My brother once again popped by for lunch and we had our normal, very loud conversations
He likes to give me blog post ideas by giving me one or two sentences of what’s on his mind. Its on me to decide how to capture his intent.
His last two suggestions involve mobile technology and the poor. His first suggestion was that I write about the urban poor of the United States (which I did) and his second is the cultural effect globally that mobile technologies will have on the world.
Mobile technologies are an extension of the 35 year era we are in of personal computing. The first wave based around the home computer touched the wealthy nations and the rising BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) with the BRIC’s just catching the tail end of the personal computing evolution.
The next wave of personal computing will be mobile, much more broad and leveling. Mobile technologies need far less infrastructure than PC’s. Just a satellite, a radio tower and a smart phone and you are go to go.
What does that mean? It means that every one in the World could potentially be connected to the web… Read that again…. everyone worldwide could be connected to one another. The social and cultural implications cannot be understood right now. We’ve already seen the minor ramifications of connected people in the Arab Spring. We’re starting to see markets previously never available in Africa to open up. The idea of a kid in Nairobi using a smartphone to connect the internet and access the worlds information cannot be understated. It is a such a massive change that its power can’t be defined by some talking head in the moment. History will mark the late 2000’s as when life as we knew it changed.
We should all be studying the effect rail had on culture for our best guess for the societal change that is coming. Ideas spread faster, goods and services moved faster, whole areas became inhabited. The isolated got pulled in. Cities exploded in population.
Why wouldn’t a computer in everyone’s hands have similar effect?