From: John J. Deneen (
Date: Sat Apr 22 2000 - 19:04:36 PDT

  • Next message: John J. Deneen: "Re: [unrev-II] Upcoming Agenda Items"

    Ideas to Feed Your Business: Re-Engineering the Future
    (A response to Bill Joy and the doom-and-gloom technofuturists.)
    By John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid,1151,14013,00.html

    .... "In the absence of a plan, it's important to ask the right questions:
    Can nanotechnology fulfill its great potential in tasks ranging from data
    storage to pollution control, all without spiraling out of control? If the
    lesson of genetic engineering is any guide, planners would do well to
    consult and educate the public early on, even though useful nano systems are
    probably decades away.

    Worries about robotics appear premature, as well. Internet "bots" that
    search, communicate and negotiate for their human masters may appear to
    behave like Homo sapiens, but in fact, bots are often quite inept at
    functions that humans do well functions that call for judgment,
    discretion, initiative or tacit understanding. They are good (and useful)
    for those tasks that humans do poorly. So they are better thought of as
    complementary systems, not rivals to humanity. Although bots will
    undoubtedly get better at what they do, such development will not
    necessarily make them more human." ...

    .... "Why does the threat of a cunning, replicating robot society look so
    close from one perspective, yet so distant from another? The difference lies
    in the well-known tendency of futurologists to count "1, 2, 3 ... a
    million." That is, once the first step on a path is taken, it's very easy to
    assume that all subsequent steps are trivial."

    Eric Armstrong wrote:

    > Good thoughts, Paul.
    > I was struck by the notion that a decentralized web-based DKR would
    > itself create a very real interdependence.
    > Another thought: Since evaluations are central to a knowledge
    > repository, a world-wide DKR could instantly gather opinions on every
    > new product, technology, or company. Non-cooperative participants might
    > be weeded out very fast, in such a setting.
    > That might end arms races rather quickly, as the "tipping scales"
    > phenomenon creates relatively instantaneous virtual monopolies for the
    > "best of breed" competitors.
    > Note:
    > Space stations might well provide the means for repopulating the
    > earth after the big comet. The major unsolved problem, as I see
    > it, is passing down an accurate historical record to technologically
    > illiterate civilizations that the survivors will inevitably
    > devolve into before climbing back up the technological ladder.
    > The result, I suspect, will give us something like Noah's Ark
    > legends of myths of ancient "Gods" that become stories, no longer
    > understood for what they are, but reinterpreted as allegories or
    > changed in ways that conform with the listener's reality.
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Get your money connected @ - the first Web site that lets
    > you see and manage all of your finances all in one place.
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Community email addresses:
    > Post message:
    > Subscribe:
    > Unsubscribe:
    > List owner:
    > Shortcut URL to this page:

    Your high school sweetheart-where is he now? With 4.4 million alumni
    already registered at, there's a good chance you'll
    find her here. Visit your online high school class reunion at:

    Community email addresses:
      Post message:
      List owner:

    Shortcut URL to this page:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Apr 22 2000 - 19:11:01 PDT