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The Information Revolution: Open to Everyone

By Jill Lang
For Ligature.com
April, 1998

APPLETON -- No special training or knowledge of computers is needed to participate in the information revolution, just the willingness to learn and be part of the changes the revolution is sure to bring.

That's what Tay Vaughan, a noted computer and multimedia expert said Sunday in Appleton. Vaughan, visiting the area from California, said computers and technology will help to change the world rapidly in the coming decades.

"We are inventing the future," he said. "It's profound; it's important what's going on now. (This revolution) will turn our whole way of life upside down in the next 50 years."

Vaughan's presentation, before a small but attentive crowd of 30 people, took place in Appleton's circa 1838 Union Meeting House on East Sennebec Road.

The presentation was sponsored by the town's library and historical society.

Vaughan, 53, is the author of several multimedia books and has developed and produced award-winning projects for clients including Apple, Lotus, Microsoft, Novell and Sun.

Vaughan is president of Timestream, Inc., a multimedia production and Web development company in Oakland, Calif.

Vaughan came to Appleton by way of his interest in his own genealogy and the Internet. While researching here last summer, he met a member of the Appleton Historical Society.

The two struck up an email correspondence and Vaughan returned Sunday for the presentation in Appleton.

Vaughan painted a picture of a very different world in the future, thanks to computers and the way they will fit into all our lives. He said, for example, that the Internet, through computers and interactive television, may well replace books and newspapers in the next century.

Of the 280 million people in America, Vaughan said, only 57 million have computers today. But that will change along with everything else.

Most important, he said, is that our children -- the future generations that are part of the Revolution -- are prepared for life with computers.

One of the downsides to the Information Revolution is the conflict it will cause between countries that have citizens able to participate and those poorer countries that do not, said Vaughan.

But here in America, there is plenty of opportunity for anyone with a computer to make a difference, he said. "We can all make a contribution."

He concluded: "The next 10 to 20 years will blow everyone away. The next 100 years will be so different we can't even draw a picture (of it)."

April 29, 1998
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Note:
During the decade following Tay Vaughan's Appleton presentation, Camden-based Ligature.com evolved into VillageSoup.com.