Sunday, November 16, 2008

How Twitter May Save the World

Having spent the last week in bed with flu, I caught up on my reading, including some fairly light fare, such as Robin Cook's "Invasion". The least plausible part of this tale of an alien virus taking over our planet was the fact that no-one seemed to notice what was going on, not the media, ever hungry for 'man bites dog' stories, or the Internet, which was well on its way when the book was written in 1999. Today, one feels that Bloggers and Twitterers everywhere would be burning up the airwaves with postings about their neighbors' strange behavior, and any kind of "bodysnatcher" coup would simply be out of the question.

Another implausible part of the story was that none of the teenage characters seemed to spend much time talking on their cellphones, to the point that often they didn't know where their friends were. How likely is that? Today, you would have to take down the cell system as well as the Internet to have any hope of shutting these people up. So, one good effect of all this over-communication is that any aliens out there hoping to invade the planet by stealth simply missed there chance, in my opinion. I'll try and remember that next time the person next to me in an airplane has one of those mundane "I'm here" conversations.