I liked this article. It seems to be foreseeing the mobile phone doesn’t it?
Ayrton, who appears to be an authority on wireless telephony, posits that advances in technology will mean one day we can call a friend even if we don’t know where he is (not ‘she’ I notice, obviously the location of women should be controlled at all times ;)).
Your friend could be in the depths of a mine, out at sea, or at the top of the Andes, as long as you are both in possession of the same kind of electrical ear, communication will be possible.
As this article was published in 1908 Ayrton was about 80 years ahead of his time. These days we all have mobile phones and use them to call our friends, mostly for no reason at all. We are rarely calling from such exotic locations as he had hoped, usually the reply to a ‘where are you?’ is ‘on the train’ or ‘ at the shop’ and the call is for unimportant exchanges of information such as ‘do we need milk?’
If only we had as good coverage as he expected, there is no hope of getting a call down a mine, and really, the telcos are kidding themselves if they really think phone coverage in Australia is as good as they tell us, I expect that goes for the rest of the world as well!
When I started writing this post I thought I’d better not have a whinge about bad phone service if I was going to be wrong (even if that is my own experience) but a quick look on the (Australian Government) Department of Broadband and blah blah blah website told me that only 25% of the Australian landmass has mobile phone coverage and suggest buying yourself a satphone if you want it to be better.
Interesting. I know that the Australian population is mainly confined to cities but it is not like 75% of the country has been abandoned. Our population is pretty well spread out! People live everywhere and many of us like driving around for a look. Too bad if we want to use our phones or get internet access while we are doing so!
Sorry about that rant, I will clamber down off my soapbox now and go on with the rest of the post…
The thing that got me on the ‘Where are you?’ train of thought was the world map on my stats page*.
I love looking at my map every day and seeing who in the world is looking at my blog, but I want to know more! Each time I get a view from a new country I am full of questions. Who are you? What bought you to Buried Words and Bushwa? Is there something you were looking for? Please tell me!! I MUST KNOW!!
I have a natural and overwhelming tendency to investigate everything around me, regular readers probably don’t need me to point that out ;), and not knowing why you are all reading is driving me crazy! I really appreciate you reading, don’t get me wrong, I just want to know more!
I understand why Americans, Canadians and those of you from NZ and the UK might read my little Aussie blog, our countries are quite similar and we are all English-speaking. (That said, I would still love to know what part of your country you are from. Do you live in a big city or a town so tiny that even your countrymen have no idea it exists?)
What really makes me crazy is you, person from Iceland, Moldova, Brazil or Indonesia. Are you an expat Aussie or an Aussie on holiday? What about you Egypt, Taiwan or Colombia? I desperately want you to leave a comment so I can satisfy my curiosity!
Cotton Boll did a post on this very subject a while ago called Are things that slow in Monaco? wondering the very same thing. If my pathetic grovelling has moved you to leave a comment here telling me the information I am so hungry for please don’t leave the type of comment I suggested in the comments there :). If you must though, please include an English translation!
*If you are not a WordPress blogger, in this stats window individual countries are highlighted when your blog gets a hit from that location.
I’m a midwesterner. Indiana is in the Midwest, Great Lakes region and also known as part of the corn belt region. We can hardly allow ourselves to forget the latter. Cornfields are everywhere!
Get a load of this search query I got two days ago “mind map for the turbulet life of a parent”. It’s very humorous considering what I blog about, nowhere in the ball park.
I’m overflowing with numerous questions upon examining my map each day to. For instance recently got a hit from Netherlands Antilles. Never heard of it, up until then.
Some of the search queries amaze me too 🙂 I know that I go off on a tangent sometimes but I wonder how many google pages that person had to flick through before they got to the one that told them I could help them with words that might ..ahem.. make their beloved more amenable! (I hesitate to put the actual search term in case I get moved higher on the search list!!)
It staggers me to think he would assume his friend was dead if there was no answer. Maybe his friend doesn’t take the phone to the loo or the bathroom when he/she showers. Maybe he’s/she’s just had enough of ‘Where are you’ phone calls or is happily asleep. A bit of an extreme deduction I think and one I’m glad my family don’t jump too if I didn’t respond because I happened to be suffering a proctology examination at that moment.
By the way. I’m in North Wales in a small village called Greenfield near the Holy Well of St.Winifred and the ruins of Basingwerk Abbey which weren’t ruins until Henry VIII got his hands on them. They’re part of a Heritage Park now. Kettle’s on if you’re passing.
Thank you! I’ll be sure to let you know if I’m ever out that way, a cup of tea would be most welcome after that long walk 😉
I thought the same thing, a pity he didn’t foresee messagebank. Just as well people don’t think I am dead every time I don’t answer the phone, if I don’t recognize the number I don’t bother picking it up!
