Transcript: Alvin Toffler on Revolutionary Wealth | Sep 30, 2006

[Theme music plays]

The opening sequence rolls. The logo of "Big Ideas" featuring a lit lamp bulb appears against an animated blue slate.
Then, Andrew Moodie appears in the studio. The walls are decorated with screens featuring lit lamp bulbs, and two signs read "Big Ideas."
Andrew is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He's wearing a gray shirt.

Andrew says HELLO.
AND WELCOME TO THE SIXTH SEASON
OF
BIG IDEAS.
I'M ANDREW MOODIE, AND THIS...

He pulls out a black leather day planner and continues
IS MY DAY PLANNER.
OH!
I'M NOT ASHAMED TO ADMIT IT.
I STILL USE ONE.
FOR EXAMPLE, I NEED TO REMIND
MYSELF THAT
BIG IDEAS
THIS
SEASON IS GOING TO AIR AT 4 PM
ON SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS.
I FIND IT EASIER TO USE A PEN
AND A PAPER THAN TO USE...
ONE OF THESE...

He pulls out a phone, gasps, and says OH!
IT'S A DAY PLANNER.
IT'S A PHONE.
IT GETS YOUR E-MAIL.
IT HOOKS YOU UP TO THE INTERNET.
IT INSTANT MESSAGES, IT PLAYS
MUSIC, IT TAKES PICTURES, AND
IT'S ALSO SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU
WORK BETTER AND FASTER.
AND, NOT TO PUT TOO MUCH OF A
FINE POINT ON IT, IT SCARES THE
CRAP OUT OF ME.
AND I KNOW I'M NOT ALONE.
THERE ARE MANY OF US WHO
WOULDN'T MIND IF THE WORLD WAS
UNFOLDING A BIT MORE SLOWLY.
THE RAPID RATE OF CHANGE MAKES
US ALL A LITTLE UNEASY.
THERE'S LESS AND LESS TIME TO
THINK ABOUT WHERE WE ARE GOING
BEFORE WE GET THERE.
ALVIN TOFFLER SAW IT ALL COMING.
HE GAINED FAME AND RECOGNITION
AS THE AUTHOR OF
FUTURE SHOCK.
AND IN IT, HE WARNED THAT IN THE
FUTURE, WE WILL EXPERIENCE A
TROUBLING ANXIETY CREATED BY AN
OVERLOAD OF INFORMATION.
HE HAS JUST CO-WRITTEN A BOOK
WITH HIS WIFE, A NEW BOOK, WITH
THE PROMISING TITLE
REVOLUTIONARY WEALTH.
IN IT, HE ARGUES THAT OUR
CURRENT INSTITUTIONS ARE
WOEFULLY UNPREPARED FOR THE
DEMANDS OF A WORLD RESHAPED BY
THE FORCE OF TECHNOLOGY.
HERE IS ALVIN TOFFLER, OFFERING
US HIS VIEW OF WHAT IS AROUND
THE CORNER.
HE WAS SPEAKING AT THE LIBRARY
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO'S
HART HOUSE.

Now a clip plays in which Alvin Toffler stands on a wooden podium in a library and addresses an unseen audience.
A picture of his book "Revolutionary wealth" appears on screen next to the U of T Book Store logo.
Alvin is in his late sixties, clean-shaven, with receding gray hair. He's wearing glasses, a black suit, white shirt, and red tie.

He says REVOLUTIONARY WEALTH,
UH,
COVERS MANY, MANY TOPICS.
I MEAN, IF YOU FLIP THROUGH THE
PAGES OF THAT BOOK, YOU'LL FIND
STUFF ABOUT FAMILY STRUCTURE,
YOU'LL FIND STUFF ABOUT, UH...
EVERY TOPIC UNDER THE SUN.
BUT THE OBJECT OF THE BOOK IS TO
SYNTHESIZE SEEMINGLY DISPARATE
OR UNCONNECTED EVENTS AND FORCES
IN SOCIETY.
AND ASK OURSELVES WHAT IS ALL,
WHY IS ALL THIS HAPPENING AND
WHAT EFFECT DOES THE ECONOMY
HAVE ON ALL OF THIS AND WHERE IS
THE ECONOMY GOING AS A
CONSEQUENCE OF THESE CHANGES?
ONE OF THE IDEAS IN THE BOOK, OR
LET ME START FROM THE BEGINNING.
THAT, WE TALK ABOUT A NEW
ECONOMY.
THE PRESS IS FULL OF REFERENCES
TO
THE
NEW ECONOMY.
AND THEY, BY THAT, WE GENERALLY
MEAN THE SHIFT TOWARD A
KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Alvin Toffler. Author, 'Revolutionary wealth.' Hart House, U of T. May 25, 2006."

Alvin continues AND I THINK
THAT'S A FAIRLY WIDELY
UNDERSTOOD CONCEPT NOW, ALTHOUGH
I DON'T THINK THE DEPTH OF THAT
IS UNDERSTOOD.
MOREOVER, WE CALL IT THE "NEW."
ECONOMY, BUT IT ISN'T NEW.
IN FACT, IF YOU WANTED TO DATE
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE NEW
ECONOMY, YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO
BACK TO THE MID-1950s.
AND THE REASON...
AND INDEED, UNLIKE MOST EVENTS,
MAJOR EVENTS IN HISTORY, IT'S
HARD TO FIND A DATE.
WHEN DID THE INDUSTRIAL
REVOLUTION START?
YOU KNOW, WE DON'T KNOW THE
ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.
BUT IF I HAD TO CHOOSE A DATE
FOR WHEN THE NEW ECONOMY AND THE
SOCIAL AND OTHER RAMIFICATIONS
OF THAT BEGAN, THERE IS A DATE.
AND THAT DATE PROBABLY WOULD
BE 1956.
WHY?
BECAUSE THAT IS THE FIRST
YEAR...
IN THE UNITED STATES, WHEN THE
NUMBER OF WHITE COLLAR AND
SERVICE EMPLOYEES OUTNUMBERED
BLUE COLLAR FACTORY WORKERS.
THAT WAS A MAJOR CHANGE IN THE
COMPOSITION OF THE US LABOUR
FORCE.
IF THAT WERE ALL, IT WOULD BE
SIGNIFICANT.
BUT IF YOU THEN LOOK AT THE NEXT
FIVE YEARS, SERIES OF THINGS
HAPPENED.
WITHIN THE, WITHIN THE HALF
DECADE FROM THAT POINT, IN THE
UNITED STATES, FIRST OF ALL,
TELEVISION WAS UNIVERSALIZED.
PRIOR TO 1956, YOU WANTED TO
WATCH TELEVISION IN THE STATES,
YOU WENT TO A BAR OR GIN MILL
DOWN ON THE CORNER, BECAUSE YOU
COULDN'T AFFORD A TELEVISION
SET.
WITHIN FIVE YEARS, 98 PERCENT OF
AMERICANS HAD TELEVISION SETS.
RAPID, RAPID DISSEMINATION OF
TELEVISION.
UM...
THAT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING.
WE HAD WITHIN THAT SAME PERIOD
THE INTRODUCTION OF COMMERCIAL
JET AVIATION.
ABLE TO CROSS THE CONTINENT.
THOSE WERE THE SMALL EVENTS THAT
HAPPENED.
ON OCTOBER 4th, 1957, WHICH
HAPPENED TO BE MY BIRTHDAY.

(Audience chuckling)

