In the discussion, The Tambora Revolution: The 1815 Eruption that Changed the World, Professor Wood explores not only the life-altering effects of a volcanic eruption, but also the interconnectedness of the world’s events and the expansion of this globalized perspective. This is an incredibly intriguing point, particularly because history gets written by either those who prevail, or those who have the resources to record past events. Although this volcano eruption illustrates how history can be interconnected across discrepant cultures and over great distances, it is worthwhile to wonder whether this will be unique from a twenty-first century perspective.
The twenty-first century is a time of dramatically increased overlapping and interconnectedness due to the sudden increases in the types of technology and their accessibility. This change has completely affected how we view the world and how we have recorded their events. We are more apt to learning about far-reaching crises and issues, thus more easily pointing to these events and how they affect everybody. This makes the phenomenon of recognizing Tambora’s worldly effects and putting subsequent events less unique; rather, this has become characteristic of the twenty-first century.
Albeit there is this more open worldview, we face challenges, especially when considering how we view history. The interconnectedness that comes with technology has its own advantages and flaws. One of these flaws that is related to this conversation is the interpretation of information presented. Given that the western world continuously exerts control in the economy and the technology industry, it also impacts what and how information is presented on social media and news outlets. Thus, this control in presentation affects people’s subliminal reactions to a given event, resulting in a skewed interpretation and recording of the event.
Although discovering how one volcanic eruption on an obscure island affected many significant historical events around the globe during the nineteenth century, it is worthwhile to ask, is this really special? In many ways it is, as it makes us really pose other historical events; were they more interconnected that we thought? However, looking in our current twenty-first century lens, we can discover that have evolved to live in an interconnected society, and events that occur will thus have some form of a ripple effect. Though this comes with probable issues, especially western biases and ignorance, this interconnectedness will forever impact how we currently record future historical events. This makes Tambora less special, as we are already utilizing this interconnectedness perspective, but the truly unique component to the Tambora story is how we can re-evaluate past events, and see if we can pair past historical events that we would not have done otherwise.