Mr. G's AP World History

The 10,000 Hour Rule

Posted in Cool Ideas by gibault1 on January 18, 2012

You all want to dominate the AP test in May. You all want to be awesome academics who excel at AP World History. You all want to know the secrets of how to be pro, ninja, top-notch, world class, master, boss, expert, caesaropapist,whiz, veteran, virtuoso, level-5 wizard, guru, gangsta, etc… But you also know that one doesn’t just have these skills and powers by default. They need to be earned. How? Read the following chapter excerpt to learn the secret to being the next Bill Gates or Mozart. Learn the 10,000 hours rule. Click HERE.

Read and do Dialectical Notes for next Tuesday.

This is an excerpt from a great book written by a most triumphant and erudite dude, Malcolm Gladwell. Check out his website here: And read more about him here:

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?

The Renaissance: Arts and the Ascent of Money

Posted in Cool Ideas, Economics, The West, Videos by gibault1 on November 30, 2011

The Renaissance led to a flurry of new economic activity. Italy, because of its strategic location in the Mediterranean, became one of Europe’s financial hubs. Newfound wealth in places like Florence resulted in an explosion of patronage for the arts. Banking and economics played a critical roll in this revolution. Today’s complicated economic world of investment, trading and financialization, all the stocks, bonds, derivatives, credit default swaps,  and mortgage-backed securities, much of this–whether good or bad–can be traced back to the explosion of finance that happened in the West during the Renaissance. Get a better grasp on history. Learn some economic history. Watch Niall Ferguson’s documentary “The Ascent of Money,” at least the first hour of it.

Korean Soft Power

Posted in China, Cool Ideas by gibault1 on November 17, 2011

As we’ve learned in chapter 13, China traditionally enjoyed a great deal of influence in the Asian sphere. Being the “core” civilization of the area, many of its ideas either travelled to neighbouring peoples or were directly adopted by them (ie. Korea & Japan). This was an ongoing pattern throughout much of history and its important to note.

Today, while China enjoys great clout both financially and militarily in the region, its neighbour Korea also finds itself enjoying a growing amount of power–power, in this case, of the “soft” variety. Watch the clip below to see how Korean notions of beauty are transforming the way people in Asia view themselves. Also, read the Pitchfork music article to understand just how increasingly powerful the Korean Pop music scene is becoming. Korea is growing its international footprint; a reversal compared to its position viz-a-viz China during its early history.

Click HERE for the BBC video clip on the booming Korean plastic surgery industry.

Click HERE to read the fascinating Pitchfork article “To Anyone: The Rise of Korean Wave”–an introduction to the increasingly influential world of K-Pop.

The Empathic Civilization

Posted in Cool Ideas, Economics, Videos by gibault1 on November 8, 2011

In his book, “The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis“, renowned social thinker Jeremy Rifkin offers a radical new view of human nature. He looks at how empathy will determine our fate as a species.

Rifkin offers some innovative ideas to tackle our pressing world problems.

Watch the first video (at least) and complete a set of dialectical notes. Does Rifkin present a genuine solution for our world? Is there hope?

A Graphic Representation of Guns, Germs, & Steel

Posted in Cool Ideas, Key Concepts, Uncategorized by gibault1 on August 26, 2011

All you really need to know about Guns, Germs, & Steel in one page. Enjoy!