Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Silver & Gold

From Todd Zwillich on The Takeaway, I just learned that today is the silver anniversary of one event of global importance, and the gold anniversary of another. Both are cause for celebration and contemplation on the part of a a geographer who spends a lot of time reading and writing about the big picture online.

It was on August 23, 1966 that NASA shared the first view of Earth from the vicinity of the moon.
The image is grainy, but it was a sobering reminder that all we have and all we are -- all of our conflicts and all of their resolutions -- are contained in a thin layer on a rather small mass of rock hurtling through space.

A quarter century later, on August 23, 1991, this web page -- which had been created a couple weeks earlier -- became available outside of the CERN network, a day now known as Internaut Day. I was not aware of the details at the time, but as someone who used campus networks in the late 1990s and were using networks such as gopher with crude search tools such as Archie, Veronica, and Jughead, we (my fellow graduate students, librarian wife, and I) were delighted to learn about the concept of hyperlinking pages. The idea of finding resources that we did not already know about was intriguing. Even though I helped to launch one of the first commercial food sites a few years later, I could not have guessed what the Web would be like these billions of pages later.

In the late 1990s, a friend with a strong interest in theology introduced me to the work of Teilhard de Chardin, a theologian whose prescient work explored the connections between today's landmark anniversaries -- well before either had taken place. (Note: it has been more than a decade since I updated the page linked above.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment and your interest in my blog. I will approve your comment as soon as possible. I had to activate comment moderation because of commercial spam; I welcome debate of any ideas I present, but this will not be a platform for dubious commercial messages.