For many years, I have shied away from using the term “revolution” in my conversations with people. Partly because it holds so many connotations, partly because it seems overused, and partly because it seems to strike fear in people (bloodshed tends to do that).
Being an avid student of history, I set out on a path this past year that helped me obtain a deeper meaning of the term by studying watershed moments of civilization. Included in this self-prescribed adventure were tomes, course lectures, and documentaries about the 3,000 years of Chinese history, ancient warfare advancements, Middle Ages in Europe, the rise of Christianity, the Medici family & the Renaissance, the American Revolution, the history of Japan, and Buddhism’s many reincarnations.
What was my single greatest epiphany? I need to start using “revolution” more often when it comes to the world we’re living in today. What’s happening now is just as transformational as anything that has come before.
Just think about how information was treated prior to the 1950s. It was sequestered in the dusty shelves of libraries and entombed in card catalogs. Even worse – the greatest stories of humankind were left untold to the world, residing in the archives of museums and libraries.
Thanks to the visionaries who sowed the seeds of the Broadband Revolution (learn for yourself in Adam Brate’s excellent Technomanifestos), we can now access the collective knowledge of the wired world through simple-to-use devices most anytime, anyplace in the US.
Doubt me? Just YouTube any culturally significant topic and see what you find. (Try searching “I have a dream” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).
The value of this connectivity is immeasurable and causing enormous disruption for those who don’t understand the stakes of the Broadband Revolution. Everything from presidential politics (Techpresident.com) to non-profit fundraising is feeling the impact.
For those tempted to undervalue the importance of this fundamental shift, just search American Revolution on Wikipedia and read in the “Aftermath” section about the fate of the 100,000 – 250,000 Tories (crown loyalists), which included exile and loss of property.
Is “Broadband Revolution” an overstatement? How would you describe the transformational change happening?