Just listened to another great episode of Peter Day’s BBC business show, this with Ashraf Ghani, former finance minister of Afghanistan, who said that when he came in, the entire country had 100 cell phones. Today there are 4 million. The telecom industry is the No. 1 producer of tax revenue in the country. It has enabled open markets where buyers and sellers can avoid middlemen, as elsewhere in the developing world. When there was a possible stalemate in constitutional discussions a few years ago, Ghani said constituents used their phones to call their representatives to make it clear they wanted a deal done and he believes this political connectivity helped bring it to pass. And he said that people are simply more efficient because they no longer need to journey three days to go find out whether Mom is fine; they can now just phone home. Connectivity is a platform for society. (If only our phone and cable companies saw it that way.)