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the farm and moved men from the craft shop into the factory assembly line, so cybernation reduces the monotonous repetitious jobs and forces men toward work of higher levels requiring more and more training. This means that the ranks of the lesser educated labor pool, which traditionally has been tapped last by the labor market, will probably grow in the coming years. In addition, cybernation will increasingly reach up into the ranks of the educated and specially trained to replace them, reduce their working hours, force earlier retirement or retraining in another field.
The effects of this displacement will be many, but foremost among them will be tremendous demands on education, increased leisure, and perhaps some remarkable changes in economic and social values. Let me comment briefly on these, starting with the last two.
Today in the Western World, and particularly in the U.S., we are living in an Affluent Society, in an era of abundance. Our productivity in this country has reached the point where, in some areas of the economy, creating needs is more of a job than filling them. Yet while we build up a glut of goods for private consumption and create new markets to create more sales, more profits and more production, we do not keep the same pace in fulfilling social needs—in the building of schools and hospitals, better housing and cities, and in the building of better lives and more opportunities for those who for a number of reasons still live only on the fringes of the Affluent Society.
Today we are witnessing an increasing awareness of the discrepancies in our society and the broad social needs of our country. Such things as growing crime, pollution, and other stresses and strains of modern life are making us realize more and more that “the pursuit of happiness" must involve far more than just the growth of our Gross National Product.
With the coming Cybernetic Revolution we will probably be forced to a more rational approach in setting up national goals and promoting the welfare of the individual within the total framework of society. Part of this will come about because of what many people now fear—a large increase in productivity by fewer and fewer workers.
The time may someday come when the computer will enable the production of enough consumer products and the performance of enough individual services so quickly and efficiently that it may require little if any sacrifice to perform the additional work necessary to achieve most of our desired social goals. Cybernation will, of course, also be effective in this area, and enhance its productivity as well.
It is difficult to believe that with these possibilities at hand we in the United States would not pursue an economic and social program designed to provide all citizens of our country with the benefits of an abundant society. I would hope that similar action would take place on an international scale-action through which the wealthier and more technologically advanced nations would make a great concerted effort to raise the living standard of the developing countries and see them on the road to a self-sustaining growth. Such action is almost essential to true world peace. As P. M. Blackett. President of the Royal Society, pointed out at the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the gap between the rich and poor nations of the world is everwidening and an intolerable situation will arise if we do not begin to close this gap.
Eventually, in the era of abundance we are seeking, many new economic and social phenomena will take place. No one will be deprived of the means to an adequate income and, above this, there will be many incentives for creativity and productivity on numerous scales. Probably the highest status and rewards will not come from money or material possessions. Their value will some day become almost meaningless. In this regard, it is interesting to recall what the great economist, John Maynard Keynes, wrote in his 1932 “Essays in Persuasion." Keynes said this: “When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of highest values.”
During the transition to a social millenium, which I do not claim to be just around the corner, a radical change in man's relationship to work would take place and the growth of leisure time would pose new problems to be solved. Let us take a brief look into these ideas next.
Work has always been central to mankind's existence. It is so much a part of most cultures that its virtue has been written into the religious scriptures, extolled in the folklore and become a psychological necessity as well as a physical one. In the past, work has naturally been tied directly to productivity and for centuries the majority of men could see, feel, wear, use or eat the products of their labor. The growth of the industrial society soon began to change that until a great many of us can no longer directly equate our labor with real products, and fewer and fewer of us are concerned with the production of the basic necessities of life. In addition, the concept of “the dignity of work” today is related mainly to the necessity of earning a living. It has been said that if we were to poll people at work today we could easily verify that many derive very little satisfaction from their job, that most of them would prefer doing something else. It is also apparent from the activities and attitudes of many of our young people that we cannot supply them with work which is meaningful enough to satisfy their sense of worth and successfully employ their physical and emotional energy. Yet we still extol work as it exists today and strongly hold to a notion of a man's worth being related primarily to his work output. This is an idea that cybernation is bound to alter—perhaps slowly at first but eventually drastically.
