Comprehending the Dominipede

Comprehension_000Sometimes a word or an idea is ahead of its time.  Such is the case with the term “cyberspace.”  It was coined by science fiction author William Gibson in 1982.  He was describing his vision of a global computer network that linked people, machines and sources of information throughout the world.  Gibson was conceiving of a way to navigate through virtual terrain.  This concept would eventually become a universal reality… roughly 15 years later.

A “dominipede” refers to multiple artificially generated stampedes — simultaneous human stampedes likely the result of a mass cellular hoax involving perceived evacuation orders and/or panic-inducing information.  Domino + Stampede = Dominipede.  The term itself does not exist… as of yet.

People often have difficulty comprehending the nature of a hypothetical event.  This is understandable.  After all, how is anyone supposed to accurately predict the future?  Even with the most sophisticated technology, coupled with access and insight into every past event, it’s very difficult to predict “future history.”

Here’s an open admission.  I don’t have a crystal ball and I don’t speak with omniscient beings.  I also don’t have top-secret government clearance and access to classified information.  So this leaves me with two basic ways to predict a future hypothetical calamity.  One method involves the common sense approach of “connecting the dots.”  The other method requires “thinking outside the box.”

One way to conceptualize a dominipede is through the prism of 9/11.  When people talk about 9/11 you often hear words like spectacular, bizarre, horrific, unconventional, unimaginable, unfathomable.  Our government termed it an “asymmetric” attack.  But is that really an accurate classification?

Think about it.  We’ll assume that you subscribe to the conventional narrative of 9/11.  People knew that passenger planes could be hijacked.  The worldwide airline industry had witnessed countless hijackings, both successful and unsuccessful.  Additionally, people knew that planes could be used as weapons.  World War II was replete with the legendary heroics of kamikaze pilots.  And the evidence of individuals willing to martyr themselves is overwhelming.  The term “suicide bomber” is virtually synonymous with terrorism.  Let’s connect the dots.

  • Hijackings occur.  That’s a fact.
  • Planes can be used as weapons.  That’s a fact.
  • Acts of terrorism often employ suicide bombers.  That’s a fact.

So when it comes to 9/11, why is it that nobody was able to connect the dots and take preventative action?  There are plenty of specific answers to this question.  But a superior answer lies within the concept of government inertia.  The United States government is a risk averse, massive bureaucracy.  Sometimes a cataclysmic event “must seemingly happen” before government can acquire the necessary momentum to address its underlying vulnerabilities.  This is especially true with regard to acts of foreign and domestic terrorism.  Simply stated, the government has enough difficulty tackling formidable problems in the here and now.  It’s not particularly well-equipped to address consequential hypotheticals.

Now let’s revisit the 9/11 analogy and apply it to the dominipede.

  • Cellular technology and interconnectivity are on the rise.  That’s a fact.
  • The pace of information delivery is accelerating.  That’s a fact.
  • Hoaxes are becoming increasingly prevalent.  That’s a fact.
  • Human stampedes have happened and will continue to happen on ALL continents (with the obvious exception of Antarctica).  That’s a fact.
  • Human beings have a dark history of searching for innovative ways to kill each other.  That’s most definitely a fact.

Another way to comprehend the dominipede involves “thinking outside the box” and grasping its underlying “essence.”  Let’s try and find some relative context.

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake originated off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.

tsunamiAs you can see, the tsunami’s impact was felt as far away as the tip of South Africa.  This was admittedly a natural disaster but it helps to acknowledge the “rippling effect.”  When the global ecosystem faces a significant disruption, it’s impossible to contain the fallout.  A massive wall of water could just as easily be a blitzkrieg of information. And from a technological perspective, everything on our planet is spiraling in one direction — rapid interconnectivity.

Powerball is pretty much a national lottery.  It builds upon itself.

Naturally, when there isn’t a winner, more people start buying up more tickets and the payout grows accordingly.  There’s often a feeding frenzy mentality.  Some refer to it as lottery fever or hysteria.  Consider the behavior of your family and friends, coworkers and the media.  Everything culminating toward an exponential build-up, until that singular moment of truth — the drawing.  That one centralized moment impacts every ticket holder, in every single location, instantaneously and simultaneously.

In 2010, the Arab Spring swept through the Middle East and Northern Africa.

arab-spring-mapMany countries experienced civilian uprisings, protests and bloodshed.  Some governments were transformed.  Others cracked down.  Regardless of how everything panned out, the message of greater personal freedom was intrinsically powerful.  It spread in real-time and had real-world consequences.

So what are the underlying characteristics of these three events?  Interconnectivity, emotion and synchronization.  What might happen if you combine all of these ingredients?  And in what direction is the trajectory of society trending?

Major policy decisions are always centered around the dissemination of a message.  When humanity seeks to comprehend substantive issues and events (both inspiring and catastrophic), we rely upon the management of information.  But the dominipede is a hypothetical, so one must rely on thinking outside the box.  Unfortunately, time and awareness are critical components in this equation.

Now here’s the million dollar question — exactly what could happen when you have no time to solve a problem you don’t know exists?  Even worse, what if people know about an impending problem but simply refuse to address it?  As I mentioned earlier, predicting the future is no easy task.  But I do know one thing.

Synchronized fear + large crowds that have no idea what’s going on = a very negative outcome.

I’ve been very reluctant to invoke 9/11 in my writings, but there’s a reason I used it in this article.  Much like intentionally crashing a hijacked plane, the artificially generated stampede is simply another “crack in the system.”  With every passing day, these cracks continue to expand.  If the problem is not dealt with, if the cracks don’t get sealed… the likely outcome is a dominipede.