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Human Media

A recent, and very disturbing, ad-campaign pretended that homeless people were wifi hotspots. It was a gag, but they were paid to wear t-shirts that said “I’m [insert name], I’m a 4G hotspot.” What to do with vagrant, impoverished populations? I know, turn them into mobile transponders and pay them! It solves two problems at once! In the process of course it signals one of the most dehumanizing gestures I’ve seen in a long time. Sorry to break out the Heidegger here, but can there be a more literal example of his idea of people becoming a “standing reserve” at the hands of technology?

Of course, I couldn’t resist a little historical comparison. Here’s another image of a person who has become a medium. She is the mobile bookseller, a hotspot of yore.