Parallel thread with
Example: "internet will topple down *Patriarchy*!"

"Young people (´84 - ´14 and on) giving up on life - Life under L.S.Capitalism - "Where is my Jetpack!" (Cancelled) Futures"

what this post is about (skipping the foreword from user W-S who ghosted me XD)

  • + "cultural changes you noticed in your lifetime" thread
  • album:
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May 29, 2023
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The 8chan thread link's dead, can you tell me more what you're trying to go for here?
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The 8chan thread link's dead, can you tell me more what you're trying to go for here?
it isnt, thats the name of it
no one answered except me
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As for thing like Aero giving hope, I think its just because we associate this style with the aforementionned thing.
or that feeling, "living in the future"
when y2k came, it was for people, like dream, fascination - hope:
- year 2000 is at the door, world looks bright, internet is "ough" to "solve" all our problems, maybe even "to topple the game (of rich bastards) down"...
-- feeling like this - if you got me (this sentiment, dream of utopia, unity, mutual understanding "coz of net" - oh man, if they knew...)
@manpaint : Always remember that love and hate are both two side of the same coin.
- which reminds me of thread [sic] "MLP and New Sincerity" - about being sincere, "you", - all that *sweet* (or not) jazz...
or that feeling, "living in the future"
when y2k came, it was for people, like dream, fascination - hope:
- year 2000 is at the door, world looks bright, internet is "ough" to "solve" all our problems, maybe even "to topple the game (of rich bastards) down"...
-- feeling like this - if you got me (this sentiment, dream of utopia, unity, mutual understanding "coz of net" - oh man, if they knew...)

I think most of the current "holy fuck the future is going to be so bad" vibe come from the notion that the future had been previously overhyped that backfired overly. Truth to be told, I am unsure if there is even something to blame for that. Probably just the result of a post Cold War world I guess.

I mean, Gen Z is already liking Y2K, Frutiger and shows like Lain, so why wouldn't some of them start looking in the more niche parts?
  • #0 punks and emos of 2000s-2010s: basically "When we were young" fest, - safe for fact it was then "current thing": pic-rel + all those rock, punk, emo, - things playing on radio --- a psyop??? + 80s (music, not aesthetics) nostalgia occuring around that time... : music-rel (yeah, pretty much this playlist is "getting rich" from nostalgia - go, figure :/)
  • #1 youtube campaign "broadcoast yourself" - dawg man, i am so confussed how we could "get bought" over this - and believe come corporation! it sounds so - ironic; looking at it from lens of someone, living in *these* times "after fad"... - really believing(?) that commonmen can, thru sheer "influence" thru net, shape world... (what a joke!!!) [were we sold on *this feeling"!???]
  • #1b general naiivity over "corporations allowing us all this" - how was that not suspicious!! i wonder... (letting our guard and awareness so low) ~ but then, werent we (born 1999-and so; living with siblings (sister), of 8 year difference...)
  • #1.5 campaign of web providers (geocities, goDaddy or such), *basically* saying "be you"/"promote yourself"
    • (if you get me, that is; i am - getting nostalgic, over something i very fogly remember - in fact, now i get - why those "boomers" over here are getting nostalgic over living in socialism (when, they were kids... - so was i...)
    • --- WAS this all^ psy-op - contrarian messages, just "selling feeling", scham, make-believe dreams?
      • or is it that *there somewhere*, it was "all taken away from us" - well, as i see, that is very little probability, and it was just tactic to "get everyone on net" - those fxxx bastards!! (#me, being naiive...)
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shushing the opposition, "thinking few", coz "GoV KnOwS BeSt!"
no place to share ideas == no future (no innovation; coz "OnLy KaPiTaLiZm CaN BrInG VaRiAtIoN!!!")
then, cooks go to their own places and you are CuRiOuS why Belief in gov. is the lowest ever!!!
coz you dont want dialogue! you want truth, no matter what - your truth - even by price of being phony, the only one - there is no "bad opinion" if you ban, shadowban everyone else!?!! (dumbass!)
<yeah, divide and conquir, old song...>
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wired, july 1997



- a contagious idea - began spread¬ ing through the United States in the 1980s: America is in decline, the world is going to hell, and our children's lives will be worse than our own. The particulars are now familiar: Good jobs are disappearing, working people are falling into poverty, the underclass is swelling, crime is out of control. The post-Gold War world is fragment¬ ing, and conflicts are erupting all over the planet. The environment is imploding - with global warming and ozone depletion, weTl all either die of cancer or live in Waterworld . As for our kids, the collapsing educational system is producing either gun-toting gangsters or burg¬ er-flipping dopes who can't read.

By the late 1990s, another meme began to gain ground. Borne of the surging stock market and an economy that won't die down, this one is more positive: America is finally getting its economic act together, the world is not such a dangerous place after all, and our kids just might lead tolerable lives. Yet the good times will come only to a privileged few, no more than a fortunate fifth of our society. The vast majority in the United States and the world face a dire future of increasingly desperate poverty* And the environment? It's a lost cause.


We arc watching the beginnings of i a global economic boom on a scale ■ never experienced before. We have entered a period of sustained growth that could eventu¬ ally double the world's economy every dozen years and bring increasing prosperity for - quite literally - billions of people on the planet. We are riding the early waves of a 25-year run of a greatly expanding economy that will do much to solve seemingly intractable problems like poverty and to ease tensions throughout the world. And we 5 Il do it without blowing the lid off the environment.

If this holds true, historians will look back on our era as an extraordinary moment. They will chronicle the 40-year period from 1980 to 2020 as the key years of a remarkable transformation, in the developed countries of the West, new technology will lead to big productivity increases that will cause high economic growth - actually, waves of technology will continue to roll out through the early part of the 21st century. And then the relent¬ less process of globalization, the opening up of national



Peter Schwartz ( is cofounder and chair of Global Business Network and author of The An of the Long View, Peter Leyden ( is a features editor at Wired,

economies and the integration of markets, will drive the growth through much of the rest of the world. An unpre¬ cedented alignment of an ascendent Asia, a revitalized America, and a reintegrated greater Europe - including a recovered Russia - together will create an economic juggernaut that polls along most other regions of the planet. These two metatrends - fundamental technologi¬ cal change and a new ethos of openness - will transform our world into the beginnings of a global civilization, a new civilization of civilizations, that will blossom through the coming century.

Think back to the era following World War II, the 40-year span from 1940 to 1980 that immediately pre¬ cedes our own. First, the US economy was flooded with an array of new technologies that had been stopped up by the war effort: mainframe computers, atomic energy, rockets, commercial aircraft, automobiles, and television. Second, a new integrated market was devised for half the world - the so-called free world - in part through the creation of institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. With the tech¬ nology and the enhanced system of international trade in place by the end of the 1940s, the US economy roared Ihrough the 1950s, and the w r orid economy joined in through the 1960s, only to flame out in the 1970s with high inflation - partly a sign of growth that came too fast. From 1950 to 1973, the world economy grew at an average 4.9 percent - a rate not matched since, well, right about now. On the backs of that roaring economy and increasing prosperity came social, cultural, and political repercussions. It's no coincidence that the 1960s were called revolutionary. With spreading affluence came great pressure from disenfranchised races and other interest groups for social reform, even overt polit¬ ical revolution.

