Wednesday, July 31, 2002

The Value of a Mobile
I cannot believe, I am writing this. Until last week, I was on the other side, yes that is right-anti-cellular. As a result of my between-residence status, I decided to join the mobile world, and I must agree, its value for communication is tremendous, especially as we as society become extremely lazy. I also purchased a phone for my mother, and what is interesting to me is that, when her family was growing up in India, in the gham (village), I don't think there were too many landlines around. I think possibly, one family in her neighborhood had a phone that everyone would use. I do know that her family was the only one with a radio in the neighborhood, and now maybe 50 years later, technology is such that people are able to make phone calls from anywhere to anywhere for a very reasonable price. How weird of a concept is that? That is not to say there is not a more valuable application for mobile technology, or that there should either be more government regulation or greater corporate responsibility on cell phone companies with regards to phone number changing, calling plans, and universal chips, but, hopefully things will improve. There is a great story in todays Washington Post on the Cell phone, and here is one of the coolest things:

"Former Philippine president Joseph Estrada, accused of massive corruption, was driven out of power two years ago by smart mobs who swarmed to demonstrations, alerted by their cell phones, gathering in no time. "It's like pizza delivery," Alex Magno, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, told The Post at the time. "You can get a rally in 30 minutes – delivered to you." Cell phones drove political change in that upheaval the way fax machines enabled Tiananmen Square, cassette recordings fired the Iranian revolution, photocopiers fueled the Polish Solidarity uprising and short-wave radios aided the French Resistance."

So while I despise corporate greed and ruthlessness, a value perpetrated by many American cell phone companies, I admit it, I do enjoy the cell phone.


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