Another interesting series from Professor of economic history Niall Ferguson (whose "The ascent of money" TV series is the definitive overview of the recent global financial crisis...and I've reviewed that here too). It doesn't reach the heights of that earlier series, in part because it is more personal and loaded. Ferguson outlines six factors which he argues propelled the West to global dominance. He calls these the six "killer applications" of the West. The 'killer apps' are, according to Ferguson, competition; science; medicine; the rule of law and property rights; consumerism and the Protestant work ethic.