What will hold us together?

really good stuff. an excerpt from "netweaver" who attended a conference "Computers, Privacy and Freedom Conference"in Apr. 1991.

"Nothing I heard - in terms of the problems or solutions offered, or especially the underlying assumptions about the future functioning of this society - was particularly new - but it underscored the sheer complexity which computer and communications technologies have brought to American society. While everyone seemed to feel that - if everyone just understood their viewpoint, laws or the Constitution were revised, regulations changed, mutual understanding achieved - that the problems of computers, privacy, and freedom would be largely addressed. The west coasters seem to be pleading for change of values, east coasters for a change in laws, middle Americans for changes in procedures - education, regulation, training.

I frankly doubt that any of these approaches are going to work. I think everyone is underestimating the extent of the 'power shift' which is occuring by the spread of cheap, powerful 'personal' digital machines and 'personal' global communications. I recall the question Toffler posed 20 years ago when he asked, in an age when everyone can do their own thing (which the inherent economics of small computers and telecommunications are making possible) what is it which will hold us together?

By Thursday morning after hearing all this in one form or another, I decided to make a different point in the 10 minutes I was alloted out of the 25 hours of presentations. And that was that given the accelerating rush of technology and application of it in society - resort to more laws, rules, macro-solutions for the whole society, all typically Industrial Age 'massification' approaches during a time when everything is being de-massified - that the original ideal of this nation - individuality, individual freedom, individual responsibility, individual defense of ones own cyberspace, is the only practical solution.

I just think we are hurtling into the future so fast on the tsumni of technology that laws will never catch up. At which point one stops relying on better laws as the solution."