Social Networking

A very brief look at social networking now and then and what it means.

Recently I gave a short presentation on the Python package Brewery. At the conclusion of said talk I was so bold as to mention I was thinking of subclassing some of the code to make it work with DBF files. To that end I went to the GitHub repository to fork it and start my work. At the conclusion of the process I went into contemplative mode. The realization struck that the code started with a guy in Bratislava, Slovakia was uploaded to a site hosted somewhere and then downloaded to my computer here in Bellingham, WA. GitHub being the social hub that facilitated the exchange. Now, since I have a restless mind and need to feed it a varied diet I also read histories/biographies on a regular basis, Theodore Roosevelt being the current topic.  Over the past year the subjects covered have included the elucidation of DNA, Einstein, Darwin and the Desert War in WWII.  Much is made of social networking and its impact on the current world(though it would not seem the stock market:)) While I would admit the ease with which people can interact has been significantly improved, I am not sure there is anything truly new or useful going on. In all the books mentioned there where active social networks present. Needless to say the means of interacting where tailored to the technological level of the day.  Though the pace would seem glacial by today’s standards information managed to traverse great distances and human thought progressed.  In fact my feeling is it progressed at higher plane than currently. The speed and relentless persistence of  present information flow seems to preclude the deep and contemplative thought found in the not too distant past.  So the question is the social networking of today really an improvement or just another problem to overcome?