FRAMINGHAM (10/06/2003) - Throughout history, new communication technologies and social arrangements have enabled people to organize collective action on ever- larger scales. When this happens, human civilizations jump to high levels of complexity. This has been so since the printing press spread literacy beyond the ruling classes and enabled such new forms of collective action as science and democracy. For the past century, the wiring and unwiring of earth, followed by the emergence of the Internet, have enabled collective action to take place globally, simultaneously and virtually. Tomorrow, mobile communications and pervasive computing technologies could herald an era of smart mobs in which the devices we carry and wear link us in ways undreamed of today.
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