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  •                                 NETFUTURE
    
                Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    
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    Issue #16      Copyright 1996 O'Reilly & Associates         April 22, 1996
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                Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
    
                         On the Web: http://netfuture.org
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    
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    ####  Don't forget the $5000 SPIDER OR FLY? deadline: April 30, 1996  ####
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    CONTENTS:
    *** talk.netfuture? (Sebastian Mendler)
    *** Linking minds and machines
          Note on a speech by Frederick Brooks, and a comment
    *** An American philosopher and Internet chat groups
          Collective action and community are different things
    *** Web called 'ultimate act of intellectual colonialism'
          It's English or nothing
    *** Are the spiders crawling down your back? (Kirk McElhearn)
          Alta Vista shivers
    *** There is no planned obsolescence of software (Chris Howard)
          Is the editor a conspiracy theorist?
    *** Hardware vs. software upgrades: different issues (Mike Fischbein)
          We don't know how to make reliable software
    *** About this newsletter
    

    *** talk.netfuture?

    From Sebastian Mendler (smendler@well.com)

    How about you keep the newsletter as a newsletter, but set up a separate mailing list/newsgroup called NETFUTURE-D or something similar, where the issues raised could be discussed? You could mirror the discussion to a Web page -- with a little work, you might even be able to link the discussions to the places cited in the original text (true hypertext!)

    Just my .02. I enjoy the newsletter; keep up the good work.

    //skip

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Skip --

    I'm open to the possibilities. Someone else would have to take the initiative to manage the thing, however.

    SLT

    Goto table of contents


    *** Linking minds and machines

    Interesting article in the March, 1996 issue of Communications of the ACM. It's the 1994 acceptance speech by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., the recipient of the first annual "ACM Allen Newell Award" for career contributions bridging computer science and other disciplines. Fredericks is Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina. The speech was delivered at SIGGRAPH '94.

    Worrying about how the U.S. is becoming a "nation of consumption" given over to entertainment and recreation, Brooks has quite a lot to say about the failings of television and its effects upon our lives. Then he goes on to chide his audience:

    Well, what has all of this to do with SIGGRAPH? Quite a bit; SIGGRAPH also worships TV and its fame. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Electronic Theatre. Year by year we increasingly choose what to honor by the standards of the TV culture. It is increasingly an Electronic