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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    Issue #5       Copyright 1996 O'Reilly & Associates      January 25, 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
           You can help
    *** SPIDER OR FLY? -- $5000 writing contest
           Are we masters of the Web or trapped in it?
    *** FAQ:  Computerized technology and human responsibility
           A non-canonical exercise
    *** About this newsletter
    *** Editor's note (23 lines)
    This special issue of NETFUTURE contains only two items:  the official
    announcement of the SPIDER OR FLY? contest; and an admitted oddity--a
    first, highly personalized attempt at an FAQ on "Computerized Technology
    and Human Responsibility."
    Regarding SPIDER OR FLY?, you can help.  This announcement is both 
    relevant and appropriate for posting to numerous forums, public and
    private, whose participants may have a shot at competing successfully in
    the contest--and at elevating the entire online community in the process.
    Please take a moment to consider where, within your own networks, you
    might post the announcement.
    Perhaps you yourself will not want to enter.  But we are inviting all of
    you to submit your own, mini-answers (300-words-or-less) to the question,
    "As the Web evolves, am I finding myself a spider or a fly?"  Or, better,
    "In which regards am I finding myself a spider, and in which regards a 
    fly?"  Submit these brief answers to netfuture@online.ora.com, not to the
    contest alias.  We will publish as many of your brief answers in
    NETFUTURE as possible--and without waiting for the contest deadline.
    Back to previously scheduled programming with the next issue.
    Return to table of contents
    *** SPIDER OR FLY? -- $5000 writing contest
    O'Reilly & Associates and the NETFUTURE newsletter announce a $5000
    writing contest:
                                 SPIDER OR FLY?
                   Are we masters of the Web or trapped in it?
       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.
       As you and I settle into the World Wide Web, are we in the role of the
       spider or the fly?
       The SPIDER OR FLY? contest invites you to illuminate the deep nexus
       between computerized networking technologies and the human being.
       Where, amid all the dizzying technical advances, do we carry
       responsibility for their social consequences?  How can we exercise
       that responsibility?  Have we been embracing it or shirking it?  In
       other words:  does the Web own us, or do we own it?
       The contest does not aim at identifying what you like or don't like
       about the Net and the World Wide