there goes a shooting star or something!

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What is the term for that sensation of imagining that your cellphone has chirped or buzzed when it hasn’t?  When that happens, I sometimes wonder if someone almost called me with something to say that would have drastically altered the course of events in my life or theirs or both.

In other words, maybe that imagined chirp or buzz signals the passing of a momentous potential event–or even the generation of an alternate world from that momentous potential event which in the alternate world was actuated.

The idea makes begins to make some sense when you consider that a cell phone (like other communications technologies) is an instrument of sensory extension that brings remote phenomena into the field of one’s awareness despite distances of time and space.  A cell phone is not the only ‘extension of man’ to do so, of course, but being joined to its owner at the hip, it is the easiest of extensions to identify with one’s own being.  The mind seems to treat the phone as if it were a vital organ, and a sense of panic ensues when its powers are temporarily suspended by a dead battery or an unpaid bill.

So, if it is true that the mind is equipped to register extremely subtle phenomena, such as the ghostly transit of a momentous potential event, then perhaps that knowledge ripples into consciousness by way of those proxy sense organs that are closest to us, most of all that amazing product of ‘evolution by other means,’ the cellphone.

 

[image credit: “Woman on Phone,” Flickr Commons, World Bank Photo Collection,   https://flic.kr/p/d1w7Rd]

 

Author: Sam Coren

I am a native of Providence, Rhode Island and current doctoral student in American Studies with a long-standing interest in the spatial morphology of cities, and more broadly, the impact of technology upon landscape. Feel free to contact me at sam dot coren8 at gmail dot com

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