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I have found the facade of control that technology presents is easily punctured by a few days outside of cell range in rugged wilderness. Being alone in emergency situations also reveals our total lack of control over the whims of fate. Basically, when it comes to dealing with substantial, immediate personal problems technology is still pretty useless.





“Stories set in the Culture in which Things Went Wrong tended to start with humans losing or forgetting or deliberately leaving behind their terminal. It was a conventional opening, the equivalent of straying off the path in the wild woods in one age, or a car breaking down at night on a lonely road in another.”

—— Iain M. Banks, The Player of Games.


Reminds me of how modern horror movies mostly have to one of 1) be set before cell phones, 2) dispose of cell phones somehow, or 3) be in some way about cell phones.

Tangentially related, reminds me of how most scifi books and movies add all sorts of insane tech, yet leave out competent AI (in e.g. battle scenes, piloting vehicles, etc.) which would utterly obliterate anything human controlled.

In case you haven't, please read some Culture (referenced above)! It features an extremely plausible integration of very strong AI in the lives of mortals, and handwaves minimally.

The amount of lifesaving assistance available to the average person with a single phone call is staggering. Being outside of cellphone demonstrates the utility not futility is such assistance.

It’s not even limited to medical assistance. A friends floor collapsed and a single phone call made the difference between an unpleasant day and an agonizing death.




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