SCENE: Walll Street, – 1983. A group of protesters – young activists from Slough Fnakes, Vermont – chant slogans in front of the Motorola headquasrters building, wielding protest signs; “Keep Cell Phones Democratic!”, “What do we want? Cell Neutrality. When do we want it? Now!” and “Car Phones are a Public Utility”. After a few moments, Ashton LIBRELLE climbs up on the soapbox.
LIBRELLE: What we seek is car phone neutrality. We demand that the government treat car phones and suitcase phones as the public utility they truly are. That way, in thirty years, your children will be able to buy a mobile phone like this (LIBRELLE holds up a 1984 Motoirola cell phone – the size of at World War II walkie talkie, that cost $10,000 in 2017 dollars plus $1,000 a month and $4 a minute for talk times) – and their children, and their children’s children, as long as Motorola remains unchallenged atop the car phone industry. Nobody will be able, using just more money, to buy a better phone!
(Hank MERG chimes in): But if you treat the budding cellular communiations industry like a utility, there’ll be no impetus for someone like, say, Steve Jobs or Victor Droid, to respond to the market demand and build device that, before long, will not only do everything the phone your holding does thousands of times better, but do it for about one percent of the inllation adjusted cost. Indeed, in 24 years, I predict that non-profits will be giving away phones that are millions of times more powerful per dollar, and criminals will buy them to use once and throw away!.
LIBRELLE: (Scoffing as the young people fromSlough Fnakes laugh uproariously) Oh, it is to laugh! The idea that phones will be a commodity, like Pet Rocks, or that technology will ever surpass what we see in front of us! No, indeed; let us regulate car and suitcase phones like utilities, that they may ever be as successful as the public education system!
(The crowd erupts)_.