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The Future of Communications
by Arya Bhushan Bookmark and Share
 


It has been said that speed is the craze of modern man, while no one has said that speed is also the craze of nature. The latter fact, however, is the greater Truth. Man is still far behind nature in this craze. Will man ever be able to attain the speed of any of the terrestrial objects flying at great speeds in the sky.

It is always from the past that we judge the future. But applying this for the speed of progress, we forget that the speed of progress has been subject to an acceleration which is beyond human imagination. If a man living in the seventeenth century had been asked to speculate the future of communications, he might have at best guessed that there would come a day when people would travel in carriages driven without horses and men would fly in the air without wings. But that would be mere speculation and he would have been called a person with a fertile brain. Few would have believed him, a greater number would have been inclined to call him a lunatic. In any case he, himself would not have believed if he was told that such or even greater progress would be achieved within a span of only a few centuries. 

We see, however that events have progressed faster than even imagination. Today, vehicles without horses are a common sight. Flying has been made so easy. Men have been shot into space, have circled round the earth in sputniks and space shuttles at incredibly high speeds, and have even landed on the moon. Rockets have been sent to planets in far off location to obtain data and determine the conditions that exist there.

If the common mode of travel on land formerly was a post chase with an average speed of 10 miles an hour, today it is an electric train running at six to ten times that speed. Nay, the Tokyo Express on the New Tokaido line does it at double that speed. If the means of travel on the sea then were sail trips traveling at the mercy of the winds, today it is the fast liner doing it in much shorter period, which does it independent of the weather. Greater and greater speed has been attained by the help of transport through air. Distances which took months to cover have been reduced to days. Nay, sometimes only hours. Round the World in 80 Days, imagined by Jules Verne is now possible in less than 80 hours and might even, within a foreseeable future, be covered in 80 minutes. The means of communicating news have made much greater progress, with the help of wireless. Now it takes only a few moments to circulate the news from one part of the world to another, which earlier took months.

All this was done so fast that it has been difficult for the human mind to digest. There is a feeling that developments have reached the point of saturation and there is not much scope left for future. We could only perfect the modern achievements and make them cheaper. Sitting down to imagine, the best we could do is to think of communications a century later, and whatever we think will be the extreme possibility. And yet we may be defeated.

Having the past progress in view, we might say that air travel will be the most common mode of travel for the common man throughout the world. The richer will own private planes for themselves (as a few already do). Such planes could land on their own roofs, made possible by vertical landing through gyroscopic principles. To avoid collisions in mid-air, Air Traffic Control would be needed by International Police. There would be regular city and cross country routes with well controlled traffic passing on them. Different speed lanes and different speed zones. The roads, and the motor cars running on them will be used only by the poorest class of people. (We have not reached that stage yet)

In respect of postal communications and correspondence, the postal department will be there only for official correspondence and carrying parcel traffic. All written records will be transmitted via FAX, and conversations done over the telephone. Tele-video-phones would be a common means for corresponding with each other and holding conferences where they wish to see as well as talk to each other . In fact this already has started to be introduced.

One can even imagine that people from Earth will migrate to different planets and set up fresh colonies and inter- planetary travel will become common. There might even be inter- planetary wars if the racial prejudice, hatred and greed continue to gain control of the better side of Mankind. This is already being shown in science fiction movies such as Star Trek & Star Wars. 

All these are direct inferences from the modern scientific developments and the progress that has been taking place. In fact quite a lot has already been achieved and perfected. For, if this is the only progress in the means of communications, it would be nothing beyond our expectations and one does not require much imagination for it.

But seeing that all progress in the past has been beyond expectation, imagination must be made to run at much faster speed than that at which our minds work. If we have to be taken by surprise, there should be newer, faster and more novel means. We must be able to travel not merely by the help of steam petrol and electricity or even atomic power, but should be able to produce planes which could travel on radio waves at their speed. Who can wonder, that scientists will one day help us swim with radio waves? The moon, the planets and the stars will then be only different bodies of one single system with easy communication between them as we have between different cities today. If human beings could make such phenomenal progress, will they not be almost one with God? Will they still continue to have lust for power, racial prejudices, hatred and greed?

Was this not the state which, in the past, our Yogis had achieved? Or was it just their imagination?  

26-Feb-2006
More by :  Arya Bhushan
 
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