Our Wireless World

Apparently, we like to talk—not to mention surf the web, stream video and download e-books.

“Data released this week from CTIA, the wireless industry association, shows that there were 327.6 million wireless customer connections, equal to 103.9 percent of the United States population,” the New York Times reported today. In other words, as the headline on the article explained: For the first time ever, “the U.S. has more wireless devices than people.”

“The math only works because . . . people have multiple accounts and devices, using one or more cellphones, tablets, wireless hookups for their laptops, readers, and other connections,” the newspaper noted.

However one arrives at the statistic, Peter Drucker would have not been surprised by it. He considered visions of a flat world to be exaggerated in many respects, noting that most folks across the globe are still very bounded by time and place. A notable exception, however, is in the realm of information.

When it comes to information, “things there have indeed changed,” Drucker declared in a 2003 lecture, “and those high school girls in Tokyo with their cell phones can and do reach every satellite in the word. The only handicap is that they only speak Japanese. . . . But theoretically, they can reach anybody in the world.”

Photo credit: Pink Sherbert Photography

Drucker averred that information, even in the distant past, has always managed to sneak its way into places.  “There was no way the czar’s secret police could really keep information out of Russia,” he said. “Yes, they sent some people to Siberia; they confiscated things. But I’m just now reading a Dostoevsky book in which one of the major themes is that information comes in from the West and cannot be stopped.”

[EXPAND More]In today’s wireless world, of course, the control of information is even harder to maintain. “What is new is the sense that information no longer knows any distance,” Drucker remarked. “And so information has enormous political and psychological implications, far more than economic ones.”

What’s the biggest change that you’ve experienced in your life from all this interconnectedness?[/EXPAND]