At the beginning of the computer revolution, circa 1985, PC's offered the promise of individual liberty. In the work place, managers could run their own spreadsheets instead of waiting for the mighty MIS (Management Information Services) department to generate a report from the mainframe.
Instead of big, centrally administered computers, we have had millions of independent machines, all doing whatever their owners wanted them to do. This fundamentally changed the balance of power in many a company -- and enabled a headlong rush into general productivity.
When I was in Kindergarten, I got mono (infectious mononucleosis). Twice. This meant that I missed a lot of school. It also meant that I was "sickly."
In my neighborhood, a rough and tumble collection of blue collar families, it was not a good idea to be puny. When I was finally fit enough to go back to school, things were hard twice.
Over a year ago, I auditioned for a part in a play, "Fiddler on the Roof." As I sat in the high school auditorium, waiting for my turn, I suddenly noticed something. I was enjoying myself.
I had, in the days before the audition, spent a lot of time in various public meetings. But this was the first time I noticed the striking similarities between politics and theater. The difference was that in theater, the lines are pretty well written, and the people know they're acting.
It's one of my earliest memories. I was four years old. It was a late summer afternoon, and I was playing in my front yard. By and by, I saw the paper boy approach, and waved at him.
I had always kind of admired our paper boy. His name was Robert Lindbergh. He was about 13, and he lived just down the street from me.