Glasgow, Ky. power chief takes Fortnightly to task.
"The great obstacle of man is the illusion of knowledge," says Daniel Boorstin, distinguished American historian and Librarian of Congress emeritus.
It is what we think we know that keeps us from making progress toward discovering new certainties. The electric utilities of today have a lot in common with the sailors who accompanied Christopher Columbus. They stand on the shores of a new continent gazing into the unexplored wilderness of competition, paralyzed by fear due to their "illusion of knowledge."
When Columbus sailed off on the morning of Aug. 3, 1492, he was discarding the conclusions of the orthodox Christian authorities. After four trips to the New World he died believing he had been exploring the East Coast of Asia. It turns out his main discovery was the discovery of ignorance (em European man's ignorance of the world. The Glasgow Electric Plant Board and several other municipal utilities have embarked on similar voyages of discovery. Old dogma is difficult to overcome, but if all electric utilities pay attention to the main discoveries of these voyages, they can cast off the ignorant ramblings of modern economic and business authorities and discover a new product, infotricity.
Infotricity is the term we have given to the product we have been offering at the EPB. It is a combination of electric power, cable television, telephony and high speed LAN and Internet services. It is a mixture of electrons and bits. It is a complicated and unexpected set of interrelations. It has unimagined consequences and possibilities. It is another New World.