Because Everybody Loves Morgan Freeman

There are many questions that can be asked about networks. What are they? How do they work? And these questions will get answered in due course. But two questions that I have in particular are; what do networks do for society, and how do they change over time?

Hundreds of years ago there were networks. But these networks were very different to the networks we have today. They were a lot simpler and just between small communities. You had the network of your family, all communicating within your little family group. As soon as you left your house, you had the social network of your local community. And that was about it.
But with the help of technology, networks have changed. Grown and reinvented.

After the invention of the printing press, people were able to communicate what they wanted a lot faster and easier, so the local network grew. People could now write books with their ideas, and share those with other people.

Today, we have the internet and are able to access it from almost anywhere. Phones, tablets, computers, TVs. The way people communicate changed forever with the invention of the global network. The way we communicate as a society has changed. No more putting messages in bottles and sending it out to sea, no more notes strapped to pigeons. Now we can push a button, and our thoughts and ideas are shared with the world, with the rest of the global network.

As technology evolved, so did humans, so did society, so did networks.

“People are more and more connected as a coherent being”.

We now communicate with people all over the world at the same speed that the neurons in our brain talk to each other. Some might even use the metaphor of the global network we live in becoming one big brain, with each person one little neuron, all working together to make the brain (our society) function properly.

So what does this mean for the future of our society and our global network? We’re developing as a global society a lot quicker now than we did 400 years ago.
“If Galileo could immediately have talked with all his colleagues, I’m sure that science would have developed much more quickly”.

Does that mean we will never again have a famous name in technology? People in this industry today are having their ideas shared almost immediately to colleagues. So we may develop faster as a whole, but no one person will ever stand out from the rest of his society as much as Galileo did.

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5 thoughts on “Because Everybody Loves Morgan Freeman

  1. I like the idea of “one big brain” or collective intelligence that you’re referring to. I think with the added information of every user to the network, the quality and ease of access to information increases exponentially. I also think that we will have more famous names in technology as it still takes a creative spark, not just information to advance technology.

  2. I think the “one big brain” idea is quite terrifying but amazing to think that we can connect with people on a global scale so quickly. It does beg the question over whether there will be ‘stand out’ people in terms of advancements in technology, as everyone seems to collaborate and develop so much now that all ideas do meld into one. However, I’m sure there will be another kind of Zuckerburg with another kind of Facebook that will revolutionise the whole internet again.

  3. Looking into the history of networks amazes me too see how far texchnology and society have evolved with the development of these networks. Networks have defined how we communicate today and by decreasing time and space I can message family across the other side of the world in seconds. I cant wait to see what the next ‘big thing’ on the internet will be!

  4. Hey Ed. You make a really cool point with the brain metaphor. I didn’t actually know that digital networks work at the same speed as the networks in the brain, and it is really interesting to think that the internet has actually caught up with and is taking over humans in this way.

  5. Love the brain metaphor! So appropriate. With the rate at which the internet and social media is expanding, constantly innovating and continuing to redefine the way we communicate its hard to hope for the longevity of old communicative methods. No wonder letter writing has become an art, the postman cannot keep up the the speed at which the internet connects us as a global network.

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