The information speed barrier

2007-03-30 11:30:00 +0000

My friend had a couch delivered to her apartment. I happened to be present at the time, just not physically. I was talking with her using an instant messaging client as the couch was entering her apartment, and she emailed pictures to me almost immediately after it was placed in her living room. Total time: about three minutes.

Ten years ago, it would have gone down like this: My friend has a couch delivered. She takes pictures of it, then doesn╩╝t finish that particular roll of film for two weeks. She takes the film to the lab to have it developed, and returns the following day to pick up the pictures. She writes me a letter describing the couch and how fond she is of it. She encloses a photograph or two with the letter and drops it in her mailbox one evening. The postman picks it up the next day, and it lands in my mailbox three days later. Total time: about three weeks.