Challenge #00593 - A228: History Lesson

For decades Earth’s biosphere, at least insofar as supporting human civilisation, basically rested on everyone being very rational and _not_ pushing the shiny, candy-like button and firing _all the nukes_. How we got in that situation is textbook humanity, but being in that situation, pushing ourselves as far and as hard as we did, with all the diplomatic and military provocations - but _not_ managing to go that step too far? That’s not how humanity behaves… It was basically two of the largest power blocs in human history playing ‘chicken’, with the future of the entire human race held hostage.

Tyrtyr took rapid notes. It had taken her all of five seconds to work out the tablet and two hours to figure out the human alphabet. There was even an add-on built just for her so that she could take notes in Ulu.

But now, months into her full recovery, she took notes in Human English so she could practice.

There was more than one way to fly.

The political situation that gave rise to the Cold War… boggled Numidid minds. She considered it part of her work to study these humans and translate their convoluted and conflict-ridden history into Numidid understanding.

Two vastly conflicting theologies. Presented equally in the classroom. Neither side presented as ‘wrong’ or 'right’. Each presented with their fatal flaws. For capitalism, the desire for profit ultimately causing the ruin for the workers. For communism, leaders not wishing to surrender their power and truly share the wealth, paired with administrivia slowing the sharing down until the goods were rendered worthless.

Two extremes fighting for what they believed was right. Both in charge of weapons that could have melted their world.

Both playing games of espionage, sabotage, and puppet governments that later caused more strife when one side inevitably collapsed.

Tyrtyr wrote, Humans are so used to conflict that they used to unconsciously sow the seeds of more conflict in other nations. Used to. Not here. Here, they were striving to make a better world with less conflict. Here, they went to illogical extremes to ensure that all children were treated equally. That all hues of hide were valued. That they were inclusive, not exclusionary.

Even to the point of allowing another cogniscent life form in their classrooms.

She raised her hand.

“Yes, Tyrtyr?”

“Query… How is it that neither nation opened fire?”

“Ah yes. Well… they both had charge of a weapon so terrifying that neither would risk retaliation with the same weapon. They were called nuclear bombs because they utilised explosive nuclear fission. Numerous tests conducted at the time demonstrated the power they had. Thus, they were scared to shoot, and also scared to blink.”

“Could they have not come to a co-operative arrangement?”

Sigh. “They could have, but they didn’t.” The human teacher clapped his hands. “Which leads us to our thought experiment. What could have changed to make the Cold War end earlier? Come back with your thoughts tomorrow.”

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