A while back I was invited to present a talk about City Ubiquitous for SJSU alumni. It was one of those one-shot deals that gave me a chance to meet some cool folks but, presumably, was not a long-term-impact thing. I'm so glad I was wrong about that assumption. One lovely gift from that presentation was the chance to get to know our university director of alumni relations, Paul Richardson, a bit more. He really caught the vision of the omnitopia project and has shared his thoughts about the idea in occasional conversations and emails since that Phoenix presentation. Cool, right? But now Paul's outdone himself. He sent me a DTAC (Thai mobile phone company) video yesterday that just blew me away. It's called "Disconnect to Connect."
Normally this is the kind of video that calls for a shot by shot analysis, but the elegant beauty of this piece requires no highfalutin interpretation. Telling its story with images (until the end) this video conveys a sad dimension of our wireless lives, that we can connect with anyone around the world but find ourselves increasingly isolated from the people around us. Anyone who's read my blog knows that this is a constant hum of concern in the back of my mind. I see people standing together - friends, family members - who seem more interested in talking or tapping to disembodied folks far away than in being with persons close enough to touch. This video says what I've wanted to say with so much more power than any speech I've given. Check it out (and pay particular attention to the umbrella).