A few nice text message marketing images I found:

text message marketing
Image by Tricia Wang ???
This is an exciting year for wireless in the US! Now that analog television broadcasting is shutting down completely on February 17th, 2009, there’s going to be a chunk of frequency freed up for wireless bandwidth – especially for fast 3G cellphone service!!! OHMYGOD I JUST CAN’t WAIT!

How is this going to happen? In preparation for the freed up space in 2009 when analog television will die, the FCC is auctioning this 700mhz spectrum, a highly valued space for services like 3G, off to the highest bidders on January 24th, 2008. This means we as consumers will finally have more choices in cell phone services and faster data download times.

However exciting this is, I am critical of how this process is being carried out. Cutting through all the techie hoopla, there are some critical trends to point in how the government is regulating spectrum space and communication.

This latest auction treats spectrum space as private goods. In its sole federal jurisdiction of radio-magnetic spectrum, spectrum space is handled as private property by the FCC, not public property or public property for mixed purposes—private and public. So there is nothing here that parallels the movement in cable television that created the space and funding for "public access." Herein lies one of the most ignored, yet important aspects of the " information age." If the very medium in which all of Internet communications will travel through will be entirely dominated by corporations with no socially minded oversight by the government, there will are less chances for social correctives to ensure equal and fair access to this medium. Corporations can charge what they deem as the market rate for broadband access.

In essence, we are moving away from the precedence of Universal Access that was in place for landline telephones (as established by the Communications Act of 1934 and as was retroactively interpreted as the basis of UA policy).
Spectrum inequality leads to Internet access inequality. Compared to the rest of the world, the US is currently in 24th place in broadband penetration, with only 53% of households connected (Point Topic 2007). THIS IS HORRIBLE!!! South Korea is in 1st place! So trends in the telecommunication regulation, like this upcoming auction signals to dwindling of the social right to communication infrastructures.

I am very uncomfortable with this trend! Already within the last 10 years, neo-liberal market policies have radically restructured social institutions. As a result, social goods are increasingly redefined as market goods that are available based on an individualistic cost-benefit analysis, instead of on a collective, common goods rationale. This is scary! As a result, there is a thinning of social citizenship, in what Fraser and Gordon argue that long-standing social rights become stigmatized as “hand-outs” and incumbent upon the individual or nuclear family to fulfill the social need.

So even though I am SUPER EXCITED to finally be on a 3G network, I keep in mind that there are large groups of people who are excluded from this for various reasons, from digital literacy or to companies not even offering this in their area or just being priced out.

This doesn’t stop me from getting SUPER EXCITED about my next cellphone!!! ANy suggestions? and GUESS WHAT what – I think I will be ready to switch from Verizon to AT&T! I am mentally preparing for this now. I am also looking forward to seeing how Sprint and Nextel customers like WiMaxx. Although I would love to be on WIMAXX because it’s faster than 3G, it won’t be available in enough areas. In San Diego, I don’t even have cell signal from AT&T or Verizon inside my house! So I am sure WiMaxx will not have much penetration beyond concentrated urban areas. Also, everyone is keeping an eye on Google, who’s trying to enter the cellphone market with their newly developed open software mobile phone application.


1.) get rid of my treo and find another phone that will make me happy. I will have to give up on the touchscreen where I can draw circles around titillations or titicacas – and I think I will be ready for this. I long suppressed the knowledge that treos are one of the highest emitters of radiation. It’s time for me to face up to it.

2.) Start researching my potential switchover to AT&T.

3.) I need to be more understanding of the screwed up wireless infratructure in the US. We are such a backward wireless country! Children in Japan text better than me.

4.) stop threatening to move to Japan, South Korea or the Netherlands just for a happier wireless world.

5.) Be more involved in raising awareness about spectrum equality and internet access as a social right.

6.) Don’t throw away my used wireless phones – research where to donate them.

7.) If I switch to At&T, start a strategic campaign to convince all my friends to switch themselves and their entire families over to AT&T.

8.) Stop discriminating and judging people based on their wireless carrier or cell phone.

9.) Be more accepting of friends and colleauges who don’t text message. Just because people don’t SMS does’t mean that they aren’t wonderful people with fulfilling lives.

10.) Start calling friends who are not with the same company as me. Sorry AT&T friends, I have not been a good wireless friend because I am with Verizon. But that may all change!

11.) stay hopeful that in my lifetime that my body can become one big mobile device with a simple operation underneath my arm. My dream is for my body to become one with the Internet . Please, one more sheet of acid will do.

