These days, we can reach anyone on this planet, anywhere they are located, anytime we like. However, we often never realize that it is only possible because there is a high-bandwidth Internet backbone running on modern and sophisticated fiber optic transmission systems.
At the most recent O’Reilly Velocity conferences, in Santa Clara and another one in New York, I gave a keynote titled 20,000 Leagues Inside the Optical Fiber. In that talk, I summarized a few important technological milestones in our communication system, up to where we enjoy the luxury of being interconnected with a pipeline with humongous capacity. I won’t spoil it for you as you can watch this 9-minute talk on YouTube:
I believe that keeping this perspective is very important for us. When we engage in various activities and we think that we are noble folks who achieve some earth-shattering objectives, let us pause for a second and recall the series of scientific journeys that transformed our civilization.
If you know someone who is a scientist, give them a hug. They are the reasons that we could be passionate about what we are doing today.