Pit Schultz on 17 Nov 2000 07:28:17 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Fwd: Re: <nettime> Cellpohones and the cancer of cellspace

This is a forwarded message
Date: Sunday, November 12, 2000, 3:31:22 AM

1. the biological (non-thermical) effects of electromagnetic waves,
especially in the microwave spectrum and for complex wave patterns are
well studied (more than 25.000 papers published in the last 15 years)
but nevertheless badly understood in theory. the "truth" is
constructed along the lines of interests and scientific evolution. by
now biocybernetics as a combination of bioelectrics and bioinformatics
is not well developed, and didn't emancipate enough from esotheric
'pseudo-science'. it's applied foucault. commonly EMF effects are more
or less understood as an psychological oversensitivity or as an effect
of some kind of "irrationality". (see ken warks interpretation) or -
on the other hand as a conspiracy of the
military-industrial-entertainment complex, and here is where the
technological progress is really happening. looking back to the public
and scientific discourse arround x-rays or asbest-dust it can take
decades until the 'truth' is handled out between all parties. what is
at risk is a whole new step of industrialisation. if the IT industry
or energy industry would have to pay for the damages it may causes or
caused... then we would live in a different world.  it doesn't need a
'holistic' or aesthetified perspective to see that.

2. most the early adopters of palm pilots (and i still have an
us robotics model somewhere) switched back after a intial phase of
euphoria to a mode of minimum use, mainly for notes, adresses,
birthdays. the heavy users began to use paper based time planners
again, and then there are still some 'gamerz', the power user types,
usually male, who love to show off the newest geekware and tinker
arround until they tested out all existing features. i think its
better then a gameboy, and i still have the communist manifesto and a
chess program uploaded, mainly for killing time in the subway. i do
not see the palm pilot becoming as ubiquitous as the telephone, it's
more like a toy for adults, with some marginal practical use, which
legitimizes its existance in a 'serious' environment.

2. the future of the pda: -  instead of a machine which can do everything
there might be countless versions for every 'need' or target group.
while most people will learn that its enough to update every 7th
generation, or 3 years, some people join the extended R&D labs, here
is where open source + freebees for nerds are getting strong. btw,
where is WAP now? and where will GPRS be? interim standards make
electronic fashion statements but not a communication revolution.
indeed, certain functions go 'naturally' together, like pager and
cellphone = SMS, which was rather unpredicted. or mp3 player and
ghettoblaster. but, is there a need to book flights or cinema tickets
with your pda when the next PC stands right there? most current
startup services are based on weak ideas and will disappear. i see a
future not for mobile pdas but for specialized internet appliances for
an affordable price. like a "netradio" with dsl subscription for 12$ a
month. the cult of mobility has a clear counterforce in the trend to
'my home is my castle' - cocooning. the more the home is becoming the
workplace or workplace becoming home the less 'cool' it is to run
arround like an electronic nomad. 'lightness' is the clue, complete
disappearence of the media down to the 'vital functions' within an
allday cellspace. all which has to be mobile is the data, or your
personal working environment. not the place of data makes it "yours"
but the way of access (through crypto). the materialism of owning your
own cellular phone or laptop might be very soon extended by renting
and leasing combined with some kind of contracts and subscriptions.
don't believe the hype.

3. handies (cellular phones) become some kind of e-proletarian gadget,
some kind of minority complex driven symbol to be more technically
advanced then the homeland of cyberspace. they also can become
a symbol of potency, importance, or empathy but all in all they just
become annoying. the early adopters, the CEO types already had to
learn a more healthy use of cellphones, the excessive use is popular
for those who might identify with this role model. excessive use of a
cellular phone doesn't make your day more effective. i use it to be
able to control when i want to be reacheable.

4. cellspace is not radically different than the internet. wireless
transmission only make the net or computers gradually more
ubiquitous than they are already. merely the interface changes. if i
do not want to check my email more then twice a day, i do not have to
do it in the future either. some advancements might come in payment
and identification methods, user tracking and all kinds of obvervation
technologies. the real radical breakthrough will come related to 1.)
the moment it is more understood that there are 'channels' of communication
which happen on the cellular, bioelectric level. not only airplanes
crash due to the use of handies but public health is going down.
cellphones are a bad prothesis for telephaty. future communication
technologies will likely become more 'human' in a non-humanistic
sense and military technology will lead the development, as it doesn't
need scientific proves as long the effects are reproduceable.

5. UMTS. its a drama that the money which is beeing made with the
privatisation of the microwave spectrum is not getting reinvested at the
right places (public access infostructure, education). this sellout is
done by a generation of politicians which has no clue about the
internet or the importance of telecommunication infrastructures for a
democratic media enviroment.
the generation of CEOs of the involved telcos have the same kind of
simplistic science fiction dreams in mind, as if they didn't learn
from the internet shock. instead this generation hopes to repeat the big
cash-in of the emerging mobile phone markets of the 90ies, not even
know if their product is really having a market. the popular
prototypes of UMTS gadetry are based again on the 'videophone'. why
should it take off this time? because people in japan love it?
knowingly, technoculture in japan has its own ways. when
the price of traffic is so expensive from the beginning, we will see a
centralisation of services and content arround the value-chain because
of the investments which went into the licenses. the states reinvests
this money not a part of the public sector which needs other kinds of
reforms. (railway systems etc.) UMTS will become everyting else then a
public channel. UMTS is happening in the spirit of the FCC (the early
20th century) or public projects like "digital divide" or "d21" which
just represent the inability of a generation in power to understand
the new media.


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