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Michael Gracie

A dearth of innovation, or the beginning of the end of rich communication?

Moshe Y. Vardi opines that while communication “advances” such as texting and social media may seem wondrous, they may not be the leaps the world really needs…

Recently, however, several people have been questioning this techno-optimism. In a commencement address at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, U.S. Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke compared life today to his life as a young boy in 1963, and his grandparents’ lives in 1913. He argued that the period from 1913 to 1963 saw a dramatic improvement in the quality of daily life, driven by automobilization, electrification, sanitation, air travel, and mass communication. In contrast, life today does not seem that different than life in 1963, other than the fact we talk less to each other, and communicate more via email, text, and social postings.

Worth a full read.

General disdain for Ben Bernanke notwithstanding, I find the last quoted remark above a little disheartening, and yet wholeheartedly accurate. It will be sad to see the day when smartphone functionality is embedded within everyday wear, giving mankind the ability to replace every face-to-face or voice modal interaction with a 140 character quip, regardless of whether they are fiercely clutching a device.

MG signing off (thankful that my circle would still rather pick up the phone and dial)

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