I've just heard that it's coming soon in the USA, on 29 June 2007: Apple's revolutionary iPhone! [Click here or on the image to visit their excellent website.] Up until now, I've been a total phone philistine, maybe because I don't live in an urban environment where lots of friends are calling me continually to invite me around for a drink or dinner, or to talk about going out somewhere. Gamone has never been that kind of world. Even my dog Sophia rarely gets phone calls. Like me, I assume she prefers the Internet. Well, on the iPhone, we'll have both. So, I have a feeling that my phone world might change radically for me—and lots of other folk—when this little Apple gadget is released. Between now and then, I'll have to look into the idea of maybe extending my list of people who might be prepared to talk to me. [Poor lonely soul!]
I've always been amused by the words of an unnamed critic, back in the days of the Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who took out a patent on the telephone in 1876. "That gadget won't last for long. People will soon run out of things to say to one another."
It's a bit the same with blogs. This will be my 257th post. Now, six months ago, if somebody had asked me whether I would be capable of publishing an article a day, to ramble on about anything and everything, I would have replied: "No way. I'm simply not that talkative." It's true that I prefer to write about a precise theme, in a well-specified context. Here, that's not at all the case. From one day to the next, I have no idea whatsoever of what I'm going to write about. And above all, apart from a handful of personal contacts, I don't even know who's reading my stuff. So, I guess I have to admit that I might even be a naturally talkative fellow. Add that to the fact that I speak in such a loud voice (I've always been slightly hard of hearing) that I'm capable of waking up the neighbors of my aunt and uncle in Sydney, and you'll gather that I'm definitely not the kind of guy to invite home... which is probably why nobody phones me on my portable.
I've observed the frenetic way in which today's adolescents use and abuse the portable telephone. In Sydney's suburban trains and buses, the situation was even worse still. "Hi. It's me. I'm on the way home. See you soon. Bye."
Why do people do so much talking on phones, on blogs, etc? It's time for another plug concerning the fabulous book by Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine. [Click here to see my article of 4 March 2007 on this subject, entitled Imitation.] Let me just repeat the gist of the subject. Darwinian evolution transformed us into big-brained naked apes, of whom one of the earliest and dearest specimens was our Mitochondrial Eve, celebrated in yesterday's article. But this style of progress is henceforth—as they say in French—a little has-been. We need something bigger, better, faster and more modern in a human sense than old-fashioned genetic evolution. The new stuff is called memetics. And, if you read Susan Blackmore's book, you'll see that we humans talk a lot (well, at least those of the talkative kind do) for the simple reason that we're constantly transmitting and receiving memes.
I hope I've talked you into reading this great ground-breaking book.