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Communication on a global scale was once deemed impossible. With volumes of water between continents this made the traditional messenger on a horse redundant and continents existed silently. However, of-course those travelling by ship brought news with them though the information would be months old and therefore, outdated or perhaps the information would have significantly been altered since their leaving.
Therefore, in 1851 when the first undersea cable was laid under the English channel the world was expanded. This was a significant technological advancement and amazed individuals due to the fact messages they wrote where able to be transmitted across water and received with the original still remaining in the origin location. However, this was a expensive messaging system to use though suddenly the world was connected in what can be compared to a nervous system in a living object.
‘A network of nerves of iron wire, strung with lightning, will ramify from the brain, New York, to the distant limbs and members’ – The New York Tribune
This technology expanded across the globe creating the need for the standardization of time zones and also allowing for items such as weather forecasts to be reported. If we compare this to society today we can see how rapidly we have evolved since 1851. It has been one hundred and sixty two years since the first undersea cable was laid and today in Australia most homes and institutions now have / provide access to wireless internet. Though this technology evolved from a system originally used for messaging across the globe the internet today is used for more than merely sharing information and predicting the weather.
Lessig 2006* provides an excellent example of how individuals today use the internet and to what I compare to astral project into cyberspace to become someone they cannot be in the ‘real world‘.
I first projected myself into the ‘cyberspace community‘ when my friend introduced me to World Of Warcraft (aka WOW). World of Warcraft allows you to create a character from their facial features to which race you want to be and you can even customise your clothes now due to transmogrification which allows you to use other pieces of armour which you find more appealing without losing any stats from your original armour.
Though World of Warcraft made me a thief, or as I was called in the game a ninja. I would steal gear from dungeon runs and I would also steal from my guild bank due to the fact that I was not phased to be kicked from dungeons or from my guild. As Lessig states ‘real space‘ is very different from cyber space. As borrowing or stealing goods in ‘real space‘ would make me a wanted criminal. Further this with the fact that World of Warcraft individuals hack other accounts and steal their goods and gold. This by definition is clearly a crime but due to it being in a cyberworld there has been no law committed. This has been publicly displayed through the popular show The Big Bang Theory.
Therefore, it has been a very short history of wire to wireless message transfers I can only imagine what will happen in the next one hundred years.
*Lessig, L. (2006). Four puzzles from cyber space. In L. Lessig Code version 2.0