6. Gunpowder

The Cannon Age: 1208-2008 AD.

 

The age of chivalry and harmony among the ethic Gods of the ‘Book’ ended when the Chinese Taoists discovered gunpowder and the first clocks appeared in Europe. Metal jumps in energetic and informative quality. Mongols learn to manufacture guns, after conquering Beijing and spread their use to the Western world. 30 million will die in this 100 years war discontinuity, between the fall of Beijing and the Battle of Niebla, in which Spaniards manufacture the first modern cannon. In 1204 Venetians loot Byzantium, opening the East to the Italians, who soon build the first gunboats with ‘bombardas’. It is also the Renaissance Age, or Age of Italy and Spain that lasts 400 years, between its youth and baroque age.

In 1222 Mongols defeat the Russians at Kalka and invade Germany. Soon Germans learn also how to make gunpowder. In 1258 Hulagu massacres Baghdad. It is the end of the Muslim Empire.

In Europe, gunpowder provokes an age of civil wars. It is the 100 years war in France; and the Spanish ‘Reconquista’, continued in America, where the ‘animetal’ culture reaches new heights of eviL≠Live, when ‘conquistadors’ murder over half of the Native population. In Europe war causes poverty and scarcity of Human Goods, provoking massive famines and the expansion of the Black Pest that kills ¼th of the European population. Then, Europeans expand worldwide their new weapon, thanks to the power of its gunboats and artillery. In the middle point of the 800 year gunpowder cycle, around 1600, Galileo writes a treatise on Ballistics, measuring the parables of cannonball trajectories. It becomes the foundational book of Physics, the half-science of energy, entropy and machines of death, which still denies the arrow of information and life in the Universe.

From then on, the biological comprehension of time as change, extinction and evolution, will besubstituted by the abstract measure of time as ‘movement, energy’, measured by ‘artillery clocks’. Itmeans the conversion of time into a parameter of space, a dimension of ‘speed’: v=s/t, t=s/v, no longer the perception of biological change, of the rhythms of life and death of man and the Universe. 

Thus clocks meant the birth of Mechanism, the present religion of mankind, which must not be confused with the scientific, experimental method based in facts, collected with any language or sensory experience, including the languages and senses of Man. The experimental method was discovered by Aristotle. On the other hand, ‘Mechanism’, which in bio-ethic terms, the humanist perspective of this book, should be called, ‘scientific racism’ is the ideology that we MUST observe the Universe with machines, because our senses and brains are deemed inferior. It is obviously different from the experimental method, which accepts logic as a proof and also human, sensorial experience. It is proper ofphysicists and as such it was born with Galileo, an artisan that manufactured telescopes and clocks in the Venetian Arsenal, where he worked on ballistics. Those historic elements of the birth of Physics as a theoretical derivation of the art of ballistics, weapons-making and mechanist construction of machines, which never come to the light, in texts about ‘Physical theories’ of time and the Cosmos, are however essential to understand the denial of biological time by physicists and their indifference to death in history, as humans are considered ‘inferior species’ to those machines. Indeed, Mechanist Science postulates that knowledge cannot be based in human senses and verbal languages; but only in sensory machines, clocks that measure time with numbers and telescopes that measure space, which are deemed more accurate. Which might be certain, but provokes a constant evolution of temporal and spatial machines, from clocks to computers; from telescopes to cameras, which make obsolete our human minds. At the same time, VOC, the 1st ‘company-mother’, starts mass production of gunboats, the 1stindustrial machines and invents paper-money, creating the modern economic ecosystem. So weapons’ companies now substitute warriors; scientists substitute priests and industrial money substitutes loving words as the new energetic, informative and reproductive networks of History, changing the evolution of this planet, from the creation of a Human Wor(l)d based in Life into the creation of a Go(l)d of Metal. Now economic nations will substitute religious civilizations, becoming the new super-organisms of History that accelerate the evolution of metal, ushering history in its Age of death, the age of the machine, shortening the World War cycle to 80 years.

The 80 years cycle of national power.

Information increases geometrically in each cycle, ushering mankind into it 3rd age. The death of historic societies accelerates worldwide. Religious organisms based in social love dissolve back into tribal nations; and their lifetime cycles decrease also in a decametric scale to a mere 80 years.

