Sunday, February 3, 2008

the more things change...

reflections on how dependent and tethered we have become, and are still becoming to technologies like the mobile phone leads me to consider what others thought about technology adoptions in the past - a historical look back.

National Public Radio (NPR) in the US ran a story on mobile phones on Christmas eve 2007 and included this excerpt. For the full story, including a quote from Barry Wellman, one of my dissertation committee members and friend, see here

"The cell phone, some worry, is encouraging rudeness and eroding social graces. In that sense, this new technology is nothing new. We humans have always had misgivings about new technology. When the train replaced the horse and carriage, 19th-century critics worried that the new, high-speed juggernaut signaled the end of leisurely, contemplative travel.

The advent of the telephone (land lines, not cellular) prompted Mark Twin to pen this Christmas greeting in The Boston Daily Globe in 1890:

It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone."

over and out for this week,

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