Updated: Mar 2
My first book in The Idea Miners series, The Lost Lake Dig, ended with the line “Ideas define us: our past, our present, and most importantly, our future.“
In today’s world of instant communications, it’s possible, like no time before, to watch as new ideas evolve and shape our future. But it can also be enlightening to look back and see how past ideas have set the groundwork.
As a computer science major in college, many years ago, I remember researching the developing internet architecture—this was before it was even called the internet. There was a discussion centering on developing an addressing scheme for connecting the computers together, and one of the major points in the discussion was that the addressing needed to be expandable. After all, the author argued, who knows how big this network of computers will become! —This was a time when the number of computers connected to “the network” numbered in the thousands, if not the hundreds. As of 2020, there are currently over 4.33 billion active internet users worldwide. Fifty-seven percent of the entire world’s population has internet access.
As it turned out, the addressing in the internet is somewhat complex. Each physical device has a detailed unique numerical address, but we humans reference them as a string of labels. For example, pa.gov is how we reference the computer for the government of Pennsylvania, but under the covers, the software translates pa.gov to the computer’s numerical address to establish communication across the network.
It’s the labeled references, called domain naming (eg: .pa.gov), that I find interesting, from my perspective in looking back in time. In the design discussions of the domain naming scheme—.com, .org, .uk, .us, etc.—I remember someone speculating there may even be a need for .moon or .mars in the future.
Sounded like crazy talk at the time, but it doesn’t sound so far fetched now, with the current push to return to the moon, planned missions to Mars, and who knows where else we’re off to. (There is a lot happening in the space world. A good place to get the latest news is The Space Show: https://www.thespaceshow.com/)
My suggestion is, don’t be afraid to think, as they say, outside the box. Others may scoff and laugh, but who knows . . . .moon and .mars no longer sound like crazy talk. How about .milkyway and .andromeda!
We truly live in exciting times.
"Ideas define us, our past, our present, and most importantly, our future." The Idea Miners: The Lost Lake Dig