Viewed from a late night and a laptop, much of the world's history looks like a quaint diorama with dark edges. A time when people were burned for witchcraft, the forests were full of fairies and there were monsters at the edge of a flat world. We think that humanity has journeyed so far from the places it once was. It is easy to forget that, for the most part, each new age has been more enlightened than the one that came before it and that perhaps that isn't saying much at all. I am glad I was born in the 20th century; I much prefer a fast food nation to one in which an early freeze kills my crops and I starve to death. But I think in some ways the people that came before us knew things that we have forgotten. Their lives were short, and they understood what it meant to be hungry for more of it. They, too, lived in a time of real threats and real fears.