A Short History Of Progress Short Summary Free Sample

            In A Short History of Progress, author and archaeologist Ronald Wright explores the rise and fall of six civilizations of the past. He looks at how these cultures degraded the environment and he warns readers that our current civilization is also headed for collapse.

            Wright argues that civilization is a 10,000-year-old experiment that humanity has not been able to control. His thesis is that humanity must understand the past in order to avoid the mistakes of the past. He says our civilization can avoid global disaster if we can break free from our addiction to progress.

            Wright wrote this book for a specialist audience as he uses many scientific terms. It is a scholarly work citing 182 books. Wright clearly makes a case for his thesis through five logical chapters. He starts with asking the questions: “Where do we come from?” “What are we?” and “Where are we going?” He explores humankind by going back to the Stone Age as well as to historical civilizations. He sees a pattern in the mindset and motivating factors of man throughout history. He shows how civilizations have repeated the same mistakes. He also draws on the environmental problems of today to clearly show that humankind is again repeating those mistakes.

            Chapter 1 starts with three questions posed by painter Paul Gauguin — “Where do we come from?” “What are we?” and “Where are we going?” Wright states the direction of the book by saying that he plans to address the last question, which is the most important, by answering the first two questions. He says that once we clearly see what we have done in the past, we can go forward into the future making better choices.

            Wright explores the concept of progress; he questions the idea that progress is always an improvement. He says our culture measures progress by technology. In the past, civilizations measured progress by morality. He says moral progress is no longer important to our civilization.

            The idea of progress has become very powerful and our civilization no longer questions whether progress is good or bad. Progress today is as ingrained in our culture as myth was in ancient cultures.

            In Chapter 2, The Great Experiment, Wright warns of progress traps. He points to the advent of agriculture as being the biggest progress trap. Agriculture, he says, has allowed us to become more specialized.

            Wright argues that species can specialize themselves out of existence. He points to the saber tooth tiger, which became so specialized that it could not adapt when the prey that it depended on disappeared.

            Wright looks at the human brain, which is more flexible than the brains of other species. He says the brain is the human’s specialization and that it has allowed us to survive thus far. However, as cultures continue to become more specialized, there are risks. Wright provides the example of the atomic bomb, which could lead to mass destruction.

            One of the oldest progress traps, Wright refers to, was in the Stone Age, when hunters became so good at hunting that they killed off all their prey.

            Wright warns that continued progress has led to such crises as global warming which could lead to agricultural catastrophes, if it is not curtailed.

            Wright expands on the idea of progress traps as he looks at the civilizations of Easter Island and Sumer in Chapter 3, Fools Paradise. He shows how two civilizations met their demise through over consumption and greed.

            First, Wright looks at the tragedy of Easter Island.  The settlers on Easter Island found a paradise, rich with resources such as trees, animals for food and fish on it shores. The perfect conditions allowed the civilization to thrive and to grow. As their culture grew, they started to practice a religion that involved erecting monolithic stone statues. Building these statues required lots of timber for hauling and erecting. Eventually, they ran out of wood and totally depleted their resources, which resulted in civil war and the demise of the civilization.

            The Sumerians settled in the plains, which is now Iraq. Their land was not rich and fertile, but they invented irrigation to bring water to the crops. This success led to growth in the population. Soon, they needed to irrigate more and more land. But, in the end, the land become saturated with salt and could no longer grow crops and the civilization died.

            Wright points out that progress can be deceptive. What may seem like an inexhaustible resource is, in fact, limited. He warns that civilization needs to live within its ecological means.

            Wright compares progress to a pyramid scheme in Chapter 4. Pyramid schemes must continue to grow to survive and those that benefit from the scheme are those at the top. He says when wealth is concentrated at the top, the wealthy, who are in power, continue to promote the status quo.

            Wright provides examples from the Mayan and Roman civilizations. As power became more concentrated, the civilizations continued to build greater monuments. The Romans built statues and buildings; the Mayans built pyramids. In the end, both of these civilizations depleted their resources and could no longer continue.  He warns that we may be headed in the same direction.

