The Olympic opening ceremony was amazing, a true celebration of all that is British. From the industrial revolution through to the digital age. Including the guest appearance of Tim Bernese-lee, who on Christmas day 1990 launched the world wide web. Through which you get to read this blog and many more like it. The tweet Tim sent for the Olympic games was sent to thousands of pixels round the stadium. “the is for everyone”.
All those years ago, Tim could not have realised what he had started. His initial plan was to provide a way that scientists all over the world could collaborate on big science. He was working for CERN at the time, and this was before they built their large hadron collider under Switzerland.
Just over 20 years later and the internet has become something of a revolution. There were more tweets made during the opening ceremony than over the whole of the 2008 Olympics. So rapid has been the developments of the world wide web that unless you can find something on google it may as well not exist.
However we need to remember that the Internet is dependent on computers that another Brit created the idea of. The great Alan Turing who help break the enigma code using his logical processors the earliest form of computers. However those first computers would not have been possible without the man Bose who developed the first seminconductors used in radio that form the back bone of computation or the man at Texas instruments who create the first integrated circuits.
I have been research all these people and more for my book the science, history, culture and technology of climbing. Where I explore just what these and other great leaps forward in technology have meant to climbing and mountaineering. Plus how occasionally mountaineering has help influence science and medicine,
The fact that Tim was honour in the Olympics is great as to me sport is not just about fitter, higher stronger. It’s about technology and science helping achieve those. I can still remember when tennis rackets were wooden, then aluminium and finally the carbon fibre we have today.
I am sat in a train right now heading to watch the greatest show on earth, although I could easily be sat at home on my computer plugged into the Internet to watch whatever sport I wanted.
I’ll try and tweet some pictures or blog before, after or even during the event!