Giuseppe Garibaldi, who united Italy in the 1860s, was asked by Lincoln
to lead the army during the US Civil War. Garibaldi said he would if Lincoln officially declared that the aim of the war was to end slavery. Lincoln replied that he couldn't at that time, and so Garibaldi moved on to other things
. But what if Giuseppe had gotten involved? The Papacy would clearly have denounced the North
(indeed, the pope was the only world leader to recognize the Confederacy). The French hated him; the English loved him. Had he led the Federal troops, would France have jumped in on the side of the South? Would England have then jumped in on the Union side to counter? A whole different world history, perhaps, hanging on a yes/no question.
posted by ewagoner
on Aug 12, 2003 -
Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000
On the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book, thousands of people, of all ages were asked to take part in a project to create a digital version. The result was a couple of laserdiscs which could be read on a specially modified BBC Micro. It was quite a success and again there was record of what the world was like in the mid-Eighties. But in the intervening years, technology has moved on and now the discs have become inaccessible without that obsolete technology. So ironically, the original millenium old manuscripts have more usability. In the rush to digitise everything, isn't there a danger that we're going to repeat this mistake over and over again?
posted by feelinglistless
on Mar 3, 2002 -