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Talking across the Atlantic

Unless we were to remain happy to communicate by lighting bonfires on hilltops or employing runners or galloping horses, we needed a real breakthrough.

A good idea that wasn’t followed up was the work of the Greek Thales who, in the sixth century BC, was one of the first to investigate electricity and magnetism. He did the trick of rubbing a balloon on his sleeve, and picking up some light pieces of material – actually he rubbed a piece of amber with some fur, but that’s near enough the same.

If he could only have encouraged more people to continue his work, we may have had warp drives and teleporters by now. But no-one showed any interest and, like they say in all good history books, ‘nothing happened for 2300 ...

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