Real, Ugly and Complicated
I’ve done it, I’ve quoted myself, I guess I’m done now.
I was listening to the Radiolab podcast the other day on a longer than usual commute and this came on. It was another one of those examples of a historical figure far too gray to describe in a paragraph, but still, somehow not important enough to try.
I beg to differ, Haber, one of the most important people IMO in the history of the modern world not only gave us the basis for industrial fertilizer production and therefore is one of the fathers of the whole mass farming process, but also gave us the means to mass exterminate millions. The former arguably being one of the best inventions, and the latter being, somewhat accidentally, one of the worst.
His story is one of those I love to read about, one that we need to tell more of.
Stories of people whose inventiveness, ego and social ineptitude made him one of the most important, and dangerous people who’ve ever lived. It is also the story of someone how let his ego get the better of him and that ego cost his people greatly. It’s a twisted cautionary tale of someone who did one of the very best things ever, and unwittingly assisted in, or committed a few of the worst atrocities ever.
Some times there is no black and white and good things don’t always come from good people.