12.) Do a better job of staying up to date with wireless developments in China.

de Saussure family, Croix Saint-Louis
text message marketing
Image by hdes.copeland
Croix Saint-Louis (1er degre, ancien regime). Cross of a member of the Order of Saint-Louis (1st degree, in the old form of the order). This was a previously unidentified relic in possession of Henry William de Saussure (1875-1955).

The gold and enamel cross and attached ribbon were among the Masonic jewels that belonged to HWdeS and recently given to the local archives of the South Carolina Grand Lodge. Their archivists could not identify the relic as Masonic so they graciously returned the piece to the donors. The Charleston Museum was next offered the item for its collections. The curator was able to identify the medal and the order it represented, but declined the gift as it was not known to have a provenance that would have placed it within the margins of the museum’s mission to interpret South Carolina’s natural and cultural history. This example of the Cross of the Order of Saint-Louis is now being held in trust pending verification of its origins and discovering how it came to be where it appeared in 1955.

According to this and subsequent documentation the decoration is now known to be the medal or emblem of a French hereditary order. The Order of Saint-Louis was established by King Louis XIV of France and was the first French hereditary order to honor individuals for special service, including those who were not already members of the nobility. The order was established in 1693.

As with similar orders there were strict rules as to the size of the order, eligibility of honorees and hereditary rights to membership. Because of this last feature, a recipient could pass on to his heirs the title and privileges associated with the order. Since the honor was hereditary, the Order of Saint-Louis presented an opportunity for the landed gentry and those otherwise outside the royal circle to assume some of the attributes of the nobility. For France of the late Renaissance, while it was in the midst of embracing everything Baroque under the long reign of the Sun King, the creation of a point of entry to the petite nobility would appear to be a rather egalitarian concept.

There are reasons to believe that not all the rules for admission to this order were strictly followed almost from its inception. At least officially it admitted only Roman Catholics as members of the order until the late 1750’s. French law continued to officially limit the rights of non-Catholics until the generation that preceded the French Revolution. Open discrimination against religious minorities, particularly Protestants, had generally subsided, for the most part, by the mid-1700’s. This fact plays an important role in the identification of this particular medal and the possible identification of its original owner.

After thriving for nearly 100 years, the order was initially abolished in 1791, becoming an early casualty of the French Revolution. It was reestablished briefly following the Restoration of the French royal house after 1815. With the demise of traditional French monarchists in the 1830’s and the abdication of King Louis-Philip during a bloodless coup which began in Bordeaux, the Order of Saint-Louis was finally sent into permanent retirement.

The French Legion of Honor replaced this order in form and purpose following the French Revolution at the behest of Napoleon. This is one of the reasons the Order of Saint-Louis did not last for very long after the 1815 Restoration. The modern Legion of Honor derives much of its outward form and original purpose from the same spirit that embodied its predecessor, the Order of Saint-Louis. The Legion of Honor, however, is limited to the honoree, and is not hereditary.

This particular example of the order’s symbol is a genuine relic from pre-Revolutionary France, rightly known as the ancien regime or old order. It also appears to be a rendition of the original design of the medal which was only given, at least officially, to Roman Catholics for special service to the crown. After 1759 when a broad array of restrictive religious laws were revoked by the crown, non-Catholics were finally openly admitted to the order. A slightly different medal, though still a cross of similar shape, was given to non-Catholic honorees. This modified emblem was plainer and lacked some of the more overtly Catholic symbols found in the original design seen here.

A red moiré ribbon was also the color of the original medal’s sash. A blue ribbon was used with the medal later and came to be associated only with the non-Catholic version of the medal. This later version of the medal with a blue ribbon was awarded non-Catholics, more typically French Protestants or Huguenots. As before, the order continued to recognize individuals, both nobles and non-nobles, for honorable service to the state and crown. This later version of the order was also awarded to Jewish and Muslim recipients for patriotic service, especially after French Imperial interests in the 18th Century began to extend to North Africa and beyond.

The recipient of this particular medal of the Order is not certain. Curiously, the medal, as seen in this photograph, appears to have an original blue moiré ribbon attached to an original version of the medal before it was modified, impying it was received by a Protestant. If this was a possession of a predecessor of the last owner, it would have likely been received by a non-Catholic recipient before 1759, as members of this line of the owner’s family were Huguenots. It could have been before the early 1730’s if the honor was received before one of the sons left Lausanne for Port Royal in America. At the time, Lausanne was a quasi-protectorate of France. Port Royal was a relatively new settlement and British Colony on the coast of South Carolina. The departure of this individual from Europe would have been at least 20 years before the order and French law officially acknowledged non-Catholic honorees.

