Friday, May 16, 2008


A new study by Nortel found that approximately "16% of the global information workforce already 'Hyperconnected,' more significantly, another 36% will be joining them soon!"

By hyperconnected, they mean people who are constantly on their cell phones, texting, twittering, facebooking, blogging, emailing, etc. The hyperconnected are the type of people who "frequently override the little notifier app. that checks [their email] once a minute because an e-mail could have arrived in the intervening 60 seconds." Quote from a recent Time article.

Of course Science Fiction predicted this type of thing way before it actually became possible and usually in a chilling way. If you haven't read The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster (yes the guy who wrote A Room with a View and Howard's End but we can forgive him for that), then take a few minutes to do so now. You'll understand why this story has become so relevant in recent years. This is required reading for my Science and Science Fiction students.


Anonymous said...

You know, this is an interesting train of thought, especially given the things I've recently seen going on in Second Life re: distance education. In constantly adapting things from our world into second life, we certainly may not create the same "problem" from "The Machine Stops", but we most undoubtedly are taking the necessary first-steps to allowing for said "problem" to be possible. Granted, I think the education in SL is a pretty cool idea. However, the two links in this post highlight a key point to be kept in mind. Just as "Twittering" does not fulfill any existing needs but creates new ones, we must be aware in assessing every new advance in virtual communications (and the like) that we are aware of what we are giving up or replacing in the real world. Should we be willing to make this sacrifice, we can certainly proceed. However, should we not, I think it would prove quite useful to have thought it out in advance.

Hiro Sheridan said...

Good points. They way things are changing who knows what will be here ten years from now - though I'm sure society will be even more hyperconnected.