How Basel changed the world - Matthias Buschle - ebook

How Basel changed the world ebook

Matthias Buschle

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Opis

This book is all about events, discoveries and ideas which may have seemed small and insignificant at the time but later changed the world. DDT and LSD, Frick & Frack, the Basel Mission and the Zionist World Congress, Tadeus Reichstein and Friedrich Nietzsche, the first printed edition of the Koran and much else provide the stuff of which exciting stories are made in Basel, the hub of the universe.

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Liczba stron: 177

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How Baselchanged the world

By Matthias Buschle and Daniel Hagmann

Table Of Contents

Introduction

“Sugar … spinach … haemoglobin.” The measurements of Gustav von Bunge

“This is such stuff as dreams are made of.” The discovery of LSD

Freidorf and Bauhaus. Global architecture on Basel foundations

Ice-skaters, Idioms, Slang and Erasmus of Rotterdam

The Art of Art Dealing. Art Basel

The Bells of Basel. The modern woman and world peace

Excuse me, but where is Basel III? The city and the Bank for International Settlements

A “painting to dream about”. Die Toteninsel

Love of Animals, Bone Screws, IPOs. The boom in accident surgery

Cortisone and Vitamin C. Tadeus Reichstein, a master of the tiniest substances

A Bitter-Sweet Success Story. The missions, slave liberation and the cocoa trade

Habent sua fata libelli. The Civilizing Process

A Bad Leg. Paracelsus and the reform of modern medicine

Romantic Matriarchy. Johann Jakob Bachofen and mother right

The Stumbling Block. The origins of global nature conservation

Poison for the World. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane becomes DDT

A Song for Peace. Mediating between revolution and monarchy in Basel

SPQB instead of SPQR. Conclave and papal coronation in Basel

Nietzsche’s First Book. The tragedy at the birth of his philosophy

Explosive! Christian Friedrich Schönbein and guncotton

A Clash of Cultures. The commotion caused by the first printing of the Koran

New Early Music. The Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and Paul Sacher

“In Basel I founded the Jewish State.” The Zionist Congress in Basel

A Typeface travels the World. How the Haas Grotesk became Helvetica

The Bernoulli Century. Eight representatives of one family influence the world.

Russian Reverse. Yet another change

Introduction

“Is it possible for the flap of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil to set off a tornado in Texas?” The mathematician, meteorologist and co-inventor of Chaos Theory, Edward N. Lorenz, raised this issue in 1972. In our little chronicle, How Basel changed the world, we intend to pursue this butterfly effect, albeit from a rather local perspective: the centre of the world in this book is Basel. Here too, world-shaking events have taken place and the effects of experiences and discoveries here have ultimately been felt across the globe – irrespective of their apparent irrelevance at the time or their subordinate importance, as well as the role originally played by chance.

The German news magazine Der Spiegel called the city of Basel a “global city in pocket-book format”. But is Basel really a city of world importance? Although global players of world renown have been active here, and indeed still are – one only has to think of Erasmus of Rotterdam, Friedrich Nietzsche, Herzog & de Meuron and the Basel “Chemische” (chemical industries) – Basel is more a provincial town than a metropolis. What is more, in the original sense of the term “provincial” it is an independent part of a larger whole. If small events can unpredictably alter a system in the long-term, then world history can also be changed from Basel. There would be a correspondence between the butterfly in Brazil and the black-headed gull in the air above the so-called knee of the river Rhine …

This book tracks down such impacts by viewing the world from Basel and asking: What happened here that had global consequences? What ideas and products from Basel have influenced the course of world history?

How Basel changed the world is a book about local history, written out of love of country, and very much in the spirit of the great Swiss author Gerhard Meier: “I believe that you only become a world citizen through being a provincial. You have to go through the official channels: from provincial to global citizen.” How Basel changed the world may involve a touch of navel gazing, but it does so without self-aggrandizement. It is based on a different prototype, namely, the St. Mary Mead Principle. This fictional English town is in a position to present remarkable crime statistics: over a space of about forty years, sixteen murders were committed there. In the words of Miss Marple: “Terrible things happen in a place like this, I tell you. You have the opportunity to observe things here like you never have in a city.” Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, a somewhat singular older lady, solves her cases with the help of a simple but extremely effective principle: she questions odd everyday things, finding in them the key to the crimes. “Who cut holes in Mrs Jones’s net shopping bag? Why did Mrs Sims only wear her new fur coat once?” How Basel changed the world does not engage in criminalistics, but like St. Mary Mead, Basel here becomes a backdrop against which to view the world.

But why Basel? The words of at least one prominent witness speak for the choice of the city on the knee of the Rhine: “Basel seems to me to be either at the heart of Christianity, or else to be situated not very far from it.” Enea Silvio Piccolomini, later known as Pope Pius II, wrote this on the occasion of the Council of Basel (1431 – 1449). To put it in today’s terms: What is special about Basel is not that this city is more closely linked than any other with world history, but the way in which it is linked. Whereby “world” here means not “the whole world” but rather “the surrounding world”, the concentrically expandable region around the city. Sometimes the impacts have extended far out over the world’s oceans, sometimes they have only effected Europe.

This book is an “essay” in the original sense, an experiment. It actually consists of a number of essays, freely formulated texts in a non-scientific language. It is a book that keep to the facts, while sometimes pointing up links with a certain relish and humour The choice of stories adheres to the same principle: whereas an attempt has been made to take the most important “world events” into account, the intention is not to flaunt achievement. The small, sometimes almost forgotten story is of equal importance.

How Basel changed the world could of course have many more pages and include, for example, the significance of the 20th century church father, Karl Barth, the first Indian rhinoceros worldwide to be born in a zoo, the impact on everyday life of those little helpers Valium and Ritalin, the history of ready-made pastry, the links between capital, rum and the slave trade, the settlement of the dangerous giant hogweed in Europe or the birth of the concept of freedom from pain.

Matthias Buschle and Daniel Hagmann

“Sugar … spinach …haemoglobin.”The measurements ofGustav von Bunge

“100 g dry matter contain mg of iron: Sugar … 0 / Blood serum … 0 / Chicken egg white … trace / Honey … 1.2 / Rice … 1.0 – 2.0 / Pearl barley … 1.4 – 1.5 / Pears … 2.0 / Dates … 2.1 / cow’s milk … 2.3 / mother’s milk … 2.3 – 3.1 / Plums … 2.8 / dog’s milk … 3.2 / figs … 3.7 / raspberries … 3.9 / peeled hazelnuts … 4.3 / Barley … 4.5 / Cabbage, inner yellow leaves … 4.5 / Rye … 4.9 / Peeled almonds … 4.9 / Wheat … 5.5 / Grapes (Malaga) … 5.6 / Blueberries … 5.7 / Potatoes … 6.4 / Peas … 6.2 – 6.6 / Cherries, black, stone-less … 7.2 / Beans, white … 8.3 / Carrots … 8.6 / Wheat bran … 8.8 / Strawberries … 8.6 – 9.3 / Lentils … 9.5 / Almonds, brown skins … 9.5 / Cherries, red, stone-less … 10 / Hazelnuts, brown skins … 13 / Apples … 13 / Dandelion, leaves … 14 / Cabbage, outer green leaves … 17 / Asparagus … 20 / Egg yolk … 10 – 24 / Spinach … 33 – 39 / Pig’s blood … 226 / Hematogen … 290 / Hemoglobin … 340”

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Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

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Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!