InLiving on the Edge in Leonardo's Florence,an internationally renowned master of the historian's craft provides a splendid overview of Italian history from the Black Death to the rise of the Medici in 1434 and beyond into the early modern period. Gene Brucker explores those pivotal years in Florence and ranges over northern Italy, with forays into the histories of Genoa, Milan, and Venice. The ten essays, three of which have never before been published, exhibit Brucker's graceful intelligence, his command of the archival sources, and his ability to make history accessible to anyone interested in this place and period. Whether he is writing about a case in the criminal archives, about a citation from Machiavelli, or the concept of modernity, the result is the same: Brucker brings the pulse of the period alive. Five of these essays explore themes in the premodern period and delve into Italy's political, social, economic, religious, and cultural development. Among these pieces is a lucid, synoptic view of the Italian Renaissance. The last five essays focus more narrowly on Florentine topics, including a fascinating look at the dangers and anxieties that threatened Florence in the fifteenth century during Leonardo's time and a mini-biography of Alessandra Strozzi, whose letters to her exiled sons contain the evidence for her eventful life.
What Would Life be Without Technology
The everyday lives of people have changed a great deal due to the advent of technology. They have become easier, faster, more comfortable and dynamic. But, at the same time, our lives have become lethargic, preposterous and anti-social just like the computers that have become a part and parcel of our lives. The technology has enriched our lives and enlightened our minds, but in pursuit of its cozy comforts, people tend to be over-reliant on it, so much that they can’t even imagine living without it. This pointless obsession and abuse of technology in our lives has left us vulnerable and weak. No doubt, the advancements brought us unprecedented physical, medical and other benefits, but this over-reliance will prove costly for the survival of the human race.
We are living in an Information Age where technology and knowledge bases are advancing at an explosive rate. According to Schilling, at an average, the magnitude human knowledge is now doubling every 13 months at the current rate. The over-whelming effects of this knowledge are all around us as cutting edge technology is rendered obsolete in the blink of an eye due to further advancements. It would be illogical to believe that we should abandon technology, because in many cases, it will be the difference for a better tomorrow. As a result of the pursuit of better quality of life, some dependence on technology is unavoidable because we would all like to have clean running water, healthy diet, and protection from terrible diseases, provision of power and different electronic tools for our businesses as well as other material comforts and amenities in our lives. Technology especially in the face of rapidly increasing population helps us in utilizing the Earth’s resources more efficiently. It is due to technology that human race is surviving the unprecedented population expansion and without it, the human race would have died out long ago in a global hunger Armageddon. But on the other hand there are negative effects of technology lingering in our lives. By neglecting basic human and mammalian instincts like socializing, family life and physical exertion, we have become artificial and hollow. Although we are reaping benefits, we are losing the little of the precious humanity left in our lives due to over-indulgence.
In conclusion, technology has affected our lives deeply. We simply cannot imagine living without it. It has increased our lifespan and quality of living. It has brought us closer to each other in certain ways and drifted away in others. Without it, our lives would have been simpler, harder, poorer, isolated, unimaginative, disconnected and dangerous.