Communications is the new frontier. Newspapers are being converted from print to internet. Huge amounts of money are wasted through lack of standardization, redundancy, and difficulty in querying and finding data. We need to standardize not just electronic medical records, to prevent duplicating services and errors, but also utility bills, credit card bills, contracts, court records, prison and jail records, government forms and records, and any communications which are fundamental, frequent, and subject to privacy and security concerns.
Elderly and disabled persons often have difficulty in the area of communications. Changing the format of utility bills causes a problem. Difficult to read credit card bills causes chaos. Incomprehensible contracts are a disaster. Difficult to read and fill-out forms deny access.
National security is highly dependent on communications – on the battle front, for homeland security, to prevent terrorist attacks, to prevent crime. However the privacy concerns are huge. Intelligence may sometimes compromise privacy. How do we balance these?
Information technology is poorly understood by most Americans. We need increased education in this area.
Mediation, debate, giving and following instructions, about almost anything are necessary skills in society. How can we increase our skills as a nation in this area?
I feel a cabinet level position is warranted to help us move from the paper age to the digital age, just as we have moving from the agricultural age to the industrial age, and have entered the computer/internet age. Laws must be reviewed and new laws implemented regarding this new frontier. Careful thought must be given to implementing incentives that enhance are goals and principles. Communications in this new age cannot be without strings attached, just as one cannot shout “fire” in a movie theatre.
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