This is the column that changed the world

[ Fri. Oct. 31. 2008 ]

I was watching a PBS production the other day entitled Dogs That Changed the World, and wondered about our contemporary fascination with things "That Changed the World."

The Machine That Changed the World (a 1991 book about automotive mass production). Cod: A Biography of The Fish That Changed the World (a 1998 book about, well, cod). The Map That Changed The World (2002 book about geologist William Smith). 100 Photographs That Changed the World (Life, 2003). Bridges That Changed the World (book, 2005). The Harlem Globetrotters: The Team That Changed the World (book, 2005). How William Shatner Changed the World (documentary, 2006). Genius Genes: How Asperger Talents Changed the World (book on brilliant people with autism, 2007). The Book That Changed the World (2008 article in the Guardian, about The Origin of Species).

This "Changed the World" stuff is getting to be a bit tedious, isn't it? Now that we have Dogs That Changed the World, can Cats That Changed the World be far behind? ...

...Bill Bean notes that there is already a place to read about People Who Changed the World and Then Changed Their Minds. Every year, the people at the Edge Foundation ask writers, thinkers, psychologists, historians and others what major ideas they have changed their minds about. Go to www.edge.org. It's good reading.

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