“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
One philosophical argument revolves around the distinction between our understanding of ‘sound’ (being the excitement in our ear in response to vibrations in the atmosphere) and of ‘noise’ (being a scientific measure of the vibrations regardless of whether or on they affect human hearing). Another revolves around the nature of perception, and yet another might confuse us by denying all physical reality in favour of a model created in our psyche based upon our perceptions. (A series of movies embodied and extended this notion as The Matrix trilogy.)
In all cases there is a dependence upon someone else’s understanding and/or perception of the event. The cartoon brings in a modern twist – Twitter. In today’s connected world we know that whatever we tweet about on Twitter or comment about on Facebook someone will hear it, and not just one, or even a few. Our social media networks extend globally and reach millions. We live in an increasingly connected world. We feel we’re losing out if we don’t know what our friends, family, business contacts or favourite celebrities are up to.
- On 14 February 1876 Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent application for his new invention – the telephone.
- On 14 February 1895 Oscar Wilde’s last play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, opened at the St. James’ Theatre in London.
- On 14 February 1989 the first satellite of the Global Positioning System was placed into orbit above the Earth.
These events are significant in that they are all reliant on others, and have no value on their own or without more of the same or a wider take-up.
- The first telephone in the world is worthless without at least one other to call.
- The best script in the world is worthless without an audience.
- The first GPS satellite is worthless until several more are deployed to give a receiver enough signals to triangulate.
So Alexander Graham Bell may have been there at the beginning of the social media revolution over 130 years ago! It’s a good job someone heard him!