The developments over the last decade in digital switching data networks and intelligent signal processing suggest an almost unbounded future in terms of opportunity. But who needs it? Information technology appears to act upon our socio-economic system in a manner that is quite different from the way other technologies affected earlier socio-economic systems. In those earlier instances a reasonable balance was maintained between the intensive, or extrapolative interactions and the extensive or transformative ones. Today, we can establish a non-trivial hypothesis that states that the extensive or transformative interactions between information technology and our socio-economic system are being somehow constrained and hence denying us considerable economic and social benefits. The hypothesis stands up under the Socratic test, in that the conclusions deduced from the hypothesis match what we see in the real world. If one takes the hypothesis as given, is there any real potential that is being constrained, what is the value of that potential, and what might be the nature of the constraint? Research suggests that the potential exists, that it may be very significant, and that the constraint is of a fundamental linguistic nature. Some strategies are set forth to avoid or move the constraint. If the hypothesis is valid and the important benefits of information technology are inhibited from flowering, of what significance is all our fine technology? The prediction is made that unless we address that fundamental constraint, the future for information technology is at the best rather bleak and intensely competitive, for our capacity to produce sophisticated communications will outstrip our needs.