Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Technology intersects with culture

I love it.

Schwarts starts out with an observation:

“With VoIP, geography means nothing,” says Eslambolchi. In the public switched telephone network, when you dial 415 you know you’re talking to someone in San Francisco. But with an IP address no one really knows where you are.

And then realizes that this means that people can do more working from home, more working in their own communities.

The death of locality could also lead to more local phenomena, not fewer. We could see the re-emergence of small towns with local workforces, more local newspapers, an increase in neighborliness, and even the rebuilding of a community-minded spirit.

I say there is indeed a distinct possibility of this. While sometimes there are no substitutes for having a lot of people in a small space, and face to face meetings will probably always need to be regular events, there's a lot of work that I do which I could do just as well for home. Same for many of my coworkers, I suspect.

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