Monster Makers from Rossendale in Pennine Lancashire.
Press release, apologies for the press release tone.
Calling All Bristol Monster Makers
Saturday 3rd December, 1pm-4pm
Bristol children, and even grown ups, have the chance to create monsters that will travel all around the world as part of a new mobile phone game.
To make a monster, children use the power of their imagination and the pens, paper and art materials provided to conjure it up. The monsters are then uploaded into a mobile phone game called Free All Monsters!
The game has players all around the world who use their mobile phone as a Monstervision Machine to look for invisible monsters visiting their local streets, and monsters created in Bristol will regularly be seen as far away as America and Australia, as well as on the streets of Bristol.
So far more than 300 monsters have been created by children and grown ups, and these monsters have been spotted more than 4000 times in total around the world. Children who take part are awarded a unique Monster Makers badge.
Andrew Wilson, of the Advanced Monstrology Institute said “Making monsters is a great way to practise being creative, and to imagine the world differently.”
Adults as well as children are welcome to come along and make monsters. Dr Paul Coulton, also of the Institute, explained “Grown ups often say that they aren't creative, but we've found that everyone enjoys drawing monsters if they give themselves chance.”
As well as monster making there will also be a monster spotting trail in which players must find monsters living in Bristol city centre and prove their Advanced Monstrology skills to earn a Monster Spotters badge. Families and grown ups who want to take part in the monster spotting trail need to have an iPhone and should download the Free All Monsters app, but there is no need for an iPhone to take part in Monster Making.
The monster making session and monster spotting trail are both free events as part of a range of activities for this week's Community Day at Occupy Bristol.
Families and grown ups should come to College Green between 1pm and 4pm on Saturday 3rd December.
To spot monsters made in Bristol at any time, download the Free All Monsters app.
The respected monster Mean Green Giraffe Bee.
The Arts Council (ACE) and NESTA are going to provide funding so that arts organisations can:
"use digital technologies to engage audiences in new ways and create opportunities for new business models."
Which is fine as far as it goes, but whether that money is put to use creating valuable outcomes is all down to the interpretation of those phrases "engage audiences"* and "new business models".
It is important that there is space for rich, creative, non-mainstream and challenging interpretations, because that is where new things come from. And that they can come from non-mainstream organisations.
There is chance to vote for some attempts to open up that space, by me and other people, closing today.
I don't claim that any of these are the final word, but they are about opening up, not closing down, the relationship between the arts and technology.
If we recognise these spaces, we'll recognise others.And that is where the "art" will be hiding.
"Creating welcoming, participatory spaces using just enough appropriate technology, analogue and digital."
"The mixed reality of cities, public space, mobile technology and imagination as an "arts venue" for stories and play."
"shifting engagement: how digital technologies invite audience co-creation of the art work"
"Discussion about what "digital" really means in terms of the arts. Goverment and large organisations think "digital" means Youtube video of their publicity. An app to view opera publicity on your smartphone isn't digital art, is it?"
*I don't think it's valuable to talk about audience engagement. Online ticketing is audience engagement. We should be talking about participation.
This piece is part of my contribution to What Makes Us Tick, organised by Diane Sims and Alan Williams. Any self indulgence is all my own fault.
Why I Still <3 Text Messages :-)
I fell in love with text messages through poetry.
I got my first mobile phone in that strange period between 1999 and 2001 when mobile phones went from being something that only loud mouthed rich people had, to something that nobody could live without . I didn't buy it for the texts though, I bought it because I'd read about something called WAP, which connected mobile phones to the internet, and the idea of having all that information in the palm of your hand felt like something to do with reading and writing. It felt like books. Within a couple of days of buying the phone I knew my guess had been right, but it wasn't the mobile internet that did it, it was texting. As soon as I sent a text I was head over heels. It was like writing poetry. Does that sound odd? It's just texting after all. But how about if I gave you this definition and asked you what I was describing: “It's an intimate kind of writing, with a set of formal limits, that tries to get an emotional response.” Am I talking about poetry, or texting? Because it's not a bad definition of either.
