The world has been about to end for a long time. In fact, if there’s a single philosophical idea that runs like a connecting thread through thousands of years of history, it’s that we definitely don’t have thousands of years left to live. People have been predicting the end of the world – any day now – since before we started smelting iron. The study of humanity’s indecent eagerness to see the world end is so common, it has its own name: eschatology.
In many ways, modernity can be viewed as little more than the the product of centuries of dumb luck. As you are about to see, some of the world’s most significant milestones…
In August 2014, after a ten-year odyssey through the solar system, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft finally rendezvoused with its target, a comet named 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Three months later, Rosetta sent down Philae, a lander, to dock on the surface of this mass of rock and dust hurtling through space 300 million kilometers from earth. Philae skipped off the comet’s surface twice before skidding to a stop in a shadowy niche. The Europeans had done it. For the first time in history, humans had caught up with a comet and landed a probe on its surface.
As the United States has taken some initial steps to reopen trade with Cuba, many of us are learning about the latter’s revolutionary, often successful medical interventions throughout recent history. Earlier this year, Cuba sent droves of doctors to Africa to aid in resolving the Ebola crisis, but most recently, Cuba has made international headlines for its development of a lung cancer “vaccine” that attacks a specific protein unique to certain lung cancers, giving patients an extra four to six months of quality living. The most exciting aspect to fans of Cuba’s healthcare system? It’s “free.” But just what might some of the costs be?
Medicine And Marxist Philosophy
One way to understand Cuba’s medical philosophy is by reading Marxist and medical doctor Che Guevara’s 1960 treatise, On Revolutionary Medicine. In it, he laments the sorry state of Latin American medicine at a time in which “a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident,” and calls for a socially equal approach to medicine in the future.
These Marxist ideals soon translated into practice. The Cuban government dictates how much money medical and pharmaceutical companies can make and dedicate to research. Today, the government sponsors numerous scholarships for students of impoverished countries to study medicine in Cuba. Medicines are made available first for free at hospitals in Cuba, and then to the general public at reduced cost. Cuban doctors all over the world are able to send goods home free of import duties, and Cuba has received stipends and economic support from numerous countries for sending over their medical students and doctors. Seems like pretty good incentive to be a Cuban physician, right?
For the record, the writers at All That Is Interesting are not anti-science. For every person that (legal, properly-sanctioned and monitored) scientific research hurts, hundreds are saved from pain and disease. But, sometimes, a scientific experiment is so obscenely brutal that you have to wonder if it was really worth it. Here are some of the most terrifying, manipulative experiments ever conducted in the name of science:
The Milgram Obedience Experiments
Are you truly an independent thinker? Do you consider yourself to be an iconoclast, living by your own standards as opposed to being guided by the signals and expectations of others? Don’t be so sure. The Milgram Obedience Experiment basically showed how much we listen to people if they’re wearing a white coat.