Stamped with a Smile

The irony is, Net culture was unusually literate. The pioneers of the Net were hackers, people who routinely spend twelve to sixteen hours a day editing text, and whose favorite leisure-time activity is inhaling fantasy and science fiction novels by the pallet load. These people are no strangers to words. - Neal Stephenson


If they are not strangers to words, then why do they see the need for smileys? Communication. We always had a need to improve how we talk and write. Eventually it was taken over by the texting generation and the rest was history. If you look at the history of smileys as a Carnegie Mellon computer whiz started it 25 years ago, one would realize that the history of technological advances is far from recent. In fact, in order to get a good grasp on communication advances, you would have to start at the beginning of langauge itself. Maybe in the future, we would be able to find out a way to communicate without moving (how crazy is that). When I read the Stephenson article, all I could do was think about the article on Usenet and Eternal September. However, as I said in that blog entry, every time there is an introduction of a new technology or method to the public, there is no controlling it. Think about that the next time you see a smiley at the end of a text message ;-}).