Re: saving irridium

From: John Perry Barlow (
Date: Wed Mar 29 2000 - 15:50:11 MST

At 12:44 PM -0800 3/29/00, Kevin Kelly wrote:
>At 7:55 AM -0800 3/29/00, John Perry Barlow wrote:
>>At 3:32 PM -0800 3/28/00, Kevin Kelly wrote:
>>>The idea of turning Iridium into a primarily publically funded fixed
>>>wireless network, rather than an elite funded global mobile network is a
>>>fantastic idea, Oli. That's the kind of thing a enlightened billionaire
>>>could do, or a real global government.
>>Or a cruel practical joker. "Let them eat stale cake."
>>John Perry
>If I was a little boy in some African village without wires or phone, I'd
>take stale cake in a New York minute.

You wouldn't, if that New York minute were purchased at New York
prices or, in the case of Irritatium, several orders of magnitude
over New York prices.

The thing was stupid from the start. I believe that burning in those
birds will be one of the most constructive admonitions we're received
lately from those in whom we entrust our connected futures. It will
teach us, as it once again has me, that there is a big difference
between good ideas and appropriate delivery on them.

Instead, let's encourage appropriate technology which promises to
deliver on the same promises at rates they can afford without further
disabling "help" from the North. It exists. They're already using it.
If you want to make a difference, invest in it.

Your pal,



************************************************************* John Perry Barlow, Cognitive Dissident Co-Founder & Vice Chairman, Electronic Frontier Foundation Berkman Fellow, Harvard Law School

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