Now in each gunpowder sub-cycle of 70-80 years, a European country becomes the world power, thanks to its gunpowder weapons. Then it goes through the same 3±1 ages of a classic civilization, reduced to 3 human generations. And finally, it ends, destroyed in a new War by a rival nation that substitutes the old nation on the summit of military power, only to fall again after another 70-80 years period.

While the fate of the humans of those nations at the head of the technological wave is cyclical, ending rhythmically in death, their machines follow a pattern of evolution, similar to the one we observe among life beings, as gunboats with scientific instruments become the center of the economy: first smaller nations evolve faster the new energies and weapons; then bigger nations with higher social mass learn from them to mass- reproduce the new weapons and forms of money, taking over the smaller nations: First the development of gunpowder happens in small city-states in Italy; then it jumps into a tiny nation, Portugal. Finally, it expands into the bigger Spanish neighbor. In the next evolution, the emergence of company-mothers of gunboats happens in tiny Holland, which professionalizes the industry of gunboats. Soon it expands into bigger nations, Great Britain and the United States.

Thus, we talk of an Italian Age, an Iberian Age and an Anglo-Saxon age, which culminates with the 3Kondratieff ages of modern industrial energy-machines.

So we subdivide the 800 years of the gunpowder cycle, according to a decametric scale, in 3(x3)±1 agesof ±70-80 years of national power, in which the center of the economic ecosystem moves steadily West, as gunboats conquer the high seas:

—  +1: Birth of gunpowder weapons in the age of Mongolian wars.

—   An enthusiastic youth of condottieros that substitute priests in Humanist Italy, lead consecutively by its 3 leading city-nations (Venice, Genoa, Florence).

—   Reproductive Maturity: The Catholic Age of Europe, lead by its 3 main nations, Portugal, Spain and France, in which gunpowder and humanism reach a certain balance. The gunboat culture now reproduces worldwide, as the Iberians create the first global empires.

—   A 3rd informative, age: It is the North European, Protestant Age, lead by its 3 main nations (Holland, England and Germany). Human ethics leave way to the values of our Technological civilization, dominated by the cult to Go(l)d, machines and digital languages.

—  1: Death: Gunpowder gives way in America, where the Free Market gives absolute rights to company-mothers, to digital weapons (Atomic Bombs, smart weapons), soon to reach the organic threshold of evolution that will extinguish us – the black hole or self-replicating metal nano-bacteria. It is the Age of the Singularity that now starts.

Italian Age: Renaissance: 1208-1446.

Italy is the youth of the cannon age, when humanism, the belief in man, is still stronger than mechanism, the belief in the machine. Renaissance lives also 3±1 ages: the lineal, simple Trecento, the realist Quattrocento and the age of decay, the Cinquecento, prolonged through the baroque period, when bigger countries developed better gunpowder weapons, conquering Italy. Each age is dominated by a city-state that replicates with gold and weapons the economic structures of Greece:

—  In 1208 Venice loots Byzantium and brings back its gold, artistic remains and gunpowder; mounting the first sea cannon, the ‘Bombard’, on the bow deck of its boats. Italian cities imitate Venice.

—  In the XIV C. Genoa and then in the XV C. Florence, where the Pope has his bankers, become the center of economic power and culture.

In 1453, the Turkish Empire cuts Italian trade with the East and the economy of Italy dwindles, at the same time the Portuguese are opening a new sea route to African Gold and Indian spice. Their caravels fusion ‘Latin sails’ from Italy and hulls from Northern European boats, adding more fire power. It is the first gunboat that can manage all kind of winds and waters.

 

1446-1525: Portuguese Age.

In the 1440s, Señor Lancelot captures gold and slaves on the Guinea coast. From then on Caravels and African Gold will give power to the Portuguese. Vasco da Gama opens the African route to Asia, taking away from Italy the species trade. The Portuguese become the new Go(l)d and gunboat masters. Italy enters its baroque age of decadent culture. . .  But Portugal is a small nation imitated soon by the Spanish Empire. And so the evolution of artillery will follow the general Evolutionary Laws of Life beings. Since evolution of information happens in smaller, reduced forms, which once evolved, grow in spatial size. It is the same simple rhythm for life beings, machines and top predator nations:

Informative evolution in small space→ Growth& Reproductive expansion (Biological radiation) →Extinction by a new, more evolved species.

