Thursday, 29 January 2009

Are we all connected?

When I went to college in the US I did not see my parents for 2.5 years. Neither did I talk with them. The costs were astronomical - and the sound was something like having a 747 taking off in the background.

In an age of skype (insert your favourite social networking site or technology here) all that seems almost quaint. But wait - there is more:
The human race is crossing a line. There is now one cellphone for every two humans on Earth.

From essentially zero, we've passed a watershed of more than 3.3 billion active cellphones on a planet of some 6.6 billion humans in about 26 years. This is the fastest global diffusion of any technology in human history -- faster even than the polio vaccine.

The article in the Washington Post (click here to see it) argues that cell phones are shaping our humanity. It is fascinating to see the death of distance in some ways. The kids from the miller next door to our office and their fruit-selling uncle talking to a relative in the village. Unheard and un-thought-of a decade ago.

But however wired we become (or unwired as it may be - but still teleconnected) all it takes is a single argument for us to shut down all comunications.

The greater miracle than harnessing the airwaves is the fundamental one of how a thought in me - is expressed through my body - and travels to another person - and they detect and filter out the meaning - and then respond back. The marvel of any form of information exchange is so beautiful.

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. (John 1.1)
Now if only our family mobile would start working again. 3 days is a long time!

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