The Potential of Networking

(Computers as Information Exchange Systems,
Updates: April, 1995 / August 1997)

(Let us project our imaginations, the year is 1995 ......... )

We now take you to a world that has implemented the plan outlined from the San Francisco networking meeting discussed in Part III. Not only does San Francisco have such a computer information system but many other major cities in the United States and Canada do too! Other key members connected to the system include Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver, Winnepeg, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Iowa City, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Detroit, Ft.Wayne, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Cinncinnati, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Toronto, Montreal, Tampa, Miami, Anchorage, Honolulu, etc ... All in all, over 200 cities are participating. Each city has a local computer that contains the bulletin board and database directory plus other various types of information. There are thousands or people using the system daily. The next item for discussion is the structure of this computer networking system. Also, how it works and some of the services that it will provide. If you will focus your attention on the diagram A below, we will begin.


Future Vision of the
New Age Computer Network System

Note: The Switching System (WAN - Wide Area Network) can be located in any location. The cities listed here are only samples which show that any city in the U.S. (or in the world) can be linked into the network (which we have called NA NET).

The central circle where all lines connect, represents the master computer. Its purpose is to allow information to flow from one city to another, no matter from where you are connected. The outer circles represent the local computer systems. The local systems will store all different types of information about the geographic region it portrays. The inner circle depicts the computer and the spokes of the wheel and shaded region are what I call the sphere of influence. In other words, what cities/suburbs are covered by this local computer. The master computer ( the center of the Switching System shown as the WAN in the diagram above) can be located anywhere in the country (or the world).


Symbolic Diagram of
New Age Computer Network Growth

As the spheres of influence grow, cities that are close together like Milwaukee and Chicago depicted in Diagram B above, will eventually touch and that whole region will be covered by the two computer systems. Each person who uses this computer network will be registered on one of the local computers. Since all local computers are intertwined with the master computer, a person may get on to any local computer. All that must be done is to signal the computer that you are listed on another local computer.

Some of the services this type of computer system can provide include the ability for one to store their own personal directory. Through the special editing programs, the directory can be modified in any way. You can add new names, delete old ones or if someone moves, just change their address. Your revised list would be stored which you could print at any time to share with a friend or just review it when you enter the system. Entry to the computer system would be through computer terminals. Either you would have one of your own and by dailing the phone number of the system, receiving the audio tone, connecting the modem to the phone which connects your terminal to the system, you are on. Or, there may be some centrally located places that would be directly connected to the computer via terminal. The computer could provide storage of manuscripts, letters, reports or any written material. Again you would always have the ability to change this information. Another feature that would be available is mail boxes. Just like the type of mail boxes we are used to at home. A place to store messages that others would like to send us, or you would like to send to them. You can send messages to just one person or a specific group of people. When you enter the system, generally it will give you a message if your mail box is occupied. Of course, there are a tremendous amount of other services the computer can provide but for the next portion of this section, we will only consider these tools for networking.

OK! Now we shall consider how a networker, one Joshua, could use such a system in his networking travels. Joshua's home base is Chicago and he is listed on the local computer system there. He has just been invited to be a speaker on networking in Virginia and decides he will pass through several cities on the way such as: Grand Rapids / Ann Arbor / Detroit - MICH; Fort Wayne-IND; Cleveland-OH; Pittsburgh / Philadelphia-PA; New York City-NY, Baltimore-MD and Washington-D.C. Using his own modem and terminal, he dials the telephone number of the local Chicago network system and hooks into the system. The computer recognizes him as a local user and immediately gives him access. First he checks his own personal directory to see if he has any contacts for hospitality in those cities. He discovers that in Fort Wayne, Cleveland and, Pittsburgh he hasn't done his homework. Then he asks the computer to give him a list of the local networkers and contact people who offer hospitality in those cities. The Chicago computer asks the master computer to secure the information requested from the other three local computers and pass it on to Chicago. The time for this request will only take a minute or two. Then Joshua checks to see if these individuals are registered on their respective computers and have mail boxes. The ones who do, he sends a message about his trip, asks for any assistance and leaves his mailbox number for a possible response. However, even more fascinating, if any of these individuals were on the computer system at this time, he could just speak directly to them through the terminal. This is known as interactive conversations. To the contacts he already knows, he sends similar information to their mail boxes.

When it is time to leave, he checks his mail box to see what instructions were left by his contact in his first port of call, Grand Rapids. He acknowledges the messages and packs the tools of his trade including his modem and terminal so he may access other local computers during the trip. Every morning he pops on the system to see if any of his messages have been answered. Also, while he is visiting, he looks at the local bulletin boards to see what,kinds of activities are going on or services being offered. Maybe there is an interesting speaker in town or a special workshop or even, a party of New Age people. To do this type of work on the computer only takes a few minutes. Another thing he might do while on the system is update his personal directory if he met any new people. Sometimes when a networker travels he discovers a wonderful event that is going to be held. Through this system he could alert other local/national networkers to the activity. For example, lets say the A.R.E. group decided to host a national spiritual conference in New York City. Joshua quickly gets on the system and puts out a message to all networkers who can relay it to others they know.

