Advances in culture, technology, and science depend on past innovations and advances… Lined up correctly, a tiny domino results the toppling of a massive domino further down the line.
The link shows a cool video.
And, as Kottke suggests, great to think about as a metaphor. It occurs to me that cultural changes can be falling dominos “by default,” like when people are passive or simply not paying attention. But changes can also be strategically gained by steps incrementally moving toward a desired grand outcome.