What better day to start a blog than on the eve of New Year's Eve. While working my job at A Newspaper today, I experienced that ever too awkward moment of having to write a new year on a document. 2011. After getting almost too comfortable writing 2010 on every dated form, I was caught off guard by that seemingly rouge extra 1. 2011. Not only the start of a new year, but the start of a new decade.
While driving home from work, my mind was wandering, thinking about what the next ten years might have in store for not only myself, but for the world. I think that I read somewhere recently that the human race had made more scientific and technologic developments in the past 50 years than in its preceding 3,000 years. My numbers are surely skewed, but the idea is retained. We, as humans, are on to something. We are discovering, inventing, and moving forward at an exponential rate, and it is almost alarming.
I can remember being a senior in high-school, just three years ago. I admittedly have always been behind the times, but three years ago, I was still sporting one of those brick shaped pay-as-you-go Trac-Fones. The world had not even yet experienced a mobile 3G network. It had not yet seen a 10 megapixel point-and-shoot digital camera. And it had not yet imagined the Pittsburgh Penguins beating the Detroit RedWings for their third Stanley Cup in franchise history. The world knew none of these things... however, spectacular happenings were still possible.
A dear friend of mine had been off traveling in the country of France, which I believe to be somewhere on the other side of the world from us. I had my Trac-Fone in my hand, and forgetting they were in France, I typed up a little text message and pressed send. That, my friends, is when something extraordinary happened. A few seconds later, my garbage phone beeps, and looking down, I had received a reply from the friend.
Again, let me remind you, this was back in the day of a 2 Gigahertz mobile network. Now, in a world of 4G domination, it is hard to remember what 2G even means. But there I was, almost instantaneously communicating with a France-man while I stood perfectly still on good old home-grown U.S. asphalt, no wires attached.
(note: as my first post, you may not take notice, but you will soon learn... I take forever to make my point)
Now, living in a 4G world, we can wirelessly video chat with friends anywhere in the world, possibly even from a concrete bunker 3 miles under the Earth's crust. Think about that. Technology is WILD.
Now, back up for a second. Pretend for a moment that cell phones are not around, and we still need wires to make our lives satisfying. Most people do not even have landline phones these days, but trust me, they exist. I once heard of my Mom using one when her cell phone was accidentally misplaced under a couch cushion.
Landline phones. Find one, pick it up, and try calling France. Guess what. It works. Again, almost instantaneously. A system of wires running all around the globe... with devices that somehow instantly carry voices to anywhere you want them to go. These are things we often overlook... but the technology behind them is mind-blowing. And telephones have been around for ages. So long, that like we all know, they are almost outdated.
I, as a normal human being, have trouble comprehending how that technology works. I know there are magnets and I know there may be a few wires... but beyond that, phones blow my mind. Sit there and dwell on it for a minute, and I am sure only a handful of folks actually can understand what makes phones work. If I had never used one, and someone tried to explain the concept to me... I would outright say it was impossible. It is impossible. That cannot really happen.
Now to the real point of my rambling stories and brainteasers. About two years ago, I remember having a somewhat heated debate with my girlfriend, Daniella, about the impossibilities of Time Travel. We had been discussing that Einstein guy, and his crazy theories, and how they made no sense at all. "The things he talks about are impossible" I say. "I don't care how advanced we get as a society, it is simply impossible to manipulate time" I say. Granted, I am no scientist, but "It is impossible" I say.
Now thinking back to that day... I am hereby going to change my opinion of Time Travel. 2011 has helped me to change my mind. Landlines phones have helped me to change my mind. 4G networks have helped me to change my mind.
If almost 150 years ago, humans were able to invent a telephone... I doubt there is much that, with time, we cannot figure out. Especially with the world evolving as rapidly as it is now. Nothing is impossible.
I am not saying anything great and eye-opening will happen in 2011. But I think we all know that something spectacular is bound to happen. How could it not happen? I mean, it has been over a month since I started seeing 4G mobile network commercials... so the next great thing has to be right around the corner by now.
I welcome you 2011. I welcome you with open arms. May this year be filled with things that continue to amaze me.