Sir Q. Ittry

This picture shows the innards of an everyday gadget that stopped working.

The gadget was a broken table fan. I disassembled it out of sheer curiosity. And maybe even to salvage some screws or other do-dads that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Upon deciphering how to open the tightly sealed plastic encasing, I was pleasantly surprised to find this miniature Star Wars-esque city inside.

Sure, I’ve seen circuit boards before, but it’s not often that I, or presumably most of us, really ever think about them.

When I did get to thinking about it, this little deconstructing exercise actually reminded me of just how interconnected we all are. How so?

Well, it likely took an inventor or a team of designers to develop this little fan. After the design was tested and approved, they had to source the various materials to mass produce it, likely from companies and places all over the world. Then, workers had to assemble the final product, sales people had to sell it, accountants had to monitor cash flow, truck drivers delivered it, and so on down the line.

You could say that all of these individuals, dozens, perhaps hundreds or even thousands of them, had a hand in helping my perspiring skin feel cooled on a hot day with a trusty table fan by my side.

And all that Julius Caesar had was one servant waving a giant feather.

Who’s the king now?

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