The bubonic plague seems like a bad thing, right? I have thought before that it had the effect of encouraging people to move toward better hygiene, thus providing better lives for all at the expense of some pretty horrible experiences for some. I have wondered whether God allowed horrible things sometimes for the sake of a much greater good.
Judah Pollock leaves God out of it entirely, but points out that the plague did more than cause people to think about hygiene. It killed off the settled rulers of the church and made room for a new group of people. It turned people who would have left money to the church away from the church and to institutions of higher learning. It left a surplus of fabric which could become cheap paper. It sent refugees with books from one place to another. It shocked people into thinking of new things. In other words, it made the Renaissance possible.
Pollock believes that a good shot of chaos every now and then creates an environment in which innovation is possible. Without that chaos, things continue from inertia.
I went last night to the first meeting of the local WordPress Meetup, or at least the first in a long time. I’m not sure that this counts as chaos, since it simply meant that I missed choir. But I was out on Monday night and last night, and will be out again tonight and tomorrow night. A little chaotic, right?
I enjoyed it.