There have been huge advancements in communication (defined as means of connection between people or places) in this digital age, has there not? But I argue, despite the optimized ratio of content over volume, not much has changed in the last 2 hundred years.
A brief history of communication/transportation of physical goods, value, and data:
Wheeled carts rolled and riverboats paddled since 3500 BC. In 770 AD, iron horseshoes improved horse-powered carriages; and in 1794, Marquis Claude Francois de Jouffroy d'Abbans first demonstrated the steam locomotive. Transportation of not only physical goods but virtual commodity broadened the market to as far as the cart could reach.
It's called currency because it flows like the Euphrates. From Mesopotamia about 2,000 BC, money originated about the time same of the first written down and passed around First Testament. Money then served as a receipt for the shipment and storage of grains. Soon, it became a transportable representation of commodity. Value, of course, varied. Currency, aptly named, was mobile. The idea that one's wealth -- say a few goats, two dozen chickens, and some bolts of woven cotton -- could jingle in one's pocket. That's certainly more than Mary Poppin's upholstery bag could carry.
Guttenberg pressed the written word into circulation by 1440. Pushing paper aside, it was not for another 4 hundred years, in 1830, that Samuel Morse's electromagnetic telegraph transmitted text-based message over long distances. Soon after, French inventor, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce perfected the first photograph in 1882, transporting pictorial data. Need I remind you of Zach Morris' Motorola DynaTAC, circa 1983?
Besides the proliferation of physical goods, monetary value, and most recently audio -- and text-based data in the digital age, no new technology has been able to revolutionarily transport a new commodity.
May I nominate the next major advancement in transportation: energy. No more alkaline batteries, no more blackouts, and you'll never lose charge on your iDevice of choice. An AT&T-Mobile of sorts, I suggest the emergence of a mobile energy provider. Included in the standard rate, subscribers would enjoy the convenience of mobile charge for their homes, cars, and electrical devices -- wherever in the world. As a globally transportable commodity, the world market would compete for my personal business and the business of under-developed nations.
From Design For the Other 90%: "More than 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity; and up to two million people a year, primarily children, die from inhaling cooking-fire smoke. Clean cooking fuels and efficient portable stoves can reduce indoor and urban air pollution, potentially saving millions of lives. In addition, they spare women and children the chore of collecting wood -- an estimated fifty billion hours are spent collecting firewood around the world each year -- freeing them up to attend school and engage in income-generating activities."
Like a small finger touching a Plasma Ball in a museum gift shop, mobile energy would charge a revolution of enormous voltage.
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