The prediction proved a tad overenthusiastic, but they were close.
Technologizer posted a link to a 1982 New York Times article describing the brave new world of 1998 where the "marriage of two older technologies, communications and computing" would create a new connected world.
In addition to the obvious shopping and working from home, this new "videotex" system would allow diverse groups to connect in ways never before possible. According to the Times:
The study also predicted a much greater diversity in the American political power structure. ''Videotex might mean the end of the twoparty system, as networks of voters band together to support a variety of slates - maybe hundreds of them,'' it said.There's some evidence that this might emerge. Online donors are now a major force. Online parties have not emerged because 1) it's difficult getting an online community to focus and 2) the big money still comes in from off-line fundraising (and that's getting worse).
Fixing that second problem is going to be a huge challenge, but it's pointless to try unless we can fix the first problem. Especially as a major election approaches, we've got to keep focused on shared goals. I'm not suggesting that there is a "zero sum" where some goals need to suffer in order for other goals to get support. We can do multiple things and we can have agendas with different levels of group effort. We just need to have some sense of clarity as to why we're here and what we hope to accomplish.
So put down the pies; put them down slow and easy. Hey! Keep your hands where I can see them.