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  •                                 NETFUTURE
    
                Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    
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    Issue #13      Copyright 1996 O'Reilly & Associates         March 28, 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:
    *** Editor's note
    *** Stirrups and social change (Sue Barnes)
          Joining man and steed into a fighting organism
    *** Damn the computers (Kevin Jones)
          A long-time user's lament
    *** About this newsletter
    

    *** Editor's note

    We now have a backlog of publishable items that may take awhile--or forever--to catch up with. I will be experimenting with less crowded and slightly more frequent posts. In this issue, apart from a short footnote to the discussion of tools, you will find just a single article, by Kevin Jones.

    Jones' piece may strike you at first as one, long rant. But, on rare occasions, one hears a rant that shakes out so much neglected common sense, arises from such direct, unassailable experience, and is energized with such an articulate passion, that it appears destined to echo and re-echo throughout cyberspace, waking a few of us up in the process. This seems to me such a rant. But, if you prefer, just consider it one heckuva flame. In any case, you won't find its like in many other forums, so, as part of NETFUTURE's mission to supply you with provocative articles not generally available elsewhere, I print it here. It's not the whole story, but in the unavoidably electronic environs to which this newsletter penetrates, it's the neglected part of the story.

    SLT

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    *** Stirrups and social change

    From Susan B. Barnes (sbbarnes@pipeline.com)

    Steve--

    The book about the stirrup that you were referring to is Lynn White, Jr.'s book, Medieval Technology and Social Change. Here is a passage from the book:

    Few inventions have been so simple as the stirrup, but few have had so catalytic an influence on history. The requirements of the new mode of warfare which it made possible found expression in a new form of western European society dominated by an aristocracy of warriors endowed with land so that they might fight in a new and highly specialized way. Inevitably this nobility developed cultural forms and patterns of thought and emotion in harmony with its style of mounted shock combat and its social posture; as Denholm-Young has said: `it is impossible to be chivalrous without a horse.' The Man on Horseback, as we have known him during the past millennium, was made possible by the stirrup, which joined man and steed into a fighting organism. A