31 March 2005

Lessons Await You

The Jenius Says: I know you are busy, and even if You aren't, you'll say You are because peer pressure is a bitch. Nonetheless, take 15 Minutes of Your Time to read this Wired Magazine article.

THINK about it. LEARN from it. It will help Us generate a Better Conversation. The Jenius will even help You learn with a snippet from said article:

"Why don't you have a PowerPoint display?" he asked.

"PowerPoint is a distraction," Cristian replied. "People use it when they don't know what to say."

"And you know what to say?"

"Yes, sir."

Aaaah, Truths that thrill The Jenius' oft-rumored heart. Now read!

The Jenius Has Spoken.

30 March 2005

The Role of Money

The Jenius Says: Having discussed the Roles of Private Industry, Education, Government and the Internet Society, as well as My Own, should the Discussion move on? Indubitably, for We have not yet covered the Role of Money.

Oh, yes, it is implied in the first three Roles, pursued like a starving coyote by the fourth and not-as-abundant-as-desired in the Fifth. Money indeed makes the world go round, as in fuel for the engine. As fuel, it can be replaced with less-tangible substitutes, but for what money does well, few things can match.

So, what do we do about money? Ask, plead, beg, suck up, cater to and whimper like beaten dogs to Our government? The Jenius would rather have them set on fire and tossed into a Saudi oilwell. No, the solution is much better: We create it.

Now please, no counterfeiting. Of money or concepts. We can create money if we get off of Our needy-greedy-feedmefree butts and actually engage Our brains to make positive things happen.

Is it easy? Of course not. Is Our Island ready for such mental productions? Yes. And No. Yes, We have the talent. No, We don't care to support, sustain or reward it.

So, how then, can The Jenius proclaim with such lordly manner that We create money if the "terrain" be not fertile? Because We have NO choice. Either We do it, or We continue to fight like rabid rats over the pathetic scraps tossed in Our midst. Either We seek a united effort, for a greater Goal, or We watch as some of Us depart, some of Us desist and the rest, dumber or more determined, stay in the fray whose value now lies more in entertainment of the unwholesome kind than as economic engine.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

29 March 2005

Online or Flatline?

The Jenius concludes His excerpting of "Puerto Rico: Online or Flatline." Please hold Your Applause until the final phrase, edited to take advantage of this Most Jenial Forum:

Nothing was ever achieved without an idea, and sustained economic growth at any level requires systematization and profitability. But the fundamental change here is the transference of productivity, the core processes that foment economic growth, from the physical realm to the intangible one of information and knowledge. This change is what has transformed the actuality and future of a global economy. We are now linked by data and information flowing continuously. We continue harvesting, mining, building (with information and on it): The terms are the same and the basic functions they conceptualize remain almost intact. The difference is the exponential power of its output.

Imagine a contest where many aggressive teams are studded with unevenly large numbers of players, irregularly armed with enormous mechanized weapons that require constantly massive levels of fueling and repairs, playing on a battlefield that is uneven, broken and highly-contested. Let loose a tiny team, on foot, upon that field, with old second-hand weapons in poor shape. Allow them no safe havens, no means of defense from the potential chaos around them.

Watch them. Watch as they react to the overwhelming confusion with despair, hopelessness, single-minded focus on just one action they can control (such as polishing their useless weapon, tallying up the wounded or watching some other team play) or to some, answering the atavistic need to survive by seeking to ally themselves with any other team. To go it alone, the tiny team must spend most of its time assessing and pondering rather than taking action. Mistakes are deadly; success is quickly swept away. The rules make the game more difficult, more restrictive, often apparently favoring the larger teams and the better weapons. The battle, as such, never changes, and if it does, it is to become bloodier.

New game. Open field. Any number of players on any number of teams with any number of tools, because the teams and players and tools can change hands. No one trades weapons: Tools are traded to accomplish creation. Safe havens wherever you want them. New rules expanding the playing field are required. Teams can grow big, but in an ever-widening playground, big is relative. The contest shifts from high ground to low ground to canyons to new ground, but because everyone fits on this field, there is no permanent advantage. Everyone has the newest tools they can muster and many have tools no one has ever seen. The game, the field, the tools and the players are infinitely malleable and capable of infinite combinations. Winning is no longer a matter of being last: It is a matter of being first.

Is this allegory a paean to idealism? Is the “knowledge economy” the ultimate expression of human potential? By no means. And is it idealistic to point out real-world examples, such as Apple, Dell, Java, Linux, Microsoft, Netscape and so many others that follow the pattern of “one idea, supported by a few individuals, achieving critical mass in short time and becoming a major success”?

