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.