            Wright also looks at Egypt and China, two exceptions that were able to endure much longer. He says that these two cultures grew more slowly and lived within their environmental means. They were more sustainable, although they eventually fell for other reasons.

            In Chapter 5, the Rebellion of the Tools, Wright considers three explanations of cultural collapse – the Runaway Train, the Dinosaur and the House of Cards. The Runaway Train exemplifies continual progress, without consideration of the effects of progress; the Dinosaur attitude is a disdain for change; and the House of Cards explains the collapse of cultures that overuse resources.

            Wright shows how each civilization’s fall is larger than the last. He warns that our current civilization is global and interdependent and its collapse would be global as well. In the past, one could assume that one civilization’s fall would result in the rise of another. Because of our global interdependence, this is no longer true. Wright says that the advantage our civilization has is the ability to learn from the mistakes of the past. He says there is still time to change, but change must occur very soon.

            Wright’s book as a whole makes a strong case for changing our attitude toward progress and for beginning to live within our environmental means. He provides a wake-up call for our culture, which is currently very materialistic and greedy, consuming resources much too quickly. Our future survival depends upon our ability to change our habits of over consumption and on our ability to care for our environment.

Works Cited

Wright, Ronald. “A Short History of Progress.” New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005.

Asian American History

Question number 1:

            The author, by the name of Fukuzawa Yukichi, seems to be of a Japanese descent, probably one that had experiences in and out of his country.  From his essay, we can immediately notice his vast knowledge regarding events and issues that had happened and are still happening on the western part of the world. This suggests that he studied other countries intently and compiled this ideas together with those found in his own. He also seems to be less interested in a country’s economic state, since he mostly tackled on things regarding agriculture, customs, knowledge, wisdom and communities as a basis for civilization. There was only one instance where he touched on economics, mentioning that “Their business ventures prosper day by day to increase the sources for human welfare” (p. 77). In regards with his political stand, it can be observed that he didn’t mention anything about government and its role in the fully civilized world. In fact, he said that men “form communities, and create the outward semblance of a state” (p. 76) only during the second stage of civilization. It might mean that he has little faith on what the state can do in a very civilized country.

Question number 2:

            Upon reading the whole text, one can infer that the author designed the essay for the Japanese. Probably not only the Japanese, but those mentioned as the semi-primitive and primitive countries – Africa, Australia, China, Turkey, and Asian countries. It is like a kind of moral booster, raising these countries’ confidence to strive for civilization, and not to be bog down by the others. He even used the term “Asian Intellectuals” (p. 76), giving a sign of their ability to do something great. The text worked like a double edged sword. In the first few paragraphs, the author bombarded the western world with a series of praises. Then “demonstrable and irrefutable” (p. 76) facts were shown stating that indeed, the Asian and other countries are far from the civilization accomplishment of the Westerners. These points would definitely strike hard on Asian readers, sometimes it would be hard for them to accept the reality of their country being uncivilized.

            But the author immediately changed sides when he started mentioning about the evils of civilization. The Asian – semi civilized people suddenly found a light at the end of the tunnel. Also the author could have lifted the Asian’s spirits when he said that “civilization is an open-ended process” (p. 77). I think that it kind of gave a reality check that indeed, there is still a great chance for the primitive and semi civilized nations to catch up, or even exceed the current European trend.

Question number 3:

            The essay was written in the year 1875, the time when political and cultural problems are numbered to the thousands. I think that one great factor that affected the author’s ideas is the presence of wars all around the globe. He made it clear that although the West nations are of a very civilized form, it is also them who are always at war, which for the author is the “greatest calamity in the world” (p. 77). This led him to think that civilization has its evils, together with robbers and murderers, which he portrayed the Westerners to be. This year was also the time when a lot of political issues of the West have been heard by the Asian nations, things such as deceptions, political killings, assassinations, rallies and injustice. The author’s feelings toward these can be read in a whole paragraph, criticizing the wrongdoings of the West.