The system, under any of its names, is by no means perfect. And yet, the powerful potential it has shown and continues to promise far outweighs the risk, and in fact, the only risk one cannot overcome is ignoring the change. Clinging, for whatever reason, to the out-dated notions of an economy ruled by dimishing resources, lorded over by the illusion that “bigger is better”, paralyzed by the perception that “we can’t do that here” or unable to see the widening expanses of opportunities because one is caught up in a small cloud of pettifoggery, is the biggest mistake one can make, whether individual or nation. To engage in that mistake now is debilitating: To continue in it will be fatal.

It is not my nature to be pessimistic and much less a doomsayer. To add anything to the many cries of “Wolf!” and “The sky is falling!” that bombard us almost daily is not one of my life goals. Plus, we have enough on our collective plate as it is. What I do strive for and want to accomplish is to convey the idea, the deep sense, that we can make a difference, right now. That we can take control over matters that were formerly out of our grasp and that by doing so, we can substantially change our future’s outlook.

And because “can” implies choice, to urge us to choose.

Data is not information. Data is isolated fact. Information is data in a conceptual framework. One can be give data and information. But knowledge requires personal investment. Unlike data and information, the transformation to knowledge cannot be given, it is an active process that can only be completed by choice.

The knowledge economy is thus based on choice. A person, company or nation chooses to belong to it and chooses to acquire the skills needed to compete in it and profit from it. It is one’s choice what to focus on and in what way. One can choose to modify or innovate, create or destroy, expand or supplant. And it is a matter of choice when one decides to act within the knowledge economy. And of all of the choices, it is precisely "when" that has the greatest pressure attached to it. And the greatest pressure of all is the decision when to commit to it.

For an individual, the decision may have no time limit. The knowledge economy does not change everything, and there will be, ostensibly, plenty of ways for people to earn their living that have nothing or very little to do with the use of abundant information flow. However, society will remain competitive, monetary success will still be tied to competitiveness and to be competitive will increasingly require greater tools for acquiring and creating knowledge.

For companies, the decision has an ever-decreasing time limit. The countdown is not yet at zero, but it can be measured in “hours” not “days”. As with individuals, some companies may never need to commit, but those will be very few and will occupy their naturally small niches based primarily on physical talent and unique, personalized production.

But at the state and national level, the countdown is now in “minutes,” if not “seconds.” This is mainly because of the nature of government: Due to its size and excessive complexity, a government is slow to adapt and change. In general terms, governments rarely lead economic change, preferring a stabilized status quo. But economic change does not mature or become sustainable without significant changes in Puerto Rico's government (preferably by choice rather than force.)

If we are to achieve our most promising future, the process must begin now. We are not too late. But we will be, if we choose to let others, far less capable and far less interested in our future, choose for us.

There you have it. The Jenius Has Spoken.

28 March 2005

Brilliance Continued

The Jenius continues His Quest of providing a framework for a multi-level Conversation on the Development of the Internet in Puerto Rico. Why? Because Somebody has to. Now, many of you might think that The Jenius espouses these viewpoints as The Ultimate Answer. They. Are. Not. They are points for consideration, starting points for a Conversation that is long overdue.

Here is the First Part of the opening of "Puerto Rico: Online or Flatline." The Second Part is due tomorrow. At that point, the basis for the Conversation will be set. The Jenius will continue to do His Part: It IS expected that You do Yours.

When muscles moved the economy, individual efforts produced individual results.

When mechanical machines started to move the economy, group efforts produced supra-group results.

When information processing machines started to move the economy, individual efforts could then produce supra-group results.

Whether we call it the New Economy, the Knowledge Economy or the Information Society, the basic fact remains: The economic bases have been radically altered.

The global economy created by the Internet and massive data-processing power has shifted the fundamental perceptions of resources and labor, and thus the allocation of capital. Whereas once it was scarcity of resources that underlay economic theories, now it is the abundance of knowledge resources that drives (or should drive) economic thought. Where labor was considered a restricted resource, by dint of limits imposed by location, now labor based on knowledge resources can be bartered, traded and sold globally.

The combination of abundance and labor fluidity also changes the way capital is invested. Instead of being tied down to physical constraints, capital now has the freedom to follow idea trails. As with all freedom, there are elements of risk and uncertainty that are not present in restricted situations (we’ve seen some of that in the past four years), but the potential for growth, truly explosive growth, has been demonstrated amply over the past decade at the corporate and national levels.

