MOBILE COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AND EVERYDAY Rheingold G. Smart crowd: a new social revolution. M .: FAIR-PRESS, 2006 .– 416 p.

The book by the American publicist and social theorist Howard Rheingold “Smart
Crowd: A New Social Revolution ”was first published in English in 2002.
The Russian-language edition appeared four years later. This is a long time for a topic
which is devoted to the work of G. Rheingold – studies of the role of mobile
information and communication technologies (hereinafter ICT) in everyday life
of people. Mobile ICT is a group of devices and technologies that enable
carry out communication and information exchange without reference to a stationary
equipment. Mobile ICTs include pocket computers (PDA), mobile

phones, smartphones and communicators, GPS devices, MP3 players, opportunities
wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) and much more, about which with varying degrees
details are written by G. Rheingold. These devices have become cheap enough to be
could be acquired by millions of people, they became easy enough to use so that in
people without technical education could figure them out, these devices were included in
fashion, becoming a symbol of a progressive lifestyle, that is, by the beginning of the XXI century. they become
really massive. The most widespread ICT should rightfully be considered
mobile telephony, which has not just become a replacement for fixed telephone communication, but
according to a number of studies (for details see Glandered 2006; Hemant 2005; Yoon
2-3; Ling 2004; May, Hearn 2005), which significantly influenced the processes
the object of close research interest on the part of sociologists and
anthropologists. G. Rheingold believes that “the decisive factors of the coming industry
mobile information communication will not be “hardware” and software, but
social habits ”(p. 8). That is, interest in mobile phones from outside
sociologists is quite justified and goes far beyond the boundaries of the sociology of technology, since
mobile communication affects the fundamental component of the opportunity itself
society – communication.

Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology. 2006. Volume IX. No. 4

G. Rheingold’s book allows you to “enter the topic”, since it has several
advantages: written in clear living language, in some places, however, distorted unsuccessful
translation; accumulates most of the ideas related to the social role of ICT;
provides a description of ICT in terminology understandable by a person with a humanitarian
education and, finally, is practically the only Russian-language publication,
dedicated to the impact of mobile technologies on society. The book consists of eight
chapters covering various aspects of the social role of ICT, provided with a bibliography
and a rather verbose annotated index, giving
a description of key terms in the field of information technology, as well as short
curricula vitae of scientists, researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs,
Howard Rheingold gives an impressive overview of the social impact
dissemination of information and communication technologies and in particular
mobile phones. An American theorist showed how mass distribution
telecommunication mobile technologies * entails not only significant
quantitative, but more importantly, qualitative social effect. G. Rheingold
seeks to broaden the context of considering the role of modern ICT, correlating
prospects for their widespread distribution with the transformation of collective
actions. In particular, in the first chapters of his book, the American researcher gives
succinct, and, admittedly, rather superficial description of the idea
social contract T. Hobbes, game theory J. Neumann and O. Morgenstern,
explanatory model of collective actions by M.L. Olson (see Olson 1996), theories
cooperation of R. Axelrod, A. Rapoport, A.M. Chama, the concept of a collective
behavior of M. Granovetter and many others. All these, more than serious concepts, G.
but as a result, it seems that the narrator himself does not have sufficient
mathematical background for adequate disclosure of logical models of explanation
collective action. Why is the author undertaking all these theories? As G.
Rheingold, “the principle of reciprocity, cooperation, grooming and social
dilemmas form the basis of the puzzle of smart crowds ”(p. 81). Well this is the conclusion
worthy of attention, but, obviously, the American researcher is not able to clearly and
accurately show the connection between game theory and the behavior of groups of people in
communication system supported by modern ICT. Mobile

information exchange technologies form social networks of a new type, in
whose leadership relies on the reputation gained and the level of trust from
network participants. For example, the Internet blogging system (blog), the most famous of which
is a LiveJournal, has its own idols, whose reputation
measured by the number of readers of messages posted on the personal pages of these
users. In fact, blogs are becoming a real alternative today.