Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sixty years on the planet has allowed me to see

an awful lot of changes but the biggest one I can think of it the internet.

Ideas can be exchanged with people all over the world. To an older guy like me this is amazing.

According to the 'stats' section of this blog I have readers from all over the globe. It wasn't a whole long time ago when the only people with the ability to communicate with people overseas without having to cough up huge long-distance telephone charges were a handful of ham radio operators.

These days I watch a crewman call his wife on a cell phone and she lives in Siberia while he is at sea. It's no big thing. He bought the cell phone at a kiosk in a mall someplace along the line.

I had an uncle Fred that was a ham operator and he had a pretty good fist on a code key. He could send and receive morse code at an incredible speed for the times and I recall being agog when he would tell me that the other day he was communicating with someone in Europe, or (holy smoke!) China.

My uncle must have had a small fortune tied up in his little ham radio station, and by todays standards it would be considered pretty primitive. I'm sure that these days there are not a whole lot of people communicating by way of morse code, although I'd bet there are a few Old School hams left that do.

These days not only are communications far better and more reliable, they are dirt cheap!

Twenty bucks these days buys a cell phone that one can communicate with someone almost anywhere on the planet with the exception of someone in the depths of a South African diamond mine.

God knows how much money my uncle had tied up in his ham station, but right now I am communication with the people all over the planet with a surplus laptop I snagged on eBay for about $200.

Chump change.

When I think about it, the ideas that get exchanged over the net are creating a global change that has never been imagined twenty years ago.

People in, for example, the Middle East are seeing things that are happening in the West and are asking their governments why they can't have things like they do in the West and as time passes we are going to see a lot of change there and other places.

I'm sure there are a few governments that are working overtime to see that internet access is restricted just for this very purpose.

North Korea is one I am fairly sure of. It is in the best interests of the dictator there to make damned good and sure that the people on North Korea are kept in the dark because as soon as the gnarled peasants there get wind of the way things are in South Korea they will be asking for change. This, of course, is not in the best interests of the governing that will probably wind up unemployed after word gets out in North Korea that things are a lot better just about everywhere else on the planet.

Maybe I will get lucky and in my lifetime I'll get to watch the North Korean people throw the bums out.

It is nothing less than amazing that I can communicate with people with this little machine.

I can post a story, an idea, a thought on this machine, hit 'send' and in a nanosecond or three, it is all over the world for a huge chunk of the planet to peruse if they so desire.

As I sit here thinking of all of the devices that can and will create global change that have been created over the past century I'm going to have to say that the internet is probably number one.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

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