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     Friday Jun 22 10:49 AM



Remarkably, this image ties together the last few images - including both the death penalty images and the WWI British soldiers history!

Yesterday the Brits erected this statue. It's a man tied to a stake and blindfolded. It commemorates British "cowards" who were executed during WWI.

In 1917, many of the soldiers were suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and couldn't fight even if it meant they would be tied to a stake and shot. 20,000 troops were court-martialed for this sort of refusal, and 306 of them were eventually executed.

The truth of the matter is that most of them were simply quitting a battle that couldn't be won - a battle against trench warfare that, as Tove pointed out, could not possibly be won until the tacticans figured a way around it. Their commanders should have been the ones at the stake.

Today, with the wisdom of time, we can see what we couldn't see at the time. Now we understand why the soldiers deserted; now we see their deaths as unjust and unnecessary. We understand what was in their heads, better than anyone at the time understood.

The statue is modeled after a 17-year-old soldier, who lied about his age to fight, right up until he was shot for refusing to fight any further.

80 years from now, four generations from now, mankind is going to have wisdom that we don't have today. What will we think about some of the things mankind is doing right now?




  Friday Jun 22 11:50 AM

Knowledge, yes, but wisdom?

History proves people don't learn from history.

Battles of attrition as in WWI are still fought - or, at least, one side applies the model and gets handed their butts. The attrition model was mis-applied to Vietnam, for example. In WWII Bernard Montgomery thought battles of attrition were swell; that is because he never did seem to manage any pursuit worthy of the name. He was right, the Germans did not have a whole lot of reserves to spare from the Ostfront, but he did not mind throwing resources (we're talking about people) at the problem he had at hand. MacArthur's 'island-hopping' was inspired, but Corregidor and Iwo were battles of attrition.

And Marshal Joffre in WWI probably never missed a meal or a good night's sleep, while the battles you're talking about were going on. There wasn't a general in WWI who didn't make grievous screw-ups (the first German gas attack killed...Germans, but of course not the generals). Attrition was the model used by both sides, with the possible exception of Kitchener, and he was relieved early IIRC.

If we -were- to learn from history, the lesson in organized, large-scale warfare would be 'your personal survival depends in large measure on another person who doesn't know you and who will spend more time worrying about a blister on his foot than he will about you'. Following someone for any reason other than your personal agreement and commitment is pretty stupid. That is not stopping Army recruitment from making its numbers this year.

I'd love to know where the wisdom's coming from, Tony. At present people know a lot, but the knowledge is applied with no more wisdom or insight than it was at the time of the Romans, and I do not see that any fresh source of either has been developed.



  Friday Jun 22 01:45 PM

You know, people always assume we live in a more advanced age, but it's no different than then. Granted, we've changed how we live, but we've done nothing in the way we behave.

"Hey, it took us forty million years to grow a thumb, it'll probably take another forty to get it our of our ass."

~Mike



elSicomoro  Friday Jun 22 06:55 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Chewbaccus
You know, people always assume we live in a more advanced age, but it's no different than then. Granted, we've changed how we live, but we've done nothing in the way we behave.
The more things change, the more they stay the same...which is almost like what I'm seeing in St. Louis right now.


  Friday Jun 22 08:56 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Tony Shepps

80 years from now, four generations from now, mankind is going to have wisdom that we don't have today. What will we think about some of the things mankind is doing right now?

<Rant>
Here's something to consider: what would people 500 years from now, or 1,000 years, think of us? Without strong evidence, their judgements about our actions could become pretty skewed, based on their prevalent way of thinking.

Heck, even we do this today, trying to make sense of historical events based on little evidence and facts. Journalists, documentarians and et al, all have a responsibility to document things as they happen in an objective light. We try to preserve the cold hard facts so that these same facts can stand up to the test of time.
</Rant>

-Cyc


  Saturday Jun 23 12:09 PM

To me, that question is fascinating. (What people 500 years from now will think of us.)

It's pretty much unanswerable, but even just thinking about it forces us to consider what humanity is, what we can do to improve our lot in life, etc.

On one hand it's just navel-gazing but on the other hand, it's the most important navel-gazing we could possibly do!

Are you a journalist, Cyc?



  Sunday Jun 24 12:25 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Tony Shepps
Are you a journalist, Cyc?
No, I'm more of a reader. However, I tend to look at the world in the Big Picture(tm). Credit that to many years of reading newspapers, magazines, fiction, fantasy/science fiction books and intelligent forums like this one.

However, my long term goal is to be a writer some day, so a journalist wouldn't be that far off. =)

-Cyc


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