Jul 31, 2007
Sounds like maybe a sequel to Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Lynne Truss's delightful, best-selling book about proper punctuation - check it out, there's a picture of a panda on the cover...), but I was thinking about how just about every new and hot application on the Web these days (Twitter and Pownce), not to mention breakthrough hardware (iPhone) are enabling us to act on our impulse to communicate.
Twitter and Pownce let us tell our friends exactly what we are doing, or what we will be doing, or have just done - and we can similarly follow what our friends (or followers, fans) are up to. Anyone can get on Twitter. You have to be invited to get on Pownce (I somehow made it on) - it's a very sleek, cool, useful system, created by some of the people who made Digg.
The iPhone, of course, lets you talk, write, and access anything on the Internet any time, anywhere you please. I predicted as much in my doctoral dissertation back in 1979, but I still find this breathtaking.
Not everyone's a fan of this increasing immediacy. Some people agree with Lewis Mumford, who back in 1934 (in Technics and Civilization - no panda on cover) complained that radio news, unlike newspapers, did not give us time to think and reflect. He was not to happy with telephones back then, either.
Well, fortunately, things did not go the way Mumford would have liked. We have many more outlets for immediate communication now than in 1934.
And I count that as a good thing. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that one of the signal characteristics and accomplishments of our humanity is to communicate whenever we please, to anyone, anywhere - as I'm doing right now at almost 3 in the morning with this blog, which I hope you enjoy...