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Thread: Point in history you're most glad that you were not at

  1. #26
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I remember years ago reading a book and then watching a documentary on PBS about the Nazis' 900-day siege of Leningrad. Not a good time to be in that city.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
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    Anytime before modern medicine. Aside from WWII, it would have been nice to live in the 30's to 50's.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
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    In an attempt to put a finer point on it, maybe it is that those of us Americans who fall into the "Now" camp in this thread may feel thusly not because of the way things actually "are", but because of what we can see them "becoming." A short list of indicators include the US dollar weakening, our increasing trade deficit and indebtedness to China and other foreign nations, problems in our electoral system, the rolling back of environmental protections, climate change and our ever-increasing use of fossil fuels. This last one has the most potential to turn our society on its head. Our economy is primarily based on being able to move goods around cheaply due to the road infrastructure and cheap fuel. This is especially true when it comes to food. But what happens when the price of fuel goes to $5 or $10 a gallon? How will the residents of, say Las Vegas, pay the waaaaay higher cost of trucking in food? Kuntsler has a lot to say about this, in particular.

    We're comfortably headed in the wrong direction, towards the greatest economic and societal collapse history has seen. Not much has visibly changed over the past few years, so we go on merrily buying our plasma-screens and SUVs. But the signs are there. Will we have the courage to change our course? I don't have a lot of confidence in that happening given the current set of circumstances.
    "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." - Bill Clinton.

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally posted by nuovorecord

    We're comfortably headed in the wrong direction, towards the greatest economic and societal collapse history has seen. Not much has visibly changed over the past few years, so we go on merrily buying our plasma-screens and SUVs. But the signs are there. Will we have the courage to change our course? I don't have a lot of confidence in that happening given the current set of circumstances.
    I would delete this post. "Liberals" will be seen as the enemy within to BLAME fo the collapse.

    On a side note: electoral fraud: http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001063.htm

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Hmmm . . .

    Since I read this, I've been trying to think of a time of not so much of physical upheaval (such as a war or natural disaster) or of medical upheaval (such as a plague or epidemic) but of social change.

    My thoughts have focused on times where native or aborignal people were introduced to outsiders, or where people's inherent beliefs were shattered by some kind of discovery.

    Mark Twain, after visiting Hawaii, once said about the effort of some people to Christianize the native Hawaiians, "How sad it is to think of all the people who were born, lived, and died in this supreme paradise and never knew there was a hell."

    Or perhaps to be a "free" black man in the United States in 1857 when the Supreme Court declares that blacks are “so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

    On the flip side, I think about a moment like when the slaves of the deep south learned of the emancipation proclimation. I've heard a quote from a slave who was eating some kind of bland tasting baked good when another slave told him he was free. The man said that the bread suddenly became "sweet as cake". To see that kind of knowledge sweep through a society would be something.
    JOE ILIFF
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  6. #31
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    My "now" is the worst of times was hopefully taken as tongue in cheek. However, we are potentially setting the stage for a pretty rocky future, but that is not the inevitable conclusion. I have faith that the founding principles of the United States and the collective wisdom of the American people will soon bring a sense of balance. I see the biggest threat in the use of political agenda as "science." This bogus science is used to justify air pollution, unhealthy water, dangerous drugs, deforestation, species extermination, and the like at the whim of corporate profits. And of course, the subsidiary religious tenets used as science as well. A nation that has remained the world's powerhouse because of technology and science can ill afford to allow science to be hijacked. Bogus science does not yield technological advance. It only yields temporary political gain, while other nations are using real science to surpass America's traditional strengths.

    I think most life prior to 1900 would be considered miserable for modern folk. In current times, life under the many dictatorships (Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Amin, Hussein, the list goes on) would be untenable.

