Headline Dec 12, 2014/


STUDENT Mariam,  the great pacifier of all conceivable skirmishes, set the trend. She had,  and has an iPhone, that she just wouldn't let anybody touch.

Rabo and Dee at their very best, could only turn green with envy,  but only after turning into teasing copycats. All three now, have recent versions of the  iPhone. 

And as for me, -and for the sake of public disclosure,  well,  - I just part own, a skunk of a six years old  -Sony Ericsson.

The girls grimace with pain and embarrassment, every time I get to set it, to my ears.  But I for one,  consider their act as a definitive proof, that the world has kind, and  caring people still valuing simple emotion of, pity

I did then and do now, so often wonder, If the girls know that the smartphone in their hand gives them access to billions of time as much information  -as was held in all the libraries on earth, only some centuries ago.

You can find out in real time what's happening with O''Captain Imran Khan's protests, the situation in Ukraine, your high school friends or the price of soyabean futures.

You're a swipe away from knowing the best way to get somewhere, the best temperature to grill burgers or the best deal on a new laptop. You can track the progress of any commercial flight. And.... on and on.

So what actually does history guide: .  

SENECA,  -the Roman philosopher worried about information flooding and overload nearly  2000  years  before it got cool, very cool. See what he thinks:

''What is the point of having countless books and libraries whose titles the owners could scarcely read through in a lifetime,'' he wondered.

In  1685,  the French scholar Adrien Baillet warned that the continuing  ''multitude of books which grows every day in a prodigious fashion''   could prompt the kind of collapse that befell Seneca's civilization, leading to Visigoth style barbarism.

In Too big to know,  a book on our current age of  unlimited data, author David Weinberger observes that these long ago Cassandras now seem like whiners, ''drowning  facedown in puddles of information.''   
WIKIPEDIA  killed the encyclopedia. Apps killed maps. Nobody buys classified ads in printed newspapers now that:
Craiglist is free and searchable.

The democratization of information is particularly threatening to middlemen and gatekeepers.

Who needs a travel agent when there's Kayak and Priceline?  How long can real estate agents and stockbrokers survive when buyers and sellers are linking up online?

Things do get lost in this ocean of  info. We no longer bother to remember stuff we can easily look up. GPS killed the fun of bumbling around a new city.We spend too much time reconnecting on Facebook with that kid -

We barely knew in summer camp  -and not enough time connecting with real friends in real life. The environmental activist Bill McKibben wrote a book called  ''The Age Of Missing Information''  in 1992,  bemoaning how our bombardment with-

Televised stimuli drowned out the subtle call of the wild.

He says the  data revolution,  with its sophisticated climate models and social media organizing tools, has leveled the playing field against fossil fuel giants  -but at a cost.

''The world inside the screen can become more real than the world outside.'' McKibben emailed one author before trekking off the grid to New Hampshire's Pemigewasset Wilderness. ''The degree of our experience that intermediated is off the charts.''

Still,  spoilers, pop-ads, Internet hoaxes and other inconveniences of this age are small prices to pay for instant access to infinite information.

It's fundamentally convenient that we no longer need to carry maps,  compasses, calenders, address books, calculators or watches now that our phones perform their function through the magic of ones and zeros.

Photo Albums, music collections and video libraries   -as well as newspapers, magazines and books   -no longer need to occupy physical space either.

Now everything we do   -every online purchase, a prescription and tweet   -adds to the  digital tsunami  known as the  Big Data. That can sound ominous, but Big Data is producing better information:

About the economy, health and everything else, because we have better tools for slicing and dicing data,  for searching, sifting and sorting through the barrage of keystrokes.

The world's computing power is expanding  10,000%  every decade, algorithms can draw conclusions from  e-prescription data before doctors could ever notice a pattern.

If  The Graduate were filmed in  2014,   or were I ever to give career advice to these,  Four  great Pakistani Heroes,  Mariam, Rabo Dee, Malala, I would, for sure, [ probably ]  recommend  Data Management,  and not plastics.

*** The answers business is the Future, Girls. The questions and queries    business is the future, Students  ***

The Honour and Serving of the Post will continue at regular intermissions in the future. Thank you for reading,  and, maybe, learning. And see you on the following one.

With respectful dedication to all Cell Phone manufacturers in the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The Clout '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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