• netfuture main page
  •                                NETFUTURE
    
               Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Issue #2      Copyright 1995 O'Reilly & Associates      December 21, 1995
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
    
                         On the Web: http://netfuture.org
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    
    CONTENTS:
    *** Moderator's Note
           What have we wrought?
    *** The Great Crusade Against Censorship (Stephen L. Talbott)
           Really, folks, get serious
    *** High School Students and Technology Assessment (Lowell Monke)
           Is efficiency at war with value?
    *** Automatic Phone Answering Can Improve Customer Service (Ray Brownrigg)
           It's all in how the automatic answering systems are used
    *** Monthly posting of netfuture guidelines
    *** About this list
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *** Moderator's Note (27 lines)
    
    Having hoped for maybe 100 subscribers to begin with, we found ourselves
    flooded with over 1000 subscribers before the first issue was posted.
    Things have only gotten "worse" from there:  this second issue is being
    mailed to more than 2000 subscribers.  Apparently the list's topic,
    "Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future," touches an
    increasingly exposed nerve within the Net community.
    
    This convinces us more than ever not to follow the usual discussion group
    model.  It's not reasonable to expect 2000 subscribers to engage in truly
    productive chit-chat.  We will therefore move more toward the newsletter
    end of the spectrum -- but with members of the list encouraged to provide
    content.  Extended conversations will be great to see, but they will have
    to be pursued at an unusually disciplined level.
    
    I will play a vigorous role in selecting and soliciting materials
    consistent with our announced themes, and in getting authors to "clean
    up" their presentation before posting.  This will not be a "let's get to
    know each other list," but rather a place where you will reliably
    encounter interesting material not adequately discussed elsewhere.  For
    more details, see the netfuture guidelines later in this issue.
    
    The large readership, however, hasn't translated yet into submissions of
    fresh material.  If you've got something important to say that fits the
    list's purposes, please consider passing it along to us.  Meanwhile, I'll
    not be shy about stoking the fire -- as this issue shows!  [SLT]
    
    Next posting will be in early January.
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *** The Great Crusade Against Censorship (159 lines)
    
    From Stephen L. Talbott
    
    Someone deliver us from the Internet censorship wars.  For the record:
    yes, I'm against silly attempts at censorship.  But this supremely easy
    pose of conscience doesn't solve much of anything.
    
    "To censor or not to censor" leaves the discussion at a level where we
    lose either way.  A serious effort at political imposition of censorship
    would reduce our society to chaos; on the ot