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We may be a couple, but we don't have to pay attention to each other when we're on our cellphone | by Ed Yourdon
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We may be a couple, but we don't have to pay attention to each other when we're on our cellphone

Note: this photo was published in a Mar 22, 2010 blog titled "Cell Phones: A Security Risk to Your Business?" It was also published in a Jun 9, 2010 blog titled "How's My Presence?" And it was published in an Aug 5, 2010 blog titled "8 Things You Might Not Know About Your Cell Phone Service." It was also published in an undated (mid-Dec 2010) Digital Journal blog titled "Image." And it was published in a Dec 13, 2010 blog titled "11 key elements for the future of mobile."


Moving into 2011, the photo was published in a Feb 27, 2011 blog titled "Romanticismo interactivo del Siglo XXI."




Looking back on some old photos from 40-50 years ago, I was struck by how visible the differences were between the culture of then, versus the culture of now. In some cases, it was evident from the things people wore, or carried, or did, back then which they no longer do today. But sometimes it was the opposite: things that didn't exist back in the 1960s and 1970s have become a pervasive part of today's culture.


A good example is the cellphone: 20 years ago, it simply didn't exist. Even ten years ago, it was a relatively uncommon sight, and usually only on major streets of big cities. Today, of course, cell phones are everywhere, and everyone is using them in a variety of culture contexts.


However, I don't think this is a permanent phenomenon; after all, if you think back to the early 1980s, you probably would have seen a lot of people carrying Sony Walkmans, or "boom-box" portable radios -- all of which have disappeared...


If Moore's Law (which basically says that computers double in power every 18 months) holds up for another decade, then we'll have computerized gadgets approximately 100 times smaller, faster, cheaper, and better -- which means far better integration of music, camera, messaging, and phone, but also the possibility of the devices being so tiny that they're embedded into our eyeglasses, our earrings, or a tattoo on our forehead.


So the point of this album is to provide a frame of reference -- so that we can (hopefully) look back 10-20 years from now, and say, "Wasn't it really weird that we behaved in such bizarre ways while we interacted with those primitive devices?"

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Taken on May 25, 2009