The exponential effects of knowledge have also changed the mechanics and balance of previous economic thought. In simplified form, for muscle or group power to make a huge impact requires an inordinately massive effort; for information power, making a huge impact is often the result of just one idea. The value of ideas has not changed. What has changed is the speed of implementation and dissemination. When information is made abundant by highly-connected channels, while knowledge workers and other resources are available from across the globe and capital can be attached within days instead of months, then an idea can be conceived, polished, planned, financed, communicated and improved in a fraction of the time it takes to plow the north forty or build a factory. Speed is the by-product of the knowledge economy. It is also the vital motivator.

To build an agrarian economy required a huge source of natural resources, either land, animal or vegetable. Barring that, you could use mineral wealth to arm a powerful group of warriors and just go in and take what you wanted.

To build an industrial economy, you had to have an abundance of at least a handful of natural resources and the wherewithal to secure their complements, either with abundant trade or conquering zeal.

To build a knowledge economy requires one abundant resource: minds. And for once, Puerto Rico is rich in the resources that builds powerful economies.

Throughout our history, Puerto Rico’s small island, with no great quantity of exportable resources and distant location from traditional economic centers has been externally limited in terms of economic growth. It was only when a heavy infusion of monies and resources from outside the Island were brought together in Operation Boostrap (1950s and 1960s) that Puerto Rico blossomed.

But the past three decades have seen a dramatic slowdown, if not a reversal, of the growth rate achieved. It is most evident in the social trend known as “brain drain”, where well-prepared professionals tend to leave Puerto Rico to work primarily in the United States.

It is commonly known that money, in terms of income, is a great motivating factor. And yet, time and again, surveys show that money alone is not a primary factor in job and/or career choices, lagging consistently behind a sense of satisfaction, challenge, potential for growth and comfort as key factors. With its restricted economy, Puerto Rico could not offer enough of these conditions to satisfy the ever-increasing number of professionals.

That was then.

The knowledge economy has opened the door for Puerto Rico to leap into the global economy on equal footing with the rest of the world. Size no longer matters (in this case.)

The change brought on by the knowledge economy is that the translation of physical raw materials to finished products is not the economic engine of the present or future: It is the proces of converting ideas into profitable systems. Data and information are the mother lode; knowledge mining is the process.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

25 March 2005

Private Industry's Role

Hot on the heels of two fascinating posts comes the third installment excerpted from The Jenius' "Puerto Rico: Online or Flatline." It is here where the rubber meets the road and thus We are the Leaders of Puerto Rico's transition into a global Knowledge Economy player.

Read on. Agree with Me and tell Me I'm Wonderful. Disagree with Me, be cogent about it and then tell Me I'm Wonderful. Either way, We exchange Knowledge. Funny how simple that is and yet, We choose to avoid it.

The implementation of information in the knowledge economy is in the hands of private enterprise. Though there are elements in private enterprise that contribute to infrastructure and education, the bulk of private enterprise can look outward to create and secure niches in the global economy. Doing so requires a visionary shift and the support of Government (in Puerto Rico's case), along with a tighter partnership with Education.

The Government’s strongest contribution to private enterprise would be focusing all economic incentives to support knowledge economy growth. In its simplest form, this would mean avoiding Internet taxation. Whether this requires lack of action or defensive action against a currently-improbable Federal level of taxation, a tax-free Internet sales base is the strongest public platform a nation can provide.

Anticipating a blanket reaction, “incentives for the knowledge economy” does not mean short-changing any other economic sector. The tendency to react defensively first, second and third amongst business people in Puerto Rico can be sidestepped by making evident that knowledge management, the focused and creative harnessing of these new economic tools, is a benefit to all businesses. No need to force businesses to see this: The development of incentives and successful companies will lead them to the promised land.

In general terms, companies will divide themselves into three large groups:

1) Those that create knowledge – Research and Development

2) Those that inject knowledge into markets – Infomediaries

3) Those that do both.

It makes sense to try having most of the local companies be of Type #3, but these are, obviously, the hardest type to establish. It is appropriate to aim at this (and emulate the ones we have) while pragmatically pursuing the growth of the other two types.

