News Item: “Al Gore helped lead the federal response to Y2K, hut that doesn’t mean his own Internet operations went hug-free. The computer glitch took a tiny bite out of Gore’s campaign Web site. The damage came inside his “virtual town hall,” where a message from a supporter was dated January 3, 19100. . . . Gore’s campaign . . . said it wasn’t exactly a major glitch, even for the man who once claimed to have invented the Internet” (Associated Press, January 3).
The following “position paper” was also found on Vice President Gore’s campaign website on January 3, 19100.
Americans have enjoyed the service economy (*Thank*You*Very*Much *TM) for some years, and now that we are all being served and serviced, it has been decided to fast-forward to the information economy.
Naturally, the *T*Y*V*M*TM economy demanded a large degree of inyerface with other people—serving, being served, servicing, providing services—while the information economy will not. But in this age of AIDS, perhaps that is not for the worse. Truth to tell, the *T*Y*V*M*TM was becoming somewhat strained. People had already begun “cocooning.” “White flight” had evolved into “flight,” period. From the service economy to a relationship with one’s server, we now deserve the Internet.
Information is the lifeblood of the modern system; they who traffic in it have a corner on the open-ended future of our dynamic, emerging, interdependent, multicultural, supranational, technosensitive world. (“One must be absolutely modern.” Who said that? According to Telnet://sais.quoi.fr/~lavache/zutzutique/lePoseurEnchaine.htm, a Minitel site, it was Rimbaud, an African poet after whom the baud rate was named because he turned out verse @ a faster clip than anyone else in the 18th century.) It won’t matter what you do. or what you are, but what you access. All conceivable data—census, marketing, financial, metallurgical, meteorological, legal, biographical, horoscopic, psychometric, antiquarian, astronomical, genealogical, lit-critical, personal-medical, seismographic—will soon be online, and access to—and manipulation of—these data will mean the success or failure of one’s oeuf de vie. Gentlemyn, start your search engines—@ the on-ramp to the Infobahn!
One equity bug is still being addressed: Will everyone have equal access to cyberspace? It has been decided that the optimal way to guarantee this imperative is to extend shareware to all, as needed, with future wages or entitlements held as the quid pro bono. For those of historical brunt, this will be ruminescent of the “company town” of Yore (a place in England), but this time the “company” will of course be global, a vast improvement, by definition, over the merely local. To chat about this decision, which will be implemented no later than 19 April 2000, visit http://elite.com.gov/Global.one/y/tGW.html.
How many hits should each person on the planet get daily @ his or her own homepage? The frequency will surely vary @ first, but as the Web is regularized and modulated into the global data-consciousness it is designed to become, doubtless the hit frequencies will asymptomatically converge upon a homogenerous rate. (“Hegel’s Absolute Idea thinking itself is one item that’s listed when you search “global+consciousness” in Excite!, by the way. More data on “Hegel” are downloadable from such sites as http://wwlll.nazi.net.com/hatemail.html—if your server accesses banned media—and gopher://oldmole.usl.edu./duhito_ erg/o_sim. Hegel, pronounced “hee-JELL,” was an Algerian Marxist who wrote about how philosophy was the “opium of the masses” and who believed that the world would end in his lifetime when the Big Bang reversed itself To see if it did, click on “Big Bang” @ ftp://ustare?.uk/~miff/star/STAR/S*T*A*R*/start.htm.)