            Another important event that could have affected the writer’s intention is the start of the industrial and scientific blooms in the Western nations. There was a time when Japan, and probably some other nearby countries, closed its doors to outside sources, keeping technology from other countries at bay, and keeping their resources and knowledge to their own. This may be seen by the author as a gate that divided Japan from external wisdom that could have helped in their civilization – upgrade. The author mentions a lot about knowledge, refinement, sources, cultivating and improving. All of these, I think, are ideas that the author wishes to stress as the important points that the Japanese loss during these period. It is not like they lose a lot of things; it is still true that the Japanese regained nationality and the closed-door policy helped them a lot in many ways. It is just that the author thinks that Japan should really catch up with the civilization rush that is sweeping all throughout the West.

            In conclusion, these events, together with the author’s own ideas and beliefs, affected the essay in many ways. While it is true that the author described civilization as something open-ended, with all the evils and everything, he also tried to convince the semi-civilized nations to strive for a full pledge civilization.

Question  number 4:

            This essay is strikingly different from others because its main theme tackles on Japan as a semi-civilized nation, seeing the West as a superior being. What more, the author himself is Japanese. The opening statements are very harsh, and like mentioned earlier, somewhat hard on the Japanese and other Asian nations. Unlike in document 6, where the opening statement saying “… not only demonstrated to world the military power of Japan, but it has convinced the Japanese people that in vitality and spirit, they are outstanding by far among Eastern nations and are among the outstanding races of the world” (p. 78) immediately grasps the readers attention, if ever he or she is Japanese.

            Another would be author’s effort to stay in a safe ground in regards to his defense against the West. It was pretty obvious that the author praised the West at first, then started to mention evil things that they have done, and ended by proposing that Japan still follow the Western standards of civilization. This whole thing makes the author’s stand very vague, unlike other documents which really got straight to their point.

Works cited

The Work of National Expansion of the American West

Fukuzawa Yukichi;

Document 5, Leading Japanese Intellectual Encourages Westernization, 1875

Document 6, Japanese Newspaper Jiji Shimpo Views Emigration as Japanese Sign of Military Power, 1896

Inventory Management



Most of the hardware businesses being establish then and now uses the same old ways of product inventory .Due to their wide business they tend to neglect the importance of product inventory. Because of the growing numbers of computers users, this became an effective medium to demonstrate the promotion of their business to the public. From manual way of product inventory it will be more convenient and faster through the use of computers. Business owner can avoid human error because computer program is more consistent. Interactive usages to run and the stocks, sales, debit, credit are easier to monitor. The interactive usage of computers can be now addressed as part of the hardware inventory system. Inventory System is commonly used in the business world since these are needed to keep and track the systems of inventories in any company. This automation is an answer to the manual process that takes a lot of time in recording the transactions. This technologically aided process allows efficiency in data management. It paves the way for removal of inconsistent data and costly charges for massive spreadsheet purchases. Moreover, this is a practical system and allows user to easily track down the purchases, expenses and record for all inventories. Automated Inventory System has become main stream in the business industry because in the line of business time means profit.


In the aim of enterprise to supply the necessary materials to their clients, they idea of Inventory System is introduces. This includes the utilization for listing. Accessing and retrieving information that can effectively support the process of inventory and service approaches. The Accessibility and the restriction of products to sorted files in the retail store can be easy and improve the manual method doing by the owner are done completely finished within a week. From the start the owner never had an inventory for his business and imaging the vast of their business update using the hand written for inventory the computerized Inventory System will help them with this problem.


Prevent shortages and production delay

To know how much inventory should keep on hand meeting demand Track inventory levels in real time and optimize warehouse organization Can group similar product together and position popular products in ways that make easier to access when orders come in No double entry of product and control on pricing and inventory Searching, browsing, reviewing details, inventory search options that include product filtering and assigning inventory condition Flexible configuration that allows for back and during and display of out stock


The proponent intended to enrich and upgrade the managing of their products into a systematic and faster way by developing a new system that will help the owner. More over this study address itself to the buyers, the clients, the suppliers, the owners and the workers who are planning to construct and build infrastructures which will give them enjoyment and less hassle in finding and inventing of their products. It will also help the hardware to attract customers to buy their productand to invest more materials to them.


