The other day, my son in Korea had a question to pose. Some may know, he’s been in South Korea for about five years as an English teacher. It’s amazing how easily people can communicate these days. He and I talk by one means or another on most days. It’s either on Skype, by video, on our tablets, or by text messages. Anyway, the communication is instantaneous from the other side of the world.
My daughter, whom my son has lovingly dubbed “Jungle Woman”, is a bit less accessible because she leads adventure training in still isolated parts of Canada where even the internet is not yet ubiquitous. So, we hear from her more sporadically.
When I was much younger than my son and daughter, I wanted to be a Ham Radio Operator but there was an age restriction to take the exams. You had to be at least fifteen years of age. So, as it worked out, it was many years later when, in my twenties, I studied and took the course for the exams and passed.
It was an amazing time for me. I could rig up my transmitter to a wire antenna and contact far off places around the globe. I usually did that by Morse Code. And as you likely realize, that kind of communication was by radio waves as opposed to by today’s digital means. Consequently, it was at the vagary of the atmospheric conditions, the sunspot cycles, and time a day for how good the communication would be. If you were in the so‐called grey zone of communicating between a region at sunrise and another that was at sunset, conditions would be optimum. But you wouldn’t always be able to get through even at that time.
That’s a far cry from communication today. It is as if Dick Tracy’s wrist watch radio had become a reality. From a tiny cell phone, you can send a message almost anywhere in the world in microseconds with 100 per cent reliability and accuracy. And that’s how my son and I were communicating the other day when he asked his question.