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The Dream Machine --- The Imagination of the World Wide Web
It is not hard to see that the world is in trouble. Global warming, pollution, war, terrorism, animal extinctions, overpopulation, acid rain, economic collapse...all of these are coming to a head simultaneously, making it difficult to be optimistic about out collective future. On the other hand, the very existence of the medium in which this blog is published holds out hope...the hope that maybe, just maybe we can do something about it all.
Regular readers know that we are avid promoters of the Internet. Willy has been using it since one month after its inception, in late 1969 as ARPANET. Gypsy has "only" been into it for 35 years. We are both elderly, so we have seen a lot of change during our lives, including in the Net. Bulletin boards...the ancestors of the wiki...and email started the trend but were...at least initially...of use only to a small group of technologically elite who could connect to and use the Net. The advent of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s broadened the Net's appeal enormously and moved it ever closer to its ultimate destiny. As Buckminster Fuller predicted way back in the 1950s, the existence of such a medium...where anyone in the world can communicate with anyone else...would become the nervous system of our entire planet thought of as a single organism. Why does Earth need such a system? Take a look again at the problems listed above. Not one of these problems is the problem of an individual or a small group of individuals. All are global issues, tractable ONLY at the global level. No single person, no small group, no single state or province or country can have much effect on them. It will take everyone, working together to overcome them. The alternative is extinction. Period.
So, we will start by making our boldest prediction. Since, in our opinion, world democratic government is the only alternative to disaster, we confidently predict that sooner or later...probably sooner than anyone thinks...we, the people, will rise up and demand that these problems be solved. As President Eisenhower...who had been the supreme commander of allied forces during WW II...famously said on the subject of war and peace: "I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it." Peace is a good start, but we need much more than just peace.
World democratic government is going to happen and the Net will make it happen. We do not mean the fake democracy of China or the U.S. where...whatever the initial intent...have both evolved into pale imitations of the systems they replaced. That is, after throwing out the aristocracies that had ruled the Earth since civilization began, each so-called democratic system on Earth has created its own class of aristocracy, those from among whom the leaders are inevitably chosen. These leaders may have actually led at the outset, but now they have been reduced to keepers of the status quo, guardians of privilege for the chosen elites. If nothing else, the pale imitation of medical reform just passed during the reign of a leader who promised Change with a capital C, proves the point without a shadow of a doubt.
No, they are NOT going to lead us from catastrophes. They will hem and haw and talk of compromise, when all the while really only paying close attention to what lies will most likely get them re-elected. Its not quite the same as divine rights but comes as close as it can get to duplicating the privileges of kings and emperors, or dukes and earls and knights. Democracy requires a way for the collective voice of the people to be heard, not just the freedom to shout and stamp your feet or stage fixed elections with a choice between Tweedle Dee versus Tweedle Dum.
We are going to write on many subjects. But our ultimate goal is to convince you, the reader, that we need revolution...democratic and peaceful revolution...and that it must involve the entire human race. And, we are going to make a lot of predictions as well.
Talk to you later...
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