As the decade nears its end you have likely seen at least a handful of lists reviewing the first decade since we survived Y2K- remember that impending technological Armageddon?
The lists range from Top 10 newsmakers to Top 10 wardrobe malfunctions. Leave it to us to get nostalgic and come up with a list of our own.
Our list takes a quick look at what we consider to be among the most important events, advances or people over the last ten years. It is not a definitive list nor is it ranked in any order but it was an interesting ten years to reminisce about. What did we miss?
- SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Where were you when the Twin Towers went down and the term 9/11 was emblazoned in our everyday speech and memories? The one global event during the last decade which arguably united the world in awe, astonishment and utter disbelief.
The world’s lone superpower, the United States of America, suffered massive terrorist blows on its own soil that day. Two commercial airliners were smashed into the World Trade Centre towers, another into the Pentagon and yet another into a field.
The results of that day can even be seen in this Top 10 list. How America and its allies reacted has either made the world a safer place or more dangerous one, depending what you believe. Tightened airport security, increased racism and intolerance of Muslims, thousands of innocent civilians killed in their homelands…
Steve Jobs’ empire and battle for your desktop loyalty went to another level over the last ten years. From the iPhone, to the iPod Touch or Titanium PowerBook G4 series, Apple cranked up not just its cool factor but its practicality as well.
PC lovers who would never consider an Apple computer began taking long glances at its products. Apple’s performance record and user-friendly systems helped push its marketplace momentum even harder. Now, the little white ear buds are no longer a status symbol but commonplace on city streets and transit. The iPod Nano kept getting so small that by the end of the next decade, it will likely fit on the tip of your finger.
- Internet & Social Networking
Quick, update your Facebook status and say you are reading an interesting decade in review here at On Deadline. In fact, once you do that, Tweet it on Twitter to your 1,000 followers you could not pick out of a lineup. If you would not mind, please Digg this as well and say your StumbleUpon of this post is worthy to announce on the Internet. Want to impress a prospective employer?- put up a link of this post on LinkedIn and….you get what we are getting at.
At the beginning of the decade internet use was hardly the time waster and distraction it has become now. Yes, the internet is a wonderful resource, bringing so many of us together, however, its exponential growth gave birth to social networking and the sites mentioned above. Now, you must have an online footprint of some kind to mingle and exchange information with friends and strangers. The footprints you left before in your everyday life just do not matter as much anymore.
The search engine that became a word. Google. The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary added the word Google as a verb on July 8, 2006. How often do you find yourself saying, “I have to remember to Google that” or “Just Google it”.
Yahoo exists and Microsoft has Bing but there is only one grand champion and it is Google. The variety and depth of the search engine and the innovation it has been leading the market with, from Google Map to Google Earth, pushed this frontrunner into new endeavours such as cellphones and Google Latitude.
Where Google goes over the next decade is anyone’s guess but one thing is likely, you will likely Google it to see where it is at.
- IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN
What is there to say about the United States ability to saddle itself with not just one but two modern-day Vietnams? These two wars currently underway only strengthen the George Bernard Shaw quote, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history” or the better yet, that of George Santayana, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
9/11 was the trigger point for these two costly military actions which have cost 5,290 American military lives, 134 Canadian soldier lives in Afghanistan, hundreds in total among other allied forces and close to 90,000 Iraqi and Afghani citizen lives. After 9/11, some kind of retribution felt justified but now, how to get of wars which really had no “exit strategies”? How to make sure the lives lost and ruined were for nothing? What does victory look like? What will peace ever look like in these regions?
The death reports of troops lost hardly register anymore but we cannot forget to support our troops, whether from Canada or abroad.
- PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Mr. Hope and Change himself will likely make this same list when the next decade is done.
The mammoth challenges President Barack Obama faces are the envy of no one. Two wars, a floundering economy even before the recent recession, racial divide, health care reform, a Nobel Peace Prize even before his first year is done…and restoring worldwide faith and hope in the United States of America, once the shinning democratic light and a leader we all need, are mighty weights on his shoulders.
Think back to his campaign and how he galvanized so many people. The prospect of the first black president in the USA captured many imaginations. He embodied hope, with every wave of a hand and eloquent word. He alone began the restoration of hope in his mighty nation.
Workplaces came to a standstill the day of his inauguration and we once again had another “where were you when” moment.
Wrapping up this Top 10 list are:
- Global Warming Debate: Pardon the pun but this debate sure did heat up as the decade rolled forward. Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth ignited the debate further, opening some eyes and closing ranks elsewhere.
- 2005 Hurricane Katrina: The devastation that ravaged New Orleans and surrounding areas was awful to witness. However, the inability of then President George Bush and his administration to adequately respond and help those in their own backyard was even more shocking.
- 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: This natural disaster claimed 230,000 lives in 11 countries and struck on Dec. 26 while most of us were still enjoying time with our families and revelling in holiday cheer. It seemed like the whole world wanted to jump on a plane and help in the aftermath.
- 2004 Mars rover mission: When the Spirit rover landed on Mars on January 4, 2004 and images of the Red Planet were beamed back, the world did stop to marvel, even if for a day. Space had once again made the front page, reminding us that exploration is an inherent human trait and that “boldly going where no man has gone before” is not just Hollywood fantasy but reality.