Russell Turpin <deafbox at hotmail.com> on Thu May 24 12:13:15 PDT 2007

Jeff Bone asks:
>So a first-order question is:  how to  build the fulcrum to place the lever 
>to move the world without  getting distracted by "the money problem?"

At the dawn of the 21st century, well into the second internet boom, we 
find that geography matters. A lot. Even though I now work from home, it is
important that I am close to my coworkers and can meet them face to face on
a weekly basis. Locality matters even more when changing jobs, and changes
in both often go hand-in-hand. People still put down roots. They still want
to be close to old friends, to relatives, to natural scenery they love, and
to services and business to which they are accustomed. Knowing the lay of 
land is still important.

This all has political implications.

There were, in the first internet boom, quite a few fantasies about how the
revolution in communications technology would loosen the importance of
geography. It hasn't quite worked out that way. The toughness of that skein
seems to be as much social and personal as it is about pure technology.

It seems to me that somehow shifting that equation, even a little, would
have broad implications. And to the extent that the next bit of shifting is
social rather than technological, it might not require billions of dollars,
so much as some kind of social fulcrum. I don't mean to be suggesting
something pie-in-the-skyish, such as the artificial islands that some groups
envision. Surely there are some smaller shifts that might be socially
engineered in that direction, that don't raise the nightmare of living with
a few hundred John Galt wannabes? Not that I can think of what those might
be, just now. ;-)

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