The Cause and The Effect
One of the benefits of staying home was that while I was communicating with clients and our staff, I had more time to walk with Max, to photograph and to work on my images. And another benefit was that I could browse through many art and photography books in my private library. One of them is titled “The Life Millennium: The 100 most important events and people of the past 1000 years”. It was published by LIFE books in 1998. I learned a lot of fascinating facts, I will write about some of them in the future. This week, I will share what I learned about “The Black Plague”, which started in 1348, and in two years killed a third of Europe’s inhabitants (online I found different numbers which amounted to 50 million people or 60 percent of Europe’s entire population).
As tragic as it sounds, especially in the light of our time and the COVID-19 pandemic, what got my attention was the positive effect it had on the world. ”So when priests took sick, the Catholic Church’s grip was weakened and the door to Protestantism opened. Doctors discarded dogma and began dissecting human bodies, leading to the rise of the scientific method. The clothes of plague victims were turned to pulp, creating supply of paper that made it possible to increase the production of manuscripts. The new spirit of adventure emboldened Gutenberg to develop the printing press. It pushed Columbus across the Atlantic. And it would touch all that come later.” There is an interesting connection with the events of today – The Black Plague was transmitted in ships from Asia.
In the book I also found another interesting connection with Asia in a story titled “Gutenberg Prints the Bible”. “German goldsmith Johan Gutenberg succeeded creating his masterpiece, a run of 200 gorgeously typeset Bibles, in 1455 he unleashed an information epidemic that rages today.” However, “Gutenberg didn’t invent printing: The craft emerged in 8th century China. He also didn’t invent moveable type, which was invented by the Chinese printer Pi Sheng around 1040. Nor did Gutenberg invent moveable metal type. The Koreans did in the 14th century. What Gutenberg devised was the first Western moveable-type system that worked so well that it remained largely unchanged for 350 years.” No one knows what will happen over the next 350 years, not even what will happen tomorrow. But I am sure that overall everything is going to be good.
P.S. I’m writing this story by hand on paper, which was invented in China, with a pen, which was probably made in China, as well as many photography books in my library. In spite of the proliferation of the electronic reading instruments many people, like myself and those four book readers I encountered, still prefer the original version.
Enjoy and Share with A Friend.