So standing at a bus stop on Kirkstall Road in Leeds, on the first warm day of early summer, I wrote a poem in a text message and sent it to a couple of mates. And they texted back:
“Wot R U on about?!”
But that didn't matter. I'd proved the point to myself, and over the next 18 months I wrote 80 poems that are small enough to fit into text messages, and collected them together in a book called, well, what else, Text Messages. When that was published I ended up on the Today programme being laughed at by John Humphries and shouted at by a famous poet for trying to destroy the English language. I didn't succeed in destroying English, but the book is still available on Amazon, right here, and I highly recommend it, especially for the bargain price of 35 pence, which is what it once sold for!
Of course I wasn't the only person who thought there might be a connection between creative reading, writing and mobile phones, and a few months after the poem on Kirkstall Road I sent an email about poetry to Vic Keegan, the editor of the Technology section of the Guardian, he replied, and in a few more emails we had worked out a way to run a poetry competition by text message.
In May 2001, the Guardian asked people to send them poems by text message. They got 7000 in two weeks, which were whittled down to a short list of seven by two proper poets, Peter Sansom and UA Fanthorpe, and those seven were sent back to everyone who entered, one poem per day, for seven days. Each day at about lunch time the participants got a poem by text, read it, decided if they liked it, gave it a score of between one and ten and sent that score back to the Guardian as a text. At the end of the week the scores were added up and the poem with the highest score was the winner, which was this one by Hetty Hughes, a student in Bradford at the time:
txtin iz messin,
mi headn'me englis,
they all come out txtis.
gran not plsed w/letters shes getn,
swears i wrote better
What was so fantastic about the competition was that the texts came from everyone, everywhere, all the time. Of the seven people on the short list, none thought of themselves as poets, and the 7000 messages were about everything from big news stories of the day (mad cow disease) to personal relationships, to a poem about texting on the toilet. It's this quality of everyone, everywhere, all the time, that is at the heart of why I heart text messages. Because texts have become such a big part of people's everyday lives, they are by far the most welcoming medium - nobody is scared of writing a text, and people will take part by text who wouldn't take part in any other way.
Mobile phones are an intimate technology - we keep our phones within an arms length most of the time, often right next to our bodies, and the texts we get regularly are from our closest friends and family - so people will use text messages to say the things that they need to say, even if they would never say those things out loud. And because we always have our mobile phones with us everywhere, text messages can be used to reach people in the spaces where they live, and where they feel comfortable, rather than in official spaces, for example by using signs at bus stops or beer mats in pubs. If you give people something they are interested in, they always have the means to take part by text if they want to.
The Guardian's competition was very timely, and generated publicity for them round the world. For a few weeks the people who took part had come together and made a community, but once the competition ended, the community vanished. People took part from everywhere, but that meant that the community wasn't from anywhere. It wasn't rooted in a place. At the same time, mobile phones were changing the way that public spaces felt. Private worlds and public places were starting to get mixed up, and a new set of rules for how people behaved in the company of strangers were being worked out. Suddenly, the most intimate private relationships would find people in public places, either by text or by phone call. Public places became a mixed reality, haunted by the presence of people who were somewhere else but could ring you at any time. If you are old enough to remember it, everyone noticed this happening, whether they liked it or not. This was the strange period when comedians could make whole TV programmes out of carrying around a giant mobile phone and shouting “I'm on the train.” And the strange period when academics wrote whole papers about why people say “I'm on the train.” (the reason is very illuminating, but you can work it out yourself, if you think about it.)
So I wondered if we could use the intimacy, inclusiveness and commitment that text messages offered to somehow “build” public places. After all, public space is one of the things we all share, or choose not to share. Lots of different kinds of people can cross paths in a public space without ever needing to know anything about each other apart from that they all care about the quality of that place, and live some of their lives there. In late 2001 I started work on City Poems, and it opened to public participation on Valentine's Day 2003.
