From Blocks to Bitesby Rit Nosotro
Change Over Time essay
Describe changes in communication from the Gutenberg printing press to the high speed internet.
Summary: The first movable type printing press was invented by Johann Gutenberg in the early 1440s. He based the design on the Chinese printing press. However, due to the phonetic nature of European languages, this new printing press was able to mass produce books in European and other phonetic languages. This increased the amount of communication around the world. Later on, the creation the internet sparked a new communication revolution. Now, many people have the ability to communicate with someone on the other side of the world within seconds.
Throughout the ages communication was always a key to survival, and remains so today. Here we will look at two of the most important elements towards furthering communication on this earth. The first is the Gutenberg printing press. Gradually invented in the early 1440s, Gutenberg’s press made possible the ability to quickly and efficiently create and distribute books and other documents. More importantly it allowed the mass distribution of the God’s holy word, the Bible. With the idea forming around the year 1957, another great invention came about. The Internet started slowly as a means of protecting the great United States of America during the cold war, but eventually evolved into a large and ever increasing mass of information at the fingertips of almost anyone.
The Gutenberg Bible rolled out of the wooden printing press for the first time in 1452. Gutenberg had spent four long and toilsome years inventing and perfecting the machine. Upon his completion he could find no greater work to print out than the Bible. Even though printing had been around since around 868 AD in China, it had never been perfected enough to allow mass production of documents and books. Each page that was printed had to be manually carved into wood, each letter intricately done. Once that was done and several copies made the printer would have to start on a copy of the next page. This made the task quite cumbersome, and manually copying books was more in practice in Gutenberg’s time. Gutenberg however put away the idea of carving out pages and decided instead to carve out letters. When the German goldsmith set his mind to the task he was able to come up with what was called “moveable type”. This had amazing effects around the world, as moveable type printing presses sprung up everywhere and began to work hard bringing books to the world, especially the printed Bible.
The internet had fairly humble beginnings. As early as 1957, scientists for the US Military decided that they needed a technology that would allow uninterrupted communication. This would help track and give orders to the guidance systems of missiles and other weaponry. An organization was set up to help, and it was called the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). This organization eventually set up small connected computers, which sent information at around 50 kbps. After 1972 however the internet began to rapidly transform into what it is today. First e-mail was developed, followed by the idea of a TCP/IP connection. Unfortunately with all these good things happening, tragedy would strike. In 1988 the first online worm was released, causing havoc and great loss of time and money. Eventually the internet became available to all types of people, and localized networks (LAN) were also used all over the world.
By looking at both the Internet and the Gutenberg press, we can see the effects both of these inventions had on history. The printing press brought the living Word of God to thousands of people who had not even heard, let alone read its great words. Before Gutenberg’s time, only the monks and church officials even dreamed of being able to read. The common folk had nothing too read even if they could. Yet the press changed it all, revolutionizing the world through its mass printing. In just the same way the Internet also served to further God’s kingdom. On thousands of sites the Bible can be found, downloaded, or even listened to by millions at a time. The internet also allowed advanced means of communication and documentation, just as the printing press had. Overall, both inventions greatly affected the world, in some ways for good, and in other ways for bad.
The printing press and internet have greatly furthered communication. Through the printing press, God's Holy Word has become available to anyone who can read. Through the internet, Christians can share their faith with a person on the other side of the world. Thus, more effective communication has greatly help the spread of the Gospel. Nevertheless, the printing press has led to the mass production of many books that attack Christianity. Also, the internet has led to the spread of pornography, other immoral activities, and unbiblical ideas. Through all of this, Christians should always remember to focus on the pure things and set their minds upon things above (as per Colossians 3:2)
see also Communication between God and Man
Sean “A short history of the internet” World History October 29, 2004.
About “Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press” World History.
October 29, 2004.
Krystula, Dave. “The History of the Internet” World History. October
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