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2020 was *not* the worst year in history!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MoodyBlues, Dec 30, 2020.

  1. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    On the morning news today, they had a segment about where 2020 sits in terms of worst years, historically. They noted that many people believe it has been the worst year ever, but, in fact, it's not! I grabbed my phone in a hurry and snapped this:

    I'm afraid I didn't hear who their source was, and I'm too lazy right now to search for it. I saw it on KTLA channel 5 here in LA.

    So what do you think about this list? I know some of us--yes, I'm looking at you @olbriar, @lunatic59, and a few others--were around for three of those listed; I don't think ANYONE was around for #1, #2b, or #4! :eek:

    It's worth noting that 1968 was not only affected by MLK's assassination, but Robert F Kennedy's, too. It's hard to describe to people who haven't lived through something like that just how demoralizing, shocking and sad those killings were.

    Where do you rank 2020? I'm actually undecided at the moment. :thinking:

    Dngrsone, lunatic59, Hadron and 3 others like this.

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  2. Milo Willamson

    Milo Willamson Android Expert

    Hmmm undecided too.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  3. olbriar


    Events and their impact are impossible for me to weigh against each other. I would have thought the bombing of Pearl Harbor would have made the list before the Cuban missile crises but that shows how poor I would be at compiling and ranking such a list.
  4. no one

    no one Android Expert

    Whatever year rap started, is by far the worst year ever.
  5. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Yes. We certainly (or hopefully) can never reach the scale of the "Spanish" Flu. In main part I read now because there was no vaccine developed, or antibiotics for related illness.
    500 million or one third of the population infected, 50 million deaths (or estimates from 17 to 100 million).
    I was watching a rerun of a "QI" episode on BBC last week, where it was explained it had nothing to do with Spain. All to do with WW1 censorship and upkeep of morale, so Spain was neutral and the King was ill...

    At least the world carried on for many.

    Good luck to everyone in '21.

    MoodyBlues likes this.
  6. PitCarver

    PitCarver Android Expert

    Been around for 4, myself, and think that, 2020 is much overrated. Certainly the virus contribution to the ranking is important, but the varying governmental responses are what made it harder for others.
  7. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    for me that would be the year country music was born....well at least the modern country crap that's out now:spitoutdroid::p:spitoutdroid:

    yeah i think it is at least the worst year that i have witnessed myself.....how it ranks against history????who knows, that is not for me to decide. i'll leave that to the historians.
    MoodyBlues and PitCarver like this.
  8. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    I'm going to assume this means "from the viewpoint of the political entity known as the United States of America", since from a different perspective
    some might argue that the worst year in North American history was the one where Europeans started colonising the continent.

    But with that caveat, how do you rank very different things? The Civil War possibly deserves top billing because it combines maximum social upheaval and division with a death toll of around twice the current covid fatalities and within the (quite broad) range of estimates for the "Spanish flu" in the US. But beyond that it's trickier. The pandemics obviously deserve top billing for actual death tolls (unless there's a year in one of the big wars that tops them). The Trail of Tears was a series of events over 2 decades, so hard to say how that ranks in "worst year" (though in a list of "most shameful acts by a US government" this would deserve a high ranking). The Cuban missile crisis had the potential to end badly but actually didn't: it was a tense time but not a disaster. How long did the tension last (it was before my time)? How would you compare that to say the McCarthy witch-hunts (which seem to me to have been a period where the US badly lost its way, but as an outsider I don't have a feel for what it was like to live through that period)? And it seems perverse to include 9/11 here but not Pearl Harbour and the US entry to WWII: both were attacks on the US, there were almost as many people killed in Pearl Harbour as 9/11 (~2,400 vs ~3,000) and the consequences for the US were unquestionably larger. So is including 9/11 just a reflection of the fact that the author doesn't remember the 1940s?

    So any such list will be subjective, but I suspect my list might have looked different (though I don't consider my knowledge of US history to be good enough for me to draw one up).
  9. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    Another 4 bad years in US History survivor here.
    Not that I was around but #1 was the worst by any metric.
    MoodyBlues, PitCarver and ocnbrze like this.
  10. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...

