The King's Marquee

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shift Happens... even in West Hartford

An executive manager at my company distributed this nice little slide presentation entitled "shift happens" via email which links to a blog. This goes to show you the power of blogs and how quickly communication - thoughts and ideas that emphasize certain values and beliefs can be distributed across even entities like large, slow, lethargic corporate dinosaurs (like most companies in Hartford and elsewhere). It's certainly an indicator of the value of mass communication when businesses can pick up on new style communications that fit their bill and distribute them company-wide to make a point.

And to give proper credit, the slide presentation is the work of the folks at The presentation is certainly worth a look. It sums up the speed at which technology is progressing, populations are booming, and provides some interesting statistics about future probabilities of state.

But you have to wonder when does the rate at which technology improves far surpass human capacity to incorporate it (or even understand it) before the technology is outdated? And moreover, what complications will occur if folks like the Bin Laden crowd pick up on these new technologies and are able to implement them before government agencies are capable of defending against inroads that terrorist groups might make.

I don't fear technology but I do have concerns about how its used and by whom. And I certainly understand that you can't stand in front of the train tracks trying to slow progress. But I do get concerned that as human beings we tend to be "stuck in the muck" - fighting century old battles over religion, land, and domination over each other. Don't get me wrong - I'd certainly rather have Democratic Republics like ours which value civil rights, liberties and freedom doing the lording over - than the al Qaeda types - any day. It's pretty clear to anyone with a brain that those Islamic fundamentalists are lunatics that don't place any value on life.

I don't have a solution for any of this. But I'm in good company since neither does President Bush or the Democrats, or any of the bureaucrats at the UN or elsewhere. In fact many of the countries sitting around the UN Table are more concerned about figuring out how to get running water going in their cities, never mind fiber optic links to satellites.

So what's one to do? Tread lightly. And be somewhat thankful that the market place can only move so quickly.

And while federal and state government agencies try to catch up with the private sector (like that will ever happen), we can be delighted to know that our little village of West Hartford - from a technological standpoint - is far more advanced than most the the area towns in the region, but we should also be deeply dismayed to know that politically - our big government, high taxation, spendthrift practices are relics of repetitive and failed practices neither learned from or understood. And no technology can prevent us from our town council's failed, regressive economic schemes. No technology can prevent us from undoing ourselves.

Technology is neither going to save us or sink us. It's the fundamental understanding of economics and values that will ultimately win the day. But in West Hartford, we are certainly moving backwards on both fronts.

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