Man determined that he had a need for a means of communication that could span the distances long ago. Of course the methodologies first employed by man to meet that need began very primitively utilizing common everyday items like smoke, lanterns, bonfires, or gun shots. If you are familiar with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere", you should be able to recall the line "One if by land. Two if by sea." The line refers to the instructions that Mr. Revere left with a trusted fellow to hang a lantern or lanterns in the bell tower to alert his fellow revolutionaries about the movements of the British armies.
In the late 18th century the optical telegraph employed a flag-based alphabet known as semaphore. Picture a Navy seaman standing on deck waving flags in 26 different configurations to represent each letter of the alphabet. This means of communication required the light of day and a clear line of sight in order to be effective. Thankfully the advent of electricity arrived and began man's ongoing love affair with the digital signal. As a result the optical telegraph evolved into the electric telegraph, the telegraph into telephony and telephony into telemetry. Man being the fickle creature that he is wanted more and more with each new invention until he reached a point in 1969 when the United States government went live with ARPANET.
This early precursor of the Internet was intended for government use in protecting the United States from unanticipated attacks from its enemies. Several proprietary networks were developed to share research among educational institutions and research facilities. It wasn't until 1990 that the U.S. government released the Internet for privatization which leads us to where we are today - facebooking, blogging, tweeting, expanding our horizons, developing our careers and reaching out to and from the farthest reaches of civilization to make connections with our fellow man.
I for one am thankful for the more modern communication tools available to me today. I can't imagine expressing the sentiment behind, L.M.A.O., using two lanterns and a bell tower without making myself look like a maniacal replica of one of the Village People belting out Y.M.C.A. on a sunny afternoon in Madison Square Garden. I'm thankful for the opportunity it has afforded me to make contact with people all over the United States and the entire planet for that matter without being inhibited by geographical, social or cultural boundaries. I am thankful for the way it makes the world seem a little less lonely for so many people. Mostly I am grateful for the opportunity it lends me to share my inspirations, observasions and epic revelations with all of you.