2. Editor's Note

Any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke

It is becoming difficult to draw a sharp division between telecommunications and telepathy. If the latter is the transfer of thought, rather than feeling, from one mind to another, the convolution of telecommunications and information technologies is about to achieve the same objective. Composers already create polyphonic works without requiring a single bar to be performed by live musicians. Cinecasts can make professional videos in home basement studios. In both cases, what was only an idea in a creative mind takes shape in electronic space and becomes observable form, which millions can enjoy. The obedient electrons can then be entrusted with the transport of such creations to any place on the globe, even beyond, at unimaginable "speed of light" -- already becoming something of a commonplace. In addition, the deceivingly fragile form can outlive any stone masonry or bronze of previous ages and, true to its democratic (mass market) aspirations -- can be multiplied at will. Once "digitized", it is virtually imperishable.

Few are the visionaries who have been able to foresee such developments. A recent news item tells of Jules Verne's just discovered and published work (Paris in the 20th Century) in which Verne apparently foresaw the advent of the facsimile (the term he actually used). Sir Arthur Clarke predicted the use for telecommunications of satellites orbiting at the speed of the rotation of the earth (the "geostationary" or "geosynchronous" orbits). Today, most of the communication satellites in existence are so many speckles of dust in the "Clarke belt" over the equator.

A small paperback I just bought from a used-book store, contains some interesting thoughts about the uses of interactive television in education. I-TV is currently all the rage on US campuses. But my paperback is based on a lecture delivered by the late R. Buckminster Fuller in 1961 (See Education Automation, Anchor, 1962). Now, that's foresight!

This issue of GLOSAS News pays tribute to a man who put his vision into practice. Through boundless personal energy, single minded determination, and very few other resources, Dr. Takeshi ("Tak") Utsumi has been working on his vision of a Global University for over two decades. And the effort is beginning to pay off. The last "Global Lecture Hall" (GLH)(TM) multimedia teleconference -- despite unavoidable glitches -- has evoked lavish and well deserved praise from all observers. I have reviewed the video a number of times, always discovering something new, missed during previous viewing. Tak's voluminous report is a tour de force in itself. The event was followed by another successful mini-teleconference with Moscow, using CU-SeeMe only. Then, on November 1st, Tak accepted the highest accolade in distance education -- the Lord Perry Award -- and joined the company of such men of vision as Arthur C. Clark. The award was given by Lord Perry himself. More about all of this below. Congratulations Tak! Now, what are you going to do for an encore?!

This is our last issue for 1994, thus completing our fourth volume and year of operation. I am beginning to feel that a few changes might be in order. Firstly, I am increasingly inclined to think that a shorter, more frequent and less formal newsletter might be more appropriate. Secondly, I would like to broaden the scope of the publication by including any subject of relevance to teleconferencing, particularly the desktop variety. What do you think? A questionnaire to this effect will be circulated shortly. Please help us by answering the questions and returning the questionnaire. I thank you in advance. Happy Holidays! - A. L.

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URL: http://library.fortlewis.edu/~instruct/glosas/edit43.htm

December 1994

GLOSAS NEWS was orinally posted to the WWW at URL: http://library.fortlewis.edu/~instruct/glosas/cont.htm by Tina Evans Greenwood, Library Instruction Coordinator, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado 81301, e-mail: greenwood_t@fortlewis.edu, and last updated May 7, 1999. By her permission the whole Website has been archived here at the University of Tennessee server directory of GLOSAS Chair Dr. Takeshi Utsumi from July 10, 2000 by Steve McCarty in Japan.