“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”- Mark Twain (Earyrs, 1971 p. 121).
Using Twain’s quote (Earyrs, 1972), and drawing from Dr. Thornburg (Laureate Education, 2014h), history has a strong influence on emerging technology. This influence can best be phrased as rhymes of history. Rhymes of history describe new technology developed from an existing technology or revising a technological breakthrough from the past (Laureate Education, 2014h). An example of this is Bell’s videophone technology (past technology) and Skype (current technology). The technological breakthrough from the Bell videophone experiment made way for Skype.
Skype is a welcome change to the way we have previously communicated using pen and paper, the telegraph, and the telephone. In the past instead of having to use pen and paper (old technology), we can now use Skype to communicate (new technology). Skype also allows us to see the person we are having a conversation with. Instead of writing a letter and wondering how the person will react to the news, Skype allows us to verbally and visually give news. We can then watch and hear the other person’s reaction.
Being able to see the person we are speaking with has a long history in both film and animation, which brought about the idea of the videophone. The concept of a videophone has a long tradition in both film and animation.
As technology continues to advance there is no telling what type of communication we will have in the next fifty years. Instead of transatlantic communication we’ll have trans galactic communication.
Let me know your thoughts!
Below is a mash-up of the videophone technologies in films dating from the early part of the 20th century to the late 20th century. Enjoy!
Berg, L. (2012). Videophones in film [Video file]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/38386211
Du Maurier, G. (1879). Edison’s Telephonoscope [Illustration] Retrieved from http://www.schubincafe.com
Daniels, G., & Reardon, J. (1995). The Simpsons: Lisa’s wedding. In J. L. Brooks, J. Collier, G. Daniels, M. Groening, C. A. B. V. Lewis, . . . M. Wolf (Producers), The Simpsons (March 15). USA: Fox.
Earyrs, J.G. (1972) Diplomacy and its discontents Publisher University of Toronto Press, Toronto
Kubrick, S. (Director), & Kubrick, S. (Producer). (1968). 2001: A space odyssey [Motion picture]. United Kingdom; United States: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Lang, F. (Director), & Pommer, E. (Producer). (1927). Metropolis [Motion picture]. Germany: UFA; Paramount Pictures.
Laureate Education. (2014h). David Thornburg: Rhymes of history [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Novak, M. (2013). A brief history of the videophone that almost was. Retrieved from http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/a-brief-history-of-the-videophone-that-almost-was-1214969187
Scott, R. (Director), & Deeley, M. (Producer). (1982). Blade Runner [Motion picture]. United States: The Ladd Company; Shaw Brothers; Blade Runner Partnership.
Skype. (n.d.). http://www.skype.com