim Taleb and Mark Blyth to get their take on it.  Click HERE.

This isn’t required homework. Finish it if you want for BONUS MARKS.

The Protestant Work Ethic

Posted in Cool Ideas, Economics, Key Concepts, The West by gibault1 on December 7, 2011

What is the Protestant Work Ethic? Look it up online (use more than one source) and write a half-page summary. Who came up with the idea? What sorts of arguments is the idea based upon? Lastly, do you think it is a credible idea; does it accurately explain why Western European peoples of Protestant belief accumulated more wealth and demonstrated more material productivity in comparison to their Catholic neighbors or others civilizations at the time?