Alvin continues SOMETHING
CALLED SPUTNIK WENT UP TO THE MOON.
AND THE SPACE AGE WAS BORN.
AND ON TOP OF THAT, IN THAT SAME
PERIOD, A LITTLE TECHNOLOGY
CALLED THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL
WAS INTRODUCED.
WITH CHANGES IN GENDER
RELATIONSHIP, SEXUAL
RELATIONSHIPS AND ALL THE REST
OF THAT.
AND ON TOP OF THAT, DURING THAT
SAME PERIOD, HOLLYWOOD UNDERWENT
A TREMENDOUS CHANGE.
USED TO BE, THE MOVIES ALL HAD
HAPPY ENDINGS.
HEROES WERE HEROES, THE BOY AND
GIRL WOULD MARCH OFF INTO THE
SUNSET AT THE END, AND YOU KNEW
THEY WERE GONNA GET MARRIED.
AND SUDDENLY, OUT CAME MARLON
BRANDO IN
ON THE WATERFRONT,
AND JAMES DEAN.
AND SUDDENLY, HOLLYWOOD WENT
FROM HEROES TO ANTI-HEROES.
SO THAT TODAY THEY ARE DRUG
DEALERS, CRIMINALS, ET CETERA.
PRESENTED AS HEROES.
AND THERE WERE MANY OTHER
CULTURAL CHANGES THAT OCCURRED.
IN SHORT, THAT PERIOD OF TIME
WAS VERY INTENSE, VERY FILLED
WITH CHANGE.
AND MUCH OVERLOOKED, BECAUSE
MOSTLY WHEN YOU ASK AMERICANS
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE '50s,
"WELL, THERE WAS McCARTHYISM,
BUT IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD DECADE,
OTHERWISE."
IT WASN'T.
AND IT WAS IMMEDIATELY
FOLLOWED, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED
IN THE...
EARLY YEARS OF THE NEXT DECADE,
WITH THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT, THE
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, THE GAY
MOVEMENT, THE ASSASSINATION OF A
PRESIDENT, A PRESIDENT FORCED
OUT OF OFFICE.
IT WAS, IT WAS A WILD AND WOOLLY
DECADE THAT FOLLOWED.
I ARGUE IN THIS BOOK THAT THESE
EVENTS, AND THAT'S NOT ALL,
ACTUALLY REPRESENTED THE DAWN
OF A NEW, NOT JUST A NEW
TECHNOLOGY, OR EVEN A NEW
ECONOMY, BUT A NEW WAY OF LIFE.
OR...
PROPERLY SPEAKING, A NEW
CIVILIZATION.
AND NOW WE, ESPECIALLY IN THE
STATES, BUT CERTAINLY HERE AS
WELL, HAVE BEEN EXPERIMENTING
WITH THE CREATION OF A NEW
CIVILIZATION BASED ON A NEW KIND
OF ECONOMY.
AND, UM...
THE ECONOMIC CHANGES, AND THE
OBVIOUS PARTS, THE PART THAT
SHOWS, HAD BEEN THE FANTASTIC
TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS THAT
HAVE JUST COME OUT ONE AFTER
ANOTHER SINCE THEN.
BUT, ONE THING THAT, UH...
PROBABLY EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM
UNDERSTANDS, IS THAT TECHNOLOGY,
AS BRILLIANT AND MAGNIFICENT AS
THE IDEAS AND THE THINKING AND
THE GENIUS OF THE INVENTORS, UH,
HAS BEEN...
THAT'S THE EASY PART OF A
TRANSFORMATION, OR A REVOLUTION.
THE HARD PART ARE THE
ACCOMPANYING SOCIAL CHANGES.
THAT'S HARD TO CHANGE.
CHANGING AN INSTITUTION IS VERY
HARD, CHANGING A CHIP MAY BE
LESS DIFFICULT THAN CHANGING AN
INSTITUTION.
I, I DON'T, I DON'T NEED TO
INDUCE THE IMPORTANCE AND THE
DIFFICULTY OF DESIGNING A NEW
CHIP, FOR EXAMPLE.
BUT YOU'RE NOT UP AGAINST THE
POLITICAL CHANGES AND THE KIND
OF, UH, OPPOSITION THAT YOU
ALWAYS FACE WHEN YOU WANNA MAKE
IMPORTANT SOCIAL CHANGE.
SO, WE BELIEVE, AND IN THIS BOOK
WE ARGUE, THAT WE'RE IN THE
MIDDLE OF A PROCESS OF CREATING
A NEW WAY OF LIFE.
AS FAR AS THE ECONOMY WAS
CONCERNED, THE "WEALTH" PART OF
THE TITLE, WE BEGIN BY SAYING
"WE DO NOT MEAN BY 'WEALTH,' THE
WORLD 'WEALTH, WE DO NOT JUST
MEAN MONEY."
ECONOMISTS JUST MEAN MONEY.
THAT IS WHAT THEY MEASURE.
AND, AND WE, WE'RE PRETTY GOOD
AT MEASURING, WE
THINK
WE'RE PRETTY GOOD AT MEASURING.
WE HAVE METRICS, WE HAVE THEORIES.
WE HAVE LOTS AND LOTS OF DATA.
UM...
BUT THERE'S A HIDDEN PART OF THE
ECONOMY.
A HIDDEN PART, WHICH I'LL GET TO
IN A MOMENT.
I BELIEVE, AND THE BOOK ARGUES,
THAT, UM, THE CHANGES HAVE BEEN
SO PROFOUND, AND THE CHANGES
STILL AHEAD, ARE SO PROFOUND,
THAT THEY ARE OBSOLETING WHAT WE
THINK WE KNOW ABOUT ECONOMICS.
AND THEY REMIND ME, AND WE WRITE
ABOUT THE FRENCH PHYSICIAN, UH,
FRANCOIS QUESNAY, WHO WAS THE...
UH, THE PALACE, UH, DOCTOR,
UH...
FOR MADAME POMPADOUR IN THE LATE
1600s.
HE WAS A GENIUS.
HE NOT ONLY WAS A BRILLIANT
DOCTOR AND KNEW ABOUT BLOOD AND
THE BLOOD SYSTEM THAN ANYBODY,
HE ALSO WROTE PAPERS ON
ECONOMICS.
UH, ON THE PRICE OF GRAIN, WHAT
HAPPENS TO THE PRICE OF GRAIN.
AND HE WROTE PAPERS ON, ON THE
ECONOMY OF PERU AND WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN CHINA.
HE WAS REGARDED AS THE GREATEST
THINKER OF HIS TIME.
AND HE CONCLUDED...
AND HE WAS.
TO THAT DEGREE.
BUT THERE'S ONE THING HE MISSED:
HE, HE ANNOUNCED THAT THE ONLY
PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE IN SOCIETY
WERE EITHER LANDOWNERS OR
PEASANTS.
BECAUSE ALL WEALTH CAME FROM
AGRICULTURE.
THAT'S HOW YOU BUILT A STRONG
ECONOMY IN THOSE DAYS.
THEREFORE HE MISSED...
OH, OH, AND I HAD THE FOLLOWING
WORD:
HE NOT ONLY SAID WHAT THEY WERE
THE ONLY PRODUCTIVE ONES, BUT
THAT EVERYBODY ELSE WAS, IN HIS
WORDS, STERILE.
THE OTHERS WERE STERILE, AS FAR
AS ECONOMICS WERE CONCERNED.
HE COULDN'T IMAGINE THAT, YOU
KNOW, IN A HALF CENTURY OR A
CENTURY MORE IT WOULD BE THE
"STERILE" PEOPLE WHO WOULD
CREATE THIS INCREDIBLE NEW
REVOLUTION, THE INDUSTRIAL
REVOLUTION.
WITH PEOPLE MOVING, BECOMING
URBANIZED AND ALL THE CHANGES
THAT CAME WITH THE NEW
TECHNOLOGY AND SO ON.
SO QUESNAY WAS A GENIUS, BUT HE
MISSED THE BIG PICTURE.
AND I BELIEVE THAT MANY OF
TODAY'S GENIUSES ARE ALSO
MISSING THE NEXT BIG PICTURE.
AND THAT WE'RE ENGAGED IN THIS
PROCESS OF CREATING SOMETHING
DRAMATICALLY NEW.
SO, WHAT, HOW,
HOW
IS IT
NEW?
I BELIEVE THAT WHEN YOU TURN ON
THE BUSINESS NEWS AND YOU LISTEN
TO THE LAST FINANCIAL ADVISOR,
OR ECONOMIST TALKING ABOUT THIS
OR THAT COMPANY, AND YOU HEAR
THE WORDS "IT HAS GOOD
FUNDAMENTALS."
OR MAYBE IT HAS "POOR
FUNDAMENTALS."
BUT, I LISTEN TO THAT A
DIFFERENT WAY.
I HEAR THAT WORD AS "IT HAS GOOD
SUPERFICIALS."

[Audience laughing]

