Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This day and age

I've seen the rise and fall of empires; of entire peoples, cultures ideas and ideals. I recall, albeit distantly, when the world was flat, the heavens perfect and regulated by the hand of God. I've seen pyramids rise in the desert and cities sink and buried beneath time and shifting sands. Ships set off over the horizon to discover new lands of wealth and opportunity.

Too have I seen the rise of technology. I've gazed awe struck as sails gave way to steam and steam in turn to gasoline. The railroad united nations, the airplane the world and telecommunications has reduced it in size from months to minutes. Science has expanded our reality to include the unbelievably small to the unimaginably vast. I sat with my friend Kepler as he fancied travel to the distant moon and later shook the hand of Armstrong.

And yet. And yet of all things I've seen transform the world around me, that which I find the most transformative of all is so very commonplace. The plow, the printing press, air travel and telephone astounding in their right pale in comparison to the internet and the emergent social media. A world of nations and diverse peoples divided by borders and distance has been replaced with a one-world neighborhood defined merely by a click of the mouse. We've traded the neighbor across the fence for the neighbor across the world. A world where distance, time and culture are inconsequential. A world forever changed.

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