Strikingly similar - if not still more powerful - forces are in motion today. The end of the military state of readiness in the 1980s, as in the 1940s, unleashed an array of new technologies, not the least of which is the Internet, The end of the Gold War also saw the triumph of a set of ideas long championed by the United States: those of the free-market economy and, to some extent, liberal democracy. This cleared Lite way for the creation of a truly global economy, one integrated market. Not half the world, the free world. Not one large colonial empire. Everybody on the planet in the same economy. This is historically unprecedented, with unprecedented consequences to follow. In the 1990s, the United States is experiencing a booming economy much like it did in the 1950s. But look ahead to the next decade, our parallel to the 1960s. We may be entering a relentless economic expansion, a truly global economic boom, the long boom.



Sitting here in the late 1990s, it's possible to see how all the pieces could fait into place, It's possible to con¬ struct a scenario that could bring us to a truly better world by 2020. It's not a prediction, but a scenario, one that's both positive and plausible. Why plausible? The basic science is now in place for five great waves of tech¬ nology * personal computers, telecommunications, bio¬ technology, nanotechnology, and alternative energy - that could rapidly grow the economy without destroying the environment. This scenario doesn't rely on a scientific breakthrough, such as cold fusion, to feed our energy needs. Also, enough unassailable trends - call them pre¬ determined factors - are in motion to plausibly predict their outcome. The rise of Asia, for example, simply can't be stopped. This is not to say that there aren't some huge unknowns, the critical uncertainties, such as how the United States handles its key role as world leader.

Why a positive scenario? During the global standoff of the Cold War, people clung to the original ideological visions of a pure form of communism or capitalism, A positive scenario too often amounted to little more than surviving nuclear war. Today, without the old visions, it's easy enongh to see how the world might unravel into chaos, it's much more difficult to see how it could all weave together into something better. But without an expansive vision of the future, people tend to get short¬ sighted and mean-spirited, looking out only for them¬ selves. A positive scenario can inspire us through what will inevitably be traumatic times ahead.

So suspend your disbelief. Open up to the possibilities. Try to think like one of those future historians, marveling at the changes that took place in the 40-year period that straddled the new r millennium. Sit back and read through the future history of the world.



From a h istorical vantage point, two develop¬ ments start around I960 that will have pro¬ found consequences for the US economy, the Western economy, then the global economy at large. One is the introduction of personal computers. The other is the breakup of the Beil System. These events trigger two of the five great waves of technological change that will eventually help fuel the long boom.

The full impact can be seen in the sweep of decades.

In the first 10 years, personal computers are steadily adopted by businesses. By 1990, they begin to enter the home, and the microprocessor is being embedded in many other tools and products, such as cars. By the turn of the century, with the power of computer chips still roughly doubling every IS months, everything comes with a small, cheap silicon brain. Tasks like handwriting recognition become a breeze. Around 2010, Intel builds a chip with a billion transistors - 100 times the com¬

plexity of the most advanced integrated circuits being designed in the late 1990s. By 2015, reliable simultaneous language translation has been cracked - with immediate consequences for the multilingual world.

The trajectory for the telecommunications wave follows much the same arc. The breakup of Ma Bell, initiated in 1982, triggers a frenzy of entrepreneurial activity as nascent companies like MCI and Sprint race to build fiber-optic networks across the country. By the early 1990s, these companies shift from moving voice to moving data as a new phenomenon seems to come out of nowhere: the Internet, Computers and communications become inextricably linked, each feeding the phenomenal growth of the other. By the late 1990s, telecom goes wireless. Mobile phone systems and all-purpose personal commu¬ nications services arrive first with vast antennae net¬ works on the ground. Soon after, the big satellite projects come online. By 1998, the Iridium global phone network is complete. By 2002, Teledesic's global Internet network is operational. These projects, among others, allow seam¬ less connection to the information infrastructure anywhere on the planet by early in the century. By about 2005, high-bandwidth connections that can easily move video have become common in developed countries, and video¬ phones finally catch on.

The symbiotic relationship between these technology sectors leads to a major economic discontinuity right around 1995, generally attributed to the explosive growth of the Internet. It's the long boom's Big Bang - immedi¬ ately fueling economic growth in the traditional sense of direct job creation but also stimulating growth in less direct ways. On the most obvious level, hardware and infrastructure companies experience exponential growth, as building the new information network becomes one oF the great global business opportunities around the turn of the century.

A new media industry also explodes onto the scene to take advantage of The network's unique capabilities, such as interactivity and individual customization. Start-ups plunge into the field, and traditional media companies lumber in this direction. By the late 1990s, the titans of the media industry are in a high-stakes struggle over control of the evolving medium. Relative newcomers like Disney and Microsoft ace out the old-guard television networks in a monumental struggle over digital TV. After a few fits and starts, the Net becomes the main medium of the 21st century.

The development of online commerce quickly follows on new media's heels. First come the entrepreneurs who figure out how to encrypt messages, conduct safe finan¬ cial transactions in cyberspace, and advertise one to one. Electronic cash, a key milestone, gains acceptance around 1998. Then come businesses selling everyday consumer goods. First it's high tech products such as software, then true information products like securities. Soon every¬ thing begins to be sold in cyberspace. By 2000, online


sales hit US$10 billion, still small by overall retail stan¬ dards. Around 2005, 20 percent of Americans teleshop for groceries.

Alongside the migration of the traditional retail world into cyberspace, completely new types of work are created. Many had speculated that computer networks would lead to disintermediation - the growing irrelevance of the middleman in commerce. Certainly the old-style gobetweens are sideswiped, but new types of intermediaries arise to connect buyers to sellers. And with the friction taken out of the distribution system, the savings can be channeled into new ventures, which create new work.


WORKED New technologies have an impact much bigger ECONOMY than what literally takes place online. On a more fundamental level, the networked economy is born. Start¬ ing with the recession of 1990-91, American businesses begin going through a wrenching process of reengineer¬ ing, variously described at the time as downsizing, out¬ sourcing, and creating the virtual corporation. In fact, they are actually taking advantage of new information technologies to create the smaller, more versatile eco¬ nomic units of the coming era.

Businesses, as well as most organizations outside the business world, begin to shift from hierarchical processes to networked ones. People working in all kinds of fields the professions, education, government, the arts - begin pushing the applications of networked computers. Nearly every facet of human activity is transformed in some way by the emergent fabric of interconnection. This reorgani¬ zation leads to dramatic improvements in efficiency and productivity.

Productivity, as it happens, becomes one of the great quandaries stumping economists throughout the 1990s. Despite billions invested in new technologies, traditional government economic statistics reflect little impact on productivity or growth. This is not an academic point - it drives to the heart of the new economy. Businesses invest in new technology to boost the productivity of their work¬ ers. That increased productivity is what adds value to the economy - it is the key to sustained economic growth.

Research by a few economists, like Stanford Univer¬ sity's Paul Romer, suggests that fundamentally new technologies generally don't become productive until a generation after their introduction, the time it fakes for people to really learn how to use them in new ways. Sure enough, about a generation after the introduction of personal computers in the workplace, work processes begin mutating enough to take full advantage of the tool. Soon after, economists figure out how to accurately measure the true gains in productivity - and take into account the nebulous concept of improvement in quality rather than just quantity.

