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Friday, November 16, 2007

Text messaging and cell phones and the human thumb

I imagine in the future information and knowledge will be cascading in ever increasing amounts so that future schooling will teach one to be a generalist with focus on search and access techniques. What I find interesting with the new "chatter" generation is that they are realizing what humans have always hungered for, ongoing togetherness. In the past, writing and reading (novels?) created an artificial togetherness that satisfied, or helped to satisfy, a solitary human's aloneness. And in the distant past it took great effort and time (and social skills?) to daily come into contact with more that a few others. But now one can carry a cell phone and maintain an ongoing "novel" with countless others, and in the process have an ongoing feeling of togetherness as if one were constantly surrounded with friends of choice, yet have the power to turn them on or off with a tap of a prehensile thumb.

The prehensile thumb, of course our forerunners along the evolutionary timeline provided the grasping thumb, which thereby freed the hands from walking "on all fours" and thereby stimulated the curiousness of the species with evermore "picking up and inspecting" of stuff found along the way, which stimulated the brain which was busy attempting to understand these new things that the "new hand and thumb" where constantly picking up and inspecting, and so it goes until the grasping and holding fingers and thumbs become secondary to the tapping fingers and tapping thumbs, which will continue the evolution of the hands until they became the talking hands at which time humans lose grip on their humanness. The rest of the story, to come.

3 comments:

Lucy said...

I think CS Lewis said 'We read to know that we are not alone'. But I feel that is because what we read tells us something more and deeper about ourselves and each other than ordinary, functional social interaction. I'm not sure the chatter does.

Mouse said...

I think we read to reassure ourselves that we are just like everyone else
And we chatter to try to convince ourselves that we are still unique

Bro. Bartleby said...

Interesting. And not chatter.