Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Salon is running a brief story titled Remember when we had no e-mail? It's an interview with James Gleick who's new book "What Just Happened" covers the net revolution. What I like about this piece is that points out how fast we absorb things like email. Try explaining the idea of a net revolution to new grads and they just don't get it. The net just is, like power or the telephone. I use the following story to try and explain the change.

In 1994 I did two terms as a coop student with Public Service Commission. At the time the big question was could we get the various Federal Departments housed in Canada Place talking via email? There was no good answer, each department ran it's own email system with it own proprietary protocol, CC Mail, MS Mail, Banyan Vines email. Getting them to talk was very expensive. Flash forward to 1998 and my sister comes back from doing work with CBM in Brazil. She brings me a bag of coffee. I don't know Portuguese so I can't read what is printed on the bag, but I do recognize the email address for comments by the now ubiquitous @ sign. So in four years we went from not being able to send email between departments in the same building, to being able to say "What Great Coffee!" to company in Brazil.

Lest we get to wraped up in all this tech change, one of the great things about reading the Bible is you get to see how little we've changed over three thousand plus years. This morning I read the following proverb

If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.
Proverbs 27:14

Showing that even 2700 years ago, being too cheerful in the morning was annoying.


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