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The History of an @ Sign  

:: Thursday, October 27, 2005 ::

Despite working late and cranked up doing several things at once, I happened upon this little thing and decided it shall be my offical "stop-and-smell-the-flowers-moment" for the day.

Not to be confused, however, with "stop-for-lunch", "stop-to-go-pee" and "stop-everything-to-go-read-threadwatch" moments that I wrestle with.

This moment is dedicated to Google's Gmail and, specifically, the "@" sign we use everyday.

In Guess what just turned 34?, in the Google Blog, it says,
"It's difficult to pin down the exact origin of email, but in October 1971, an engineer named Ray Tomlinson chose the '@' symbol for email addresses and wrote software to send the first network email."

The blog post, written by Paul Buchheit, Gmail Engineer, goes on to say that nobody kept a copy of the very first email ever written, nor did they record the exact date. How sad. We take email for granted. Something this momentous was blissfully lost in space and time.

We just honored and said our farewells at the passing of Rosa Parks in the USA. The day she refused to give up her seat to a white person on a bus was nailed down in history forever. Somebody thought it was important enough to record. Thank heavens this momentous event wasn't blissfully lost in space and time.

Which just goes to show how important it is to take time to slow down and be present in the moment. If you don't like something that's not working for you, you have the power to change it. That was the message Rosa Parks left for us. That's also the message the Google Gmail Engineer expressed in his blog entry, when he decided to make email better.

History happens when we're not watching. Change comes when we're paying attention, and finally recognize, what we really want.

God I hope I remember this later...

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 10/27/2005 09:51:00 PM

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