Collaboration, Funding, Leadership

Collaboration: Because complex technology requires and creates complex societies.

Simple technologies create simple societies. As technology grows steadily more sophisticated, as more and more specialists are required to make the society run, as more and more knowledge is needed to operate, support, and update complex technologies, so then must society become increasingly sophisticated. Part of this move to complexity is an ever increasing need for groups to cooperate, collaborate, and communicate. The societal networks, social, business, educational, governmental, it all becomes an increasingly intricate meshwork.

The industrial society that we are leaving behind was complex, much more sophisticated than the agricultural society it supplanted. New kinds of relationships had to be invented, and new technologies had to be created to handle the need for greater interaction. As we shift to the next level of societal complexity, we find ourselves faced with the need to create ever wider coalitions, with ever more sophisticated collaborations. That is where we stand today in every facet of our society. Our small world of blind rehabilitation, and our even smaller world of wayfinding specialists, is confronted with the need for wider, deeper, and more numerous networks; we have to increase our communication capacity, globalize our relationships, and bring more diverse members into our fold. We even have to create new kinds of specialists and new kinds of institutions to allow our disciplines to move beyond the industrial infrastructure.

Funding: Money all over the place, huge amounts- so it is a matter of cultural priority; either you have the integrity as a society or you don't.

Just look around. An NBA coach gets 40 million to sign with a new team. A football player refuses to report to training camp because the team is only offering him 64 million over the next six years. NASA sends a space probe to Saturn for a cool 3 billion. One million on advertising for the 2004 presidential campaign. A billion a month to fight the latest war. Does anyone have $3,000 to give a blind kid a vision substitution device?


Don't make the case that we haven't the money to spend on wayfinding technologies. Give me a break.

Leadership: If we don't lead, no one is waiting in the wings to do it- the global picture is bleak and requires medical intervention; rehabilitation is a weak second cousin.