  7. #32
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    Out of curiosity, does anyone know of bad periods in Asian cultures that are comparable to the dark ages?
    Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you on this one boiker, but I had a toothache last week, and the week before there was so much to do around the house what with all the cleaning up after Thanksgiving company, and the week before that I was busy doing all the Turkey day shopping, and the week before that I had to take care of junior cuz he had the flu, and the week before that was just extremely hectic at work (it didn't help having two night meetings), and while I really really wanted to write up a reply that previous week we had a CDBG audit and before that...........[snip back to 2004]....and so by the time the chlamydia infection cleared up I was just really not in the right frame of mind to discuss Asian history. So please accept my humble apologies.

    In answer to your question, there really isn't anything quite comparable in Asian history. I suppose the closest thing to the situation where an empire splinters after the central government collapses would be the 'three kingdoms' period in Chinese history. It began around 180 AD with the rise of the 'Yellow Turban' peasant revolt which was the spark that eventually led to the collapse of the Han Dynasty. The formerly unified Chinese state collapsed into a general state of warfare (which saw horrific civilian casualties through war, famine, and disease) as warlords of various clans/territories struggled for almost a century to consolidate their rule. Eventually the Tsin dynasty won out and stability returned.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    The Spanish Inquisition comes to mind.

  9. #34
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Is this thread really from 2004? Wow. I would say either the Great Depression anywhere (but especially on the southern Great Plains), France during the French Revolution, Spain during the inquisition, north Africa during the Muslim conquest, the Americas during the Spanish conquest/disease infestation, or Europe in the dark ages. I am amazed at the lack of perspective shown in many of the comments on this topic. It's terrible, people. Seriously. This might be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, but the economic problems are nowhere near bad enough to rival the Great Depression. At least not yet. Especially not in 2004 when this thread was created.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    The Spanish Inquisition comes to mind.
    Because no one expects it?

    In American history I imagine that during and right after the Civil War period would have been rough, particularly if you had an Atlanta mailing address.

  11. #36
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I would've hated living through that period when it took the Cubs forever to win another World Series.

    Oh wait..............................

  12. #37
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    The Holocaust, no question.

  13. #38
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    This might be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, but the economic problems are nowhere near bad enough to rival the Great Depression. At least not yet. Especially not in 2004 when this thread was created.
    But remember - it took a couple years of the negative feedback loop to get the worst of the Great Depression. We are only 2 months into this "crisis", so far.

    I will repeat my automatic clothes washing post and add to it the time prior to the invention of modern "bathroom tissue" aka poop paper.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  14. #39
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Because so many have said the Dark Ages, or something close to that, then I'm going to throw my support to the original Jamestown colony. When they weren't fighting with the natives, who came close to wipeing them out once or twice, then they had to deal with disease, boredom, and an oppresive regime. Plus, if it really sucked, there was no going back to England.
    Back home just in time for hockey season!

  15. #40
    Cyburbian Plus
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    AIB Coragus reference to Jamestown -
    How about before Jamestown - being a member of the "Roanoke Lost Colony"
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  16. #41
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Are we talking about going back in time? Or being there without knowing what the future would bring? Are we talking about being of the same class?

    I would think that anywhere prior to the industrial revolution - if you were not a part of the ruling class - would suck pretty bad. Life for an average peasant in Spain under the Inquisition wasn't that much worse than life for an average peasant in France or England at the time. History only remembers the ruling classes and their actions from those times, not the lives of the masses.

    Most of all, I would hate being a minority (racial, ethnic, religious, any) in any place in the world prior to the 20th century (and in many places even during and after the 20th century).
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  17. #42
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    My vote is for yesterday. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Or the day before that.


    You get the point.