City Poems was a text message biography of the city of Leeds, written by the people who live and work there and delivered from a network of Poem Points at key locations around the city.
The Poem Point locations were chosen to tell the story of the city through its places, and City Poems was a book that people read on their mobile phones, finding new chapters as they walked around the city, and reading them in the place they were written about.
Each of the numbered squares on the map is a Poem Point, including a bar (3), Leeds General infirmary (6), a bus stop (17), an internet cafe in Chapeltown (8), Armley Prison (12) and an old people's day centre (13).
A Poem Point sounds quite technical, but actually it is just a sign on the wall with some instructions on and a key number.
Send a text with just the key number in and you'll get a poem back about the place you are in.
For example, Poem Point 3 is a bar, so if you sent '3' as a text you'd get back a poem about being drunk, or hoping to meet someone, or hoping to avoid someone or regretting the night before. 6 is Leeds General Infirmary so there you'd get back a poem about care or grief or something that fits in with the location. If you send the key number again you get another poem.
To get the first poems for City Poems we set up some creative writing workshops at some of the Poem Point locations, run by Peter and Ann Sansom, but after that anyone who wanted to could send in a poem just by texting it to the same mobile phone number and I would guess where it was about and add it to the system.
In 2004 Antwerp in Belgium was the World Book Capital, and Stefan Kolgen and Ann Laenen set up a sister project to City Poems called STADSchromosomen (City Chromosomes), so we twinned Leeds and Antwerp by choosing the same sort of places in Leeds and Antwerp, for example the civic theatre, and in Leeds you could read poems from Antwerp about plays and performance and at the theatre in Antwerp you could read poems from Leeds on the same subject.
City Poems was about people making their own sense of shared public spaces by reading and writing while in those spaces - readers might never find out who wrote the poem they read at the bus stop, but they knew that there was some common ground because they shared at least one of the same places.
I was the “editor” of City Poems, I choose the places to be Poem Points, and these Poem Points made a biography that was chosen, at least in part, by me. But that is just one biography of a city, mine, and there are as many biographies of Leeds or any other city as there are people who live there. It's really not for me to say what the important, meaningful places are that people care about. It's for whoever wants to, to make their own choices.
One of the things I've been doing since is trying to make a web site that lets anyone who wants to set up their own version of City Poems, or set up anything else that they want to try out by sending and receiving texts.
My friends from the Ordsall Writers group in Salford have using the latest version of this web site to run what started out as creative writing but quickly became a lot more than that, in a way that could only have happened through using text messages.
The first step in the process was a creative writing workshop, again run by Peter and Ann Sansom. Peter and Ann are great at engaging with people who aren't confident as writers, and they use creative writing games and exercises that help people to say the thing they need to say. Their approach is perfect for texting, because they give people confidence to talk in their own voice, and Jane Wood, one of the organisers of the Ordsall group, described the workshop as “absolutely brilliant”.
At the workshop, members of the group signed up to a text message mailing list. After that, one of the members of the group, Amber, started logging into the web site each week and using it to send out a question by text message everyone taking part, designed to draw out a fragment of interesting autobiographical writing from each participant, for example “What piece of music always brings back memories?”. The members of the group each text their answers back, and all the responses are collected and published, anonymously, on a web page for the Ordsall Writers, for example:
“Telstar does it for me, the record was made to celebrate the launch of the first telecommunications satellite in 1962 I was on my way to australia as a boy on my first trip to sea I can remember watching the night sky out on the ocean every night for it”
This page has become a very engaging archive, written collaboratively by the people taking part, and browsing through it is a great introduction to the area and the people who live there, in their own words. This is very helpful for Ordsall, because the area has a reputation that isn't always positive. One of the questions the group asked themselves by text was "What is the best thing about living here and why?". And after a few weeks, Jane and the other organiser, Mike, incorporated the creative texting into the radio show they present on the local community radio station Salford City Radio.
