the human web
A web can be defined as a "complex system of interconnected elements" (dictionary.com) and as a "set of connections that link people to one another" (McNeill). Ever since the first human beings walked on earth, webs have been present and have helped humans exchange and communicate different ideas, goods, technologies, and much more. The Human Web: A Bird's Eye View of World History written by J.R. and William H. McNeill is an account of world history that brings thousands of ideas, theories, and facts together into one timeline and into several webs. The connections in this novel are made in accordance to encounters, family, friendships, common rivalries or worships, exchanges, competitions, and cooperations. The authors main thesis is that everything that has happened on planet earth can be organized and coherently placed into a handful of webs. William and J.R. also argue that throughout history, humans create webs by developing systems of communication. These systems, along with cooperation, conflicts, and inventions, spark populations to explode so that the unique human species can grow to create marvelous achievements and connections.
The First Worldwide Web is the oldest evidence of the simple exchanges that took place before 12,000 years ago. This web never fully disappeared, but it allied with other webs such as the Old World Web, and numerous versions of metropolitan and eventually cosmopolitan webs. The authors explain in detail how certain historic events change these webs, and they do so in an organized fashion that is easy for the reader to absorb and understand. Before reading this novel, one may think of the past as a chain of events that randomly occur throughout history. But even after the first page of the book, they soon realize that almost everything happens for a reason, and more specifically because something caused it to happen. In addition, world events all overlap each other and affect each