Our ideas on leisure will also change. Most people today do not recognize the true value of leisure. Some of them are so conditioned to their daily work routine that they refer to their free time as “time to kill.” But leisure can and should be a treasured commodity, and throughout history there are many examples of it as a highly creative force. Many of our greatest inventions and scientific concepts were arrived at during moments of leisure, some springing actually from playthings. A little leisure has always been treasured and there have been societies in which certain men and women lived in almost complete leisure, though at the expense of others' labor. But the idea of almost an entire civilization living in even relative leisure is beyond the comprehension of many of us, and still frowned upon by most others.
“Idle hands are the devil's workshop" we are told by those who see only disaster in mass leisure. That is because they see leisure only as idleness, unemployment, vegetative loafing or a prelude to restlessness leading in turn to a venting of energies in aggression and destruction. I do not doubt that if today we were to have sudden massive leisure--let's still call it "unemployment”-that all the horrors these people envision would come true. As A. R. Martin, Chairman of the American Psychiatric Association Committee on Leisure Time and Its Use, has stated, “We must face the fact that the great majority of our people are not emotionally or psychologically ready for free time." I might add that we are not educated for it either, and I will return to that point later. But it is a failure of imagination to believe that a transition to the Cybernetic Age cannot be made in which leisure can become central to man's existence and his greatest blessing. And we are going to have to prepare eventually, and perhaps sooner than we think, to handle in a meaningful, creative way, the growing leisure that is bound to evolve.
Consider for a moment the growth and scope of cybernation, the work it will be able to do. Consider that in 1960 there were about 300 areas of application for computers, in 1961 over 500 areas and today over 1,000 areas. Consider the huge influx of young people looking for gainful employment. Consider the reduction in work hours and the lowering of retirement age with a longer, more active, life-span. Consider that computers are already being designed to program other computers. And consider Norbert Weiner's statement that the computer is a slave and those who would compete with slaves accept the conditions of slavery. Then ask yourselves whether the time is not coming, or at hand, when we must reconsider our attitudes toward leisure and develop bold new concepts in preparing to handle it on a massive scale.
A civilization equipped and educated to live in an era of relative leisure can be a new Golden Age-one without a slave base, other than those mechanical and cybernetic slaves produced by the ingenuity of a higher level of man. Such an age does not have to be, as a few predict, a civilization of drugged, purposeless people controlled by a small elite. But it could tragically become that if we did nothing but let ourselves be swept along by some of the forces in motion today.
Throughout most of this discussion I have charted a somewhat utopian course, or at least made many references to one. Now, in conclusion, let me be quite realistic as I turn to the one force which I believe can do most to help us under
stand ourselves and our society and help to create and fulfill the highest goals which a Cybernetic Revolution might offer. I believe that force is education and that the university should play a leading role in shaping the Cybernetic Revolution, even more than it has in the shaping of the Scientific Revolution of recent decades.
Jerome B. Wiesner has stated that “Society is a Learning Machine,” and that we receive feedback from the economy in the form of business success or failure, unemployment, crime, social problems, etc. He sees the computer as an instrument which can help us to forecast, and give us lead time to handle, trends which could otherwise lead to catastrophe. But even without the help of the computer there are some trends today which we, as a nation, can recognize as we read our daily newspapers, our magazines and book, listen to our radios and watch television. Among these, I believe, are an increasing uneasiness about the state of our personal and community lives in a highly materialistic society, a concern over the individual's role in the growing complexity and impersonalization of that society, a groping for “national purpose,” and a feeling that the unity of man, referred to by poets and philosophers throughout the ages, is becoming a reality with immense psychological and physical implications.
To me these feelings forecast the need for a huge reevaluation of our goals and values, and it will be in our universities where such a reevaluation will take place. Perhaps its seeds have already been sown in the current unrest and activities on the campuses of many of our universities. From this reevaluation, from the debates and soul-searching which take place, will evolve both a new understanding and reinforcement of those old ideals which are still valid, and new ideals and goals. Together they may provide us with something like a comprehensive philosophy of life to match the physical unity of mankind rapidly being fostered by today's science and technology.