As well as developing creative writing skills the group noticed how it had increased their sense of wellbeing. The questions give them reason to think and write about meaningful personal memories, and they enjoy the sense that they are doing this at the same time as other members of the group. As one of the group said “I had had a rough day and the message cheered me up”. Jane feels that this is both therapeutic and good community development.
Everyone taking part thinks that there is something unique and valuable about using text messages. Sylvie, one of the members of the group, said that “a question out of the blue makes you be creative on the spur of the moment” and that being able to reply straight away by text made the answers more personal and honest: “it wouldn't be a true thing if you didn't do it straight away, it would be calculated”. Mike felt that being able to text anonymously meant that “in a group, people are mindful of what they are going to say in public, but when it's just you and a phone you can be a bit more open.” This anonymity is different from “social media” web sites like Facebook and Twitter, in which contributions are linked to a personal profile.
Sending the text “is like a message in a bottle”, a rich, intimate experience for the person writing: “it digs things out of your head that you didn't think about”. Being able to go to the web page and find other people's answers makes it a shared event, even though the members of the group didn't know who has submitted each answer: “you would be on your own without the web site”. Jane says she goes to the website straight after every question, and Sylvie discusses the messages with her partner: “I told him the questions and read the answers out, and said 'can you tell which is mine'?” This combination of anonymity and openness contributed to building trust within the group.
When the Ordsall Writers group began using text messages five months ago, there were seven people signed up to take part, but that has risen to 18 through the members of the group introducing the activity to other people. There seem to me to be two reasons why the Ordsall activity has been a success so far. The first is the talent, good humour and initiative of the Ordsall Writers. The second is text messages, and the qualities that are, if anything, even more true than they were for the Guardian’s poetry competition in 2001 - that text messages are welcoming, intimate and that all of us have our mobile phones with us all the time.
The web site that the Ordsall Writers are using works anywhere in the country, and is open to anyone to use, so if you'd like to try it out please do just email me: wilsonandyb @ gmail . com
 I sometimes get caught out saying “everyone” has got a mobile phone, when there is someone listening who doesn't, and I've thought about whether I should say “most people” instead of everyone.
But in the end I've decided to stick with “everyone”, not because I don't care about who it excludes, but because of everybody it does include. For example, my friend Ann Sansom ran a creative writing workshop in a prison as part of City Poems, and she said that men who would be described as illiterate were able to take part when she told them that they would be writing text messages. If we want to listen to the voices of all the people we share our towns and cities with, text messages are the best way. Those people who don't have a mobile phone (which is a perfectly reasonable choice) are the exception that proves the rule: more than 90% of people in the UK have a mobile, including more than 50% of over 75s.
I read and took part in Channel 4's story-by-SMS Ivy4Evr the week before last, and had some really nice moments with it.
It was the story of a week in the life of a teenage girl (about 16 and a half I'd guess) told to you by her sending you texts, and asking you to reply to questions both about yourself and to help her out.
I thought the tone of voice for a teenager was spot on and very authentic feeling, the events of the story were very well suited to being told in such an intimate space (though I don't think all stories for a mobile small screen need to be so TV small screen), and the writer(s?) did well at getting across enough information to keep the story moving without breaking the conversational to-and-fro feel of texts.
The first nice moment I had was when Ivy asked me a question to help her out, which was how could she get advice about being pregnant without anyone finding out.
This caught me at a good time, because the dialogue between me and her happened in the evening when it wasn't distracting me from anything else more pressing. And the question is so perfectly in tune with the kind of conversation that would actually happen in the intimate space of texts that it was very easy to accept the suspension of disbelief and start feeling like you are worried about the poor girl at the other end. That was added to for me because I wasn't completely sure I was giving the right advice - there used to be Family Planning Clinics (I think they were called), but do they still exist? And if I suggested her GP, am I sure that GPs don't have a duty to tell the parents of girls under 16?
