Monday, 12 September 2011

The Twin Towers: Hope And Achievement

We've come a long way since the World Trade Centres were attacked.  The defining event of modern times which also defined the now famous question of "where were you when..." is now over a decade old.  Many other people will be pointing out how society has changed, how religion has re entered the political arena, and how different war has become since the attacks, so I won't be adding another article to the deluge.  As we reach this tragic anniversary, it somehow seems apt to focus on the ways in which positive improvements have been made, rather than dwelling on the negative.

Instead, I would rather focus on the amazing achievements and discoveries that we have made over the last ten years.  Looking back, it's amazing how many of our daily habits have been radically altered by the advent of new technologies and discoveries. 

2003 - The Human Genome Was Mapped

Possibly one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of our time, the human genome was only successfully mapped out eight years ago.  The physicality of 25,000 genes was confirmed and, although work still continues to establish what each of these genes controls, we're getting closer all the time to discovering all the building blocks that make us human.  There are constant stories in the papers saying how scientists have found a fat gene, a clever gene, a lazy gene, or a dastardly super villain gene.  These discoveries are helping us to understand how to cure genetic diseases, meaning that degenerative conditions like alzheimer's could potentially be eradicated.

2005 - Civil Partnerships

2005 was the year when the UK finally decided that gay people weren't the disease-spreading, fire-breathing souls of the damned they were first thought to be.  As a result, the Government created the Civil Partnership and allowed them to effectively marry for the first time.  Civil Partnerships serve as a great litmus test to how our society has embraced gayness, but not embraced it in a gay way you understand!  Although same-sex marriage is still distinct from a civil partnership, with changing attitudes as they are, it can only be a matter of time before this changes.

2008 - Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is simply a modern miracle.  This giant underground facility is designed to test for the hypothesized Higgs Boson, an elusive particle which, if discovered, will ultimately prove our understanding of physics to be accurate.  More interestingly though, if the Higgs Boson is not discovered, it would mean that the Standard Model would have to be rewritten entirely.  Either way, the fact that this 27 Kilometre laboratory was even built in the first place is nothing short of an achievement.  What it finds will tantalise for years to come.

2008 - Election Of A Black President

Barack Obama assumed presidency of the largest economic superpower in 2008, and since then he's systematically started changing the way in which the rest of the world sees America.  He started peaceful, considerate talks with previously alienated Middle Eastern countries, he closed Guantanamo Bay (the biggest torture camp of modern times), and instigated a healthcare policy which will lift millions of Americans out of poverty.  Not bad for three years on the job.  To see these changes made in a country who's previous foreign policy made it look like a xenophobic, paranoid state is as symbolic as the racial heritage of it's President.

2010-2011 - The Middle East Uprising

When discussing the protests in countries such as Egypt, Syria, and the rebel takeover of Lybia, I hear a lot of people say "I wish they would stop fighting".  I don't.  Not that I want people to be hurt, but because I want them to throw off the shackles of their oppressors and stand up for themselves.  These countries have been ruled by unelected despots and dictators for years, so it is heart warming to see these people marching for change and taking the power back.  To think that these countries will finally be able to set up stable governments that will listen to the people may be something of a pipe dream (God knows, we don't tend to get that in the most established of Democracies), but it's one step closer to liberation.

That's my top five anyway.  If there are any important, positive achievements that I've missed, feel free to suggest them.

Oh and, if you happen to be wondering "Where is the Addman who usually writes nothing but bile and hatred?", I'm sure normal service will resume as soon as a famous person annoys me.

That's you that is.  That's your mum.


  1. Definitely, god bless...
    Come check me out =)

  2. good post. i really like your idea of looking at the positive changes, and it was nice to read. also, interesting to see how non-americans view obama's presidency.

  3. Thank you very much. Us in the UK, and I suspect most of the world, views the US Republicans as a swaggering, warmongering, boys club who only look out for themselves and their rich friends. Am I far off the mark?

  4. you are spot on with that one!


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