Type #2 is the most common. Their primary profit basis is fairly simple to explain: Too much information and too little time. In an economy of abundance, the only scarcity is attention. Whether it is organizing, describing or filtering information, infomediaries seek to simplify chaos. No matter how many cultural differences there might be amongst a global population, the basic characteristics of human understanding are almost identical: visual access dominates, simplicity reigns supreme, basic needs being met is very valuable, cheaper is better and consistency rules over irregularities.

A key component of developing a productive and profitable knowledge economy is having a strong Research and Development sector. As an outgrowth of an educational system, an R&D sector does more than provide a workshop for college graduates: it fuses business and academia into a powerful, synergistic unity. Where business is pragmatic and profitable, academia is idealistic and iconoclastic. The combination is vital to success in the knowledge economy for change is constant and the horizon constantly shifts; academia has traditionally shown itself to be a better “lookout”. Business is obviously more concerned with “now”, and has shown itself to be a better “guard,” because if “now” is not profitable, “later” is severely jeapordized.

Fusing both is the key component of most economic development plans and there is no reason for Puerto Rico to buck the trend. What does slow down the process is continuing to believe that “corridors”, “alleys” or “broom closets” (okay, I made that last one up) are physical constructs, that a “cluster” is a bunch of building sharing the same large acreage. As much as humans still feel the need to interact in “meatspace”, the bulk of development in “industry centers” occurs from interconnectivity based on goals, markets and processes, and most of the results occur outside the cluster areas. It makes sense: there’s simply more world outside a cluster than in.

Puerto Rico’s size and digital infrastructure lends itself very well to create an entire “Silicon Island.” With a small leap in imagination, “Island” can become “World.” And that’s where Puerto Rico can choose to go.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

24 March 2005

Education's Role

After yesterday's brilliant posting on the Government's Role as defined in My scintillating "Puerto Rico: Online or Flatline" essay, The Jenius now presents Part II, Education's Role:

Closely related and central in the overall transition to a knowledge economy is Education, the department and concept. And here, the realistic approach leads to having the focus be on information management as the guiding concept. As already discussed, knowledge requires an active process that takes data, places it into context and extracts basic principles and new relationships. Both of these end results have their own processes and they date back to antiquity:

The derivation of basic principles from a body of information is called logic.

The discovery of new relationships in information is called science.

I have deliberately chosen simplistic definitions to prove a point: Neither of these words is bandied about very much in any discussion of current curricula. And yet these are exactly the words that should be at the forefront of educational reform.

For decades, we have tolerated an educational system that rewards short-term memory while punishing (or severely condemning) creativity and curiosity. Our students are force-fed data and they essentially spew it back on test day. “Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico during his second voyage in 1493.” That’s probably known by almost everyone who went to school in Puerto Rico. Now here’s the defining difference: Why?

Why did Columbus discover Puerto Rico in 1493 and not 1492? Why did Columbus make the trip in 1492 and not, say, 1489? And wasn’t Columbus Italian? Why did he “discover” the “New World” for Spain? When it comes to “who, what, when and where”, our students may not be well-served, but they are at least covered. But when it comes to “how and why”, the heart of knowledge, our students are left out in the cold. Of what use is it to be filled with data that loses its meaning once the test is handed in? What is missing?

The ability to see and evaluate relationships. We have taught our students almost in a vacuum and deprived them of the one basic tool they all need, by focusing on:

“So-and-so was born in this year.”
“Such-and-such happened on such date.”
“So-and-so did this.”
“Do it this way because this is the way it will appear on the test.”
“It’s in the book.” (Most of which are outdated and mediocre.)

Without the ability to see and evaluate relationships there can be no truly smooth path to learning. Without it, we have the familiar spectacle of students “cramming”, and those with less energy, memory or scruples spend more time finding ways to cheat than it would take them to actually learn the material. The ability to learn, to be autodidactic, to essentially be able to teach one’s self, is not an ability our educational system fosters. And self-learning is exactly the ability needed to step into the global knowledge economy.

It starts in childhood with logic and science. If this sounds difficult it’s because our system has shied away from it and created a bugaboo where none should exist. (Parenthetically, do bugaboos need to exist anywhere?) Logic has the power to derive sense from confusion, to pierce through the haze of excess and derive the basic laws of the situation and to correlate whether they are applicable to others. Science is the process of observation, accumulation (of data), hypothesis and testing, repeated until a solidly reliable result is obtained. Science derives its power from the systematic search for relationships and lest one think solely of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics, everything we learn from infancy onward is a process of establishing relationships between concepts. And logic is nothing but a rigurous application of what we often call “common sense.”

