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Book Sections Year : 2006

Being Mobile: Cognitive Multiplicity


Being mobile has become crucial for the organization of our everyday work and life. New communications technologies provide the opportunity to organize activities more and more flexibly and effectively. However, this increasing ease of organizational activities has its special price: the traditional division between the different fields of activities - work and spare time, official engagement and privacy - and concomitant scheduling has started to break down. Mobile phones have often been considered devices of disturbance. At the same time, with the collapse of the traditional framework of everyday work and life, cellular phones are becoming indispensable devices to manage exactly these activities. This apparent contradiction is easily dissolvable by making its roots and workings visible. According to the position I will side with in this paper, the means used to express and disseminate ideas are in close inter-relation with our cognitive capacities. The rapid adaptation of cellular phones indicates that some newly needed cognitive capacities are actually in our possession, ready to be exploited. I will here rely on Merlin Donald's cognitive- evolutionary work on the one hand, and the conclusions of the socalled Toronto School on the other. I would like to propose that aversions to new instruments are rooted in the habits and institutions created by devices of communications we had become accustomed to earlier. First, I will point to some main characteristics of mobile usage, from the specific perspective of the history of communications technologies. I will then analyze the changes indicated above from a cognitive evolutionary perspective. By way of conclusion, I will consider attempts at modelling cognition utilizing the conceptual means of communications technology.
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hal-00190214 , version 1 (23-11-2007)


  • HAL Id : hal-00190214 , version 1


Zsuzsanna Kondor. Being Mobile: Cognitive Multiplicity. Kristóf Nyíri (ed.). Mobile Understanding. The Epistemology of Ubiquitous Communication, Vienna: Passagen Verlag, pp.79-90, 2006. ⟨hal-00190214⟩


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