Not so long ago when someone wanted to send a message, they hired a messenger. The messenger got on a horse and delivered the message personally. The message was on paper, parchment, a clay tablet, or whatever physical medium was prevalent at the time.
This whole process seems wasteful now, but that’s because you and I are sitting comfortably at the dawn of the electronic age. The thing is: messages are ideas. Physical things like ink, paper and horses have little or nothing to do with ideas. These physical things are just carriers for ideas. But in reality, the ideas are paperless, horseless and messengerless.
The neat thing about computers is that they manipulate ideas efficiently. A computer network, carries nothing but the ideas. They do this with no muss, no fuss, and no extra physical baggage.
When you start dealing efficiently with ideas, very nice things can happen. Suddenly, all the overhead is gone. Instead of pushing paper and trees, you’re pushing numbers and concepts. Without the overhead, you can do more, faster, and accomplish things that are much more complex than ever before.
Inspired by Barry Burd, Java for Dummies, 4th Edition
Painting: Henri Matisse, L’Odalisque - Harmonie Bleu (1937)