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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    Issue #18      Copyright 1996 O'Reilly & Associates         April 30, 1996
                Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
                         On the Web: http://netfuture.org
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    *** Editor's note
    *** Tyranny of the 21st century
          How to get education backwards
    *** `Saving' time, money, and physical resources (Jeff Wright)
          From dishwashers to nuclear power plants
    *** Search engines bring our skeletons out of the closet (Matt Midboe)
          And it's a good thing:  no more vain pretense
    *** Commercial databases and your phone number (P. Eads)
          The unapproachability of Yahoo
    *** Note about Tarthang Tulku, Tibetan lama (Carl Wittnebert)
          Do straitened minds compensate with mystical hopes?
    *** Luciferian revolt or Electric Gaia? (Michel Bauwens)
          How optimists and pessimists look at the Net
    *** Higher consciousness or abdication of responsibility? (Don Porter)
          Mystical hopes are without foundation
    *** The web and the hunger for higher consciousness (Randy Hinrichs)
          We don't clearly understand what the web is doing
    *** Erratum re: the creatures of Palador
    *** About this newsletter

    *** Editor's note

    A collection of comments from readers in this issue--mostly on "mysticism in cyberspace." Personally, I find myself deeply unsatisfied on the issue. I hope we can revisit it later.

    A side note: you might want to consider an invitation from the editor of the Interpersonal Computing and Technology Journal (IPCT-J), Sue Barnes. She writes that good journal articles sometimes start out as electronic exchanges. "If any of the people on your list want to turn their debates on computers and education into articles, I would be interested in them for IPCT-J."


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    *** Tyranny of the 21st century

    By coincidence, I've been spending a good deal of time lately with teachers and students of education--most recently with the extraordinary class of Prof. Douglas Sloan's at Columbia Teachers College. Such bright spots aside, it is appalling to see how utterly impotent the educational establishment as a whole has been when it comes to raising even the slightest critical question about the wholesale importation of computerized technology into the educational process. (Sloan remarked that there's a lot of pressure to reduce Columbia to a kind of technical institute focused on the new technologies.) It's hard to imagine that any discipline could be as conformist, spineless, and lemming-like as this one seems to be. When you consider that these are the people who will educate the new generation--well, how do you salvage any optimism for the