When TV shows, movies, or perhaps even just an audio clip, play the sound of a phone ringing without showing any action related to the sound, most everyone gets it, they “know” what the sound means. While telephones have been around for about 100 years, for most of that time they had a pretty common sound, maybe a slight change from one country to another.
Mobile phones, around for the past 25 years at the most and very common around the world for the past 20 years often can have a unique ring selected, recorded, downloaded and installed by the owner. But even then when we hear it—we may have never heard it before—we know exactly what it is.
Before tv, radio dramas were popular, “Suspense” was one such popular show, and in 1945 featured Agnes Moorhead for a whole 30 minutes of just her and the phone ringing (Sorry Wrong Number).
Human beings, perhaps more specifically, Homo Sapiens have been around for over 10,000 years —10,000-100= 9900 or 1% of that time humans have had phones and during that short time, the sound of a mobile phone created at best 30 years ago is recognizable by people it all over the world.
its not the “music” specifically, it is also the quality of the sound—electronic sound has a certain unique quality just like chemical film has a different quality than pixels, “Is it because of the instrument?” A guitar has its own sound and a piano has tis own sound … and a mobile phone has its own sound.
Of all the time people have existed on on Earth, the sound of a mobile phone, a sound which is easily identifed by most of the people in the world who have been alive during the last 1% of human history.
If we were to consider the importance and compare 1) a sound in the forest,to 2) a mobile phone ringing:
1. The sound of the first would have been important for most people for a far greater percentage of time than the sound of a mobile phone is to most people in the world.
2) Consider the geographical factor, in times when knowing a sound in the forest might have meant food or danger, communication between village to village might have been rare occurrence and certainly it took hundreds of years for information to travel around the world. Historically communication village to village is qualitatively different than the world at once on cable, satellite or wifi.
3) Suppose we consider the kinds of conversations people had: face to face, postal letters, hand written; compared to email, skype or Facebook ,words typed and edited, available wherever your are on a small pocket device.
Its a very different world, and its like McCluhan (The Gutenburg Galaxy) predicted, electronic media has not only qualitatively changed the way people relate to each other but is creating a global culture.
NOTE: Culture is not what you see in the museum, its like a gravitational field. Wherever there are planets hanging out in space, a gravitational field emerges, naturally, , creating a structure of behaviour famong the planets. (we do not know why, but we can “scientifically understand” it ). In the same way wherever there are people (doing things which is what poeple do, or they do not survive) in a group a “culture field ” emerges from their behaviour which creates a structure of human behaviour.
This emerging “culture” is world wide which means it is being built by people all over the world simply by doing what they do every day.
Where culture is very democratic in that culture emerges from the behaviour of everyone, in a society there are institutions which reflect the interests of a few people and concentrate power in the hands of a few people. One of those institutions is the nation state which seeks its own sovereignty and will use military acton to pursue its own interests, which are often against another state and/or its own people.
The world will become a united political entity but not without giving up national sovereignty. lLke the families that moved out of the caves into small clans and clans to agriculture and small villages and kingdom and towns, and so on, it will happen, but if there are no great leaders stepping up to the challenge, there will be those political scumbags who seek power for itself and will use authoritarian strategies to pit person against person, country against country and there will be a lot of dead people and destroyed property.
Mobile phones show you how fast communication and commonality is happening around the world, the people of the world will create this new culture and most likely there will be a major conflict with nation states to reduce their national sovereignty to achieve peace in the world
Just thinking of it simply like this is wierd.