Humans and Cyberspace

First and foremost let’s compare cyberspace with sail boats as one of the oldest human inventions. Well they are both means of transportation right?

SAILBOAT: The oldest recovered boat in the world is the canoe of Pesse; it is a dugout or hollowed tree trunk from a Pinus sylvestris. According to C14 dating analysis it has been constructed somewhere between 8200 and 7600 B.C. Boats have served as a method for short distance transportation since early times, on slow rivers and calm seas.

Circumstantial evidence, such as the early settlement of Australia over 40,000 years ago, suggests that boats have been used since very ancient times. The earliest boats have been predicted to be logboats, or possibly boats made from hide or tree bark. The oldest boats to be found by archaeological excavation are logboats from around 7000-9,000 years ago, though a 7000 year-old seagoing boat made from reeds and tar has been found in Kuwait.

Being more capacious than carts and wagons, and suitable for both slow rivers and calm seas, boats were used between 4000BCE-3000BCE in Sumer, Ancient Egypt and in the Indian Ocean.
This did not change until around 3000 BC, when the Mesopotamians and Egyptians began to experiment with sails….after this, sailboats and triremes were used by the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, Persians and Greeks over the next 4000 years.

It wasn’t until the 1400’s AD that further major advances occurred, mainly by the Portuguese and Spanish, and after that the British and Dutch. By the time of the European explorers of the 14th and 15th century, sailboats had become ocean-going ships. These ships, which visited nearly all the regions of the world, had an influence on the world’s global cultures from that point on.

One can conclude that this, one of the oldest human inventions, enabled humans to start exploring vast surroundings and unknown places of the world. As a new and exciting mode of travel it radically changed social interacting between humans in PERSON. As a basis for learning and advancement, social interaction resulted in numerous advancements and innovations.

CYBERSPACE: The first mechanical computer or automatic computing engine concept; In 1822, Charles Babbage conceptualized and began developing the Difference Engine, considered to be the first automatic computing machine that was capable of computing several sets of numbers and making hard copies of the results. In June of 1991, the London Science Museum completed the Difference Engine No 2 for the bicentennial year of Babbage’s birth and later completed the printing mechanism in 2000. First concepts of what we consider a modern computer; The Turning machine was first proposed by Alan Turning in 1936 and became the foundation for theories about computing and computers. The machine was a device that printed symbols on paper tape in a manner that emulated a person following a series of logical instructions. Without these fundamentals, we wouldn’t have the computers we use today.

Invention of the computer and numerous electronic inventions since, resulted in an extraordinary transportation tool of knowledge and ideas that we today call cyberspace. Cyberspace enhanced human ability to interact with others despite distance. The basic building block of cyberspace was the enhancement of human interaction. For this same reason we named various communicating tools the “Social Networks”.

This was the most superb and fastest social interaction between humans. BUT, the awesome multitude of various inventions that created cyberspace in reality started lessening human social interaction.

By using various numerous electronic devices to obtain knowledge and interact with vast databases inside the cyberspace, humans became vulnerable to unforeseen problems like theft of information. So in essence, Cyberspace created further need of protection for the inventor. We started creating every imaginable cyber related tool to protect individuals, entities, governments and so on. Extraordinary inventions of new ways to avoid old ways resulting in avoidance of ourselves …..???

One can conclude that in this intense and money driven process we forgot to apply the basic building blocks of human social interaction, that created cyberspace on the first place.

Are we destined to fail due to lack of social interaction? In my opinion, we are not for two reasons.
1. The vast majority of humans on this planet do not use cyberspace for various reasons and their social interaction is stronger. One of the examples I like to use is family.
2. The remainder of humans that use, or rather live in, cyberspace must learn not to rely solely on someone else’s “patch” that will protect them in cyberspace. We can apply great historic examples of our ancestors and recognize cyberspace as a means of transportation for knowledge and ideas. If we as humans decide to rather “live” in cyberspace we are allowing technology to direct our behavior and affect our social interaction.

Let’s learn from our ancestors who used sailing, as a means of transportation, and acquired knowledge on how to harness wind and safely navigate all bodies of water on this planet. Apply this to cyberspace, human invented cyberspace and without him it wouldn’t exist. Thus the solution to the ever-growing cyberspace problem is not to introduce more cyber related protocols, although some do have merits; but rather to use that same cyberspace to enable humans to bridge gap between them and promote personal interaction. This is the only way to enhance social interaction that is defined as communication of two humans IN PERSON. We just need to remember that behind every computer stands a human that is starving for social interaction.

Happy sailing through cyberspace.

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