Another equity issue people keep raising is: Does “the Net” discriminate against the disadvantaged? The short answer: No, you do not have to be @ any particular IQ level to participate in the information economy. You do not need to “understand” a fact in order to use it, as many tenured university professors have shown. These same professors further prostrate that to educate an open mind is easier by far than to re-educate (term verified by WordSearch) a mind that has previously “considered.” Data exist independent of intelligence. Clearly, if information is the question, ignorance must, pepso facto, be the answer. Obviously, what you don’t know can’t hurt you—eau de contraire, it can empower you. Unknown answers modify the learning curve in unforeseeable ways, leaving always “one more yawning imponderable / Out yonder for the yearning learner to imponder / Or impound.” (French poetry quotes courtesy of the previously aforementioned Telnet://sais.quoi.fr site, where “fr” signifies “frog”). In fact, FAQs are, in and of themselves, facts. Simply being in the vicinity of facts, studies show, has a contagious effect, just as being near handguns leads to an epidemic of both foreign and domestic violence. (Hit the “Stop Hitting Your Sister” site @ http://www.pis.aller/~cschumer.con.demn/con.fisc/con.trol.master-menu.html) Experts agree that pointing and clicking serve the same neuro-physicological function as “conceptualization.” “Meaning” is a subfunction of fact/byte density, not the other way around. Research conclusively suggests that data insufficiency leads to feelings of “meaninglessness” and other “spiritual” psychoastigmata. Theories have proven that the intellectually underprivileged person will actually enjoy a massive advantage over old-style conceptualizers in the coming confluoridation by having fewer objections to (a) utilizing the new factitious environment or (b) accessing the opinionmaking functions of the many BBS and newsgroup sites that have been created to serve the growing need for ideas, positions, identities, comebacks, and punchlines; or (c) readily processing the revolutionary new facts being posted hourly—even minutely—on the Net. (This entire paragraph file, exclusive of parenthetical expressions, was transferred from rodent database+crystal.mud.)
It is the Net, and we are the fish. Our medium: the thoughts of others. Come on in—the water’s fine. Who said, “Reading is a pernicious Habit, which destroys all originality of Mind?” You can have the answer in seconds by doing a “find” @ http://www.smartmouth.edu/~oboylneogab.html. It was Will Rogers, explaining to an interviewer why he never learned to read. Son of a vaudeville roofer (see hyperlink to “vodvil” on the Yahoo! Reference:Universe:Life:Terra: Animalia:Mammalia:Hominidae:HomoSapiens:Artforms:Song+Dance;Dead/Dying:American:Local:Regional:Urban:Theatredistr page). Will Rogers never met a horse he couldn’t ride, and portrayed his skills into a luxcruciating career as an early television “horse opera” star, complete with singing coyotes and a yodeling sidekick named Wiley. Horse operas were so called because opera and “high-note” culture in general were considered asinine during the period. Antidotal evidence demonstrates that our nation was largely rural during this period, the 50’s, with women precluded from the paid workforce and laboring on small “tenet” farms. (In most cases, the original tenets have been lost or accidentally thrown out.) Men sat around under shade trees playing such games as Etonne Moi (the Appalachian version of “I Thought I Told You to Wait in the Car”) and gambling with ornate “goobers” (filbert shells etched with tobacco juice). Further sites for the inquiring mind: gopher:// wiretap.hill/~billywhite.trash.com, http://web666.DRAGON.net/sys.hoom.bah/~humhug_index.html, http://www.wow.genius/car/car/C_A_R/!/, and of course, the planet’s premiere GIGO site, the “Welcome to the White House” homepage.
The Rogers television series was taken off the air in 1958 due to the end of the French and Indian War—see the University of Blackhole-Calcutta’s hot-listed cybersite for an overview of that little squirmish, which lasted over a hundred years and ultimately culminated in the final end of French rule in India—but its characters came back to life again in a children’s cartoon of the same name that debuted on CBS in the fall of 1972 and can still be seen in re-run on Nick’s “Morning Sickness for Kids.” Scripts of the original Rogers series are downloadable from http://www.dust.BinHex.com/inc.blot.html. Fans of Wiley will be saddened to learn that he was killed in Vietnam by mortar-and-pestle fire the same day he arrived there after being drafted in November 1963. The Vietnamese government has a way-cool site that tracks everyone who has ever been born, died, heard a shot fired in anger or set a boot in Vietnam, comprising really detailed, verified information about each individual. See goolag://charlie.surf.net.nyet.comm:1984/~comrade-hilton/hanoi_welcome.html. Wiley’s real name—Allen Greensberg—was adopted by our current chairman of the Federal Reservation when he was a youthful antiwar activist to protest the great artistic loss of one of America’s finest actors in the quagmire (Yiddish for “cow pie”) of Vietnam.