Re: Modern Technology: Out of Control?

EvMick (
Wed, 21 Jan 1998 14:45:34 EST

hara ra was overheard to say:

>It takes a minimum of 5 years for a gummint to discover what's happening with
>new stuff and attempt to shut it down.

Five years?

My favorite author, Vernor Vinge, at one time put forth a theory. To
summarize, hoping not to mangle it too badly, it is as follows.

The power of government in growing...BUT....the power of individuals (thanks
to technological advance) is growing at a FASTER RATE.

To illustrate the point.

Pick any area of interest. ( Communications, weapons, medicine,
transportation...dairy farming....etc.) There is a time frame sometime in the
not-too-distant past to which it could be argued that a reasonably affluent
individual of today..(the further in the past you go...the less

That is:

Transportation: individual, own a truck...a tractor-trailer
rig,...which has roughly the cargo capacity of any one of Christopher
Colombus's ships,(48,000 lbs. due to government imposed restrictions...actual
capacity is MUCH greater)... and it took the Nation of Spain to fund his
expedition. True...I only have one truck.(and I DID use a bank to fund
it...but some truckers don't...they pay cash)..and spain had many ships...but
some individuals today have MANY trucks....Schnieder for example(which I
beleive is NOT a public stock company) has about 12,000. Did the Spain of
Chris's time have that many ships? To compound this analogy (which struck me
because I DO own a truck)...shipping now, as then, is the most effecient form
of transportation (for non time-critical cargo). I beleive that some
individuals of today own them to Spain's ships of that era. I
wouldn't be suprised to discover that ONE cargo ship of today could carry as
much freight as all of the historical Spain's ships put together...and
probably need less men to operate...than ONE of the Spainish ships. (might be
wrong here..due to government imposed sanctions forcing the dispersion of
individual wealth...and thus the ascendency of corporations....but go back in
time FAR enough...and I'm right)

Communications: individual, am at this moment preparing a
communication which will shortly be available to individuals in several
different countries....surely as great a number of countries as it took the
resources of the British Empire....only a couple of centuries
likewise communicate with. But my communication takes less minutes to reach
it's destination(s) than the British Empire's took months. (now conside Ted

Weapons?: An individual of today...armed with weapons(s) available within his
price range would be the match for an army of how long ago? Three
hundred...four hundred years...perhaps longer? (governments have always
been...and remain...REAL GOOD at killing..especialy killing women and at Ruby Ridge or Waco) I strongly suspect that an L.A.
gangbanger with an AK-47 could take out a Roman Legion...(as long as he didn't
run out of ammo).

Computer Programming. My two year old grandson is an expert "electronic
media entertainment facilitator" (he's a whiz with the VCR and the remote)
better than the whole WORLD of less than a century ago...of course the world
of a century ago didn't have VCR's, Television and remotes....which is the

<These (spur of the minute) examples may not be EXACTLY correct..your milage
may vary....but I beleive that overall they correctlly illustrate an
(historically) observable trend.>

This implies that sometime in the rapidly approaching future governments
become extinct....<the sooner the better>..since corrupt as they are...they
could NEVER compete on an equal basis with an individual or small
group..todays's "war on drugs" in the US for example. (communication lag for
one well as laziness, stupidity, indecisiveness...and overall
ineptitude) all bullies they require the use <or threat> of
overwhelming force to maintain their position, and inefficient use for that
matter, (HOW many bullets to kill one Viet Cong? HOW many thousand of tons of
bombs? much money spent) to win. (or in the case of Viet

(A small country fighting a much larger country to a standstill....and then
the larger country running like a scalded dog. It's happened twice that I'm
aware of....Viet Nam and Afghanistan..poor countries...paupers really ...and
it took a Coalition of countries to slap down (down but not out) a RICH small
country.... Iran.....hmmmmmm.)

This implies an increasing "Balkanization" governments break up into
smaller and smaller pieces in order to improve their response time. The
first of which may have been the Soviet Union ....once the largest government
on earth <land area> recently disintergrated. Perhaps the significant attempts
of secession by Quebec in well as a province in Spain <can't
remember it's name right now...the one with the language unrelated to it's
neighbors>..a semi serious effort on the part of california and texas to
"fission" into three and five states respectively are other examples of the
balkanization process in the early stages.

Five years did you say? How many years was it a decade ago, twenty years
ago? Can a curve be established? (WHEN can I break out the Champagne?)

/_ _ \

"They say everything is bigger in Texas....Not true...In his worst nightmare
no texan would dream of how high the prices are in California"