I suppose he never thought of such an amazing bit of kit being used for the mundanities we inflict on them. “I’m at the shop, which type of pickle do we get? The one with the blue label? Oh, ok, bye” Not really standing at the top of the Andes “I’m king of the world!!” stuff, is it!
Ditto on the telco rant Metan! And ditto on wanting to know who are all these people from exotic locations [to me at least]. I’m envious of your Egypt coz I haven’t had one from there yet. And I’d love some from Japan and Mongolia as well. -sigh- maybe next week.
I was pretty excited about Egypt too 🙂 Republic of Korea had a look here today but sadly didn’t leave a comment 😦 darn…
How bad are the phones out of the major suburbs, eh? The Man had a rant on the phone to telco the other day about our regular dreadful internet speed and he was told that if we were closer to the street the aerial was in it would be better. Hmmm. we are only a few streets away and the aerial is on top of a mountain. I am not sure the farmer will be too happy if I go and park in his driveway with my laptop to speed up my downloads!
TV reception isn’t great in Warrandyte but we get channel 2 really well so I’m not that fussed with the commercial channels. Phone and ADSL 2 are ok but not brilliant. All I can say is roll on the NBN!
We had about 10 years with no tv reception here at all. The only way we got it was when digital tv came out and we got a set top box. We were very lucky as the worst of the reality shows had already passed their use by without being inflicted on us.
It was nice to have no telly, even now with a dozen channels there is still nothing to watch (except Castle of a Sunday), it was barely worth spending the money to get it!!
Internet is ok here until about 5 (I have a wireless stick so I can use it anywhere, just not properly here). Around then suddenly the speed drops so much that 5 emails are too much for it in one go and it just has a meltdown for a few hours! 99% of the population might have something resembling mobile access, but…grrr..
Maybe 5 is when all the kids hop online at once?
Our reception [tv] improved with digital too but our viewing would drive a rating agency insane. I watch the Drum on ABC 24, followed by the news, followed by 7.30. That period covers cooking and eating of dinner. After that we rarely watch anything. Oh! Except for a new 3 part series on ABC 21 – How to Grow a Planet. It is extraordinary!
I think so too, my worry is what about the morning when we all hop onto the CFA website all at once? We won’t know we should have left an hour ago because the fire warnings page is still loading… grrrr…
ABC3 gets a good look in here because of the kids, and the Man loves Restoring Dreams on C31, which drives me mad. I am just annoyed Time Team isn’t on every night anymore!
How good is How to Grow a Planet? The kids sat up glued to it the other night, as did we. We love that kind of show, a pity it is only 3 parts 😦
The CFA website is a problem. During summer I listen to ABC 774 every hot day. I also bought a scanner thingie but it’s just a cheap one and apparently the CFA is going digital so not sure whether to invest in another scanner or not.
I just loved ‘How to Grow a Planet’! Daughter wandered down while I was watching it and she never went back upstairs again until it was over 😀 Did you see the series he did before? Brain’s dead so can’t remember the title but that was brilliant too. Love the Scottish brogue as well 😉
I listen to 774 all the time! I hate the ads on commercial radio so if it isn’t the ipod it is 774.
We always watch the same type of shows as ‘How to Grow a Planet’. We loved Coast as well, and still love Grand Designs! The accents make those shows even more watchable.
Thanks for giving me an excuse to put a clip of my favourite Grand Designs house and the lovely and articulate Kevin McCloud!
-dance- yes, yes, yes! We are Kevin McCloud addicts too 😀 Grand Designs and Doctor Who – the two shows neither of us ever miss 😀
I love this episode btw – it’s such a feel good story and the house looks like this big kid’s cubby that I always wanted.
night night 🙂
Indians here!! 🙂 Well, we watch the stats page too – like it is the stock market. 😛 And just like you, we also think about what is it that helps in getting these hits from different countries? And are you the same people who visit everyday? And if you do visit everyday, why wouldn’t you hit the like or maybe leave a comment…. As for your blog, its interesting to read stuff from decades ago. And I must say, you are doing an amazing job of having to hunt through old newspapers to find us something interesting to read. !! 🙂
Thank you! 😀 When I found the digitized newspapers I was in heaven, it was a while later I thought of starting a blog to share them, but I wasn’t sure anyone else would have the same fascination with them as I!
I wonder the same things as you, are those hits from the same people or are those occasional ones from Republic of Korea etc different ones each time?! I would love people to hit like so I can go and look at their blog too.
Thank you for sharing :), I expected that you guys were from India but I have a friend whose name is very Indian, and has Indian heritage, but she was adopted by an Australian family from another country altogether!
It is amazing who we manage to befriend over the internet, isn’t it! 🙂
Oh yes! The internet’s not that bad a place! 🙂 I hope you find your Korean friends soon! 🙂