For a number of reasons, using the Web as the vehicle for my experiment makes perfect sense. To those who've never really experienced life without it, the idea of not using the Web—and the electronic tools that provide access to it—is probably similar to rejecting the traditional telephone, or television. Sure, it's been done, but not by any significant number of people, especially not here in the USA.
I don't mean to imply that art isn't necessary, but unlike art, the Web doesn't just imitate life; it's gone beyond that, and into the realm of life support. No longer the crude, cartoonlike approximation of life it once was, the Web—in concert with the underlying support structure affectionately known as the Net—has now become a keystone of commerce, even as it levels the playing field for small business.
In fact, the Web has made possible an entirely new caste of small-business owner. Once unthinkable, business on a global scale can now be successfully accomplished by the bathrobe entrepreneur with little more overhead than a computer, rudimentary software, and a connection to the Internet. But this is where the road forks. Lots of people sit around in bathrobes staring at Web-connected computers, and no doubt many are running a business of some sort, but there must still be significant resistance to the idea or there wouldn't be so many vehicles on the road during rush hour.
I know. It's an oversimplification; there are more elements in that equation. Still, assuming relatively equal portions of inspiration, perspiration and time are available to large and small business alike, and factoring in reasonable accessibility to modern hardware and software, any lingering resistance to the idea of remote employees—workers who aren't physically there—may have more to do with tradition than practicality.
There are jobs that demand physical proximity to coworkers, clients, or both. But many simply do not, and if mere tradition isn't the culprit—nor the Web-induced cynicism mentioned in the previous monologue—there must be another reason, and maybe more than one.
The experiment continues.