Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Distance no object

I'm fascinated by the march of technology and the Death of Distance in all its manifestations. A couple of weeks ago my son took part in the Great North Run. Within ten minutes of his having crossed the finish line I could look on the race's site and see his time and position. Within a day I could follow a link to see souvenir pictures of him in the race. You put in his race number and up popped seven shots, taken at different points in the race.
They were doing this for 50,000 runners. Logistically it's a staggering job.
Obviously, as a proud father, I ordered pictures. Give them your credit card details and you could immediately download low and high-res versions from their site. But that's not all. They then send you the picture files on a disc.
They just arrived.
From Hamilton, New Zealand.
12,000 miles away.


  1. A man I know, he's in his eighties now, can remember his mother asking his father if he could get the time from the church clock if he was going into the village. (They lived on a farm). Nowadays he corresponds with his son in California on email.

  2. Anonymous2:54 pm

    Meh, email is soooooo 1990s. Doesn't he know he can videophone on MSN?

  3. Global communication astounds me everytime. Having email conversations with people in real time in Tokyo and Denver does my head in. Receiving a cd I ordered from San Francisco in 5 days does my head in. Especially as a letter I sent 1st class to London from Essex (before the strike)took 9 days!!