Monday, June 06, 2005

Susie buys a new dress (and changes the world)

Susie buys a new dress
When I am riding my bicycle I keep my cell phone in my back pocket. I was riding my bicycle through Los Gatos yesterday when my cell phone rang. It was my wife Sue who asked where I was. I told her I was in downtown Los Gatos. She said good, she was there too and was trying on a new dress and she wanted me to see it. I said, okay, I will be there in five minutes. I arrived, we looked at the dress and liked it. I said, wait a minute and I took her picture. Then I blogged her picture so the whole world can potentially see her new dress.

Susie buys a new dress, is hardly big news. But, this information transaction is illustrative of the huge changes happening in our society. In the 90's ubiquitous portable phones came into reality. Now 50% of those phones have cameras. According to a story I read in this morning's paper those in-phone cameras will soon be as good as regular cameras. What will this mean for news coverage? What will this mean for politics? What will this mean for labor or education? What will this mean for the world?

Imagine if folks on the top of the world trade center on 9/11 had such phones and could send out pictures using them? I remember the chant during the 1968 democratic convention in Chicago. The crowd chanted, "the whole world is watching." Soon it will be, "the whole world is broadcasting." When that happens there will be no keeping secrets anywhere.

The implications for the labor movement are huge! Every employee will be armed with the technology to reveal safety violations or harsh working conditions. This technology will empower employees to take on evil employers who lie and cover-up the truth about how they treat employees. It will be as easy as telling folks about a new dress, and just as quick. Everybody will soon have the power to do this right at their fingertips.


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