A potted history of the world, showing how new technology can cause havoc

 Cave diu term technology effectis’ (Beware the long term effects of technology)

Drones permitting, the world is settling down for Christmas. For a few blessed days we can focus on family, friends, fun and faith, and the media entertains rather than informs. Speaking of faith, I am delighted that the Church of England has published its new web pages on community action in time for Christmas, a time when food banks – where the Church plays a huge role – take centre stage.

So welcome to our brief newsletter, a potted history of the world from the fall of Rome to Brexit – a cautionary tale about the havoc that can ensue from new technology. Worth bearing in mind, as you greet the next robot gadget from among your Christmas presents ..

Date Range


Causes and Effects

5th century AD


Widespread installation of lead pipes in Rome results in crumbling public mental health and social instability. Roman order and discipline starts to collapse, allowing ..

476 AD

.. the invasion of Italy as Huns sweep down towards Rome, pushing civilised remnants in the north to take refuge in Venice, which becomes a new seat of power and influence over the next few hundred years, presenting ..

500 - 1200

.. a strong rival to Constantinople, which had retained its strength after the fall of Rome. Venice seeks to dominate, taking the opportunity to ..


.. require crusaders to attack Constantinople before moving to the Holy Land. Its fall results in extensive Muslim incursion into south-east Europe, the establishment of Istanbul and in due course the Ottoman Empire. Fast forward to ..


.. 1914 as tensions in the Balkans result in the Great War (WW1), which leads on to the rise of Hitler, persecution of the Jews, and WW2: which results in ..


.. formation of the modern state of Israel, leading to Middle Eastern turmoil over the past 70 years and a widespread refugee crisis ..


.. plus, following formation of the European Union due to the resolve to establish peace, premature establishment of the Eurozone: which results in widespread youth unemployment and migration within Europe, thereby resulting in ..


.. the UK voting for Brexit, and our current political turmoil.

Links courtesy of Wikipedia

Question: If lead pipes in Rome could cause all this, imagine the downstream impact of Artificial Intelligence?

Best wishes for a very happy Christmas


Gavin Oldham

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