I noted that the collapse of the MACH 2.2 Supersonic Transport or SST was a major turning point in history. One of the bedrock premises of aviation since the Wright brothers was that every decade or so planes got faster.
Real futurism is noting steady changes that do NOT make news.
The main factor that killed the SST was that if someone wanted to contact anyone in Europe in an emergency hurry, he would use the telephone. I remember when telephone calls to Europe were twelve bucks for three minutes (1959 dollars!) and it took seven YEARS to get a phone installed in Austria, a fairly typical situation back then in Europe right through the 1960s.
A quiet but geometrically increasing proportion of our population works from home. I know a number of people in computers who work in South Carolina for firms in California, Washington State and so forth. The price system is now telling us that face-to-face should be done on computer rather than by killing DAYS flying or driving across the country.
PLEASE donít say I am saying this is a substitute for EVERYTHING. This is just a reminder of the quiet adjustments that take place to adjust to reality while headlines are screaming about the Next Crisis.
The Oil Crisis was major news in the 1972, 1976 and 1980 elections. It was FORGOTTEN in 1980. Reagan just got rid of the crazy-ass price controls the Northeast had been using to get cheap oil from Texas and Louisiana, and the Crisis disappeared for the time being.
A huge percentage of our oil use is the result of Planned Inconvenience, pushed by the same people who make their livings on the Oil Crisis. Planned Inconvenience is the zoning that requires every suburban resident to get dressed and drive to the chopping center miles away if she runs out of milk.
These are just a couple of points about the real future as opposed to the NEWS.
The foundations of the discontinuities are laid softly, and those with the intelligence and depth of analysis see that, suddenly, the marginal quantitative change leads to a qualitative change, as phase-shift events take place.
Nobody from the old Bell System could have imagined the current state of affairs regarding the Internet. The possibilities of the Internet in dramatic terms - one, as a series of protocols, they are not bound to any single manufactures, and two - this ties in with telephones - communication takes place at the speed of light, with much greater information density as people see each other.
So, suddenly, the landline business, a useful monopoly, is being waved aside by wireless tv stations - your I-PHONE, for example.
Zoning tends to be way behind the demographic reality; what use is zoning in Detroit, where you can buy houses for less than the price of a car?
And, the demographic reality dominates - is there any doubt that Southern California in twenty years - assuming the water situation holds - will be anything more than Mexico North?
Yet, they wonít be able to sustain Mexico North, anymore than they can sustain Mexico.
Another discontinuity - the events yesterday at the DNC, where the Blessing was given to Obama, and Clinton supporters - having a good, close look at their fruits of their liberal labors - had to be pulled off the ceiling, as they - skilled students of politics, full-time political junkies - see what the Obama Candidacy has already done in terms of forcing a phase shift moment for the White people in electoral politics.
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