Sunday, January 22, 2012

10 Historical Events that Wouldn't Have Happened if the Internet Existed

Despite the fact that it’s only been in existence for roughly the last two decades, it’s become difficult to imagine what the world was like pre-internet. An entire generation of teens and young adults have no recollection of a time without web access, and those who do have little to no desire to go back. The way we work, pay bills and entertain ourselves has become so dependent on the internet that it’s an inextricable part of our daily lives. On the opposite side of the coin, imagining a world where internet always existed can be mind-blowing; here are ten events that would never have happened in a connected historical world.

  1. Paul Revere’s Ride – The stuff of American legend and the subject of an oft-recited poem, Paul Revere’s midnight ride would have been rendered unnecessary in a world with internet access. The ability to spread the news of the approaching British via the web would have made quick work of the task, leaving an American icon to languish in obscurity.
  2. Gutenberg’s Printing Press – Had the internet existed in the lifetime of printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg, people would never have known the experience of holding a printed, bound book. Storing text online would have precluded the need for the then-laborious process.
  3. The Renaissance – Many of humanity’s most cherished art, ideas and philosophies were born during the Renaissance, when the fall of the Roman Empire led to a time of lost knowledge, superstition and fear. If the Romans had been able to record their advances on a worldwide database, the information would have been preserved even after the collapse of their civilization. There would have been no need for a rebirth.
  4. The Discovery of America – In a world with Google Maps, Christopher Columbus would have been able to chart an accurate route to Asia, while GPS technology kept him from straying off course. His accidental discovery of The New World would have been prevented.
  5. The Journey of the Bible – Arguably one of the most influential and controversial texts in human history, the Christian Bible as we know it would not exist if the internet had been in place during the life of Jesus. The King James version would never have been created, and records of the earliest testaments would have been preserved in their original language.
  6. The Bubonic Plague – Carried by rats and infected sailors from Asia to Europe, the Bubonic plague eventually killed an estimated 60% of the European population. Internet access would have drastically lowered those numbers as news of the illness would have spread quickly and those who were exposed quarantined.
  7. The Mystery of Stonehenge – Despite being one of the world’s most recognizable structures, the origin and purpose of Stonehenge has been debated for centuries. The internet would have made it possible for the ancient motives of builders to be preserved, thus eliminating hundreds of years’ worth of conjecture.
  8. The Disappearance of Amelia Earhart – The inaccuracy of radio direction as a navigation tool for early flight has often been blamed for the loss of Amelia Earhart’s plane. Having the tools of the internet at her disposal might have led to a successful flight; had the plane still been lost, GPS systems would have aided in the craft’s recovery.
  9. The Failure of the Jacobite Uprising – When Bonnie Prince Charlie led his men into battle at Culloden, the results were disastrous. Too few soldiers, too little food and and a lack of sleep all contributed to the Rebellion’s defeat, but things might have ended differently if they’d been able to rally more troops by using the internet and to inform suppporters that they were in need of food and shelter. The failed rebellion left surviving soldiers imprisoned and their culture systematically destroyed.
  10. The Destruction of the Library of Alexandria – The Library of Alexandria was the largest, most significant library in the world; the loss of the knowledge it contained was a significant blow to many cultures. If the internet had existed in ancient Egypt, that treasure trove of information would have been preserved despite the destruction of the building; backed up files and storage systems would have left the ruined building a tragedy in the architectural realm, but a mere blip in the world of education and intellectual pursuits.
Taken From My ISP Finder

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