We tend to think of history as something kind of out of our control, but the fact of the matter is that we humans are the ones who create history, but we don't often realize the potential impact our actions could have.
But Reddit does, so let's talk about it.
What single event in history do you think changed the world the most?
Think about it. Imagine the first person to realize that things move more easily when you can roll them, so maybe let's slap this heavy thing on some logs or rocks instead of lifting or dragging it.
Do you think that person set out to change the course of history? Or just avoid a hernia and a bad back and maybe get things done faster so they can hurry up and get some snacks?
Just sayin. You could be changing the world with your laziness and need for snacks and you might not even know it.
Invention of the Printing Press. It allowed the proliferation and spread of ideas at an exponentially higher rate and it allowed books to become something the masses could afford. The Enlightenment and by extension the modern world never could have happened without it. It represented as big of an information revolution as the Internet does today.
Internet Is Hard To BurnGiphy
I have come to the conclusion that the advent of the internet will eventually be viewed on par with the invention of the printing press. When you consider the amount of world change and political upheaval that the press put into motion, you then realize that we are only beginning to see the political and social consequences of the internet.
I think the Internet will be seen as being bigger, because anyone can write and publish their own book on a platform that is hard to burn.
Just Plant It
I think when some bad@ss decided, "Hey why don't we just take these plants we're foraging for and plant them near our huts? That way we can just walk outside and get food rather than walk around looking for it."
Have you read Sapiens? He argues that was not only the most important but also the worst thing we ever did. We went from hunter gatherers with varied diets, close knit social circles and generally interesting lives to grinding, back breaking monotonous work which yielded a limited and unhealthy diet and the increase in population caused disease and the break down of the social circles.
Obviously it wasn't really a "moment" that people decided to become farmers but thousands of years of gradual change eventually took us there.
We'd still be using letters for communication, construction tools wouldn't allow us to build any structure more than 10 or so stories, spark is a key part of an internal combustion engine-- so no cars unless you had a steam engine.
A lot more came from the discovery of electricity. There's this neat tool called an MRI which can find a cancer in your body shortly after it forms rather than finding it slightly after your death.
Vasily Arkhipov's decision to not fire nuclear torpedos at American submarines.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Arkhipov was one of the three commanders on board his nuclear submarine. In order to use the sub's nuclear weapons, all three members had to vote unanimously. Arkhipov's submarine had not received word from Moscow, and US ships were dropping depth charges on their submarine, trying to get it to surface. Thinking nuclear war had already broken out, the submarine commanders thought the charges being dropped were intended to sink the sub, and firing on them would be defensive. When it came to a vote, Arkhipov refused to give approval for use of the nuclear weapons, and the sub surfaced. Had he caved to the wills of the other two commanders on the ship, the world would have fell into WWIII.
Plow Like An EgyptianGiphy
It's not what I think, it's a known fact! The plow, in Egypt. First time in human history we had surplus food and could plan for the future, unlike any other animal on the planet. From here, all human civilization developed.
Playing Bumper Planets
Another planet hitting the Earth when it was forming. Without that, the Earth wouldn't have enough mass to maintain a dense enough atmosphere to support complex life (like Mars) and there would also be no Moon.
The Colombian Exchange
So many cultures and species mixed. For instance, earthworms didn't exist on North or South America before, and that completely changes the plant and wildlife composition. And that's only one of many changes
Worldwide diets changed, Europe was introduced to tomatoes, potatoes
The fall of the Inca and Aztecs, as well as the wipeout of countless other natives
I'm surprised I haven't seen it mentioned yet, I've seen several historians argue it was the most significant event to happen to the planet since the death of the dinosaurs
The invention of vaccination. Just the fact that I am immune to various diseases that took millions of lives a century or two ago, amazes me.
Vaccines. Specifically the small pox vaccine, polio vaccine, flu vaccines and measles vaccines.
Keeping The Peace
The Bretton Woods Agreement.
It was this agreement that gave us the longest period of peace and unparalleled prosperity and advancement in human history.
- People Explain Which Events Broke Them Down And Made Them Even Stronger - George Takei ›
- Inventions That Have Shifted From Their Original Purpose - George Takei ›