Slavery of choice

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The Independent Online

A Government study has concluded that mobile phones do not "cook the brain" with microwaves. Er, probably. Except, perhaps, for children. On the other hand, it does rather seem that the bosses of the phone companies may have addled their minds somewhat, believing as they seem to that five licences for services not yet invented can be worth more than £22bn. Do the phone bosses really believe that we'll all be queueing up to watch movies on our telephones? Actually, yes they do. It's a depressing thought. This is truly the age of choice overload - when even buying a cup of coffee requires a special vocabulary (tall, wet, skinny etc.) We were promised that choice was a liberating phenomenon. Instead, we are every day faced with a plethora of pointless decisions, infuriating voicemail machines and a house full of gadgets we can't use. But don't despair. There are signs that simple, person-to-person interaction is fighting back. The real growth in mobile phone services in recent years has been in text mes

A Government study has concluded that mobile phones do not "cook the brain" with microwaves. Er, probably. Except, perhaps, for children. On the other hand, it does rather seem that the bosses of the phone companies may have addled their minds somewhat, believing as they seem to that five licences for services not yet invented can be worth more than £22bn. Do the phone bosses really believe that we'll all be queueing up to watch movies on our telephones? Actually, yes they do. It's a depressing thought. This is truly the age of choice overload - when even buying a cup of coffee requires a special vocabulary (tall, wet, skinny etc.) We were promised that choice was a liberating phenomenon. Instead, we are every day faced with a plethora of pointless decisions, infuriating voicemail machines and a house full of gadgets we can't use. But don't despair. There are signs that simple, person-to-person interaction is fighting back. The real growth in mobile phone services in recent years has been in text messaging - hardly a new idea; it used to be called the telegram. The gadget companies should take note, and come up with some more human uses for their gizmos.

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