The early tale of our ancestors is a question on all of our minds. Nobody really knows where we came from, and how we came to be. The many and complex theories are constantly changing as new discoveries are made which allow for more data to be analyzed. Data is another idea that bounces through our heads a lot these days, as a buzzword for tech articles, or as a tool to measure truths and reality.
While figuring out truth is a noble cause, the reality is most of our tools and technology were developed in order to get something done rather than for the pleasure of inventing something at leisure. For example, the whole concept of writing — and simultaneously, the concept of money — developed as a means of establishing trade amongst people who had never met, or people you would have to trade with in promises due to the harvest.
As cities began to take shape, detailed financial records were becoming more and more of a necessity, and eventually the ability to scrawl small numbers and nouns became the ability to capture thoughts and messages. Kings and queens could send each other messages looking for marriage, trade, or oftentimes, war. And for the first time in history, the coming generations would be able to access the thoughts and data of their forebearers.
These were the first chapters in the era of mass communication. As the technology developed at an exponentially faster rate, the depth of our conclusions and the amount of data we could store would grow. With the development of the printing press, now large amounts of information could be repeated in a practical, industrial manner. With the dawn of electricity come the first steps of the internet.
So while we don’t know where came from — which we may never find out — at least we know where we are. Today, we are in the data age. The average person can easily do in 5 seconds what the ancient rulers needed weeks to do with their most up-to-date technology. We can also find almost any information we want using the internet, knowledge that could have been carefully guarded secrets in the past.
Let’s hope that we can keep this tradition alive. Let’s hope that thousands of years down the line, our descendents will be able to look back at us, and maybe even understand us. Just as a parent wants their child to live a better life than they had, we want them to look back at us and think we took the right steps for civilization. Or at least, let’s hope the information we have now doesn’t get wiped out, and that there is something to look back to.