Re: Critical Optimism in Pessimistic Times

John Montgomery (
Sat, 24 Jan 1998 18:12:06 PST

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>From: "Zeke Daystrom-Plus" <>
>Subject: Critical Optimism in Pessimistic Times
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>Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 12:25:51 PST
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>Ok Extropians,
>Here is a challenge for you 'upbeat' folk.
>Imagine a near-future world where the only access on to the internet is
>through a Microsoft owned network, computer and or service. Where the
>bulk of the backbone is run on NT servers. Where the only browser is a
>Microsoft one. Where most of the content is filtered through
>Sound Implausible? Well, it is already happening at an unprescendented
>rate. Why should it bother you? Because Bill Gates has shown no
>about controlling content. Why do you think he has bought up at a
>furious rate the rights to tons of artwork, history, and images? What
>is moticating him to do this? If itsn't to *control* then why?
>Tell me why I should have the "warm & fuzzies" about a man who seems to
>be hell-bent on complete world domination? After all if he controls
>intenet he controls the future? If not, why not?
>And if we should be worries about this ominous menace, what can we as
>critical optimist do about it?
>Zeke Daystrom

Bill Gates capability to rapidly monopolize the very new industry of
computer software and internet browsers is simply symptom of a business
man taking full advantage of a new situation and technologies.
Government is slow to react, but has begun to see Bill Gates as a threat
and are trying to break his monopoly. To say Mr. Gates desires to
conquer the world is not being pessimistic but instead being highly
paranoid. I'm sure the government has it's eyes on Bill Gates since
there are many paranoid people in government. My question is will the
government in it's present form be able to keep up with the Bill Gates
of the future. As new technologies rapidly develop, can we afford to
depend on government to restrict abuses? As technology evolves at a
mind boggling speed, shouldn't we design a government which can keep

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