Disease gets a bad rap these days, purely based on it having nearly killed off the entire species several times. But there is a silver lining in even the most murderous of dark clouds.
5Autism Advanced Science and Technology
Ever since it got the celebrity cause endorsement by Jenny McCarthy, everyone has diagnosed their progeny with the disease. But self-diagnosing parents aside, autism is a real disease with some serious consequences. Autistic people generally fail to develop normal social skills, and can become obsessed with minor details or systems that non-autistic folks consider insignificant. While the diagnosis covers a wide spectrum of disabilities, autism robs sufferers and loved ones of social skills like empathy and engagement.
Occasionally, they will find themselves trapped in a bad movie with Bruce Willis.
It turns out that an inability to fully relate to other people or care what they're saying about you also is really, really helpful to a revolutionary thinker. So it should come as no surprise that many famous scientists have been retroactively diagnosed as autistic, including all stars Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. The unnatural ability to stay obsessively locked on a task and not get distracted by this "life" stuff let them, to quote one expert, "produce in one lifetime the work of three or four other people."
Modern technology continues to benefit from the fruit of the autism tree. Thorkill Sonne (who evidently earned his name by slaying the god of thunder) founded Specialisterne, an IT consulting firm that hires and trains autistics to do software engineering problem solving for companies like Cisco and Microsoft, after learning that his son was autistic. Customers have found the autistics hired by the firm were five to 10 times more precise than the average person.
We won't comment on the implications of these facts.
4Incest-Related Disease Freed Us From Monarchy
Despite how wise and noble a given king or queen may be, the further you go down most royal bloodlines the more you tend to start running into batshit craziness and terrible deformity. After countless decades of incest-tastic inbreeding, just about every single crowned head of Europe was a blood relative of the other, essentially making World War I the best episode of Family Feud ever witnessed.
Incest allows negative recessive traits to survive and accumulate down family lines, chief among them hemophilia and porphyria, which were more common than herpes among European royalty. Hemophilia is a disorder of the blood that makes clotting virtually impossible and can turn a scrape on the knee into a life-threatening condition. Hemophilia changed the course of Russian history when the son of Tsar Nicholas II was stricken with it, which led to the Tsar and his wife being so obsessed with having Rasputin cure the boy's illness, that their country fell into revolution around them and their entire family got shot to death by Bolsheviks.
"Stick with me guys, everything's going to be totally fine."
Porphyria is another rare inherited disorder that became terribly common among the hereditary leaders of the world. It causes a variety of symptoms, including depression, paranoia, anxiety and hallucinations. A whole hell of a lot of royals are suspected to have suffered from porphyria: Vlad the Impaler, Mary Queen of Scots, Nebuchadnezzar and even King George III, the British monarch best known for being the king who lost the Colonies.
He may have been crazier than a shithouse rat, but you can't deny the man had style.
His enemies called him "mad King George," and recent evidence makes it clear that they were totally right. The Royal Doctors prescribed George a healthy dose of arsenic to keep his lunacy in check, which predictably didn't work at all in any way.
Back then, having a beard was just as good as a Ph.D.
Several revolutions later and it's clear that if it weren't for certain diseases (and incest) we'd have a shitload more monarchies still in working order around the world, and the United States would likely still be a protectorate under British rule. Thanks, incest!