Google+ Studio 25: Catalyst

17.5.12

Catalyst

Ever since the first signs of civilisation, men have fought. They fought over land, beliefs, sometimes even for fun! There are always by-products of war, two of them being the most advertised ones: Death and Suffering.

But conflict did not develop only plain death and destruction. Call me cynical but anyone can kill! But in war, efficiency is key! And here is where I wanted to bring the discussion: Efficiency! 

At first, it was all about tactics, but soon, everything changed; man has discovered tools, which combined with tactics gave you the edge in every engagement, and that made you more efficient, sometimes very efficient. First spears, swords, arrows, each a step forward, were not used only in conflict, but in hunting too, and hunting became more efficient, more easy... Fishing too!... Agriculture - tools made it, and made people settle down. Revolution started, and continues today.

Now, we cannot say war was the single driving force behind progress, but it was definitely a huge catalyst. The huge drive for better weapons, weapons systems, defense systems, intelligence, logistics, and management was, is, and will be forever a factor in development. Examples are numerous, from expertise in building defense systems which translated in better housing and structures in times of peace, to, probably, the most astonishing development that war was involved with: taming the nuclear power! And this are just examples of direct and tangible products, we can add development of systems (with Henry Ford as his apostle), and product design, technology, industrial process design, encoding... Aviation has made its biggest steps in time of war (World War 2), or in preparation for war (The Cold War).

War has been the additive in the fuel for the engine that kept evolution going. This article is not a cry for war; nobody in his right mind would wish for one, but we have to acknowledge its influence. Yes, we have death, the threat of death, we have genocide, pain and suffering, shortages and irrational behavior, and maybe just a drop of kick forward, but that kick exists, and once it was over, that kick became a boom, and from that boom, we grew stronger, with an insatiable quest for bigger (sometimes smaller), better, faster, smarter.

Sad, but true! We died because of it, we have evolved because of it, reborn from our own ashes, stronger every time!