Re: Technological acc3leration?

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Mon Sep 10 2001 - 08:42:38 MDT

>From: "Russell Blackford" <>

>As for Zubrin's videotelephone example, the telephone is not, in
>any full sense, an extension of our capacity for direct,
>face-to-face communication... it is not truly an extension of our
>presence. It is actually an *alternative* to that; it is a device
>that makes intimate communication possible, not only when we are
>physically separated, but when physical presence would be
>inconvenient. With a phone, we can communicate early in the
>morning before making ourselves appear human, during the day at
>the office when we may be bad tempered and red-faced, late at
>night from the informal comfort of our bedrooms.

>It is likely that prototype videotelephones did not catch on for
>these sorts of reasons (I've seen some more precise accounts that
>suggest this, but I don't have any URLs handy at the moment).
>Anyway, if I can project my presence into your home or office or
>vehicle, I would rather wait until the technology lets me provide
>some computer-massaged idealisation, rather than the real me, in
>whatever irrelevant state of dress or undress, activity or
>sloth I find myself. Video conferencing does find uses in
>situations where telepresence is relevant and desirable. I have
>sometimes used it for simple court hearings. But that is just the
>point: technologies find their own uses. In retrospect, it is
>unsurprising that the miniaturisation of the telephone and its
>integration with fax and the Internet have proved to be higher
priorities than augmenting it with the dubious convenience of

Videophones have not caught on simply because they are currently
too expensive, and the bandwidth is not available.

When we get to ubiquitous 2nd generation bandwidth to the home ( I
call DSL 1st generation) videophones will be as common as
cellphones are today.

They may not of course be a seperate item but may be part of a
converged universal home information appliance.

My building is home to the corporate archives, and I have original
videophones just down the hall. If nothing else they are wonderfull
objets d'art.


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

Disclosure notice: currently "plonked"
"Joe Dees" <>
"Party of Citizens"<>

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