Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

March 1983


Reprinted from Telecommunications Policy, Volume 7, Issue 1, March 1983, pages 43-52.


Most serious discussion of telecommunications policy is governed by a utilitarian framework in which the success of communications networks is measured by some criterion of productivity. This exclusive emphasis creates undesirable rigidities in large communications systems upon which industrialized societies are so dependent. An analysis of productivity constraints on the social flexibility of existing networks is offered in support of an argument for deliberately building playfulness, In line with certain modest proposals, into the organization of emerging networks of communication.


telecommunications, social psychology, systems design



Date Posted: 07 March 2008