Problems That Are Their Own Solutions: Trepanning

17 May
Yes, seriously. People did this.

People did this back in the stupid ages

Recently, we decided that the problems that face the world can be more or less divided into two categories: those that solve themselves, and those that don’t. The latter category is the one that gets all of the attention, which makes enough sense. They, after all, are the problems that persist throughout time, making everyone’s life difficult with no end in sight. They require neither introduction nor further attention.

So instead of beating a series of dead horses, we’ve decided to draw our loyal readers’ attention to that other category: Problems that Solve Themselves. These are issues that, in chemistry terms, are endothermic. In human terms, they’re simply too stupid to live on.

Which brings us to the first topic: trepanning. I could describe it to you, but instead I’ll just point to the picture to the left. See that picture? People used to do that. Seriously.  Go ahead and click on it, and it’ll take you right to Wikipedia, which is about as ironclad as sources get on the web.

Why did people do it? Apparently to increase oxygen flow to the brain or something like that, and apparently it’s still done in rare, medically valid cases to treat intracranial diseases (this second group is the exception to everything that I have to say on the matter from this point forward).

The real answer, of course, is: who the hell cares? I genuinely couldn’t care less why perfectly healthy people once thought that drilling holes in their skulls sounded like a good idea. All that matters is that it would have required such uncompromising stupidity that harsh and unforgiving punishment may have actually been warranted. But even I, as cruel a bastard as I am,  would have come up with a punishment far short of “having a hole drilled in your skull”.

So thank you, everyone-who-thought-trepanning-was-a-good-idea. Thank you for lobotomizing yourselves, and thereby improving the world by hastening your departure from it. Your (clearly indirect) descendants owe you a debt of gratitude.

Note: for future installments, we’ll at least try to come up with things more current and/or not-obvious than this. Think of this as a warm up.


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