Alvin continues OR "BAD SUPERFICIALS."
AND THE REASON FOR THAT IS I
BELIEVE THAT THE CHANGES WE ARE
NOW UNDERGOING ARE SO PROFOUND
THAT THEY, THAT WE ARE CHANGING
OUR RELATIONSHIPS TO WHAT WE IN
REVOLUTIONARY WEALTH
CALL
THE "DEEP FUNDAMENTALS..."
THAT ARE, THAT LIE BELOW THE
SURFACE, AND THAT HAVE A GREATER
IMPACT, THAT HAVE A HUGE IMPACT
ON THE MORE SUPERFICIAL
FUNDAMENTALS.
WHAT ARE THOSE DEEP
FUNDAMENTALS?
EVERY ECONOMY FROM HUNTING AND
GATHERING, THROUGH PEASANT
AGRICULTURE, THROUGH THE
INDUSTRIAL ERA, RIGHT DOWN TO
TODAY, HAD TO DEAL WITH CERTAIN,
UH, ESSENTIALLY FIXED VARIABLES.
THEY HAD TO DEAL WITH THE
BIOSPHERE.
THEY HAD TO DEAL WITH, UM,
ENERGY, THEY NEEDED ENERGY.
I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE A HUNTER
GATHERER, HUNTER GATHERER OR
A...
COMPUTER OPERATOR.
EVERY ECONOMY HAD TO DEAL WITH
THOSE.
EVERY ECONOMY ALSO HAD TO DEAL
WITH SOME OTHER THINGS, AND...
GOING WAY, WAY BACK, EVEN TO
THE, UH, EARLIEST DAYS, WE HAD A
DIVISION OF LABOUR.
BASED MOSTLY ON GENDER IN THOSE
YEARS.
AND SO ON, SO WE HAD DIVISION OF
LABOUR, YOU HAD THESE FACTORS.
BUT THERE WERE THREE FACTORS,
THERE ARE THREE FACTORS THAT HAD
BEEN PART OF THE, UM, OF
ECONOMIC VARIETY SINCE THE
BEGINNING.
AND, UH, WE BELIEVE PROBABLY THE
MOST IMPORTANT ONES IN THE
EMERGENCE OF THE NEW, OF THE
NEXT ECONOMY AND THE ONE WE ARE
NOW BUILDING.
AND THEY HAVE TO DO WITH TIME...
SPACE...
AND KNOWLEDGE.
LET'S LOOK AT TIME.
UH, IN
FUTURE SHOCK,
WHICH
WE WROTE, PUBLISHED SOME 35
YEARS AGO ALREADY, WE ARGUED
THAT THE PACE OF CHANGE WAS
GOING TO ACCELERATE.
LIFE WAS GOING TO GET FASTER.
THAT THERE WOULD BE MORE
TURNOVER AND, AND SO ON.
AND I DON'T THINK ANYBODY WOULD
CHALLENGE THAT TODAY.
BY AND LARGE, MOST PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND...
UH, THAT LIFE WAS A LOT SLOWER
35 YEARS AGO THAN IT IS TODAY.
PEOPLE TODAY, NOT ONLY FEEL BY AND LARGE
RUSHED, BUT HAVE DEVELOPED AN
ENTIRE NEW VOCABULARY TO
EXPRESS IT.
TIME STARVED, WE'RE TIME THIS,
TIME THAT, TIME THE OTHER THING.
WE'RE RUNNING FASTER.
SO I THINK THE FORECAST, THE
CENTRAL FORECAST OF
FUTURE
SHOCK,
ABOUT THE
ACCELERATION CHANGE WAS CORRECT.
BUT THAT ISN'T ALL THAT'S
CHANGING IN OUR RELATIONSHIP TO
TIME.
UH, WE'VE GONE, FOR EXAMPLE, AND
ARE GOING, MORE AND MORE TOWARD
24-7 OPERATIONS.
THAT DIDN'T USED TO BE THE CASE.
THE CASE USED TO BE THAT, YOU
KNOW, THE ECONOMY CLOSED DOWN ON
SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS.
ESSENTIALLY.
THAT'S NO LONGER THE CASE.
UM, ANOTHER, UH...
ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS THAT IN A
MASS PRODUCTION, ASSEMBLY LINE
ECONOMY, YOU NEED...
IT'S MASS PRODUCTION.
FOR MASS PRODUCTION YOU NEED A
MASS SOCIETY.
AND YOU CERTAINLY NEED A MASS
RESPONSE TO TIME.
AND THE REASON THAT IS THE CASE
IS THE FOLLOWING.
IF YOU'RE A PEASANT IN THE
PRESENT ECONOMY, AND YOU SHOW UP
LATE AT THE FIELD THAT YOU HAVE
TO WORK IN THAT MORNING,
SOMEBODY IN YOUR FAMILY WILL
PICK UP THE SLACK FOR YOU.
OR YOU COME AND STAY TEN MINUTES
LATER OR WHATEVER.
DOESN'T MATTER.
TIME WAS NOT, DID NOT NEED TO BE
PRECISE.
BUT IF YOU'RE IN AN ASSEMBLY
LINE, AS INDEED MY WIFE AND I
HAVE BEEN, BETWEEN US...
DIVIDE TEN YEARS, FIVE YEARS
EACH.
IF YOU'RE ON AN ASSEMBLY LINE,
YOU SHOW UP LATE, YOU'RE
STOPPING THE LINE AND HOLDING UP
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WORKING
THERE AND COSTING THE COMPANY AN
ENORMOUS FORTUNE.
THEREFORE TIME HAS TO BE
PRECISE, AND, AND IT BECOMES A
MAJOR, MAJOR ISSUE.
WHAT'S HAPPENING TO TIME NOW?
INSTEAD OF EVERYBODY SHOWING UP
AT THE SAME TIME, AND INSTEAD
OF, UM, YOU KNOW, FIVE TO NINE
OPERATIONS, WE'RE MOVING MORE
AND MORE TO PEOPLE WHO, THEY
WORK ON AN AIRPLANE, THEY WORK
AT HOME, THEY WORK, UH, YOU
KNOW, ANYWHERE THEY ARE, THEY
SHIFT, THEY TIME SHIFT, AND THEY
SPACE SHIFT.
AND THE CONSEQUENCE OF THAT IS
THAT WE'RE MOVING TOWARD A MUCH
MORE COMPLEX SYSTEM OF TIME AND
TIMING IN THE ECONOMY, IN WHICH,
UH, IT IS INCREASINGLY
DE-MASSIFIED.
IT'S NO LONGER, YOU DON'T LIVE
IN SYNCH WITH THE WHOLE MASS.
WE HAVE MORE, MORE NICHE TIME,
SO TO SPEAK, MORE PERSONALIZED
TIME.
WE'RE RUNNING HARD, BUT WE'RE
RUNNING NOT NECESSARILY AT THE
SAME HOURS AS SOMEBODY ELSE.
YOU COULDN'T, YOU COULDN'T RUN
THE FACTORY THAT WAY, BUT YOU
CAN RUN A KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY THAT
WAY.
AND INDEED WE DO.
THAT IS ONLY, THOSE ARE SOME OF
THE MORE SUPERFICIAL CHANGES IN
OUR RELATIONSHIP TO TIME.
OUR BODIES, IN ORDER FOR US TO
BE ALIVE AND FUNCTIONING,
REQUIRE THE SYNCHRONIZATION OF
OUR ORGANS.
WE CAN'T HAVE A HEART OPERATING
WELL IF YOUR LUNGS AREN'T
OPERATING WELL, AND SO ON AND SO
FORTH AND SO ON.
THE SAME THING'S TRUE WITH A
SOCIETY.
THERE NEEDS TO BE A DEGREE OF
SYNCHRONIZATION, OF EFFORT,
WITHIN A COMMUNITY AND A
SOCIETY.
AND INDEED...
IF YOU LOOK AT OUR SOCIETY,
YOU'LL SEE A VERY STRANGE THING:
WE ARE INCREASINGLY
DE-SYNCHRONIZED.
THE SYNCHRONIZATION OF THE
SOCIAL SYSTEM IS BREAKING DOWN.
IMAGINE, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT
YOU'RE A COP ON A MOTORCYCLE AND
YOU'RE STANDING BY THE SIDE OF
THE HIGHWAY.
YOU GET A RADAR GUN AND YOU'RE
MEASURING THE SPEED OF THE CARS
GOING BY.
AND EACH CAR IS A SYMBOL OF SOME
SOCIAL INSTITUTION.
AND YOU'RE MEASURING THE RATES
OF CHANGE IN EACH OF THOSE
DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS.
THE FIRST CAR COMES ZIPPING BY
AT 100 MILES AN HOUR.
THAT CAR REPRESENTS BUSINESS.
BUSINESS IS CHANGING AT HIGH
SPEED FOR A VERY SIMPLE REASON:
TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING, MARKETS
ARE CHANGING, CHINA'S COME ON
BOARD, SO FORTH AND SO ON.
AND IF YOU DON'T CHANGE, YOU
DIE.
YOUR COMPETITIVE SYSTEM WIPES
YOU OUT.
SO COMPANIES ARE DRIVEN TO MAKE
RAPID CHANGE.
DIFFICULT TO DO, THEY DON'T KNOW
HOW TO NECESSARILY DO IT RIGHT
AND SO FORTH AND SO ON, BUT
THEY'RE DRIVEN.
AND THEY'RE RIDING, AND THEY...
TRYING TO CHANGE AS RAPIDLY AS
POSSIBLE.
OKAY?
NEXT CAR COMES ALONG, AND IT'S
DOING, SAY, 90 MILES AN HOUR.
AND THAT CAR REPRESENTS NOT
COMPANIES...
AND INDEED, NOT GOVERNMENTS.
BUT NGOs.
WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS AN
EXPLOSION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL
ORGANIZATIONS AT THE LOCAL
LEVEL, AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL, I
MEAN NOT JUST IN ONE COUNTRY.
AND, AND AT THE GLOBAL LEVEL.
HEIDI AND I, IN 1986,
PARTICIPATED IN A SMALL
CONFERENCE THAT LED TO THE
CREATION OF THE FIRST, UH, NGO
IN THE SOVIET UNION.
FIRST ONE EVER COMMITTED IN THE
SOVIET UNION, WE HELPED START
THAT.
BY NOW, THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF NGOs IN THE SOVIET
UNION.
AND THIS IS TRUE ALL OVER THE
WORLD.
THIS, THIS PHENOMENON, THIS
CIVIL SOCIETY'S BUBBLING UP AT A
RAPID PACE.
SO I WOULD SAY THAT THAT'S A, AS
AN INSTITUTION, YOU HAVE SEVERAL
INSTITUTIONS, THAT IS MOVING
QUICKLY.
THEY'RE FORMING NETWORKS,
THEY'RE, THEY'RE FORMING, UH,
POLITICAL COALITIONS FOR THIS
PURPOSE OR THAT PURPOSE TO MAKE
THIS HAPPEN AND TO STOP THAT
FROM HAPPENING.
AND THIS IS FUNDED BY THE CHANGE
IN OUR SOCIAL SYSTEM.
AND IT'S MOVING AT AN EXTREMELY
RAPID PACE.
IF WE GO DOWN
FURTHER, AND WE SEE SOME OF THE
CARS THAT COME ALONG BEHIND
THAT, EACH ONE MORE SLOW THAN,
IN TERMS OF IT'S RATE OF CHANGE,
MUCH MORE SLOWLY, THEY'RE
CHANGING MUCH MORE SLOWLY, YOU
SEE ALL THE WAY DOWN THE LIST,
BEFORE I LOOK DOWN AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE LIST, LET ME TALK ABOUT
THE FAMILY.
UM... RIGHT AFTER...
THE CHANGE PACE OF THE NGOs, I
WOULD SAY THE FAMILY AS AN
INSTITUTION FITS.
IF YOU STOP AND THINK ABOUT
WHAT'S HAPPENING TO FAMILIES,
IN, IN AGRARIAN SOCIETIES, AS
I'VE SAID BEFORE, THE FAMILY'S
USUALLY SEVERAL GENERATIONS
LIVING TOGETHER UNDER THE SAME
ROOF, WORKING TOGETHER IN THE
FIELDS, STUFF LIKE THAT.
FAMILY HAD KEY FUNCTIONS THAT
MADE THE FAMILY A REALLY
IMPORTANT INSTITUTION.
WHAT WERE THOSE FUNCTIONS?
THEY TOOK CARE OF THE SICK,
BECAUSE THERE WAS NO HOSPITAL OR
DOCTOR, THERE WAS NO MEDICAL
CARE SYSTEM.
THEY TOOK, THEY EDUCATED THE
YOUNG, BECAUSE THERE WERE NO
SCHOOL SYSTEMS.
THEY, UM, THEY HAD, UH...
ALL KINDS OF FUNCTIONS THAT HAD
BEEN TAKEN...
DURING THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
WERE TRANSFERRED TO SPECIALIZED
INSTITUTIONS.
SO MEDICAL CARE WENT TO THE
HEALTH SYSTEM.
CARE OF THE ELDERLY WENT TO THE
PENSION SYSTEM.
THE, UH...
ET CETERA...
EDUCATION FOR KIDS WENT TO THE
MASS EDUCATION SYSTEM, AND SO
FORTH.
THAT, THAT ARGUABLY WEAKENED THE
RELATIONSHIP OF THE FAMILY AS AN
INSTITUTION TO THE OTHER
INSTITUTIONS IN THE SOCIETY.
IT'S FUNCTIONS WERE TAKEN AWAY
AND GIVEN TO OTHERS, SO TO
SPEAK, IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS WERE
GIVEN TO THEM.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THE
FAMILY AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE
FAMILY AND THE FUNCTIONS OF THE
FAMILY, THEY CHANGED WITH THE
COMING OF INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION,
AND THEY, AND THEY'RE CHANGING
NOW AT REALLY HIGH SPEEDS.
THEY'RE CHANGING AT EVERY LEVEL.
UH, WHETHER IT IS GENDER, I'VE
SAID BEFORE, GENDER
RELATIONSHIPS, WHETHER IT'S
SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS,
INTER-GENERATIONAL CONFLICT,
ET CETERA, ET CETERA, ET CETERA,
ET CETERA.
SO FAMILIES ARE, AGAIN...
I BELIEVE, THE INSTITUTION OF
FAMILY IS IN A VERY TURBULENT
PERIOD.
UH, AND THERE ARE MANY OTHER
THINGS THAT CAN BE SAID ABOUT
FAMILY LIFE AND SO ON, BUT WE'RE
FOCUSSING HERE JUST ON TIME AND
SPEED OF CHANGE.
AND THEN YOU GO DOWN THE LIST
THERE ARE SLOWER AND SLOWER
INSTITUTIONS.
THE CARS ARE GOING, BUT THEY'RE
GOING MORE SLOWLY.
UNTIL YOU COME TO ONE CAR, WHICH
IS, UH, MOVING ALONG AT, UM, AND
IT'S GOT STEAM COMING OUT OF
IT'S FRONT END...
GRATE.
IT'S GOT THE FLAT TIRE IN THE
BACK, IT'S JUST CHUGGING ALONG
ON THE ROAD, BARELY ABLE TO
MOVE.
AND THAT'S CALLED EDUCATION.
THAT'S CALLED THE PUBLIC
EDUCATION SYSTEM.
WHERE CHANGE IS VERY DIFFICULT
TO MAKE.
CHANGES AROUND THE EDGES, YES.
CHANGES AT THE HEART?
VERY SLOW, VERY DIFFICULT.
AND THE...
AND IT'S GOING AT 10 MILES AN
HOUR.
SO THE FUNDAMENTAL...
AND OF COURSE, THESE NUMBERS ARE
FICTIONAL, I MADE THEM UP,
INDEED, BUT THEY MAKE THE POINT.
CAN YOU HAVE AN ADVANCED ECONOMY
IN WHICH THE ECONOMICS SYSTEM
AND THE BUSINESS SYSTEM IS
CHANGE, IS CHANGING AT 100 MILES
AN HOUR, AND THE EDUCATION
SYSTEM IS, IS CHANGING AT 10
MILES AN HOUR?
I WOULD SAY NO, NOT A SUCCESSFUL
ONE.
BECAUSE YOU ARE, YOU ARE
ESSENTIALLY BREAKING THE
SYNCHRONIZATION THAT PREVIOUSLY
EXISTED.
AS THE SCHOOLS WERE DESIGNED
TO...
SCHOOLS IN FACT, IT'S A WHOLE
SEPARATE QUESTION WE CAN DISCUSS
LATER.
THE SCHOOLS WERE DESIGNED TO
CREATE FACTORY WORKERS.
IN THE LATE 1800s, THE GREAT
DEBATE IN THE US OVER WHAT KINDS
OF EDUCATION SHOULD OR SHOULD
NOT BE WAS WON BY THE PEOPLE WHO
SAID "WE NEED INDUSTRIAL
DISCIPLINE."
THAT WAS THE PHRASE, QUOTE,
"INDUSTRIAL DISCIPLINE."
'CAUSE WE HAD ALL ESE KIDS OFF
THE FARM.
THEY WERE NOT DISCIPLINED, THEY
DID NOT SHOW UP ON TIME AND SO
FORTH AND SO ON.
SO THE SCHOOLS WERE BUILT TO
PARALLEL THE...
TO, TO EXPOSE KIDS TO
EXPERIENCES THAT WERE PARALLEL
THOSE THEY WOULD LATER FEEL,
HAVE TO FACE IN THE FACTORY.
WROTE REPETITIVE WORK.
UH, AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.
ABSOLUTE PUNCTUALITY, ET CETERA,
ET CETERA.
ARE THERE SOME SCHOOLS IN THE
WORLD SOMEWHERE THAT ARE DOING
THE RIGHT THING?
AND NO DOUBT THERE ARE, YOU
KNOW.
BUT I MAY NOT KNOW THEM.
BUT, BUT THE MAIN BIG SYSTEMS, I
THINK, ARE DOING THE WRONG
THING.
AND, AND I SAID A MOMENT AGO
THAT WE MIGHT EVENTUALLY FIND
OURSELVES QUESTIONING AGAIN THE
ISSUE OF COMPULSORY, AND WHAT'S
THE RIGHT, DOES EVERY KID HAVE
TO BE WITH THE SAME PACE AND SO
FORTH AND SO ON.
UM, BUT THERE'S, THERE ARE OTHER
ISSUES, UM, THAT ARE, THAT
ARE...
REALLY IMPORTANT.
I THINK WE'RE GONNA SEE ENORMOUS
EXPERIMENTATION.
BUT LET ME THROW OUT AS A LAST
THOUGHT HERE...
THAT...
AN ASSUMPTION WE MAKE IS THAT
EDUCATION TAKES PLACE IN SCHOOL.
IN 1976, '77,
THE FIRST PCs APPEARED IN THE
WORLD.
AND AT THAT TIME, IF YOU WANTED
TO BUY A PC, YOU NEEDED...
MOST, NOBODY, NOBODY'D EVER
HEARD OF A PC BEFORE.
WE, WE THOUGHT THERE WERE SOME
GIANT BRAINS, BIG MAINFRAME
COMPUTERS SOMEWHERE THAT WAS
IRRELEVANT TO THE REST OF US.
BUT, UM...
BUT IN '76 OR
'77, THE FIRST PCs BEGAN TO APPEAR.
WHERE DID THEY APPEAR?
AT LEAST IN THE US THEY APPEARED
IN RADIO SHACK STORES.
AND, AND THE JOKE IN AMERICA IS
THAT RADIO SHACK IS A STORE
WHERE SOME 16 YEAR OLD WITH A
SCIENCE FICTION BOOK IN THE BACK
POCKET, UM, IS THE SALESPERSON,
AND ALSO THE EXPERT.
AND SO IF YOU WANTED TO BUY A
PC, IF YOU'RE ADVENTUROUS AND
YOU WANNA FIND OUT ABOUT THIS
NEW MACHINE, YOU WOULD GO TO,
UH...
RADIO SHACK AND ASK THE KID,
YOU'D SAY "OH, I WANNA BUY THE
MACHINE.
BUT WHAT CAN I DO WITH IT?"
AND THE KID SAYS "WELL, PUSH
THESE BUTTONS AND SOMETHING,
THIS FUN THING WILL HAPPEN."
YOU TAKE IT HOME, AND IT DOES
THAT, BUT THAT DOESN'T AMOUNT
TO VERY MUCH.
SO YOU GO BACK TO THE STORE, AND
YOU ASK HIM AGAIN "WHAT ELSE CAN
I DO?"
"WELL, THERE ARE FIVE MORE
BUTTONS YOU CAN PUSH."
BUT EVENTUALLY, YOU WIND UP
DISSATISFIED WITH THE MACHINE,
AND MAYBE KNOWING MORE THAN THE
KID KNOWS ABOUT HOW TO USE IT.
SO YOU NEED HELP.
IF YOU'RE GONNA USE THIS
MACHINE, YOU NEED BETTER HELP
THAN YOU CAN GET FROM RADIO
SHACK.
WHAT YOU NEED IS A GURU.
YOU NEED A COMPUTER GURU.
WHO IS A COMPUTER GURU AT THAT
TIME?
ANSWER:
ANYBODY WHO BOUGHT THE MACHINE
ONE WEEK BEFORE YOU DID.

