Review: The Future and Its Enemies–The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress

4 Star, Change & Innovation, Consciousness & Social IQ, Democracy, Future

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4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom without Restraint–Please Don't Eat the Daisies,

February 27, 2002
Virginia Postrel
This is a quick read, in part because it is a series of essays that are loosely connected. It is a reasoned attack on both government regulation and imposed technical standards. To the extent that it seems to deny the value of any standards, any oversight, any structure, it is unreasonable.Indeed, while I whole-heartedly agreed that government regulation has gotten completely out of control, I am much more concerned about corporate corruption (Enron simply being the latest case), and so I would say this book is valuable and worth reading but it is missing the bridge chapter to “what next?”

However, I like the book and I recommend it. Its value was driven home to me by an unrelated anecdote, the tales from South Korea of my data recovery expert. Bottom line: they are so far ahead of the United States, with 92% wireless penetration in urban areas, and free-flowing video and television on every hand-held communications-computing device, in part because they have not screwed up the bandwidth allocations and reservations as badly as we have. I was especially inspired by the thought that we should no longer reserve entire swaths of bandwidth for the exclusive use of the military or other government functions–let them learn how to operate in the real world rather than their artificial construct of reserved preference.

The book is well footnoted but the index is marginal–largely an index of names rather than ideas.

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