I am reading John Maeda’s Simplicity-Weblog from time to time – especially because I offered a seminar about this topic a while ago. Most of the posts of John are typical day-in-day out observations of a designer sensible for the details: sometimes I feel he can make an article out of anything (which tends to be a boring read of interesting thoughts, so enough beef to be worth it).
But his post about a MIT meeting about a proposal for developing a super-new-conflict-info-visualizing-and-planning-tool for the US government is just hilarious:
In the same way that VisiCalc was the so-called “killer app” that heralded the concept of a spreadsheet and ignited the business computing boom, I figure that another software system that is waiting to be launched as another “killer app” would be called Scapegoat 1.0. This system would be positioned to run on a normal desktop computer with 512Mb of RAM, average graphics card, standard networking, and so forth. Its purpose would be to be shift the blame away from yourself in any political fallout situation to another targeted faction with point-and-click ease. It could be used in a purely defensive manner (the so-called “Lite” version), and the Professional Edition could ship with preemptive and offensive capabilities. A service contract add-on option would be available where you could have access to real lobbyists.