Damn Darwinism Strikes Again!

  • From: "M.K. Chatterji" <chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 11:00:08 -0500

Young people under the age of 25 who are avid users of handheld
technologies such as mobile phones, GameBoys and PDAs, are exhibiting a
physical mutation, according to research conducted by the Cybernetic
Culture Research Unit at Warwick University in England. The study, carried
out in nine cities around the world, indicates that the thumbs of younger
people have taken over as the hand's strongest and most dexterous digit.
Indeed, in Japan, where the trend is most noticeable, the under-25s refer
to themselves as "oya yubi sedai" -- the thumb generation, or thumb tribe.
The study's author, Dr. Sadie Plant, says: "The fact that our thumbs
operate differently from our fingers is one of the main things that defines
us as humans. Discovering that the generation has taken to using thumbs in
a completely different way and are instinctively using it where the rest of
us use our index fingers is particularly interesting." She cites examples
of younger people using their thumbs exclusively and ambidextrously to type
messages on a phone keypad, barely looking at the keys while doing so.
"They used the absolute minimal movement -- simply exerting pressure with
the thumb rather than tapping at the phone. There are many ways to input
information into these devices, but for some reason kids under 25 most
often choose to use their thumbs over any other digit. There is no question
that choice is having a clear effect on their physicality: thumbs are the
new fingers." (The Observer 24 Mar 2002)

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