Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nomads at Last - a special report on mobility

The Economist has a special report on mobility and how wireless communication is changing the way people work, live, love and relate to places—and each other:

As a word, vision and goal, modern urban nomadism has had the mixed blessing of a premature debut. In the 1960s and 70s Herbert Marshall McLuhan, the most influential media and communications theorist ever, pictured nomads zipping around at great speed, using facilities on the road and all but dispensing with their homes. In the 1980s Jacques Attali, a French economist who was advising president Fran├žois Mitterrand at the time, used the term to predict an age when rich and uprooted elites would jet around the world in search of fun and opportunity, and poor but equally uprooted workers would migrate in search of a living. In the 1990s Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners jointly wrote the first book with “digital nomad” in the title, adding the bewildering possibilities of the latest gadgets to the vision.

But all of those early depictions and predictions of nomadism arguably missed the point. The mobile lifestyles currently taking shape around the world are nothing like those described in the old books.

Full article - 'Nomads at last'

More sections from the special report:

The new oases

Family ties

Location, location, location

A world of witnesses

Homo mobilis

Thanks to mobile-society and Rich L. for the heads-up!


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