Wikipedia as a historic tool

On occasion, I stray away from domains and technology, to comment on society and politics. And the recent gathering of world leaders in London for the G20 summit is one such occasion that I’d like to comment on.

The other day, I was reading random historic facts on Wikipedia. It’s fascinating to follow link upon link of events that occurred hundreds of years ago, following not a linear time-line, but a relationship of events amongst nations: wars, truces, invasions, occupations, abandonment of lands and strongholds.

And then, I take a look at the group photos of world leaders at the G20 summit – among them German, French, Italian, British, American, Turkish and Greek – all smiling at the cameras and at each other, cracking jokes and sharing lunch – like schoolkids at recess.

I can’t help it, and I wonder – what on earth is wrong with the human race?

We slit each other’s throats, we bombard each other’s homes, we leave the children orphaned and we destroy the hard-earned life of our fellow humans. And yet, as if nothing had happened, we can negotiate, we can discuss, we can party, we can touch, hug and kiss one another.

It’s this sensation of pseudo-euphoria that concerns me the most, as it’s almost always a prelude to major social and political unrest and eventually to war.

And those that do not learn from history, tend to repeat it.


  1. Or just like when wars had their great leaders go to war with them. Not staying safely tucked away in their countries.

  2. So we should all be crying and despondent in all photos?

    This is a ridiculous rant.

  3. Ralph, heard of the old saying “missed the forest while looking at the tree”? Not sure what you mean by your statement. It’s on the opposite extreme.

    It’s a rant, alright. A ridiculous one? Only if I wrote it on your kitchen wall with a sharpie. This is my blog.

    Have a great Earth Day.

  4. Ralph, I think Acro’s point is we tend to distance ourselves from the true horrors of war and crime; injustices that go on right at this very moment. If any human were truly aware of them, it would lead that person to insanity. And knowing this it’s odd to see everyone, even ourselves distance away from what’s really going on with a “business as usual” attitude.

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