As Sir Julian Huxley points out in his recent article "The Crisis in Man's Destiny,” some of the self-limiting and even self-destructive trends of today are moving mankind into a new stage of human advance. I believe this is true to the extent that we may be about to witness, possibly within the next decade or two, the equivalent of a new “human breakthrough”—an advance to a new stage of social development, and hence human development, brought about by our reaction to today's trends. This might be the beginning of a dramatic evolutionary change in which Konrad Lorenz's “intraspecific aggression" among man almost disappears and he is united to find a new harmony within himself and with the nature of his planet.
In such a development the university, the greatest depository and dispenser of mans' knowledge, should play a major role. In fact, I can see no other institution more logically equipped to be the central force in this evolutionary process, to develop, refine and pass on to the new generations a new heritage of a higher level of mankind.
But to carry out such a monumental task, many changes will probably have to take place in the universities and our educational system in general. Let me briefly project a few thoughts in this area.
As the result of the explosion of scientific and technical knowledge of the past few decades we are reaching new heights of specialization. There is no doubt that this trend is going to continue for some time, although computers are going to be extremely useful in reducing duplication of work and making specialization more manageable. But we are also recognizing more and more today a tremendous need for interdisciplinary thinking—not only in science and technology, but in all areas of our economic, social and human development. Specialization has been giving us knowledge, but the world cries out today for more of something beyond knowledge-for wisdom. And this can better be achieved by the more interdisciplinary approach, the "systems approach," to dealing with our world and our lives. A shift in emphasis in our education will therefore be necessary toward bigger, broader thinking and action on a similar scale.
Most of today's schools and universities are involved to a great degree in serving the requirements of an industrial age, in fulfilling the needs of a society which has been only partly and indirectly of their making. In the future I think this role will shift to where the nature of society is determined more by the thinking of the university, and in which the industrial community will tend to serve goals created by that thinking. This is not to say that in the future the nation and the world will be under the leadership of a handful of college professors. I think even the academic community would view this prospect with liorror. What I look for from the universities is the development of an educa
tion which turns out individuals of the highest intellect and broadest outlook, able to understand man and machine and live creatively with both. Such an education could not be expected in a four year curriculum or even a six or eight year one. It would start as early as the beginning of school or sooner and involve continuing education of one type or another throughout a person's lifetime. And as Robert Theobald indicates, education in the age of the Cybernetic Revolution would not be directed toward "earning a living" but toward “total living."
This is a big order involving imagination, energy and bold leadership from the academic world. But the time is certainly at hand for such leadership.
The coming Cybernetic Revolution which calls forth these new goals for education will also give education valuable new tools and technologies for pursuing them. The computer will make knowledge more accessible. It will perform miracles in compiling, organizing and analyzing information. It should link the knowledge of the world's libraries and depositories of information into networks responding like a giant brain. And it should put at the fingertips of anyone who wishes to be a modern-day Faust all the knowledge he desires without selling his soul to the Devil.
I mentioned previously that we are not educated today to handle the growing amount of free time which the coming age will make available to us. The new goals of education should help prepare us to make the most of this new leisure.
As some point in time education and our new experience with cybernation will have entirely changed our current thinking about leisure and work. The distinction between them will almost have vanished. Work-if we still wish to call it that will then involve physical, intellectual and artistic accomplishment, but mainly for pleasure.
With the growing use of computers to "shrink" time, we will eliminate what might be called “the whip of time” and thus considerably reduce ulcers and the need for tranquilizers. Some will say that as all this happens human incentives will diminish and we will completely stagnate. I don't believe this will happen at all. New incentives will arise as man moves up to higher levels of needs. The quest for new knowledge will always grow. The domain of science is practically boundless. We are only beginning our adventures in space and we will still have a long way to go in understanding many things about this planet and the life
Much has been said about the impersonalization caused by the growth of machines, but as a result of this growth I can see a new and better relationship arising among men. If in the past we have spent most of our time working with machines, serving and being served by them, naturally we feel a sense of isolation and alienation among them. But when machines have truly freed us from the necessity of work, perhaps we can better accept them for what they are and have the time to see and relate to other people in a different light. When we have more time to be with other people-not accidentally, on crowded buses, in elevators, in markets and offices—but in places of our own choosing at our own leisure, we may feel differently toward one another. When we are less likely to be in competition with one another, much of the hyprocrisy of society will vanish and more honest relationships will be formed. (When we do not have to worry about “keeping up with the Joneses” we might discover that the Joneses possess something far more valuable than their house, cars, and wall-to-wall carpet.) And finally, when we can walk down the street-anywhere in the world-in a community free from want, where every human being has a sense of dignity not gained at the expense of others, we might not only walk free from fear but with a great feeling of exaltation,
If we can make the transition of living with and using the complex machines of the future in a human-oriented society, the rewards will be worth any effort we can make. As everyone knows, such a transition will not be easy, as it involves so much of what Eric Hoffer calls "The Ordeal of Change.” But I think we will have to make such a transition eventually. We may have already begun to do so.