This study will help the enterprise store in their time management. It will help the owner to accomplish his/her task easily in generating stocks. It can help save time in updating and recording any supplies in their stocks.


This study will show to the public the importance of having an automated system that is very unusual to find in an enterprise like hardware most commonly on those who are using the manual processes.


The study will be useful in making inventory in a short period of time. The value of work with progressed. Using computers it could be easy to record a new list of item or enter a specific item in an inventory.


This would help the owner to easily generate stocks about the merchandise records including the transactions and the available items. Thus this system will lessen the work in manually construction materials then update it. It will save much time and effort and it can be easily used.


A. General Problem

R.M Lazaro Enterprises is using a manual method of searching, listing and computing the price of the products and other construction materials that will consume a lot of time instead of using a more advance way that will lessen the work of the enterprise owner.

B. Specific Problem

Since they are using a manual method of searching, listing and computing the price of their products, compiling of files and receipt will be difficult. Also waste of time and hassle to both part of the worker and the owner in making an inventory of their products. It is also very unorganized and unsorted.



The proposal aims to establish a better way of communicating for RM Lazaro Hardware Enterprises. It also aims to lessen the work of the authorized personnel in accordance with the inventory monitoring of products and items and lastly the project aims to lessen data discrepancies and errors which are frequently arising from the current operations.


The project is delimited by the procurement system which is not included in the proposed system but accepts the procured products and items as an input

for the inventory system.




J.P. Ryan Resources Inc. was established in February 1999 as a firm engaged in importing and trading of quality architectural and builder’s hardware. As of date, our company is the exclusive country distributor of P.C. Henderson, Reguitti spa, Dorint, Showa, Balco, PDQ Locks and Casa Serrature hardware products. Our company also acts as agent/dealer of other architectural products including a wide range of door locks, sliding door hardware, cabinet hardware, hinges, door closers, bathroom accessories, taps and drains and high-pressure laminates. We have since developed a sales and inventory system supplying to most major hardware stores and Builder Depot.


Under the Korean Red Ginseng Enterprise Sales and Inventory System, the researchers came up with a computerized sales and inventory system. The proponents used database to easy access of files and for easier and faster processing of the selling and inventory transaction. The program was designated to generate reports such as monthly reports, inventory reports, sales invoice and list of items.

In connection with the proposed system, the proponents proposed a new and faster way of processing business transactions. The system also helped the user to know the availability of the products. It also helped the manager to monitor the stocks and to get immediate notice for acquisition of additional products.

The Proponents acquires knowledge about the file processing and report generations through this study. It also gives the proponents ideas to create the proposed system’s reports in online sales and inventory system. Automation is mandatory, thus automated report generation for precise reports is to be included in the proponent’s proposed system. (J. De Leon,

M. Ferrer, 2001)


Computer-based system is a complex system wherein information technology plays a major role. It makes the work easier, faster and more accurate. Due to that fact, the automated scheme has become essential to small and big companies for they are expected to give the best services possible. Nevertheless, some businesses still prefer sticking with the system that is not integrated with technology. Probable causes are computer illiterate staff and lack of funds. Companies, especially the big ones are recommended to switch from manual to automated systems because this will improve the efficiency and productivity of the business which will uplift the industry’s reputation.

One of the most sought after automated systems of different companies is a purchasing and inventory system which comes hand in hand. A purchasing and inventory system is very important in every organization because a good purchase and inventory management can create excellent productivity. Primarily, i6nventory work consists of input, output and restock. Input is a process of buying new products into the inventory and replacing the old products with the new ones. Meanwhile, output is a procedure of taking out the products from the inventory for sales or usage and refill is a process of increasing the number of existing products in the inventory in order to fulfill the insufficient products or escalating demands. Most of the retailing market is using traditional way in the inventory management system where a person is assigned to check and record the stock by hand using pen and paper. It is where operations with regards to all the stock will be archived.