That sense that I was being asked for advice from someone who needed it, but I might not be giving good advice, really increased the engagement for me - the story was happening inside my head (which is where the real mixed reality is). I also thought it was a fantastic learning device - I was very strongly aware of what I did and didn't know, because someone else was depending on me.
The second telling moment was when the spell broke.
Ivy asked me whether my parents were together and I said no because my dad was dead. I was in a bit of a rush so I said it in so many words.
Ivy's response was "Hi, Mines been divorced for ages. Can I tell you something."
From a storytelling point of view, that response didn't work. I didn't mention my dad to get sympathy, just as a matter of fact, but that reply didn't quite sound like even a 16 year old would respond to that information. If nothing else, why say "Hi", we'd been talking to each other for 3 days. "Oh. sorry." or "Oh :-(" would have been much better.
Up till that point I'd thought that Ivy was probably being orchestrated by humans, maybe through some sort of menu of customisable standard replies at each stage, but then i wondered if she was a chat bot and the writers/programmers just hadn't anticipated my answer.
One or two things I picked up on twitter though suggested that Ivy wasn't a bot, so then I wondered if the orchestration was being done by work experience people, straight out of art or media school, and they hadn't had the artistic maturity to script anything better on the fly. That's not meant as a criticism, I'm not sure I would have done at 22.
Both of those two reasons are just formal or technical questions which didn't bother me, but something else came to mind later which is a bit trickier. I wondered if the AI or the orchestrators had been told to change the subject straight away if any of the readers started to try and talk about their own problems.
I can see why that would be the policy, because there would be a danger of getting into long conversations that the AI or the work experience people just weren't qualified to deal with and couldn't really help with. But it does feel like a different kind of expectation has been raised than a TV programme about an issue with a helpline number at the end. If you are going to use the intimacy of a channel of conversation like SMS, and kid on to perhaps vulnerable teenagers that they are talking to a real person who asks them to help solve her problems, what is the right thing to do if those perhaps vulnerable teenagers then ask that real person to listen to their problems in return?
This is particularly true of Ivy4Evr because Ivy was NEET (Not in Education, Emplyment or Training). I wondered if Ivy4Evr had been designed specifically to try and to reach NEET teenagers through the only two-way media channel they would have consistent access to, their mobile phone. I thought that was admirable (at least for The Broadcast Media) and inventive, but it would mean the readership would be more likely than the usual to be going through a tough time, and I think there would be some responsibility to put a mechanism in place for engaging with them genuinely if they wanted to.
The last nice moment was the very final message.
Ivy had been hiding from a "squaddie type" who was trying to find her (my advice had been to lie on the floor until he stopped knocking on the door, which may not have been the most grown up) and then the messages stopped for the day.
The next message was from a friend she'd mentioned a lot, a lad called Adz, saying that he didn't know where she was. The change of voice was very immediate and effective in a text, and I interpreted it as him texting her friends from her phone.
We all feel in our bones that not-got-their-mobile can't be a good thing, so it made a great cliffhanger.
I wouldn't want to be too gushing about Ivy4Evr, because we did a story told by a character sending you texts, and asking you to reply to questions both about yourself and to help them out, in Huddersfield two years ago, and I don't think that was the first either.
But I did think Ivy4Evr was expertly handled and had some things to learn from.
My only other word of caution would be that I had a real interest in staying engaged and I just wouldn't know how much it worked for someone starting with no more, or less, commitment than they would bring to any other channel for storytelling.
11:49 in All Sorts of Technology and Democracy, civic responsibility, Felt Tip Revolution, fish (and other animals), happiness, local government, location, mobile phones, Open data, participation, text messages, Thumbprint Co-operative, Utopians for Real Change! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
I've noticed a few references to the Internet of Things recently, a phrase I haven't heard for about two years (Nicolas Nova notes its reappearance, in concept if not in name, here) and to Smart Cities, about which the Guardian weirdly had a pull-out advertising supplement a few weeks ago. I'm glad these ideas are back, just for fun if nothing else, because I like both of them.
