The “Technology Is Mainstream” Theory: In the 1960s-1970s, our parents were Rolling Stone Guys or Beatles Girls.
In the 2000s-2010s, we are Mac Guys. Or he’s a PC. We tout iPhones or Droids. (Though never BlackBerries.)
The “Facebook” Thesis: You know those moments when you see a friend at a restaurant by chance? Or biking on the street some evening at just that moment? It’s called serendipity, and Mark Zuckerberg is obsessed with the concept. Because he doesn’t believe those random meetings are all that random at all. He believes they happen all the time. We just don’t notice.
But on the Internet, you can notice those chance encounters. And so Mark Zuckerberg is on a quest. He’s on a mission to give the entire Internet a Like button. He envisions a friendlier, more recognizable cyberspace scuffed up everywhere with your friends’ footsteps.
Google and Bing sift through data and make their own recommendations within nanoseconds. But they missed the point, Zuckerberg insists. You really only care about what your friends care about. It doesn’t matter to you if a million people enjoyed that Bud Light Super Bowl commercial. It only does if five of your friends did. (Even if your parents never did quite get Facebook.)
Facebook is our collective fridge door to post birthday reminders and what’s for dinner. It’s our constantly-updating reminder that our friends and families care. The hook of Facebook is not so much that we like “Modern Family” or funny cat pictures. It’s that our friends like that we like them.
The “How To Never Be Sick Ever” Theory: V8 tomato juice and the gym every day. I have not been sick in over three years as a result.
Disclaimer: I have also never been a doctor.
The “American Empire” Theories
The “American Empire Ranking” Theory: The longevity of empires is declining. The Roman Empire spanned 1200 years. The British Empire is eking out a half millennium. America turns 237 years old this July, and the cracks are showing.
The span of Empires, however, is growing. Rome made the Mediterranean its lake. The sun never set on the British Empire. The American Empire turned the world (and the moon) into its TV room.
The “Legacy Of The American Empire (I Hope)” Thesis: No matter how the dust settles, America’s unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will stand the test of time as unconscionably right and just.
The American Empire was not the most progressive of global powers. Winston Churchill once teased, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”
Yes, she lagged generations behind her older European siblings on social issues (see: slavery, universal suffrage, civil rights, and now gay marriage). But when she came around, America knew with a conviction and bulldog tenacity the world had never seen before.
In all, I simply hope when all is said and done, history will remember America as the empire that (generally) used its right to make might. Not the other way around.
The “World War IV” Theory: As Told By Albert Einstein, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”