Looking up articles (or seeing old links) to various websites formerly belonging to the Gawker imprint, I’m realizing that so many of them start with some pithy remark about the current state of the world with absolutely no context attached, thus making reading the opening line of the article 8 years later leaving me in complete befuddlement.
I found an article about current American politics from December 2010 while doing research for something else open with the line “And with a month left we’re about to leave one of the worst years in recent human history.” Now I understand exaggeration, but briefly looking at a list of events from 2010 I can’t really see anything that would prompt that statement. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill? That’s really all I can see.
Through the magic of exponential growth, every year is the worst in human history by a whole slew of metrics. Pick almost any phenomenon you hate which changes over time, and do a bit of googling. It’s like choose your own adventure.
Or the Tea Party or something I suppose. But all this seems incredibly short sighted. Human History has sucked more often than not for millenia. Is it surprising Gawker has so little perspective? Someone was probably writing an end-of-year round-up and needed to sound urgent, concerned and saddened or something.
Famously people were claiming 2016 was the worst year in human history, and this was BEFORE the election. There was that one MTV viral (in the bad way) video where they exclaim “2017 can’t be worse than 2016!” in full earnestness.
The post mentions recent history but the title says in human history. If we’re considering just the last 15-20 years or so, then maybe 2010 was the worst (although I would have gone with 2001). If we’re talking about all of human history, then I would disagree strongly, since recent history (again the last 15-20 years or so), have probably been the best years for humanity as a whole since history began.
Yeah, if we’re talking all history, 1258 (the Mongols overrun Persia and West Asia, killing millions) and 1348 (The Black Death is killing about 1/3 of the European population and is also decimating the Middle East) were pretty miserable years. And during 1944 it was estimated one million people a month were dying as a result of WWII. And for more modern times, 1994 saw the genocide attacks in Rwanda.
Nothing, because it wasn’t one of the worst years in human history. But people perceive reality differently than it actually happens. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people, in RL or on this board moaning and groaning that the times are so bad, that things are going to hell in a hand basket and the world is SO much worse off than it was in the past, blah blah blah. The fact that we are actually living in one of the greatest uplifting times for humans world wide, that the worst levels of poverty have dropped off, that people are living longer and better than ever in history just seems to bounce off most. I think it has to do with the 24 hour news cycle and the constant and focused stream of internet news, blogs, videos and the like. It’s SO easy to put yourself in a bubble these days since you can focus search and focus watch/listen to/read what you want to hear. If you want to hear how crime is climbing to new heights in the US, well, you can Google search that and pick and choose what you watch, listen to or read and it will tell you want you want to hear. Want to hear about the vast and overwhelming threat from illegal immigrants? There are sites for you too. Heck, want to hear about how Big Pharma, or Big Oil, or NASA is controlling the world and preventing you from seeing The Truth™? How 9/11 was an inside job or Kennedy was killed by a cabal of Jews, the CIA and aliens? You can find anything you look for out there.
Sure, there are real clouds on the horizon. Global Warming/Climate change is real and is coming…and we are seemingly not going to do much about it, so we are going to pay a price for that in a few years. But right now, today (and in 2010)…this is the golden age of humanity to this point. Year by year the overall human condition is improving globally.
I’d say that approximately 70,000 years ago when we hit the bottleneck and there were only a few thousand humans left and we were on the verge of extinction was almost certainly one of the worst years in human history. After than I think the year that the island of Thera went up and began not only the collapse of the Minoan empire but pretty much devastated almost all of the Mediterranean powers was pretty bad too (though obviously that event took years to go through…but it started with that one), since at the time a lot of the human population was relatively small and a large percentage of it was effected and quite negatively.
Agree with XT. Even though we may look at the years of our youth as golden years the reality is that the current time is far better with improvements in medication, technology and everything you care to name (I guess garden hoses are pretty much the same)