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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  October 1993, Week 3

COMMUNET October 1993, Week 3

Subject:

NO PAST-FUTURES FOR THE INFORMATION AGE

From:

Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 19 Oct 1993 11:34:07 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (75 lines)

     Miles Fidleman has certainly raised an interesting question,
"What would a "convergent regulatory regime" look like - short of
the lowest common denominator of total deregulation?" In attempting
to explore this question Miles also point[s] "to some historical
and current models for different sectors that we can draw upon for
answering these questions."
 
     Are these the right question we need to answer?  Perhaps, if
we were searching for a history lesson about the pathetic public
policy practices in which our leaders have engaged during this
century, these questions would be relevant.  Indeed, I would like
to add to that story, with an episode related to the interstate
highway system.  It seems that in order to assure the dominance of
the automobile, and in pursuance of their own irrepressible greed
and avarice, the General Motors Corporation entered into a
conspiracy with others to buy up and destroy the intracity trolley
system that we then enjoyed all over the land.  Their vile plan
succeeded, and although GM was later convicted in Federal Court for
that conspiracy and fined a nominal amount, our country will never
be able to replace that wonderful, environmentally coherent system.
 
  The dictates of strategically placed individuals, the robber
barons of this century, and the most recent versions of that style
of despicable business and financial scavengers, provide the grist
for the historical perspective that Miles has laid before us. But
reliance upon the past so as to forecast the future ("past-futures"
philosophy), is not a viable context for creating a desireable
future for the "Information Age."  Now we are beset by another band
of despicable pirates bent on a hostile takeover of all the
important organs of the Nation (e.g., the Joint Committee on
Printing, Government Printing Office, Depository Library Program;
NREN/Internet; common carrier telephone systems; and cable
television systems), which were designed to foster the free flow
of public and private information that is the lifeblood of our
democracy.  Past-futures planning in this context could lead to a
fiasco of irrecoverable magnitude.
 
     While we must take the past into careful consideration in
planning, the way that will allow us to overcome that appalling
past history is through a "futures creation" planning philosophy,
in which we create the shared future we desire.  [See e.g.,
Christakis, "A New Policy Science Paradigm," FUTURES Dec. 1973].
Futures creation planning requires at the outset that we determine
what shared future we desire to create.  This is a question that
must be put to the whole people, as I suggest in the latest issue
of FINS.  A good example of such planning was the energy policy
created during the mid-1970s by the Government of Sweden, with the
direct participation and informed consent of 70,000 citizens; the
equivalent in relative terms of 2,000,000 Americans!
 
     With the informed consent of the American people, which is
supported by their plenary Constitutional power to choose the
preferred public policy, we can lay to rest forever the dictates
of strategically placed individuals.  This is the strategy to
develop the future of the "Information Age" that will best serve
the whole people.
 
****************************************************************
*                                                              *
*             Vigdor Schreibman, Editor & Publisher            *
*           Federal Information News Syndicate (FINS)          *
*                   18 - 9th Street, NE #206                   *
*                   Washington, DC 20002-6042                  *
*                Internet: [log in to unmask]               *
*                                                              *
*                                                              *
*  Unless otherwise indicated, I make no claim of copyright    *
*  in messages I write for transmission over the Internet.     *
*  I hereby grant permission to all others to reproduce,       *
*  retransmit or copy such messages, subject only to the       *
*  request to retain the signature line so as to give          *
*  appropriate credit for the use of any such material.        *
*                                                              *
****************************************************************

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