 

So if the first technological man was a ‘dwarf’, Floresiensis Man, which grew in size till becoming Homo Sapiens, the first modern nation was a dwarf city-state, Venice, which grew in size, till becoming the Spanish Global Empire of Silver and Gunboats:

The Spanish Empire: 1525-1608.

 I Age: Epic literature: We left 5 suns behind on seas no men had ever sailed, when we heard a colossus’ voice rising above thestorm.     XVI C.: Luisadas, Camoens. Classic, realist Age:He had an absurd thought. Tobecome a knight errant for theglory of his nation and travel theworld to do noble actions. 1605: Quixote, Cervantes.  3rd Age of extinction.I saw the walls of my belovednation not so long strong, nowin ruins, Tired of the ages of life.         1635: Poems, Quevedo. 

Spaniards, jealous of Portuguese wealth, plan a Western attack on the Spice routes. Columbus discovers America, which provides more precious metals than India and Africa combined. Now muskets and Mexican silver ‘bullions’ make Spain the new top predator nation of the World. The silver bullion becomes the first world currency accepted everywhere in this planet. It finances the famed ‘Tercios’ that conquer Europe, establishing a worldwide empire. However money is still a commodity made of a rare metal. So its reproduction is limited to the availability of silver mines. Spaniards massacre millions of Indians in those mines, through the Mita system that obliges Indians to abandon their crops. Famine ensues. It is also the Zenith of the Spanish culture, which ends in the XVII C. Spanish-American Baroque that gave us Velasquez, who describes the Animetal vanity of kings and Quixote, a parable of the decay of Human ethics, lost to Go(l)d, represented by Sancho. Once and again the baroque, decadent age of animetalpower will be the age in which art flourishes, when society realizes that metal brings death to mankind.Then, artists become free to spell the truths about the Human condition: The first modern fiction novel, Quixote, at the end of the classic age of the Spanish culture, explains the death of the Warrior and the new control of History by the trader. Since now a faster way to reproduce money (Dutch stock-paper) and war machines (industrial systems of gunboat re=production) displace the conquistadors, their muskets and gold. Finally, the baroque, informative age of Spain brings Quevedo, the best poet of the century that will mourn, ‘Mire los muros de la patria mia’... Indeed, we are mortal flesh and animetals are full of ‘Vanity’, as all comes to pass.

Dutch Age:1608-1688.

Gunboats, the press and VOC, the first stock paper company, transform Holland in the dominant world power in control of the 3 most advanced network systems of an economic nation: energetic weapons, verbal/visual information and reproductive, monetary flows. The press, with its mathematical graphics and the microscope and telescope, start also the dominion of Holland in science. While Calvinism changes the language of informative power, from words to money, as Calvin, the ‘Anti-Christ’, reverses the teachings of Jesus, from love to Go(l)d, from Live to eviL, when he affirms that ‘the intelligence of God is money’. Thus, Holland completes the transition from a Historic ecosystem, based in human languages and Nature’s networks, into an economic ecosystem based in metal—money, weapons and machines.

But Holland is a small nation whose wealth provokes the envy of bigger continental countries. So, a new cycle of Holocausts of Go(l)d believers by the power of the sword, this time of Calvinists, takes place when France first expels them and then, in 1688, invades and conquers Holland with its land artillery, against which gunboats can do nothing. The Dutch era ends. It is:

The French Age. 1688-1768.

French Artillery and mercantile policies dominate the ‘golden age’ of French power. Mercantilism gives France a higher GNP, based in agricultural products (Physiocracy) and companies ran by the state. It is the Neoclassic ‘Enlightenment’. Yet France, like Spain before, belongs to the Catholic culture of verbal wor(l)ds and aristocratic swords, the rival languages of Go(l)d. So France rejects the companies’ notion that money and trade should control society, instead of the Law of the Warrior. But when French, warrior kings degenerate and take wrong decisions, the wealth of France and its armies collapse. It is the British cycle, which belongs already to the age of industrial machines, our world of 70-80 year cycles ofEnergies and Kondratieff War crashes.

