close this bookVolume 6: No. 21
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A 1990 report from Stanford's Center for Economic Policy Research says that it takes 1-2 generations for a fundamental new technology to mature and assimilate, and that the greatest benefits start coming about 2/3 through the transition. General economic performance and prosperity plunge during the first half of the maturation period. Futurist David Pearce Snyder says that the big payoff in computing will begin in the next 5-10 years. [The Futurist, 3/96, p. 8. Innovation, 3/5/96. NewtNews.] (The Stanford report is "Computer and Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox in a Not Too Distant Mirror.")

The number of telecommuters may go from 10M last year to 30M by the year 2000. Telecommuters are 15%-20% more productive, on average, but it can take up to 18 months to adjust. Virtual workers (?) may also need technical support 24-hours-a-day, plus quick maintenance support. [IW, 1/22/96, p. 32. Network News, 2/10/96.]

There's a new book out on "The Rise and Resurrection of the American Programmer." Twice as many programmers are employed in the US as in Japan, and US productivity is high. A Czech computer expert says, "By relying on sophisticated tools, Americans have shifted the competitive arena from sweat labor to imaginative design." [WSJ, 3/12/96, A3. EDUPAGE.] (So, what sophisticated tools have we mastered?)