Why Morse Code is Still Useful – Skate across America Day 72

December 14th, 2010



Total Distance for today: 0 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 553 miles
LOCATION: Raleigh, NC
STATUS: Preparing a surprise!

Why Morse Code is No Longer Useful (but still is)

The telegraph machine was a pretty incredible innovation in the mid 19th Century, and it set a new precedent for communication: Quite simply, we could communicate ideas across vast distances, essentially instantaneously. It might be tempting to laugh at the invention now. Can you imagine a room full of operators sitting there hammering away in Morse Code on their sending units to pass information on to another room full of operators doing the same? Innovation is rarely ideal or perfect when it comes, but it must be a powerful step in a new direction. When you think of modern communication, you probably picture yourself sending countless texts to recipients near and far. You think of cell phones and video conferencing. Perhaps you think of “permission-based” and interactive marketing?


Let me ask you this: Would any of the above modern marvels be possible if someone had not first thought: “What if I could create a system that would allow me to send information almost instantaneously over a vast distance?” They would not. More interestingly, I can assure you that shortly before the invention of the telegraph, it was preposterous to think about sending a message thousands of miles in an instant.


If you would be an innovator, world changer, or pioneer, you must attempt the preposterous! Use the inspiration of the innovators and pioneers of the past. It was impossible to send a message 1000 miles in under a second. It was impossible to enable citizens to travel 10X faster than humanly possible every where they go. It was impossible to make millions of precise calculations in a second. It was impossible to escape the atmosphere and look down on the blue earth from above. It was impossible to fly.


What makes humanity great is not that we accept that which we can’t change and just find ways to deal with it and enjoy life. What makes us great is that we can see something that is impossible and say, “Nah! I could invent a way to do that.”


Find something impossible, and do it.

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