There's a lot of hype and blather about the future of the infothirdwave and the like, and I find it embarrassing to be thought to be on the same page with some of the people I see and hear, so perhaps it's worth making a couple of points.

There's no pie in the sky, we've checked. "Utopia" is a word that means "Noplace", and that's where to look for it. Electronic information technology is very powerful, but like all power in human hands, it can and will be used for good and evil, and it will bring both costs and benefits. Childless myself, I marvel at my philoprogenitive friends and the price they pay in time, energy, and worry for what they assure me is a treasure of immense value: human beings do that all the time, juggle costs and benefits, and pay large costs to get large benefits. If resourceful use of electronic technology can make, say, a 2% difference for the better in doing my job, I'm going to be delighted, and I'm likely to experience that as a massive benefit. But when I go around bleating about how wonderful it all is, there are going to be other people who look at me the way I look at my pram-pushing friends -- where does he find the time? There short answer is that, for the things you really want to do, time is an infinitely distensible medium, and for the things you really don't want to do, there's never enough time. So it goes.

But we humans don't express very well these nuanced balances of cost and benefit, of hope and restraint. I like a little piece of text I found on the net and brought home with me one night, a little jeu d'esprit by a senior scholar at the University of Nebraska, Stephen Hilliard, originally delivered at a conference on the e-future. He strikes me as a man who knows his way around the temple of Janus, a useful skill for us all.