Hearken ye all to a tale of woe, and in fear shall ye cower, for the apocalypse is nigh!
The Four Horsemen. Steve, Bob, Rick and Tom. Not so intimidating when you know their names, eh?
Ok, so that's a picture of a t shirt from Woot. But I want it tattooed between my shoulder blades!
Here's a fun game I just thought up all on my own and have never seen, or heard of, anywhere ever before: Go and get your parents, husbands, wifes, room mates, kids wallets, and take out all the green paper with presidential portraits on them, and send them to me.
*Sigh* People, people people.......you should know by now that I am always messing with you. but this time, you don't know how I'm doing it. Or, maybe you do. I don't know. Anyway, there are no green pieces of paper in your wallet. Money isn't paper. It's printed on 75% cotton, 25% linen. That's how it lasts so long. But, if you don't believe me, send them to me and I'll test them to make sure.....
Most people associate the Four Horsemen with the bible. Which I'm ok with. Especially today, because this isn;t a post about the Four Horsemen. I just wanted to use that picture. Plus, it only involves one of the horsemen. Death.
There have been a lot of deadly events in our worlds history. And not all of them are wars. Some have been caused by diseases. But mostly, it's been war. Humanity is the biggest natural disaster to hit this planet. Ever.
But that's only because we change our environment to suit us. Until we showed up, everything adjusted to it's surroundings. But we discovered how to change the surroundings to suit us. And some of the changes humans love to make involve other people surrounding them. And by change, I mean kill.
But, how deadly are we? (very).
When people think about the deadliest events in human history, many will say it was World War One. All the senseless slaughter nearly wiped out an entire generation of Europeans in the trenches of France. The leaders of both sides were stuck fighting a war with tactics that were outdated with weapons that were new. And the result? As many as 50,000 men could be killed in a single afternoon.
But World War One wasn't the worst. It's estimated that only 65 million people died world wide because of that war. And I'm sad to say, not only is it not the worst, it's not even second.
Second place goes to another second. The second world war. World War Two was responsible for more world wide deaths than the first. People will think, "Oh...the Holocaust...", but that was only a minor part. World War Two involved more nations that the first one did, and there was fighting in more locations. And, if possible, it was more vicious.
That's because the winners suffered 85% of the casualties. And of those casualties, the Russians and the Chinese suffered the majority. The main problem was, the majority of the casualties were not combat related, but were the results of invading armies killing civilians. Or, 'war crimes', as we called them. In total, an estimated 72 million people died as a result of World War Two.
But that number pales in comparison to the deadliest event in world history. And the deadliest was also the longest.
It started in the late 15th century when Columbus sailed west from Spain. It didn't end until centuries later. (some would say it hasn't ended yet). I'm talking about the European conquest of the new world.
The Spanish, English, Dutch, Portuguese, French, and even the eventual Americans, nearly wiped out North and South America. There were some wars and conquests, but mostly, we killed with disease. The natives didn't have any protection from the germs that were brought over.
Conservative estimates place the loss at 80% of all native people died when the Europeans came to the Americas. That totals over 100 million people. The sad part is, the majority of them were killed without any malice. They were killed by small pox, the measles, the flu. Things they couldn't fight that the incoming people shrugged off due to centuries of immunities.
As a modern society, we need to take a pragmatic look at the past. What's done is done. It can't be changed. All we can do is look at the past and learn so we don't repeat our errors again.
But we will. Because we're human, and people are dumb. (even me, except I'm not quite as dumb as most.)
edited to fix incorrect percentages of cotton/linen in US currency