[Audience laughing]

Alvin continues AND WHAT
HAPPENED THEN WAS, IN CERTAIN,
IN A CERTAIN WAY, AMAZING.
BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED WAS, UH,
GURUS WERE, YOU KNOW, ONE GUY
WOULD BE THE GURU HERE, BUT THEN
THIS GUY WOULD GET AHEAD OF HIM,
AND HE WOULD THEN HELP HIM.
AND YOU HAD AN ENORMOUS TRANSFER
OF LEARNING AMONG PEOPLE.
AND BY THE END OF THE CENTURY,
OR NOW, MUST BE, WHAT, 150
MILLION, 200 MILLION AMERICANS
WHO KNOW HOW TO USE PCs?
THEY'RE NOT, THEY'RE NOT
NECESSARILY TECHIES, AND THEY'RE
NOT NECESSARILY FULL TIME GEEKS,
BUT THEY KNOW HOW TO USE THE PC,
AND I BELIEVE THAT HAS A
POWERFUL IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY,
A VALUABLE IMPACT ON THE
ECONOMY.
AND...
AND, UH...
THE AMAZING THING IS, HOW DID
THEY LEARN?
ALMOST NOBODY WENT TO SCHOOL.
THIS WAS NOT EDUCATION IN A
CLASSROOM.
AND I RAISE THIS, OR I TELL THIS
STORY ONLY TO SAY THAT WHERE WE
THINK ABOUT EDUCATION, EDUCATION
OF THE FUTURE, YOU SHOULDN'T
AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME THAT ALL
EDUCATION TAKES PLACE IN THE
CLASSROOM.
IT MAY BE THAT THERE ARE
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAYS OF
MOVING INFORMATION,
COMMUNICATING INFORMATION
THROUGH THE SOCIETY.
LET ALONE ONLINE.
I MEAN, OF COURSE THAT.
BUT APART FROM THAT.
THERE MAY BE OTHER WAYS TO
CONVEY THAT...
IMPORTANT KNOWLEDGE TO ONE
ANOTHER IN SOCIETY.
THERE WAS A PC EMBEDDED IN A
STONE WALL IN A VILLAGE IN
INDIA.
WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS.
AND THE FIRST THING THAT
HAPPENED IS KIDS CAME OUT AND
LOOKED AT IT.
AND BEGAN TO PLAY WITH IT.
AND IN A MATTER OF DAYS, THEY
HAD FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO THINGS
ON IT.
AND THEY HAD ACCESS TO THE
INTERNET, AND THEY HAD DONE ALL
KINDS OF...
YEAH, BUT FOR OUR PRACTICAL
PURPOSES, UNIMAGINABLE THINGS,
JUST BY BEING KIDS AND PLAYING
WITH IT.
THEY LEARNED SOMETHING.
SO BASICALLY THE POINT I'M
MAKING IS IF WE'RE REALLY GONNA
RETHINK EDUCATION, WE SHOULD
RETHINK IT FROM IT'S GROUND
ASSUMPTIONS UP.
MAYBE, MAYBE SCHOOLS ARE THE
RIGHT THING, MAYBE YOU HAVE TO
HAVE SCHOOLS.
BUT WHY NOT ASK THOSE QUESTIONS
AS THOUGH YOU WERE STARTING FROM
SCRATCH?
BECAUSE IN MY OPINION, WE ARE
ESSENTIALLY STARTING FROM
SCRATCH IN A NEW WAY OF LIFE.
THE POINT I'M MAKING HERE IS
THAT CENTRAL INSTITUTIONS OF...
OF OUR SOCIETIES ARE NO LONGER
IN SYNCH WITH ONE ANOTHER.
AND THAT IS A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE
IN, IN THE TIMING OF THE
CIVILIZATION WITHIN WHICH WE
LIVE.
ONE COULD GO FURTHER AND LOOK AT
THE LAW, THIS DISPUTE, OR
RELATIVE...
ON NUMB SPEED.
IN THE US, UH, WELL, WE KNOW
THAT, SAY, THROUGH OUT THE '80s,
'90s, TELECOMMUNICATIONS
TECHNOLOGIES CHANGED AT AN
INCREDIBLE RATE.
AND...
IT ALL, IT WASN'T UNTIL 1996
THAT THE US CHANGED IT'S TELECOM
ACT.
THE, CENTRAL...
LEGISLATION, YOU KNOW...
GUIDING THE TELECOM INDUSTRY.
GUESS HOW LONG IT TOOK TO CHANGE
THAT LAW.
THE ANSWER IS 62 YEARS.
SO THAT IN 1996, WE WERE LIVING
WITH A LAW THAT HAD BEEN PLACED
62 YEARS EARLIER DESPITE THE
FANTASTIC TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES
AND THE UNIVERSALITY OF
TELEPHONES AND SO FORTH AND SO
ON.
UNLESS YOU THINK THAT'S, UH, A
RARE CASE, IN THE UNITED STATES,
UM, IF YOU GO BACK, UH, TO
1996...
OR NO, I FORGET EXACTLY WHAT
YEAR IN THE '90s.
WE ALSO CHANGED SOMETHING CALLED
THE Glass-Steagal ACT, WHICH IS THE
CENTRAL ACT FOR, UH, LAW...
EFFECTING FINANCE AND BANKING.
THAT TOOK 60 YEARS TO CHANGE.
NOW, I CHALLENGE YOU TO MAKE
SENSE OF WAITING DECADES AND
DECADE AND DECADES TO CHANGE THE
FUNDAMENTAL LAWS, UH, EFFECTING
FINANCE, TECHNOLOGY, ET CETERA,
ET CETERA, ET CETERA, WITH
THE...
COMPETITIVE PRESSURES FROM OUTSIDE THE WORLD
PRESSING FOR MORE AND MORE RAPID
CHANGE IN BUSINESS.
MAKES NO SENSE.
SO WHAT YOU GET, I BELIEVE, AND
WE ARGUE THIS AND LOOK AT THAT
MORE CAREFULLY IN THE BOOK, UH,
IS...
A BREAKDOWN OF THE PREVIOUS
ROUGH SYNCHRO, SYNCHRONET...
SYNCHRO...
NOT SYNCHRONICITY, BUT...
SYNCHRONOUS OPERATIONS OF THE
EARLIER PERIOD.
AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT YOU CAN
SEE THIS AT WORK IN GOVERNMENT.
YOU CAN SEE THIS AT WORK,
THEREFORE, NOT JUST IN PRIVATE
SECTOR, BUT IN GOVERNMENT.
WE HAVE, AS EVERYBODY KNOWS, THE
PENTAGON HAS A BIG BUDGET.
COMPANIES WOULD LOVE TO DO
BUSINESS WITH THE PENTAGON.
BUT GUESS WHAT?
MANY OF THEM REFUSE TO DEAL WITH
THEM.
OR WITH THE GOVERNMENT IN
GENERAL.
BECAUSE IT TAKES TOO LONG TO GET
A DECISION.
IT TAKES TOO LONG TO GET, TO DO
SOMETHING.
AND THE RESULT OF THIS, THIS IS
ONE OF THE REASONS, NOT THE ONLY
REASON, BUT CERTAINLY ONE OF THE
REASONS, WHY THE SYSTEM, IN MY
JUDGEMENT AND AS WE LAY OUT AND,
I THINK, PROVE REASONABLY WELL
IN
REVOLUTIONARY WEALTH,
IS IN DEEP, DEEP INSTITUTIONAL
TROUBLE.
I CAME, UH, CAME FROM A DINNER
IN SAN FRANCISCO JUST RECENTLY.
WHERE WE HAD A GROUP OF ABOUT A
DOZEN REALLY INTELLIGENT, HARD
WORKING, DEDICATED PEOPLE.
DEDICATED TO THEIR OWN
INSTITUTIONS, WHATEVER THEY
WERE.
ONE WAS A, A WONDERFUL BLACK
LADY WHO'S RESPONSIBLE IN SAN
FRANCISCO FOR OPERATING...
FOR THE WHOLE CIVIL SERVICE.
UM, ANOTHER WAS A WOMAN, A TOP
NOTCH, UH, SCIENTIST ENGINEER
FROM NASA, A WOMAN...
WHO HAS GIVEN HER LIFE TO NASA,
LOVES NASA.
AND GOING AROUND THE TABLE,
OCCUPATION AFTER OCCUPATION,
INSTITUTION AFTER INSTITUTION
AND THE SAME MESSAGE CAME FROM
EVERYBODY:
"CAN'T GET ANYTHING DONE.
SOMEHOW OR OTHER THERE'S
RESISTANCE TO EVERYTHING.
WE JUST CAN'T GRAB AHOLD..."
SAN FRANCISCO, UM...
SPENDS 250 MILLION dollars A YEAR ON
THE HOMELESS.
GUESS HOW MANY HOMELESS THERE
ARE.
24...
25,000.
CHECK THE ARITHMETIC.
AND THEY CAN'T CHANGE THE
SYSTEM.
SO, UH, THERE'S A FEELING, I
BELIEVE, IN MANY OF THE
INSTITUTIONS, AND PARTICULARLY
IN THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN
FAST MOVING AND SLOWER MOVING
INSTITUTIONS, THAT THE SYSTEM
IS, IN FACT...
BREAKING DOWN AROUND THE EDGES.
BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER,
OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WITH
RESPECT TO TIME.
AND TO SUMMARIZE IT, WE
SUMMARIZE IT BY SAYING WE ARE
CHANGING OUR RELATIONSHIPS TO
THE DEEP FUNDAMENTAL OF TIME.
WHAT ABOUT SPACE?
AND BY THAT I MEAN SPATIAL
RELATIONSHIPS.
WELL, WE'RE WITNESSING THIS
HISTORIC SHIFT OF WEALTH ALL
ACROSS THE EARTH TOWARD ASIA.
REMEMBER THAT CHINA WAS, 500
YEARS AGO, THE MOST ADVANCED
ECONOMY AND TECHNOLOGICAL POWER
ON THE PLANET.
AND THEN THEY BEGAN A VERY SLOW
HISTORIC SHIFT OF, UH, WEALTH,
AS TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED IN THE
WEST, AND MOVED GRADUALLY FROM
CHINA WESTWARD TO EUROPE.
AND, AND WESTERN EUROPE IS A
LEADING POLI...
ECONOMIC FORCE ON THE PLANET.
AND THEN ACROSS THE ATLANTIC AND
CAME TO THE UNITED STATES AND WE
BECAME THE DOMINANT ECONOMY AND
THE MOST POWERFUL ECONOMIC
FORCE.
AND NOW IT'S MOVING ACROSS THE
PACIFIC.
AND SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT
COMPLETES THE GREAT CIRCLE, AS
THOUGH THERE WERE AN INEVITABLE
CYCLICAL CHARACTER TO THIS.
I, MYSELF, DON'T BELIEVE IN
CYCLICAL HISTORICAL PATTERNS OF
THAT KIND, SO I DON'T THINK
THAT'S NECESSARILY THE CASE.
NOR DO I THINK IT NECESSARILY...
THIS PROCESS WILL NECESSARILY
CONTINUE IN THE WAY IT HAS BEEN
GOING.
BUT CERTAINLY THE TRANSFER OF
WEALTH HAS BEEN ENORMOUS IN THE
PAST COUPLE OF DECADES.
SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED TO THE,
TO WHERE THE WEALTH IS ON THE
PLANET.
THAT, HOWEVER, IS ONLY ONE OF
THE MANY CHANGES IN SPATIAL
RELATIONSHIPS.
FOR EXAMPLE, CITIES COMPETE FOR
BUSINESS, THEY WANT TO BRING
BUSINESS IN AND JOBS IN AND SO
FORTH.
WELL, IN, IF YOU GO BACK A FEW
DECADES, THE STATE OF INDIANA,
FOR EXAMPLE, ADVERTISED, YOU
KNOW, WE WANNA BRING JOBS HERE,
AND, AND THE REASON, THE REASONS
IT GAVE WHY YOU SHOULD COME TO
PUT YOUR BUSINESS IN INDIANA IS
"WE HAVE LIMESTONE."

(Chuckling)

[Audience laughing]

Alvin continues "WE HAVE
LIMESTONE.
AND WE HAVE A DOCILE LABOUR
FORCE."
OKAY.

[Audience laughing]

