It used to be that nations were more or less successful in their competition with other nations depending upon the quality of their transportation infrastructure.
The nation with the best deep water ports or the most efficient railroads had a competitive advantage over others.
And we began to think of infrastructure in those terms.
After WWII when tens of millions of American families first purchased automobiles.
and thousands of businesses began to rely on trucks every single day.
we quickly found our network of two lane highway to be hopelessly inadequate.
And so we built a network of interstate highways and that contributed enormously to our post war economic dominance of the world.
Today,commerce rolls not just on asphalt highways but along information highways
and tens of millions of American families and businesses now use computers,
and find that the two lane information roads built for telephone service are no longer adequate.
It's not that we have a shortage of information.
Indeed,we often now have a lot more than we know what to do with...
Take just one brief example:the LandSat satellite.
We're trying to understand the global environment,
and the LandSat satellite is capable of taking a complete photograph of the earth surface every eighteen days,
and it's been up there for twenty years.
And yet 95 per cent of all of the images it has made have never been seen by human eyes...
Now,we have an insatiable hunger for knowledge,as we try to find the information we need to solve the challenging problems that confront us.
And yet in many cases the information just sits rotting away unused.