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Nov. 21st, 2001

An evening of thoughts and action.

I'm constructing a "shopping cart" for a website, a singularly dot-com thing to be doing in this post-dot-com age. Kate was over this evening; we spent part of the time watching Startup.com, a fable for our times. I don't recall a more compelling documentary, but maybe that's just because this one speaks to me. How many times have I witnessed scenes in the movie acted out in my life? At jobs, between friends and coworkers, in the news... especially poignant now that the Big E is crashing and burning.

Oh, the halcyon days of constructing million dollar systems and networks, built around a dream, the dream that we weren't like the money-grubbing yuppies of the 80s, that we were changing the world, that technology was going to make the world a better place, was going to make it accessible. Count the eyeballs. Streaming to the masses, 24 hours a day, in OC-192 stereo.

Okay, let's face it. The world is different. Maybe it's a better place. I can communicate with my friends in Australia in real-time, for pennies. I can see the block I live on from outer space. You can e-mail your mom or watch Madonna's latest music video-on-demand. Your friend can play a rough-and-tumble game of Quake with a teen across town, or have cyber-sex with a complete stranger half a world away.

Does that make the world a better place? You tell me.

Where are the toothless tigers now? When the CEOs run, tails between their legs, and VC partners flip their Ferraris for a Honda, it's time to wonder what's next. In a post-post-neo-modern, post-Internet era, where the twin phalluses of commerce and industry lie in smoking heaps, where the Gen-X ideal of Globality sheds its skin and wraps itself around our hearts, our fears fed by its coiled tension, it's not unreasonable to wonder what the next ethereal, dreamy panacea-bearing Columbia will be.

Let's not forget that it took us only 13 years to get from the Great Crash of 1987 to where we are today. 13 years to get from fears of Soviet-launched mega-mega-tons of destruction to fears of finding a white-powder letter in our mailbox.

What's next? The next book in the Fables of the Reconstruction.

(And man-oh-man, aren't these books getting shorter?)



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