Thursday, August 16, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XXXIV

Your PHONE isn't Changing the World...
...but YOU Can Use it to Change the World!

There's no smartphone app for courtesy... Richmond Times-Dispatch.

This week the 'other' weekly news magazine is featuring The Wireless Issue [click to read] and touting 'Ten Ways Your Phone is Changing the World.' Cool!, but humans have been creating new ways to do things since the Garden of Eden and the new phones, pads, tablets and apps are but the latest iteration of Divinely inspired creativity.

Samuel Morse typed out "What hath G-d wrought." when he first activated the telegraph. Alexander Graham Bell simply blurted "Mr. Watson, come here, I need you." into the newly created telephone. (To be fair, Bell had just spilled some acid, and... er... needed Mr. Watson)! They were pioneers in communications, to be sure, but they were not the first pioneers.

Smoke signals, flags, semaphores all helped people to connect. Marconi took us wireless with the radio (albeit one-way). The internet took us to another level. Vannevar Bush, an engineer who graduated from Tufts College in Massachussetts, actually developed the principles underlying modern hypertext research.

In 1945, thirty years before the invention of the personal computer and 30 years before the creation of the internet, Bush wtote: "As We May Think."  In it he first presented his idea for a Memex machine: "designed to help people sort through the enormous amount of published information available throughout the world." His article described a Memex as a "device in which an individual stores his books, records and communications and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory."

Tim Berners-Lee is actually credited with creating the internet, based on the work of many people in the private sector and in government. Al Gore didn't build it... it's probably all  Bush's fault.

Technology: Triumph or Terror

We know that Hitler and the National Socialists developed the Volkswagen and the ICBM. The fruits of man's creativity can be used for great good... or great evil.

Pastor Chuck Balsamo, of Stuarts Draft, Virginia has on his phone message: "Hello, World Changer!" Indeed he is using the medium to mentor many in the doing of great good! In the 1960's, new technologies were developed as NASA raced to put a man on the Moon. The technology later found its way into a host of "spin-offs" such as artificial hips. What we DO with technology is the bulk of the story.

Alexander Graham Bell, Inventor.


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