The Domino Effect

A domino is a small rectangular game piece with anywhere from zero to six dots that is used in the popular board game of dominoes. Traditionally, dominoes are arranged in straight or curved lines and flicked to cause them all to fall, one after the other. In this way, they can create impressive patterns that demonstrate the domino effect, which occurs when one action inevitably leads to others. Dominoes can also be stood up to create art, such as a 3D tower or a grid that forms a picture when it falls.

The word domino was coined in 1750 and the game of dominoes shortly thereafter, but the origins of both are somewhat obscure. In both English and French, the word originally denoted a long hooded cloak that was worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. This garment may have inspired the coloration of the domino pieces, which contrasted black with a white surplice.

In addition to its recreational value, the game has also been used to train students in basic arithmetic. A student who has trouble with arithmetic often tries to overcome this by mentally adding up the dots on the edges of a domino. This technique is called the domino method, and it has been credited with helping many people overcome their arithmetic difficulties.

Dominoes are also sometimes used to teach leadership and management skills. In a corporate setting, dominoes can be used to demonstrate the effects of different styles of leadership and management. For example, a domino can be used to show the effect of a leader who is charismatic but has no formal authority or power. This is in contrast to a leader who is authoritative and takes charge of a situation.

A domino can also be used to illustrate the importance of having a clear set of goals for a team and the importance of working with each other in a collaborative manner. The most effective leaders do not dominate their team members, but rather encourage them to make decisions and to work together toward common goals. This helps a team to work more efficiently and to achieve its objectives.

Whether you write an outline before beginning your novel or compose your manuscript off the cuff, the domino effect can be a valuable tool for helping you shape a compelling story. If you find that your scenes aren’t advancing the plot or have little impact on the scene ahead, it might be time to review your setup.

When you flick the first domino in a line, much of its potential energy converts to kinetic energy and pushes the next domino over. This process continues until all the dominoes have fallen. In the same way, a nerve impulse in your body moves at a constant speed regardless of how large the triggering stimulus is and can only travel in one direction—from the cell to the end of the axon. This is the fundamental principle of the Domino effect.