A life without the Internet? Surely that never happened …

Hello Followers! Just a story today, albeit one with a serious futurist bent.

My son asked me what it was like when I was growing up. I thought about this, and started talking about reading, bushwalking, playing with army figurines, making slingshots, etc. He looked quizzically at me, and it struck me like a sledgehammer – there was no Internet! I mean, this should not have been a surprise, however I can now barely imagine a world without this speed-of-light global communications network.

Having thought further about it, I realized that I was probably the last generation to grow up without the Internet. The early web became accessible to me via my University, which offered a gateway that I could dial into. My entire professional life has been Internet-driven, yet my childhood was lived entirely without it. How odd.

Suddenly feeling like some kind of generational linchpin, I looked to see how many generations of humans had come and gone in this world without ever experiencing inherent global connectivity and the information revolution.

Depending who you believe (or indeed, what you believe in) the answer is about 7,500. Seven thousand five hundred generations of human lives (Homo sapiens).

Of course, about the same number of generations occurred before powered flight (1903), the first general-purpose computers (1940s), the first satellite (1957), or the first mapped human genome (2003). So much has happened over the last few generations, that it’s really hard to encapsulate the enormity of it all.

Now I’m reading about SpaceX, who not only has self-landing reusable rockets, but has also just started launching a constellation of 4,000 – 10,000+ satellites to deliver gigabit Internet connectivity anywhere in the world.

What a crazy and inspiring future-fuelled world we live in. Damn, exponential technology is exciting.


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