Sometimes, history is like dominoes falling. You push one and it starts a chain reaction of events that no one sees coming. Alone, each event seems unrelated. But if you connect the dots, and put things together, you can see how all the individual dominoes falling into one another work.
Sometimes people come up with an idea or invention, or there is some event that just changes everything. Think today of how the world has changed with what Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have created in Apple Computer and Facebook respectively. What they have done has not only impacted our lives, but has fundamentally changed how the world interacts.
Texting, Facebook, IPhones providing handheld access to social media and the internet all have been attributed to helping fuel the revolts in the Middle East during the summer of 2011.
Looking back someone could see these events as dominoes falling. The somewhat random invention of IPhones and social media were not meant to change the world by providing the communication needed for a revolution. Yet their existence tipped the domino of revolution in the Middle East because of the ability to communicate instantly and connect in new ways.
One domino (internet and handheld technology) was pushed into the next (the growth of social media), which tipped the next domino, (instantly connecting people across nations who otherwise would never have been connected), which tipped the domino of riots, which led to the overthrow of a dictator. I doubt that Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg were thinking those kinds of revolutionary thoughts when they developed the Iphone or Facebook. But look at the results… dominoes falling, a chain of events that led to changes in history.
A new chapter in Revolutionary History is being written as you read this blog. History is full of such series of events that are linked together in that way. No one expects that what they are doing will be historic, but sometimes in the rear-view mirror of history, it is.
Studying history is like reverse engineering something, taking it apart to see how it is put together, and how all the pieces fit. Or finding what the domino was that fell, and started the chain reaction of events as history unfolded.
I love American History. I think America was begun as one of the greatest revolutionary ideas known to man. I don’t think we truly appreciate just how revolutionary the whole American concept or system really was when it came to pass in the 1700’s.
For us it is kind of old hat and even somewhat disdained because we don’t want, in an egalitarian world, for anyone or anything to be special or different. We somewhat recoil at the thought that America is special…… The American Revolution was in many ways the culmination of a series of domino events that preceded it. America can trace it’s dominoes to its own “Steve Jobs” or “Mark Zuckerberg” preceding its conception.
I will attempt in my next blog to look back at the domino events in history that led ultimately to the grand experiment we know as America. Come back to check it out. Especially, if you like dominoes.