Mobilology is, as I define it, the study of the effect of mobile phone use on behaviour, on community, on culture, on entertainment and economics. So it’s the first dynamic social science of the 21st century. I think it’s an academic discipline. I call this the first dynamic social science of the 21st century because to the best of my knowledge – I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge – I don’t think there have been any new academic fields that have been initiated in ten years. But it’s dynamic because it is inherently collaborative and interactive.
So the good thing, among many, that the mobile phone has done, is it has helped, it’s beginning to erode the classical concept of the ivory tower where you have the big university which, at least in the United States model, you have the chancellor or the president and then you have the provost and then you have all of the different schools.
Well, each of the schools is an ivory tower that operates essentially as an independent company within the structure of the greater corporation and they each have their own budgets and they have their own staffs and they have their own concerns, and nobody talks to anybody and they’re all very protective of their boundaries and their walls because they need to do what they need to do.
The advent of the mobile phone has made it possible for a professor in the psychology department who wants to be researching something about behaviour that may relate to entertainment to just pick up a phone. And they dial, and through the airwaves, through the world, through the magic of technology, and I mean that in the best possible way, you pick up a phone and you call somebody in another department and you start talking and you start collaborating and you find that there are possibilities, not only for collaboration but for innovation. And this innovation defies the boundaries of the buildings that they’re in and it’s really wreaking havoc in the best possible way with the university structure, and I like this. I like to see a new paradigm because the old one no longer works in this world.