We can see many of these developmental issues reflected in our “on-off” digital signaling technologies, the ones and zeros that drive our computers, our digital phones and televisions, and of course the Internet. But first, we will begin with the telegraph – the first technology to extend our nervous system into the “electrical domain.” Its dots and dashes represented the first transformation of information to energy: the transmission of thought itself across “lines of lightning” as the electrical energy from one “station” pulsed across the wires to the electromagnetic coils of the receiving “sounder” miles away...
Telegraph Sounder, from Cyclopedia of Telegraphy
The electrical mirroring of first chakra signaling into the Infosphere will become nearly universal with the explosion of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) devices. As this technology gets cheaper and smaller, it is likely that our physical environment will be flooded with millions of these “calling out” radio transmissions. Tiny, silently signaling tags – often as small as a grain of sand – are already riding in bulk shipping containers, wholesale pharmaceutical cartons, warehouse inventories, and soon in airline baggage tags and in consumer packaging to prevent fraud, track deliveries and provide accurate, near real-time inventory control. Some schools are experimenting with student RFID necklaces for security and tracking attendance (with mixed initial responses), and RFID bracelets are available for rent at an increasing number of large amusement parks. Our currency too may someday have embedded signaling to track money laundering and foil counterfeiting. RFID is helping nursing homes automatically track elderly residents who also have a “help alert” button on their badge.
Adding a Global-Positioning Satellite (GPS) receiver chip to an RFID transmitter will allow any object, person or animal to broadcast their location as well as their identity. GPS-RFID will help soldiers locate friend or foe even in the dark of night. Pet owners will be able to set the boundaries for their pet’s travels. A radio collar GPS receiver will constantly track the animal’s position, and when it crosses outside of the set safety area, the collar will send a message to a tracking service, which will in turn send an email or SMS text message with a map of the animal’s exact location.
These same features are coming to our cellphones as well. A federal mandate required that by the end of 2005, all cellphones display their location during a 911 call. As a result, all of the U.S. carriers put GPS chips in their cell phones. Soon our cellphones will tell us with digital precision: “you are here,” and for anxious parents, just like the aforementioned pet-owners, these phones can send a text message saying, “your child has just left school.” For the parents of teenagers, these phones can tell not only where their owner is, but also if they are in a vehicle, how fast they are traveling.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST:
8/16/07 VERLYN KLINKENBORG, in the NY Times, "Wiring the Frog, or Personal Tales From the Electronic Present" discusses his recent experiences with text-messaging and IM:
So why does I.M. seem so radical? I think it’s the slight delay built into the system — the pause when the software indicates that the other person is typing. On the telephone, that would sound like the awkwardness of dead air. In I.M., it sounds like thinking...