But just as unrefined ore is largely dirt and unannealed iron is useful only as a paperweight, our basic thought processes also need to be refined. That is the task of the educational system, and not at the end, at the postgraduate level, but from the beginning. Furthermore, this is not such a surprising suggestion given that one of the most frequent (and annoying) questions toddlers and pre-schoolers ask is “Why?”

A core curriculum that places greater emphasis on logic and science automatically enhances all other subjects. It makes the study of history come alive, as events cease to be isolated and become part of an unending stream. It improves the ability to study and learn languages because words must be used to define, delineate and discuss concepts. And it makes the study of arts a requirement, one that resides well-supported by the context of learning rather than living as it presently does on the farthest fringe of education, a sort of recess/policy-whim hybrid that benefits no one and may actually be desensitizing our youth to the power of arts.

But to teach basic tools is not enough. What is needed in the knowledge economy is not just “more tools,” but “unique tools.” With the global information flow creating a figuratively level playing field, it is creativity, the ability to see things differently, that has the power and potential to make an enormous impact. Paints, brushes and canvas in my hands are most likely wasted; in the hands of Picasso, they are worth more than gold.

Creativity is not “automatic”, though everyone has it. It emerges as a process of exploration and it reaches full maturity through identity and expression. Expression is easily accomplished, provided one finds the materials and opportunities to do so. But identity, a sense of self that transcends ego, that needs to be nurtured. To have everyone’s identity molded to the same consistency is folly: It drastically reduces the potential for mass creativity, a requirement for national impact on the global economy. (This is not a contradiction of my “power of the individual” stance: “National” impact is the result of multiple individual impacts feeding off of each other.) But even a molded identity is better than no identity. And without an educational system that teaches one about his or her nation’s identity, one is left in a different, possibly more damaging, vacuum.

An education in national identity is not a negation of other national identies: It is the birth of learning more about the world and the peoples within it. If you know who you are, other people and places are adventures; when you don’t know who you are, other people and places are threats. To be Puerto Rican is a unique identity, one we have very little knowledge about. Enhancing our national identity along with a focus on logic and sciences, aside from the basic individual good it provides, also leads to bottom-line economic benefits:

Greater bilingual fluency in the two languages that dominate the Internet.

A unique bicultural viewpoint capable of bridging a hemisphere and reaching across the globe.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

23 March 2005

The Government's Role

Back in 2002, I wrote an essay entitled "Puerto Rico: Online or Flatline." In it I discussed Puerto Rico's need to aggressively move online to become a serious force in the global economy. Part of the essay has suggestions for roles to be played by government, education and private industry. Here's the excerpt on what the Government of Puerto Rico should be doing to move us online before the world leaves Us to flatline:

As much as I advocate a separation of State and Economy equal to that separating Church and State, the realistic approach in Puerto Rico is to allow for heavy government involvement in the local economy. The difference will be in the type of participation it will have. Government’s role in this transition to the knowledge economy is that of facilitating information flow.

By choosing this focus, the Government of Puerto Rico can take advantage of two characteristics:

1) The populace expects the Government to provide a large degree of support.

2) It allows the Government to focus on aspects within its control and outside of the corporate realm.

Although the other steps outlined within also include Government participation to varying degrees, the key element is the focus on improving information flow. The first and most obvious realm for that focus is to extend and fully establish the Government’s own intranet.

At present, the gobierno.pr intranet (though it is designed for and does offer public access, I use the term intranet to designate a full inter-agency network) has a widely-divergent level of quality, with some Agency sites close to making full use of the Internet’s interactive qualities and some sites being little more than electronic flyers. And then there are those institutions, such as the House of Representatives, that as of the date of this writing, have no website at all.

With a focus on improving information flow and beginning with its own agencies, the Government will gain needed experience about the power and potential of knowledge economy infrastructure as well as establish the basis for a full-fledged e-government initiative for all Puerto Ricans. The obvious benefits of an intranet—such as, reduced operational costs, increased data mining and enhanced information management—will pave the way for a new level of citizen-level and corporate-level services.

To carry out this series of tasks and retain focus, I suggest the creation of a Cabinet position along the lines of Great Britain’s “E-Envoy”. This position, reporting directly to the Office of the Prime Minister, has the goal of spearheading England’s governmental efforts to not only improve its own electronic infrastructure, but to educate Her Majesty’s officials in its nuances and help mold the country into a global e-commerce powerhouse. This Office of E-Envoy was established in 1999 and is well on its way to achieving its stated goals. (Note: It surpassed its goals for 2005 in early 2004.)

