I promised earlier to post a little more detail about my theory on the advance of civilization and its relation to what I termed functional density. Nicholas pointed out that I should define my vocabulary in more detail, and so I'll attempt to do that as well.

I believe I explained functional density in sufficient depth in my earlier post, and covered how it relates to interconnectedness and actual population density. To take a step farther back, what do I mean by the advance of civilization? Nicholas is correct that this is an essential definition. To me, and to all who live in and value a liberal democratic society, the definition should be fairly clear: increased freedom for individuals, increased health and standard of living, increased happiness and fulfillment, and increased security from internal and external threats. A Nazi or a communist might disagree with some or all of these principles and with good cause -- totalitarian governments are in fact harmed by greater interconnectedness among their subjects and between their subjects and the outside world. But if one desires a populist society that is based on freedom for all, then I believe that my theory will hold true.

Now, to the theory itself. I have described functional density and what I hold as the principles of civilization that are to be advanced. How does greater functional density lead to this advance? Let me first define another term that I will use in a specific way: genius. Dictionary.com defines a genius as a person of extraordinary intellect and talent and in general I am inclined to agree; in this particular context, I want to focus on a certain kind of genius: a person who creates or conceives of an innovation that leads to the advance of civilization. One example would be Edison and the light bulb. The invention of the light bulb was instrumental in the industrial revolution, and made it possible for factory workers to labor night and day through every season, immune to the vagaries of the sun and the weather.

(Continued...)

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