“Vermeer celebrated real people. Doing ordinary things. He offered the radical idea that you didn’t have to be special, or important, or magical, or legendary to be worth being painted or thought about or remembered.
So it turns out there are two ways of explaining history. We can be like the early Romans and invent these magical, wonderous, brilliant people who gave everything to us.
Or, we can be like Vermeer. A bunch of ordinary, everyday people built Stonehenge just by working together and putting time and effort into it. A bunch of ordinary people make video games by working together very hard for hours and days and years to make it. A bunch of regular, ordinary people built Rome over the span of a very long time, contributing to what would later be remembered as the exploits of one man.
This way is no where near as magical as we like to imagine put our worlds together.
The truth is often very mundane.
But maybe that’s OK.”