From Living in Isolation We Come

dolphinFrom an anthropological standpoint, humans lived in relatively small isolated pockets in the early days. In this millennium the social media revolution is deep, like the bible, and has changed the pathology of human interactions forever. The pathway to Facebook wound from extremely humble beginnings and now we’re all connected, biting each other with avatar-Zombies.

Massive global communities are defined by you and I using ever-more-open and delightfully idiosyncratic software like Facebook StumbleUpon, Digg, and MySpace. Micro communities inspire and arouse passions in smaller more focused gathering points like Avvo, Urbis, BakeSpace, FoodCandy, and Sphinn.

Never Lose Your Friends
The ability to organize friends and never lose them is the true promise of Internet technology embodied. Social media mirrors physical life and killer-app software facilitates authentic interactions between us which we can both feel completely. I have never seen your face and I miss you…Online friends experience real love, pain, fear, respect, anger, dark light and joy. As a species we have come a long way to this connecting point. Our technological tools for communications were so very humble 387 years ago. The roots of the global communications revolution lay in Europe and America alike

Roots of American Communications, Alone Together

Guided by the promising light of new civilization, from seafarer’s way we came in ships. Dolphins danced by the light of western constellations, like little wave-tip sparkles. Sister, brother, mother, father, and 98 other plain folk heroes KNEW the meaning of being TOGETHER. On that 90 foot ship called Mayflower, for 66 days and 3,500 nautical miles, we sang Hymns, called to God, vomited, and ate hardtack. We were alone together as we landed in the brave new world to till the soil.

“Guided by the promising light of new civilization, from seafarer’s way we came in ships.”

Infinite World/Small Community
Our world was infinite…and our circles extremely small. We communicated by words, church bells, handwritten notes and were often left alone. Natives, whose land we occupied, spoke no English. The two cultures experienced great shock as communication systems evolved from nothing, hearts were destroyed, worlds collided, and democracy was born from pilgrimage and war.

The Great Eastern Cities
Pilgrims and pioneers worked land, to bare flesh and knuckle…and so others soon came. We huddled together through harsh New England winters. In hand-sawed rough-board churches we hugged, celebrated the harvest, buried our dead who were oft too young, gave birth to blessed babies and cities like Swampscott, Rockport, Gloucester, Malden, Chelsea, and Boston. Our world was getting bigger. We traveled on horses and published to paper. New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, and 10 other colonies were interconnected by fate and the printing press. The network was expanding.

The Birth of Global Communications
In 1830 British inventor William Sturgeon’s electromagnet ignited the large-scale electronic communications revolution by remote-ringing a bell over a mile away over wire. Soon dotted and dashed words telegraph-tapped out across the forever spiny wire.

The Communications Revolution
The American node of the communications revolution was underway full freight. Boatloads of melting pot vagabonds willed their proud-way to Ellis Island. Across the great harbor, New York beckoned Europe’s Jews, Irish Catholics, and the bountiful ethnic cornucopia of every faith in many colors. Interwoven neighborhoods

Call 1-800-Say-Babe
There is debate as to whether Antonio Meucci, who did not have enough money to file a patent, or Alexander Graham Bell actually invented the telephone. Regardless, Internet seeds were sown in America and Europe in the late 1800s with the stringing of wires from house to house. The telephone was the greatest viral communications tool in planetary history since horseback-delivered-parchment, the spoken word and printing press.

Then Things Really Got Crazy.

Radio waves, television, Satellites, Fax, Pager, Commodore 64, Apple2, Mobile, DOS, Mac, Windows, Linux- the rest is history. Now there’s Facebook and the iPhone and we need never be apart. Google Maps is placing the world’s information in geographical context and serving it up on GPS enabled mobile phones. I never feel alone

One is Sliver and The Other’s Gold.
20 years ago, holding onto friends meant transferring information from handwritten address books to evolutionary friend-management programs like Apple’s Hypercard “stacks” and early versions of MS Word Mail Merge. I found a 90’s lover on Yahoo and began to organize my friends in Palm software. Now it’s 2007 and I somehow have emotionally-connected friends all over the world and participate in micro-communities, professional, light and dark.

From an anthropological standpoint, humans are no longer isolated. In this millennium the social media revolution is spiritual like fire and changed how we meet, interact, make love, and pass time. The roots of the global communications revolution lay in Europe and America alike and are now truly global. The pathway to StumbleUpon has evolved from exceptionally modest beginnings. Now we’re all connected, biting each other with avatar-Zombies. It’s a great time to be alive.

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