When I hear the word ‘progress’ I reach for my… oh never mind.
A lengthy and highly tedious exchange has erupted on one of my mailing lists about the incredibly puerile question of which American presidents were, on the whole, ‘progressive’.
Really, this notion of ‘progress’ has done more to stultify otherwise thoughtful people than almost any other I can think of.
On a scale of one to ten, estimate the progressivity average of the following. You may extend the estimate to three decimal places, but no farther. Ties are frowned upon, and require substantial justification.
1) Genghiz Khan
2) Vlad the Impaler
3) Maria Theresa
4) Benedict of Nursia
5) Prince Gautama
6) Pontius Pilate
7) Blackbeard the Pirate
8) Henry VIII (of England)
9) Leon Czolgosz
10) Mad King Ludwig (of Bavaria)