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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    Issue #3       Copyright 1996 O'Reilly & Associates       January 4, 1996
                Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
                         On the Web: http://netfuture.org
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    *** SPIDER OR FLY? -- $5000 competition
           Preliminary announcement
    *** Editor's note
           Homing in on the topics of netfuture
    *** Do subscriber numbers matter? (Michael Legeros)
           A brief conversation
    *** The Internet as terminator (Stephen L. Talbott)
           There is no technological fix for prejudice
    *** Our lives have become a series of addictions (Dale Lehman)
           Computers are not the only dangerous tools
    *** Economics, not technology, is the problem (Pascal de Caprariis)
           That phone answering system again
    *** Kill the droids.  Up with the machines.  (Dick Carlson)
           Human operators can be the biggest pain
    *** Problems with Nonstandardized Phone Answering Systems (Henry G. Cox)
           This user needs a cheat sheet
    *** The complexities of technological determination (Doug Johnson)
           We don't control everything and we don't control nothing
    *** The ultimate pen pal club (Candi Brooks)
           Linguistic excursions on the Net
    *** About this newsletter
    *** SPIDER OR FLY? -- $5000 writing competition
                                 SPIDER OR FLY?
                   Are we masters of the Web or trapped in it?
                     How can we take full responsibility for
                      computing and networking technologies?
       Catching the dew and sunlight, and serving as an efficient means of
       livelihood, a spider's web is one of the glories of creation.
       Depending on your perspective, a spider's web is also a prison -- the
       most delicate, flexible, and refined instrument imaginable for
       immobilizing life.
       The SPIDER OR FLY? competition invites you to illuminate the deep
       nexus between computerized networking technologies and human
       responsibility.  It does not aim at identifying what you like or
       don't like about the Net and the World Wide Web -- not, at least,
       unless you can relate these likes and dislikes to the most fundamental
       levels at which our personal choices in front of the computer screen
       are shaping the future for good or ill.
       Scholars now debate whether certain technologies determine us more
       than we determine them, and whether the determination in either case
       is healthy or unhealthy.  The SPIDER OR FLY? competition is not
       premised upon any particular answer to such questions.  While the
       questions signal our passage into new spheres of responsibility in
       relation to evolving technology, the terms of this responsibility
       haven't yet become clear.  The competition seeks to stimulate a highly
       personalized exploration of the issues.
    Watch this space for further details soon.  Full contest informatio