Virtual reality (VR) is the future. The biggest tech businesses in the world say so. Facebook is building the metaverse where you will spend your days with a headset strapped over your eyes and sensors in your clothing, interacting with people and things who aren’t really there. Apple is reported to be planning introduction of a “face computer” in the next year or so – but of course, they were also rumored to have a plan to manufacture cars at one point, so we’ll see.
To these thrilling tech developments, I have just one thing to say. Virtual reality is dumb. Not bad, not destructive – just dumb.Read more
With the goal of leading the upgrading and transformation of industries and the development of digital technology, the Taiwan government is implementing the "Smart City Taiwan Project" through the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The central government, local governments and industries are working together to develop innovative applications in 22 counties and cities across Taiwan in six major areas, including "health," "governance/security," "transportation," "agriculture," "education" and "tourism/retail," through the Public-Private-People Partnership mechanism. Since its inception, the project has yielded fruitful results, with about 300 enterprises participating and developing 223 smart services that benefit 8.54 million people. In addition to solving local problems, the project has also opened up international development opportunities for industry players.Read more
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
If the cliché “Ignorance is Bliss” were true, legal marijuana would go up in smoke. Our ignorance would be sufficient to keep us happily stoned. In our state of Bliss, we would be sublimely governed, assured that our rights were fully secured and knowing that our daily bread would produce loaves plentiful enough for generations. Would World Peace be far behind for dummies and cafones?
But as that bothersomely observant Greek Plato said about ignorance and its consequences, “Those who believe they are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” (Write in your own association to modern times here. _________ I’ll wait.)
One of my heroes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was a sharp observer of the human community. He famously reported on the utter collapse of the family and the coarsening of our social relations. He concluded famously, “We have defined deviancy downward.”Read more
There are three ways a community enters the 21st Century and becomes an Intelligent Community. The first two are like choosing root canal. The third is the option to floss and brush.
Amirzai Sangin, the former Minister of Communications & IT for the Republic of Afghanistan makes an exclusive appearance at the ICF Summit on Thursday. Mr. Sangin was ICF’s Visionary of the Year in 2006 and has written a new book about his experiences in Afghanistan.
One: A region, community or an entire nation can swerve with near fatal consequences and smack into its moment of truth. It there meets the realities and requirements of the digital age. It is dragged out and hopefully recovers enough to be dragged in to the right lane. This collision often is the result of a total economic or social collapse caused by a tsunami. History does not always signal when it changes lanes. So the local industry begins to fade into the dusty pages of economic history without much warning. More often than not a company or a cluster of them, those upon which prosperity had been built, chases after some hot little trophy city in the Sunbelt. Or sails off to a country in Asia where the workers are still climbing toward the middle class and willing to work for unthinkably low wages. In this case, the community is in desperate shape and reaches out like a man caught swimming in a riptide. The good news is that if you do not panic and go laterally for a while, you can get out of a riptide.Read more
What do Intelligent Communities know that others do not? The Answer: Epistemic Humility.
I know. It’s cryptic. I’ll explain later.Read more
US President Biden has proposed a $109 billion, 10-year American Families Plan that seeks to build an economy that does more for working people and less for people who live on the returns from their investments. One part of the plan would fund free 2-year community college tuition for all students. In response, a recent article in The New York Times sets out to answer the question, “Does Free College Work?”
It’s a very American question, by the way, because our friends in Europe and other regions have been receiving largely free higher education for decades. Setting that aside, the article is worth reading for two reasons.Read more
This open letter was written to the communities around the world that make up our network.
Dear Friends and Members of the Intelligent Community Network,
One of the strengths of community is the ability to bond and support one another, especially in times of challenge, crisis or good fortune. As you are aware from your own experience the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought hardship to most places and is one of the most difficult public health challenges in a century. Most of you have been managing well and using the principles to keep your family and friends safe. Today, I am writing to you because one of our Intelligent Communities has found itself struggling with COVID.Read more
Will you be living on an Intelligent Street?
In a post Covid world I anticipate a much different respect for the hyper-local aspects of communities than we exhibited before the pandemic. Over the time we stayed closer to our homes we discovered our neighborhoods, local markets and restaurants and the street in front of our homes. We got to know our neighbors, the local store clerks, and our postal service delivery representatives. I am certain that once we feel confident to once again travel further than our neighborhoods, we will explore cities, regions and international destinations once again.Read more
“Our police are more trusted in our republic than our president.”
Here’s a “pop” quiz: name the source of that quote.
Hint: It does not come from an authoritarian leader of a country. Nor does it come from the United States in 2021.
It comes from representatives of the world’s most Intelligent Community: Tallinn, Estonia. It is part of a new podcast series that is my attempt to begin to get to the raw, poignant and seemingly intractable issues our communities continue to grapple with in this Era of COVID.