"The messages wirelessed ten years ago
have not reached some of the nearest stars."
The digital world of communications is the nearest thing to heaven on earth. The smarter we get about the true nature of matter -- the smaller, faster, and more powerful it becomes in our hands.
If you look at the history of communications, the first mass media messages used for distance aural communications were drums -- at least as early as 3000 BC, closely followed by smoke signals and horns for more local messaging. A great leap forward to 1150 AD, added physical and visual methods such as homing pigeons, maritime flags, and in the 19th century, signal lamps.
A very brief sample of significant milestones in written messaging includes: 3000 BC: papyrus (ancient Egypt), 59 BC: first newspaper (Acta Diurna ordered by Julius Caesar), 1400s: first alphabetic movable type printing press (Gutenberg), 1800s: typewriter.
In 1838, with the invention of the telegraph, we leaped forward into the realm of electrical telecommunications, followed by 1848: the telephone, 1896: radio, 1927: television, 1946: computer, 1969: computer networking, 1983: Internet.
It took us roughly 5,000 years to reach the current state of technology, where messaging is self-generated and interactive. We moved from the most basic physical acts of manipulating matter -- drumming, blowing a horn, setting a fire, to the metaphysical, evanescent level of digital communication.
And then the progress became exponential -- and the leaps forward in the last 150 years -- since the invention of the telephone, rendered matter less important and meta-physics more accessible.
In the last decade, the phenomenon of social networking gained unprecedented global reach, epitomized by e-mail, 'friending,' 'tweeting,' and blogging.
SMS texting has virtually replaced phone conversation amongst the younger generation. At a dinner party last night -- in Lexington, Kentucky... I heard of a teenager who routinely texts 15,000 messages per month. Anecdotally, a phenomenon known as 'blind texting' has just emerged: since kids are not allowed to use their phones in class, they've perfected the art of texting with the device in their pocket. Social networking operates at the broadest common denominator of personally-based communication with the world -- including individual search.
The next iteration of less matter and greater reach is mobile. No longer place-based, but location-based, mobile technology is smarter, faster, smaller, and portable. mCommerce, the use of handheld smart phones with virtually unlimited capacity to reach individuals with commerce applications, is exploding. The number of smartphone users is predicted to quadruple by 2013, and research firm Yankee Group expects that users of the devices will download 7 billion apps costing $4.2 billion by that year.
"Apps have been around for years, but app stores have created mass-market products with million-dollar revenue streams attached. Every mobile software developer could be the next Bill Gates for smartphones, but only if they bet on the platforms with the right reach and fit for their application," said Carl Howe, director at Yankee Group.
Leaders in mCommerce apps include, transportation, hotels, 1-800-Flowers, Starbucks, and the nascent m-Couponing business from hungry retailers. The number of retailers creating mobile commerce sites and apps surged this past summer, some enabling shopping and purchasing, while others allow mobile shoppers to browse product catalogs, locate stores, read customer reviews and more.
The most recent application of mobile technology is addressing mLearning.
Still in its infancy, the field already includes:
- Testing, surveys, job aids and just in time learning
- Location-based and contextual learning
- Social-networked mobile learning
- Mobile educational gaming
- "Lowest common denominator" mLearning to cellular phones using two way SMS messaging and voice-based CellCasting (podcasting to phones with interactive assessments) (Wikipedia)
It is essential in our society where fast-changing technology enables greater reach, change, and personalization, that learning at all levels be current and accessible to as broad a population as possible. The mobile platform is the smallest mass market method we've achieved to date, although NFC (Near Field Communications) is not far behind.
The rapidity of digital development is in direct proportion to our increased understanding of the power of matter as able to be manipulated by the mind. Less is more -- as metaphysics trumps physics. Deepak Chopra calls is "the emerging planetary mind." Jonathan Cainer has referred to "the quickening of consciousness." And a New England woman, Mary Baker Eddy, captured the underlying intelligence of Divine Mind beneath all our evolution in a comment in the late1800's; "The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, - he will look out from them upon the universe; and the florist will find his flower before its seed." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.)
And the florist will find his flower before its seed. We are receiving cosmic downloads as fast as we can process them. Arthur C. Clarke wrote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
The digital world that exists today is the nearest thing to heaven on earth...as surely the internet is Divine Mind manifested. The smarter we get about the nature of matter - the smaller, faster, and more potent it becomes. Perhaps what seems to be magic - is really metaphysics better understood.