Cellphone Deadspot on I-95 : Getting Unplugged On Purpose
There is a very annoying cellphone dead spot between Stamford and Bridgeport CT, on the I-95 highway / Amtrak railway corridor, right by a small coastal town. This little breach in an otherwise frictioness web of connectivity is probably a result of some recalcitrant NIMBYs who earn and spend their income with Big Business but cling to the romantic notion of bucolic New England townie life (either that or Verizon dropped the ball… can you hear me now? nah, it’s probably the NIMBYs).
In his famous — and famously misnamed — Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov imagined distant future on a planet in the Galactic Center called Trantor, which was completely paved over and wrapped in steel. As a highly mobile resident worker of the BosWash megalopolis, I appreciate the desire to create havens of dis-connection within the Net (see Bruce Sterling’s Islands In The Net, a more recent and less allegorical sci-fi classic). This concept can be applied to both space as well as time, e.g., setting aside conservation areas for no development in space, or observing a sabbath in time.
The setting aside of substantial conservation land has become common practice in many parts of the globe — though it lags in some notable areas, like Eastern China. The notion of (temporarily or permanently) isolating oneself from the Net has some growing popularity in specific circles, but the overall trend is an increase in connectivity.
A classic challenge arises when a refuge from the Net is situated in a place that is frequently traversed by those who want to stay connected. Whatever the name of that town in Connecticut is, you’d think the folks there would realize that they’re absorbing enough air, earth and noise pollution from millions of cars and thousands of trains that a few brain-enhancing cellphone microwave towers ain’t gonna kill ’em. (Then again, the folks in Somerville, Texas might disagree.)
What’s your strategy for “unplugging” yourself? (And do you mandate it for your entire household / neighborhood?)