Posted Jul 16, 2020 at 16:30. Revised Jan 10, 2021 at 19:14.
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The weather has been quite hot, and the Canada geese have temporarily lost their ability to fly. Many birdcalls come from the woods, but none are as loud as those of a honking Canada goose.
In the craziness of the COVID world, JD has been wondering if the Battle of Jericho might interconnect with our current COVID world.
The History Exam Challenge
JD Nobody recalls a history professor from his college years who delighted in giving his students an examination question challenging them to “compare and contrast” a particular leader or event to another leader or event. It was an excellent way to get his students to think about both the similarities and the differences in the ways situations interconnect and subsequently affect later developments. The professor’s approach to attaching meanings to events started with asking each student to determine what the facts were and then form opinions about how the events were interrelated and sometimes produced unexpected consequences.
In and of itself, starting with facts and forming conclusions and opinions based on them is different from the approach used in the current politically correct methodology. Today, feelings often trump thinking, and facts and opinions are virtually identical. This muddying of the water between facts and opinions is vital to understanding how today’s complexities are unfolding. Today, comparing and contrasting two different events challenges a person’s ability to think clearly. The more complex the world becomes, the more people are inclined to deal with the complexities by embracing an oversimplified simplicity that either dismisses or equates facts and logic.
The battle of Jericho
According to the Bible, Joshua was the appointed successor to Moses and the Israeli army commander. He was ordered by God to capture the fortified city of Jericho using some rather strange tactics. Joshua sent spies into the city, contacted the town prostitute, and recruited her help for the upcoming battle. She agreed to help if the Israelis agreed to spare her life when the battle was over.
Each day for a week, the Israeli army marched around Jericho’s walls three times, sounding a trumpet and taking no aggressive actions toward the city. At the end of this period of crazy behavior, Joshua ordered the attack on the city. The attack succeeded, and Joshua ordered everyone in the city killed, except for the city prostitute.
Now is the time for the “compare and contrast” test mentioned earlier. JD Nobody proposes that the reader compare and contrast Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and administrative actions to Joshua at the battle of Jericho.
There is no “correct answer” to this “compare and contrast” test question. Be aware that this test offers an excellent opportunity for the reader to conflate facts and opinions while looking for similarities and differences.
/s/ JD Nobody, OC ’61.