    I think any list like this is a waste of time because as pointed out by @Hadron, who is it the worst year for? Two events, Cuban Missile Crisis & MLK assassination didn't result in large death tolls like the other events, though they did have massive social consequences. Finally, and most importantly, any list from someone that can't count is bogus. :p :wtfdroid: :goofydroid:
  11. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    It's for USians.
    Could someone define this for me? I think it's a contraction of US Citizens.
  12. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    as bad as 2020 was, i see three things that were bitter sweet for me and here they are:
    1. the Lakers winning their 17th championship
    2. the Dodgers winning their 7th champioship
    3. season 2 of the Mandalorian

    sorry but i had to put the Star Wars series in because it is a damn good show and that season 2 finale still gives me goose bumps!!!

    what makes those 3 bittersweet is that we can't celebrate. we could not watch them with friends and share the experience with them......it makes this year that much more frustrating. hopefully we can celebrate later on in 2021.
    MoodyBlues and lunatic59 like this.
  13. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    You said 3. There is no three. :cool:
  14. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    I am in agreement with @Hadron. "Worst" is a qualitative judgement based on perspective, while "most shameful" is a better barometer of cultural morality. If we were making THAT list then to me no. one would have to be slavery, followed closely by continuing systemic racism/nationalism. Certainly the genocidal disenfranchisement of the indigenous peoples of north America would be in the top three.

    While I am proud to be an American as part of the great democratic experiment, I am also quite embarrassed and ashamed of our path to the current state of affairs.

    I think 2020 will become one of those years we all talk about a decade from now, but recall it worse than it actually was.
  15. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    Nope. Thus year was bad. Slavery got changed to sex but Slavery; Still, Really.
  16. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    You're all making such great points--and validating why I'm undecided. There are so many ways to look at 'worst year ever.'

    For me, as an Armenian who grew up hearing about the horrors and tragedies of the Armenian Genocide, I consider 1915 to be one of the worst years ever. I mean, it wiped out almost all of my ancestors. Of close family, only my maternal grandparents and great-grandmother made it out, and came here.

    My niece, who is half black, has both the Armenian genocide and slavery in her background. I'm sure she'll see this list as incomplete/incorrect/non-inclusive. One thing, though, about slavery--it didn't happen in one year, thus making it ineligible for a list like this. That would more properly fit a ' worst atrocities against humans' list.

    In my humble opinion, a better approach would be to break things down into categories. Maybe worst year for deaths caused by war/illness/terrorism/natural disasters, worst year for the economy, worst for year for...whatever. And it definitely should be region-specific. The worst years in the US don't necessarily align with the worst years in other parts of the world. With 2020, of course, it does! :eek:
  17. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    The problem with that list is simply by virtue of a growing global population, "next year" will almost always be worse if all we're counting is numbers.
    MoodyBlues and ocnbrze like this.
  18. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    True, but I'm thinking in terms of events that cause shocking/unexpected/tragic (not that any death isn't tragic for the loved ones) deaths: 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, San Francisco earthquake, Spanish flu, COVID-19, HIV/AIDS at one point, assassinations, and so on. I don't know, though. I think if we approached it like that, we could micro-categorize to the Nth degree! Diseases alone could be broken down by type. As could natural disasters. And everything else. Oh well.

    I may sound incoherent, but, no, I have not imbibed yet, nor will I. (Haven't smoked anything yet either.) I'm just thinking out loud and it's coming out sounding pretty scatterbrained! :D

    With that, I'm wrapping it up for the year. I hope everyone has a safe, happy night, and I look forward to seeing what the new year brings my AF family. :)
  19. androidtvfan

    androidtvfan Well-Known Member

    Most of these events have not affected so many in just about every country globally. It's catastrophic awful etc. In the UK now over 100,000 dead that's around a mullion relatives badly affected then you have the suicides which have greatly increased also because of the pandemic plus a fair number who have long covid so are suffering ongoing health issues probably for the rest of their lives. Domestic abuse also has greatly increased. Repercussions will last for decades :(
  20. toddstacy2707

    toddstacy2707 Lurker

    Besides having to wear a mask that probably prevents NOTHING because people don t even wear them correctly, this past year has been no different then any other. Completely UNAFFECTED. I think the worst thing of the year has been no accountability for the media and all their falsehoods, lies, and agenda pushing...and I'm not saying so for EITHER poilitical side. Just saying, there used to be such a thing as INVESTIGATIVE journalism, now it's just a race to see who can get the story out first...right , wrong or or indifferent.
  21. toddstacy2707

    toddstacy2707 Lurker

    Where is the hype and vaccine for this...it's been going on for YEARS..and why werent we wearing mask prior. And why does fauci say , 'it's a good thing everyone is wearing masks now, it's kept the number of flu cases to a minimum,' and then the very next sentence.....wait for it.....' If only people would wear masks we could keep the number my covid-19 cases down..'..HUH...WHAT https://www.dw.com/en/who-tuberculosis-is-the-worlds-deadliest-infectious-disease/a-52895167

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