We’re Not Wireless

We’ve named the future for an obsolete past. We talk about wireless technology, defining almost every gadget not in terms of what it can do, but what it doesn’t have to do anymore. Wireless technology is the modern horseless carriage, an incredibly dated term defining our future on how we don’t have shit everywhere anymore. The only difference is that the shit is now knots of tangled cables, leashing us to our desk in ways that even Alexander the Great couldn’t cut through because he needs to charge his iPhone.

Everything else advertised in terms of lessness uses that as its primary advantage. It has to, because the loss damaged everything else about it. Less fat in ice-cream, less sugar in soda, less thing in thing-based-entirely-on-that-thing. But wireless technology isn’t for people who want to pretend they can change their bodies without changing their lifestyle. Wireless is an epoch. Wireless will soon be only slightly less assumed than breathing. And the word still talks about a time when you had to help the computer physically carry electronic bits from A to B.

We should have a word which talks about what we’ve done, not what we don’t have to do any more. We’ve filled the air with music. For over a century you just needed a few carefully beaten bits of rock to hear harmony wherever you are. The music doesn’t come from the radio. The box doesn’t call the station and say “I’m here, send a packet of albums.” Every square meter of the world is washed with a thousand waves, and the radio antenna isn’t a key unlocking the secret, but a window through which it can climb into the small room of our sensory apparatus.

You’re being bathed in the latest news, heartfelt phone calls, tweets and tumbles and fun and love and an endless array of song. That’s worth a better name than “We don’t need to use a metal rope any more”.

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