Alvin continues NOW YOU LOOK
AT THE SAME AD 30, 40, 50 YEARS
LATER.
IT SAYS "WE HAVE UNIVERSITIES."
OKAY?
SO SOMETHING CHANGES, THE
NATURE, THE VALUE OF THE, OF
WHERE YOU ARE.
AND, AND INCREASINGLY IT IS
BASED ON INTANGIBLES.
NOW...
UM...
NONE OF THAT, HOWEVER, IS AS
IMPORTANT, UH, RE THE SPATIAL
RELATIONSHIP AS ONE OTHER.
1,000 YEARS FROM TODAY...
WHAT WOULD ANYBODY ALIVE THEN
REMEMBER OF OUR TIME IN HISTORY.
WHAT HA...
WHAT POSSIBLY COULD THEY
REMEMBER?
THEY WOULDN'T REMEMBER EVEN THE
BIGGEST WARS, I DON'T BELIEVE.
THEY CERTAINLY WOULDN'T REMEMBER
THE LOCAL, THE LATEST ELECTIONS
AND THE ELECTION RETURNS.
THEY WOULDN'T REMEMBER MUCH OF
ANYTHING OF OUR SOCIETY 1,000
YEARS FROM NOW.
BUT THERE IS ONE THING I THINK
THEY WOULD REMEMBER:
THEY WOULD REMEMBER THAT WE WERE
THE GENERATION, IN EFFECT, THAT
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE
HISTORY OF THE SPECIES, CREATED
WEALTH OFF THE PLANET.
IN SPACE.
AND EVERY TIME YOU USE AN ATM,
AND EVERY TIME YOU MAKE A PHONE
CALL, AND EVERY TIME YOU TURN ON
TELEVISION, CHANCES ARE YOU'RE
USING THE SATELLITES SOMEWHERE
UP ABOVE EARTH.
AND THAT WILL BE REMEMBERED.
BECAUSE NOBODY IN PREVIOUS HUMAN
HISTORY DID THAT.
AND I BELIEVE THAT WHAT WE'RE
GOING TO SEE IS A TREMENDOUS
EXPLOITATION OF THE, OF THE
HEAVENS, SO TO SPEAK, OF OUTER SPACE.
WE'RE GOING TO
SEE INCREASING PRIVATE
ENTERPRISE ENTERING SPACE, AND
WE CAN SEE ALREADY SOME
BEGINNINGS AS NASA BECOMES TOO
BIG AND, UH...
MORE BUREAUCRATIC.
UM, BUT...
WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE HEAVENS
FILLED WITH SATELLITES THE SIZE
OF YOUR CREDIT CARD.
AND THEY'RE GOING TO BE DOING
ALL KINDS OF THINGS, WHETHER
IT'S FOR THE HEALTH SYSTEM OR
FOR OTHER PARTS OF OUR SOCIETY
AND OTHER PRODUCTS AND SO FORTH,
WE'RE GONNA RELY ON SPACE, I
BELIEVE.
AND SO THAT OF ALL THE THINGS WE
NOW DO, I BELIEVE WE'LL BE
REMEMBERED.
AND THE REST OF US, AND THE
REST OF THINGS WE DO, WILL
PROBABLY FADE FROM HISTORIC
MEMORY.
SO SPACE IS CHANGING, OUR
RELATIONSHIPS TO SPATIAL
RELATIONSHIPS ARE CHANGING, JUST
AS OUR RELATIONSHIPS TO TIME ARE
CHANGING.
AND THEN WE FINALLY COME TO WHAT
IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT
OF THE DEEP FUNDAMENTALS, AT
LEAST MOST IMPORTANT FOR OUR
TIME, AND THAT IS KNOWLEDGE.
KNOWLEDGE IS NOW BEEN CALLED
THE OIL OF THE FUTURE ECONOMY.
THAT IS NOT A GOOD EXAMPLE...
A GOOD COMPARISON.
AND THE REASON FOR THAT...
AND, AND I'LL COME TO WHY IN A
MOMENT.
KNOWLEDGE KNOCKS THE PROPS OUT
FROM UNDER CONVENTIONAL
ECONOMICS.
ECONOMICS HAS BEEN, UH, DEFINED,
UH, ON OCCASION, AS THE SCIENCE
OF THE ALLOCATION OF SCARCE
RESOURCES.
GUESS WHAT?
IF YOU USE UP THE OIL, YOU USE
UP THE OIL.
IF I USE IT, YOU CAN'T USE IT.
IF I USE THE ASSEMBLY LINE
TOMORROW, YOU CAN'T RUN
SOMETHING EELS ON THAT ASSEMBLY
LINE AT THE SAME TIME.
IF I GROW RICE IN MY RICE PATTY,
YOU CAN'T GROW RICE IN THAT
SAME RICE PATTY AT THE SAME
TIME.
BUT IF I USE KNOWLEDGE, YOU CAN
USE THE SAME KNOWLEDGE.
AND WE DON'T USE IT UP.
I CAN USE ARITHMETIC AND YOU CAN
USE ARITHMETIC.
OR SOME HIGHER, UH, MORE
SOPHISTICATED FORM OF KNOWLEDGE.
NOT ONLY THAT, IF WE WORK IT
TOGETHER, WE CAN CREATE MORE.
SO WHAT YOU HAVE IS A
FUNDAMENTAL ECONOMIC RESOURCE
WHICH DOESN'T FIT WITHIN THE
MODEL OF THE ALLOCATION OF
SCARCE RESOURCES.
IT IS NOT A SCARCE RESOURCE.
IT IS, FOR ALL PRACTICAL
PURPOSES, AN INEXHAUSTIBLE
RESOURCE.
THAT CALLS FOR FUNDAMENTAL
CHANGES IN THE WAY WE THINK
ABOUT ECONOMICS.
THE, UH, I SAID THIS, AND
ECONOMISTS
ARE
THINKING
ABOUT THIS.
UM...
WHEN I SAID THAT I CAN'T, YOU
KNOW, YOU CAN'T USE THE SAME
MACHINERY THAT I'M USING AT THE
SAME TIME, THERE IS A
TERMINOLOGY FOR THIS NOW.
ECONOMISTS CALL...
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN WHAT THEY
CALL RIVAL AND NON-RIVAL THINGS.
THE ASSEMBLY LINE IS RIVAL.
IF I USE IT, YOU CAN'T.
THE NON-RIVAL IS INTANGIBLE.
IT'S KNOWLEDGE AND, AND OTHERS
AS WELL.
SO THAT'S ONE FUNDAMENTAL,
FUNDAMENTAL, AND I BELIEVE,
REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE EFFECTING
THE FUTURE OF ECONOMICS AND THE
ECONOMY.
AND I THINK THAT, UM, THERE ARE
MANY, MANY CHARACTERISTICS OF
KNOWLEDGE THAT ABSOLUTELY ESCAPE
THE ABILITY OF CONVENTIONAL
ECONOMICS TO COPE WITH.
AND THAT IS WHY WE WRITE, WE
CALL IT A REVOLUTION, AND WHY WE
THINK THAT WE HAVE TO TAKE A
COMPLETELY FRESH LOOK AT WHAT'S
HAPPENING.
AND, AND BY THE WAY, I DON'T
WANNA LEAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT,
YOU KNOW, WE WRITE THE BOOK AND
NOBODY ELSE IS THINKING ABOUT
THESE THINGS.
LOTS OF ECONOMISTS ARE, KNOW ALL
OF THIS AND ARE WORRIED ABOUT IT
AND THINKING ABOUT IT AND SO ON.
BUT THEY HAVEN'T YET, UM,
OVERCOME, SO TO SPEAK, THE, THE
HABITS OF THE, OF THE...
UH, DISCIPLINE, AND THE KNOWN,
THE KNOWN CONVENTIONAL
KNOWLEDGE.
AND I THINK THAT MUCH OF WHAT
WE'RE TOLD ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON
IN THE ECONOMY, AND AGAIN THE
ISSUE OF THIS COMPANY, IS IT
GOOD, IS IT BAD?
ARE ALL BASED ON, ON ECONOMICS
THAT PRE-DATE THIS KNOWLEDGE
REVOLUTION THAT WE'RE GOING
THROUGH.
BY AND LARGE, BY AND LARGE.
AND EVEN MANY OF THE GREAT
MASTERS OF ECONOMICS, WE STILL
RELY ON THE BIG IDEAS FROM MANY
OF THE MASTERS OF ECONOMICS OF
THE LAST CENTURY OR TWO.
AND THEY, TOO, WERE BASED ON,
UM...
ESSENTIALLY CLOSED SYSTEMS, I
BELIEVE.
SO, AT THESE LEVELS, AT THESE
THREE LEVELS, WE ARE SEEING JUST
EXAMPLES OF THE DEPTH OF CHANGE
THAT IS, UH, TAKING PLACE UNDER
OUR VERY EYES, AND THAT WE DO
NOT YET KNOW HOW TO GET OUR
ARMS AROUND.
IF WE HAD TIME, I COULD...
WELL, I'LL TAKE A CRACK AT
TRYING TO TELL IT VERY, VERY
BRIEFLY.
IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE ARGUE IN
THIS BOOK THAT THE ECONOMY THAT
WE STUDY, THE ECONOMY THAT WE
MEASURE, THE ECONOMY THAT WE
DISCUSS EVERY DAY, AND THE
ECONOMY OF WHICH WE'RE ALL A
PART...
THE MONEY ECONOMY, IS IN FACT
ONLY PART OF THE EMERGENT WEALTH
SYSTEM.
THAT THERE IS, IN ADDITION TO
THAT, THIS ECONOMY, WHICH WE'RE
ALL PART OF, WE SPEND MONEY, WE
BUY, WE PAY, PAY, YOU KNOW, PAY
FOR THE BOOK, OR WHAT HAVE YOU.
ALL DEPENDANT ON MONEY.
MEASURED IN TERMS OF MONEY.
THAT THERE IS A HIDDEN ECONOMY,
VIRTUALLY UN...
UNEXAMINED.
NOT ENTIRELY SO.
BUT BY AND LARGE, WITHOUT
ADEQUATE METRICS AND WE KNOW
VERY LITTLE ABOUT A SECOND
ECONOMY WHICH IS A NON-MONETARY
ECONOMY IN WHICH WEALTH IS
CREATED.
NOT ONLY IS WEALTH CREATED BY US WHEN WE'RE
NOT DOING THINGS FOR MONEY, BUT
WE ARE ALSO BY, EVEN WHEN WE ARE
NOT USING MONEY, WE FREQUENTLY
CREATE VALUE IN THE MONEY
ECONOMY AND, AS, AS...
EVEN, AS I SAID, EVEN THOUGH WE DID IT, WE
DID IT FOR REASONS HAVING
NOTHING TO DO WITH MONEY.
FOR EXAMPLE...
IT'S SOME OBVIOUS EXAMPLES.
THE PEOPLE WHO WENT DOWN TO NEW
ORLEANS OR TO, OR TO ACHE IN
INDONESIA AFTER THE GREAT
DISASTERS TO HELP REBUILD.
THEY CREATE, CREATE VALUE, AN
ECONOMIC VALUE, BUT DIDN'T GET
PAID FOR IT.
THEY WERE VOLUNTEERS.
AND VOLUNTEERS COULD BE LOCAL,
THE LOCAL FIRE FIGHTER, COULD
BE, COULD BE A THOUSAND
DIFFERENT FORMS OF VOLUNTEERING.
SO HERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE
GIVING OF THEMSELVES AND OF
THEIR LABOUR, WITHOUT PAY.
THEY'RE OUTSIDE THE MONETARY
ECONOMY.
AT LEAST, NO DIRECT CONNECTION
TO THE...
BUT NEVERTHELESS, WHAT THEY DO
HAS VALUE FOR THE ECONOMY.
VERY OFTEN.
BUT THAT'S A VERY SIMPLE-MINDED
EXPLANATION OF WHAT I'M TALKING
ABOUT.
WE, HEIDI AND I COINED A WORD IN
THE, IN OUR BOOK
THE THIRD
WAVE
IN 1980.
THE WORD WAS "PRO-SUMER."
AND WE WERE WRITING ABOUT,
