Thursday, July 03, 2008

Simon and Garfunkel III: Anytime I Walk

Dear Barack Obama,

"So anytime I walk with Lou and... that's all."

When I was young, gasoline cost $.27. We got into motor cars and toured. We thought that a super highway was four lanes wide (Wow!) and really was "Super!" The turnpike was made of concrete and when you drove along it, the lullabye of the tires went ka-thunk, ka-thunk.
Now, it seems that gasoline prices are so high, that anytime I want to go somewhere, with Lou or with anyone, I think, I should walk, that's all. But I don't need to go anywhere, because I have the internet. And, it takes me everywhere, with not so much as a ka-thunk. . . just the gentle click of the keys. See?

The click of the keys to go somewhere is my point, not the price of gas. For the internet is our super highway. And it is faster, wider, longer, and more critical than the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. When I was younger, and this sweet young girl was helping me learn how to use a computer, she said, "Look, Mrs. D., it's like a system of highways, and the url is the address you are headed for." She was a nice young girl with red hair. She told me she didn't want to have children. But finally she did. And isn't she happy now! I told her, but she didn't believe me. But she told me about computers, and I am so happy.

Today, the internet is as important as highways, do you see? So that is why you are going to have to make the way the country handles the internet one of the things to add to the list of things you have to change. Even Vint Cerf says so, and he helped Al Gore make the internet, they say.

I don't know so much about it, and even Vint seems to be a little unsure of what this change should be.TechCrunch first reported that Vint Cerf, Google's internet evangelist made the radical suggestion that the internet should be nationalized. Then it seems he backed off from that a little, saying that the government should be involved in encouraging internet competition, more like blocking certain monopolistic actions.

Anyhow, you need to look into this, because highways are important, and keeping them running right has always been something the government does. There isn't any doubt, in my mind that our newest system of transportation needs to run smoothly, and without too many ka-thunk ka-thunks.



Anne G G said...

I just went to your blog on the Obama website . . . it is an interesting idea, isn't it?

I also read Cadh's comments on your first Obama post. I tried to write a very rambling response, but it may have to be done in dialogue . . . .

Re: the "information superhighway," it may become all the more important to have a sound virtual infrastructure, as the cost of gas makes non-virtual transit prohibitively pricey. Perhaps in 10 years, we'll all be working from home . . . or driving the (non-virtual) cars of the future (though I bet I could get a nice hybrid on Second Life right now!!!).

brd said...

The whole idea of developing sound virtual policy is absolutely imperative. The war in Iraq is important to deal with, but being proactive now in terms of the virtual world, including, perhaps some kind of tax indemnity for companies that encourage work from home could be the most important thing that the next political administration could do.

cadh 8 said...

When it comes to productivity, the virtual commute take out hours of drive time, break time, smoke breaks (you can smoke in your home office if you are a smoker), chit chat time, office space, utilities, etc. But on the flip side, restaurants and other buisnesses may suffer from such changes.
We could become production based, not time based workers. This would decrease the amount of time spent pretending to work at work and put us all on a course to be paid based on actual value. THis is a scary concept for some, who like to come to the office and loaf for the whole day. Those folks could be quickly weeded out with the right standards set for the virtual commute. Then those remaining could be more effective and more well paid.

I like the idea, although, there certainly is value in having connection to co-workers and the social aspect of work.

brd said...

Yes, cadh8. I like that idea--being paid for actual productivity. Though, I will say, the "per piece" concept works better in some fields than others. For instance, is the best Dr. the one who sees the most patients?

This week, someone at my office came and said they had a conference call in 1/2 hour and wondered if I could turn it into a webinar. "In a 1/2 hour," I asked? The amazing thing though, is that I was able to do it. In just 1/2 hour, I had them set up, broadcasting and receiving a video signal. (Admittedly, the other side of the conversation had done some prep work.)

These are amazing days!