Wednesday, 21 July 2010

21st Century Lunatic

Hello Reader!

Today is a great day! It was beautiful out, the sky shined so bright. It was just an superb day.

Anyways, I have been given a challenge. Not quite me specifically, more of a broad thing. My brother posted on his wall "Write a letter to someone from the 19th century trying to explain an aspect of 21st century daily life. Guaranteed, you can't explain Facebook without making us all sound like lunatics." I am going to accept this challenge. 

Where to begin... I know! The fundamentals of Science. In this era, we had knowledge of (or on the way depending on the year) electricity, the battery, and electrical circuits. By the end of this century, we had a grasp of Alternating Current (Thank You Nikola Tesla). They were on the edge of everything big in the world of electricity and magnetism. Even in the last years of the century, Guglielmo Marconi created the first wireless communication device, the wireless telegraph.

So for those folks still stuck in the year 1897, here's what  Facebook is.

First we must introduce the computer. In a nutshell, a computer is an object that contain many electrical circuits that carry electrons (we know about electrons by now). These electrons carry numerical values of 1's and 0's. The 0's and 1's translate to information that can do math, which can determine output like colour, text, math equations and even sound. This is the basis of the computer. Many computers (or just one) can make something called a server.

In the 1960's the first unofficial model of the internet was used by the United States of America (Yes, the colonies survived and thrived!)  The internet is a network of computers, like that of neurons (you had the knowledge from Franz Nissl). Neuron are connected to send information back and forth from one neuron to the other. The internet uses the same concept. We are able to send information (via wireless electromagnetic waves or from electrons) from one computer to another. In recent years, the internet has been open to the public to use and abuse.

The internet runs on an IP address. An Internet Protocol address give the specific location of the computer/server. Sticking with the Neuron idea, it's like locating a specific neuron in the brain or anywhere in the nervous system. From there we have web pages.

A web page is like a brochure. Most of them are made with information that help you. Some websites are made to entertain. The difference is that a web page can be mutable. I mean it is able to have an interactive component, like playing a game. Word are able to be moved around. This brings us to Facebook.

Facebook is a web page in which people post what they like and what they don't. What is going on in their life and what they wish would. It's like writing a letter (in only a few words) to all your friends and they will understand whether you are happy, sad, angry or just plain crazy. You are able to talk with your friends from long distances (think wireless communication).

This is what Facebook is in a nutshell.