Conferencing - From Monkey to Mankind

Let's face it. The human creature is a social creature. It enjoys getting together with other humans to discuss plans, ideas, theories, lunch, moral questions, verycheapestcarinsurance.org.uk, movies and so on. More to the point, the human creature likes to do this with other, like-minded humans from all over the world and in faraway places. It is human instinct and it has been around for a long, long time.

Yes, conferencing has been around since the dawn of human evolution. While there is no evidence, it can be safely assumed that after the first monkey climbed down out of his tree, he returned and discussed what he saw and did with several of his peers. After a great amount of hooting and barking, he convinced other adventurous simians to follow his example. Several turns of the moon later, this group of primates assuredly agreed to meet at another tree on the far side of the valley to talk about their adventures on the ground and how they could improve upon it. I believe this was the first "conference" to have taken place and also happened to be the first step of evolution from simian to homo sapien.

It did not stop there. As technology progressed and travel became easier, so did meeting with one's peers. The ships of the ancient world made it possible for the rich to travel to distant lands, to meet with one another, and to discuss how they might squeeze every last penny from the poor - without the poor knowing that this was taking place.

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As technology improved and traveling by ship became faster and cheaper, other groups began meeting for conferences. Among these were scientists, artists, and professional boxers. The scientists exchanged information they had gleaned through experimentation. The artists showed off their latest techniques and caroused with naked women in public places. The boxers just stood around insulting each other, pelting one another with blows, drinking, and breaking everything and everyone in sight. As a side note, it should be mentioned that the scientists were commonly arrested for disorderly conduct.

Conferencing soon became something not only done abroad, but quietly began to invade the local scene. Before anyone expected - it also happens to coincide with the creation of the megatropolis - everyone was conferencing. Workers were getting together to discuss better ways to mislead management. Management was getting together to find faster ways of duping workers. Doctors were meeting to discuss which nurses were most likely to put out in the linen room. And world leaders were still journeying to abroad to argue over who had the biggest - ummm - "armies".

Of course, the scientists were still a bit snippy about being singled out and arrested. So they invented "teleconferencing" - which is a fancy way of saying "Fine, we'll just take the fun out of the conference." With a successful gloat or two, they made it so cheap that the greedy could not resist. With a fan and a flourish, they introduced this technology which has virtually decimated many industries which had survived on the business of the "conference". This list includes, but is not limited to: police dispatch, alcohol production, prostitution, the hotel gift store, and auditorium folding seat production.

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Copyrighted in 2010 by Mary Peters