By 2000, the US government adopts a new informa¬

tion-age standard of measuring economic growth. Unsur¬ prisingly, actual growth rates are higher than what had registered on the industrial-age meter. The US economy is growing at sustained rates of around 4 percent - rates not seen since the 1960s.

The turn of the century marks another major shift in government policy, as the hidebound analysis of inflation is finally abandoned in light of the behavior of the new economy. While the Vietnam War, oil shocks, and rela¬ tively closed national labor markets had caused genuine inflationary pressures that wreaked havoc on the economy through the 1970s, the tight monetaiy policies of the 1980s soon harness the inflation rate and lead to a solid decade with essentially no wage or price rises. By the 1990s, globalization and international competition add to the downward pressure. By 2000, policymakers finally come around to the idea that you can grow the economy at much higher rates and still avoid the spiral of inflation. The millennium also marks a symbolic changing of the guard at the Federal Reserve Bank: Alan Greenspan retires, the Fed lifts its foot off the brake, and the US economy really begins to take off.



WAVES Right about the turn of the century, the third of the five waves of technology kicks in. After a couple false starts in the 1980s and 1990s, biotechnology begins to transform the medical field. One benchmark comes in 2001 with the completion of the Human Genome Project, the effort to map out all human genes. That understand¬ ing of our genetic makeup triggers a series of break¬ throughs in stopping genetic disease. Around 2012, a gene therapy for cancer is perfected. Five years later, almost one-third of the 4,000 known genetic diseases can be avoided through genetic manipulation.

Throughout the early part of the century, the combi¬ nation of a deeper understanding of genetics, human biology, and organic chemistry leads to a vast array of powerful medications and therapies. The health care system, having faced a crossroads in 1994 with President Clinton's proposed national plan, continues restructuring along the more decentralized, privatized model of IIMOs. The industry is already booming when biotech advances begin clicking in the first decade of the century. It receives a further stimulus when the baby boomers begin retiring en masse in 2011. The industry becomes a big jobs provider for years to come.

The biotech revolution profoundly affects another eco¬ nomic sector - agriculture. The same deeper understand¬ ing of genetics leads to much more precise breeding of plants. By about 2007, most US produce is being geneti¬ cally engineered by these new direct techniques. The same process takes place with livestock. In 1997, the cloning of sheep in the United Kingdom startles the world and kicks

economy using the new information technologies. This restructuring, both of corporations and governments, has much the same effect it had on the US economy. The European economy begins to surge and create many new jobs. By about 2005, Europe - particularly in the north¬ ern countries like Germany - even has the beginnings of a serious labor shortage as aging populations begin to retire.

Then the Russian economy lacks in. For 15 years, Rus¬ sia had been stumbling along in its transition to a capi¬ talist economy, periodically frightening the West with overtures that it might return to its old militaristic ways. But after almost two decades of wide-open Mafia-style capitalism, Russia emerges in about 2005 with the basic underpinnings of a solid economy. Enough people are invested in the new system, and enough of the population has absorbed the new work ethic, that the economy can function quite well - with few reasons to fear a retrench¬ ment. This normalization finally spurs massive foreign investment that helps the Russians exploit their immense natural resources, and the skills of a highly educated populace. These people also provide a huge market for Europe and the rest of the world.




Q T ft T % close of the 20th century, the more develL U L oped Western nations are forging ahead on a path of technology-led growth, and booming Asia is showing the unambiguous benefits of developing market economies and free trade. The path for the rest of the world seems clear. Openness and restructuring. Restruc¬ turing and openness. Individually, nations begin adopt¬ ing the formula of deregulating, privatizing, opening up to foreign investment, and cutting government deficits. Collectively, they sign onto international agreements that accelerate the process of global integration - and fuel the long boom.

Two milestones come in 1907: the Information Tech¬ nology Agreement, in which almost all countries trading in IT agree to abolish tariffs by 2000, and the Global Telecommunications Accord, in which almost 70 leading nations agree to rapidly deregulate their domestic tele¬ com markets. These two developments quickly spread the two key technologies of the era: computers and telecommunications.

Everyone benefits, particularly the underdeveloped economies, which take advantage of the leapfrog effect, adopting the newest, cheapest, best technology rather than settling for obsolete junk, IT creates a remarkable dynamic that brings increasing power, performance, and quality to each new generation of the technology - plus big drops in price. Also, wireless telecommunications allow countries to avoid the huge effort and expense of building wired infrastructures through crowded
(p 168)
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You've been in the unusual position of advocat¬ ing more freedom of speech - as well as more govern¬ ment involvement - on the Internet, Is that a paradox?

Mala mud: Il's really fashionable now to say that govern¬ ment belongs in the "real" world and that cyberspace is a new and different world, and therefore government really has no role to play in cyberspace. But if that's the way we Look at it, we'll eventually end up with actual anarchy, as opposed to what the Internet is today, which is just kind of chaotic, I don't really understand where that anti government belief system comes from. Tech¬ nology in itself Is no guarantee of freedom of speech. What could government do to guarantee our freedoms? Our personal freedoms can he protected by cryptogra¬ phy like PGP. But patents have turned the fundamental technology behind cryptography, which we all need to use every day, into private property. The government needs to get involved and reclaim those technologies for all people.

But the government is doing the opposite, trying to prevent the spread of strong crypto - unless law enforcement has a key to eavesdrop.

That's just a naive few in the government looking for some kind of magic bullet. The FBI's saying. "Well, gee, it would be great if we had the key to every conversation. We could just turn on our magic little machine and boom - we'd have them" But that's not real police work, and that's not forensic science. Not having the magic key to the front door isn't going to make much of a differ¬ ence to any investigation.

That's exactly why l think people have to be involved with government. Around the world, governments are defining the rules for the internet now. if wc don't speak up and make our views known, then we end up with misguided legislation like the key escrow and digital telephony bills and Exon amendments.

Are there any regulations you'd like to see introduced? Yes, spamming and mailbombing definitely ought to be crimes. If you knowingly transmit 10,000 mail messages in a one-hour period to a particular host, I ought to be able to call the police and have you arrested.

Won't more government and more regulation choke development of the Internet?

There's all sorts of different degrees of government, and if all you think about is a US federal government that's doing regulation, that's a really naive view of government. Obviously, government does many other things - especially at the local level. Working with the government at the local level builds community, and the Internet is about build¬ ing community. I think we need some true public-works projects, and they might be funded by a local government group or a nonprofit funded by corporate donations. But

we need to build large-scale Internet presences in the places they haven't been before.

So government has a role in building the Internet?

If you look at how other infrastructures were deployed, everything from electricity to radio, you'll see that what we're going through now with the Internet isn't really that much different than what we've been going through for the last 100 years. Sometimes the public loses the fight. In some places we end up with the city infrastruc¬ ture planning going dreadfully awry, with strip malls and huge freeways, and no public transit and no parks. Now the Internet is another infrastructure that has to be put into that mix.

Can government help solve Internet brownouts?

There will always be traffic jams. You fools, it's under construction! .And it always will be under construction, and you always will get those problems. But if it gets bad enough - if service providers are providing really bad service and there isn't an alternative - then maybe the government's going to have to step in and figure it out.

Where else should we apply public money?

