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Throughout history, both ancient and recent, knowledge has been both a boon and a curse.

However, in more recent times, with the accelerating rate at which knowledge is being gained and the entirely new fields of understanding being opened, the chance of knowledge causing great catastrophes is greater then it has ever been. In the middle ages, farmers developed the three-field crop rotation and invented the wheelbarrow and new kinds of horse drawn plow greatly increased the yields of their farms and allowed more people to become artisans and thinkers. In this case, the acquisition and application of knowledge had an almost entirely good outcome. These developments caused no great catastrophes and had no unpleasant unforeseen consequences, and this kind of gain in knowledge should be sought after During the middle ages the longbow was also developed. This allowed the lords to arm their peasants effectively allowing for larger standing armies, a reduced reliance on knights, and larger kingdoms, which would eventually develop into modern day nations. While some people might claim that the development of the longbow caused cultural and societal development and so is a good thing, it is also reasonable to claim that it allowed for larger wars and more deaths of low class people who didnt want to fight. The application of knowledge had mixed results here. Knowledge gained can bring about unforeseen consequences and catastrophes that could not have been foreseen. At the end of WWII, the United States developed and deployed the first atomic bombs against Japan bringing the war to a close at the cost of the lives of many civilians. After the U.S.S.R. developed nuclear weapons as well, the Cold War began. While there was very little direct fighting between the two nations, the world is still feeling the effects of the roundabout ways the two nations got at each other. The United States armed the Arabs so that they could shoot down Russian helicopters and kill Russian troops, and is a large part of the cause of the war in Afghanistan. The Vietnam War was also caused by Americas fear of direct conflict with Russia and hatred of communism. America half heatedly attacked Vietnam because it was turning communist. The Cold War was also the cause of the Red Scare, which saw countess people branded as communist sympathizers causing them to lose their jobs and reputations. So, while preventing an outright war between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A., the development of nuclear weapons had a large amount of fallout (heh) around the world. In conclusion, while the steady developments of fields such as agriculture, agriculture, and manufacturing almost always have positive outcomes, great leaps and bounds in the areas of biology ,chemistry and physics can allow for the development of extremely dangerous creations and should be monitored.