After three weeks of traveling, meeting exciting Aquarian people and groups, has a pot belly from the wonderful hospitality he received in each city and has participated in all kinds of happenings, he arrives at his destination. The talk goes very well and because of the updated information he collected, he had to change the structure of the talk. By the time he has completed this trip, he has collected enough new information to write a new book. We should tell the reader that in this aspect, the networker Joshua depicted here has no relationship to the compiler of this book. One writing project is more than enough.

Now if you notice, I have been a bit sneaky. In the beginning of this section I stated that the story was taking place in 1995. Did any of you catch this? Everything I described, the computer system and its services, all exist today! There are probably such systems in existence but focused for business purposes not to build a wonderful world. We do not need a large computer costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement this plan. The little mini(micro) computers available on the market such as your IBM PCs or compatibles or Macintoshes would be more than appropiate. The cost of computers is really starting to go down. Why I have seen an advertisement for old used computers (still quite powerful) that costs only several hundred dollars.

Can you imagine what kind of world we could live in with such a system? In your very own home you could receive information of any type. If you wish to connect with others of similar interests, searching for a particular resource, want to know what is going on in other parts of the world, desiring to work with others doing the same kind of project as yours a combining of efforts) or just wanting to learn a new subject, from a teacher in your area. This type of system would be of great benefit in helping different social problems. If someone was hungry, they could find out where centers are that give out food to the needy. Or if your group needed money, you could get a list of organization that give donations. We could go on listing things for a very long time. The only factor stopping this potential future is the lack of cooperation, brotherhood and sharing. With the large network of people we each know, we have access to incredible resources. All it takes is a little team-work I share the same feelings as expressed in John Lennon's song, "Imagine". Remember the words got "You may say I'm a dreamer, I'm not the only one!" In regards to a system like this, it doesn't have to be a dream. The tools are right here, waiting to be put together. Won't you try?

Editors Note: This section was written originally in 1982, and even at this early junction, the technology to create such a network was possible. Now, in 1995, of course, Internet and other online surfaces are providing such capabilities. For example, computer bulletin boards (or newsgroup on Internet) and electronic mail are common place to almost every online computer system. But still the idea of providing a system that shares all local community resources is missing I think.

In March of 1993, I begin work to create a prototype of the system discussed in this chapter. It did contain the intra-operability that Diagram A shows, more the ability to link people, organizations and resources in a local geographic area. We called this system NA NET (New Age Network) of America and labeled each city NA NET Chicago or such, depending upon who was interested. We tried to get interest and support into our system in four cities in the U.S. between 1993-1994 including: Chicago (IL); Phoenix (AZ); Santa Fe (NM) and Gainesville (FL). But in each case the amount of work of trying to help people and organizations fill out the forms and the time to promote it (done on a voluntary basis) was too much.

Therefore I thought I would include in this section, an additional section attached to this page, to provide for the readers an opportunity to see this New Age Networking System one step more towards manifestation. Below is two sections you can link into to see the entry form for NA NET based on Chicago. We create a simple form and a more complex (full) form. The idea was to collect data on each member of the network which would allow us to match community request either through geographic location (address or phone); a keyword search based on various descriptions of the member; by a category match (Products or Services offered or sought) or any combination of these three. We felt our system could provide matches for approximately 85% of the requests. We came up with 96 categories related to the New Age divided into 13 main sections.

Well, in any case, please take a look at our forms. We still have faith that this system can manifest at some future time. It appears the system will only successfully succeed if it is done in some business fashion. We of course hope that the fees to join and make requests are kept at a reasonable level. If you know someone who has an interest in networking and might be interested to help fund such a project please feel free to contact us by e-mail: or write to us at our mailing address ( click here to go to our home page for this ).

Special Announcement
( August 13th, 1997 )

On August 17th, 1997, a new initiative is starting known as the Planetary Light Network. This new organization is finally the beginning of the manifestation of a central nexus where any new age, holistic or spiritually orientated individuals or organizations can meet each other to share information about themselves or seek out others of like mind. Joshua Shapiro, the initiator of this initiative, starting with an online chat meeting on July 13th (1997) believes that this is the beginning of the vision he discussed in this chapter back in 1981-1982. The sophisticated services now available through the Internet are making this service possible. We invite you to visit the Planetary Light Network page to read more details .....

Part III
Networking Experiences
in Different Cities
___________ Part V
How Does Networking
Equal Aquarian Philosophies?

( Special Notice: A new special directory has just been released that contains over 7,000 Global contacts for the New Age and Holistic resources entitled Holistic Directory of Planet Earth. V J Enterprises is proud to be a distributor for this powerful guide. If you would like more information or want to link with other like-minded individuals and organizations please click HERE. )

Journeys Chapter 2

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Bloomington, IL, USA
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Last Modified by Illinois: 5/05/2008