From smoke signals to fiber optics, the evolutionary way we exchange information has expanded at such a rapid pace that we seldom realize the overwhelming amount of information we literally receive today compared to many years ago. With a majority of society having access to the internet along with the use of satellite technology, we encounter breaking news stories and pertinent information within seconds of the initial start of an event. In the 1800’s, the average time it took for a news event to circulate around the world would approximate within the range days, weeks, or even months depending on its mode of transmission. When comparing the modes of information transmission used today with those of yesteryear’s, the uncanny similarities in the art of creating systematic modes of communication for our convenience are more apparent than what we give them credit for.
For example, the concept of using smoke signals was to create a visual for the use of transmitting news and to signal danger. Although the smoke signal itself could only be seen within a particular range of view, it was much more effective in getting a message across quickly within a matter of minutes. Today’s concept of the smoke signal’s mode of transmitting live information would be equivalent to that of the satellite, with the exception being the amount of time it would take to transmit a satellite signal being narrowed down to seconds as opposed to minutes. Satellite technology offers us the guarantee to receive a vast amount of information more frequently, and to reach a wider range of audiences for a much more quicker response.
Another comparative form for transmitting information would be
the personal messenger system used during the Abraham Lincoln era and today’s electronic email system. The personal messenger system required information to be carried manually by a human carrier from one location to another, sometimes traveling by foot or with the help of an animal. This posed a problem for messages needing to be delivered immediately, for in Abraham Lincoln’s days, “immediately” could be assumed to be within the next few hours. Today’s electronic email system has a varied definition for “immediately”, which entails the time frame to be within a matter of seconds. An entire conversation that would take days to conclude during the Abraham Lincoln era can now be concluded within minutes, and also be held simultaneously with numerous parties involved.
The incredible transformation with how we receive information in today’s society when compared to many years ago does not only provide us with the ability to communicate quickly, but also adds to it the possibility of what new information transmitting concepts that can be created from it for usage in the next generation to come.
©2013 Learus Ohnine