Every Adult Should Cram for AP Euro
What an epic history test teaches you about science, religion, climate change, and the future of the planet
Youth is wasted on the young. No, I mean it. It really is. Or, rather we old people waste our children’s precious youth by teaching them so poorly, so lazily, so un-energetically, that they have no choice but to knuckle under and just learn the facts.
But, holy shit, try going back and reviewing the sweep of history from the fall of the Roman empire through to the Cold War (as I’ve been doing for the last month with my son for his AP Euro Exam) and, well, Jesus, you will realize that an explanation for how we fucked everything up and how we might still unfuck up everything is right there in front of you in black-and-yellowed-parchment.
Why do we spend so much time learning about Martin Luther and his incredibly boring 95 Thesis? Why does the Age of Exploration matter? Why is Locke and his Social Contract relevant to us? Here’s a cheat sheet: they are all steps in the process of debunking church-driven superstition. They are all means to letting the laws of nature announce themselves to as many people as possible. Only through that process will we unshackle humanity from the bonds of small minds. Only by getting everybody, and I mean everybody, onboard with that program will we ever solve climate change and find balance with the planet.
You will realize that an explanation for how we fucked everything up and how we might still unfuck up everything is right there in front of you in black-and-yellowed parchment.
Why does Martin Luther’s 95 thesis matter? Because the Protestant Reformation (which, by the way, is also bullshit) was the first large-scale questioning of a bigger bullshit — i.e. that words written in the bible have even a modicum of scientific relevance. Why does the Age of Exploration Matter? Because it caused humanity on a species level basis to look up at the stars and not only navigate by them but to try to understand what the hell stars are, how they move and where our sun fits into the picture. Why does Locke’s Social Contract matter? Because all the…