    Maybe I am the eternal optimist but I like to think that everyday is better than the day before. Sure, some horrible stuff might happen somewhere but the 1990s had Kosovo and Rwanda, the 1980s had the explosion of the AIDS epidimic horrible consumerism, high crime, bad music, the 1970s had stagnation and Watergate and Vietnam, the 1960s had Charles Manson, civil unrest*, and Vietnam. Pick your poison - there is always something to look back at and complain about.
    Last edited by WSU MUP Student; 09 Dec 2008 at 4:01 PM. Reason: * I admit that it might have been nice to be a part of the civil unrest in past eras that lead to some positive things later
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  18. #43
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    I think that being a Native American in many areas when the white settlers showed up would have been pretty bad. Watching your culture destroyed would just suck...
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
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  19. #44
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    I think that being a Native American in many areas when the white settlers showed up would have been pretty bad. Watching your culture destroyed would just suck...
    Yeah....damn immigrants!


    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  20. #45
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    timesI've revised my thinking

    Worst times were before July 11, 1949. Nobody would have had the pleasure of knowing my presence. Europe in the Dark Ages gets my non-me vote.
    WALSTIB

  21. #46
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    People seem to think in general terms of events like the Black Death Plague years. History is pretty brutal and unending with bad things that happen.

    Think of the active decisions that turn out to be wrong. What side you chose was important, as picking the loosing side was death weather man made, human induced, or natural event in nature.

    Like the Vikings that decided to gut it out in Greenland (disappeared)
    Original Jamestown at Roanoke (who says they weren't fighting with the natives, disappeared)
    Jews in Palestine Fighting the Romans (packed up and shipped around the Roman world)
    Being Carthaginian during the later Punic wars (city state leveled brick by brick and the ground salted)
    Being a member of the Persian Army at the battle of Plataea
    The Chinese rejecting ocean going exploration and force projection in the 1500's (500 years of forced colonialism and oppression at the hands of Europeans)

    Sometimes, ignominious defeats tend to lead to rebirth after absolute disaster.

    Japan and Germany bombed into senselessness leads to all modern facilities built to out compete their conquerors.
    Greek Forces at Thermopylae (If your a warrior and your going to die, A Pyrrhic victory they talk about and analyze ~2,500 years after the fact, PRICELESS)
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  22. #47
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    As much as I would loved to have seen the American West prior to colonization, I do not think I would want to live in a time before flush toilets and water heaters. I have no objections to spending a week or so using the outdoor privies and the woods when camping. But knowing that there is an end to roughing it is a good thing.

    My friends and I used to go on extended river floats of several days and on the ride back I wasn't fantasizing about my girlfriend. I was wistfully anticipating the warm embrace of hot water, shampoo and getting the sand out of hard-to-reach places.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  23. #48
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I am absolutely appalled by anyone who thinks that this current time we're in right now is actually worse than the Great Depression or other such horrible times in history. Compare 25% unemployment to 6.5% unemployment. It's really not that bad right now. Even in 1982 it was worse, with 9-10% unemployed. As long as you have a roof over your head, a job, and are healthy enough to type on a message board, you really have nothing to complain about. Things have been much worse for so many years.

    I would have to say the American Civil War is a time I would not want to live through. Having to fight against my own countrymen and seeing my country nearly destroyed? Yeah, no thanks.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  24. #49
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    I am absolutely appalled by anyone who thinks that this current time we're in right now is actually worse than the Great Depression or other such horrible times in history. Compare 25% unemployment to 6.5% unemployment. It's really not that bad right now. Even in 1982 it was worse, with 9-10% unemployed. As long as you have a roof over your head, a job, and are healthy enough to type on a message board, you really have nothing to complain about. Things have been much worse for so many years.
    Good thing no one did!
    I would have to say the American Civil War is a time I would not want to live through. Having to fight against my own countrymen and seeing my country nearly destroyed? Yeah, no thanks.
    Pompeii cica 79BC would be a nasty place to be. Or more recently, Martinique in 1902.

    Natural disasters would be painful periods to live through.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  25. #50
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    Good thing no one did!
    Did you happen to read post #2 or #16? I just first realized this thread was from 2004 and not 2008, but regardless, people actually thought 2004 to be the worst time ever because of Bush? That's pretty mind-boggling.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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