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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Howard Rheingold ’68, best-selling author of Virtual Reality (1991) and The Virtual Community (1993), will discuss "Smart Mobs: Mobile Communication, Pervasive Computing, and Collective Action" on Tuesday, November 5, at 7 p.m. in Reed’s Vollum lecture hall. The talk, sponsored by Reed’s computing and information services and departments of political science, sociology, and history, is free and open to the public. For more information call the Reed events hotline at 503/777-7755.

Rheingold's status as a writer, thinker, lecturer, and pioneer in analysis of the technology age has grown as he has consistently been one of the first people to recognize and write about new modes of human communication.

Lately, his attention has been turned to wireless communication devices—cell phones, pagers, PDAs, and the like—looking at how they are shaping our culture and creating "smart mobs," his term for the groups that emerge when communication and computing technologies join together to amplify human talent for cooperation. This is the topic of his new book, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, to be released by Perseus in November.

"To track where technology bends society, I've learned to follow Howard Rheingold," said Kevin Kelly, editor at large of Wired magazine. "He always leads a grand tour, and this time is no different."

Rheingold was the editor of the best-selling Millennium Whole Earth Catalog and internationally syndicated author of the weekly Tomorrow column. He has spoken about the social and economic effects of new technologies on news and interview shows that include CBS News, NBC Today, ABC Primetime Live, Good Morning America, Macneil-Lehrer Report, Fresh Air, Marketplace, and Talk of the Nation.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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