Trumpeting the Telecosm
Many thinkers have touted the revolutionary potential of the “telecosm,” a world of infinite bandwidth capable of transmitting any message anywhere. But I’ve come across few passages as rhapsodic as this:
The network will supply room enough for every sight and sound, every thought and expression that any human mind will ever wish to communicate. It will make possible a wildness of spirit, where young minds can wander in adventurous, irresponsible, ungenteel ways. It will contain not innocence, but a sort of naïve gaiety, a buoyant, carefree feeling, filled with confidence in the future and an unquenchable sense of freedom and opportunity. It will be capitalist civilization at its best.
Can anyone guess where I found this gem of a prophecy (circa 1999)?
A treatise! — Peter Huber, Michael Kellogg, & John Thorne, Federal Telecommunications Law 77-78 (2nd ed., 1999).
I have to admit that it’s an extraordinarily well-written treatise, but that bit in the introduction strikes me as a bit of a stretch.
By the way, if you’re now hungry for some substantive and cautious “big ideas” on the future of communications policy, check out this post.