Friday, November 12, 2010

Five Ways the Cell Phone Is Changing the World

From Newsweek:

1. Exposing state secrets in repressive regimes like N. Korea.

2. Advancing democracy in places like Iran and China.

3. Enabling commerce in many African countries and in India.

4. Distributing medicine and helping to identify which critical medicines (penicillin, anti-malaria medicine) are out of stock in isolated clinics in Africa.

5. Waging war - both NATO forces and the Taliban are strategically using cell phones  in Afghanistan .   

This website adds a few more ways the cell phone is changing the world, including profoundly improving the lives of millions of deaf people.  


At 11/12/2010 9:17 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well now: "both NATO forces and the Taliban are strategically using cell phones in Afghanistan"...

Taliban are also using the cell phone tactically, they're setting off IEDs remotely with them...

Cell phones are also causing the disappearance of the pay phone which for some folks might not be a good thing...

At 11/12/2010 1:16 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Fine, except that democracy has been in retreat in China, as anyone reading newspapers knows.

BTW, did you know that the Chinese Communist Party owns controlling shares in all publicly traded Chinese companies?

Check out The New York Review of Books for that info, not disclosed in underwriting statements, as the underwriters were clueless. BTW, the NYRoB t is great publication for its own sake.

Hey Juandros--Has does a federal agency fight some ragheads armed with homemade bombs and cell phones?

With a $1 trillion-a-year Defense-VA-Department of State archipelago. It may take about $100 million for every terrorist killed, and federal military employees get lifetime pensions and healthcare (gratis o' US taxpayers) at 20 years of service but hey--as long as we feed the beast we our hard-earned money, that is all that counts.

At 11/12/2010 4:58 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


There have been some awful terrorist attacks. I loathe terrorists.

Compare the carnage of those acts against the 30,000 dead every year in the US in auto accidents.

Since 9/11, more than 300,000 Americans have dies in auto accidents. Another 180,000 died in non-terrorist gunshots. No, I do not believe in gun control.

I do not believe in gun control as I do not like to give up freedom for a minor increase in safety.

Like our war on terrorism, it is not worth it.

We have three very expensive and wasteful wars going on, by federal agency: The war on drugs, the war on poverty and the war on terrorism.

None of these wars will ever be won, as then the federal agencies would lose their reason for being.

Every federal agency, including defense, shoudl be sunsetted every 10 years or so. We should see if we cxan live without it. Imagine wiping out USDA for two years, including the food stamp program. Come back in two years--are there starving people in the street? If so, okay maybe so, start up food stamps again.

Same with DoD. Leave a small nuclear shield, and a sub force. Mothball everything else. In two years, has anyone invaded? Impossible, really. No other nation even has an invasionary force.

Meanwhile prepare a new military ready for today's needs--not a Cold War military in drag.

Remember, our founding fathers loathed standing militaries, and some even refused to sign the Constitution, as it did not explicitly declare standing militaries to be an abomination. This nation used to demobilize between wars. The idea of a permanent mobilization happened in the Cold War. The Cold War is over--but the federal agency complex it created is running strong.

You are being raped of money you earn.


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