Monday, August 8, 2011

Milestones

The world wide web turns 20. AIDS turn 30. Life moves on... or stops. Depends on which part of the timeline you're standing. It's been 20 years since the launch of the 'internet'. I've watched it evolve, been part of it. I remember when we first came to Alor Setar (that was in the mid 90s) the Internet was a novelty. We went to sign up and I think there were three or four names before ours. I think we were among the earliest people to subscribe to the Internet, up north here. And those days, logging onto the www was quite a complicated matter. You had to install the Trumpet Winsock which provided the TCP/IP functionality to connect to the Net, to set up the dial up, ping to troubleshoot... In those days, Windows had no networking ability. You actually listen to your modem dial the 1511 number accompanied by the hissing sounds. LOL! That was the era before Google. You had to know exactly where you wanted to go. The web was just that... a great big web where you can go lost very easily. We had to remember all the URLs and type it down. Else the Internet was just like a maze of library rows, which made looking for info like looking for a needle in the haystack. It's all hazy in my mind now. These days, you don't have to do much. Everything is just a clicks or touches away on the keyboard or mouse. Most of us don't even understand how it actually works... We google everything! See why the Google guys are great? They made the www navigable.

Other Half even taught our computer vendor how to set up the connection as he didn't know how to do it. That guy went to set up many customers' connections after that as he was one of the few computer vendors who could do it. LOL! And this year, the Internet touches the 20 year mark. For my son's generation, they take it for granted. Just as my generation took the radio for granted. Can't say the same for the TV cos the idiot box entered many of our lives when we were about 7 or 8. I still can remember the first little TV that we had and the colour TV when I was 12. I remember cos it was either the TV or piano. We kids, opted for the TV! Dad couldn't afford both.

AIDS was such a feared disease, still is. 30 years down the road (since it's discovery in America) and there have been so many claims that we're near finding a cure. AIDS has been around a while, some say dating dating back to the late 1800s. AIDS kills.... and so do many other diseases too. But because it's also sexually transmitted, it makes it even more dangerous. Add that to a really long incubation period and our inability to curb promiscuity, whole populations can be infected. The danger is in sex. In diseases like Ebola, we do what it takes to curb it.

Monogamy will probably play a huge role in curbing AIDS, but then again we like to hail this era as an era of sexual liberties, etc, etc. So AIDS will continue to be dangerous.... and in Malaysia, sex education is not really taught in schools yet. Maybe we think that our religiosity is shield enough. But I think we're dead wrong. Just go into our schools today and you will find that morality is on the decline; a rather steep decline too, if I may add. Kids are getting sexually active younger. Some are having multiple partners by upper secondary. So unless they come up with a really quick cure for aids, monogamy is still probably the best way of curbing it. But passion and desire are hard to reign in.

So, in this august month, we are reminded of 2 milestones in historical timeline. One has transformed our lives like the Industrial Revolution did to people of that era, another reminds us our mortality and inability to control an epidemic, cos, well, it's hard to keep control where people are concerned.

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