Louise saw it, too: something set, apparently, into the skin of the man’s wrist, a high-contrast, matte-finish rectangular screen about eight centimeters long and two across. It was displaying a string of symbols, the leftmost of which was changing about once per second. Six small beads, each a different color, formed a line beneath the display, and something — maybe a lens — was positioned at the end of the device farthest up the man’s arm.
"Some kind of fancy watch?" said Louise.
"Where am I?" Ponter Boddit knew his voice sounded panicky, but, try as he might, he couldn’t control it. He was still seated in the odd chair that rolled on hoops, which was a good thing, because he doubted he’d be very steady on his feet.
"Calm down, Ponter," said Hak, the computer implant embedded in his left forearm. "Your pulse is up to—"
"Calm down!" snapped Ponter, as if Hak had suggested a ridiculous impossibility. "Where am I?"
"I’m not sure," said the computer. "I’m picking up no signals from the positioning towers. In addition, I’m cut off entirely from the planetary information network, and am receiving no acknowledgment from the alibi archives."
"You’re not malfunctioning?"
In the parallel word of the Neanderthals, not more than a ‘btw’ description of their life, is a mention of the ‘voyeurs’. These are individuals who attend newsworthy events, travel, talk to unusual people or go about their day – the only difference is that they transmit the information via their wrist implants to ‘subscribers’ – is that any different from being subscribed to someone’s feed or blog for news about their day or work or thoughts? The neanderthal world had no TV or radio – they were directly accessing the ‘interweb’ analogy of their world, communicating directly via their wrist implants.
Is this what I’m suggesting? No.
What I’m trying to find a way to articulate is that increasingly its not about the device, its about access.
How this manifests tangibly, what are the step by step incremental means by which this connectivity is achieved or not, whether we should even be this completely connected is all in the air. But in the meantime, to me, the trends I’ve been observing in the mobile world and the BoP world and the value of what my current access to the world provides me with are all waymarkers towards some greatly internetworked humanity.
I am probably blathering on about the obvious here but need to get this stuff out of the way so that I can come back to thinking about what it all means.