The human race is crossing a line. There is now one cellphone for every two humans on Earth.
From essentially zero, we've passed a watershed of more than 3.3 billion active cellphones on a planet of some 6.6 billion humans in about 26 years. This is the fastest global diffusion of any technology in human history -- faster even than the polio vaccine.
The above is from a wonderfully sweeping roundup of the diffusion and impact of mobile phones on our planet--Our Cells, Ourselves: Planet's Fastest Revolution Speaks to the Human Heart--that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Washington Post.
I'm quoted in the article a couple of times as a result of an engaging, sweeping and long conversation with the author, Joel Garreau. Joel is as much a social scientist as a journalist and I fondly recall reading his book Edge Cities: Life on the New Frontier.
If you wonder why a social scientist who fell in love with the Internet ends up years later spending much of his waking hours thinking about and talking about these little gadgets called mobile phones, this article paints the picture. Or, as I emailed Joel: "Finally something I can send my family to show them why I'm so excited about what I do everyday." Thanks Joel.