We must continue encour¬ aging Net-oriented R&D some government, some corporate. It's critical that we keep pushing the R&D envelope, because the stan¬ dards that end up coming out of tliat work - the World Wide Web being the best example - are the result of a long-term strategy. There was a veiy long beta development period for Tim BernersLee and the World Wide Web,

We've talked about government. Does the Internet fos¬ ter more participatory democracy?

I don't think the Internet has ever been the kind of hap¬ py global collective where everyone did the best thing for everyone else. This is not the Rainbow Tribe. But it is an interdependent life - if I screw up my mail system, then I screw up your computer, because all my mail bounces to you and fills up ynur temp drive.

That may be the key aspect of the Internet - that what 1 do can really affect you, and because weTe neighbors we damn well better learn how to work together. We may not like each other, but III certainly say hi when I see you on the road, because otherwise you might get pissed off and let your dog loose in my yard.

While many Internet pioneers have turned their attention toward getting rich, Carl Malamud has remained focused on the public interest. A passionate proponent of the public's right to access government documents, the pugnacious Malamud goaded the Securities and Exchange Com¬ mission to make its data available online. He founded the Internet Multicasting Service, a nonprofit research group that was in effect the first Net radio station, transmitting live coverage from the floor of Congress. Malamud also was the force behind the Internet 1996 World Exposi¬ tion, wresting cooperation from govern¬ ments and big businesses worldwide to lay down a new international pipeline and set up a "Central Park" megaserver - in line with his vision of making free public spaces available on the Web. His book on the exposition, A World's Fair for the Global Village, will be published in September. Wired spoke with Mala¬ mud, who is now a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab, about government's role on the Net,

Lynn Ginsburg ( is a frequent contributor to various print and Web publications, including Wired, HotWired ? NetGuide, and CNET.

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same spooks every time

dudes its us

read more there

90s/y2k graphics

another article

Their voices build to an excited torrent of acronyms, then fade as the geeks enter the hotel lobby.

Nerds in Anguilla? Indeed, almost 80 of them* From the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Mexico, Hong Kong, and parts unknown they have congregated like squirrels scenting food at a picnic. Together they constitute a singular event: FC97, the First International Conference on Financial Cryptography - five days in February of relentlessly technical tutorials in this, urn, tropical vacation paradise.

Room with a view of the future

Financial cryptography? It sounds dull and incomprehensible. Still, if you spend money, if s likely to change your life.

This is a crucial time, when giddy prophecies about electronic commerce may soon be fulfilled. With electronic money online from DigiCash to Cybercash, and soon from Digital ... smartcard schemes from Mondex and Hewlett-Packard ... an e-com¬ merce announcement expected from Microsoft ... a whole new financial-transaction operating system based on Java ... within a few years millions of people should be making purchases, pay¬ ing bills, trading stocks, even obtaining loans via the Net.

How much this will all be worth remains educated guess¬ work. Suppose we have 10 million Net users each making an average of $10 in online purchases every month; thafs already

Still, a loose-knit coalition continues to fight back. It includes academics, who have laid the seemingly innocent theoretical foundations of cryptography, and cypherpunks, mostly anar¬ chists and libertarians, who won't rest till every Net user is immune to government surveillance.

Perhaps it seems far-fetched that socially dysfunctional, long¬ haired computer geeks could render governments impotent or financial institutions obsolete. Yet PGP - Pretty Good Privacy, the "people's encryption software" - was developed by just one antiauthoritarian agitator, Phil Zimmennann. After PGP was distributed free across the Net, federal prosecutors began inves¬ tigating Zimmermann in 1993, threatening him with a possible 52 months in prison for allowing the export of a "munition " Almost three years later, the investigation was dropped, and PGP has now become a viable commercial product. Score: Zimmermann 1, State Department 0.

The message? Don't underrate academics and cypherpunks. But why have they chosen to have a summit meeting on an obscure Caribbean island where there seems to be more goats than people? Two reasons: 1) Anguilla is a tax haven with a Bahamian-style banking system, and 2) Vincent Cate lives here.

When Cate was a grad student at Carnegie Mellon University, for his PhD thesis he devised a radically improved system built on top of FTP, to make files on the Net as easily accessible as

It's a crucial time when giddy prophecies about e-commerce may soon be fulfilled

more than $1 billion of annual cash flow. Suppose people start settling credit card accounts and utility bills electronically. Suppose emoney takes off faster than email - suddenly everyone has an account. IDC, the Boston-based research house, esti¬ mates that online commerce will he worth $119 billion by 2000.

However, this can happen only if systems are secure - very secure - which means strong encryption. US financial institu¬ tions are allowed to use strong code for international transac¬ tions, but the Clinton administration has waged a ferocious, tenacious campaign to discourage everyone else, supposedly to protect us from "the terrorist threat." Earlier this year, a platoon of Clintonites visited several cities across the US to make pre¬ sentations to audiences of local skeptics and argue the case for the policy now known derisively among cypherpunks as GAK (government access to keys).

But are coded messages among terrorists really what worries the government? The crypto that hides criminal communications is no different from that which can hide everyday consumer transactions; if the flow of money among citizens becomes invis¬ ible in this way, currency regulations become unenforceable and taxes are uncollectible. Thus, unrestricted encryption could seri¬ ously undermine the powers of government - which may be the main reason France, China, Belgium, Russia, and Israel have restricted citizens 5 ability to encrypt messages.

those on your hard drive. Then the World Wide Web clicked and FTP was forgotten, prompting Cate to abandon his thesis, quit college, and think about getting into Net commerce. As a serious libertarian, he resented paying half his income to the govern¬ ment, sohe went shopping for a country that would demand less while being friendly and safe.

Late in 1994, around the time of his 31st birthday, he ended up 200 miles east of Puerto Rico, in Anguilla, where there are no income or corporate taxes. Or sales tax.

"IPs a $500-a-montli rental with a million-dollar view" he says with contagious positivism as he stands in his living room, gazing out the windows. I see a rutted dirt road, some power lines, and boxy little houses made from concrete blocks scat¬ tered across a hillside of dry scrub. But beyond these dissatisfy¬ ing details, ah, there is the view - a strip of sparkling ocean and the mysterious, gray, mountainous silhouette of Saint Marten, a neighboring island straight out of a swashbuckling Robert Louis Stevenson novel.

Inside, Cate seems less concerned with visual perfection.

He rents the place furnished, complete with a flower-patterned couch and a black-velvet painting of native islanders against a lurid sunset. Instead of doing anything about this suburban traditional decor, in typical nerd fashion he's simply layered the place with books, papers, computers, and cabling.

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"Short Attention Span Theater" mind you, this was 97 (p 159)


aaaaw (p162)
p 166 sounds interesting too
p 171 - sweet pics of the time and idea too

Advertising's Other Face

About-Face (, dedicated to combatting negative and distorted images of women in advertising and media, grasps the Net's contrarian nature and reminds us that political activism is keeping up with technology* The nonprofit group's online presence reflects the after-hours efforts of group founder Kathy Bruin*
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wired, july 1997

Everyone benefits, particularly the underdeveloped economies, which take advantage of the leapfrog effect, adopting the newest, cheapest, best technology rather than settling for obsolete junk, IT creates a remarkable dynamic that brings increasing power, performance, and quality to each new generation of the technology - plus big drops in price. Also, wireless telecommunications allow countries to avoid the huge effort and expense of building wired infrastructures through crowded
(p 168 *173)
View attachment 85529

The Long Boom (p129)

cities and diffuse countrysides.