Through the use of necessary infrastructure and implementation of the process, the computerized system can be more effective. The Computerized Inventory System with a point of sale the proponents will develop for PhilCom will help the company to manage their inventory keep record of sales. Track accounts and more proficient in customer relationship management. However the country or the company should answer the various challenges including the interactive connections, the electricity problems and the process of accessibility and privacy issues. In building the strengthamong the hardware, it is foremost important to address the issues that might affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. The idea of computerized inventory system is supported with the interactive environment of the country. This will serve as an advantage of the country to implement and negotiate the movement towards the computerized inventory system. (Porcado, 1992)


The proponents believe that every literature and every studies stated in this research is similar on the present study. The proponents relate and differentiate the research based on theflow of their transaction from the proposed study. The transaction and process and also thedesign specialization will easy help to acquire and accommodate and communicate with the user.The proponents get and use other research in this chapter, in which it helps to them, because theyget knowledge during creating the systems.This Review of Related Literature and Studies, illustrate the specific and general task of the Inventory Management System, also the types of Inventory that gives a lot of knowledge for everyone before entering into business and using Inventory. In this chapter the proponents put adifferent opinion of others interms of Inventory, the Literatures and studies should get on theBook articles on the internet. Inventory Management system, tackled how you manage your inventory whether manualor computerized, both of that having advantages and disadvantages for the business, this chapter gives an idea also for the reader to review what use of Inventory to the business is.



Development Method

After having a preliminary literature review, the next step is to show the method used in this study. The researchers decided to the waterfall model as their methodology. Waterfall is a software development model in which each phases is viewed as flowing downward, these phases were implemented in a sequential manner.

Figure.1.1 Waterfall Model

Planning, Requirements Gathering

The researchers gathered all the possible requirements from the employee of RM.LAZARO Enterprises or the user of the system. This was done by observing and asking several questions from the user of the system and their customer. The proponent prepared needed materials for the development of the system such as related documents like books and internet to gathered information of the system on the purpose and possible impact and benefits of system to user. Conceptual Framework

This figure shows the process of the proposed system. It shows the relationship of raw data, its process and its expected output.The system shows the workflow and the process that it can perform.

Figure 1.2 Conceptual Frameworks

System Design

After documenting and analyzing the system requirements the researchers are now on the stage wherein the requirements gathered are being studied to come up with an idea of how should the system will look like. In this case, the researchers tried to specify the real problem for them to come up with a goal solution .In order to describe the flow of the system, there were different diagrams that are made by the researchers. These diagrams are used in doing and designing the system.

System Coding and Debugging

The student programmer will use the Visual Basic 6.0 as their master language and PhpMyAdmin Database System as their back end. They use different approach in coding their system, comments, names, labels and the formats. These coding techniques create and defined as more on efficient and effective for making the system. In order to gather ideas in coding difficult and complicated process to work the system, the programmer will look for related and other resources to find ideas on how to execute complicated flow of the process. Running the system is always executed by the programmers for the possible bugs and errors during execution. Other errors will be handled manually through changing code syntaxes or through syntax manipulation to improve the system accordingly and orderly.


All the programs that are individually made were tested and combine it together. The proponent reviewed the codes and tested the functionality of the whole system to make sure that there are no errors and bugs that affects on the execution of the system. After the software was tested the researchers connect the identified errors and modify the functionality of the system.

System Development

The researchers deployed the software in RM Lazaro Enterprises to test the system and to test the system and to see it really works well and meet the requirements of functionality by using the automated system.

Final Evaluation and Presentation

The proponents present the proposed system to RM Lazaro Enterprises owner and presents questionnaires for the final evaluation of the new feature and functionality of the system.

Hardware and Software Requirements


Intel (R) Core™ i5-2450M (processor)

2GB DDR3 Memory (RAM)

500GB HDD (Hard Drive)



Monitor (with screen resolution of 1366×768 or higher)

Canon Printer (printer)


Windows 7 Home Basic (64 bit)

Visual Basic 6.0

Microsoft Office 2010

MySQL 3.51 ODBC Driver

Tangible and Intangible Benefits


Less time consuming for doing the inventory process

Promote hardware use among customers and buyers


Time saving

The accuracy it ensures

Organize Stocks

Reduce the work of the employee

Can easily update records and stocks