In between this time around and the last time around though I've done a bit of work with a neighbourhood police team, and one of the things that experience made me think was that if you wanted a working example of a real-time sensor-enabled city-wide "smart city" system then 999 calls in a city full of people with mobile phones is it.
Think about it: you've got a very widely distributed sensor network, that's us with our eyes, ears and bodily presences which might be under threat, and that sensor network is being monitored in real time - we can ring 999 from anywhere because we have mobiles - and the alert from the sensor (us and our phones) triggers a response - flashing blue lights - that aims to restore the system to its balanced state.
And it's this restoring the system to a balanced state which is by far the most important and illustrative part.
The balanced state is a state in which no laws are being broken.
And what are these laws? They are the rule sets for how we live together. And they are technologies.
I'm not saying we have the right laws, or even that we need “the law” to live together, but we do need rule sets, many of which we act on without even knowing just from the look on someone else's face. I might also be misinterpreting (wilfully or through dumbness) Paul Romer's Long Now talk by saying he says rule sets are a kind of technology, but it's a useful idea, so if he didn't he should've.
And this technology for living together doesn't just fall out of the sky, even if it might as well do, for all the say most of us have designing it. We have to choose what laws we want, what balanced state we want the system to be in (though if you read about autopoiesis that idea of choice isn't quite so clear!). And it is the rules for making and enacting those choices, the rule sets for making rule sets, for governance, the rule sets that are the constitutions by which we make decisions about how we want to live together, which are the real smart city technologies.
A city isn't smart because it produces lots of data. Or even opens up that data to lots of developers. It's smart because it continually monitors itself and uses that feedback to maintain the state it wants to be in. It's worth remembering that the word “cyber” doesn't mean having metal arms, it means to steer. Cybernetics is the study of how to steer systems.
So what state do we want the system to return to and how do we steer it? What do we want our technologies of governance to give us? Wealth? Happiness? Innovation? Fairness? Long life? Environmental sustainability?
I don't know. You decide. Pick the ones you want. Then when we have deliberated, agreed and built those technologies - the constitutions and laws - we set up our sensor networks (made up of all sorts of technology - you can have a smart city without any rifd chips or data visualisations of real-time traffic updates whatsoever, just look at ancient Athens) to monitor the system and give us feedback so that we can adjust our smart city technologies - the rule sets of governance and the laws that are enacted - to give us more of what we want and less of what we don't. Or we can decide we want something else in which case we design new governance technology and enact new laws.
And it's these technologies that are most desperately in need of innovation. Because at the moment they are awful.
At the moment, how does the system of Great Britain, for example, decide what counts as the state it wants to return to?
Every five years or so around 40% of the people in the arbitrary and outdated unit of organisation called "Britain"* who can be bothered to vote, people who are quite possibly mostly living hundreds of miles away from most of the other 60%, get a poll result that is roughly what they hoped for without really caring all that much either way, and a simple majority from a group of around 600 men and women out of a total of 60 million - whose job is now to design technology (rules sets, laws) for the whole arbitrary unit but who really all owe their allegiance to only one city (usually London regardless of whether they are meant to be designing technology to benefit the people of, say, Sedgefield) - then tell all the other cities (systems) what counts as the right state for their system and how to achieve it for the next five years or so before the next poll which might or might not lead to the reversal some of the previous rule sets.
And that is a very dumb way to run a system.
And it is the dumbness of the technology that makes me a little bit suspicious about the re appearance of smart cities (were they called smart cities last time, when it was that place in Korea? Maybe it was Ubicities?).
Is it just a way for big, multinational technology companies to fleece the dumb city?