This all bodes well for the world econo¬ my, Through most of the 1970s, all the 1980s, and the early 1990s, the real growth rate in the worlds gross domestic product averages 3 percent. By 1996, the rate tops a robust 4 percent. By 2005, it hits an astounding 6 percent. Continued growth at this rate will double the size of the world economy in just 12 years, doubling it twice in just 25 years. This level of growth surpasses the rates of the last global eco¬ nomic boom, the years following World War II, which averaged 4,9 percent from 1950 to 1973, And this growth comes off a much broader economic base, making it more remarkable still. Unlike the last time, almost every region of the planet, even in the undeveloped world, partici¬ pates in the bonanza,

Latin America takes off. These coun¬ tries, after experiencing the nightmare of
debt in the 1980s, do much to vigorously restructure their economies in the 1990s, Chile and Argentina are particularly inno¬ vative, and Brazil builds on an extensive indigenous high tech sector. But the real boost from 2000 onward comes from capi¬ talizing on Latin America's strategic loca¬ tion on the booming Pacific Him and on its proximity to the United States. The region becomes increasingly drawn into the booming US economy. In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement formally links the United States to Mexico and Canada. By about 2002, an All Amer¬ ican Free Trade Agreement is signed integrating the entire hemisphere into one unified market.

The Middle East, meanwhile, enters crisis. Two main factors drive the region's problems. One, the fundamentalist Mus¬ lim mind-set is particularly unsuited to the fluid demands of the digital age. The new economy rewards experimentation, constant innovation, and challenging
the status quo - these attributes, however, are shunned in many countries through¬ out the Middle East, Many actually get more traditional in response to the furious pace of change. The other factor driving the crisis is outside their control. The advent of hydrogen power clearly under¬ mines the centrality of oil in the world economy. By 2008, with the auto industry in a mad dash to convert, the bottom falls out of the oil market. The Middle Eastern crisis comes to a head. Some of the old monarchies and religious regimes begin to topple.

An even more disturbing crisis hits Africa, While some parts of the continent, such as greater South Africa, are doing fine, central Africa devolves into a swirl of brutal eth¬ nic conflict, desperate poverty, widespread famine and disease. In 2015 the introduc¬ tion of biological weapons in an ethnic conflict, combined with the outbreak of a terrifying new natural disease, brings the death count to unimagined levels: an
estimated 5 million people die in the space of six months - this on top of a cumulative death toll of roughly 100 mil¬ lion who perished prematurely over the previous two decades.

The contrast between such destitution and the spreading prosperity elsewhere finally prods the planet into collective action. Every nation, the world comes to understand, ultimately can only benefit from a thriving Africa, which will occupy economic niches that other nations are outgrowing. It makes as much practical as humanitarian sense. The regeneration of Africa becomes a prime global agenda item for the next quarter of the century.



Dll AIM/C tJie wave of tiie boom-

J u U U ft 5 ing economy brings other major

social and political repercussions. Funda¬ mental shifts in technology and the means of production inevitably change the way
the economy operates. And when the econ¬ omy changes, it doesn't take long for the rest of society to adapt to the new realities. The classic example is the transformation of agricultural society into industrial soci¬ ety, A new tool - the motor - led to a new economic model - capitalism - that brought great social upheaval - urbanization and the creation of an affluent class - and ulti¬ mately profound political change - liberal democracy. While that's a crude summa¬ tion of a complex historical transition, the same dynamic largely holds true in our shift to a networked economy based on digital technologies.

There's also a commonsense explana¬ tion, When an economy booms, money courses through society, people get rich quick, and almost everybody sees an opportunity to improve their station in life. Optimism abounds. Think back to that period following World War II. A booming economy buoyed a bold, opti¬ mistic view of the world: we can put a man on the Moon, we can build a Great Society, a racially integrated world. In our era, we can expect the same.

By about 2000, the United States econ¬ omy is doing so well that the tax coffers begin to swell. This not only solves the defi¬ cit problem but gives the government ample resources to embark on new initiatives.

No longer forced to nitpick over which gov¬ ernment programs to cut, political leaders emerge with new initiatives to help solve seemingly intractable social problems, like drug addiction. No one talks about revert¬ ing to big government, but there's plenty of room for innovative approaches to applying the pooled resources of the entire society to benefit the public at large. And the government, in good conscience, can finally afford tax cuts.

A spirit of generosity returns. The vast majority of Americans who see their pros¬ pects rising with the expanding economy are genuinely sympathetic to the plight of those left behind. This kinder, gentler humanitarian urge is bolstered by a cold, hard fact. The bigger the network, the better. The more people in the network, the better for everyone. Wiring half a town is only marginally useful. If the entire town has phones, then the system really sings. Every person, every business, every organization directly benefits from a sys-
Even those from the hardened criminal underworld migrate toward the expand¬ ing supply of legitimate work. Over time, through the first decade of the century, this begins to have subtle secondary effects. The underclass, once thought to be a permanent fixture of American soci¬ ety, begins to break up. Social mobility goes up, crime rates go down. Though hard to draw direct linkages, many attri¬ bute the drop in crime to the rise in available work. Others point to a shift in drug policy. Starting with the passage of the California Medical Marijuana Initia¬ tive n 1996, various states begin experi¬ menting with decriminalizing drug use. Alongside that, the failed war on drugs gets dismantled. Both initiatives are part of a general shift away from stiff law enforcement and toward more complex ways to deal with the roots of crime. One effect is to destroy the conditions that led to the rise of the inner-city drug econo¬ my. By the second decade of the century, the glorified gangsta is as much a part of history as the original gangsters in the days of Prohibition.

Immigrants also benefit from the boom¬ ing economy. Attempts to stem immigra¬ tion in the lean times of the early 1990s are largely foiled. By the late 1990s, immigrants are seen as valuable contrib¬ utors who keep the economy humming more able hands and brains. By the first decade of the century, government policy actively encourages immigration of knowledge workers - particularly in the software industry, which suffers from severe labor shortages. This influx of immigrants, coupled with Americans' changing attitudes toward them, brings a pleasant surprise; the revival of the family. The centrality of the family in Asian and Latino cultures, which form the bulk of these immigrants, is unques¬ tioned. As these subcultures increasingly flow into the American mainstream, a subtle shift takes place in the general belief in the importance of family. It's not family in the nuclear-family sense but a more sprawling, amorphous, networked sense of family to fit the new times.


Education is the next industrialera institution to go through a complete overhaul - starting in earnest in 2000. The driving force here is not so much concern with enlightening young minds as economics. In an information age, the age of the knowledge worker, nothing matters as much as that worker's brain. By the end of the 1990s, it becomes clear that the existing public K-12 school system is simply not up to the task of preparing those brains. For decades the old system has ossified and been gutted by caps on property taxes. Various reform efforts gather steam only to peter out.

First George Bush then Bill Clinton try to grab the mantle of "education president"

- both fail. That changes in the 2000 elec¬ tion, when reinventing education becomes a central campaign issue. A strong school system is understood to be as as vital to the national interest as the military once was. The resulting popular mandate shifts some of the billions once earmarked for defense toward revitalizing education.