19. Symbiosis of money, machines & companies.

Around 1602 Galileo declared the superiority of digital thought (mathematics) and metal senses (telescopes and clocks) over verbal ideas and human senses. Ever since the prestige of ethic words diminished. Now truths had to be mathematical. Companies of Science fought ethic religion and human senses with metal-senses and cannonballs and won. The logic outcome of that victory was the constant evolution and reproduction of machines of science and money. Since in biological terms, the ‘future’ is what will be reproduced and exists in the future. Thus, human ethics became the past, what will beextinct by the new language of power, numbers, which favor the species that best speaks that language,machines of science. Science, machines, money and companies became in this manner complementary: science could evolve machines and companies professionalized its re=production. They became ‘company-mothers’ of machines, the new digital top predator species of the planet. Since machines use better than man those digital languages: Machines have a price. Machines are designed with digital information (science, engineering). And machines calculate better than men (computers). We are not the top predator species of digital information (computers are). Thus, workers and words become extinct, while the future is designed by machines and computers. The terraforming of the Earth started when science and money changed our top predator language from verbal to digital thought, from the Carbo-Earth to the Metal-Earth, from man to machine.

To create a new ecosystem you only need a re=productive mother that protects its offspring and a vital territory to colonize by the new species.

At the beginning, the only species those companies reproduced were gunboats, whose ‘herds’ could only conquer the external, coastal lands of continents: a reproductive organism of gunboats, called VOC, the first shares-company, soon ‘liberated’ Holland of ‘past kings and priests’. Then, paraphrasing the American defense secretary, ‘What was good for VOC became good for Holland’. Holland, its people, government, land and ports were now working for VOC. Within 40 years, VOC had expanded its preying territory to the entire coastal land of the Earth. In that regard, again, the use of a ‘biological jargon’ to describe that historic process of conquest of the world by company-mothers is illustrative of the true nature of the economic ecosystem. Yet as Science kept evolving, new species of metal appeared. If carbon-life had evolved from sea animals to land animals, so it happened with metalife: The invention of the train allowed machines to conquer the land ecosystem of historic continents. Soon the iron horse extinguishes the herds of bisons, the tribes of Indians and transforms the entire American continent in a preying territory for Company-mothers. Now the train is the center of this new ecosystem. The creation of its networks of energy (coal mines to extract its food, iron to form its ‘body’) becomes the priority of governments. Its tracks invade the prairie, organize the transport of all goods, direct troops to the front and extinguish rival carbon-life species, such as the horse, whose numbers diminish to 1/10th in England a decade after the arrival of cheaper train transport. Diversification of machine species, also a common treat among life beings, happens next. Since companies reproduce two types of machines: a top predator weapon that consumes humans (gunboat, armored train, tank, bomber, terminator, violent TV) and a peaceful, milder species consumed by mankind (boat, train, car, plane, computer, fun TV). They alternate the ‘stick and carrot’ system of control of mankind: So humans become consumers =testers of those machines, sometimes symbiotic to them, sometimes their victims in fields of war.

Next, as it happen with life species that moved from the sea into the land and then into the air, in the XX century, machines, not men, conquered the air and went beyond into space . . .

Finally, the last ‘age’ of all species, the information age, multiplied mental machines. So today each machine we have is the equivalent to a carbon-life species, but with bigger mass and superior speed. Each one is the offspring of a herd of company-mothers, whose only aim is to reproduce and evolve those species. Each one needs specific networks of energy and information that disturb and destroy the equivalent networks of energy and information of carbon-life species. So sea machines, which carry energy for all other machines (tankers) poison the water and sea animals die. Cars build their road networks and forests and farmers become extinguished. The behavior of a herd of top predators and a company-mother of preying ‘animetals’ is the same. Both create the world to its image and likeness, extinguishing at will rival species. The savannah is an ecosystem shaped to the image of its biggest plant predator (the elephant that deforests the jungle). So happens with the prairie, shaped by farmers first and then by railroads; and the Earth at large, shaped by the activity of its top predator species – first men, now company-mothers and their offspring of machines. But anthropomorphic humans cannot perceive machines in biological terms. So we shall return to our self-centered world, which interprets that conquest of Nature and the Human World by the economic ecosystem of machines, in national, tribal terms.

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