Is it a way that by doing a bit of wining and dining of a few of the 600 people who at the time are designing the governance technologies, they can be persuaded to enact some laws to outsource, to these same big technology companies, something or other that we didn't even know we needed, in the same way in every city/system no matter how different, for dozens of years, because it's more "efficient". And call it "smart cities"?
I don't know, but it's worth looking at the names of the companies paying for the pull out newspaper advertising supplements.
This is a little bit like Adam Greenfield's argument in his book Everyware - this stuff is coming so we better debate it now while we've still got chance to decide what we want it to be like, because otherwise it will be decided for us.
But debating "advancing and emerging digital technologies", as they did at this seminar in Manchester organised by consultants, is debating the wrong kind of technology.
What we should be debating, and more importantly innovating with, is our governance technologies, the ways in which we decide the kinds of systems/cities we want to live in and the civic rule sets from which those systems/cities will emerge. If we do that, the rfid chips will look after themselves.
And the people who should be debating and designing the technologies for their smart cities are the people who live in them. And they should be able to to debate and design, as often as they want, everything. Every. Single. Thing. Because you don't get any meaningful innovation, enterprise, responsibility, energy, commitment, problem solving, or engagement if you don't have the power to do things and the risk of failure when you do.
And all sorts of people think it would be a good idea to innovate with governance technologies: Paul Romer, these bonkers Americans who want to live under the sea, the writer of this essay on local economics and places, and even this bonkers government minister saying we should have "home rule for cities".
Because compared to governance technology, having a wheelie bin that gives me whuffie points when I put some tin cans in the recycling, or a mobile phone that tells me where the traffic jams are, or even a smart electricity grid, couldn't be more trivial**.
* (if you don't think it is arbitrary why does the governance technology change just above Newcastle? The boundary for any system on the land mass of the UK is either the whole lot bounded by the sea or its constituent city-regions, not a line drawn two thirds of the way up.)
** As John Tolva, who is the director of “Citizenship and Technology” at well known philanthropic organisation IBM said at a city camp event the other day “burying the sensors in the pavement, that is easy”.
Some comments by Richard Ling on the earliest papers he has been able to find on the social consequences of mobile communication. The papers are:
Lange, K. 1993. "Some concerns about the future of mobile communications in residential markets." Pp. 197 - 210 in Telecommunication: Limits to deregulation, edited by M. Christofferson. Amsterdam: IOS Press.
Rakow, L.F. and V. Navarro. 1993. "Remote mothering and the parallel shift: Women meet the cellular telephone." Critical studies in mass communication 10:144-157.
Richard Ling's comments:"The Lange article is available (mostly) in Google Books. There are three major consequences that he sees, these are:
It is interesting that these themes were obvious so early in the social analysis of mobile telephony."
Thanks to Richard Ling for permission to cut and paste this from the mobile society mailing list.
Lovely lovely lovely prediction of the future from 1901:
Electrical Review, June 29, 1901, page 820:
The chairman: Although still far away, he thought they were gradually coming within thinkable distance of the realization of a prophecy he had ventured to make four years before, of a time when if a person wanted to call to a friend he knew not where, he would call in a loud, electromagnetic voice, heard by him who had the electromagnetic ear, silent to him who had it not. "Where are you?" he would say. A small reply would come, "I am at the bottom of a coal mine, or crossing the Andes, or in the middle of the Pacific." Or, perhaps, in spite of all the calling, no reply would come, and the person would then know that his friend was dead. Let them think of what that meant, of the calling which went on every day from room to room of a house, and then think of that calling extending from pole to pole; not a noisy babble, but a call audible to him who wanted to hear and absolutely silent to him who did not, it was almost like dreamland and ghostland, not the ghostland of the heated imagination cultivated by the Psychical Society, but a real communication from a distance based on true physical laws. On seeing the young faces of so many present he was filled with green envy that they, and not he, might very likely live to see the fulfillment of his prophecy.
via Lynne Hamill on the Mobile Society mailing list.