The renaissance of education in the early part of the century comes not from a task force of luminaries setting 170 ►








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The Long Boom

+ 169 national standards in Washington, DC - the solutions flow from the hun¬ dreds of thousands of people throwing themselves at the problems across the country. The 1980s and 1990s see the emergence of smfdl, innovative private schools that proliferate in urban areas where the public schools are most abysmal. Many focus on specific learning philosophies and experiment with new teaching techniques - including the use of new computer technologies. Begin¬ ning around 2001, the widespread use of vouchers triggers a rapid expansion in these types of schools and spurs an entre¬ preneurial market for education reminis¬ cent of the can-do ethos of Silicon Valley, Many of the brightest young minds com¬ ing out of college are drawn to the wideopen possibilities in the field - starting new schools, creating new curricula, devising new teaching methods. They're

By 2020, the great cross-fertilization of ideas,

the never-ending planetary conversation, has begun.

inspired by the idea that they're building the 21st-century paradigm for learning.

The excitement spreads far beyond pri¬ vate schools, which by 2010 are teaching about a quarter of all students. Public schools reluctantly face up Lo the new competitive environment and begin rein¬ venting themselves. In fact, private and public schools maintain a symbiotic rela¬ tionship, with private schools doing much of the initial innovating, and public schools concentrating on making sure the new educational models reach all children in society.

Higher education, though slightly less in need of an overhaul, catches the spirit of radical reform - again driven largely by economics. The cost of four-year col¬ leges and universities becomes absurd in part because antiquated teaching methods based on lectures are so labor intensive. The vigorous adoption of net¬ working technologies benefits under¬ graduate and graduate students even more than K-12 kids. In 2001, Project
Gutenberg completes its task of putting 10,000 books online. Many of the world's leading universities begin carving off areas of expertise and assuming responsi¬ bility for the digitalization of all the liter¬ ature in that field. Around 2010, all new hooks come out in electronic form. By 2015, relatively complete virtual libraries are up and running.

Despite earlier rhetoric, the key factor in making education work comes not from new technology, but from enshrin¬ ing the value of learning, A dramatic reduction in the number of unskilled jobs makes clear that good education is a mat¬ ter of survival. Indeed, nearly every orga¬ nization in society puts learning at the core of its strategy for adapting to a fast¬ changing world. So begins the virtuous circle of the learning society. The boom¬ ing economy provides the resources to overhaul education. The products of that revamped educational system enter the economy and improve its productivity.

Eventually, education both sows and reaps the benefits of the long boom.

In the first decade of the century, Wash¬ ington finally begins to really reinvent government. IPs much the same process as the reengineering of corporations in the 1990s. The hierarchical bureaucracies of the 20th century are flattened and net¬ worked through the widespread adoption of new technologies. Some, like the TRS, experience spectacular failures, but even¬ tually make the transition. In a more important sense, the entire approach to government is fundamentally reconsid¬ ered. The welfare and education systems are the first down that path. Driven by the Imminent arrival of the first of many retiring baby boomers in 2011, Medicare and Social Security are next. Other gov¬ ernmental sectors soon follow.

The second decade of the century marks a more ambitious but amorphous project: making a multicultural society really work. Though the United States has the mechan¬ ics - such as the legal framework - of an
integrated society in place, Americans need to learn how to accept social inte¬ gration on a deeper level. The underpin¬ nings of a booming economy make efforts to ease the tensions among various ethnic and interest groups much easier than before: people are more tolerant of others when their own livelihoods are not threat¬ ened, But people also come around to seeing diversity as a way to spark a cre¬ ative edge. They realize that part of the key for success in the future is to remain open to differences, to stay exposed to alternative ways of thinking. And they recognize the rationality of building a society that draws on the strengths and creativity of all people.

Women spearhead many of the changes that help make the multicultural society work. As half the population, they are an exceptional "minority* that helps pave the way for the racial and ethnic minorities with fewer numbers. In the last global boom of the 1960s, the women's move¬ ment gained traction and helped promote the rise in the status of women. Through the 1970s and 1980s, women push against traditional barriers and work their way into business and government. By the 1990s, women have permeated the entire fabric of the economy and society. The needs, desires, and values of women increasingly begin to drive the political and business worlds - largely for the bet¬ ter. By the early part of the century, it becomes clear that the very skills most needed to make the networked society really hum are those that women have long practiced. Long before it became fashionable, women were developing the subtle abilities of maintaining networks, of remaining inclusive, of negotiating. These skills prove to be crucial to solving the very different challenges of this new world.

The effort to build a truly inclusive soci¬ ety does not just impact Americans. At the turn of the century, the United States is the closest thing the world has to a work¬ able multicultural society 7 . Almost all the cultures of the world have some represen¬ tation, several in significant proportions. As the century moves on, it becomes clear to most people on the planet that all cul¬ tures must coexist in relative harmony on a global scale. On a meta level, it seems
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The effort to build a truly inclusive soci¬ ety does not just impact Americans. At the turn of the century, the United States is the closest thing the world has to a work¬ able multicultural society 7 . Almost all the cultures of the world have some represen¬ tation, several in significant proportions. As the century moves on, it becomes clear to most people on the planet that all cul¬ tures must coexist in relative harmony on a global scale. On a meta level, it seems
that the world is heading toward a future that's prefaced by what's happening in the United States.


7 AtI llfllo * n 2020, humans arrive on L A11U N u Mars* It's an extraordinary event by any measure, coming a half cen¬ tury after people first set foot on the Moon. The four astronauts touch down and beam their images back to the 11 bil¬ lion people sharing in the moment. The expedition is a joint effort supported by virtually all nations on the planet, the culmination of a decade and a half of intense focus on a common goal, A remarkable enough technical achieve¬ ment, the Mars landing is even more important for what it symbolizes.

As the global viewing audience stares at the image of a distant Earth, seen from a neighboring planet 35 million miles away, the point is made as never before: We are one world. AH organisms crammed on the globe are intricately interdependent. Plants, animals, humans need to find a way to live together on that tiny little place. By 2020, most people are acting on that belief. The population has largely stabilized. The spreading prosperity nudged a large enough block of people into middle-class lifestyles to curtail high birth rates. In some pockets of the world large families are still highly valued, but most people strive only to replicate them¬ selves, and no more. Just as important, the world economy has evolved to a point roughly in balance with nature. To be sure, the ecosystem is not in perfect equi¬ librium, More pollution enters the world than many would like. But the rates of contamination have been greatly reduced, and the trajectory of these trends looks promising. The regeneration of the global environment is in sight.
The images from Mars drive home another point: We're one global society, one human race. The divisions we impose on ourselves look ludicrous from afar.

The concept of a planet of warring nations, a state of affairs that defined the previous century, makes no sense. Far better to channel the aspirations of the world's people into collectively pushing
outward to the stars. Far better to turn our technologies not against one another but toward a joint effort that benefits all. And the artificial divisions we perpetuate between races and genders look strange as well. All humans stand on equal foot¬ ing, They're not the same, but they're treated as equals and given equal oppor¬ tunities to excel. In 2020, this point, only recently an empty platitude, is accepted by almost all.