In speaking to you today on this subject of so many diverse implications, I have covered only a small area of the ground to be considered. And certainly I have brought up many more questions than I have answered. But if I have stimulated any new thinking, opened any minds to more of the possibilities and the problems we may face in the age of the Cybernetic Revolution, I will have considered my approach successful.
It has been a pleasure and honor to help you celebrate the Centennial of Howard University. It is on the campus of universities such as this—throughout the United States and around the world—that we will forge the new ideas and ideals necessary to further the course of humanity. If it is true that man is now "inventing the future," let us make the universities of the world the workshops of human ingenuity. And let us see that the tools we fashion are those which will serve the highest purpose of man. The time to do all this is not when “the Crisis of Modern Technology” begins to overwhelm us. The time is now.
[From the New York Times, Aug. 1 1966) COMPUTER PLAN FOR PERSONAL 'DOSSIERS' IN SANTA CLARA STIRS FEARS OF
INVASION OF PRIVACY
(By Lawrence E. Davies) SAN JOSE, CALIF., July 31.-Many residents of the big, rapidly growing Santa Clara County will find their names indexed within the next year in a centralized computer system, which will provide at least sketchy information in personal "dossiers" to authorized inquirers in seconds or minutes.
As the county of nearly one million residents goes into "computer government to save paper work, manpower and dollars, some officials themselves have raised questions about "invasion of privacy" and the concept of a close watch on activi. ties of individuals "by big brother."
These doubts have been dissolved in some instances by assurances of county spokesmen that confidential information would continue to be protected. Nevertheless there remains concern in some quarters over the system's potential misuse despite safeguards.
These fears were reflected last week at hearings conducted in Washington by a special subcommittee of the House Operations Committee on invasion of privacy.
One of the proposals under attack was that of the Budget Bureau for a National Data Center. Under the plan 20 Federal departments and agencies now guarding their own data would make this available to a centralized computer for use by these agencies.
Representative Cornelius F. Gallagher, Democrat of New Jersey, the subcommittee chairman, said the pooled information could include data on a person's education, grades, credit rating, income, military service, employment and almost anything else, all wrapped in one package.
The alphabetical persons index record in the Santa Clara system, dubbed LOGIC for Local Government Information Control will include the following data : name, alias, Social Security number, address, birth record, driver's license data, vehicle license number, position if a county employe, and other data if the subject has been involved with the Welfare or Health Departments, the District Attorney, adult or juvenile probation, sheriff, court and so on.
Also included would be his voter and jury status and property holdings.
Howard W. Campen, the County Executive, has made a number of speeches in which he referred to the personal "dossiers" and the speed with which they could be made available to persons entitled to the information.
After one such talk Clarence Wadleigh, of Palo Alto, a graduate student in education at Stanford University, who has familiarized himself with some aspects of the computer program, wrote to The Palo Alto Times of his fears about the system's potential.
“Unlimited capacity for information storage combined with instantaneous retrieval,” Mr. Wadleigh stated, "would seem almost irresistable temptation to ‘record' more than is warranted and 'retrieve' for unethical and/or illegal purposes. The toy could easily become a monster."
Mr. Wadleigh said yesterday that he was still concerned that “many people out there are saying, 'We're going to have to build a case against somebody in the future, let's start building his history now.'
He called for "some kind of reviewing system to be set up to see what kind of information is programmed.”
Newton R. Holcomb, Assistant County Executive, Robert R. Sorensen, director of the county's General Services Agency, and Thomas Johnson, data processing systems programmer, all have asserted in interviews that the computer would be programmed for limited access.