Re: JP Barlow, democracy and ACF

Ira Brodsky (
Tue, 17 Sep 1996 10:39:31 -0600

Alexander Chislenko wrote:

> Now, the question is, will the ACF developers steer their
>technology towards commercial goals, trying to develop
>"personalized glues" to paste each individual bottom to its
>couch, and deliver whatever-pleases-you-personally to keep
>you in front of the screen even longer and see more - and
>better targeted - ads than TV ever could - and make still
>more money? Or will ACF system development be based on an
>effort to leverage the potential of the technology for
>intentional social engineering?

Let's hope it is the former. The term "social engineering" refers not to
enlightened use of technology, but achieving political goals through the
use of force or subterfuge.

Likewise, most "social sciences" have little to do with science. Their
role is to provide the justification for social engineering (i.e., backing
up pet theories with mountains of statistics). My favorite example is a
book written in the 1960s by Ghana's dictator (Kwame Nkrumah?). In it, he
offered "scientific formulae" to determine when conditions were ripe for
revolution, and how to make a revolution. I hope I still have it -- it's a
classic. <g>

Ira Brodsky
Datacomm Research Company
Wilmette, Illinois