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The Invisible Truth: Portable Brains

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Portable Brains

One thing I've noticed since I've returned from Korea, is the difference between the favorite doo-dads and gadgets here and there. You walk onto a subway in Korea, and 9 and a half out of 10 people are playing with their cellphones. You are basically a freak if you don't have a cellphone in Korea. They start early too! My seven year old students already had cellphones and were savvy with them. In public, they aren't necessarily talking to anyone or pretending to (like people here do); they play games, listen to music, watch tv, or send text messages on or with their phones. The rate of their text input is astonishing!

Here, cellphones are popular, but not ubiquitous like they are in Korea. Here, MP3 players are the gizmo of choice. I've been noticing that almost everyone who rides the rocket in Toronto has an MP3 player. I wonder how many are listening to music, and how many are listening to E-books. I gave an E-book a try once, but I didn't get into it. I like the book-object; I like turning pages. I wonder what this says about our respective cultures...?

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