This Could Change Everything!

The Second Great Enlightenment


                 Let’s consider for a moment, when a new technology unifies groups of people in dialogue, this newly found device is capable of changing society in extravagant, and sometimes bloody ways.  Think about How languages swept over vast groups of people, and once a single language was spoken by the majority they were then capable of creating far reaching empires, and establishing great feats of civil control.  Also, think about how at times religions acted in very much the same way, unifying people under one system of ethics, and therefore giving them a common law to live by, which in turn made them governable where they once were enemies.

                This model for drastic change, spanning otherwise separate cultures and unifying them in ways never before thought of or expected could be used as a stencil (in a way), to compare to later times. 

                The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg near the end of the 1400’s.  This revolutionary device didn’t hit the local Wal-Mart and find its way into every major city over night.  It took decades to spread throughout Europe and later to other parts of the world.  But, the things people were capable of doing with this device were endless.  It leads to the Renaissance, which was a period of great artistic and expressive works.  People like Shakespeare, and Da Vinci, Scientists like Galileo, and Newton were also byproducts of the renaissance.  For nearly three hundred years the Renaissance reshaped the world, and it reintroduced the populace to wonderful arts, sciences, and philosophies.  

               Around the middle of the 1700’s we started to see a growing concern for humanity.  Great philosophers like Immanuel Kant, Voltaire and Rousseau sparked Powerful debates about the condition of man, in a time when such a question was possible.  The Enlightenment was a convergence of many ideas, and it was the printing press, which made it possible for those ideas to spread quickly across borders, and oceans.

                The Enlightenment brought about change, much like we had seen in the past, where entire regions of the world were now put into question.  Rulers were ousted, killed, or exiled.  Nations were destroyed, and in their wake new nations emerged under banners of freedom, and democracy.  The Enlightenment gave way to high times in world history where commoners could vote, and speak freely.  It was awesome, Marvelous, ground breaking.  It was birth of a new era.

                Now, allow me to arrive at my thesis.  Considering the catalyst in these historical periods I have laid out, and the progression of events which follow, perhaps we can measure our modern time to some degree by these past events.

                Computation devices had been used even before the Common Era, but the computation device I want to focus on is the computer as we know it today.  In 1982 the internet was officially launched under the TCP/IP system which allowed computers to connect through landlines over vast networks and distances.  In 1982 we were only beginning to understand the capabilities that came with the internet.  By the early 1990’s services like AOL, and Prodigy, were uniting large groups of users in a community based environment.  Then by the mid 1990’s Services like AOL, were in the dozens possibly even hundreds, uniting people all over the world. 

                 Fast forward to 2005, and a whole new generation of networking services became available like, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and Wikipedia (which I used in reference to this article).  These free to use services connect people in unimaginable networks, making the spread of information faster than ever before.  Now Sites like Wiki Leaks have dumped an even larger amount of material on the world. 

                  Today the speed of information is beyond fast.  A revolution in China, can affect Russia within the very same hour of its inception.  Ideas in California can reach the east coast almost as soon as they are published.  Protests can be organized over Facebook in less than a day. 

                   This second decade of the second millennia marks the beginning of a new era, as a result of the invention of the (1982) internet.  From 1982 on we were in a period of artistic development inspired by computer and internet technology, much like the renaissance, and this short thirty year renaissance has lead us to what I am calling the Second Enlightenment.

                     Look around.  The people are revolting against the secrecy of some of the most powerful governments in the world.  People are tired of living under governments which subversively micromanage their residents through media, consumer, and social markets.  England, the Middle East, Wisconsin, Michigan, parts of the African continent, South America, we are seeing it everywhere.  Everyone has access to vast quantities of information, and even the most oppressive governments are finding it hard to censor it. 

America! No wait. WORLD!  Marvel at the information revolutions, and know this… Change is coming!  


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