Dreams of Future Past
Imagine this. My writing partner and I are driving south across the lower flatlands of Highway 5, Nearing the base of the "Grapevine" -- the gradual mountain divide that delineates northern California from the south. As I watch the passing farmland tundra, I find myself reflecting on what Verbum's Digital Be-In has come to mean to me -- a periodic host -- over the last nine years. Certainly an amazing party. Substantially more. The first lucid thought that arrives is the notion of "Mission." Of course, most parties and trade shows are a tad short in the mission category. Well, OK - "the Comeback of the Macintosh," or "The Year of the Internet."
But how about, "The 30th Anniversary of the "Human Be-In," or "The Need for Cultural Diversity in Cyberspace..."
...A highway patrol slowly passes us by, curious about the blue glow on the passengers face from the monitor. We're only doing 70...
I'm brought back to the highway, the stars passing overhead.
And the real focus of the "Be-In." As with the Human Be-In's intent 30 years ago to humanize the music end of the entertainment business, the Digital Be-In has always clearly been an attempt to humanize the computer end of the
Which brings me to the business end of computers.
I never forget that the idea of the personal computer was invented by SRI's Douglas Englebart over 30 years ago with the specific intent of facilitating human evolution. His vision was to use computers to "augment" humanity by building "personal computers" which could assume lower level functions such as calculation and communications so that we could expand our capacity for realizing more higher-order levels of being and purpose.
Indeed this model reflects upon my own adapted purpose, which is to promulgate the notions of computers facilitating humanness.
Such as Personal management Software that reminds us to stop working and go out and play. Relationships software that help us find mates that truly see themselves as we see ourselves on a values basis. Collaborative software that leads geographically distant researchers through sequential exercises designed to facilitate creative development. Transitional software that allows us to communicate in real time with people from other parts of the globe. All of these exist or are about to.
...Pfffhewwww...that Camaro passed us like we were stopped, it red lights blurring slowly down the hill.
We are now arcing gracefully downward toward the sparkling lights of greater Los Angeles below...millions and millions of sometimes anxious human Be-Ins waiting patiently...as always....for a future...
...that hopefully reflects the best of our past.
See you Thursday.
David C. Traub
Sometime Be-in MC; BoardMember, Verbum Inc.