Appreciate this insight:
"The information revolution is not radically different from previous revolutions. The Internet has had its boom and crash, and there is no reason to suppose that history will be negated: Full use of the technology will arrive eventually. It always has. But this will require that the technology become workable for the user, and that businesses re-architect themselves to make use of it. This will happen gradually during the next 10 to 20 years as the missing components of the technology's use structure are put in place. In this buildout, the technologies that will matter most, that will determine the pace, are the ones I am calling arrangements-of-use. If there is one difference with this revolution, however, it is that it won't end when we have blanketed the country with optical cable or have teraflop processors. Information technology morphs every 10 years or so, so that what we thought defined the information revolution -- batch processing, desktop computing, Web-based interconnection -- is continually superceded by something new. What lies ahead can never be fully foreseen. This means that we can expect more innovation in this buildout phase than with previous revolutions. But during the next few years, at least, what will drive the buildout is something at once silent and unremarkable: the quiet, inexorable interconnection of business and the slow appearance of Web-based services that digitization provides.
How fast can the information technology economy come back? I don't know. The economy is quiet now, gestating a new phase. What I do know is that when that new phase comes forth, it will be a giant.
--W. Brian Arthur is Citibank Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. His website is www.santafe.edu/arthur.
5:39:51 PM comment