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The key ingredient for modernity

Reader comment on item: You Need Beethoven to Modernize
in response to reader comment: Western Music not really necessary for Modernity

Submitted by Anonymous (United States), Feb 6, 2010 at 11:49

Adam Smith is much more relevant to modernization than Beethoven. The world would still be the same without Beethoven or Bach but take away Adam Smith's ideas and we might just be a little slow to understand what makes us prosperous. Free market economics coupled with the rule of law and a respect for meritocracy are key to economic success and it has nothing to do with Christianity or Beethoven. In any free country Beethoven will be either loved or ignored based on personal taste. Western civilization is amazing but let us not go overboard - China and India were amazingly advanced civilizations at different points in history too. Take for instance the ancient Sanskrit grammarian from 2500 BC in India, his contributions to the development of grammar have been summarized thus:

"Panini should be thought of as the forerunner of the modern formal language theory used to specify computer languages. The Backus Normal Form was discovered independently by John Backus in 1959, but Panini's notation is equivalent in its power to that of Backus and has many similar properties. It is remarkable to think that concepts which are fundamental to today's theoretical computer science should have their origin with an Indian genius around 2500 years ago. "

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Panini.html

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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