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  •                                 NETFUTURE
    
                Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    
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    Issue #4       Copyright 1996 O'Reilly & Associates      January 15, 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.
    
    CONTENTS:
    *** Editor's note
           We're making progress
    *** Homogenizing global society (J. David Stanton, Jr.)
           How long can that pen pal club offer a taste of different cultures?
    *** Don't try to control technology; adapt (Christopher D. Frankonis)
           Avoiding cultural chauvinism
    *** Bigotry and openness on the Net (Joel Ben-Avraham)
           The lines between "us" and "them" get blurred
    *** Prejudice on the Internet (Mark Grundy)
           Freedom and a whiff of danger
    *** Basement Wiring:  More Metaphors for the Infobahn (Robert Richardson)
           An unsettling vision from downstairs
    *** Editor's apology to Dick Carlson
           There are layers of meaning in every message
    *** Liberation and oppression on the Net (Stephen L. Talbott)
           Who is the big, bad wolf?
    *** SPIDER OR FLY? -- $500 writing competition
           Are we masters of the Web, or trapped in it?
    *** An addition to the NETFUTURE guidelines
           Keep your submission focused
    *** About this newsletter
    
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    *** Editor's note (32 lines)
    
    The quality and variety of contributions to NETFUTURE continue their
    encouraging rise.  The one problem is that we cannot begin to acknowledge
    all contributions, let alone publish them.  We have, however, been
    convinced by readers to allow the length of each issue to remain on the
    longer side.
    
    One thing we're looking for is ways to serve our readership and promote
    the responsible use of technology.  Our first project is an annotated
    reading list.  This will contain everything from old classics (like Joseph
    Weizenbaum's Computer Power and Human Reason, which belongs near the top
    of any such list) to the latest relevant releases.
    
    Lowell Monke, who teaches computer technology to high school students,
    has volunteered to maintain the list.  You can see its bare beginnings
    here.  Lowell also has begun to list other resources as well--for example,
    academic programs relating to technology assessment.
    
    Send your suggestions directly to Lowell (email: lm7846s@ACAD.DRAKE.EDU).
    
    You will find below "An addition to the NETFUTURE guidelines."  We are, I
    think, conducting a distinctive experiment in online discussion.  The
    original uncertainty about whether NETFUTURE would be a discussion group
    or a newsletter may have pinpointed a valuable challenge:  How can we
    carry on discussion at a much higher level (more coherent, more healthy
    for participants, more profitable for readers) than is evident in most
    news and discussion groups,