The Information Evolution

I have always lived under the concept, that all information, whether it be what I want to hear, or what I’d rather ignore, is good. I am not a person who just wants to close his eyes and pretend that something hasn’t really happened. I may not like the information that I hear or read, but at least I know what’s coming and can formulate a plan to deal with it.

Many call the period of time that we live in today the information age. Actually, information is as old as man, and the changes and growth it has gone through, are constantly evolving.

We do indeed live in an amazing age when it comes to sharing information. Originally the only way to share information was word of mouth. Most of that was shared by walking from location to location, and letting someone know about what has happened where they live. The person receiving the information would pass that info along, the next time they took a “good long walk”.

Once man discovered he could teach an oxen to pull a cart, it got a little easier (for the man), but really wasn’t any faster. Than came donkeys. Pulling carts and carrying humans on their back. Information was still pretty slow to be shared. Then the domestication of horses actually picked up the speed a little bit. Still, once information was shared, we were dependant on the person we shared the story with, to travel to spread the word, and to spread it honestly. Personally, if I had lived then and someone shared some news with me, and expected me to recant the story with others at the end of a thousand mile walk or horseback ride, in all probability, I would have forgotten half the story by the time I got to my destination.

Then we created writing. A series symbols each meaning something, that when collectively put into an order, meant or said something. That became a way to keep the news alive, for undetermined amounts of time. Of course, those symbols or letters, were different from region to region. Writing or drawing them in proper order on a scroll, took lots of time. If you wanted three people to read the scrolls in different regions, and you wanted them to keep the news for posterity’s sake, you had to write three separate scrolls. If you wanted fifty people to read it…….if you wanted five thousand……..well, you get the picture. It was painstakingly difficult, and very time-consuming to produce news to more than a few people at a time.

Then came Gutenberg. The invention of not only type, but thanks to Gutenberg, movable type, that could be used over and over to produce thousands of copies of the written (printed) word, produced the first true information age. Technology, had just seriously affected information.

Photography was invented in the 19th Century and for the first time, visual information beyond artist’s conceptions of actual events could be shared, although it could be days, weeks or even years before we saw what the photographer saw. Photography was and still is, a viable way to share what the news looked like, as well as what it read like.

Then came Marconi.  Marconi changed the world. The invention of the radio, meant that in some cases, information could be shared immediately. The remote, live broadcast was invented and there were times, that people could hear exactly what was happening as it happened. If we could only bring the words and sights together.

The came movie newsreels and then eventually the beginning of 24 hour news cycles with the invention of television. Ultimately the internet, with its ability to allow business to business, house to house, and person to person immediate exchanges of thoughts and words, would change the dissemination of information, forever. As well as the quality of the information being shared.

In the 1970s when I lived in Denver, I worked a short time for a company that sold frozen foods in the wholesale market. Any pre-sold products that were meant to be shipped out for delivery, were sent out with printed delivery and sales invoices. That and all payroll checks, bills and so forth were all documented and printed by a computer. Maybe I should call it a computer system. Of course all inventories were also recorded and balanced via that same computer system. The computer could exchange information with the parent company. We had a computer room, which was very common in the 1970s and 1980s. It was a room that had a door from which to enter (daaah), a window which opened into the warehouse, and a computer…err, computer system. It also had a very small area for one person to walk around in the middle of this almost 360 degree computer. It was over six feet tall. It was purchased by the parent (Fortune 500) company. It cost over 1 million dollars and could not come close to handling the workload (information) that the laptop that I am using right now to type this article can handle. I paid less than a million dollars for the laptop. Trust me.

In fact, sitting on the table next to me is my cell phone. That cell phone, if I were to download all the apps possible, has more power, has better computing skills, and is loaded with a thousand times the possibilities of that computer in Denver. I can slip it into my shirt pocket, and yes, it also cost less than a million dollars. I can not only view pictures, and hear sounds from people and world around me, I can take pictures including moving pictures, record sounds, and share them in a few seconds. I can send information. If I so choose, I can download apps that not only keep me informed of news stories up to the minute, I can track current weather, or download an app (GPS) that will tell me exactly where I am in the world, right at this moment.

Information and our ability to disseminate it, and do so quickly, in fact almost instantaneously, is in a constant state of evolution. The $50,000 question is, what do we do with it, and when is so much too much?

Twenty four hour TV news networks by the dozens, every newspaper and news magazine, every radio and TV station, and every website is available at the touch of a finger. Social media allows not only every celebrity in the world, but every person, including this one, to speak to every other person and share information, or what passes for information, in one click of the button or mouse.

Quantity of course, does not always translate into quality. The ability of those of us who consume information, to decide for ourselves between what is pertinent and real, and what is irrelevant and hyperbole, is what will decide our future as we move from one “information age” to another.

If it seems like in today’s article, I’ve stated the obvious and offered few answers, well that’s pretty accurate. I simply share my thoughts and observations on these pages. It is, just as it should be, incumbent on each of us to judiciously decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore. At least for now, we are free to accept or refuse as our personal experiences and intellect dictate to us.

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As is generally the case with non-photography/art related posts, this one will be moved to a group of such articles that are gathered on or around the date of August 15, 2015

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It’s been a long time since I wrote about the Bible.  My hunger for Biblical truth has not been quenched, nor has my Faith been diluted.

James 4:4

You adulterers and adulteresses, (Paul and others also used this terminology. They are preaching to you and I. We ( born again Christians) are to look to Christ and the Cross for our needs. If we put our faith elsewhere, such as in ourselves, other people, good deeds, religions etc., we are committing spiritual adultery or fornication), know ye not that the friendship of the world, is enmity of God? (The terms the world or worldly, are negative in the Bible. You cannot reach salvation, and have fellowship with God by worldly means. Only through faith and acknowledging what Christ did a Calvary‘s Cross) Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God. ( If our faith is placed anywhere other than in Christ and what he did, such as in worldly things like religious rituals or personal deeds, it is looked at by the Lord as “friendship with the world”, and makes us in essence, and enemy of God.

Have a great day and may God Bless,                                                                                        Wayne

 

 

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