We're forming a new civilization, a global civilization, distinct from those that arose on the planet before. It's not just Western civilization writ large - one hegemonic culture forcing itself on others. It's not a resurgent Chinese civilization struggling to reassert itself after years of being thwarted. It's a strange blend of both - and the others, It's something dif¬ ferent, something as yet being born. In 2020, information technologies have spread to every corner of the planet. Real¬ time language translation is reliable. The great cross-fertilization of ideas, the ongo¬ ing, never-ending planetary conversation has begun. From this, the new crossroads of all civilizations, the new civilization will emerge.

In many ways, it's a civilization of civilizations, to use a phrase coined by Samuel Huntington. We're building a framework where all the world's civili¬ zations can exist side by side and thrive. Where the best attributes of each can stand out and make their unique con¬ tributions. Where the peculiarities are cherished and allowed to live on. We're entering an age where diversity is truly valued - the more options the better.

Our ecosystem works best that way. Our market economy works best that way.

Our civilization, the realm of our ideas, works best that way, too.


By 2020, the world is about to go through a changeover in power. This happens not through force, but through natural suc¬ cession, a generational transition. The aging baby boomers, born in the wake of World War II, at the beginning of the 20th century's 40-year global economic boom, are fading from their prominent 172 ►

The Long Boom

^ 171 positions of economic and moral leadership. The tough-minded, technosawy generation that trails them, the dig¬ ital generation, has the new world wired. But these two generations have simply laid the groundwork, prepared the foun¬ dations for the society, the civilization that comes next.

The millennial generation is coming of age. These are the children born in the 1980s and 1990s, at the front end of this boom of all booms. These are the kids who have spent their entire lives steeped in the new technologies, living in a net¬ worked world. They have been educated in wired schools, they have taken their first jobs implicitly understanding com¬ puter technologies. Now they're doing the bulk of society's work. They are reaching their 40s and turning their attention to the next generation of problems that remain to be cracked.

These are higher-level concerns, the intractable problems - such as eradicat¬ ing poverty on the planet - that people throughout history have believed impos¬ sible to solve. Yet this generation has witnessed an extraordinary spread of prosperity across the planet. They see no inherent barrier to keep them from extending that prosperity to - why not? everyone. Then there's the environment. The millennial generation has inherited a planet that's not getting much worse. Now comes the more difficult problem of restoration, starting with the rain forests. Then there's governance. Americans can vote electronically from home starting with the presidential election of 2008.

But e-voting is just an extension of the 250-year-oid system of l iberal democracy. Interactive technologies may allow radi¬ cally new forms of participatory democracy on a scale never imagined. Many young people say that the end of the nation-state is in sight.

These ambitious projects will not be solved in a decade, or two, or even three. But the life span of this generation will stretch across the entire 21st century. Given the state of medical science, most members of the millennial generation will live 100 years. Over the course of their lifetimes, they confidently foresee

the solutions to many seemingly intrac¬ table problems. And they fully expect to see some big surprises. Almost certainly there wall be unexpected breakthroughs in the realm of science and technology. What will be the 21st-century equivalent of the discovery of the electron or DNA? What strange new ideas will emerge from the collective mind of billions of brains wired together throughout the planet? What will happen when members of this millennial generation possibly con¬ front a new species of their own making: Homo superior? And what happens if after all the efforts to methodically scan the skies, they finally latch onto signs of intelligent life?


Beam back down to Planet Earth. Gel your head back to 1997, not even halfway through the transition of this 40-year era. We're still on the front edge of the great global boom, the long boom. Almost all the work remains before us. And a hell of a lot of things could go wrong.

This is only a scenario of the future, by no means an outright prediction of whai is to come. We can be reasonably confi¬ dent of the continuation of certain trends. Much of the long boom's technology is already in motion and almost inevitably will appear within that span. Asia is ascendant whether we like it or not. Bar¬ ring some bizarre catastrophe, that large portion of the w r orid will continue to boom. But there are many unknowns, all kinds of critical uncertainties. Will Europe summon the political will to make the transition to the new economy? Will Rus¬ sia avoid a nationalist retrenchment and establish a healthy market economy - let alone democracy? Will China fully embrace capitalism and avoid causing a new cold - or hot - war? Will a rise in terrorism cause the world to pull back in constant fear? It's not technology" or economics that pose the biggest challenges to the long boom. It's political factors, the ones dependent on strong leadership.

One hundred years ago, the world went through a similar process of technical innovation and unprecedented economic integration that led to a global boom. New

transportation and communications technologies - railroads, telegraphs, and telephones - spread all over the planet, enabling a coordination of economic activ¬ ity at a level never seen before. Indeed, the 1890s have many parallels to the 1990s for better or worse. The potential of new technologies appeared boundless. An industrial revolution was spurring social and political revolution. It couldn't be long, it seemed, before a prosperous, egalitarian society arrived. It was a wildly optimistic time.

Of course, it all ended in catastrophe. The leaders of the world increasingly focused on narrow" national agendas. The nations of the world broke from the path of increasing integration and lined up in competing factions. The result was World War I, with everyone using the new tech¬ nologies to wage bigger, more efficient war. After the conflict, the continued pur¬ suit of nationalist agendas severely pun¬ ished the losers and consolidated colonial empires. The world went from wild opti¬ mism to - quite literally - depression, in a very short time.

The lessons of World War l contrast sharply with those of World War 11. The move toward a closed economy and soci¬ ety after the first war led to global frag¬ mentation as nations pulled back on themselves. In the aftermath of World War II, the impetus was toward an open economy and society - at least in half the world. This led down a path of continuing integration. World leaders had the fore¬ sight to establish an array of international institutions to manage the emerging global economy. They worked hard to rebuild their vanquished enemies, Germany and Japan, through generous initiatives like the Marshall Plan. This philosophical shift from closed to open societies came about through bold leadership, much of it coming from the United States, In the wake of World War I, American political and business leaders embraced isolation¬ ism - with severe consequences for the world. After World War II, they did the opposite - with veiy different results.

Today, the United States has a similarly crucial leadership role to play. There are purely practical reasons for this. The United States has the single largest econ¬ omy in the world, a market with a big
influence on the flow of world trade. It has the biggest research and scientific establishment by far. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, no other country fea¬ tures a comparable array of university research facilities, corporate industrial labs, and nonprofit think tanks. That combination of a huge economy and a scientific elite gives the United States the world's strongest military; the country can develop the weapons and pay the bills. For the next 15 years at the very least, America will be the preeminent military power. These reasons alone ensure that the United States, regardless of the intentions of its leaders, will have a huge influence on any future scenario.

But the role of the United States is more involved, more complicated than that.

The United States is the great innovator nation, the incubator of new ideas. Just as the new technologies of the early Industrial Revolution were born in Eng¬ land, the vast majority of innovations in the computer and telecommunications fields are happening now in the United States. Americans are fundamentally shaping the core technologies and infra¬ structure that will he at the foundation of the 21st century. Partly because of that, the US is the first country to transition to the new economy, American corporations are the first to adopt the new technologies and adapt to the changing economic real¬ ities, As a nation, the United States is figuring out how to finesse the new model of high economic growth driven by new technologies. The American people are feeling the first social and cultural effects. And the government is the first to come under the strain to change. The United States is paving the way for other devel¬ oped nations and, eventually, the rest of the nations of the world.

