First off, yes, it's been a long time since I've appeared here. I apologize. Honestly, I've been passing this way almost continuously since you last saw me--I just didn't stop to say hello.
Okay. On to the topic at hand.
So Dave (here or here) and I have long talked about coming up with a system for a DM to generate a world (continent, region, kingdom, whatever...) history in a relatively short period of time using a set of random charts, similar in concept to the Events Charts from the AD&D Oriental Adventures. We have talked about it and discussed it for a long, long time. (A dozen years or more?) We were talking about it just a few days ago, in fact, the last time that we spoke.
It turns out that others are talking about such a system as well. They have, in one small way, gone a step further than us--they've given the system a name. World Engine. I have to say that I like the sound of that. Anyway, first go here for Part One of the talk. Then, go here for a little commentary on Part One. Finally, go here for Part Two.
I don't have much to say on the topic today, but I wanted to dip my toe in the water and grab a spot at this bar. I will have more to say in the coming days. I hope that those others do as well.