Later potential honorees within this family might have been possible, but would have been highly unlikely. Several cousins of the last owner were members of the Swiss Guards, itself a military order that still exists. As such they served within the French Royal Court during the second half of the 18th century. Some of these cousins, as members of the Swiss Guards, were among those martyred, slaughtered en masse, following a pitched battle in the Jardin des Tuileries in 1792 while defending the Royal Palace against a revolutionary mob. This became one of the opening salvos as the Revolution gave way to the period still known today in France as the Terror. These events also occurred immediately after the Order was officially dissolved for the first time, at the beginning of the Revolution. This would make such a late association between this medal and members of the family very unlikely.

The blue ribbon attached to this particular medal implies the honor may have been bestowed without regard to the original rules of Huguenot exclusion and before the order was officially changed to allow what was very likely already taking place. There is only a narrow window in which membership to this order, with this version of the medal, could have been awarded to a member of this family. After 1730 the direct ancestor of the 20th century owner would no longer be seen as French, per se, but instead he and his heirs would be recognized as an American family, differentiated only for having well known French and Swiss Huguenot origins.

The time frame for its presentation, even extra legally, would necessarily have been limited from 1693 to about 1758, if presented in the form of the original medal with a blue ribbon. This is further limited to the period between 1693 and the early 1730’s if the recipient was either the émigré or his father. This period would have been included within the life time of Francoise de Saussure, an established citizen of Lausanne, and his two sons, Henri, the émigré, and César, known for his diplomatic forays. All three were natives of Lausanne. Francoise died when his sons were young. Henri left for South Carolina after some political unrest in Lausanne went badly for many of the established French families in the city. At about the same time, César began to travel widely and was removed from Lausanne for a time. Because of his travels, and possibly because of the previously noted political upheavals, he was often absent from his family who remained in Lausanne. César eventually returned to Lausanne where he lived until his death in 1783.

Since the vast majority of French Huguenot refugees and émigrés left France before 1700, most of these would have had no opportunity to become associated with the Order of Saint-Louis. An exception might be those who went to New France, now Canada, or to the French possessions in the Caribbean. For the majority, including many French Huguenots, they left for places beyond the authority of France. Many arrived in the English colonies in America before or shortly after the order was founded. Logically, it is unlikely that this honor would have been extended to very many remotely eligible individuals who might have ended up in the English or Dutch colonies in America during the last quarter of the 17th century or the first half of the 18th century.

In spite of the odds, it could still be speculated that since Henri de Saussure, the progenitor of his line of his family in America, was of military age and a citizen of the French speaking city of Lausanne in the 1720’s, he could conceivably have been a recipient. Citizens of the French speaking Swiss cantons and some foreign nationals were sometimes so honored for special services by the French king. There is no documentation to directly or even indirectly support this theory.

Time and circumstances would make the first American member of this family becoming a primary honoree highly unlikely, though he could still have been the heir if his father, Francoise, had won the honor. It is of some interest that Henri arrived in America in the 1730’s, not as a French refugee, but in an unusual position as a Swiss émigré in pursuit of business interests in the American colonies. He is believed to have been acting on behalf of himself and possibly other relatives who had made financial advances toward the Perrysburg experiment which became a financial loss for its original investors. Henri assumed title to extensive properties instead, perhaps in exchange for some of the lost investments, later served in the provincial militia and for a time was a local official in the English colony associated with Port Royal. He was a merchant with trading interests that involved France, but never returned to Europe between his arrival in the 1730’s and his death a little over 30 years later.

Henri’s son, Daniel, assumed and greatly expanded his father’s business interests in the Port Royal area and eventually extended them through Charleston prior to the American Revolution. In 1778, Daniel traveled to France and went on to Geneva and Lausanne. Both cities were then still technically part of France’s Swiss protectorates. Daniel’s travel to the native country of his father was spurred by events related to the American Revolution. At the start of hostilities in 1775 and 1776, Daniel was already an established merchant and was a widely respected figure who had previously avoided the political extremes. It was fortuitous for Daniel that many of the state’s experienced merchants were Tories. A majority of these individuals left the state after 1776. They abandoned the management of the local markets to their competitors, a very small number who remained committed to the American cause.