ESSENTIALLY, EARLY, IF NOT
PRIMITIVE SOCIETIES.
UH...
THAT EXISTED BEFORE THE MONEY
SYSTEM WAS EVER INVENTED, BEFORE
THERE WAS MONEY.
IN WHICH PEOPLE HAD TO...
IF YOU WANTED TO EAT, YOU GREW
YOUR OWN FOOD.
THEY WHAT THEY THEMSELVES
PRODUCED.
THEY BUILT THEIR OWN SHACK TO
LIVE IN.
THEY SEWED THEIR OWN CLOTHES.
THEY WERE BOTH PRODUCER AND
CONSUMER.
THERE WAS A FUSION OF PRODUCTION
AND CONSUMPTION.
WHAT BROKE THAT FUSION WAS THE
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.
NOW, YOU CAN HAVE A FACTORY IN
(Unclear),
WHERE YOU'RE BUILDING
A CAR, AND I BUY IT IN CALIFORNIA.
I'VE NEVER MET THE PRODUCER, THE
PRODUCER HAS NEVER MET ME.
THE CONSUMER IS NOW SET ASIDE
FROM THE PRODUCER.
THERE IS A GIGANTIC DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THE TWO.
AND THE ASSUMPTION, AGAIN, IN
CONVENTIONAL ECONOMICS IS THAT
THIS IS A NORMAL AND A...
NECESSARY DIVISION.
AND IT WAS ALSO, AT LEAST ON MY
PART AND I THINK OF OTHERS
THINKING ABOUT SUCH THINGS, THE
ASSUMPTION THAT AS...
I DON'T LIKE THE WORD
"PRIMITIVE," I'LL USE
"PRIMITIVE" BECAUSE IT'S
SHORTHAND.
IT'S NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD
WORD.
BUT "PRIMITIVE" SOCIETIES, UM...
RELIED, THEY WERE PRE-MONEY
SOCIETIES, SO TO SPEAK, WOULD
EVENTUALLY BE BROUGHT INTO THE
MONEY SYSTEM, AND THAT...
DOING IT YOURSELF, OR
"PRO-SUMING," CREATING VALUE FOR
YOURSELF OR FOR YOUR FRIENDS OR
WHATEVER, OUTSIDE THE MONEY
SYSTEM, WOULD FADE AWAY.
IT WOULD BECOME LESS AND LESS
IMPORTANT.
AND THE MONEY ECONOMY WOULD
BECOME MORE AND MORE IMPORTANT.
AND THAT HAS INDEED HAPPENED.
EXCEPT THAT...
I BELIEVE WE'RE GOING TO SEE AN
EXPLOSION OF "PRO-SUMER."
ACTIVITY IN WHICH PEOPLE...
AND WE'RE SEEING ALREADY SIGNS
OF THAT.
IN WHICH PEOPLE DO UNPAID WORK
FOR OTHERS, OR UNPAID WORK THAT
THEY GIVE TO OTHERS.
WHO, LEAVE ASIDE VOLUNTEERING.
UH, WHICH IS AN EXAMPLE OF
PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE
DOCTORS WHO GO TO AFRICA WITHOUT
MONEY TO, TO BE GOOD...
CREATE HEALTH AND WEALTH.
UH, BUT...
STOP AND THINK FOR A MINUTE
ABOUT...
COMPUTERS.
SITTING IN A LITTLE, PRESUMABLY,
A LITTLE CUBICLE, IN HIS OFFICE
IN TINY LITTLE FINLAND, WAS A
GUY NAMED LINUS TORVALDS.
AND HE'S WORKING ON A COMPUTER
FOR HIS BOSS.
BUT HE DOESN'T LIKE THE
SOFTWARE, UH, THE OPERATING
SYSTEM.
OF HIS COMPUTER.
AND HE SAYS "I CAN DO BETTER
THAN THAT."
AND SO, AS A...
HOBBY, VIRTUALLY, BUT CERTAINLY
UNPAID, HE SITS DOWN AND TRIES
TO WRITE A BETTER OPERATING
SYSTEM.
AND HE DOES.
AND THEN HE DOES SOMETHING
STRANGE:
HE PUTS IT ON THE WEB.
AND THEN SOMETHING STRANGE
HAPPENS:
A THOUSAND PROGRAMMERS, SOFTWARE
SPECIALISTS AND WRITERS GO ONTO
THAT PROGRAM AND BEGIN TO
ELABORATE IT, BUILD IT, IMPROVE
IT, EXTEND IT.
CREATE NEW FUNCTIONS, ET CETERA,
ET CETERA.
AND OUT COMES SOMETHING CALLED
"LINUX."
WHICH IS NOW, NOW HAS MICROSOFT,
UH, QUAKING IN IT'S BOOTS.
LINUX IS AN EXAMPLE OF VALUE IN
THE MONEY ECONOMY CREATED BY
SOMEBODY WORKING OUTSIDE THE
MONEY ECONOMY.
AND NOT...
AND NOT JUST ONE GUY, BUT A LOT
OF PEOPLE, WORKING OUTSIDE THE
MONEY ECONOMY AND CREATING
VALUE, ECONOMIC VALUE.
TO THE DEGREE THAT CHINA HAS
DEMANDED, OR ISSUED THE RULE
THAT ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
MUST NOW USE LINUX.
NOT MICRO...
IT'S THEIR CHANCE TO...
STIFF MICROSOFT AND TO GIVE THE
FINGER TO THE UNTIED STATES.
SO HERE'S A GUY WITH A HOBBY,
AND IT DOES THAT.
NOW, THERE ARE LOTS OF EXAMPLES OF THAT.
LOTS OF EXAMPLES.
THERE WAS IN HOLLYWOOD...
A, AN AGENT REPRESENTING MUSICAL
STARS, BIG SHOTS, YOU KNOW,
SINGERS AND MUSICIANS.
REALLY TOP NOTCH.
UH, AND HE WAS QUITE SUCCESSFUL.
UH, BUT HE ALSO HAD A HOBBY.
A STRANGE ONE, FOR A GUY, IN
THOSE DAYS.
BUT IT WAS, HE BAKED COOKIES.
HIS AUNT DELLA TAUGHT HIM HOW TO
MAKE TERRIFIC COOKIES.
AND HE GOT IN THE HABIT OF
BEFORE HE WENT TO A MEETING HE'D
BAKE A BAG OF COOKIES AND TAKE
'EM TO THE MEETING.
HAND 'EM OUT.
'COURSE, HE'S SOFTENING THE, THE
OPPOSITION BY FEEDING THEM SOME
SUGAR.
(Chuckling)
BEING NICE AND SO FORTH AND
HAVING A FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE.
BUT THAT'S NOT, THAT'S NOT THE
ISSUE.
HE'D BAKE THESE, AND TO THE
POINT OF WHICH, UH, WHEN HE
ARRIVED, PEOPLE DIDN'T SAY
"HELLO," THEY SAID "WHERE ARE
THE COOKIES?"
OKAY?
UM...
SOMEBODY SAID "THOSE ARE GOOD
ENOUGH.
THOSE ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO SELL!"
AND GUESS WHAT?
IT'S CALLED "FAMOUS AMOS."
AMOS WAS THE GUY WHO DID THIS.
HE STARTED THE HOBBY, OUTSIDE OF
THE MONEY ECONOMY, AND OUTSIDE
THE MARKETPLACE, AND THEN
CREATED SOMETHING THAT WENT INTO
THE MARKETPLACE.
WE CALL THAT IN THIS BOOK
"MARKET-IZATION."
AND ALL KINDS OF THINGS ARE
CREATED OUTSIDE THE MONEY SYSTEM
THAT THEN BECOME PART OF THE
MONEY SYSTEM, MONEY ECONOMY.
AND THE, AND THE REVERSE IS
TRUE.
THINGS HAPPEN IN THE MONEY
ECONOMY, OR I SHOULD SAY EVENTS
OUTSIDE THE MONEY ECONOMY
DE-MARKETIZE SOME PRODUCTS.
THEY KILL SOME PRODUCTS THAT ARE
ALREADY IN THE MARKET SYSTEM.
AND THEY ARE DRAWN OUT.
THAT'S WHAT NAPSTER DID.
NAPSTER SAID, YOU KNOW...
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD, WHAT, 80
MILLION SONGS, OVER 80 MILLION
PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD.
AND THEY TOOK THAT MUSIC OUT OF
THE MONEY ECONOMY, BASICALLY.
AND THERE WERE BILLIONS OF
DOLLARS AT RISK.
SO IT'S HAPPENED...
THE POINT I'M MAKING HERE IS
THAT WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND...
IT'S LIKE A DOCTOR...
WHO LOOKS AT THE, ONLY THE FIRST
LUNG, NOT THE SECOND.
AND YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE
REAL, SO-CALLED "REAL" ECONOMY,
WHICH IS THE MONEY ECONOMY,
WITHOUT ALSO UNDERSTANDING
WHAT'S GOING ON IN THIS OTHER
ECONOMY.
AND WE BELIEVE THAT INSTEAD OF
THIS, UH...
PRO-SUMER ECONOMY DISAPPEARING,
THAT IT'S GOING TO EXPLODE.
WHY?
BECAUSE THE MONEY ECONOMY IS IN
FACT CREATING TOOLS AND
TECHNOLOGIES THAT EMPOWER
PRO-SUMERS TO DO MORE AND MORE
VALUABLE WORK.
TAKE FOR EXAMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY.
UM, WHEN I WAS, WHEN I WAS
YOUNG, IF YOU TOOK PHOTOGRAPHS
OF YOUR KID AND YOU WANTED TO
SHOW THEM TO SOMEBODY, YOU'D
HAVE 'EM DEVELOPED AND PRINTED.
OKAY?
HOW DID YOU DO THAT?
YOU HAD TO SEND 'EM TO KODAK, IN
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK.
AND WHEN YOU WENT TO SOME PICK
UP POINT, THE DRUGSTORE OR
SOMEPLACE, A WEEK LATER, YOU GOT
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS.
BUT NOW YOU HAVE TECHNOLOGY THAT
PUTS THE PHOTOGRAPH AND THE
POWER TO BRING THAT IMAGE OUT,
TO EFFECTIVELY DEVELOP AND PRINT
IT, DIGITALLY, IN YOUR
TELEPHONE, OR IN YOUR COMPUTER.
SO WHAT'S HAPPENED IS, FUNCTIONS
THAT WERE PART OF THE
MARKETPLACE, YOU KNOW, THAT YOU
HAD TO PAY FOR, YOU NOW HAVE
TECHNOLOGY THAT EMPOWERS YOU TO
DO IT YOURSELF.
AND I BELIEVE THAT IN VERY
COMPLEX WAYS, AND IN VERY
SOPHISTICATED WAYS, WE'RE GONNA
DO MORE AND MORE FOR OURSELVES,
USING TOOLS FROM THE MONEY
ECONOMY TO HELP US DO THINGS
OUTSIDE THE MONEY ECONOMY.
AND THAT YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND
THE FUTURE OF WEALTH WITHOUT
RECOGNIZING THE INTERACTIONS
OF THESE TWO SYSTEMS, WHICH I
DON'T BELIEVE ANYBODY HAS LAID
OUT THAT WAY.
AND THAT IS WHY WE SAY WHAT WE
SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT IS NOT
THE ECONOMY, BUT THE WEALTH
SYSTEM.
AND THIS SYSTEM HAS THESE TWO
INTERACTING PARTS.
AND SO, THERE'S A SUM OF THE
IDEAS IN THE BOOK, AND, UM, IF
WE HAD ANOTHER TWO DAYS, I COULD
STAND HERE TALKING ABOUT THE REST.

