It’s extremely rare that a truly revolutionary idea comes along that not only dramatically changes the way people live their lives, but causes irreversible shockwaves that affect every living person on the planet. Thinking back across the fairly recent scope of human history, a few of these ‘monumental shifts’ come to mind.
Humans Ditch Gathering And Become Farmers: This change came about 100 centuries ago, when people first discovered how to cultivate crops and domesticate animals instead of wandering the endless frozen tundra hunting and gathering. Being a farmer meant you could store a surplus of food, which in turn made it possible for more people to all live together safely in protected areas. When a group of people stay in one location, communities have a tendency to pop-up, and when that happens, you eventually get individuals specializing in particular trades: blacksmiths, artists, astrologers, farmers, etc. This specialization helps solidify the community structure even more which frees up other people to do some really cool stuff like invent languages, democracy, and telescopes. Everybody wins when they stick together, see?
JG’s Printing Press Gets The World Reading: “Knowledge is power” as the saying goes. Well, there isn’t a single invention that did more to help spread that power around than back in 1480 when Johannes Guttenberg unleashed his movable type printing press. In a mere 20 years, Europeans alone had some 20 million books already in circulation. These types of vast printing capacities also meant that individual authors could now become true bestsellers. And with so much varied information passing from one continent to the next, scientists could easily communicate their discoveries through the establishment of widely disseminated scholarly journals, which helped to bring about the scientific revolution. Antibiotics, x-rays, calculus, and atom bombs . . . just thank the printing press.
Social Media Goes Global: Guess what? If you’re reading this right now, it means that you’re among the fortunate few who are actually living through one of the greatest and most monumental periods in all of human history: the era of Social Media. Thanks to the Internet, personal computer, cell phone, and a whole slew of other thingamajigs no doubt poised to fall in our hands soon, humanity is more intimately connected to one another than ever before. We now live in a world where 20% of couples meet online, chalkboards have been replaced by Ipads in schools, and videos posted to You Tube have become the single most popular source of entertainment on the planet.
It’s fun to imagine the collective progress of humanity as a modest ladder set into motion somewhere on the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years ago, which now extends off into the far reaches of space and beyond even the stars themselves. Humanity hasn’t exactly reached the stars yet, but from where we stand today under the umbrella of social media’s unlimited possibilities, the view up here is pretty sweet.