Spaceship Earth (Commemorative Post #100)
Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time.
And for a brief moment, we have been among its many passengers.
From the very beginning, we have always sought to reach out to one another. To bridge the gaps between us. To communicate.
Across a lonely and hostile planet, our early ancestors spread out in search of food and shelter.
With the development of language came a vital key to our survival. For the first time we could share and learn from one another. We bonded together in small tribes and prospered. No longer isolated. No longer...alone.
Ages later, the Egyptians invented the first written communication, a complex language of hieroglyphic pictures and symbols. With the creation of papyrus scrolls came the world's first written communication. Now, without leaving their palace, pharaohs could deliver proclamations and decrees to subjects throughout the land.
Phoenician merchants established the earliest commercial highways, trading goods and information at distant ports of call.
To aid in record-keeping, they created the first common alphabet, and shared this new tool across the Mediterranean.
In ancient Greece, the spoken word was elevated to a fine art. Philosphers debated with one another in plazas. And story-tellers found a new forum for personal expression. The theater was born.
The mighty Roman empire bridged three continents with a vast system of roads. The fastest information highways the world had ever known. East, West, North and South, all roads led to Rome. But these same roads would turn against Rome by invaders whose destruction left ages of knowledge and wisdom in the ashes that would become the Dark Ages.
But all was not lost. For far across the land, from Cairo to Cordoba, Jewish teachers and Islamic scholars continued the quest for knowledge. In libraries of wisdom, they debated ideas and shared new discoveries with all who would listen. In Western abbeys, monks toiled endlessly in lonely isolation copying ancient books of wisdom and revelations for future generations.
Finally, from the depths of the dark ages, the age of enlightenment, the Renaissance. And with this era came a powerful new invention. Movable type printing press. Scientists, explorers and scholars spread their discoveries in books and essays. Poets, musicians and artists, fueled by the passion of the age, created timeless works of beauty and majesty.
On this wave of inspiration, we sailed into a bold new era of communication, bringing an explosion of tools and technologies which would bridge people around the world like never before. And as our appetite for information and knowledge grew, our world began to shrink.
Today, we possess the ability to connect with one another instantly from anywhere on the planet.
A new communications super network is being built before our eyes. Spaceship Earth glows with billions of interactions carrying news and information at the very speed of light.
But will these seemingly infinite communications become a flood of electronic babble, or will we use this power to usher in a new age of understanding and cooperation on this...our Spaceship Earth.
Physical distance is no longer a barrier to communication. Today the entire world is our next door neighbor. Our news is their news. (Their news ours.) Wondrous new tools will help us learn more about ourselves each other and the planet we share. Spaceship Earth will become our virtual classroom.
As we greet the 21st century, yet another revolution in communication is upon us, as profound as all the progress that has gone before. By using our new communication tools to build better bridges between us, we will discover we all share the common bonds of hope and sorrow, dreams and joy.
Since the dawn of recorded time, communication has revolutionized our lives, and changed world. We now have the ability and the responsibility to build new bridges of acceptance and cooperation. To create a better world for ourselves and our children as we continue our amazing journey aboard Spaceship Earth.