[Audience laughing]
(Applause)

The clip ends, and Andrew reappears in the studio with a caption that shows his name.

He says THE SHINY NEW WORLD.
WHERE PRO-SUMERS CREATE THE
PRODUCT THEY CONSUME FOR NO OR
LITTLE RECOMPENSE.
TOFFLER COULD'VE MENTIONED Youtube.com.
IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF IT,
IT'S A PLACE WHERE ANYONE,
ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, CAN
UPLOAD VIDEO FOOTAGE OF
ANYTHING.
AT
ANY TIME.
IT BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 15th, 2005,
AND WITHIN SIX MONTHS, THE
COMPANY HAS BEEN ESTIMATED AT
BETWEEN 600 MILLION AND A
BILLION DOLLARS.
AND ALL THEY DO IS HOST A
WEBSITE.
OH, WELL, OKAY, A VERY
BIG
WEBSITE.
THE QUESTION MANY, MANY ARE
THINKING ABOUT IS HOW TO MAKE IT
INTO A MONEY-MAKING MACHINE.
BUSINESS RUNS AT 100 MILES AN
HOUR, CHASING AFTER NEW CASH
COWS, WHILE GOVERNMENT MEANDERS
AT 10 MILES AN HOUR, KEEPING US
SAFE, KIND OF.
SOMEWHAT HEALTHY.
RELATIVELY POTHOLE FREE.
AND...
SORT OF LITERATE.
BUT GOVERNMENT'S SPEED DEPENDS
ON US, THE VOTERS.
AND MANY OF US ARE NOT SO KEEN
ON THINGS CHANGING FASTER THAN
THEY ALREADY ARE.
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN PROGRESS
SEEMED ALL GOOD.
THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING WAS A
PRODUCT OF SUCH AN ERA.
THIS TIMELESS ICON BECAME
SYNONYMOUS WITH THE NOTION OF
THE AMERICAN DREAM, AND IT IS
THE SUBJECT OF MARK KINGWELL'S
LATEST BOOK,
NEAREST THING TO
HEAVEN: THE EMPIRE STATE
BUILDING AND AMERICAN
DREAMS.
HERE'S MARK KINGWELL, FLYING
SOLO ON AMERICA AND IT'S WAYS
THEN AND NOW.

