Central Texas Futurist and all-round interesting guy, Oliver Markley forwarded this e-mail to me from the World Futures Studies Federation Discussion list.

Hi Folks,

I attended the Barack Obama 47th Birthday Party Fundraiser yesterday, August 4th. This was in the “Great Room” on the 33rd floor of 60 State Street in Boston. Harry Connick Junior was there to sing Happy Birthday.

What is the sound of one hand clapping (and the other hand holding a cellphone camera)?

My social / technical observation of the day is that everyone, myself included, had all their cellphone cameras in full gear so no one had a free hand to clap with. When Obama came out there was a curiously mild applause, almost like a gulf clap. Seeing as this was such an enthusiastic group of supporters that seemed strange, until I realized why. No one had their hands free! It was a sea of cellphone cameras held high like periscopes from a mass of heads. I was reminded of Vonnegut’s classic eyeball-hands of the Trafalmadorians. Feeling somewhat ashamed at contributing to this unintended awkward artifact of the modern era, I quickly stashed my cellphone and started clapping gregariously.

Who could of anticipated that? Welcome to the future.

To view pictures from the event, click here.

Seth Itzkan

Just another interesting way that technology has impacted the way that we interact with each other!