Thursday, July 14, 2011
So, Kato…you think we’re living in the age of the Net revolution, don’t you?
Oh, yeah…you’re telling me, Diane. As in the above joke, the Net will instruct the toaster to make your toast and let you know when it’s done.
So, the Net has changed our way of life, hasn’t it?
Yes, the Net revolution is the 6th revolution in the history of human beings.
Oh…? What’s the first revolution?
Of course, the first revolution is the use of fire.
Only human beings can make use of fire. No other animal can cook their food on fire.
I see…and what about the 2nd revolution?
The creation of the first alphabet. The Ugaritic script is a cuneiform (wedge-shaped) abjad used from around 1400 BCE for Ugaritic, which is an extinct Northwest Semitic language. The script was discovered in Ugarit—modern Ras Shamra, Syria—in 1928. It has 31 letters.
So, it has more letters than the present English alphabet.
Yeah, that’s right. Clay tablets written in Ugaritic provide the earliest evidence of both the West and South Semitic orders of the alphabet, which gave rise to the alphabetic orders of the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin alphabets.
I see. So, the English alphabet comes from the Latin, doesn’t it?
What about the third revolution?
The invention of coinage—money.
Some say that the East Indians invented coinage between the 6th and 5th century BC. Others consider coins to have originated ca. 600-550 BC in Anatolia, which is modern-day Turkey. Yet, some scholars say that the oldest coins were minted by the ancient greeks—the Aegina people or by Pheidon king of Argos sometime between 700 BC and 550 BC.
Wow! Kato, you’re so knowlegeable.
Well, I’ve learned from the wikipedia. He, he, he, he, he…
So, the ancient people used coins to facilitate commerce and exchanges, I assume.
That’s right. Exchanging goods is so cumbersome. So, coins were invented, and have been used to the present day.
I see. Tell me the fourth revolution, Kato.
The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg, who was the first European to use movable type printing, in around 1439.
So, many books were produced, I guess.
Yeah, that’s right. The printing technologies spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe much faster than before. It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, it was a major catalyst for the later scientific revolution.
That’s great. Kato, I know the fifth revolution.
It must be the Industrial Revolution caused by the invention of steam engines.
You’ve got it, Diane! While working as an instrument maker at the University of Glasgow, Watt became interested in the technology of steam engines. He realised that contemporary engine designs wasted a great deal of energy by repeatedly cooling and re-heating the cylinder. Watt introduced a design enhancement, the separate condenser, which avoided this waste of energy and radically improved the power, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of steam engines.
And this revolution has led to automation and mass production, hasn’t it?
You’re telling me, Diane. After the Industrial Revolution, machines produce a variety of goods cheaply and, in turn, brings up the present-day mass-producing and mass-consuming society.
I see. And finally here comes the sixth revolution—the Net Revolution.
You’ve got it, Diane.
You see, Diane…in the age of internet, people living thousand miles apart can communicate each other as if they lived next door.
Do you really mean it?
Yes, of course, I do.
Oh, yeah. Look at the screen image below:
This is the screen image captured on April 25, 2011.
Is this your blog?
Yes, it is. Look at the green bar on the left-side column.
Live Traffic Feed
The list shows the recent ten visitors on my blog at the time.
Only ten visitors?
If you want to see more, then click the following bar in the above list:
Real-time view Menu
When you click the above bar, you’ll see the following detailed list:
Wow!…there are so many visitors from various countries.
That’s right. The above visitors came to my blog from 11:29 AM to 1:38 PM on April 24, Vancouver Time—approximately for two hours.
The visitor on the top of the above list is you, Kato?
Yeah, that’s right. Under me is another Canadian visitor from Tronto. You can also see an American visitor from St.Louis, Missouri.
The flag seen under the American visitor is of France, isn’t it?
No, it isn’t. It is the flag of Thailand. The visitor came from City of Zapote in the state of Alajuela. Under this visitor is another Amerivan visitor from Bridgeport, Connecticut.
I see a visitor from Seoul of Korea.
Maybe, the above Korean visitor is learning the Japanese. You can see the French flag under the Korean visitor. The last visitor of the above list came from Liverpool of Britain.
Are you saying, Kato, some American and British visitors came to read your blog written in Japanese?
I can’t tell for sure, but probably those American and British visitors are Japanese, who are family members of diplomats or Japanese employees working for the Japanese trading firms over there. In any case, my blog is located in the server in Japan while I’m writing articles for that blog from Vancouver, Canada. And visitors come from all over the world. The above list is only for two hours. Daine, do you know what I mean?
What is it?
Well, as soon as I’ve written an article, people from all over the world could read it. Let’s suppose, Johannes Gutenberg printed a book some 500 years ago. It would probably take at least a year or two for the book to reach Japan or Canada. But now, as you see, people from all over the world could read this article in a jiffy after posting it on my blog. This is why I call this the Net Revolution.
So, you’ve got toast as well on the Net, haven’t you?
Yes, you’re telling me, Diane.