Education


The Earth is Flat

I should confess right away that I am one of those who think that, in the last three thousand years, human nature has not changed very much. The characters in the Old Testament seem to me to be people exactly as I know them. If, today, you were to revive the Roman arena where the condemned were eaten by wild beasts, there would be many protests; but I'm afraid I still reckon you'd have a full house. I do not subscribe to the view that we can never enter into the mindset of people in the past because they thought entirely differently. I think that if we can imagine ourselves in different circumstances, and perhaps with different beliefs, we may at least gain some insight into the lives of our ancestors. A specific example? Try this exercise. Imagine, as soon as you wake up, that you believe the world is flat. If you didn't know otherwise, it would be a perfectly reasonable thing to suppose. Now, keeping that in mind, go for a walk. Just keep imagining, as you go along.

During your walk, I'd say, you will have entered the past.

 

 

 

Did You Know?
As those who have read PARIS will know, the Parisian neighborhood of Les Halles, now known for its vast mall complex, was once the site of the Cimetière des Innocents, Paris’ largest cemetery. What started in the 12th century as a smallish graveyard ballooned to a resting place for over 2 million corpses ! By the 1780’s, the cemetery had become so overfilled and unhygienic that Louis XVI closed it, and ordered all bodies be exhumed and transferred to the Catacombs. Today, only one relic remains from the neighborhood’s eerie past - La Fontaine des Innocents – a fountain built in the sixteenth century which once marked the entrance to the graveyard.