As one of the few experienced merchants who would declare their support for the American cause, Daniel de Saussure was suddenly thrust into the middle of the former colony’s search for new links to international trade. On behalf of the state of South Carolina and in pursuit of war material, he set off for France using a ship he had captured from the British and with other vessels he had outfitted for the mission. Since his father left Europe in the 1730’s for America, Daniel would be the first of his family to first set foot on French soil in 1778 after a nearly 50 year absence. It is highly improbable that either Henri or his son Daniel would have been the recipient of this honor, at least not directly, from the French government. There is an alternative route to this honor, but it is still a remote and speculative assumption.

César de Saussure, Henri’s brother and Daniel’s uncle, is the only remaining possibility of someone within this branch of the family having earned such an honor outright. It is possible that César was a recipient of the honor due to his having participated in several notable business, diplomatic and exploratory missions on behalf of official French interests during the reign of King Louis XV. In this capacity he attended the coronation of King George II in London and his credentials were presented to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire whom he eventually met in Istanbul. His written observations of these and other missions were published in a widely circulated tome that appeared near the end of his life which came 5 years after his nephew’s pilgrimage to Lausanne in 1778. An English translation of César’s work appeared about 100 years later which sheds light on his life, travels and observations of the Western world prior to the demise of the old order in France.

César and his wife lived in Lausanne. They had at least two daughters who survived him but no sons who would live to adulthood. Salic Law would have prevented family titles, signatories and special hereditary orders, such as this, from passing to heirs via a female line. It would be a classic show of French chauvinism, not to mention within the letter of French law and the rules of the Order, for César to have passed this honor to his eldest nephew with male heirs, Daniel. After all, Daniel was the American son and scion of the surviving male line of César’s only brother Henri. Though Henri never returned to his native Lausanne, correspondence continued between the brothers for nearly 30 years ending with Henri’s death in 1763.

When Daniel was presented with the opportunity in 1778 to travel to France on a business and military mission of such importance to the support of South Carolina’s cause during the American Revolution, he seized it. After he arrived in France, at either Bordeaux or a similar port, possibly Nante, he interrupted his business long enough to travel far inland to Geneva and Lausanne. At both places he was received with great acclaim by relatives and those who were familiar with his family’s reputation.

Benjamin Franklin he wasn’t, but given the popular climate the American Revolution already enjoyed at the time among the French who had no great love for the English, he was as close to the Heroic American as many in that part of Europe would ever get. In Lausanne, with much celebration, as the story goes, Daniel met his uncle César in person for the first time and was formally enrolled as a citizen of the city and the canton of Vaud of which Lausanne was a part. He was also invited to list his children on the rolls as citizens as well. Daniel received many other public and private honors during that voyage. He was capable and talented as a merchant, a member of the militia and a political figure, so his initial receptions in France and Switzerland were appropriate. It is also very likely many of the honors he received during this expedition on behalf of South Carolina were due more to his family connections than in direct support for his cause half a world away.

If César de Saussure was the original owner of the medal, it remains unproven, yet it stands as the only reasonable possibility. It’s unfortunate the internet , Google and fairly regular e-mail messages between the European and American cousins didn’t come into play until 200 years later. Otherwise the actual story involving this medal might never have been lost. The limited information we have been able to reconstruct is largely a product of oral tradition within a narrow branch of the family. So far, even the partial information we have has been greatly expanded by the new resources only recently made possible with the internet.

Among the other relics that have been found and preserved in the American family’s archives are other items that reflected similar honors associated with various forms of hereditary traditions well known to both Americans and Europeans in the 18th and 19th centuries. Each relic is from an era and possessed of a chain of title almost as old as this one. To date, there is no indisputable documentation that would directly connect this medal from the Order of Saint-Louis to the person who owned it in 1955. There are only the pieces of oral tradition that might be linked to the written history of this relic along with other bits of circumstantial evidence connected to individuals within the family.

Coincidentally, the last owner of the medal was a veteran of the Great War, now referred to as the First World War. He served in the US Army Medical Corps assigned to France, from November 1918 until April 1919. The Order was no longer in existence by 1918, but it is possible that the medal would have become an item of interest to collectors by this time. Still, the last owner was not known to collect personal items such as this if they were not directly associated with his family.

The precise origins of this particular medal of the Order of Saint-Louis remain a mystery yet to be resolved.

Photo and text posted: 31 January 2008
Revised: 8 April 2011
Copyrights reserved: others; hdescopeland