Even more important, the United States serves as steward of the idea of an open society. The US is home to the core economic and political values that emerged from tlie 20th century - the free-market economy and democracy. But the idea of an open society is broader than that. Americans believe in the free flow of ideas, products, and people. Historically, this has taken the form of protecting speech, promoting trade, and welcoming immigrants. With the coming of a wired, global society, the

concept of openness has never been more important. It's the linchpin that will make the new world work.

In a nutshell, the key formula for the coming age is this; Open, good. Closed, bad. Tattoo it on your forehead. Apply it to technology standards, to business strategies, to philosophies of life. It's the winning concept for individuals, for nations, for the global community in the years ahead. If the world takes the closed route, it starts a vicious circle: Natious turn inward. The world fragments into isolated blocs. This strengthens tradition* alists and leads to rigidity of thought.

This stagnates the economy and brings increasing poverty. This leads to conflicts and increasing intolerance, which pro¬ motes an even more closed society and a more fragmented world. If, on the other hand, the world adopts the open model, then a much different, virtuous circle begins: Open societies turn outward and

With the coming wired, global society, openness has never been more important.

It's the linchpin that makes everything work.

strive to integrate into the world. This openness to change and exposure to new ideas leads to innovation and progress. This brings rising affluence and a decrease in poverty. This leads to growing toler¬ ance and appreciation of diversity, which promotes a more open society and a more highly integrated world.

The United States, as first among equals, needs to live this coucept in the coming decades. One of the first great tasks will be integrating its former com¬ munist adversaries China and Russia into the world community, in much the same way that it once did Japan and Germany. This will be the main geopolitical chal¬ lenge of the next dozen years. WeTI know' if we made it by 2010. Then there's the need to create a complex fabric of new global economic and political institutions to fit the 21st century. Though these need not take the bureaucratic shape they did in the past, a certain level of coordination of global activities will continue to fall in the public sphere. In the technical realm, some body needs to mediate the setting of

global technical standards and the alloca¬ tion of what are, at the moment, scarce resources like airwaves. In the legal arena, we need to find ways to protect the rights of creators and consumers of intellectual properly. In terms of the environment, the collective world community needs to gel cracking on problems that endanger everyone; global climate change, loss of the ozone layer, and other cross-border problems like acid rain. And then there are the issues that fall under security. We spent decades in excruciating negotiation to disarm and limit nuclear proliferation. In an age of information warfare, we face a very different set of security concerns and a laborious process to find global solutions - starting with a workable accord on cryptography,

Tlie vast array of problems to solve and the sheer magnitude of the changes that need to take place are enough to make any global organization give up, any

nation back down, any reasonable per¬ son curl up in a ball. That's where Amer¬ icans have one final contribution to make: optimism, that maddening can-do atti¬ tude that often drives foreigners insane. Americans don't understand limits. They have boundless confidence in their abil¬ ity to solve problems. And they have an amazing capacity to think they really can change the world, A global transfor¬ mation over the next quarter century inevitably will bring a tremendous amount of trauma. The world will run into a daunting number of problems as we transition to a networked economy and a global society. Apparent progress will be followed by setbacks. And all along the way the chorus of naysayers will insist it simply can't be done. WeTI need some hefty doses of indefatigable optimism. WeTI need an optimistic vision of what the future can be, ■ a ■

Talk with Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden live Wednesday, July 9, at 6 p.m. POT in the Wired Talk room at
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Oct 17, 2023
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Your body cant be a password because passwords are meant to be changed and once that data is comromised its over for that clever little password.
Think cyberpunk, think future. Your body is meant to be changed, we just ain't there yet.
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my type of person / talk (answers are mine)

I think the 2000s prior to the 2008 recession are markedly defined by a kind of active denial of the state of the world- people were upset about 9/11, they wanted to react to 9/11 by engaging in unhinged levels of patriotism and hyperconsumerism, and so we were simultaneously pessimistic about the nonexistent threat of subsequent terrorism and optimistic about America's new marketed status as a rejuvenated world superpower that could kick ass across the globe (even though we never ended up doing that). so really, before the reality check of the recession, much of the 2000s felt like a manic-depressive episode, it was America's bipolar phase.

I would agree, generally, that the quirked-up pop science thing started in the 2000s. Maybe with the 90s (Bill Nye and all that) but I think it did ultimately start out with good intentions, and kind of became bastardized in the 2000s towards the science-industrial complex we see today. The 90s were more reasonably optimistic about science's potential. After all, we had the Internet by 1994, and that was a great moment for science.
i miss you, mighty wannabe future...

We had a good reason to invest in science- suddenly we had this insanely useful technology that could connect everyone globally, put the world at your fingertips- and that is, I think, the last great invention humanity will ever create.
where is my utopian scholastic and GVC at! give it back! warez! free knowledge to (eat the rich) make world better (so we can turn the table/monopoly game we are figures in)
I don't like being pessimistic, but after 20 years where all we have is roombas, and Juiceros, and Moneros- I don't think technology can reasonably progress any further than it already has, no matter how much money we pour into it, we've pretty much done it all. And that's OK, we're at a good point technologically. I don't think pop culture is out of ideas- I think science is out of ideas. We're not going to be building a Dyson Sphere anytime soon, so we should just save up our resources and make do with what we've got until the moment presents itself in a couple centuries, and focus on art instead in the meantime.

The History Of Science.png
:'( - fuck that, why did scientists became sell-outs...
But as I said elsewhere, i think the main reason for the 2000s being so weird is that it's the first postmodern decade, and it took a while for us to acclimatize. I don't believe that postmodernism is necessarily regurgitative, or will only result in derivative material (as is often argued) only that postmodernism functions as a deconstruction and critique of modernism. It can be done well- as in the case of something like Beau is Afraid, which openly mocks and subverts basically every narrative trope possible- or poorly, as is the case with something like Birdman, which tries to mock the superhero genre but comes off as bitter and contrarian, and extremely pretentious.
i am nostalgic for this, but because it was pinpoint when world would turn back for a while and instead of nowadays "timeline" we would live in (ok i prolly lie to myself, but what if...) world people in 50s imagined - if you ever seen "meet the robinsons" or "metropolis 2001 (by manga, not by fritz lang)", you may know what i talk about, visually at least (most).
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ipromptu continuation, this time on "no" future, lets say after the Occupy get us here, when it got replaced by Identity politics dramas...

secondary, "what we lost"

y2k - but not "only", problem with nostalgia-bait by groomers

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(whole thread is goldmine for what i was going for)

and, anticipation of that then-promised reality,

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related talk (Young men giving up; just plaing vidya...!)
That wasn't the deal your generation was promised. It wasn't the deal my generation or my parents' generation was promised. What we were promised was that if we played out the prescribed middle-class life script in every detail we would do better than our parents.

Now, suppose I was born working-poor (oh, wait! I was.) Merely remaining in the same socioeconomic class into which I had been born would mean I would still be working poor. What kind of reward is that? Work your ass off, delay gratification, deny yourself almost every pleasure, and be no better off than you were before?

That's the deal we're offering millions of young men, and we're surprised that they'd rather be NEETs and spend their days gaming? Seriously?
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