South African Carrier pigeon faster than broadband internet

Quite the pigeon.

Quite the pigeon.

With all the discussions we’ve had pertaining to the forward movement of technology and how it pertains to us as journalists, I thought this video from the BBC’s website is particularly comical.

Essentially, South Africa’s largest Web firm, Telkom, had its broadband service laughed at when a pigeon toting a 4 GB stick of ram managed to travel a 60 mile distance before 4% of the equivocal data could be transferred via the net.

While the internet is particularly slow in Africa (everyone is hoping that will change when the three new fiber optic cables are in place), it does make one think that perhaps we’ve gotten so enthralled by the word ‘technology’, we’re missing the obvious fact that it’s sometimes easier to resort to archaic methods. (Case in point, while everyone loves to text on their phones, wouldn’t it be ultimately easier to pick up the phone and call said person?)


2 responses to “South African Carrier pigeon faster than broadband internet

  1. This is an excellent point. It seems that in most situations technology makes things easier, quicker, better, etc. But, that doesn’t mean all of our “old techniques” are no longer relevant.

    I’ve always felt that so many disputes and misunderstandings begin via text messaging because it is missing so many of the nuances of vocal communication: inflections and tone of voice, pauses, expression, etc.

    That’s why the post office will not go out of business, even with the amount of e-mailing and texting people engage in today. If I need a sweater I left at home sent to me, the computer can’t transport it to me. Now, it does make communicating that I need the sweater a little quicker, but it doesn’t get the sweater here.

    I think it is important to be critical of all forms of communication and keep our minds open to what form of media or communication is appropriate for the content rather than defaulting to whatever seems the newest or hippest.

  2. Once a student came in to complain that she couldn’t find a phone number for a state agency. “I looked all over their Web site,” she insisted. I reached in my desk drawer and handed her the phone book.

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