In Puerto Rico, such an office would also consolidate the many different efforts, but one key condition must be observed: With the possible exception of the Envoy himself or herself, all other personnel must be drawn from within the Government. The level of acceptance and overall change is greatly reduced if effort is perceived as an “outsider’s” imposition and there really should be no problem in having all agencies provide one or more senior-level employees to help coordinate integration.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

22 March 2005


My good friend/father-figure (hahahahaha) Herman left a comment well-worth reading. He and I discussed the "Statelessness of the Internet in Puerto Rico" for hours over a two-year period, with increasing levels of frustration. Because I know he'll be around to add his 2 trillion cents to The Conversation, I'll focus on one aspect of his remarks: the "Internet Society" of Puerto Rico.

I had never joined a professional group until the ISOC came around. I was asked to join and be a Founding Member by the first President, Ramón Morales. Thrilled at the prospect of a leadership group doing its job, I said yes.

And in less than five months, I was disgusted. Instead of leadership, the ISOCPR ["I Suck (at) P(ublic) R(elations)"] turned into an incestuous client-grubbing swamp so much like other "business organizations" in Puerto Rico. (Centro Unido de Detallistas, anyone?) The leadership vacuum started with the Executive Board (or whatever they called themselves) and never developed even a snowball's-chance-in-hell of fulfilling a leadership role for the Internet in Puerto Rico.

What should they have done? The Jenius Knows:

1) Create an "Internet Vision for Puerto Rico," a document that clearly establishes what the Island needs to do to take its rightful place as a key player in the global economy. Only through the Internet could that be possible.

2) Determine the proper roles for key players in that development, such as government, private industry and education and TEACH power-brokers in each area how to make their roles successful.

3) Educate the population as a whole on the benefits of the Internet and seek methods to bridge the "technology divide" that goes so much deeper than mere economics.

4) By having an overarching Vision and Mission, the ISOCPR could thus create a community bonded by TRUST--TRUST, people--united in building a future, fusing the amazing talent base We have into a knowledge engine very few countries in the world could hope to match.

Ya think I'm joking? Here's a Nugget of Information for you: Puerto Ricans are UNIQUELY poised to be one of the greatest contributors to the Knowledge Economy of the 21st Century and beyond. This is not wishful thinking: it is Fact. And I'll put My money where My mouth is anywhere, anytime.

More than I can say for the ISOCPR, that's for sure.

Is there hope? There's always Hope whenever The Jenius is involved...and you, and you and you and even you over there spamming like a 12-letter word (if you rise from the sewer to join We The People.)

The Jenius Has Spoken.

21 March 2005

Let's Get It On

Here's a Simple Truth: Unless we start a multi-layered conversation about the Internet in Puerto Rico, we're doomed to inhabit the backwaters of the global economy.

Why? You tell Me. I have My reasons and they are quite substantial. You have Yours and they might disagree with Mine. However, if You don't agree with the Inherent Truth of My opening statement, then You are wrong, Your intelligence is suspect and Your feet smell bad.

Here's another Simple Truth: The Internet is and will be what We make of it. If We are dissatisfied with what it is up to this point, it is nobody's fault but Our own.

I'll grant that there are some major obstacles: politicians, PRTC/Verizon and the feebs that run key government agencies such as PRIDCO and the Economic Development Bank come to mind. But the fact is, none of those people know beans about the Internet (compared to Us) and should have been outmaneuvered, outsmarted and outcast years ago. That they are still obstacles is primarily Our fault.

We don't talk very much to each other.

We act like the 98% of the industry that isn't a direct, close ally is an enemy. We fight over tiny crumbs of an illusively small pie instead of fusing ideas to make a bigger pie.

We let loudmouth incompetents trumpet their crabbed little views of what the Internet is to the masses instead of stomping them flat like the vermin they are.

We act like We're so superior to the ignorati and wallow in futility when in fact they hold the power We so desperately seek.

We can't be bothered to "demean" Ourselves to mere selling, but when We're given the chance to make a dent in the general apathy of the masses, We limit ourselves to crappy sales pitches.

We settle for aping rather than innovation.

We believe the Internet is as important to "them" as it is to Us, ignoring the fact that "they" rely on Us to give them reasons to care for it and We don't give them any that are truly convincing.

We are soooo smart, so why are We soooo screwed? You tell Me. You have to. The Internet is a dialogue--not a monologue--so speak up!

The Jenius Has Spoken.