(Dramatic music playing)
(Static buzzing)
(Funk music playing)

An animated clip shows colourful lines waving as a title reads "Flying solo."

A picture shows Mark Kingwell, in his forties, clean-shaven, with short black hair.

A caption reads "Mark Kingwell is a philosopher and cultural theorist. He is also the author of 'Nearest thing to heaven: The Empire State Building and American dreams.'"

In a clip, Mark says IT'S NOT
ANTI-AMERICAN TO BE A CRITIC OF
AMERICA.
UH, IT'S PRO-AMERICAN, IN MY
VIEW.
UM, I LOVE AMERICA, AND I LOVE,
I LOVE THE SYMBOLS OF AMERICA
FOR WHAT THEY SYMBOLIZE.

(Funk music continues)

Fast clips show the Empire State Building in Manhattan on a sunny day.

Mark says THE VERY FIRST
TIME I VISITED THE EMPIRE STATE
BUILDING I WAS AN UNDERGRADUATE
AT UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO AND
I'D...
GONE DOWN TO NEW YORK, UH, WITH
MY THEN GIRLFRIEND ON THE TRAIN,
WHICH IS A LONG, LONG TRAIN RIDE.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Mark Kingwell. Author, 'Nearest thing to heaven.'"

Mark says AND, UH, WE
WERE TRYING TO DO ALL THE NEW
YORK THINGS, ALL THE TOURISTY
THINGS, AND WE WAITED IN THE
LONG LINE, AND WENT UP TO THE
TOP OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
BECAUSE IT WAS THE ROMANTIC
PLACE TO HAVE A KISS IN MANHATTAN.

(Record needle scraping)

Mark continues UNFORTUNATELY,
WE BROKE UP ON THE TRAIN RIDE
BACK TO TORONTO.
IT WAS, UH, ONE OF...
MAYBE THE MOST AWKWARD BREAK
UPS, UH, IN, IN MY OWN
EXPERIENCE, BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE
ON A TRAIN, AFTER THE BREAK UP,
THERE'S NOWHERE TO GO.

(Funk music continues)

Mark continues THERE'S SO
MANY STORIES ABOUT THE EMPIRE
STATE BUILDING'S CONCEPTION THAT
IT ITSELF BECOMES A MYTHOLOGICAL
PROPERTY.
UH...
AND THE PUBLICITY SURROUNDING IT
EVEN AT IT'S VERY, UH,
BEGINNING, WAS SO OVERWHELMING,
IT REALLY WAS PROBABLY...
THE FIRST...
ABSOLUTELY CO-ORDINATED
SUCCESSFUL PR CAMPAIGN IN THE
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND THAT WAS ALL OWING TO AL
SMITH, A FORMER NEW YORK STATE
GOVERNOR, AND FAILED DEMOCRATIC
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WHO, UH,
SPEAR HEADED THE BUILDING.
HE WANTED TO BUILD IT TO STAND
FOR SOMETHING, AND HE MADE EVERY
EFFORT, A HUGELY SUCCESSFUL
EFFORT, IN THE NEWSPAPERS AND
RADIO OF THE DAY, TO PORTRAY THE
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING AS...
UH, AN EXPRESSION OF NEW YORK'S
OPTIMISM.
UH, IT WAS BUILT DURING THE
DEPRESSION, AFTER THE CRASH OF '29.
UH, IT WENT UP IN AMAZING SPEED.

Black and white pictures of construction workers on site flash by.

Mark continues SOMETHING LIKE 18 MONTHS FROM,
FROM START TO FINISH.
THERE WERE MOHAWK, UH, RIVET
CATCHERS AND CONSTRUCTION
WORKERS FROM CANADA.
THERE WERE, UM, ITALIAN, UH,
STONE MASONS AND STEEL, UH,
CONSTRUCTION ARTISTS.
UH, ALL OF THIS LABOUR HAD COME
TOGETHER, AND SMITH PRESENTED IT
TO THE WORLD AS AN EXPRESSION OF
NEW YORK'S GRANDNESS, OF IT'S
ABILITY TO DO ANYTHING UNDER
EVEN THE MOST ADVERSE
CIRCUMSTANCES.
I THINK THAT'S A TRUE STORY IN,
IN MANY WAYS, EVEN THOUGH IT'S
ALSO A MYTH.
BECAUSE ALL OF THOSE THINGS
ARE
TRUE ABOUT THE
BUILDING.
OF COURSE, OTHER THINGS ARE ALSO
TRUE.
IT WAS, UH, IMPOSSIBLE TO
IMAGINE THE BUILDING WITHOUT
THERE BEING IMMENSELY RICH
PEOPLE BEHIND IT.
UH, ESPECIALLY JOHN JAKOB
RASKOB, WHO WAS THE PRINCIPLE
FINANCIER.
UH, SO IT'S NOT REALLY A
DEMOCRATIC STORY, EVEN THOUGH
IT'S PORTRAYED AS ONE.

(Funk music continues)

Mark continues THE AMERICAN DREAM IS, UM...
PROBABLY, ARGUABLY, UM, THE MOST
CONTROVERSIAL PROPERTY IN
AMERICAN CULTURAL HISTORY.
JUST BECAUSE IT IS SO FREQUENTLY INVOKED, AND
IN SO MANY DIFFERENT VERSIONS.
UH, AND I MEAN IT'S MORE
FREQUENTLY INVOKED EVEN THEN THE
NOTION OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, OR
CONSTITUTIONALISM, OR ANY OF
THESE OTHER IDEAS, BECAUSE
THEY'RE FOLDED INTO THE DREAM.
UH, THE CURRENT VERSIONS OF THE DREAM,
THE, THE ONES THAT, UM...
ARE PROMINENT OR ACTIVE IN
AMERICAN CULTURE NOW, AND NOT
JUST AMERICAN CULTURE, EXPORTED
AROUND THE WORLD, TEND TO BE
HYPER-INDIVIDUALISTIC.
UH, AND OFTEN CONSUMERISTIC.
THIS IS NOT NEWS.
WHAT, WHAT MIGHT BE NEWS TO
CONTEMPORARY AUDIENCES IS THAT
EARLIER VERSIONS OF THE DREAM
WERE NOT LIKE THAT.
AND WHEN THE PHRASE "THE
AMERICAN DREAM" WAS COINED IN
THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE 20th
CENTURY, UH, IT WAS NOT
UNDERSTOOD TO BE A TRIUMPH OF
INDIVIDUALISM OVER EVERYTHING.
IT WAS UNDERSTOOD TO BE THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCCESS, YOU
KNOW, THE CREATION OF
OPPORTUNITY.
I THINK THE EMPIRE STATE
BUILDING, UM, CAPTURES OR
EXPRESSES THAT EARLIER VERSION
OF, OF THE AMERICAN DREAM.
UH...
BECAUSE IT WAS REALLY...
OFFERED TO THE CITY AND TO THE
COUNTRY AS AN EXPRESSION OF...
UM...
THE FACT OF OPPORTUNITY.
UH, THAT IT, YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO
BE ANYBODY IN PARTICULAR TO
ASPIRE TO HAVING AN OFFICE IN
THAT BUILDING, THE OFFICE SPACE
WAS NOT EXPENSIVE, IT STILL
ISN'T.
IN FACT, SO INEXPENSIVE IN PART
BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T WANNA RENT
THERE FOR A COMBINATION OF
REASONS.
SO, UM, HAS BEEN LESS THAN FULLY
OCCUPIED FOR MOST OF IT'S LIFE.
UH...
BUT IT WAS OFFERED ALSO TO THE
CITY AS A SYMBOL OF THE CITY
ITSELF SO THAT EVERYBODY COULD
LOOK AT IT AND LIVE WITH IT AND
MAKE IT PART OF THEIR, THEIR
SENSE OF THE CITY, AS GREAT
ICONIC BUILDINGS DO IN ANY CITY.
THEY, THEY DON'T BELONG TO THE
TENANTS, OR EVEN THE, UH,
OWNERS OR CONTROLLERS OF THE
BUILDING.
THEY BELONG TO EVERY SINGLE
CITIZEN.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO ARGUE
THAT WHEN IT'S DOORS OPENED, THE
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING WAS AN
EXPRESSION OF, A RE-INVIGORATION
OF THAT VERSION OF THE AMERICAN
DREAM.
UM, NOT COLLECTIVENESS, EXACTLY,
BECAUSE IT'S STILL ALL ABOUT
INDIVIDUAL EFFORT, UH, AND,
UM...
THE, THE KINDS OF VIRTUES THAT
ARE CHARACTERISTIC OF, UH, THE
EARLY AMERICAN FOUNDERS, THE,
THE, UH, PURITAN VIRTUES THAT,
THAT FRANKLIN AND OTHERS
EXPRESSED.
BUT NOT THE HYPER-INDIVIDUALISM,
AND CERTAINLY NOT THE
HYPER-CONSUMERISM THAT BECOMES A
PATHOLOGICAL VERSION OF THAT LATER ON.

(Funk music playing)

Additional coloured photos of the Empire State Building at night flash by.

Then, Andrew reappears in the studio and says
IF YOU WANNA WATCH A LONGER VERSION OF OUR
INTERVIEW WITH MARK KINGWELL, GO
TO OUR WEBSITE AT www.tvo.org/bigideas.
AND, IF YOU'D LIKE TO RECEIVE A
WEEKLY UPDATE ON WHAT'S GONNA BE
ON OUR PROGRAM, SEND US AN
E-MAIL TO bigideas@tvo.org.
I'M ANDREW MOODIE, SEE YOU
TOMORROW FOR A BRAND NEW EDITION
OF BIG IDEAS AT 4 PM.

[Theme music plays]

The end credits roll.

bigideas@tvo.org

416-484-2746

Big Ideas. Producer, Wodek Szemberg.

Producers, Lara Hindle, Mike Miner, Gregg Thurlbeck.

Logos: Unifor, Canadian Media Guild.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2006, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Alvin Toffler on Revolutionary Wealth