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Information Technology and Social Progress

However, Joel Kotkin argues that we have already begun along the road that could lead to an approximation of the time travelers disturbing observations. He argues that technological innovations now enable people to "trade commodities, bits, bytes, or software programs" from rural, scenic areas. Kotkin argues this fundamental difference from the past allows the rich to become more removed from and indifferent to the plight of the lower classes. And he fears such an occurrence could have serious consequences for society as a whole.

Kotkin cites Bob Metcalfe as an example of the new breed of wealth. He argues that Metcalfe helped invent the intricate interconnectivity that underpins this newly itinerant life of the technological elite while working at Xerox in Palo Alto, California. Currently, from his farmhouse in Maine, "armed with his Apple PowerBook with a DSL modem running at 320 kilobits per second," Metcalfe uses this technology to stay in touch with the world's dataflows. However, although Kotkin notes that Metcalfe has remained close to his roots as the product of working-class family, the new world Metcalfe inhabits is not noted for its diversity.

Specifically, demographer William Frey notes that the places being inhabited by this new breed of the technological elite are "the most white-dominated parts of the country." For example, he points out that 90 percent of the residents of Utah are Anglos, compare


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Information Technology and Social Progress. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:03, October 22, 2014, from
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