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History of The Common Man


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This project is a website or a group of co-operating websites that attempt to present the global history of the common man. The usual histories track the antics of kings and queens and generals — people with too much power and money on their hands. The intent of this project is to teach what life was like for the common man at any time and place in history. The kings and queens enter only as they impacted the ordinary people.

You set the place and time coordinates of your wayback machine and off it takes you to a presentation of what life was like for the common man. Things you might learn include diet, typical activities, what the language sounded like, what where the main concerns, the religious beliefs, life expectancy, typical perils, what was new. How did they usually die? What did they wear? What were typical possessions? What sort of shelter did they have? What species predated on them. What species did they hunt? What species did they domesticate? What intoxicants did they use? You might have audios simulating typical conversations, or 3D virtual environments you can wander around, such as a medieval town. Eventually you might have holographic displays of artifacts from the world’s museums.

You might just stand on a famous street corner in a major city and watch it change, with time speeded up.

It would not just be for entertainment, but also for scholarship. The information would also be in codified form in databases for searching, comparison, looking for trends and correlations.

You could start small, just for example track the daily protein and calories.

If You Want Your Dream To Be

If you want your dream to be
Build it slow and surely.
Small beginnings, greater ends
Heartfelt work grows purely.
If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly.
Do few things but do them well
Simple joys are holy.
Day by day,
Stone by stone,
Build your secret slowly.
Day by day,
You’ll grow too,
You’ll know heaven’s glory.
If you want your dream to be
Build it slow and surely.
Small beginnings, greater ends,
Heartfelt work grows purely.
If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly.
~ Donovan (1946-05-10 age:71)

used in the Franco Zeffirelli movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon.

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