Tony Armstrong, the interim director of Indiana"s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, announced his resignation last week. After his fund"s budget was cut due to the state"s massive revenue shortfall, he must have decided there was really nothing much for him to do. He"s off to a new job in Michigan. But the news that Indiana"s economic future appears to be falling ever farther behind neighboring states, whose technology funds remain in place, is no cause for alarm.
"Tech jobs are for nerds!" exclaimed local entrepreneur Rollo Amberson. Amberson, whose family fortune was amassed making wagon wheels in the 1880s, and who is now developing a line of Korean War action figures ("It"s about time! Don"t you think?") says high technology is oversold. "High tech? Hijinks, if you ask me. I"m looking for the next wave: no tech."
Amberson knowingly cites President Bush"s recent statements on global warming and our need to "adapt" to coming climate changes. "Bandwidth won"t keep you cool. The Internet doesn"t drip - it"s FOR drips. Believe me, things are gonna get pretty simple out here. Pretty basic. That"s where no tech comes in." Amberson is preparing a business plan for the end of the world as we know it. "Life is gonna be pretty unbearable and nobody"s going to be able to afford to buy drugs - sorry, Lilly. People are gonna want to escape!"
Amberson proposes creating a chain of Dream Academies: franchises where customers will learn how to prolong sleep - even in hot, humid conditions - for up to 20 hours a day. He wants to make Indiana the nation"s Dream Academy leader.
"Forget about Silicon Valley," Amberson says, "Indiana will be the Alpha Prairie, the Dream State!"