500 years of globalism

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake shook my apartment building hard, woke me up and just like that I ended up making coffee and getting on the Internet. And long before you know it, I was watching a video talk by Thomas Joshua Cooper, an San Francisco- born artistic photographer, who now resides in Scotland. (His photos are here, here, and here.) He talked about his various journeys and many adventures, and the images he made. In his talk he mentioned about Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese adventurer, explorer, and sailor, who was the first to circumnavigate the Earth — going from the (west) Europe to the (east) Spice Islands (Now part of Indonesia.)

Unable to resist, I was soon reading about him on Wikipedia and other places.  He left Spain on August 10, 1519, at the age of 39. He set sail with 270 men and five ships. They returned to Spain in 1522, and only 18 made it back. Magellan wasn’t one of them — he died at age 41 in what is the modern Philippines. The crew never got fully paid, and the Crown made a little profit from the sale of cloves and cinnamon that was brought back. The Spanish Crown funded Magellan’s exploration, and the reward for Spain was a chance to get access to the riches that come from the trade of spices. Continue reading “500 years of globalism”